Welcome to the ULC Minister's Network

Arch Bishop Micheal Ralph Vendegna S.O.S.M.A.

Spiritual Reading

  • Sunday 9 August 2020

    19th Sunday in Ordinary Time 

    Spiritual Reading

    Your Second Reading from the Office of Readings:

    19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

    From the dialogue On Divine Providence by Saint Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor
    The bonds of love

    My sweet Lord, look with mercy upon your people and especially upon the mystical body of your Church. Greater glory is given to your name for pardoning a multitude of your creatures than if I alone were pardoned for my great sins against your majesty. It would be no consolation for me to enjoy your life if your holy people stood in death. For I see that sin darkens the life of your bride the Church – my sin and the sins of others.
    It is a special grace I ask for, this pardon for the creatures you have made in your image and likeness. When you created man, you were moved by love to make him in your own image. Surely only love could so dignify your creatures. But I know very well that man lost the dignity you gave him; he deserved to lose it, since he had committed sin.
    Moved by love and wishing to reconcile the human race to yourself, you gave us your only-begotten Son. He became our mediator and our justice by taking on all our injustice and sin out of obedience to your will, eternal Father, just as you willed that he take on our human nature. What an immeasurably profound love! Your Son went down from the heights of his divinity to the depths of our humanity. Can anyone’s heart remain closed and hardened after this?
    We image your divinity, but you image our humanity in that union of the two which you have worked in a man. You have veiled the Godhead in a cloud, in the clay of our humanity. Only your love could so dignify the flesh of Adam. And so by reason of this immeasurable love I beg, with all the strength of my soul, that you freely extend your mercy to all your lowly creatures.


    On this date in other years:

    Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), Virgin, Martyr

    Edith Stein as a student in Breslau (c.1913-14).

    From "The Wisdom of the Cross", by Edith Stein
    The gates of life open to believers in the Crucified

    Christ put on the yoke of the Law, fulfilling the Law’s commands and dying for the Law and through the Law. By this he freed those who desire to receive life through him; but they cannot receive that life unless they themselves offer their own lives. For whoever is baptized into Christ Jesus is baptized into his death. They are immersed in his life so that they become like parts of his own body and, like the parts of his body, suffer with him and die. This life will come in its full abundance on the day of glory; but even now, still in the flesh, we can be part of it if we believe: if we believe Christ to have died for us in order to confer life on us. By that faith we are united to him as the body is united to the head; that faith opens to us the wellsprings of his life. Thus faith in the Crucified – living faith, united with devoted love – is for us the doorway to life and the beginning of the glory that is to come. Thus the Cross is our only boast: As for me, the only thing I can boast about is the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world.
    Whoever chooses Christ is dead to the world and the world is dead to him. He bears the wounds of Christ in his body, he is weak and despised by men, but his cause is strong because the strength of God is made perfect in weakness. Knowing this, the disciple of Christ does not merely accept the Cross that has been laid upon him, but he himself crucifies his own self: Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with all its passions and desires. They have fought a hard battle against their nature, so that the life of sin should die within them and the life of the Spirit be given room to flourish. That battle demands the greatest fortitude. But the Cross is not the end: it is lifted up and shows us the way to heaven. It is not merely a sign, but Christ’s undefeated weapon: it is the shepherd’s sling with which the divine David battles the evil Goliath. With it, Christ knocks loudly at the door of heaven and opens it. When these things come to pass the light of God will shine out and all who follow the Crucified will be filled with it.

    Copyright © 1996-2020 Universalis Publishing Limited: see www.universalis.com. Scripture readings from the Jerusalem Bible are published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. Text of the Psalms: Copyright © 1963, The Grail (England). Used with permission of A.P. Watt Ltd. All rights reserved.