Thursday, September 6, 2016

Memorial of Saint Bruno, priest              

(Galatians 3:1-5; Luke 11:5-13)

The documentary movie “Into the Deep Silence” displays the assiduous life of Carthusians monks.  The Order, founded by St. Bruno, lives a hermit’s life coming together for Eucharist and a short recreation on Sundays.  The movie has no dialogue until the end when the monks, who have been pictured throughout the movie, are questioned.  In one interview an old monk says how sad it is for a world that does not believe in God.  God brings purpose and hope to people who often struggle with loneliness.  In today’s first reading St. Paul similarly testifies to the Spirit of God working in love for those who believe.

Paul severely chastises the Galatians for their readiness to take on the burdens of the Law.  He wants to assure them that eating kosher and practicing male circumcision have nothing to do with their Christian vocation. Rather they must believe in Christ’ death and resurrection on their behalf by practicing love of one another. 

Christians today hardly want to practice the Jewish Law.  But they sometimes allow religious trappings such as indulgences interfere with authentic Christian faith. Although indulgences certainly have a place in Catholic piety, they should not be pursued at all costs.  Caring for the poor and uplifting one another should take priority.