Manual Little Burgundy Book On Stewardship: Reflections Based on the Gospel of Mark

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Of those, nearly half speak directly about money — for example, the pearl of great price, the lost coin, the silver talents. Of the other parables, many also touch on material wealth: the Prodigal Son squandering his inheritance Lk , Lazarus and the rich man Lk , or the day laborers in the vineyard Mt Mammon is a word from the ancient world. Mammon meant wealth idolized and sought after. It was also recognized as something that could debase and dehumanize. Mammon could truly be a god, a false one. Money is an important part of life. Jesus thought so. I think so. Do you think so?

How do we pay the light bill? The car needs repair. The mortgage is due. Gas prices keep rising. There were taxes, both government and religious. Food had to be bought at the market. People had to have a place to live and clothes to wear. And people always like those extras — like a fancy dress or a bracelet from the caravan. The late Richard Halverson, a chaplain of the U. Did Jesus spend so much time talking about money because having money was wrong?

Gospel of Mark Chapter 4

Many people especially Christians tend to think that way! Concerns about human nature. That meant health for the sick, welcome for outcasts, food for beggars, and protection for women and children. And Jesus saw that money and wealth often cause a poverty of character, a lack of what really mattered. What we do with wealth — whether that be a plenitude of money, power, talent, influence or anything else that comes to us through the grace of God — shows where our heart is.

If we focus only on our wealth, on getting more and not losing what we have — that wealth can take on a power of its own, just like the false god Mammon. Instead, as good stewards , Jesus calls us to focus on God — and to put our wealth freely at his disposal. If we do, our hearts will still be with our treasure — but that treasure will be with our true and eternal treasure: God.

Skip to content Welcome! Hey everyone! How are you? I hope all is well! I just want to share some Scripture today on God owning us as Christians. So you must honor God with your body. You enable LCMS Disaster Response to provide immediate and ongoing assistance to communities suffering in the wake of disasters. Give now. Church workers need care too. Read devotions on spiritual, intellectual, relational, physical and vocational wellness for church workers.

Read more. Your church has a place for you. Whether as a pastor, director of Christian Education DCE , deaconess, music director or educator, each and every church worker vocation helps proclaim the Good News. View video. Matthew C. Harrison, vice-presidents, officers, and board and commission members at Concordia Seminary, St. View photo gallery. Listen to KFUO. Read more Visit Reporter. View calendar. Browse all resources. To that commendation I have nothing to add except that the great reduction you have made in the price of the book will now enable all to secure for private and family use one of the most edifying and instructive publica- tions that have lately issued from the press.

IRicjbt IRev. It supplies a want long felt by English-speaking Catholics, as it places within their reach a cheap and popular edition of the lives of the Saints. As nothing can conduce more to foster a spirit of piety among the faithful than this kind of reading, I trust it will receive a wide- spread circulation and become a household book in ever3' Catholic family, and I will do what I can to encourage its circulation in my diocese.

IRigbt IRev. I have no hesitation to say that they will do a great deal of good, and hare my hearty recommendation. IRlGbt IRev. Hyacinthe: Je vous suis bien reconnaissant de renvoi que vous avez bien voulu me faire d"un exemplaire du beau livre que vous venez d'editer sous le titre de Pictorial Lives of the Saints.

Veuillez me croire, votre tout devou6 et bien oblijg6 serviieur. SpalDing, 5. It will, I hope, find its way into eveiy Catholic family in llie land. As far as I have examined it I think it is a book needed in every Catholic family. The short sketch of the life of the Saints witli a reflection on it cannot when read but leave some pious thoughts and cause some wholesome resolutions in the mind and heart of the attentive reader and listener. Besides it wnll make our Catholics acquainted with the heroic deeds and virtues practised by them, and will animate them to imitation.

IRigbt IReV. IRaugbten, 2 ,2. It is certainly an excellent work, and one well suited for the minds of om- j-outh, and should be found in every Catholic home in order to counteract the evil, demoralizing effects of the clieap, irre- ligious, and immoral productions which are constantly met with in these degenerate days. Here can be read of the heroic deeds of Saints of every age and clime, and after a short perusal each one inay say as did St. Augustine: "Quod isti et istae cur non ego?

