St. Edward

King St. Edward was one of the best loved of all the English kings. He lived in the eleventh century. Because of enemies in his own country, he had to live in Normandy, France, from the time he was ten until he was forty. However, when he came back to rule, all the people welcomed him with great joy.

St. Edward was a tall, well-built man, but he was never healthy. Still he was able to rule his country well and keep peace most of the time. This was because he trusted in God and held firm when necessary. King Edward went to daily Mass. He was a gentle, kind man who never spoke sternly. To poor people and foreigners, he showed special charity. He also helped monks in every way he could. It was his justice to everyone and his love for God's Church that made St. Edward so popular with the English people. They would cheer him as he rode out of the castle.

Although he was a king with great power, St. Edward showed his honesty by the way he kept his word-to God and to people. While he was still living in Normandy, he had made a promise to God. He said that if his family would see better times, he would go on a pilgrimage to St. Peter's tomb in Rome. After he was made king, he wanted to keep his vow. But the nobles knew that there would be no one to keep the peace among the warlike people in the land. So, although they admired his devotion, they did not want him to go. The whole matter was brought to the pope, St. Leo IX. He decided that the king could stay home. He said that King Edward was to give to the poor the money he would have spent on the trip. He also was to build or repair a monastery in honor of St. Peter. Obediently, the king carried out the pope's decision. He died in 1066 and was buried in the marvelous monastery he had rebuilt. He was proclaimed a saint by Pope Alexander III in 1161.

Reflection: This holy king tried throughout his life to use the gifts he had been given in order to help others. How do I use the gifts I have to do good?

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Bl. Alexandrina Maria da Costa

On Holy Saturday of 1918, Alexandrina Maria da Costa, a fourteen-year-old native of Balasar, Portugal, was sewing when three men broke into her home, threatening to violate her chastity. Resolute to preserve her purity, she fled by jumping out a window. The thirteen-foot plunge to the ground crippled her for life. At the age of twenty-one, she became totally paralyzed and permanently bedridden. Alexandrina accepted this affliction as God's will for her and an opportunity to offer herself totally as a "victim soul" for the conversion of sinners. For a period of three and a half years, she received the mystical gift of experiencing each Friday the pains of Christ on the cross. For thirteen years, she was imbued with the mystical phenomenon of being nourished solely by the Eucharist. Out of zeal to convert sinners, Alexandrina requested for her tombstone these words: "Sinners, how much I want to tell you...Do not risk losing Jesus for all eternity, for he is so good. Enough with sin. Love Jesus, love him!" On October 13, 1955, before breathing her last, Alexandrina declared, "I am happy, because I am going to heaven."

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St . Gerald of Aurillac

Only a little is known of the life of Saint Gerald of Aurillac, owing to the times in which he lived in the late 9th and early 10th centuries. Only one written record of his life exists and no primary sources are known. The only known reference to him is via a book written by Odo of Cluny who lived from 879-942 and who never met Gerald. Odo however wrote that he did extensive research into Gerald's life and concluded that he was in fact, a saint.

During the course of his investigation into Gerald's life, Odo confessed that there were many reasons to doubt Gerald's sainthood. Chief among them was that Gerald was not a member of an established order of clergy, but rather lived his life as a wealthy, lay noble. Gerald was known for being chronically ill throughout his life, possibly suffering from severe acne which left his face scarred and he became blind in his later years.

Despite these physical concerns, Gerald was regarded as a kind and merciful noble, showing mercy to convicts and kindness to the poor. His desire was to become a monk, however his noble obligations made such a transition difficult. Motivated by faith, Gerald sought to donate his lands to the Pope, but was dissuaded by his friend, Bishop Gausbert of Rodez, who persuaded him that he could do the most good by living a pious life in private and serving the needs of his people in public. Gerald did so.

Gerald shaved a small spot on his head as well as his beard, and concealed his private devotion to the Church so that he could retain public credibility and authority. During his time, Papal authority was waning and secular forces conspired to consolidate power away from the lesser nobility. Gerald also took a private vow of chastity. He never married and produced no children. He spent considerable time in daily, devotional prayer.

