Daily Prayer for October 17

The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Romans 13:12, NIV

Father in heaven, we thank you for giving us light. We thank you for the great hope for a day whose light is not of our making, whose source is in you, a day to come that can touch our lives already today. Keep our hearts steadfast, free of all human wavering. May we always hold to the love you have given through your grace, and may we find joy in your love, which is full of light and understanding. Amen.

 

More from Plough:

The PloughCast, Episode 16: “The End of Rage: Prison and Radicalism.”

Saturday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading I Rom 4:13, 16-18

Brothers and sisters:
It was not through the law
that the promise was made to Abraham and his descendants
that he would inherit the world,
but through the righteousness that comes from faith.
For this reason, it depends on faith, 
so that it may be a gift,
and the promise may be guaranteed to all his descendants,
not to those who only adhere to the law
but to those who follow the faith of Abraham,
who is the father of all of us, as it is written,
I have made you father of many nations.
He is our father in the sight of God,
in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead
and calls into being what does not exist.
He believed, hoping against hope,
that he would become the father of many nations,
according to what was said, Thus shall your descendants be.

Responsorial Psalm 105:6-7, 8-9, 42-43

R.    (8a) The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
    sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
    throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R.    The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
He remembers forever his covenant
    which he made binding for a thousand generations –
Which he entered into with Abraham
    and by his oath to Isaac.
R.    The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
For he remembered his holy word
    to his servant Abraham.
And he led forth his people with joy;
    with shouts of joy, his chosen ones.
R.    The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.

Alleluia Jn 15:26b, 27a

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Spirit of truth will testify to me, says the Lord,
and you also will testify.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 12:8-12

Jesus said to his disciples: 
“I tell you,
everyone who acknowledges me before others
the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God.
But whoever denies me before others
will be denied before the angels of God.

“Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven,
but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit
will not be forgiven.
When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities,
do not worry about how or what your defense will be
or about what you are to say. 
For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.”

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

God is Faithful

In today’s Gospel Christ is warning His disciples (and us) to practice what we preach. It is not only through our words that we can deny Christ; through our actions—and even through the things we choose not to do—we can deny God. Christ’s words are not just cautionary, they are encouraging as well. He reminds His disciples that we do not have to rely solely on ourselves when speaking of the Truth and of faith in God. The Holy Spirit Himself will guide our tongues to say the right thing. When we are faithful to God, He is faithful to us. 

We are also reminded of that faithfulness in the First Reading in God’s covenant with Abraham. Even in times of human failure, when man’s side of the covenant was not kept, God remained faithful. God knew that despite Abraham’s failings, he had put his full trust in the covenant He made with God so God kept His promise and made Abraham the father of many nations. He remains faithful to us because of His love for us. 

How often are we faithful to God in our words but don’t support those words with our actions? How often do we ask God to give us what we think we need but don’t turn to Him in moments of true despair or forget to praise Him in moments of true joy? May we always remember that it is by His love for us that we are saved from our sins. 

Sts. Hedwig and Margaret Mary Alacoque, pray for us!

Contact the author

Dakota currently lives in Denver, CO and teaches English Language Development and Spanish to high schoolers. She is married to the love of her life, Ralph. In her spare time, she reads, goes to breweries, and watches baseball. Dakota’s favorite saints are St. John Paul II (how could it not be?) and St. José Luis Sánchez del Río. She is passionate about her faith and considers herself blessed at any opportunity to share that faith with others. Check out more of her writing at https://dakotaleonard16.blogspot.com.

Feature Image Credit: dodo71, https://pixabay.com/photos/stained-glass-window-church-6358716/

Daily Prayer for October 16

I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way – with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge. 1 Corinthians 1:4–5, NIV

Lord our God, we thank you that you are so near to us that we may feel and know we are your children, your children who are in your hands with all that belongs to our earthly life, all our needs and temptations, all our efforts and pain. We come together to thank you, and our thanksgiving wins a victory over everything that makes life difficult for us. In this thanksgiving the harshness, crookedness, and injustice on earth cannot harm us. Protect us with your light, which gives us wisdom for all situations and which lifts us above everything that is base and meaningless and must pass away. Amen.

 

More from Plough:

The PloughCast, Episode 16: “The End of Rage: Prison and Radicalism.”

Memorial of Saint Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

Reading I Rom 4:1-8

Brothers and sisters:
What can we say that Abraham found,
our ancestor according to the flesh?
Indeed, if Abraham was justified on the basis of his works,
he has reason to boast;
but this was not so in the sight of God.
For what does the Scripture say?
Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.
A worker’s wage is credited not as a gift, but as something due.
But when one does not work,
yet believes in the one who justifies the ungodly,
his faith is credited as righteousness. 
So also David declares the blessedness of the person
to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven
and whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not record.