TRiGbt IRev. Ibenrs 5. IRicbter, 2. Whereever it gains admittance into a family it will do much good. No book is so well adapted for spiritual reading of people in the world as the Lives of the Saints. IRaDemacber, B. It is certainly a work which for its matter and form deserves, and will, I hope, attain, a large circulation among our Catholic people. With best wishes, etc. Ibcnrg C06C;rOVe, 2 ,! I most cheerfully recomnieud it as a work which should be in eTery Catholic household. Curtis, D. I cordially hope that its issue will be, as it deserves, to the advantatfeof yourself and the Editor, as well as to the benefit of the faithful iu general.

Having examined it, I must needs recommend it. I have no doubt that it will continue to prove a very edifying book. I will do all I can to circulate it in the Vicariate. JButlCr, S. I fully endorse the many favorable recommendations that you have already received about the book. It will promote piety wherever it will ue read. It is admirably suited for school prizes, being rich in binding and illustrations. This work also received the approbation of the following Prelates, now deceased; Most Rev.

Tliomas Porter, S. D , Archbishop of Rombay; Right Rev. Carberry, D. Dwenger, D. Kilian C. Flasch, D. Gilmour, D. Bishop of Cleveland; Right Rev. La Roqu? Bishop of Germanicopolis; Right Rev. Mclntyre, D. Bishop of Charlottetown; Right Rev. O'Connell, D. Wadhams, D. The latter feast is always celebrated on the Sunday which accompanies or follows the first full moon after the spring equinox. As the movable feasts afford useful lessons, we ought to take them fully to heart. Advent means coming, and the four weeks whereof it consists represent the four thousand years which preceded the coming of the Son of God into this world.

Formerly, Advent-time was observed by fasting, absti- nence, and mortification, but not in a manner so rigor- ous as that of Lent. Notwithstanding the alleviations which the Church has thought well to introduce in the course of time. Advent has still remained a period of recol- lection and prayer. That holy season is approach- ing when the Church denies herself her songs of joy in order the more forcibly to remind us, her children, that we are living in a Babylon of spiritual danger, and to excite us to regain that genuine Christian spirit which everything in the world around us is striving to undermine.

If we are obliged to take part in the amusements of the few days before Lent, let it be with a heart deeply imbued with the maxims of the Gospel. The Lamb that taketh away the sins of the world is exposed upon our altai-s. It was the pious Cardinal Gabriel Paleotti, Archbishop of Bologna, who, in the sixteenth cen- tury, first originated the admirable devotion of the Forty Hours.

Pope Benedict XIV. Such are the truths which the Church wishes to engrave in the memory, but still more in the hearts, of her children, by the sprinkling of ashes on this first day of Lent. This custom dates from tlie first centuries of the Church, and was then observed, not toward all the faithful without distinction, but toward public sin- ners who had submitted themselves to canonical penance, to obtain thereby reconciliation with the Church and ad- mission to a share in the divine Eucharist. The bishop imposed on them the obligation of wearing the hair-shirt and penitent garb, placing ashes on their head, and then excluding them from the church until the day of Easter.

Meanwhile, they had to remain humbly prostrate at the church-porch, imploring the prayers of those who, more happy than they, might assist at the divine mysteries within the sacred building. The custom of putting ashes on the head in token of penitence is even more ancient than Chris- tianity ; the Jews practised it, and the holy King David tells us that he had submitted to the observance. Nothing is, in fact, more calculated to lead the sinner to enter into himself than the remembrance of his last end. Nothing is better fitted to beat down pride and put a check on futile projects and guilty purposes than the terrible and sad memento, "Remember that thou art but dust!

YE that delight in decking your head with costly and superb adornments, who love to cumber your hands with gold and precious jewels, who revel in luxury and in soft garments, approach and see to what a condition Jesus Christ, your Captain and Saviour, is reduced. His head is crowned with thorns and streaming with blood, and every base indignity heaped thereon by rufiian executioners; His feet and hands are pierced by nails.

His side gaping with a wide-open wound. Such are the mournful accents uttered by the Church on the first Friday of Lent, two days after she has strewed ashes on the heads of the faithful. And with what mind do you propose becoming the disciples of such a Master? That forehead made lustrous with bor- rowed splendor, those limbs delicately clad and brilliantly adorned, will first become the food of the grave- worm, and afterward the prey of that fire that quencheth not, if you strive not to bend them down to that lowliness which is native to them, to the state of subjection for which they were created, and to the penitence they have merited by reason of sin.