Eventually, Gerald was able to make a pilgrimage to Rome and donate some of his lands to the Church. He also established a church and a monastery on his lands, which he deliberately established in such a way as to make the monastery independent of all control except Rome's. Gerald was a model noble, bridging the gap between religious virtue and secular authority. He showed others that it is possible to wield power and wealth while living a pious and righteous life. The skeptical Odo eventually concluded that Gerald had in fact, become a saint upon his death.

St. Gerald's feast day is October 13. He is the patron saint of bachelors, counts, and the disabled, as well as the Upper Auvergne region of France where he lived.

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Text Box: Reading 1 	              JL 1:13-15; 2:1-2



Gird yourselves and weep, O priests!
wail, O ministers of the altar!
Come, spend the night in sackcloth,
O ministers of my God!
The house of your God is deprived
of offering and libation.
Proclaim a fast,
call an assembly;
Gather the elders,
all who dwell in the land,
Into the house of the LORD, your God,
and cry to the LORD!

Alas, the day!
for near is the day of the LORD,
and it comes as ruin from the Almighty.

Blow the trumpet in Zion,
sound the alarm on my holy mountain!
Let all who dwell in the land tremble,
for the day of the LORD is coming;
Yes, it is near, a day of darkness and of gloom,
a day of clouds and somberness!
Like dawn spreading over the mountains,
a people numerous and mighty!
Their like has not been from of old,
nor will it be after them,
even to the years of distant generations.


Responsorial Psalm         9:2-3, 6 AND 16, 8-9



R. (9) The Lord will judge the world with justice.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart;
I will declare all your wondrous deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, Most High.
R. The Lord will judge the world with justice.
You rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked;
their name you blotted out forever and ever.
The nations are sunk in the pit they have made;
in the snare they set, their foot is caught.
R. The Lord will judge the world with justice.
But the LORD sits enthroned forever;
he has set up his throne for judgment.
He judges the world with justice;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R. The Lord will judge the world with justice.
Alleluia JN 12:31B-32

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The prince of this world will now be cast out,
and when I am lifted up from the earth
I will draw all to myself, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Gospel			  LK 11:15-26


When Jesus had driven out a demon, some of the crowd said:
"By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons,
he drives out demons."
Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven.
But he knew their thoughts and said to them,
"Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste
and house will fall against house.
And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand?
For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons.
If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul,
by whom do your own people drive them out?
Therefore they will be your judges.
But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons,
then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.
When a strong man fully armed guards his palace,
his possessions are safe.
But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him,
he takes away the armor on which he relied
and distributes the spoils.
Whoever is not with me is against me,
and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

"When an unclean spirit goes out of someone,
it roams through arid regions searching for rest
but, finding none, it says,
'I shall return to my home from which I came.'
But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order.
Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits
more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there,
and the last condition of that man is worse than the first."

