Saturday, June 17, 2017


'Tis the festival of Saint Rainerius of Pisa, Hermit (circa 1117-1161): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Theresa of Portugal, Religious, O.Cist. (1178-1250), Queen of Léon: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Albert Chmielowski, Religious, T.O.S.F. (1845-1916), founder of the Albertine Brothers, formally the Brothers of the Third Order of Saint Francis, Servants of the Poor; & the Albertine Sisters, formally the Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis Serving the Poor: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link C.F.A.P.U. & Wikipedia-link C.S.A.P.U.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Weekday
The Second Letter to the Corinthians, chapter five, verses fourteen thru twenty-one;
Psalm One Hundred Three, verses one & two, three & four, nine & ten, & eleven & twelve;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter five, verses thirty-three thru thirty-seven.

Commentary: Gospel reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel speaks of vows and encourages us to “not take a false oath, but make good to the Lord all that you vow.” It calls to mind the story of Ann Russell Miller. Ann was a San Francisco socialite, fabulously wealthy, mother of ten children and nineteen grandchildren, in possession of a glorious mansion overlooking San Francisco bay, a denizen of the finest clubs, someone who liked to vacation on her yacht in the Mediterranean. But Ann was also a very devout Catholic, and she and her husband made a vow that whoever died first, the surviving partner would dedicate his or her life to God. So when Ann’s husband died relatively young of cancer, Ann resolved to give her life to God in the most dramatic way.

She threw one more huge party for her friends—and then gave everything away and joined the cloistered Carmelite sisters in Des Plaines, IL. She now wears the simple brown habit of a Carmelite religious and lives a life of utter devotion, in poverty, chastity, and obedience. She sleeps on wooden planks covered by a thin mattress; she eats the simplest, meatless dishes served in the convent refectory. She is no longer Ann Russell Miller; she is Sr. Mary Joseph of the Trinity.

Sr. Mary fulfilled the vow she made to her husband by taking new vows as a religious. The new vows she now appreciates, not as burdens, but as a means to freedom. For now, in the most radical sense, she is free to give her life utterly to God. Now I realize that her path is a radical one, and that not everyone is called to this sort of total surrender. But everyone is indeed called to the spirit of the evangelical counsels, for we must all become detached from wealth, pleasure, power, and honor. They don’t matter at the end of the day. Only God matters.

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