Blog Post - July 3rd
S. Irenaeus| S. Thomas the Apostle| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. Irenaeus (130?-220) Latin Calendar
The Church is fortunate that Irenaeus was involved in many of its controversies in the second century. He was a student, well trained, no doubt, with great patience in investigating, tremendously protective of apostolic teaching, but prompted more by a desire to win over his opponents than to prove them in error.
As bishop of Lyons he was especially concerned with the Gnostics, who took their name from the Greek word for “knowledge.” Claiming access to secret knowledge imparted by Jesus to only a few disciples, their teaching was attracting and confusing many Christians. After thoroughly investigating the various Gnostic sects and their “secret,” Irenaeus showed to what logical conclusions their tenets led. These he contrasted with the teaching of the apostles and the text of Holy Scripture, giving us, in five books, a system of theology of great importance to subsequent times. Moreover, his work, widely used and translated into Latin and Armenian, gradually ended the influence of the Gnostics.
The circumstances and details about his death, like those of his birth and early life in Asia Minor, are not at all clear.
A group of Christians in Asia Minor had been excommunicated by Pope Victor I because of their refusal to accept the Western church’s date for celebrating Easter. Irenaeus, the “lover of peace” as his name indicates, interceded with the pope to lift the ban, indicating that this was not an essential matter and that these people were merely following an old tradition, one that men such as Saint Polycarp (February 23) and Pope Anicetus had not seen as divisive. The pope responded favorably and the rift was healed. Some one hundred years later, the Western practice was voluntarily adopted.
A deep and genuine concern for other people will remind us that the discovery of truth is not to be a victory for some and a defeat for others. Unless all can claim a share in that victory, truth itself will continue to be rejected by the losers, because it will be regarded as inseparable from the yoke of defeat. And so, confrontation, controversy and the like might yield to a genuine united search for God's truth and how it can best be served.
A group of Christians in Asia Minor had been excommunicated by Pope Victor I because of their refusal to accept the Western church's date for celebrating Easter. Irenaeus, the "lover of peace" as his name indicates, interceded with the pope to lift the ban. Irenaeus indicated that this was not an essential matter and that these people were merely following an old tradition, one that men such as Saint Polycarp (February 23) and Pope Anicetus had not seen as divisive. The pope responded favorably and the rift was healed. Some 100 years later, the Western practice was voluntarily adopted.
St. Thomas the Apostle Ordinary Time
Poor Thomas! He made one remark and has been branded as “Doubting Thomas” ever since. But if he doubted, he also believed. He made what is certainly the most explicit statement of faith in the New Testament: “My Lord and My God!” (see John 20:24-28) and, in so expressing his faith, gave Christians a prayer that will be said till the end of time. He also occasioned a compliment from Jesus to all later Christians: “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” (John 20:29).
Thomas should be equally well known for his courage. Perhaps what he said was impetuous—since he ran, like the rest, at the showdown—but he can scarcely have been insincere when he expressed his willingness to die with Jesus. The occasion was when Jesus proposed to go to Bethany after Lazarus had died. Since Bethany was near Jerusalem, this meant walking into the very midst of his enemies and to almost certain death. Realizing this, Thomas said to the other apostles, “Let us also go to die with him” (John 11:16b).
Thomas shares the lot of Peter the impetuous, James and John, the “sons of thunder,” Philip and his foolish request to see the Father—indeed all the apostles in their weakness and lack of understanding. We must not exaggerate these facts, however, for Christ did not pick worthless men. But their human weakness again points up the fact that holiness is a gift of God, not a human creation; it is given to ordinary men and women with weaknesses; it is God who gradually transforms the weaknesses into the image of Christ, the courageous, trusting and loving one.
“...[P]rompted by the Holy Spirit, the Church must walk the same road which Christ walked: a road of poverty and obedience, of service and self-sacrifice to the death.... For thus did all the apostles walk in hope. On behalf of Christ's Body, which is the Church, they supplied what was wanting in the sufferings of Christ by their own trials and sufferings (see Colossians 1:24)” (Vatican II, Decree on the Church’s Missionary Activity, 5).
Patron Saint of:
Architects Construction workers Cooks
We Have A Choice:
It is hard when life kicks us in the pants. We always have a choice--give into bitterness and anger, or pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and with God's help, start again.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
To suffer and not to die was S. Teresa of Avila's motto. Purgatory is sweet when one suffers for love of God.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Two: 112-188
We now enter into Notebook Two of the six notebooks that make up the Diary of Saint Faustina. The reason for having more than one notebook is simply that when one notebook was filled by Saint Faustina she began with a new one. Therefore, there is nothing particularly different from one notebook to the other. However, for the purpose of this current book of daily reflections, each reflection will begin to be lengthened, starting here with Notebook Two, so as to help you, the reader, enter more deeply into the beautiful mysteries of faith and our shared spiritual life that have been revealed in these writings of Saint Faustina.
You are invited once again to take one reflection each day and to ponder it throughout the day. Try to pray the prayer for each reflection each morning, noon and evening. Allow each mystery reflected upon to become a source of wisdom and understanding for you.
Reflection 184: The Mercy of the Ministry of Priests
No, priests are not perfect. They sin day in and day out. They are in constant need of repentance and conversion in their daily lives just like all the rest of humanity. But they are priests. And because of their sacred ordination, the Lord speaks through them in a clear yet mysterious way. Some speak with the authority of Christ only when speaking the words of Consecration at Mass or the words of Absolution in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Others embrace the charism of their ordination and are used by God in a multitude of other ways, through their preaching, their holy living, and their words of counsel offered to their flock. Seek out these holy priests. Listen to them and allow the Lord to guide you through them. For in listening to the voice of God, spoken through them, you will be blessed with an abundance of Mercy (See Diary #968).
Ponder today, with all charity, the priests that God has placed in your life. It may be your own parish priest, or a priest speaking through the written word, or a priest speaking through some other form of modern communication. God will point you to His holy priests and will speak to you directly through them. Listen to them, for in hearing their words you will be hearing the words of the Mercy of God.
Lord, I thank You for establishing the sacred priesthood as a sign of Your continued sacramental presence in the world. I pray for all priests, especially those You have entrusted with my pastoral care. May I always be open to You, speaking through them, in their sacred ministry. And may I respond with abandon and generosity at the sound of Your voice spoken from their lips. Give me humility, dear Lord, that I may always hear Your voice spoken through priests. Jesus, I trust in You.