Holy Family

Holy Family

Monday, September 17, 2012

Feast of Saint Robert Bellarmine

Good morning. As I reflected upon the Gospel this morning, one which is fairly familiar and one which has become increasingly more familiar with the introduction of the new Roman Missal back in November of last year, the story of the centurion reminds us of our own need to invite Jesus into our homes. From Luke we read: “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed.” For many folks the words of the new missal and in particular the words of the centurion repeated in the Invitation To Communion “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed” may seem odd as Jesus is coming to us in the form of food; yet, we are reminded by Saint Paul that we serve as a house for the Holy Spirit. For those of us who are old enough to have experienced the Latin Tridentine Mass, these words are quite familiar. “Domine, non sum dignus, ut intres sub tectum meum: sed tantum dic verbo, et sanabitur anima mea.” 

We are reminded in these words taken from the Centurion that not only are we called to provide a fitting home for God’s grace to dwell but we are as Christian parents are called to provide a fitting home for God’s grace to dwell in the lives of our children. As parents we not only are responsible for our own journey to sainthood but we are called as well to guide our children to sainthood. God expects this of us. It is a task which cannot be met by anyone other than a parent, it cannot be handed off to our children’s teachers, or our pastor; if we don’t do it, it will not be done. The greatest gift we have to give is to respond to God’s call to give life and to guide the life of those children in the way of our faith. It is our task to help our children to become the people God created them to be, to be the best version of their selves. In today’s Gospel we are reminded that we are “not worthy” of this task and we will from time to time make mistakes, but like the Centurion we call upon the Lord’s help. 

It is not always easy to parent a child in today’s world; like our saint for today, Saint Robert Bellarmine, we need remind ourselves of God’s ever present willingness to help us along the way. Saint Robert Bellarmine reminds us to humbly ask for God’s assistance in all that we do: “Take my yoke upon you,” you say. And what is this yoke of yours like? “My yoke,” you say, “is easy and my burden light.” Who would not be glad to bear a yoke that does no press hard but caresses? Who would not be glad for a burden that does not weigh heavy but refreshes?” Saint Robert Bellarmine and all the saints remind us that humility is the recognition that when things don't work, and they sometimes won’t, we must call upon God for His help and guidance. Let us invite the Lord to be within our homes and refresh our lives today and always. Make a great day! 

Today we recall the good life, gifts, and work of Saint Robert Bellarmine.

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being loved,
From the desire of being extolled,
From the desire of being honored,
From the desire of being praised,
From the desire of being preferred to others,
From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved,
From the fear of being humiliated, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being calumniated,
From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being suspected,
That others may be loved more than I, O Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I,
That, in the opinion of the world, others may, increase and I may decrease,
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
That others may be praised and I unnoticed,
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should, O Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

by Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930), the Secretary of State for Pope Saint Pius X

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