Sunday, August 18, 2013

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION for the week of August 18, 2013

Catholic Charities. Providing Help. Creating Hope. 

VISION: Believing in the presence of God in our midst, we proclaim the sanctity of human life and the dignity of the person by sharing in the mission of Jesus given to the Church. To this end, Catholic Charities works with individuals, families, and communities to help them meet their needs, address their issues, eliminate oppression, and build a just and compassionate society.

MISSION: Rooted in the Mission of the Diocese of Youngstown "to minister to the people in the six counties of northeastern Ohio . . .(and) to the world community", we are called to provide service to people in need, to advocate for justice in social structures, and to call the entire Church and other people of good will to do the same.

GOALS: Catholic Charities is devoted to helping meet basic human needs, strengthening families, building communities and empowering low-income people. Working to reduce poverty in half by 2020.

KEY VALUE: Hospitality

WHAT WE DO: Organizing Love. "As a community, the Church must practise love. Love thus needs to be organized if it is to be an ordered service to the community" (Deus Caritas Est, par. 20) 

On Sunday, (Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time    we read from the Gospel of Luke about Jesus’ call to “set the earth of fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!”  Jesus reminds his disciples then and now that opting for His message of the Kingdom of God may make persons uncomfortable and even divide us apart.  Jesus focuses on his path to the Cross and Resurrection, as St. Paul reminds us.  The prophet Jeremiah, thrown into a cistern to die by his enemies, maintains his focus on the Good News he is ordained to witness.  We too are called upon to keep our focus and “persevere in running the race that lies before us, while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus.”  The cost may be high; yet we know that the power of God’s love and grace will get us through.

Catholic Charities  (    continues to remain focused on its core ministry of organizing love -- bringing people and communities together to serve and to be served in Jesus’ name.  Catholic Charities concentrates its efforts on engaging all to live out the corporal works of mercy -- focusing on the most needy among us.  Sometimes persons want us to change direction; but we are committed to the work handed on to the Church by Jesus himself:  to love and to serve our neighbor.  We continue to run the race with our clients when we serve them, advocate with them, and convene others to work together to help solve problems.  Thanks to your generous support to the Annual Bishop’s Appeal for Catholic Charities and Church ( we continue to help each other to know the grace of God as we keep our “eyes fixed on Jesus” and his call to love.

Reflection from Church Documents and Official Statements

POPE FRANCIS:  On Man’s True Happiness
Vatican City, August 11, 2013.

Here is the translation of the Holy Father's address before and after the recitation of the Angelus from the window of the Apostolic Palace to the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.
--- --- ---
Dear brothers and sisters, hello! (Last) Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 12:32-48) speaks to us of the desire for the definitive meeting with Christ, a desire that makes us always ready, with our spirit awake, because we await this encounter with our whole heart, with our entire self.
This is a fundamental aspect of life. There is a desire that we all have in our heart, whether explicit or hidden, we have it in our heart, we all have this desire in our heart. It is important to see this teaching of Jesus too in the concrete, existential context in which he transmitted it. In this case, the evangelist Luke shows us Jesus, who is walking with his disciples towards Jerusalem, towards the Passover (Pasqua) of death and resurrection, and on this journey he teaches them, confiding to them what he has in his heart, the intimate attitudes of his soul. Among these attitudes is the detachment from earthly goods, the confidence in the Fathers providence and, precisely, interior vigilance, the active expectation of the Kingdom of God. For Jesus it is the expectation of returning to the house of the Father. For us it is the expectation of Christ himself, who will come to get us to bring us to the feast without end, as he has already done with his Mother, Mary Most Holy: he brought her to heaven with him. This Gospel wishes to tell us that the Christian is one who carries within himself a great desire, a profound desire: that of meeting with his Lord together with his brothers, with his companions on the road. And all of this that Jesus tells us is summed up in this well-known saying of his: Where your treasure is, there your heart is too (Luke 12:34). The heart that desires... But we all have a desire! How poor are those people who lack desire! The desire to go forward toward the horizon, and for us Christians this horizon is the encounter with Jesus, the real encounter with him, who is our life, our joy, what makes us happy. But I will ask you 2 questions. The first: Do all of you have a desiring heart, a heart that desires? Think and answer in silence and in your heart: Do you have a heart that desires, or do you have a closed heart, a heart that is asleep, a heart that is anesthetized against the things of life? The desire: to go forward to the encounter with Jesus. And the second question: Where is your treasure, that which you desire?
Because Jesus told us: Where your treasure is, there your heart is too and I ask: Where is your treasure? What is the most important, most precious reality for you, the reality that pulls at my heart like a magnet? What pulls at your heart? Can I say that it is the love of God? Is there the will to do good to others, to live for the Lord and for our brothers? Can I say this? Everyone answers in his heart. But someone might say to me: But, Father, I’m someone who works, who has a family. For me the most important thing is to move my family ahead, to get ahead in work... Of course, it is true, it is important. But what is the power that unites the family? It is precisely love, and God is the one who sows love in our hearts, the love of God: It is precisely the love of God that gives meaning to the little daily duties and also helps us face the great trials. This is man’s true treasure. Going forward in life with love, with that love that the Lord sowed in the heart, with the love of God. And this is the true treasure. But what is the love of God? It is not something vague, a generic sentiment. The love of God has a name and a face: Jesus Christ, Jesus. The love of God manifests itself in Jesus. Because we cannot love air... Do we love air? Do we love everything? No, it is not possible! We love persons, and the person whom we love is Jesus, the gift of the Father among us. It is a love that gives value and beauty to everything else; a love that gives strength to the family, work, study, friendship, art, to every human activity. And it gives meaning even to negative experiences because this love allows us to go beyond these experiences, to go beyond, not to remain prisoners of evil, but makes us go beyond, it always opens us up to hope. So, the love of God in Jesus always opens us up to hope, to that horizon of hope, to that ultimate horizon of our pilgrimage. In this way even our struggles and falls have a meaning. Our sins too have meaning in the love of God, because this love of God in Jesus Christ always forgives, it loves us so much that it always forgives us.
Dear brothers and sisters, today in the Church we recall St. Clare of Assisi, who, in the footsteps of Francis left everything to consecrate herself to Christ in poverty. St. Clare gives us a very beautiful witness to todays Gospel. May she help us, together with the Virgin Mary, to live it also ourselves, each one according to his own vocation.