Responsorial Psalm 32:1b-2, 5, 11

R. (see 7) I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.
Blessed is he whose fault is taken away,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt,
in whose spirit there is no guile.
R. I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
my guilt I covered not.
I said, “I confess my faults to the LORD,”
and you took away the guilt of my sin.
R. I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.
Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you just;
exult, all you upright of heart.
R. I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.

Alleluia Ps 33:22

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us;
who have put our hope in you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 12:1-7

At that time:
So many people were crowding together 
that they were trampling one another underfoot.
Jesus began to speak, first to his disciples,
“Beware of the leaven–that is, the hypocrisy–of the Pharisees.

“There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness
will be heard in the light,
and what you have whispered behind closed doors
will be proclaimed on the housetops.
I tell you, my friends,
do not be afraid of those who kill the body
but after that can do no more.
I shall show you whom to fear.
Be afraid of the one who after killing
has the power to cast into Gehenna;
yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one.
Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins?
Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God.
Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.
Do not be afraid.
You are worth more than many sparrows.”

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

A Father’s Love

I am currently two weeks into a study on getting to know the Eucharist and this perfect sacrifice for us and I am realizing that I have spent nearly my entire life only skimming the surface of Our Father’s love. 

Yes, I know Jesus died for me and for my sins, but sometimes I get too caught up on the “for my sins” part. I constantly try to be “perfect” and can be so hard on myself that I get discouraged. I forget the mercy of God that is offered to me even though I will never truly be worthy, because there is no such thing as perfection for (99.9% of) humans. 

I’m not trying to gloss over the fact that I am a sinner, but I think I forget that God sent His only Son for me… because he loves me. He did it because He wants an eternal relationship with me. In fact, that’s all He asks in return, for me to truly know Him and His truths because once I know them in my heart, how can I deny them in my actions or words?  

I forget He has loved me since before I existed and that when I sinned for the first time as a child, He didn’t flinch or shy away from me in my sinfulness, in the same way that he drew nearer even when I lost my way in college. Each time I mess up, He has opened His arms to me and asked me to come back, to know Him, to come home

And that’s something I forget because I try to picture God as a father in a humanly way. 

Now, I’m not saying my dad isn’t amazing. He’s awesome and I love him so much, but he’s also human. I know now that as I grew up and learned from my mistakes, I was also watching my dad grow up and learn from his. Still, something my dad does that reminds me of God’s love is how any time that I am hurt, my dad runs to me. Every. Single. Time. 

Knowing this, I’m amazed and overwhelmed in the best way because our earthly father or father figures’ love is only a glimpse, a tiny sliver, of the love that our Heavenly Father invites us into. He is a merciful God to all of us, “Gentile or Jew”. 

“I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation” (Responsorial Psalm).

He knows you. He knows all that you are and have been and will be… and He loves you.
He shows you mercy. He redeems you. He. Loves. You.

Never forget that part. 

Contact the author

Veronica Alvarado is a born and raised Texan currently living in Pennsylvania. Since graduating from Texas A&M University, Veronica has published various Catholic articles in bulletins, newspapers, e-newsletters, and blogs. She continued sharing her faith after graduation as a web content strategist and digital project manager. Today, she continues this mission in her current role as communications director and project manager for Pentecost Today USA, a Catholic Charismatic Renewal organization in Pittsburgh. 

Feature Image Credit: Harika G, https://unsplash.com/photos/AjRA93pwgZs

Daily Prayer for October 15

On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:12–13, NIV

Dear Father in heaven, we come into your presence as imperfect, sinful children, who do many foolish things and who are involved in much that is evil and corrupt. We come to you, Father, knowing that your fatherly love is with us through all eternity. Be gracious to us and free us from all the harm and injury we are bound to suffer in this earthly life. May the grace your kingdom brings on earth finally blot out the sins of all people, so that as your children they may rejoice because you have helped them. May your name be praised among all people. Amen.

 

More from Plough:

The PloughCast, Episode 16: “The End of Rage: Prison and Radicalism.”

Thursday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading I Rom 3:21-30

Brothers and sisters:
Now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law,
though testified to by the law and the prophets,
the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ
for all who believe.
For there is no distinction;
all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God.
They are justified freely by his grace
through the redemption in Christ Jesus,
whom God set forth as an expiation,
through faith, by his Blood, to prove his righteousness
because of the forgiveness of sins previously committed,
through the forbearance of God–
to prove his righteousness in the present time,
that he might be righteous
and justify the one who has faith in Jesus.