This saving blood was first shed at the circumcision of the divine Infant ; it was next ;r. John, points out that the E"a. Let us wash away the stains of sin in the Sacrament of Penance, and nourish ourselves with the most blessed body and blood of the holy Eucharist. Let us ever be attentive at Mass, where this adorable blood mystically pours forth again upon the altar to plead our cause before the throne of divine Justice.

But the serpent, kindling with jealousy and hate, came to tempt her. She gazed on the forbidden fruit, gathered thereof, and carried it to her husband, and together they ate, incurring the fatal loss, and involving mankind in their downfall. Mary, preceded by the God made man, went toiling with Him up the arid steep of Calvary, in order to accomplish the most heart- rending of all sacrifices. Eve had rebelled ; Mary surren- dered her will. Eve had yielded to the enticing voice of the tempter ; Mary heard the voice of the same demon of jealousy and hate, uttering by the mouth of the impious Jews blasphemies and maledictions, but she was not fright- ened from her purpose.

Eve, in her disobedience, stretched forth her hand toward the tree of the knowledge of good and evil ; Mary, in her submission to the designs of God, stretches forth hers to the tree of the cross. Eve had sacrificed to her caprice the spouse through whom she had received being ; Mary assists at the sacrifice of the Son to Whom she has given being. Eve was born of man without the agency of a motlier ; Mary gave birth to tiie Man-God without the intervention of a spouse.

Eve, after her dis- obedience, became the mother, in the order of nature, of a race accursed ; Mary, through her submission, has become, in the order of grace, the Mother of a race sanctified. These points of resemblance and contrast offer themselves spontaneously to the mind, provided we ponder somewhat over the remembrance celebrated by the Church on the Friday in Holy Week, under the title of "The Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin.

Having been carried to Constantinople, it was there carefully kept, during the reign of the French emperors, up to the beginning of the thirteenth century. At that time the emperor, Baldwin II. Louis, who accepted it with delight. In the sacred treasure was carried in a sealed case, with great devotion, by holy men, to France. Louis, accom- panied by many prelates and his entire court, met it five leagues beyond Sens. The pious king, with his brother, Kobert of Artois, both barefooted, carried it into that city to the Cathedral of St. Stephen, accompanied by a numerous procession.

Two years after, it was taken to Paris, where it was received with great solemnity and placed in the Holy Chapely which St. Louis built for its reception. Every year, on the 11th of August, the transfer of this relic from Venice to Paris is celebrated in the Holy Chapel. Jesus Christ enters Jerusalem, and the people forthwith improvise a triumph all the more noble because it has cost neither blood nor tears, and so much the more touching because it is spontaneous.

The whole town is in commo- tion, the roadway is strewn with branches and covered with the garments of the bystanders, every mouth resound- ing with acclamations and blessings and praise. Ere a few days are sped, the very j eople that had applauded now clamor for His death, curse and insult Him, and assist at His degrading death with fiendish cries of triumph. Even thus pass away the glories of the world, its joys, its possessions, even life itself. To-day at the height of greatness, to-morrow in the deepest abasement ; but yester- day the idol of a nation, to-day the object of its hate ; now surrounded with prosperity, and, yet a little while, borne down by misfortune ; one day full of life and vigor, and the next consigned to the tomb.

What bitter awakenings have not such poor deluded beings to expect, and what chagrin and tearful disappointments do they not create for themselves! The Christian who places the aim of his hopes and the centre of his affections at a higher range is both wiser and more happy. The unforeseen alone affords any ground for fear ; and to the faithful Christian there is nothing that is un- foreseen. But, rather than indulge in reasoning, let us set forth briefly the principal effect.

Jesus Christ, before instituting it, had said that this sacrament would communicate life eternal to those receiving it ; and this, in one aspect at least, and so far as it is given to man to understand the mysteries of God, is comprehensible. Sin had implanted in man the germ of death and vice. Now, in God is the source of being, life, good, virtue, and all excellence.

Man, if limited to his own powers, could not even think out a useful way of becoming virtuous, for whence should he take the f rinciple of virtue and the means of putting it in practice? He would consequently have to incur eternal loss, since salvation without virtue is a thing utterly im- possible. But once pervaded with the principle of grace by an intimate union with God, he has only to let it develop and to cultivate the good seed sown in him.

