Daily Archives: September 25, 2006

Tuesday, Sep 26 – Importance of Familiarisation

26 Sep – Memorial for Sts. Cosmas and Damian, martyrs

Sts. Cosmas and Damian (d. 303) were twin brothers born in Arabia. Both were physicians who accepted no payment, which brought many to Christ.

During the persecution under Diocletian, they were arrested by order of the Prefect of Cilicia, who ordered them under torture to recant. The two stayed true to their faith and suffered no injuries from water, fire, air, nor on the cross during their tortures. Finally, they were beheaded. Antimo, Leonzio, and Euprepio, their younger brothers, who were inseparable from them throughout life, shared in their martyrdom.

Many fables grew up about them, connected in part with their relics. Their most famous miraculous exploit was the grafting of a leg from a recently deceased Ethiopian to replace a patient’s ulcered leg, was the subject of many paintings and illuminations.

– Sources: Patron Saint Index, Wikipedia
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Proverbs 21:1-6, 10-13

Like flowing water is the heart of the king in the hand of the Lord
who turns it where he pleases

A man’s conduct may strike him as upright,
the Lord, however, weighs the heart.

To act virtuously and with justice
is more pleasing to the Lord than sacrifice.

Haughty eye, proud heart,
lamp of the wicked, nothing but sin.

The hardworking man is thoughtful, and all is gain;
too much haste, and all that comes of it is want.

To make a fortune with the help of a lying tongue,
such the idle fantasy of those who look for death.

The wicked man’s soul is intent on evil,
he looks on his neighbour with dislike.

When a mocker is punished, the ignorant man grows wiser,
when a wise man is instructed he acquires more knowledge.
The Just One watches the house of the wicked:
he hurls the wicked to destruction.

He who shuts his ear to the poor man’s cry
shall himself plead and not be heard.

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Luke 8:19-21

The mother and brothers of Jesus came looking for him, but they could not get to him because of the crowd. He was told, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside and want to see you.” But he said in answer, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”
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Today’s gospel passage is often taken out of context and used by some to say that Jesus has blood siblings, and that Mary was not a virgin. But that’s missing the point of the gospel passage. The point of the gospel passage anyone who listens to Jesus and puts his words to practice, Jesus welcomes into his family.

But from the first reading, we see that it is not enough simply to do something good; we must think good, speak good, feel good, and do good. We must be true to ourselves, such that our actions speak what our heart is feeling, and what our mind is thinking.

The way we do this is firstly to hear the Word of God and receive it into our hearts. Let the Word purify our hearts, and from there, we will be able to do good from the bottom of our hearts.

I received the gift of a tea cup last week. On it are the words: A man is not one who does good, but one who does good all the time. Without the Word of God in our hearts, it is very difficult to do good all the time. In addition, without familiarising ourselves with the Word of God, it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to have the Word of God in our hearts. How then, can we put it into practice?
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Prayer:
Dear Jesus, please grant us the grace to be able to familiarise ourselves with you, the Word of God. Help us to learn more about you through reading the Bible, the Word of God. Finally, help us to receive you into our hearts, so that whatever we speak or do may be done in your name. Amen.

Give Thanks to the Lord for: The God who is with us.

Upcoming Readings:
Wed, 27 Sep – Proverbs 30:5-9; Luke 9:1-6; Memorial for St. Vincent de Paul, priest, religious founder
Thu, 28 Sep – Ecclesiastes 1:2-11; Luke 9:7-9; Memorial for St. Wenceslaus, martyr / Memorial for St. Lorenzo Ruiz and companions, martyrs
Fri, 29 Sep – Daniel 7:9-10, 13, 14 or Revelation 12:7-12a; John 1:47-51; Feast of Sts. Michael, Gabriel, & Raphael, archangels
Sat, 30 Sep – Ecclesiastes 11:9 – 12:8; Luke 9:43b-45; Memorial for St. Jerome, priest and doctor
Sun, 1 Oct – Numbers 11:25-29; James 5:1-6; Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48; Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Disclaimer: The reflections expressed in this e-mail are the writer’s own. They may not necessarily reflect the teachings of the Catholic Church. Nonetheless we should all be able to learn something from it.

