May 26, 2014

Philip Neri

May 26, 2014:  St. Philip Neri, Priest
Memorial Day


    Patriots Point, South Carolina
  • Acts 16:11-15  We sailed from Troas to Samothrace, Neapolis, and Philippi.  We spoke with women gathered outside the city gate, and the Lord opened Lydia's heart to pay attention to Paul.  After we baptized her and her household, she invited us to stay, and we did.
  • Ps 149:1b-6a, 9b  "The Lord takes delight in his people."  Praise the Lord with song and dance, for the Lord loves and gives victory his people, Alleluia.
  • Jn 15:26-16:4a  “The Advocate, the Spirit of truth I'll send from the Father, will testify to me.  So will you, because you've been with me from the start.  I've told you this so you won't fall away when, because people don't know the Father or me, they expel you and think killing you is worshipping God.  Remember that when their time comes.
Pope Francis
  • Regina Cœli Mary, more than anyone else, contemplated God in the human face of Jesus.  To her we entrust all who dwell here, that they may live in justice, peace, and fraternity.  Mary, watch over our families, the young and old, and all who have lost faith and hope.  Comfort the sick, the imprisoned, and all who suffer. Watch over Pastors and all believers; may they may be 'salt and light.'  We entrust the future of our human family to you, that new horizons may open, with fraternity, solidarity, and peace.
  • To Muslims:   Abraham was a father in faith and great example; he left his people and house to embark on the pilgrimage to which God called him.  We, like him, should make ourselves poor, set out, and hope.  We're not masters of our lives; we must go out from ourselves, docile to God’s call and open to the future God wants for us.  God wanted Abraham to imitate his righteousness.  Let's work for peace and justice, praying for these gifts and learning from God's mercy, magnanimity, and compassion.  Let's respect and love one another, learn to understand others' sufferings, and work together for justice and peace!
  • To Chief Rabbis:  As Christians and Jews, we're called to reflect on the significance of our bond, one of divine origin, transcending our plans, and intact despite past difficulties.  We Catholics want to reflect on our Jewish roots, and I trust that, with your help, Jews' interest in Christianity will grow; appreciation for our common spiritual  heritage and respect in matters where we disagree can guide us to a closer relationship.  Together, we can contribute to the cause of peace, bear witness to the importance of God's plan of creation, and oppose anti-Semitism and all other discrimination.
  • At Yad Vashem holocaust memorial and the Western ("Wailing") Wall:  "Who are you, O man?  What have you become?"—charged with the sorrow of a Father who's lost his child.  "I no longer recognize you.  You tortured and killed your brothers and sisters and sacrificed them to yourself, because you made yourself a god."  Lord, we're shamed by this massive idolatry that human beings, created in your image, were capable of, despising and destroying what you formed and gave life to.  To you belongs righteousness, but to us confusion and shame; we've sinned against you.  Grant us the grace to be ashamed of what we human beings have done.  Save us in your mercy.  Never again, Lord!
  • To Israel President Peres:  May Jerusalem be the City of Peace!  Peacemaking demands respect for human dignity and freedom.  Our shared conviction enables us to pursue peaceful solutions and reject what opposes peace such as violence, anti-Semitism and other discrimination, attempts to impose our point of view at others' expense, and intolerance.  I keep praying for peace, security, tranquility, prosperity, and fraternity, and that honorable resolution of hostilities will soon alleviate suffering in the Middle East.
      Wordle: Readings 5-26-14
      Today's readings
    • To priests, religious, and seminarians:  Here at Gethsemane, Jesus felt the need to pray with his disciples, but doubt, weariness, and fear overcame them.  As the Passion unfolded, they adopted attitudes of closeness, distance, or hesitation.  Ask:  Who am I, before my Lord's sufferings?  Do I fall asleep, or keep watch?  Flee in fear, or face reality?  Is there duplicity in me?  Do I deny him?  Did I start planning to go about life without the Lord, like the Emmaus disciples?  Do I remain faithful, like Mary and John, who stayed at the cross to the end?  Would I imitate the Master to the point of martyrdom?
    Jesus’ friendship, faithfulness, and mercy are gifts encouraging us to follow him in spite of our failures and betrayals, but we need vigilance before the Tempter, sin, and evil to which we're all exposed.  The good, merciful Lord takes us by the hand and never abandons us.  Let's press forward in our journey and mission!  The call to follow Christ with joy is a gift and a responsibility.  Be courageous witnesses of the Lord's passion and resurrection.  Imitate Mary and John, and stand by the crosses where Jesus continues to be crucified; there's no other path!  “Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be.” 
      • Creighton:  The Holy Spirit dwells in each of us, and we are called to witness at work, home, service, and play, putting the other person first, living counter-culturally, and showing respect.  The Spirit gives us courage and wisdom to fulfill our call; all we have to do is listen, acknowledge, and depend on him.
      Breathe into me, Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.  Move in me, that my work may be holy.  Attract my heart, that I may love only what is holy.  Strengthen me,  that I may defend all that is holy.  Protect me, that I may always be holy. (St. Augustine)
      •  Adversity strengthens true friendship.  Jesus offers the best and truest friend:  the Holy Spirit, Counselor, Advocate, Paraclete, Helper.  Counselor is a legal term for one who defends someone and guides them during a trial.  The Spirit guides and strengthens us and brings us safely through life's challenges.  The Spirit is one with the Father and the Son, gives life, quickens faith, makes personal knowledge of God possible, witnesses to us that the Father has sent and raised Jesus, reveals God's wisdom, gives us eyes of faith, and helps us to follow Christ and witness, with courage in adversity.  Holy Spirit, strengthen me in faith, hope, and love, and give me perseverance!
      St. Philip Neri
      O merciful God, fill our hearts, we pray, with the graces of your Holy Spirit; with love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self-control. Teach us to love those who hate us; to pray for those who despitefully use us; that we may be the children of your love, our Father, who makes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. In adversity grant us grace to be patient; in prosperity keep us humble; may we guard the door of our lips; may we lightly esteem the pleasures of this world, and thirst after heavenly things; through Jesus Christ our Lord. (St. Anselm)
        • Passionist:  Memorial Day invites us to 'remember' those who have died in service to our country.  'Remembering' is more than simple recalling of the past; the Latin root is memor:  being mindful/aware, making a person/experience real in our hearts.  In Scripture prophets and kings beg people to remember God's graciousness; today let's remember people who have loved us and events that have shaped us.
        • Universalis:  St. Philip Neri, tutor, priest, confessor, minister to youth, "Congregation of the Oratory" (Oratorians) founder, cat lover, supporter of laughing...
          • Tie with purple and sailboats:  They sailed, and Lydia was a dealer in purple cloth (1st reading)
          • "Hearts" suspenders:  The Lord opened Lydia's heart (1st reading)
          • "Dove" pin:  The Spirit will testify to me. (gospel)
          • "Peace sign" tie bar:  Remember all peacemakers; bring peace (Memorial Day)
          • White in tie:  Easter season
          Check out Sunday's post too, and dress your life!

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