Thus does the diamond, of itself colorless and dim, absorb the light when exposed thereto, becoming a sparkling centre of light and shining with a radiant lustre. The more vivid the light, the more brightly will the diamond shine, if it be pure. In like manner, the more man launches himself into the divine substance, the more will he therewith be inundated by Holy Communion ; the more potent, also, will his life become in virtues strong and manifold, and, con- sequently, in sure claims to salvation.

According to the language of St. Paul, thus did He, by His blood, pacify heaven and earth. If this form of ex- pression convey not simply the reconciliation of heaven with the earth, it veils a mystery impenetrable to feeble reason. But this very reconciliation is in itself the greatest mysterj' ; for man always vainly tries to explain it by re- curring to comparisons and considerations of human con- ception merely, which are vastly insufficient from the fact of their being human.

Enough for us that it has produced its effect, and that we are able to adore it in gratitude and love. That philosophy should rail at what it does not fathorn is sheer foolishness. In- credulity may scoff at what it does not recognize ; it con- cerns it, however, to know whether reason be on its side. Let heresy explain, after human fashion, things divine ; as for us Christians, let us fix our gaze on the Mediator between God and man, raised aloft between heaven and earth, with arms outstretching in order to enfold the universe, with head downbent to give to the world the kiss of peace and reconciliation, after having, at the cost of His blood, purchased peace ; and let us humble our whole being in heartfelt thanksgiving and love.

Let us rever- ently imprint our lips on this cross, the instrument of our salvation ; let us bend down trembling before the just God- Who takes such noble revenge for our guilt. His redemption, and henceforth live only for heaven, since we have been made heirs to heaven. Having obtained it, they embalmed it according to the custom of the Jews, and deposited it not far from the place of Calvary, in a tomb hewn in the rock, wherein no one had yet been laid. Pilate caused the entrance to be sealed up, and placed a guard over it, lest the body should be taken away.

The Saviour thus remained from nightfall on the Friday till the first rays of dawn on the Sunday. It was then a real death that was associated with these signs and precautions, and the sacrifice had been consummated and was irrevocable. But we should enter upon another consideration. With Jesus Christ died also the ancient world with its hideous worship; the synagogue with its symbols and mysteries ; and the man of sin, the old Adam, with its concupiscences — yea, even death itself, which had been infiicted on man in pun- ishment for sin.

Now the cross itself was buried on the spot where Christ had suffered, as was the custom among the Jews, and as was fully shown by the finding thereof in conjunction with those of the two thieves, three centuries later, by St. Helen ; whence it follows that among us Christians, the disciples, that is, of Christ, and regenerated by His death, there ought never to lurk any shadow of Jewish superstition or pagan morals, any remnant of the old Adam or man of sin. Concupiscences, disorderly passions, and love of the world should no longer exist but as the memory of a time that is no more.

For if we have been planted together in the like- ness of His death, we shall be also of His resurrection. HE resurrection of the dead is one of the most consol- ing truths of Christianity. To die forever would be the most terrible of all destinies. The plant and the animal, unendowed with reason, die, never to live again ; but they have not, at least, any apprehension as to what death is. To die is to them one of the thousand accidents bound up with life ; to the plant it is as nothing, and for the ani- mal without reason a merely transitory pang, death itself being but the affair of a moment.

For man, on the con- trary, death has terrors which precede it, anguish accom- panying it, and apprehensions consequent upon it. The most strongly attempered spirit shudders on reflecting that it must incur death ; the most selfish man has attachments which he with difficulty severs ; the most determined unbe- liever experiences doubts as to the shadowy To-morrow of death. Man would then be the most pitiable among all beings were Eeligion not at hand to say to him, ' ' The grave is a place of momentary rest ; you will come forth thence one day.

The God that gave being to your limbs will re- store them ; the Resurrection of Jesus Christ gives thereof an assured pledge. For if Christ had not risen, says the apostle St. Paul, in vain would we believe in Him. He would be convicted of having been an impostor, and His apostles of being mad ; His death would not have availed us anything, and we should still be dwelling m the bonds of sin. But Jesus Christ having come forth living from the tomb.

The Saviour, after having accomplished His mission on earth, ascends to heaven to put His manhood in possession of the glory due to it, and to prepare for us an abiding-place. He ascends thither as our King, Liberator, Chief, and Medi- ator : our King, because He has purchased us at the cost of His blood ; our Liberator, because He has conquered death and sin, and has ransomed us from the thraldom of Satan ; our Chief, because He wishes that we should follow in His footsteps, and that we should be where He is, even as He has Himself declared ; our Mediator, because we can have access to the Father only through Him.

