Friday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

Anger is the noblest human emotion.  Its nobility does not stem from its expression however, but from its proximity with reason.  In fact, anger is only truly noble when it quickly and effectively corrects injustice – and injustice has more to do with what is due to others than to oneself.  The anger of animals exhibits itself mostly through violent acts of self-preservation.  Righteous anger exhibits itself through fervent but reasoned acts that result in the restoration of the dignity and freedom of others.  The scriptures themselves do not clarify the subject of anger: on the one hand sometimes God is angry, on the other hand we are warned against being angry. read more

Tuesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

Today’s reading about David always reminds me of the story of Cinderella. When the prince comes to try the slippers on her step-sisters in the more violent versions of the fairy tale, the mother of those sisters actually cuts their feet in order to make them fit into the slipper. Prince Charming notices blood, or at least that the poor ladies were limping.  Cinderella’s older step-sisters shed their own blood to try to save themselves and have themselves approved by the prince.

God corrects the seven sons of Jesse as well as the prophet Samuel, “God does not look at appearances, but at the heart.”  Those who were strong in appearance, experienced, who exuded confidence, were rejected by God.  He chose the young, humble David to become king of his people in place of Saul. read more

Monday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

Today we give thanks to God for the life of St. Paul the Hermit. When he saw persecution coming upon the Christians during the mid third century, he fled the city in order to be able to persevere. His brother found out and turned him into the authorities, but St. Paul fled further into the desert trusting that God would provide. Originally he had intended to return when the persecution ended, but he ended up loving penance, prayer, and contemplation so much that he dedicated the remaining 90 years of his life (living to the age of 130) to this path of sanctification. His life is a surprising example of fortitude in the face of persecution that resulted in a very different kind of martyrdom. Leaving the world to live for Christ alone in the desert became a widespread phenomenon in Egypt. read more