June 30 2020
Tuesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 AM 3:1-8; 4:11-12
Hear this word, O children of Israel, that the LORD pronounces over you,
over the whole family that I brought up from the land of Egypt:
You alone have I favored,
more than all the families of the earth;
Therefore I will punish you
for all your crimes.
Do two walk together
unless they have agreed?
Does a lion roar in the forest
when it has no prey?
Does a young lion cry out from its den
unless it has seized something?
Is a bird brought to earth by a snare
when there is no lure for it?
Does a snare spring up from the ground
without catching anything?
If the trumpet sounds in a city,
will the people not be frightened?
If evil befalls a city,
has not the LORD caused it?
Indeed, the Lord GOD does nothing
without revealing his plan
to his servants, the prophets.
The lion roars–
who will not be afraid!
The Lord GOD speaks–
who will not prophesy!
I brought upon you such upheaval
as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah:
you were like a brand plucked from the fire;
Yet you returned not to me,
says the LORD.
So now I will deal with you in my own way, O Israel!
and since I will deal thus with you,
prepare to meet your God, O Israel.
Responsorial Psalm 5:4-6, 6-7, 8
R. (9a) Lead me in your justice, Lord.
At dawn I bring my plea expectantly before you.
For you, O God, delight not in wickedness;
no evil man remains with you;
the arrogant may not stand in your sight.
R. Lead me in your justice, Lord.
You hate all evildoers;
you destroy all who speak falsehood;
The bloodthirsty and the deceitful
the LORD abhors.
R. Lead me in your justice, Lord.
But I, because of your abundant mercy,
will enter your house;
I will worship at your holy temple
in fear of you, O LORD.
R. Lead me in your justice, Lord.
Alleluia PS 130:5
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I trust in the LORD;
my soul trusts in his word.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel MT 8:23-27
As Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him.
Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea,
so that the boat was being swamped by waves;
but he was asleep.
They came and woke him, saying,
“Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?”
Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea,
and there was great calm.
The men were amazed and said, “What sort of man is this,
whom even the winds and the sea obey?”
Catechism of the Catholic Church
28 In many ways, throughout history down to the present day, men have given expression to their quest for God in their religious beliefs and behaviour: in their prayers, sacrifices, rituals, meditations, and so forth. These forms of religious expression, despite the ambiguities they often bring with them, are so universal that one may well call man a religious being:
From one ancestor (God) made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him – though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For “in him we live and move and have our being.”
“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
TUESDAY JUNE 28TH Mt. 8:23-27 “Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by waves; but he was asleep.”
Is the Lord asleep in your boat?
- Do you have dark days overwhelmed by troubles and you ask “Where is God”? Stormy days when passions rage within you? Days that end in frustration with uncompleted work and unanswered questions? Days of discouragement due to repeated failures? Days of being contradicted? Days when no one seems to understand you? Days of loneliness, of feeling abandoned? Or days when you simply feel tepid, languid? When it’s difficult to pray? A burden to be charitable? A struggle to keep your commitments? We’ve come to know this as desolation.
- St. Ignatius defines consolation as “when some interior movement in the soul is caused, through which the soul comes to be inflamed with love of its Creator and Lord.”
- He defines desolation as the opposite—as the soul being disturbed and agitated, “without hope, without love, when one finds oneself all lazy, tepid, sad, and as if separated from his Creator and Lord.”
- The natural rhythm of our spiritual life is an alternating movement between consolation and desolation. God wills consolation, but He permits desolation. Both have a salutary effect on our soul if we recognize them and take the appropriate actions. Kind of like riding a bicycle – we push the right pedal, then the left pedal, right pedal, left pedal; both pedals are necessary to move forward. So it is with consolation and desolation, appropriately addressed, both are necessary if we are to grow in the spiritual life.
- The appropriate action in consolation is for us to recognize it, embrace it – like wind in our sails, and run with it! We can do a lot of good in consolation! Understanding that desolation will return again, like night follows the day.
- While the appropriate action in desolation is to recognize it and reject it by making NO CHANGES in our spiritual practices, except Agere Contra which means to act against the desolation with these four practices:
1) More Vocal Prayer – pray three Hail Marys or other vocal prayers, or say short aspirations such as “Lord, help me!” and repeat them throughout the day.
2) More Meditation – if we are tempted to cut our holy hour short, stay 5 minutes longer instead. He also recommends returning to meditations that brought us consolation in the past and repeating those meditations.
3) More Penance – perform some small act of penance; it is not the size of the penance that matters but the act of turning our will to God.
4) Examine our Conscience – perhaps we have fallen into sin, either mortal or venial. That will cast us into desolation.
- In all four instances, we are acting against how we feel! The world calls that hypocrisy! The Lord calls it heroic virtue – the virtue of the saints!
- With Agere Contra in mind, Father Ed wrote the following article on desolation for our help and encouragement!
CONQUER DISCOURAGEMENT: USE OF BIBLE VERSES!
Our interior state can be compared to the weather variations that change, modify, and vary constantly. One day you awake and there is sunshine streaming through your window pane; the birds are singing joyful songs of praise; the fragrance of spring flowers penetrates and permeates wherever you go; the blue sky and gentle breeze lift your heart; still more, everybody seems to have a winning smile radiating from their countenance. Seems to be the portal of Heaven.
Then the following day presents to you, in marked contrast, a gray, drizzly morning; the sun totally hidden behind the clouds. The cold and damp air seems to penetrate your whole being to your very bones. Gray, dark, ominous clouds hover over you, threatening a downpour in their dreary chill. Crossing the street, a car honks loudly at you and the angry driver has his fist raised on high to let you know his feelings! Everybody hurries on with heads down to their daily activities, oblivious to the fact that you even exist. Everything is gray, dreary, cold, chilly, crude and cruel, sad and desolate; in the words of the English poet, T.S. Elliot, life seems to be a Waste Land and you are immersed in the midst of a dense fog!