What occasion is there then for boasting?  It is ruled out.
On what principle, that of works?
No, rather on the principle of faith.
For we consider that a person is justified by faith
apart from works of the law.
Does God belong to Jews alone?
Does he not belong to Gentiles, too?
Yes, also to Gentiles, for God is one
and will justify the circumcised on the basis of faith
and the uncircumcised through faith.

Responsorial Psalm 130:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6ab

R.    (7) With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.
Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
    LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
    to my voice in supplication.
R.    With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.
If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
    Lord, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness,
    that you may be revered.
R.    With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.
I trust in the LORD;
    my soul trusts in his word.
My soul waits for the LORD
    more than sentinels wait for the dawn.
R.    With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.

Alleluia Jn 14:6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father except through me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 11:47-54

The Lord said:
“Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets 
whom your fathers killed.
Consequently, you bear witness and give consent
to the deeds of your ancestors,
for they killed them and you do the building.
Therefore, the wisdom of God said,
‘I will send to them prophets and Apostles;
some of them they will kill and persecute’
in order that this generation might be charged
with the blood of all the prophets
shed since the foundation of the world,
from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah
who died between the altar and the temple building.
Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood!
Woe to you, scholars of the law!
You have taken away the key of knowledge.
You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.”
When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees
began to act with hostility toward him
and to interrogate him about many things,
for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

My Soul Waits for You, Lord

The Responsorial Psalm for today says: “I trust in the Lord; my soul trusts in His word. My soul waits for the Lord.”

Trusting in the Lord is often easier said than done. We live in a world filled with people who say things like “Your God must not care if He allowed [fill in the blank] to happen,” or “How could a merciful God allow [fill in the blank]?”

And then we begin to wonder Why does He allow that? It’s almost like those words take over our thoughts and stifle our faith. 

During the easy times in life, trusting in God is easy. But during the hard times in life, trusting in God is difficult. We wonder why He is allowing our suffering or the suffering of others. 

Realistically, suffering is a part of life. It has been a part of life since Adam and Eve brought sin into the world. 

Further, people have choices. And often they make bad choices—choices that hurt others. In addition, diseases, accidents, famine, sickness, and natural disasters happen on a daily basis.

We have to understand that God allows us to endure suffering in this world so that we become stronger and so that we grow closer to spending eternity with Him. When we suffer, we can—and should—unite our suffering to Christ’s on the cross. We can also offer up our suffering for someone else—a soul in purgatory or someone here on earth. When we do this, we grow spiritually. 

But God can—and will—help us make something good happen from the bad. We just have to be open to the good. We have to look at the bad and not allow it to beat us. Sure, we can stumble or even fall for a short period, but it’s that trust in Christ that will help us get back up and that will help us derive something good from the situation. Maybe we learn something. Maybe we can educate someone else. Maybe through the ordeal, we meet a new friend. Maybe we find a disease we didn’t know was there.

This very thing happened to a friend of mine who had been hospitalized with COVID. He struggled greatly with the illness and overcame it, but on a follow-up exam, the doctor found a cancerous mass in his kidney. Instead of feeling sorry for himself, he felt grateful—and grateful he had COVID. For had he not had it, the doctors would not have found the cancer. 

Today, he is cancer free, recovering, and very thankful. 

Our God is a wonderful God who leads us out of life’s difficulties and closer to Him. We just need to accept His offer.

Contact the author

Susan Ciancio has a BA in psychology and a BA in sociology from the University of Notre Dame, with an MA in liberal studies from Indiana University. For the past 17 years, she has worked as a professional editor and writer, editing both fiction and nonfiction books, magazine articles, blogs, educational lessons, professional materials and website content. Eleven of those years have been in the pro-life sector. Currently Susan freelances and writes weekly for HLI, edits for American Life League, and is the editor of Celebrate Life Magazine. She also serves as executive editor for the Culture of Life Studies Program-an educational nonprofit program for K-12 students.

Feature Image Credit: Exe Lobaiza, https://www.cathopic.com/photo/5491-or4acion

Daily Prayer for October 14

I will listen to what God the Lord says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants – but let them not turn to folly. Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land. Psalm 85:8–9, NIV

Lord our God, you are help, comfort, and life to us in everything we have to endure. We gather before you as poor, weak people, but you can make us rich and give us new life so that our lives prove we hold to your will and to the justice you bring on earth. May we be one in spirit through all we experience in our hearts, to the glory of your name. May the praise and thanks of many people ring out into all the world because you are help and deliverance from all evil. Amen.

 

More from Plough:

The PloughCast, Episode 15: “On Rooted Cosmopolitanism.”

Translate