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Daily Catholic Question

How does the Holy Spirit lead us?

Commissioning. The traditional ending of the Mass is "Go, the Mass is ended." I was in a parish recently and, after the last blessing, the presider said: "And we say?" Then the entire congregation, with gusto and fiery enthusiasm, cried out: "The Mass is not ended. We are sent forth now to share the Good News with all we meet!" Though I'm sure that some liturgists and bishops would have some deep concerns here, the point is well made. The Mass really doesn't end. The Spirit sends us forth to make Jesus present and manifest at the shelter, in the workplace, at the kitchen table, in the marketplace. Our worship points to evangelization, and that work is done in and through the Holy Spirit.

Years ago I read a novel in which one of the characters said: "I must go where the suffering is!" Rephrasing this, "We must go where the brokenness is to bring God's unity and peace!" Both the "going" and the "unifying" are the work of God's Spirit. That same Spirit empowers us to overcome the fear and apathy that would make us stay at home or allow our liturgy to remain in-house. We are being commissioned daily to be servants of peace and unity, agents of God's love and joy, instruments of mercy and forgiveness.


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Friday, July 12, 2013
Daily Catholic Question for 7/11/2013 Daily Catholic Question for 7/13/2013


Jacopone da Todi: Jacomo, or James, was born a noble member of the Benedetti family in the northern Italian city of Todi. He became a successful lawyer and married a pious, generous lady named Vanna. 
<p>His young wife took it upon herself to do penance for the worldly excesses of her husband. One day Vanna, at the insistence of Jacomo, attended a public tournament. She was sitting in the stands with the other noble ladies when the stands collapsed. Vanna was killed. Her shaken husband was even more disturbed when he realized that the penitential girdle she wore was for his sinfulness. On the spot, he vowed to radically change his life. </p><p>He divided his possessions among the poor and entered the Secular Franciscan Order (once known as the Third Order). Often dressed in penitential rags, he was mocked as a fool and called Jacopone, or "Crazy Jim," by his former associates. The name became dear to him. </p><p>After 10 years of such humiliation, Jacopone asked to be a member of the Order of Friars Minor(First Order). Because of his reputation, his request was initially refused. He composed a beautiful poem on the vanities of the world, an act that eventually led to his admission into the Order in 1278. He continued to lead a life of strict penance, declining to be ordained a priest. Meanwhile he was writing popular hymns in the vernacular. </p><p>Jacopone suddenly found himself a leader in a disturbing religious movement among the Franciscans. The Spirituals, as they were called, wanted a return to the strict poverty of Francis. They had on their side two cardinals of the Church and Pope Celestine V. These two cardinals, though, opposed Celestine’s successor, Boniface VIII. At the age of 68, Jacopone was excommunicated and imprisoned. Although he acknowledged his mistake, Jacopone was not absolved and released until Benedict XI became pope five years later. He had accepted his imprisonment as penance. He spent the final three years of his life more spiritual than ever, weeping "because Love is not loved." During this time he wrote the famous Latin hymn, <i>Stabat Mater</i>. </p><p>On Christmas Eve in 1306 Jacopone felt that his end was near. He was in a convent of the Poor Clares with his friend, Blessed John of La Verna. Like Francis, Jacopone welcomed "Sister Death" with one of his favorite songs. It is said that he finished the song and died as the priest intoned the Gloria from the midnight Mass at Christmas. From the time of his death, Brother Jacopone has been venerated as a saint.</p> American Catholic Blog By immersing our lives in the rhythm of the season, charity can flood our souls and fill us with the happiness for which we were created. We awake Christmas morning prepared to celebrate the birth of our Savior not as a memory but as a profound experience of God’s redemptive love.

 
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