READING OF THE DAY: 15 SEPTEMBER, 2013

prodigal-son-

“Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

So to them he addressed this parable.

What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it?

And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’

I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.

Or what woman having ten coins and losing one would not light a lamp and sweep the house, searching carefully until she finds it?

And when she does find it, she calls together her friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’

In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Then he said, “A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’ So the father divided the property between them.

After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation.

When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need.

So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine.

And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any.

Coming to his senses he thought, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger.

I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.

I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”‘

So he got up and went back to his father.

While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.

His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’

But his father ordered his servants, ‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
Take the fattened calf and slaughter it.

Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’

Then the celebration began.

Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing.

He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean.

The servant said to him, ‘Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him.

He said to his father in reply, ‘Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends.

But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’

He said to him, ‘My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours.

But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.'” -Luke 15:1-32.

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SAINT OF THE DAY: 15 SEPTEMBER, 2013

saint_catherine_of_genoa

Saint Catherine of Genoa
Widow
(1447-1510)

Saint Catherine Fieschi, daughter of a Viceroy of Naples, was born in Genoa. Her family, rich in great men, had given to the Church two popes, nine cardinals and two archbishops.

Catherine, noble in birth, rich, and exceedingly beautiful, had as a child rejected the solicitations of the world, and begged her divine Master for some share in His sufferings.

Despite her ardent desire to enter the cloister, at sixteen years of age she found herself promised in marriage to a young nobleman of dissolute habits.

She was obliged to obey her parents’ intentions. Her spouse treated her with such harshness that after five years, wearied by his cruelty, she somewhat relaxed the strictness of her state and entered into the worldly society of Genoa.

At length, enlightened by divine grace as to the danger of her state, she resolutely broke with the world and entered upon a life of rigorous penance and prayer.

Having seen Jesus with His cross, and heard His reproaches, O love! she cried, I will sin no longer!

For twenty-three years she could take no nourishment but Holy Communion, and she drank only a little water mingled with vinegar and salt.

Every day she prayed for six to seven hours on her knees, and never relaxed this practice. Her heroic fortitude was sustained by the constant thought of the holy souls of purgatory, whose sufferings were revealed to her, and whose state she has described in a treatise full of heavenly wisdom.

The charity with which she devoted herself to the service of the hospitals, undertaking the most disagreeable offices with joy, caused the administrators of the large hospital of Genoa to confide it entirely to her government.

She served there without any remuneration whatsoever.

Her examples also induced her husband to practice patience and amend his ways; before he died he joined the Third Order of Saint Francis and faithfully followed its penitential exercises.

A long, grievous and mysterious illness during the last nine years of her own life served to perfect her union with God.

The most able physicians could not help Saint Catherine, and judged that her illness was not from natural causes.

Her first biographer wrote an account in detail of her last month on earth, and assures the Church that she left this mortal life in a state of total purification.

She died on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, September 14, 1510.