He ascends thither as our High Priest, in order to offer unceasingly to God the blood which He has shed for us in His character of man, and to obtain for us through the merits of His sacri- fice the remission of our sins. Let us, then, by means of faith, follow Him in His As- cension to heaven, and abide there henceforth in heart and spirit. Let us remember that heaven is wholly ours, as our inheritance ; and, amid the temptations and miseries of this life, let us think often of this home of peace, of glory, and of bliss eternal.

We must not flatter ourselves, however, that without earnest efforts on our part we shall have any share in the kingdom of Jesus Christ. There are many mansions in the house of our heavenly Father, but there are not many roads leading thither. Jesus Christ has traced out for us the way of humiliation and suffering, and it is the only one that conducts to eternal peace. He will be with us even unto the end, and if we love Him all will become easy.

From that time forth this divine Spirit has not ceased to pour Himself forth upon the Church to enlighten, confirm, protect, and guide ; He has not ceased communicating Himself to each of the faithful individually, either by means of the sacraments or by grace, whenever He has found hearts well disposed. For the wisdom of the flesh is death ; but the wisdom of the Spirit is life and peace.

Anselm has en- deavored to explain it from a single point of view only, and has accomplished this in a masterly yet necessarily insuffi- cient manner. The Father, he says, cannot exist a single instant without knowing Himself, because, in God, to know is to exist, even as to will is to act. This knowledge personified is "the Word," His Son.

The Son is, then, co-eternal with the Father. The Father and the Son can- not exist a single instant without loving each other ; their mutual love is, again, personified, because in God to love is still to exist, God being love itself. This third Person, thus co-eternal with the other two Persons, is the Holy Ghost. But the inhabitants with God can alone understand these wonders, and they understand because they see them. The free-thinker, surrounded by the mysteries of nature,.

The poor fool would not be- lieve much were he taken at his word. He would neither believe in the food he takes, seeing that he could not ex- plain how it imparts nourishment, nor in the light of the sun, since he does not apprehend how it brings him into relation with distant objects, nor even in his own argu- meats, since he does not comprehend how his mind evokes r. Literally speaking, there exist no mysteries, there are only truths ; but truth becomes a mystery to him who does not understand it.

Writing is a mystery to one who knows not how to read ; it ceases to be so to any one who has re- ceived instruction. To deserve to behold them one day in their heavenly company, one condition is requisite, namely, to adore them meanwhile with steadfast and perfect faith in the word of God, which proposes them for our belief. In the realm of nature a mystery is a truth not understood, which one believes withal because one sees it.

In the sphere of religion a mystery is a truth not understood, which one believes because God has re- vealed it. Is it not " as if the clay should rebel against the potter, and the work should say to the worker thereof, Thou un- derstandest not "?

Reflections on Stewardship from the Gospel of Matthew | Little Books

At that period, however, as heresiarchs dared to attack the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, and nu- merous miracles and special revelations had occurred to concentrate the attention of the Christian world on this dogma. Pope Urban IV. The holy Council of Trent newly approved in a formal and earnest manner both the worship itself and its attendant pomp.

The feast of Corpus Christi is then a solemn act of faith in the Keal Presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Eucharist ; and this belief, to which the Church attaches an importance of the highest moment, is the very ground- work of Catholicity, or rather is the very essence of all Christianity ; for if Jesus Christ be not present really and corporeally under the elements of bread and wine, as He has Himself formally told us, His word is no longer reliable, He is no longer God, and there remains of religion naught save a beautiful but sterile philosophy, which each one can remodel after his own mind.

If it be allowable, as Prot- estants contend, to interpret in a purely allegorical sense words of such clearness that there are not, throughout the whole of the Gospel, any more positive or precise, it is permissible to interpret everything at will, and the Gospel remains an enigma, the solution whereof is nowhere to be found. O ye infidels, unbelievers, and heretics of all ages!

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January 1. It was a sacrament of initiation in the service of God, and a promise and en- gagement to believe and act as He had revealed and directed. The law of circumcision continued in force until the death of Christ, and Our Saviour being born under the aw, it became Him, Who came to teach mankind obedi- ence to the law of God, to fulfil all Justice, and to submit to it. Therefore He was circumcised that He might redeem them that were under the law, by freeing them from the servitude of it ; and that those who were in the condition of servants before might be set at liberty, and receive the adoption of sons in Baptism, which, by Christ's institution, succeeded to circumcision.

