Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Love of Scripture

Whatever the real Jerome was like...for we read that he was sarcastic and crusty at times, he had a real love for the Scriptures and spent the latter part of his life translating them from Hebrew and Greek into the vernacular at the time, Latin.  These Latin Scriptures, the Vulgate, were the norm for centuries until the clamor for translations in the vernaculars of various countries were heard.  Even now, new English translations keep coming out that add to our understanding of the original.  I highly recommend THE MESSAGE, a very readable version by Eugene H. Peterson, available in paperback as the New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs, or in hardback as the complete Bible.  If you love to reach and pray with Scripture, this translation will feed that love to the point where you won't want to put it down.  Today, in honor of St.Jerome, why don't we spend a bit more time with our favorite passages, and let them sink more deeply into our souls to feed and nourish them and draw us closer to their Divine Author
Bro. Rene

Monday, September 29, 2014

Honoring Three Archangels

We recall the presence of three great archangels, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.  Michael, the great "defender in the battle", Gabriel, the messenger, and Raphael, who brings healing.  All three serve to make God more present to us as well as help us on our journey home back to God.  As always, we need them, and it seems now, more than ever.  The forces of evil seem to be everywhere and our boat rocks as we read the daily headlines.  As we gain "more" communication via technology, social media, etc...we seem to be losing face to face contact with others.  Illness, e.g. Ebola continues to plague the human race.  Not only should we use this day to thank these archangels for what they have done, but it would make sense to ask their intercession for these three areas of concern.  We might also consider how we can assist them by resisting the forces of evil and helping others to do so; to be messengers of hope simply by being at peace with ourselves and radiating that peace to others; finally, by being healers by listening and praying for others. Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, pray for us.
Bro. Rene
Note:  Yesterday's slice of Daily Bread is evidently lost in cyberspace.  I'll see if I can recover it and send it on.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

What Would Monsieur Vincent Do?

As we remember the great man of charity, St. Vincent de Paul, the grave situation in West Africa comes to mind. Thousands have already died from the Ebola "plague" and specific information from Liberia gives us a grim picture of what is happening.
Schools and businesses are closed. People are not allowed to work for fear of contact with the virus, so there is no income. Food prices are skyrocketing, as supplies diminish. The Catholic Hospital in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, had to close because 16 of its staff died, including three Brothers of St. John of God, who run the hospital. Now, even the common illnesses of malaria and measles can't be treated. People live in the fear of "who's next?"
An effort is being made to clean the existing hospital or build another, and to open a training school for nurses. Grants are being sought, but, as always are slow to come. The students of Central Catholic and other Marist Schools are collecting mission money for this cause. as well as to help the hungry receive help to buy food. What would St. Vincent do in this case? May his example and intercession help us find a solution.
Bro. Rene

Friday, September 26, 2014

Cosmas and Damien

Once in awhile the celebrant at Mass will use the first Eucharistic Prayer, which, at one time, was the ONLY one.  Those of us who date back to that time will recall that among the numerous saints invoked, Cosmas and Damien were among them.  Even when heard today, their names stand out, for although Damien is common enough, I don't think we know many people named Cosmas, as intriguing a name as it may be.  And we have to admit that we know little about them.
Here are a few items of interest that might help supplement our knowledge and offer us some inspiration for the day.
They were twins, born in Arabia and educated in Syria as physicians.  They are noted for their pro bono medical service;  yes, they did not charge their patients.  Their charity, compassion and competence won the admiration, not only of the people they treated, but also of the entire community, and brought many to the faith, which they translated to service, a service they gladly offered freely.  They were martyred in the year 283 and were noted for many cures after their deaths, sometimes even appearing to the sick as they cured them. Today they are recognized as the patron saints of physicians (along with St. Luke), and of pharmacists.
Our Marist schools stress service as a requirement, with the hope that these service hours will jump start a life of service.  We might learn from Cosmas and Damien and from our students how to share whatever gifts or resources we have with those in need.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

You Will Raise Me Up

The popular communion hymn, "I Am the Bread Bread of Life" sings of Jesus raising us up on the last day, but if we look back at our lives, we will see that there have been multiple "raisings" from all levels, the pits, to the slight "indentations."  We have learned as did the Psalmist that the Lord is our hope and our trust since the days of our youth.  There might have been times when it seemed he was far away, or had totally abandoned us, but then came that moment of resurrection and we came back to life, as it were, better than ever.  In our busyness, we might lose track of God's loving care, hence the need for daily, hourly "coming aside" to rest awhile in his presence.  We wish we could spend more time, and that desire is a wonderful indication that we've "got it."  Perhaps by making a mantra our of the little refrain, "you will raise me up" we can find that nearness and presence that will, indeed, help us to carry on with renewed vigor.  We don't have to wait till our retreat or vacation, or a weekend. We can do it now!
Bro. Rene

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Word of Wisdom

Time does not allow a large slice of bread this morning, but the wisdom contained in this passage from Proverbs should provide a vitamin pill to nourish the soul:
"Two things I ask of you, (Lord), deny them not to me before I die:
1) Put falsehood and lying far from me,/
2) give me neither poverty nor riches;/ provide me only with the food I need;
Lest, being full, I deny you,
saying,  'Who is the Lord?'
Or being in want, I steal,
and profane the name of my God."  (Prov. 30: 4-9)
Bro. Rene

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Accepting Our Crosses

St. Pio of Pietrelcina,  better known as simply Padre Pio, is probably the most popular saint in Italy after St. Francis of Assisi.  His statues and pictures are everywhere...from pizza parlors to the dashboards of taxis.  His appeal is his simple submission to whatever God asked of him, even to bearing the wounds of Jesus for 50 years.  We often think these wounds are just symbolic, but the bleeding and the pain were real.  People flocked to attend Mass when he was celebrating, so much so that his superiors forbad him to say Mass publicly for awhile.  He accepted all and stands as a model for us who have our own crosses, large or small to bear.  When we think we can't bear them, let us look to Padre Pio for strength, or as he would have it, to Jesus himself.  Let us also ask for the grace to put our crosses in perspective, for compared to the cross Jesus carried, or the heavy crosses others are carrying, ours might seem very small and thus bearable.  If we look upon our crosses as a gift, and thank God for them, we are following in the footsteps of this humble priest.
Bro. Rene