As for you, son of man, obey me when I speak to you: be not rebellious like this house of rebellion, but open your mouth and eat what I shall give you.
It was then I saw a hand stretched out to me, in which was a written scroll which he unrolled before me. It was covered with writing front and back, and written on it was: Lamentation and wailing and woe!
He said to me: Son of man, eat what is before you; eat this scroll, then go, speak to the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth and he gave me the scroll to eat. Son of man, he then said to me, feed your belly and fill your stomach with this scroll I am giving you. I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. He said: Son of man, go now to the house of Israel, and speak my words to them.
Responsorial Psalm PS 119:14,24,72,103,111,131
R. (103a) How sweet to my taste is your promise! In the way of your decrees I rejoice, as much as in all riches. R.
Yes, your decrees are my delight; they are my counselors. R.
The law of your mouth is to me more precious than thousands of gold and silver pieces. R.
How sweet to my palate are your promises, sweeter than honey to my mouth! R.
Your decrees are my inheritance forever; the joy of my heart they are. R.
I gasp with open mouth, in my yearning for your commands. R.
Alleluia MT 11:29
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel MT 18:1-5, 10, 12-14
The disciples approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?” He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father. What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray. In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.”
Basilica of Saint Clare in Assisi, Italy. Saint Clare lays buried deep under the high altar of her basilica.
Basilica of Saint Clare in Assisi, Italy, contains the remains of St. Clare. This is a mask of the saint.
Saint Clare Of Assisi – tunic and mantle displayed.
Tunic of St. Francis of Assisi.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
70 Beyond the witness to himself that God gives in created things, he manifested himself to our first parents, spoke to them and, after the fall, promised them salvation (cf Gen 3:15) and offered them his covenant.
“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
TUESDAY, AUGUST 11TH Mt. 18: 1-5, 10, 12-14 “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 18:3)
Part 1: Our Need for Conversion… by Father Jacques Philippe
Part 2: Living as a Child of the Father… by St. Teresa of Avila
Part 3: Protecting Our Children Surrounded by Wolves by Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
The biggest stumbling block to our being converted and becoming children of God is pride – the very reason for the rebellion of the angels, “and a third of the stars fell from the sky.” (see Rev 12)
Our Need for Conversion… by Father Jacques Philippe
Our great drama is this: Man does not have confidence in God. Hence he looks in every possible place to extricate himself by his own resources and renders himself terribly unhappy in the process, rather than abandon himself into the tender and saving hands of his Father in heaven.
Yet how unjustified this lack of confidence is! Isn’t it absurd that a child would thus doubt his Father, when this Father is the best and most powerful who could exist, when He is the Father in heaven? In spite of that, it is in this absurdity that we most frequently live.
How many young people, for example, hesitate to give their lives entirely to God (to order the disorder) because they do not have confidence that God is capable of making them completely happy? And they seek to assure their own happiness, and they make themselves sad and unhappy in the process.
This is precisely the great victory of the Father of Lies, of the Accuser: succeeding in putting into the heart of a child of God distrust vis-à-vis his Father!
It is, however, marked with this distrust that we came into this world. This is the original sin. And all our spiritual life consists precisely in a long process of re-education, with a view to regaining that lost confidence by the grace of the Holy Spirit who makes us say anew to God: Abba, Father!
Living as a Child of the Father… by St. Teresa of Avila
Let nothing perturb you, nothing frighten you. All things pass. God does not change. Patience achieves everything.
May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.
Christ has no body now, but yours. No hands, no feet on earth, but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ looks with compassion into the world. Yours are the feet with which Christ walks to do good. Yours are the hands with which Christ blesses the world. End of Reflection
“The Lord promises us: ‘Because you cling to me in love, I will deliver you. Because you know my name, I will protect you. When you call to me, I will answer you. I will be with you in trouble. I will rescue and honor you. With length of days I will satisfy you, and show you my salvation.’” (Ps. 91:14-19)
It is not enough for us to become truly a child of the Father, we have to protect and help our children to be a child of the Father!
PROTECTING OUR CHILDREN SURROUNDED BY WOLVES by Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
A Good Shepherd is intent on protecting his sheep from the ravenous wolves on the prowl looking for prey. Such a shepherd knows where the wolves come from, when they attack and how they attack. The authentic Good Shepherd is even willing to lay down his own life for the sake of the safety of the sheep. (Jn. 10:1-21)
Of course the best model in the world of the Good Shepherd is Jesus Himself. He says the Good Shepherd is willing to lay down his life and die for the sheep entrusted to his care. The welfare of the sheep supersedes and transcends the value of the Shepherd Himself.
