“How much I must criticize you, my church, and yet how much I love you! You have made me suffer much and yet I owe much to you. I would like to see you destroyed and yet I need your presence. You have given me much scandal and yet you have made me understand holiness. Never in this world have I seen anything more deceiving, compromised, or false, yet never have I touched anything more pure, generous or beautiful. Many times I have felt like slamming the door in your face — and yet, every night, I have prayed that I might die in your arms! No, I cannot be free of you, for I am one with you, even if not completely you. Then, too, where would I go? To build another church? But I cannot build another church without the same defects, for they are my own defects. And, if I were to build another church, it would be my church, not Christ’s church. No. I am old enough to know that I am no better than others. I shall not leave this church, founded on so frail a rock, because I would be founding another one on an even frailer rock: Myself! And, what do rocks matter? What matters is Christ’s promise, what matters is the cement that binds the rocks into one: the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit alone can build the church with stones as ill-hewn as we.” ~Br. Carlo Carretto, hermit; excerpt from I Sought and I Found
Behold! Behold the wood of the Cross on which is hung our Salvation. Come let us adore.
“The cross is honorable because it is both the sign of God’s suffering and the trophy of his victory. It stands for his suffering because on it he freely suffered unto death. But it is also his trophy because it was the means by which the devil was wounded and death conquered; the barred gates of hell were smashed, and the cross became the one common salvation of the whole world.” ~St. Andrew of Crete
Almighty God, we rejoice in the name and protection of the most holy Virgin Mary. By her motherly prayer grant that your faithful may be delivered from evil on earth. May they be led to eternal joys in heaven. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
“There is a legend about a woman who prayed to God for patience. In answer, she received nothing but trouble. She then said to the Lord, “I did not pray for trouble, I prayed for patience.” The Lord answered her, “How else will you learn patience, or even know you have it?” Growing in the love of God with its concomitant joy and peace is possible only as we let that love be tested by the hard things of life, and so the love bears the fruit of even-tempered patience, kindness, and gentleness.” ~Anna Mow, Say “Yes” to Life!
“Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.’ Simon answered, ‘Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.’ When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!’ For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.’ When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.” (Luke 5:1-11)
The beauty of the world is Christ’s tender smile coming to us through matter. ~Simone Weil
O God, who care for your people with gentleness and rule them in love, through the intercession of Pope Saint Gregory, endow, we pray, with a spirit of wisdom those to whom you have given authority to govern, that the flourishing of a holy flock may become the eternal joy of the shepherds. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen