Daily Archives: October 9, 2007

Wednesday, October 10 – Are You Angry?

10 Oct

Holiness does not consist in doing extraordinary things. It consists in accepting, with a smile, what Jesus sends us. It consists in accepting and following the will of God.

– taken from “Mother Teresa In Her Own Words” by Jose Luis Gonzalez-Balado
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Jonah 4:1-11

This made Jonah very indignant; he fell in to a rage. He prayed to Yahweh and said, ‘Please, Yahweh, isn’t this what I said would happen when I was still in my own country? That was why I first tried to flee to Tarshish, since I knew you were a tender, compassionate God, slow to anger, rich in faithful love, who relents about inflicting disaster. So now, Yahweh, please take my life, for I might as well be dead as go on living.’ Yahweh replied, ‘Are you right to be angry?’

Jonah then left the city and sat down to the east of the city. There he made himself a shelter and sat under it in the shade, to see what would happen to the city. Yahweh God then ordained that a castor-oil plant should grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head and soothe his ill-humour; Jonah was delighted with the castor-oil plant. But at dawn the next day, God ordained that a worm should attack the castor-oil plant—and it withered. Next, when the sun rose, God ordained that there should be a scorching east wind; the sun beat down so hard on Jonah’s head that he was overcome and begged for death, saying, ‘I might as well be dead as go on living.’ God said to Jonah, ‘Are you right to be angry about the castor-oil plant?’ He replied, ‘I have every right to be angry, mortally angry!’ Yahweh replied, ‘You are concerned for the castor-oil plant which has not cost you any effort and which you did not grow, which came up in a night and has perished in a night. So why should I not be concerned for Nineveh, the great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, to say nothing of all the animals?’
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Luke 11:1-4

Now it happened that he was in a certain place praying, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’ He said to them, ‘When you pray, this is what to say:

Father, may your name be held holy,
your kingdom come;
give us each day our daily bread,
and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive each one who is in debt to us.
And do not put us to the test.’

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When God is the focus of the moment, it is so easy to pray calmly with the words Jesus has taught us. But when a task, like the work we are given, becomes our focus of the moment, and when things go awry, we can be like Jonah. Jonah probably wanted justice to be done—he wanted the Ninevites to be punished for their sin. When God did not inflict the punishment He had threatened, Jonah was angry because he felt it was unfair to let the Ninevites off.

Let us remember that our lives are not meant to be self-serving. We are not meant to live out our own sense of justice, or any desired sense of satisfaction. We are meant to live out God’s love, and to please God. Knowing that will help us to not only say the Lord’s Prayer, but also live it out. Are you frustrated, angry or sad today? Take heart in the Creator’s purpose for you.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Regina Xie)
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Prayer: Lord help us to see You beyond our own troubles and frustrations.

Give thanks to the Lord for: His prayer that we can pray in times of distress.

Upcoming Readings:
Thu, Oct 11 – Malachi 3:13-20a; Luke 11:15-26; Memorial for Bl. John XXIII
Fri, Oct 12 – Joel 1:13-15, 2:1-2; Luke 11:15-26
Sat, Oct 13 – Joel 4:12-21; Luke 11:27-28
Sun, Oct 14 – 2 Kings 5:17-17; 2 Timothy 2:8-13; Luke 17:11-19; Twenty-Eighth 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.

Tuesday, October 9 – A Quiet Time Is All I Need

09 Oct – Memorial for St. Denis, bishop, martyr, and his companions, martyrs; Memorial for St. John Leonardi, priest, religious founder

St. Denis (d. 258), also known as Dionysius, was a missionary to Paris, and the first bishop of Paris. His success roused the ire of local pagans, and he was imprisoned by the Roman governor, and martyred in the persecutions of Valerius with Sts. Rusticus and Eleutherius.

Legends have grown up around his torture and death including one that has his body carrying his severed head some distance from his execution site. St. Genevieve built a basilica over his grave. His feast was added to the Roman Calendar in 1568 by Pope Pius V, though it had been celebrated since 800. He is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers.

