19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) - 7 August

7th Aug 2022
19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) - 7 August
A reflection on faith and how this can help us deal with adverse situations by the Venerable Archbishop Fulton J Sheen:
"It is not so much what happens to people that matters, but how they react to what happens. Two thieves were crucified on either side of Our Divine Lord. Both at first blasphemed, and yet one repented. There was some inflammable material in the soul of the thief at the right, which, when the spark of Divine Grace fell upon it, enkindled him to salvation.
"One wonders if there was ever a more genuinely optimistic expression concerning even the ills of life than the words of St Paul: 'We are well assured that everything helps to secure the good of those who love God.' He does not say that every catastrophe and experience is good, for no one with faith would ever say that life does not have its miseries. Those who love react differently to the same affliction from those who love not. Love does not make a distinction between experiences on the basis of what is pleasant and profitable, but even can fit pain and conflict by the beautiful alchemy of love, to serve its own purposes and to give meaning to all of life’s occurrences.
"Here the true nature of faith appears; it is not an exalted state of feeling or an emotional persuasion, but rather an insight into the world as God has made it and the real purpose for which He uses it. A painful sickness borne with unmurmuring resignation to the loving Father Who sometimes gives out bitter medicine for a future good; the loss of property submitted to without any bitterness because of a knowledge that we have a higher treasure; the loss of a loved one impressing upon the soul that all the love we have on this earth is but a spark from the Flame, Which is God - all these trials enter into the fabric of the mantle of sanctity for those who have faith. There is good which comes out of things even when there is no good in them.
"The old Stoics used to say: 'Grit your teeth; submit to fate,' recommending that in the face of any trial one take an icy, scornful attitude. The Epicureans recommended: 'Make yourself insensible to pain by indulgence in pleasure.' But here the recommendation is to discover a wise and loving God directing all the mixed processes of life to a beneficent issue. Thus it soothes the heart into patience, lifts it into hope, and floods it with courage. As the rainbow would never be seen if it were not for the clouds and the rain, so, too, the beauty of holiness would never shine so brightly were it not for the trials which the Spirit of God employs to promote them. It is the winds and the winters which try the herbs, the flowers, and the trees; only the strongest survive. Likewise, tribulation tries the soul, and in the strong it develops patience, and patience in its turn, hope, and hope finally begets love.
"Outward attacks and troubles rather fix than unsettle a man with true faith, as tempests from without only serve to root the oak deeper into the ground. But an inward canker will gradually rot and decay it. The big problem facing every man is whether he will, under difficulties, ride out the storm to port. If he knows why he is living, then he will substitute the one great consuming purpose for his tiny little wishes, and thus make life happy."
During the week of 7-14 August we celebrate National Vocation Awareness. We pray for more dedicated and holy priests, deacons, and consecrated men and women.
Prayer for Priests & Religious
Almighty and Everliving God, by Whose Spirit the whole body of the Church is sanctified and governed, mercifully hear our humble supplications for all bishops, priests, deacons, and religious brothers and sisters; that by the gift of Your grace, all, in their various appointments, may faithfully serve You and have the strength to be firm witnesses of the Gospel to the world. Amen. Holy Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us. 🙏💖💐

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