Monday, Sep 25 – More and More

25 Sep

The following announcement was requested by one of our readers:

The Life Direction Team is organising a series of conferences called “Tending The Holy in our lives”. Conference A is titled “Walking together in God’s presence”.

It is an appreciation and basic understanding of spiritual direction: for the people of God and for any one who would like to know more about spiritual direction, for those who are sponsors, teachers, catechists, and leaders in church ministries and RCIA, and for those who accompany others in their Christian vocation, i.e. you.

This conference is highly recommended for RCIA sponsors, teachers, catechists, and for those who accompany others in their faith vocation. There are still many vacancies left, so please don’t let the facilitators’ visit here be a waste. The conference is open to all members of the public. Two venues and dates are given for your convenience:

Date 1: Sat, Nov 4
Time: 2.30-5.00pm
Venue: Toa Payoh Methodist Church (480, Lorong 2 Toa Payoh)

Date 2: Mon, Nov 6
Time: 7.15-9.45pm
Venue: Church of the Holy Spirit (248 Upper Thomson Road)

Contribution: S$15
Early registration (before Oct 1): S$10

What is spiritual direction?
Many people find it difficult to notice God’s action in their daily lives, even if they had a sense of God, just like the disciples on the road to Emmaus did.

The spiritual companion is a person of faith, depth, warmth and empathy, an excellent listener, aware of his own spiritual journey, and committed to being with another person in their faith journey, formally or informally. Help someone discover and experience God’s presence and grace in their lives.

Facilitators:
Sister Mary Ann Scofield, RSM, is a Mercy Center staff member, Ph.D. Theology, M.A. in Spiritual Direction, founding member of Spiritual Directors International. She has extensive experience in spiritual direction, retreat direction, formation of spiritual directors, retreat directors and supervision.

James Keegan, SJ, was staff of various ministry and spirituality centers conducting spiritual direction sessions and practicum programmes for development of spiritual directors. He is also a member of the Coordinating Council of Spiritual Directors International.

For more enquiries, please contact:
M: +65-8201-7022
T: +65-6565-2895
F: +62-6565-3875
E: lifedirectionteam@yahoo.com.sg
W: www.veritas.org.sg/lifedirectionteam 

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Luke 8:16-18

Jesus said to his disciples: “No one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl or to put it under a bed. No, he puts it on a lamp-stand so that people may see the light when they come in. For nothing is hidden but it will be made clear, nothing secret but it will be known and brought to light. So take care how you hear; for anyone who has will be given more; from anyone who has not, even what he thinks he has will be taken away.”
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Last week, I met an interesting person. As she shared with me her life story, one particular line struck me. She was speaking about her own faith and sharing it with others: “The more I shared, the more it grew; the more I shared, the more I received.”

In today’s gospel reading, Jesus is not talking about a person’s gifts or talents; he is speaking about faith. Our faith is not meant to be hidden; it is meant to be seen. When we share our faith with other people, we discover that it grows with each telling, so that we have more to share in future.
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Prayer:
Dear Jesus, help us to be unafraid to share our faith with those who are interested in knowing you. Give us the courage to share your story with other people, to share our experiences of your presence and love in our lives. Amen.

Give Thanks to the Lord for: The opportunity to meet friends of Jesus.

Upcoming Readings:
Tue, 26 Sep – Proverbs 21:1-6, 10-13; Luke 8:19-21; Memorial for Sts. Cosmas and Damian, martyrs
Wed, 27 Sep – Proverbs 30:5-9; Luke 9:1-6; Memorial for St. Vincent de Paul, priest, religious founder
Thu, 28 Sep – Ecclesiastes 1:2-11; Luke 9:7-9; Memorial for St. Wenceslaus, martyr / Memorial for St. Lorenzo Ruiz and companions, martyrs
Fri, 29 Sep – Daniel 7:9-10, 13, 14 or Revelation 12:7-12a; John 1:47-51; Feast of Sts. Michael, Gabriel, & Raphael, archangels
Sat, 30 Sep – Ecclesiastes 11:9 – 12:8; Luke 9:43b-45; Memorial for St. Jerome, priest and doctor
Sun, 1 Oct – Numbers 11:25-29; James 5:1-6; Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48; Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Disclaimer: The reflections expressed in this e-mail are the writer’s own. They may not necessarily reflect the teachings of the Catholic Church. Nonetheless we should all be able to learn something from it.