He is patron against frenzy; against strife; headaches; hydrophobia; possessed people; rabies.

St. John Leonardi (1541-1609) worked as a pharmacist’s apprentice while studying for the priesthood. After ordination, he worked with prisoners and the sick. His example attracted some young laymen to assist him, mot of whom became priests themselves. This group formed Clerks Regular of the Mother of God, a congregation of diocesan priests which, for reasons having to do with the politics of the Reformation and an unfounded accusation that John wanted to form the group for his own personal aggrandizement, provoked great opposition.

The Clerks were confirmed on Oct 13, 1595 by Pope Clement VIII, but John was exiled from Lucca for most of the rest of his life. John was assisted in his exile by St. Philip Neri, who gave him his quarters – and his pet cat!

In 1579, he formed the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, and published a compendium of Christian doctrine that remained in use until the 19th century. He died from a disease caught while tending to plague victims. by the deliberate policy of the founder, the Clerks Regular of the Mother of God have never had more than 15 churches, and today form only a very small congregation.

– Patron Saint Index
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Jonah 3:1-10

The word of the Lord was addressed to Jonah: “Up!” he said. “Go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach to them as I told you to.” Jonah set out and went to Nineveh in obedience to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was a city great beyond compare: it took three days to cross it. Jonah went on into the city, making a day’s journey. He preached in these words, “Only forty days more and Nineveh is going to be destroyed.” And the people of Nineveh believed in God; they proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least. The news reached the king of Nineveh, who rose from his throne, took off his robe, put on sackcloth and sat down in ashes. A proclamation was then promulgated throughout Nineveh, by decree of the king and his ministers, as follows: “Men and beasts, herds and flocks, are to taste nothing; they must not eat they must not drink water. All are to put on sackcloth and call on God with all their might; and let everyone renounce his evil behaviour and the wicked things he has done. Who knows if God will not change his mind and relent, if he will not renounce his burning wrath, so that we do not perish?” God saw their efforts to renounce their evil behaviour. And God relented: he did not inflict on them the disaster which he had threatened.
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Luke 10:38-42

Jesus came to a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the Lord’s feet and listened to him speaking. Now Martha who was distracted with all the serving said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister is leaving me to do the serving all by myself? Please tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered: “Martha, Martha,” he said, “you worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part; it is not to be taken from her.”
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A friend of mine was trying to explain to me the purpose of art, which is something that I never got and am still trying to get. He said that art is basically a piece of work that is deliberately done to make the viewer stop and think.

Very often, we are distracted by the cares and concerns of life, often forgetting the reason why we do what we do. Martha’s reaction in today’s gospel reading is very similar to the parent who is busy working to provide material comforts for the children, when all the child really wants and needs is the parent’s time and presence.

In this sense, Jesus comes to us today, like a little child asking for only our time and presence. Drop all that church work we are doing and just spend some time with Jesus today, to remember the reason why we are doing all that church work.

Then, strengthened and renewed by our time spent with our Lord, we return with joy to the work we’ve been doing. If even the people of Nineveh could try to do it, I am sure that we in Singapore can.
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Prayer:
Dear Lord, please make some time available for us today, to just sit in quiet prayer in your presence. Amen.

Give Thanks to the Lord for: A few minutes of quiet time alone with Him.

Upcoming Readings:
Wed, Oct 10 – Jonah 4:1-11; Luke 11:1-4
Thu, Oct 11 – Malachi 3:13-20a; Luke 11:15-26
Fri, Oct 12 – Joel 1:13-15, 2:1-2; Luke 11:15-26
Sat, Oct 13 – Joel 4:12-21; Luke 11:27-28
Sun, Oct 14 – 2 Kings 5:17-17; 2 Timothy 2:8-13; Luke 17:11-19; Twenty-Eighth 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.