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

Spiritual Reading

  • Tuesday 14 June 2022

    Tuesday of week 11 in Ordinary Time 

    Spiritual Reading

    Your Second Reading from the Office of Readings:

    Tuesday of week 11 in Ordinary Time

    St Cyprian's treatise on the Lord's Prayer
    Hallowed be thy name

    How great is the Lord’s indulgence! How kindly he bends down to us, how he overflows with goodness towards us! For he wishes us to pray in the sight of God in such a way as to call God Father and to call ourselves sons of God, just as Christ is the Son of God. No-one would have dared to claim such a name in prayer, unless he himself had given us permission to pray this. And so, beloved brethren, we should know and remember that when we call God our Father, we must behave as children of God, so that whatever pleasure we take in having God for our Father, he may take the same pleasure in us.
    Let us behave like temples of God, so that it may be clear that God dwells in us. Let our doings not fall away from the Spirit, but let us, who have begun to be heavenly and spiritual, consider and do nothing but heavenly and spiritual things. As the Lord God himself has said: Those who honour me, I will honour them; but those who despise me will be despised. And the blessed apostle has also said in his letters: You are not your own property: you have been bought at a great price. Glorify God and carry him in your bodies.
    After this we say Hallowed be thy name. This is not because we want God to be made holy by our prayers: what we are asking God is that his name should be hallowed within us. After all, how can anything be needed to sanctify God, who himself is the source of sanctity? But because he says be holy, as I am holy, we ask and beg of him that we, who have been sanctified in baptism, may continue in that which we have begun to be. And this we pray daily, for our need is for daily sanctification so that we who daily fall away may wash away our crimes by continual sanctification.
    As for the nature of the sanctification that comes to us from God, the Apostle tells us when he says: They will not inherit the kingdom of God, who fornicate, or worship idols, or commit adultery; catamites or sodomites, thieves, cheats, drunkards, slanderers or extortioners. You were like this once, but you were washed, you were justified, you were made holy in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. He says that we are sanctified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. We pray that this sanctification may remain with us; and because our Lord and Judge warns the man who was healed and given life by him not to sin again, lest something worse happen to him, we make this prayer without ceasing, we beg for it day and night, that the sanctification and life that comes from God may be preserved by his protection.


    In other parts of the world and other calendars:

    Saint Elisha, Prophet

    From a sermon of St Ambrose, bishop
    The healing of the waters, a type of the Church

    What shall we say about the merits of Elisha? The first thing we praise him for is that he wanted to surpass his father [Elijah] in grace, for he asked for more than Elijah was able to bestow. Although he was greedy in his request, he was nonetheless worthy to have it granted. For while he demanded more from his father than Elijah had to give, through his own merits he enabled him to bestow more than he possessed.
    Following his master’s ascent, when Elisha arrived in Jericho, he was invited by the townspeople to remain with them; they said: this is an excellent site for the town, except that the water is bad and causes sterility. He then asked for a clay jar, filled it with salt, and went to the place where the water was coming up out of the ground; he threw it into the water saying: “Thus says the Lord: ‘I have purified these waters; never again shall death or sterility come from them.’” And those waters remain pure even to this day.
    So we see how remarkable Elisha’s merits are: in response to the citizens’ hospitality his very first gift to them was great fruitfulness. For by healing the water, he provided for their posterity. What he did was not for the benefit of any one person, or any one family: it was for all the people of the entire city. Had he delayed, they would all have been sterile and grown old without descendants, and the city would have been left deserted. Thus, by healing the waters Elisha healed the people; and by blessing the spring, he provided them as it were with a fountain of life. For just as through his blessing good water came forth from the unseen veins in the earth, so too from the seclusion of their wombs mothers gave birth to healthy children.
    For Elisha did not bless only the water that was already flowing into the spring’s basin, but rather all the water without distinction which was yet to flow little by little from the earth’s hidden moisture even until now. As Scripture has it, Elisha blessed the place where the water was coming up out of the earth, to indicate that it was the flowing water rather than the basin of the spring that he had sanctified. Thus, as the Apostle Paul says, all these things happened as signs; let us try to discover, therefore, the truth contained in this sign.
    The church is the sterile city which, before the coming of Christ, suffered from sterility due to the pollution of the waters – that is, to the idolatry of the gentiles – and was unable to bring forth children for God. But when Christ came and took on the fragile clay of the human body, he healed the pollution of the waters; that is, he banished the idolatries of the gentiles, and immediately the church, which had been sterile, began to be fertile.
    Thus the Apostle also says: Rejoice, you barren one who bear no children; break into song, you stranger to the pains of childbirth! For many are the children of the wife deserted-far more than of her who has a husband! For Christ brought to birth more children from the church which had been sterile than he had from the synagogue which had been fertile.


    Blessed Maria Candida of the Eucharist, Virgin

    From the writings of M. Maria Candida of the Eucharist
    From contemplation of the presence to eucharistic communion

    To contemplate with deep faith our Beloved in the Sacrament, to live with Him Who comes to us every day, to remain with Him in the depths of our hearts, this is our life! The more intense this intimate life is, the more we will be Carmelites and make progress in perfection. This contact, this union with Jesus is everything: what fruits of virtue will come from it! You must have this experience. To live with Jesus and to live by His virtues, is to listen to His beautiful voice, to His most loving wish and immediately obey it, to quickly please Him. Our eyes close, longing to find Him again, to contemplate Him in the depths of our hearts: is this not the reason why He gives us Holy Communion in the morning? Is it not the attraction for Him that remains in the Blessed Sacrament, where He lives? I do not know how to separate the ciborium in the sacred Tabernacle from the ciborium in our hearts! Oh how many times, even though we are in the choir, before His sacred Presence, at times exposed, we experience the great need to go deeply into ourselves, and there rediscover and remain with our Jesus!
    What mystery of love is this intimacy with our Beloved! I reflect on this, sometimes with emotion, and give praise to Him Who is Love! And with tears I contemplate this intimacy. Everything here on this earth is nothing for us, withdrawn as we are, far from Him Who loved us so much; our eyes no longer see anything: and even though we close them again to lose ourselves from the same sacred environment, we close them anxious to find Him again, to see Jesus! The most delightful Mystery of Love! He allows Himself to be found by the heart that searches for Him, by the soul that knows how to do without many things for love of Him.
    To be close to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, like the Saints in Heaven, who contemplate the supreme Good, is what we must do, according to our Holy Mother Teresa. Seven times a day, we come together around the throne (of our Good God), the sacred Tabernacle, reciting the divine praises: oh how much faith merits such lofty activity, what dying to self! May adoration and love accompany and beautify everything!

    Copyright © 1996-2022 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.