Jesus’ death on the cross on Good Friday is the most eloquent proof of the love of the Good Shepherd for the sheep under his care. The Precious Blood that He shed on the cross shows most clearly and convincingly His limitless love for His Sheep.
Never have we lived in a world where there are so many wolves on the prowl to attack, bite, devour and kill the sheep of our flock—that is to say, our children and teens! Therefore, parents must be in training formation so as to be able to protect their children from these prowling wolves.
We would like to offer a spiritual strategy plan that could be of great use to help us to be that Good Shepherd that Jesus our Good Shepherd wants us to be.
1. BAPTISM AND CONSECRATION TO MARY. Parents should provide and procure the baptism of their child as soon as possible. In the same ceremony with the Baptism they should consecrate the child to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. One of the special intentions will be to protect the child from the ravenous wolves that are on the prey to attack and kill. In our spiritual battle we should prepare for war as soon as possible and be well safeguarded and protected by a sacramental life and protection from Mary whose prayers and protection are most powerful.
2. PRAYER. Family prayer is of the essence. Parents are the first educators of their children especially in the path of faith and love for God. One of the essential elements of our faith is PRAYER. With respect to prayer, parents should faithfully carry out three fundamental tasks: 1) Pray for the protection, welfare and salvation of their children; 2) Then the parents should teach their children to pray and as early as possible. Children are like sponges; they absorb—either good or bad. The other day I listened to one of my relatives—a child of only two years of age—recite the Creed! This is a sign of good parents working at a very tender age with their little one. Let us not underestimate the capacity and potential of the child. Jesus said: “Let the little children come to me.” (Mt. 19:14) 3) Finally, parents should pray with their children. The Rosary is a prayer most pleasing to Jesus and Mary. Let the children add their intentions and have turns leading the decades. How often have we heard: “The family that prays together, stays together.” (Ven. Fr. Patrick Peyton).
3. CONTROL ELECTRONICS WORLD. Parents, as the Good Shepherds of their flock, must strive to control the use of the electronics world in the lives of their children. Television, movies, but most especially use of the INTERNET must be supervised constantly by the parents. As daunting a task as this may seem, still this is the responsibility of parents in order to be a Good Shepherd to their flock. Allowing for free access and use of the Internet for children and teens has proven catastrophic in too many cases. The number one addiction in the USA is that of pornography—the abuse of the electronic world, specifically the internet. How true this sage proverb: “Better preventive medicine, than curative medicine.”
4. LIVE THE SABBATH DAY WITH YOUR FAMILY. Sunday is the Lord’s Day and it should be lived fully and properly according to God’s plan. But besides being the Lord’s Day, Sunday is also FAMILY DAY! After attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and receiving Holy Communion in the service at your local church, then it is time to enjoy family time and to bond with family members. How? Here are some ideas. Have a good picnic or meal together. Then go to the park to play together, rest together, and enjoy each other’s company. Take a nature walk and thank God for the beauty of His creation. Visit an elderly or sick person who has few visitors, thereby giving this person hope and joy. At night, have a pizza party together and watch a good movie with Catholic-Christian values that will assist the spiritual formation of your children. After the movie share and talk about the values that were transmitted. Finally, to end the day, pray the family Rosary together. This is the way to live out the Sabbath rest and to bond emotionally with family members.
5. FRIENDS. The Bible teaches us that a good friend indeed is a great treasure beyond price. The poet says that no one is an island unto himself. Aristotle says that man is a social animal. Jesus Himself willed to enter the world in a family and choose the Apostles whom He called friends. We all need friends, or at least one good friend. However, parents must be very careful and judicious in watching over the choice of friends that their children desire. One bad friend can ruin their life. Indeed, we should define what a good friend really is and not a Pseudo (false) friend. As followers of Jesus, our Good Shepherd, a true friend is someone who will bring us closer to Jesus, our BEST FRIEND. This should always be our first criteria for ourselves and for our children!
