“I think there is no suffering greater than what is caused by the doubts of those who want to believe. I know what torment this is, but I can only see it, in myself anyway, as the process by which faith is deepened. A faith that just accepts is a child’s faith and all right for children, but eventually you have to grow religiously as every other way, though some never do. What people don’t realize is how much religion costs. They think faith is a big electric blanket, when of course it is the cross. It is much harder to believe than not to believe. If you feel you can’t believe, you must at least do this: keep an open mind. Keep it open toward faith, keep wanting it, keep asking for it, and leave the rest to God.” ~Flannery O’Connor, The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor
God our Father, today you give us the joy of celebrating the feast of the apostles Peter and Paul. Through them your Church first received the faith. Keep us true to their teaching. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
Sts. Peter and Paul, pray for us.
“God gives prayer growth precisely according to our degree of readiness for it. He forces no one. According as we are more or less receptive, He bestows more or less depth of communion. In the same manner, five hundred people in a parish church all hear the same sound waves during the homily, but they profit from it exactly as they are or are not disposed for the message. Jesus taught the same truth in his parable of the sower: from the word of God some hearers yield nothing at all, while others yield thirty or sixty or a hundredfold.” ~Fr. Thomas Dubay, p. 114, Fire Within
“Monasteries are not out of touch. When a man enters a monastery he takes his heart with him. In coming to know and understand his own heart, in opening it to the Lord to reveal its ills, its poverty, its needs so that the Lord might heal it with his love, the monk is opening the heart of the world. What ails the monk ails everyone else. What ails man, ails him. Why is he any different? He comes from the same place. All the cloister does is open his heart to the mercy of God. And in coming to know his own heart, the monk comes to know the human heart of every man. If a monk is any kind of a monk at all, he will be in touch with his times, not by virtue of [TV, radio, newspapers and magazines], but by his prayer.” ~Fr. Matthew Kelty, OCSO, The Call of Wild Geese
Almighty God, by whose providence your servant John the Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of your Son our Savior by preaching repentance: Make us so to follow his teaching and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching; and, following his example, constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for the truth’s sake; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
St. John the Baptist, pray for us.
Father, we rejoice in the gifts of love we have received from the heart of Jesus your Son. Open our hearts to share his life and continue to bless us with his love. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit hone God, for ever and ever. Amen.
St. Aloysius, pray for us.