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Look up the daily passages from the New American Bible online at www.usccb.org/nab/bible.
SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 2012
ELEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
What are your intentions?
The church believes in the power of prayer, of course, but it also believes in the energy of intention. That is the essential message of many holy people—notably Saint Thérèse of Lisieux (in her autobiography The Little Way) and Mother Teresa, who wrote, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” The simple acts of setting the table, washing dishes, mowing the lawn, taking out the garbage—you can transform everything you do by your intention. On this “ordinary” Sunday, try consecrating all the tasks you undertake and thereby render them extraordinary.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
MONDAY, JUNE 18
Words to the wise about scripture
To encounter scripture is to encounter the Word of God, but sometimes you need a little help in understanding how God is speaking to you right now. When you are attracted to a passage of scripture but not sure what to do with it, find some saints, poets, or theologians who have meditated on and written about the passage. Their words might be just the springboard you need to gain greater understanding. For example, Jesus’ enigmatic command to turn the other cheek? Dorothy Day of the Catholic Worker Movement sets this scripture in the context of living nonviolently. “To be truly nonviolent,” she writes, “is to ‘resist not evil,’ turn the other cheek, put aside all power, walk another mile, give up coat and cloak, too.”
“When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.”
TUESDAY, JUNE 19
FEAST OF ROMUALD, ABBOT
One in community
It’s natural when something bad happens to want to run in the other direction. For that reason, 1,000 years ago Saint Romuald went into a monastery after his father had committed a terrible crime. The desire to escape evil and do penance—these might have been strong motivations for him. Perhaps, though, there was something else: a deep need to encounter God in solitude. Though his brother monks made him abbot—their leader—Romuald sought greater separation and established a new monastic community where daily contact with others was kept to an absolute minimum and each monk spent considerable time alone and in prayer and study. Romuald’s example points to the importance of solitude; at the same time it serves as a reminder that God is with you always.
“Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20
When applied to food, fasting and abstinence have different meanings in Catholic tradition. Fasting involves the reduction of one’s intake of food, while abstinence means refraining from eating a certain kind of food. With exceptions for age and health reasons, Catholics are asked to engage in some kind of penitential activity, like abstaining from meat on Fridays during Lent and fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday by consuming only one full meal. Prayer and works of charities are also encouraged as ways of fasting. When practiced for the right reasons—spiritual focus, self-discipline, awareness of dependence on God, and imitation of Christ—these practices can be very powerful. Give them a chance to work for you.
“When you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to others to be fasting.”
THURSDAY, JUNE 21
FEAST OF ALOYSIUS GONZAGA, RELIGIOUS
Lead by example
Saint Aloysius Gonzaga was a young Italian Jesuit who devoted much of his life to prayer and fasting. As an advocate of the poor, he would also roam the streets during the plague to pray for and take care of those who were infected. While in Rome, his spiritual director Saint Robert Bellarmine encouraged him to spend more time befriending and teaching his companions about the importance of prayer. Aloysius’ love of prayer and pious reading, his great devotion to Jesus and Mary, and his constancy in his vocation were all ways he influenced those around him to be devoted followers of Christ and his message. Today be inspired by the power of prayer in your own life and like Aloysius be faithful in all you do.
“In life he performed wonders.”
FRIDAY, JUNE 22
FEAST OF PAULINUS OF NOLA, BISHOP
How well do we see ourselves?
Self-knowledge isn’t always welcome. We prefer to think well of ourselves, so if that requires a little trip to denial-land now and again, it can’t be helped. Or can it? Back in the fourth century, when future saint Paulinus was a pen pal to Saints Augustine, Jerome, and Martin of Tours, clear-eyed self-awareness was considered the prerequisite to a Christian life. These men threw off all pretense of self-importance in favor of the truth. “Truth will reveal its face to you and unlock to you your own person,” Paulinus wrote. Abandon the mask. Become who you were born to be.
“The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light.”
SATURDAY, JUNE 23
FEAST OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Protect us from all anxiety
Fifty-one percent of our annual expenditure goes to shelter and transportation, according to the most recent U.S. Department of Labor report, and another 18 percent goes to food, drink, and clothes. That amounts to about $44,000 for the average U.S. consumer—a cash outlay that undoubtedly causes anxiety for most of us despite Jesus’ admonition not to worry about such things. Like it or not, wealth defines us and can easily consume us. That is what Jesus tries to warn us against. Yes, we need things to live, but what we don’t need is to compare, judge, measure, and rank. Our time is best spent unconcerned about what we don’t have and focused on what we do have in abundance: the love of God and the glory of all creation.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life.”
©2012 by TrueQuest Communications, L.L.C. PHONE: 800-942-2811; E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org; WEBSITE: PrepareTheWord.com Licensed for noncommercial use. All rights reserved. Scripture quotes come from the New American Bible.
Contributors: Alice Camille, Daniel Grippo, Caroline Hopkinson, Father Larry Janowski, O.F.M., Ann O'Connor, Joel Schorn, Patrice J. Tuohy, and Sister Julie Vieira, I.H.M.