Friday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Fidelity challenges us in a particular way today because its difficulty has come to be associated with it being something unnecessary or unnatural.  In fact, love draws us into a kind of commitment.  God Himself shows that this commitment is fully intended on His side and generally lacking on ours.  Infidelity begins when our will commits to someone else from that place within our hearts that is reserved for one alone.  The vow of chastity is not just the withholding of one’s body from the marital act: it is the consecration of all the affections of the heart to God.  This doesn’t produce people who are frigid, but, for those who “can accept it,” they become by their devotion tangible sparks and flames manifesting the kingdom already present now.  All are loved, not for themselves, but because God is loved above all. read more

Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Sketch by Brie Schulze

Israel is often portrayed in the Old Testament as a young woman or a bride pursued by the Lord.  The prophets love this image, and Hosea, in particular, in today’s first reading proclaims how the Lord attempts to woo Israel over and over again.  Israel’s problem is fidelity, she is like an unfaithful bride whose jealous husband is constantly trying to win her back.  God gives us this image of being in a marriage bond with Israel to emphasize how important His relationship is with His people.  He has not married Himself to any other people, and He is committed to this relationship even though Israel behaves like a prostitute.  “If only she would listen to me.”  He seems to say, “She would be persuaded by my love and fidelity.” read more