Take Five for Faith
Invest just five minutes a day, and your faith will deepen and grow - a day at a time.
Look up the daily passages from the New American Bible online at www.usccb.org/nab/bible.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2010
THIRTY-THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
News you can use: Fear not
If you pay attention to the news, it wouldn’t be too much to think the world is going to you-know-where in a handbasket. Violence, crime, corruption, illness, poverty, ignorance, and plain old self-centeredness seem to rule the day. In Jesus’ time some said those kinds of things were signs of the end of the world. Christ himself knew the list: “powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place.” But he also urged caution: “When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified . . . it will not immediately be the end.” In other words, whatever is going on in the world, we are not to be afraid. We can trust in God and do what we can for the cause of goodness.
"For you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise."
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 15
FEAST OF ALBERT THE GREAT, BISHOP, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
Become a know-it-all-about-something
Dominican friar Saint Albert the Great (d. 1280) was a Renaissance man a century before the Renaissance began. He was known as the “teacher of everything there is to know,” and he did, in fact, have a grasp of natural science, philosophy, rhetoric, mathematics, astronomy, music, ethics, economics, politics, and metaphysics. In our own day, overwhelmed as we are by information, we smile at the idea of knowing everything. Rather than trying to “know it all,” think today about knowing something—very well. Invest time and energy in a deeper understanding of scripture, or become fully informed about a social challenge such as immigration reform or bioethics. Go beneath mere information; let your assumptions be challenged. See knowledge as Albert did: as part of God’s revelation. The more we know the more we will love.
" ‘Have sight; your faith has saved you.’ "
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 16
FEAST OF GERTRUDE, VIRGIN
Have an open-door policy
One good saint begets another. Both Saints Teresa of Avila and Francis de Sales looked to 13th-century Gertrude the Great as an inspiration for their own journey into grace. Her writings significantly influenced the development of the Cistercian Order as well. A brilliant young Benedictine who showed great promise as a student of philosophy, Gertrude found her goals blindsided by a mystical vision of Christ. She was swept up in a fervor to pursue scripture study instead. She then applied what she learned to the spiritual needs of others, and the monastery soon had a steady stream of visitors seeking her counsel. For her, the Sacred Heart of Jesus became a compelling invitation to love. When love knocks, answer the door!
"Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking."
WEDNESDAY, NOBEMBER 17
FEAST OF ELIZABETH OF HUNGARY, RELIGIOUS
What to do with all your stuff
Doctors, naturalists, spiritual leaders, and even popular media are encouraging us to live simply. That is good for our body, good for our soul, good for the earth community. But how to do that in a society that also is filled with and constantly selling us “stuff”? Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231) would be a great patron saint of living simply amidst “stuff.” The daughter of a king, Elizabeth was surrounded by the luxuries and amenities of royalty. Yet she felt the call to live simply and chose to do that within her life of royalty and later as a member of a lay Franciscan community. May we, like Saint Elizabeth, be ever conscious of using what we have in ways that are of benefit to those in need.
"To all those who have, more will be given."
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18
FEAST OF ROSE PHILIPPINE DUCHESNE, VIRGIN
Keep at it
If there is a theme for Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne’s life, it must be “bloom where you’re planted.” Philippine (1769-1852), as she was known (after Saint Philip), was 72 years old before she was able to realize her lifelong dream of living among Native Americans in the U.S. West. In the meantime her work in France and among pioneers in Missouri was unfailingly marked by generosity, enthusiasm, and courage. She cared for the poor and sick, taught children, and founded many schools and orphanages. A lifetime of overcoming obstacles taught Philippine the importance of perseverance and worthy goals. She wrote: “The truest crosses are those we do not choose ourselves. . . . He who has Jesus has everything.”
"If you . . . had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace!"
FRIDAY, NOBEMBER 19
Put your money where your faith is
What impact does your faith have on your personal finances? For many believers, faith only has a minimal effect on their budgets—perhaps a few dollars dropped into the collection basket on Sunday and an occasional charitable donation. A CNN investigation found, however, that for about 15 percent of the population who are “devout practitioners,” their faith has a much greater influence on their spending choices. Everything from food purchases to tithes come into play. The things we give greatest priority to will show up in our bank statements one way or another. Sitting down with financial papers and a calculator might be a worthwhile—and eye-opening—exercise in values-clarification.
"My house shall be a house of prayer; but you have made it a den of robbers."
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 20
Can we talk?
In the past few years, public debate seems to have sunk to a new low. Radio talk-show hosts, television pundits, bloggers, and protestors of all stripes are more interested in forcing their opinions on others than having civil discourse. Jesus experienced the same closed-mindedness among those gathered to hear him speak. His opponents would ask leading questions in an attempt to make Jesus look bad. Jesus always managed to redirect the questions and get to the truth. For the sake of getting to the truth, put your assumptions to rest and engage in honest conversation with others.
"‘Teacher, you have spoken well.’ "
Contributors: Father Paul Boudreau, Daniel Grippo, Father Larry Janowski, O.F.M., Ann O’Connor, Joel Schorn, Patrice J. Tuohy, and Sister Julie Vieira, I.H.M.
©2010 by TrueQuest Communications, L.L.C. PHONE: 800-942-2811; E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org; WEBSITE: www.takefiveforfaith.com. Licensed for noncommercial use. All rights reserved. Scripture quotes come from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.