Some important date(s) this week:

See website for biographies of Saints and Blessed celebrated this week.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 23.  St. Rose of Lima (1586-1617)
The first canonized saint of the New World has one characteristic of all saints—the suffering of opposition—and another characteristic which is more for admiration than for imitation—excessive practice of mortification.
She was born to parents of Spanish descent in Lima, Peru, at a time when South America was in its first century of evangelization. She seems to have taken Catherine of Siena (April 29) as a model, in spite of the objections and ridicule of parents and friends.

The saints have so great a love of God that what seems bizarre to us, and is indeed sometimes imprudent, is simply a logical carrying out of a conviction that anything that might endanger a loving relationship with God must be rooted out. So, because her beauty was so often admired, Rose used to rub her face with pepper to produce disfiguring blotches. Later, she wore a thick circlet of silver on her head, studded on the inside, like a crown of thorns.

When her parents fell into financial trouble, she worked in the garden all day and sewed at night. Ten years of struggle against her parents began when they tried to make Rose marry. They refused to let her enter a convent, and out of obedience she continued her life of penance and solitude at home as a member of the Third Order of St. Dominic. So deep was her desire to live the life of Christ that she spent most of her time at home in solitude.

During the last few years of her life, Rose set up a room in the house where she cared for homeless children, the elderly and the sick. This was a beginning of social services in Peru. Though secluded in life and activity, she was brought to the attention of Inquisition interrogators, who could only say that she was influenced by grace.

What might have been a merely eccentric life was transfigured from the inside. If we remember some unusual penances, we should also remember the greatest thing about Rose: a love of God so ardent that it withstood ridicule from without, violent temptation and lengthy periods of sickness. When she died at 31, the city turned out for her funeral. Prominent men took turns carrying her coffin.


It is easy to dismiss excessive penances of the saints as the expression of a certain culture or temperament. But a woman wearing a crown of thorns may at least prod our consciences. We enjoy the most comfort-oriented life in human history. We eat too much, drink too much, use a million gadgets, fill our eyes and ears with everything imaginable. Commerce thrives on creating useless needs on which to spend our money. It seems that when we have become most like slaves, there is the greatest talk of “freedom.” Are we willing to discipline ourselves in such an atmosphere?


“If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life maimed or crippled than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into fiery Gehenna” (Matthew 18:8–9).

Patron Saint of:

Latin America
South America


Stories of Help and Hope are always a click away! Visit Catholic Charities’
website at to see how we are changing lives. . . one family at a time.

2013 Annual Bishop’s Appeal for Catholic Charities and Church.  

The in Church/parish appeal is now underway.  Please consider a gift to help support the work of Catholic Charities and other ministries of the Diocese of Youngstown


Parents and Teachers. That parents and teachers may help the new generation to grow in upright conscience and life.

The Church in Africa. That the local Church in Africa, faithfully proclaiming the Gospel, may promote peace and justice.

Corporal Works of Mercy:  The seven practices of charity toward our neighbor

  1. Feed the hungry
  2. Give drink to the thirsty
  3. Clothe the naked
  4. Shelter the homeless
  5. Visit the sick
  6. Visit those in prison
  7. Bury the dead

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