Thursday, August 1, 2013


O my God, help me to remember---
That time is short, eternity is long.
What good is all the greatness of this world 
at the hour of death?

To love You, my God, and save my soul is the one thing necessary.
Without You, there is no peace, no joy.

My God, I need fear nothing but sin.
For to lose You, my God, is to lose all.

0 my God, help me to remember---
That to gain all I must leave all,
That in loving You I have all good things:
the infinite riches of Christ and His Church, 
the motherly protection of Mary,
peace beyond understanding,
joy unspeakable!

Eternal Father, 
your Son has promised that whatever we ask in His Name will be given to us.

In His Name I pray:
give me a burning faith,
a joyful hope,
a holy love for Jesus Christ.

Give me the grace of perseverance in doing Your will in all things.
Do with me what You will.

I repent of having offended You.

Grant, O Lord, that I may love You always and never let me be separated from You.

O my God and my All, make me a saint!

Amen. Amen.

(Saint Alphonsus Liguori)


Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguouri,
Bishop and Doctor of the Church

EX 40:16-21, 34-38

Moses did exactly as the LORD had commanded him.
On the first day of the first month of the second year
the Dwelling was erected.
It was Moses who erected the Dwelling.
He placed its pedestals, set up its boards, put in its bars,
and set up its columns.
He spread the tent over the Dwelling
and put the covering on top of the tent,
as the LORD had commanded him.
He took the commandments and put them in the ark;
he placed poles alongside the ark and set the propitiatory upon it.
He brought the ark into the Dwelling and hung the curtain veil,
thus screening off the ark of the commandments,
as the LORD had commanded him.

Then the cloud covered the meeting tent,
and the glory of the LORD filled the Dwelling.
Moses could not enter the meeting tent,
because the cloud settled down upon it
and the glory of the LORD filled the Dwelling.
Whenever the cloud rose from the Dwelling,
the children of Israel would set out on their journey.
But if the cloud did not lift, they would not go forward;
only when it lifted did they go forward.
In the daytime the cloud of the LORD was seen over the Dwelling;
whereas at night, fire was seen in the cloud
by the whole house of Israel
in all the stages of their journey.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 84:3, 4, 5-6A AND 8A, 11

R. How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord, mighty God!

My soul yearns and pines
for the courts of the LORD.
My heart and my flesh
cry out for the living God.

R. How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord, mighty God!

Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest
in which she puts her young–
Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my king and my God!

R. How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord, mighty God!

Blessed they who dwell in your house!
continually they praise you.
Blessed the men whose strength you are!
They go from strength to strength.

R. How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord, mighty God!

I had rather one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I had rather lie at the threshold of the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

R. How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord, mighty God!

MT 13:47-53

Jesus said to the disciples:

“The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea,
which collects fish of every kind.
When it is full they haul it ashore
and sit down to put what is good into buckets.
What is bad they throw away.
Thus it will be at the end of the age.
The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous
and throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

“Do you understand all these things?”

They answered, “Yes.”
And he replied,

“Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven
is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom
both the new and the old.”

When Jesus finished these parables, he went away from there.


August 1

St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)

Moral theology, Vatican II said, should be more thoroughly nourished by Scripture, and show the nobility of the Christian vocation of the faithful and their obligation to bring forth fruit in charity for the life of the world. Alphonsus, declared patron of moral theologians by Pius XII in 1950, would rejoice in that statement.

In his day, Alphonsus fought for the liberation of moral theology from the rigidity of Jansenism. His moral theology, which went through 60 editions in the century following him, concentrated on the practical and concrete problems of pastors and confessors. If a certain legalism and minimalism crept into moral theology, 
it should not be attributed to this model of moderation and gentleness.

At the University of Naples he received, at the age of 16, a doctorate in both canon and civil law by acclamation, 
but he soon gave up the practice of law for apostolic activity. 
He was ordained a priest and concentrated his pastoral efforts on popular (parish) missions, hearing confessions, forming Christian groups.

He founded the Redemptorist congregation in 1732. It was an association of priests and brothers living a common life, dedicated to the imitation of Christ, and working mainly in popular missions for peasants in rural areas. Almost as an omen of what was to come later, he found himself deserted, after a while, by all his original companions except one lay brother. But the congregation managed to survive and was formally approved 17 years later, 
though its troubles were not over.

Alphonsus’ great pastoral reforms were in the pulpit and confessional—replacing the pompous oratory of the time with simplicity, and the rigorism of Jansenism with kindness. His great fame as a writer has somewhat eclipsed the fact that for 26 years he traveled up and down the Kingdom of Naples, preaching popular missions.