6. IDLNESS IS THE WORKSHOP OF THE DEVIL. Saint John Bosco had a dreaded fear every year for his young boys and it was the vacation months. He was aware of the many temptations that young people are exposed to when they have too much free time on their hands. It is so true: if we have nothing to do, the devil will give us a lot to do! Look at the sin of David who committed adultery and then murder. One of the principal reasons for David falling into sin was that he had a block of free time and no plans. Good parents, as Good Shepherds to their flock should always have their children, and especially teens, constantly engaged in wholesome and enriching activities. We should always be busy—though not nervous, frenetic and agitated activity. Our engagement can be in any one of three areas: physical, mental, or spiritual. Sports for young people are invaluable to keep the body occupied in a wholesome manner. The habit of reading good books so as to cultivate the mind will never be regretted. Age appropriate Lives of the Saints can captivate and motivate children and young people. A strong and holy mind can do limitless good for the society; consider the good accomplished by Augustine, Aquinas, and John Paul II as examples! Finally, spiritual activity is of paramount important. On holidays and vacation time there is no reason why parents—the Good Shepherds of their flock—could not take their family to daily Mass and receive Holy Communion, the Bread of Life, and the strength of the saints and martyrs.
7. COMMUNCATION. Busy work schedules, paying the bills, shopping for groceries, being caught in traffic jams, all of the above characterize modern life and sometimes can serve as an excuse to neglect a very important component of family life—daily dialogue and communication with their children. The modern man, woman, teen and child, unfortunately spend more time in front of the screen, be it television, computer, or smart phone, than in front of the human person. In the eyes of God, the human person has infinitely more value than all of the material objects in the world. Many young people today are addicted to their phone and all that is involved in the electronic world. In a certain sense we can say that many young people live more in a fantasy world than in the real world. Parents, for the love of God and the future of your children, find time to talk to and to listen to your children. This is your responsibility!
8. LAUGHTER AND JOY IS THE BEST MEDICINE. One of the many fruits of the Holy Spirit is that of JOY! Parents should strive to cultivate an environment of joy in their homes. The family milieu should have an aroma and ambience of joy so that after school their children do not dread returning to their home—as if it were a jail or penitentiary—but rather let them return to a place of joy, peace, harmony, and wholesome rest. Many young people have recourse to premarital sex, drinking and drugs, or seeking gang involvement because there is no festive, welcoming, joyful family environment in their home. Beg the Holy Spirit for the grace to experience joy and share it with your children! Saint Paul exhorts us: “Rejoice in the Lord; I say it again: rejoice in the Lord.” (Phil. 2:2)
9. MERCY AND FORGIVENESS. The English poet Alexander Pope coined an immortal saying that all of us should memorize and live: “To err is human; to forgive is divine.” Only God is perfect and the just man falls seven times a day. The family is a school of virtues and a school of forgiveness. We can all hurt our family members through our words, gestures, silences, inattentiveness, and at times crude selfishness. However, what can really tear down families to the very foundation is failure to forgive, and to foster resentment and bitterness against any family member. Jesus’ last commandment was: “Love one another as I have loved you.” (Jn. 15:12) Jesus also said: “Be merciful as your heavenly Father is merciful.” (Lk. 6:36) Finally, in the most famous prayer in the world, the Our Father, we pray: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Starting today, right now, let us reconcile with each other and foster family peace, harmony and love.
10. REJOICE WITH THOSE WHO REJOICE AND WEEP WITH THOSE WHO WEEP! Saint Paul enjoins us in the above words! The family should cultivate what the athlete’s term TEAM WORK! A successful team always rejoices in the success of one of the team-members and suffers at the failure of a team member. When a baseball team, or basketball team, or football team wins a game or championship it is not the victory of one member, but of all of the members playing and working together towards the same goal. Likewise, whenever a family member triumphs—morally, spiritually, physically or intellectually—this is a success for the whole family, and all the members of the family should rejoice in this victory. Jealousy and envy can kill; rejoicing in love is what builds up families and makes families triumph!
In conclusion, the family today is surrounded by a pack of ravenous wolves that desire to attack and destroy. It is up to parents, the Good Shepherds of the flock entrusted to their care, to do all in their power to protect, preserve, and save their children. The key to being a good shepherd to the sheep in our care is that we must first be a good sheep of the Good Shepherd, Jesus the Lord. “The Lord is my Shepherd there is nothing I shall lack.” (Psalm 23:1)
Copyright 2020 Oblates of the Virgin Mary St. Peter Chanel Church, Hawaiian Gardens, CA