On the day that the divine Infant was circumcised. He received the name of Jesus, which signifies Saviour, which had been given Him by the angel before He was conceived. May this year be one of fervor and of prog- ress! It will go by rapidly, like that which has just ended. If God permits us to see its end, how glad and happy we shall be to have passed it holily! January 2. IN spite of family troubles and delicate health, Fulgen- tius was appointed at an early age procurator of his province at Carthage.

This success, however, did not satisfy his heart. Levying the taxes proved daily more distasteful, and when he was twenty-two, St. Austin's treatise on the Psalms decided him to enter religion. He now sought the solitude of Egypt, but finding that country also in schism, he turned his steps to Rome. There the splendors of the imperial court only told him of the greater glory of the heavenly Jerusalem, and at the first lull in the persecution he resought his African cell.

Elected bishop in , he was summoned forth to face new dangers, and was shortly after banished by the Arian king, Thrasimund, with fifty-nine orthodox prelates, to Sardinia. Though the youngest of the exiles, he was at once the mouthpiece of his brethren and the stay of their flocks. By his books and letters, which are still extant, he confounded both Pelagian and Arian heresiarchs, and confirmed the Catholics in Africa and Gaul. This was done. His hair and beard were plucked out, and he was left naked, his body one bleeding sore.

Even the Arian bishop was ashamed of this brutality, and offered to punish the priest if the Saint would prosecute him. But Fulgentius replied, " A Chris- tian must not seek revenge in this world. God knows how to right His servants' wrongs. If I were to bring the punishment of man on that priest, I should lose my own reward with God. And it would be a scandal to many little ones that a Catholic and a monk, however unworthy he be, should seek redress from an Arian bishop. Fulgentius to receive all that happens as from the hand of God, and appointed for our salvation.

The patri- arch, warned by a miracle of his disciple's sanctity, named him the heir of his virtues. His life was one long conflict with self. Since sleep at times overpowered him, he kept watch for twenty days and nights ; being about to faint, he entered his cell and slept, but henceforth slept only at will. A gnat stung him; he killed it. In revenge for this softness he remained naked in a marsh till his body was covered with noxious bites and he was recognized only by his voice.

This one gave them to a third, who handed them to a fourth ; thus the grapes went the round of the desert and returned to Macarius, who thanked God for his brethren's abstinence. Macarius saw demons assailing the hermits at prayer. They put their fingers into the mouths of some, and made them yawn. They closed the eyes of others, and walked upon them when asleep. They placed vain and sensual images before many of the brethren, and then mocked those who were captivated by them.

None vanquished the devils effectually save those who by constant vigilance repelled them at once, Maca- rius visited one hermit daily for four months, but never could speak to him, as he was always in prayer ; so he called him an "angel on earth. Pacliomius, to begin again as his novice ; but St. Pachomius, instructed by a vision, bade him return to his brethren, who loved him as their father. In his old age, thinking nature tamed, he determined to spend five days alone in prayer. On the third day the cell seemed on fire, and Macarius came forth.

God permitted this delusion, lie said, lest he be ensnared by pride. At the age of seventy-three he was driven into exile and brutally outraged by the Arian heretics. He died a. But St. Macarius teaches us that mind and body must be brought to subjection before the soul is free to pray. January 3 ST. At seven years of age she made a vow of perpetual chas- tity. At one time she was cruelly persecuted : her enemies, jealous of her power, called her a hypocrite and tried to drown her ; but St.

Germanus having sent her some blessed bread as a token of esteem, the outcry ceased, and ever afterwards she was honored as a Saint. During the siege of Paris by Childeric, king of the Franks, Genevieve went out with a few followers and procured corn for the starving citizens. By her exhortations again, when Attila and his Huns were approaching the city, the in- habitants, instead of taking flight, gave themselves to prayer and penance, and averted, as she had foretold, the impending scourge.

Clovis, when converted from paganism by his holy wife, St. Clotilda, made Genevieve his constant adviser, and, in spite of his violent char- acter, became a generous and Christian king. A pestilence broke out at Paris in , which in a short time swept off fourteen thousand persons, and, in spite of all human efforts, daily added to its victims. At length, on November 26th, the shrine of St. Genevieve was carried in solemn procession through the city.