He was made bishop (after trying to reject the honor) at 66 and at once instituted a thorough reform of his diocese.

His greatest sorrow came toward the end of his life. The Redemptorists, precariously continuing after the suppression of the Jesuits in 1773, had difficulty in getting their Rule approved by the Kingdom of Naples. Alphonsus acceded to the condition that they possess no property in common, but a royal official, with the connivance of a high Redemptorist official, changed the Rule substantially. Alphonsus, old, crippled and with very bad sight, signed the document, unaware that he had been betrayed. The Redemptorists in the Papal States then put themselves under the pope, who withdrew those in Naples from the jurisdiction of Alphonsus. It was only after his death that the branches were united.

At 71 he was afflicted with rheumatic pains which left incurable bending of his neck; until it was straightened a little, the pressure of his chin caused a raw wound on his chest. He suffered a final 18 months of “dark night” scruples, fears, temptations against every article of faith and every virtue, interspersed with intervals of light and relief, 
when ecstasies were frequent.

Alphonsus is best known for his moral theology, but he also wrote well in the field of spiritual and dogmatic theology. His Glories of Mary is one of the great works on that subject, and his book Visits to the Blessed Sacrament went through 40 editions in his lifetime, greatly influencing the practice of this devotion in the Church.


O Lord, open our lips.
And we shall praise your name.

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 66 (67)

The Lord is the source of all wisdom: 
come, let us adore him.

O God, take pity on us and bless us,
and let your face shine upon us,
so that your ways may be known across the world,
and all nations learn of your salvation.

The Lord is the source of all wisdom: 
come, let us adore him.

Let the peoples praise you, O God,
let all the peoples praise you.
Let the nations be glad and rejoice,
for you judge the peoples with fairness
and you guide the nations of the earth.

The Lord is the source of all wisdom: 
come, let us adore him.

Let the peoples praise you, O God,
let all the peoples praise you.
The earth has produced its harvest:
may God, our God, bless us.
May God bless us,
may the whole world revere him.

The Lord is the source of all wisdom: 
come, let us adore him.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

The Lord is the source of all wisdom: 
come, let us adore him.

Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

Eternal Father, through your Word
You gave new life to Adam’s race,
And call us now to live in light,
New creatures by your saving grace.
To you who stooped to all who sin
We render homage and give praise:
To Father, Son and Spirit blest
Whose loving gift is endless days.

Psalm 17 (18)

The word of the Lord is a shield 
for all who make him their refuge.

The Lord’s ways are pure;
the words of the Lord are refined in the furnace;
the Lord protects all who hope in him.
For what God is there, but our Lord?
What help, but in the Lord our God?
God, who has wrapped me in his strength
and set me on the perfect path,
who has made my feet like those of the deer,
who has set me firm upon the heights,
who trains my hands for battle,
teaches my arms to bend a bow of bronze.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

The word of the Lord is a shield 
for all who make him their refuge.

Psalm 17 (18)

Lord, your right hand upheld me.

You have given me the shield of your salvation;
your right hand holds me up;
by answering me, you give me greatness.
You have stretched the length of my stride,
my feet do not weaken.
I pursue my enemies and surround them;
I do not turn back until they are no more.
I smash them to pieces, they cannot stand,
they fall beneath my feet.
You have wrapped me round with strength for war,
and made my attackers fall under me.
You turned my enemies’ backs on me,
you destroyed those who hated me.
They cried out, but there was no-one to save them;
they cried to the Lord, but he did not hear.
I have ground them up until they are dust in the wind,
trodden them down like the mud of the street.
You have delivered me from the murmurings of the people
and placed me at the head of the nations.
A people I do not even know serves me –
at a mere rumor of my orders, they obey.
The children of strangers beg for my favor;
they hide away and tremble where they hide.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

Lord, your right hand upheld me.

Psalm 17 (18)

Long life to the Lord!
Praised be the God who saves me.

The Lord lives, my blessed Helper.
Let the God of my salvation be exalted.
God, you give me my revenge,
you subject peoples to my rule,
you free me from my enraged enemies.
You raise me up from those who attack me,
you snatch me from the grasp of the violent.
And so I will proclaim you among the nations, Lord,
and sing to your name.
Time and again you save your king,
you show your loving kindness to your anointed,
to David and his descendants for ever.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

Long life to the Lord!
Praised be the God who saves me.

Uncover my eyes, Lord,
– and I will consider the wonders of your Law.