 Prayer  for All Souls

Text Box: Meditation:		  
When danger lurks, what kind of protection do you seek? Jesus came to free us from the greatest danger of all - the corrupting force of evil which destroys us from within and makes us slaves to sin and Satan (John 8:34). Evil is not an impersonal force that just happens. It has a name and a face and it seeks to master every heart and soul on the face of the earth (1 Peter 5:8-9). Scripture identifies the Evil One by many names, 'Satan', 'Beelzebul - the 'prince of demons', the 'Devil', the 'Deceiver', the 'Father of Lies', and 'Lucifier', the fallen angel who broke rank with God and established his own army and kingdom in opposition to God. 
Jesus has power to cast out the Deceiver and set us free
Jesus declared that he came to overthrow the power of Satan and his kingdom (John 12:31). Jesus' numerous exorcisms brought freedom to many who were troubled and oppressed by the work of evil spirits. Jesus himself encountered personal opposition and battle with Satan when he was put to the test in the wilderness just before his public ministry (Matthew 4:1; Luke 4:1). He overcame the Evil One through his obedience to the will of his Father.
Some of the Jewish leaders reacted vehemently to Jesus' healings and exorcisms and they opposed him with malicious slander. How could Jesus get the power and authority to release individuals from Satan's influence and control? They assumed that he had to be in league with Satan. They attributed his power to Satan rather than to God. Jesus answers their charge with two arguments. There were many exorcists in Palestine in Jesus' time. So Jesus retorted by saying that they also incriminate their own kin who cast out demons. If they condemn Jesus they also condemn themselves.
Whose kingdom do you follow and serve?
In his second argument Jesus asserts that no kingdom divided against itself can survive for long. We have witnessed enough civil wars in our own time to prove the destructive force at work here for the annihilation of whole peoples and their land. If Satan lends his power against his own forces then he is finished. 
Cyril of Alexandria, a 5th century church father explains the force of Jesus' argument:
Kingdoms are established by the fidelity of subjects and the obedience of those under the royal scepter. Houses are established when those who belong to them in no way whatsoever thwart one another but, on the contrary, agree in will and deed. I suppose it would establish the kingdom too of Beelzebub, had he determined to abstain from everything contrary to himself. How then does Satan cast out Satan? It follows then that devils do not depart from people on their own accord but retire unwillingly. "Satan," he says, "does not fight with himself." He does not rebuke his own servants. He does not permit himself to injure his own armor bearers. On the contrary, he helps his kingdom. "It remains for you to understand that I crush Satan by divine power." [Commentary on Luke, Homily 80]
How can a strong person be defeated except by someone who is stronger? Jesus asserted his power and authority to cast out demons as a clear demonstration of the reign of God. Jesus' reference to the 'finger of God' points back to Moses' confrontation with Pharoah and his magicians who represented Satan and the kingdom of darkness (see Exodus 8:19). Jesus claims to be carrying on the tradition of Moses whose miracles freed the Israelites from bondage by the finger of God. God's power is clearly at work in the exorcisms which Jesus performed and they give evidence that God's kingdom has come.
God and his Word is the source of our protection and security
What is the point of Jesus' grim story about a vacant house being occupied by an evil force? It is not enough to banish evil thoughts and habits from our lives. We must also fill the void with God who is the source of all that is good, wholesome, true, and life-giving for us. Augustine of Hippo said that our lives have a God-shaped void which only God can fill. If we attempt to leave it vacant or to fill it with something else which is not of God, we will end up being in a worse state in the end. 
What do you fill the void in your life with? The Lord Jesus wants to fill our minds and hearts with the power of his life-giving word and healing love. Jesus makes it very clear that there are no neutral parties in this world. We are either for the Lord Jesus or against him, for the kingdom of God or against it. We cannot serve two kingdoms opposed to each another. There are ultimately only two universal kingdoms which stand in opposition to one another - the kingdom of God - his kingdom of light and truth - and the kingdom of darkness - which is opposed to God's truth and justice and which is dominated by Satan's lies and deception. If we disobey God's word, we open to door to the power of sin and the deception of Satan in our personal lives. 
Is Jesus the Lord of your mind, heart, and home?
If we want to live in true freedom, then our "house" (the inner core of our true being) must be occupied by Jesus where he is enthroned as Lord and Savior. The Lord assures us of his protection from spiritual harm and he gives us the help and strength we need to resist the devil and his lies (James 4:7). The Scriptures remind us that God is our refuge and his angels stand guard over us:
"Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your habitation, no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent. For he will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways"(Psalm 91:9-11). 
Do you know the peace and security of a life submitted to God and his word?
"Lord Jesus, be the ruler of my heart and the master of my home. May there be nothing in my life that is not under your lordship."