Whether we like it or not, we are confronted with these realities in one form or another constantly. Part of being human means being exposed to the constant reality of both consolation and desolation. One of the most clear manifestations of desolation is the temptation to give in to discouragement. What exactly is this so called state of desolation as defined by St. Ignatius of Loyola in his classical text the Spiritual Exercises? This is his explanation:
“I call desolation what is entirely the opposite of what is described in the third rule, as darkness of soul, turmoil of spirit, inclination to what is low and earthly, restlessness rising from many disturbances and temptations which lead to want of faith, want of hope, want of love, the soul is wholly slothful, tepid, sad, and separated, as it were, from its Creator and Lord. For just as consolation is the opposite of desolation, so the thoughts that spring from consolation are the opposite of those that spring from desolation.” (Spiritual Exercises #317, Rule 4 of Rules for the Discernment of Spirits)
The thrust and purpose of this short essay is to help us to conquer the reality of desolation in our lives, most specifically, that of giving into discouragement. We would like to offer ten encouraging Biblical passages that we invite you to immerse yourself in, especially when it seems as if the clouds are descending, the rain is beating against you, and you feel as if you are in a long, dark and damp tunnel where there is no way out! Never forget: with God’s help which is omnipotent or all-powerful, we can exit and escape from the most desolate, sad, and despairing of situations. May the Word of God be your light, support, strength, and Rock-Foundation!
- THE PSALM OF THE GOOD-SHEPHERD. (Psalm 23) Prayerfully and calmly read the most famous Psalm in the Bible, once, twice, or as many times as you like, starting with the words: “The Lord is my Shepherd; there is nothing I shall want…” The Lord will shine light in your darkness!
- “Behold I am with you always, even until the end of the world.” (Mt 28:20) These were the last words of the Lord Jesus on earth before He ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father. In discouragement, all too often we feel lonely – that nobody is there for me; nobody really cares for me. Not so! The Lord promised to be with us always, even until the end of the world.
- Do not be afraid! (Mt. 14:27) Time and time again Jesus reminds the Apostles and us not to be afraid, but rather to trust, to place all our trust in Him. In addition to these four consoling words of Jesus are the five words that Jesus told Saint Faustina to paint on the Divine Mercy image: “Jesus, I trust in you.” May the Lord cast out your fears as you trust totally in His never-failing Love, Presence, and Friendship.
- “Come to me, all of you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Mt. 11:28-30) Prayerfully repeat these words and the burden of your sorrows, the weight of your cross, the darkness of your sadness and desolation will dissipate like a cloud evaporates in sun-light.
- “If God is with us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) These ten short words contain the power to alleviate the heaviest of crosses due to the simple reason that we know that the Lord is in control and He can do whatever He wants. However, whatever the Lord does is always for our welfare, for our spiritual progress, and for the salvation of our immortal soul!
- “For nothing will be impossible for God.” ( 1:37) These short seven words actually were addressed to the Blessed Virgin Mary from the Messenger, the Archangel Gabriel, referring to the Virginal conception of Jesus in Mary’s womb. Immersed in the dense cloud of desolation, we feel as if we are lost and nothing can possibly save us from this this interior state or our exterior circumstances. Quite the contrary! The Word of God reminds us that absolutely nothing is impossible for God. He can move the highest mountains of our discouragement and desolation, even our circumstances, in a split-second if we trust in Him.
- “Cast your cares upon the Lord because He cares for you.” (I Peter 5:7) Once again, just a few words—11 in total—offer us infinite consolation and strength. The Lord commands us to unload, to unpack, to release the burden of discouragement and sadness that weighs us down. Give all to the Lord Jesus and He will resolve the most intricate and complicated scenarios.
- “I have come to set captives free.” (Isaiah 61:1/Lk. 4:18) If seven is one of those numbers of perfection, once again we have a seven-word Biblical passage gleaned from the Shakespeare of the Bible—the Prophet Isaiah. Jesus will quote the same passage in His early preaching! In a state of desolation and discouragement we might feel as if we are bound, as if we are chained, as if we are shackled, and as if we are a slave of our interior state of darkness. Jesus, the Savior, the Redeemer, the Liberator, came to smash and destroy our interior slavery, and often that means our discouragement. We might even pray: “Lord free me; Lord liberate me; Lord shatter the bonds that enslave me!”
- “So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything else will be given you besides. (Mt 6:31-33) A good part of our desolation and discouragement stems from a lack of trust in God and our useless and needless worry. These comforting, consoling, and challenging words of Jesus can put you back on the right path of trusting in His loving and Divine Providential plan for your life.
- “Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with you.” (Lk. 1:28) These words of the Hail Mary that come from the Archangel Gabriel can prove to be most powerful in the midst of the dark nights, the dark tunnels, the stormy interior tempests that we all experience. Pray slowly and with trust and confidence the HAIL MARY and Mary, who is truly “our life, our sweetness, and our hope” will hurry to your rescue and place you in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, your true refuge in all your trials, tribulations, afflictions, and the most profound desolations.
It is our firm hope and prayer that when you are passing through that painful and difficult time of desolation and discouragement, the quiet, peaceful, trusting, and prayerful reading of these Biblical passages will dissipate the dense clouds in your heart, so that you will experience and feel the sunshine and warmth of God’s infinite love and Mary’s tender embrace!