First Reading
2 Corinthians 11:7-29

Was I wrong, lowering myself so as to lift you high, by preaching the gospel of God to you and taking no fee for it? I was robbing other churches, living on them so that I could serve you. When I was with you and ran out of money, I was no burden to anyone; the brothers who came from Macedonia provided me with everything I wanted. I was very careful, and I always shall be, not to be a burden to you in any way, and by Christ’s truth in me, this cause of boasting will never be taken from me in the regions of Achaia. Would I do that if I did not love you? God knows I do. I intend to go on doing what I am doing now – leaving no opportunity for those people who are looking for an opportunity to claim equality with us in what they boast of. These people are counterfeit apostles, they are dishonest workmen disguised as apostles of Christ. There is nothing unexpected about that; if Satan himself goes disguised as an angel of light, there is no need to be surprised when his servants, too, disguise themselves as the servants of righteousness. 
They will come to the end that they deserve.

As I said before, let no one take me for a fool; but if you must, then treat me as a fool and let me do a little boasting of my own. What I am going to say now is not prompted by the Lord, but said as if in a fit of folly, in the certainty that I have something to boast about. So many others have been boasting of their worldly achievements, that I will boast myself. You are all wise men and can cheerfully tolerate fools, yes, even to tolerating somebody who makes slaves of you, makes you feed him, imposes on you, orders you about and slaps you in the face. 
I hope you are ashamed of us for being weak with you instead!

But if anyone wants some brazen speaking – I am still talking as a fool – then I can be as brazen as any of them, and about the same things. Hebrews, are they? So am I. Israelites? So am I. Descendants of Abraham? So am I. The servants of Christ? I must be mad to say this, but so am I, and more than they: more, because I have worked harder, I have been sent to prison more often, and whipped many times more, often almost to death. Five times I had the thirty-nine lashes from the Jews; three times I have been beaten with sticks; once I was stoned; three times I have been shipwrecked and once adrift in the open sea for a night and a day. Constantly traveling, I have been in danger from rivers and in danger from brigands, in danger from my own people and in danger from pagans; in danger in the towns, in danger in the open country, danger at sea and danger from so-called brothers. I have worked and labored, often without sleep; I have been hungry and thirsty and often starving; I have been in the cold without clothes. And, to leave out much more, there is my daily preoccupation: my anxiety for all the churches. When any man has had scruples, I have had scruples with him; when any man is made to fall, I am tortured.


The Good News you have heard me preach is no human invention.
I did not take it over from any man,
but received it through a revelation from Jesus Christ.

By Christ’s truth in me,
it is the Good News that I preach to you.
I did not take it over from any man,
but received it through a revelation from Jesus Christ.

Second Reading
From a sermon
by Saint Alphonsus Liguori, bishop

On the love of Christ

All holiness and perfection of soul lies in our love for Jesus Christ our God, who is our Redeemer and our supreme good. It is part of the love of God to acquire and to nurture all the virtues which make a man perfect.

Has not God in fact won for himself a claim on all our love? From all eternity he has loved us. And it is in this vein that he speaks to us: “O man, consider carefully that I first loved you. You had not yet appeared in the light of day, 
nor did the world yet exist, but already I loved you. From all eternity I have loved you.”

Since God knew that man is enticed by favors, he wished to bind him to his love by means of his gifts: “I want to catch men with the snares, those chains of love in which they allow themselves to be entrapped, so that they will love me.” And all the gifts which he bestowed on man were given to this end. He gave him a soul, made in his likeness, and endowed with memory, intellect and will; he gave him a body equipped with the senses; it was for him that he created heaven and earth and such an abundance of things. He made all these things out of love for man, 
so that all creation might serve man, and man in turn might love God out of gratitude for so many gifts.

But he did not wish to give us only beautiful creatures; the truth is that to win for himself our love, he went so far as to bestow upon us the fullness of himself. The eternal Father went so far as to give us his only Son. When he saw that we were all dead through sin and deprived of his grace, what did he do? Compelled, as the Apostle says, by the superabundance of his love for us, he sent his beloved Son to make reparation for us and to call us back to a sinless life.

By giving us his Son, whom he did not spare precisely so that he might spare us, he bestowed on us at once every good: grace, love and heaven; for all these goods are certainly inferior to the Son: He who did not spare his own Son, 
but handed him over for all of us: how could he fail to give us along with his Son all good things?


The Lord grants the desires of those who fear him,
he hears their cry and he saves them.
The Lord protects all who love him.

A child of God does not commit sin,
because the divine seed remains in him.
The Lord protects all who love him.

Let us pray.

Lord God,
you never cease to give new saints to your Church
as a pattern for holy living.
Help us to imitate Saint Alphonsus in his zeal for souls,
that we may share his reward in heaven.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.