 

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Text Box: The Bible in one year:  SEPTEMBER


01 2 Chron 28–29, Hos 6, 1 Cor 4–5, Ps 103:17–22
02 2 Chron 30–31, Hos 7–8, 1 Cor 6, Ps 104:1–8
03 2 Chron 32–33, Hos 9, 1 Cor 7:1–20, Ps 104:9–15
04 2 Chron 34, Hos 10, 1 Cor 7:21–40, Ps 104:16–22
05 2 Chron 35–36, Hos 11–12, 1 Cor 8, Ps 104:23–29
06 Ezra 1:1–2:41, Hos 13–14, 1 Cor 9, Ps 104:30–35
07 Ezra 2:42–3:13, Joel 1, 1 Cor 10, Ps 105:1–8
08 Ezra 4–6, Joel 2:1–15, 1 Cor 11:1–16, Ps 105:9–15
09 Ezra 7, Joel 2:16–32, 1 Cor 11:17–34, Ps 105:16–22
10 Ezra 8–9, Joel 3, 1 Cor 12, Ps 105:23–29
11 Ezra 10, Amos 1, 1 Cor 13, Ps 105:30–36
12 Neh 1–3, Amos 2–3, 1 Cor 14:1–25, Ps 105:37–45
13 Neh 4–5, Amos 4, 1 Cor 14:26–40, Ps 106:1–5
14 Neh 6:1–7:36, Amos 5, 1 Cor 15:1–29, Ps 106:6–12
15 Neh 7:37–8:18, Amos 6, 1 Cor 15:30–58, Ps 106:13–20
16 Neh 9, Amos 7, 1 Cor 16, Ps 106:21–27
17 Neh 10, Amos 8–9, 2 Cor 1:1–12, Ps 106:28–34
18 Neh 11–12, Obad, 2 Cor 1:13–2:17, Ps 106:35–41
19 Neh 13, Jonah 1, 2 Cor 3, Ps 106:42–48
20 Tobit 1–3, Jonah 2–3, 2 Cor 4, Ps 107:1–7
21 Tobit 4–5, Jonah 4, 2 Cor 5, Ps 107:8–14
22 Tobit 6–8, Micah 1–2, 2 Cor 6, Ps 107:15–21
23 Tobit 9–11, Micah 3–4, 2 Cor 7:1–8:11, Ps 107:22–28
24 Tobit 12–14, Micah 5, 2 Cor 8:12–9:15, Ps 107:29–35
25 Jdth 1–2, Micah 6, 2 Cor 10, Ps 107:36–43
26 Jdth 3–5, Micah 7, 2 Cor 11:1–19, Ps 108:title–5
27 Jdth 6–7, Nah 1–2, 2 Cor 11:20–33, Ps 108:6–13
28 Jdth 8, Nah 3, 2 Cor 12–13, Ps 109:title–5
29 Jdth 9–11, Hab 1, Gal 1, Ps 109:6–12
30 Jdth 12–13, Hab 2, Gal 2, Ps 109:13–19

 

Text Box:  "If it is by the finger of God"

Today’s Bible Readings

Latin Rite                            1st Reading       JL 1:13-15; 2:1-2   Responsorial Psalm  9:2-3, 6 AND 16, 8-9                                      2nd Reading                                                                      Gospel             LK 11:15-26

Syro-Malabar Rite              1st Reading    1 PT 3:1-7                            Gospel             LK 20:27-40

Syro-Malankara Rite         1st Reading    ROM 12:1-8                          Gospel             MT 21:33-44

 

Volume 97, Friday, October  13, 2017.

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Prayer of St. Gertrude the great dictated by Our Lady to release 1,000 Souls from Purgatory each time it is said. The prayer was extend to include living sinners which would alleviate the indebtedness accrued to them during their lives.

“Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the Universal Church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.”

St. Gertrude the Great was born in Germany in 1263. She was a Benedictine Nun, and meditated on the Passion of Christ, which many times brought floods of tears to her eyes. She did many penances, and Our Lady appeared to her many times. Her holy Soul passed away in 1334. November 16 is her Feast Day.

Text Box: Friday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

 

St. Edward

 

Bl. Alexandrina Maria da Costa

St . Gerald of Aurillac