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That same day but three persons died, the rest recovered, and no others were taken ill. This was but the first of a series of miraculous favors which the city of Paris has obtained through the relics of its patron Saint. She was anointed with His Spirit, and with power ; she went about doing good, and God was with her.

January 4. ITUS was a convert from heathenism, a disciple of St. Paul, one of the chosen companions of the Apostle in his journey to the Council of Jerusalem, and his fellow- laborer in many apostolic missions. From the Second Epistle which St. Paul sent by the hand of Titus to the- Corinthians we gain an insight into his character and un- derstand the strong affection which his master bore him. Titus had been commissioned to carry out a twofold office needing much firmness, discretion, and charity. He was to be the bearer of a severe rebuke to the Corinthians, who were giving scandal and were wavering in their faith ; and at the same time he was to put their charity to a further test by calling upon them for abundant alms for the church at Jerus[ilem.

Paul meanwhile was anxiously awaiting the result. At Troas he writes, "I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus, my brother. Here at last Titus brought the good news.. His success had been complete. He reported the sorrow, the zeal, the generosity of the Corinthians, till the Apostle could not contain his joy, and sent back to them his faith- ful messenger with the letter of comfort from which we have quoted. Titus was finally left as a bishop in Crete, and here he, in turn, received the epistle which bears his name, and here at last he died in peace.

The mission of Titus to Corinth shows us how well the disciple caught the spirit of his master. He knew how to be firm and to inspire respect. The Corinthians, we are told, "received him with fear and trembling. Paul "gave thanks to God, Who had put such carefulness for them in the heart of Titus. Paul himself, who " abundantly rejoiced in the joy of Titus.


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This was the characteristic gift of St. Titus, as it was of St. Paul, St. Francis Xavier, and many others.


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  7. An incredible number of infidels were converted by him from idolatry, and worldly Christians from their disorders. Out of devotion to St. Benignus, he desired to be buried near that Saint's tomb at Dijon ; this was exe- cuted by his virtuous son Tetricus, who succeeded him in his bishopric. January 5 ST. A shepherd boy, who could not lead his sheep to the fields on account of the cold, went to the church instead, and listened to the eight Beatitudes, which were read that morning. He asked how these blessings were to be ob- tained, and when he was told of the monastic life a thirst for perfection arose within him.

    He became the wonder of the world, the great St. Simeon Stylites. He was warned that perfection would cost him dear, and so it did. A mere child, he began the monastic life, and therein passed a dozen years in superhuman austerity. He bound a rope round his waist till the flesh was putrfeBed.

    Thirty-seven years he spent on the top of pillars, exposed to heat and cold, day and night adoring the majesty of God. Perfection was all in all to St. Simeon ; the means nothing, except in so far as God chose them for him. Simeon come down from his pillar and return to the common life. In a moment the Saint made ready to descend ; but the Egyptian reli- gious was satisfied with this proof of humility. The words which God put into his mouth brought crowds of heathen to baptism and of sinners to penance. Extraordinary as the life of St. Simeon may appear, it teaches us two plain and practical lessons : First, we must constantly renew within ourselves an intense desire for per- fection.

    Secondly, we must use with fidelity and courage the means of perfection God points out. The second manifestation was when, going out from the waters of the Jordan after having received Baptism from the hands of St. The remembrance of these three great events, concurring to the same end,, ''"he Church has wished to celebrate in one and the same fest'. Admire the docility of these kings.

    Jesus is born : behold them at His feet! Let us be little, let us hide ourselves, and the divine strength will be granted to us. Let us be docile and quick in following divine inspirations, and we shall then become wise of the wisdom of God, powerful of His almighty power. January 7. Having become a priest, his time was divided between the external duties of his holy state, the performance of works of charity, and the study of sacred literature.

    He revised the books of the Old and New Testaments, expunging the errors which had found their way into the text either through the negligence of copyists or the malice of heretics, thus preparing the way for St. Jerome, who shortly after was to give to the world the Latin translation known as " The Vulgate. Some Christians visited him in prison, on the feast of the Epiphany, and brought bread and wine to him ; while bound and chained down on his back, he consecrated the divine mysteries upon his own breast, and communicated the faithful who were present.

    He finished his glorious career in prison, and died with the words, " I am a Christian," on his lips. We cannot detect falsehood till we know and love the truth ; and to us the truth is not an abstraction, but a Person, Jesus Christ, God and Man. January 8. Notwithstanding the great encomiums bestowed on him by Eusebius, St.