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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings 17-November-2023
Universalis/Jerusalem Bible ^

Posted on 11/17/2023 7:38:07 AM PST by annalex

17 November 2023

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious
on Friday of week 32 in Ordinary Time

St Elizabeth of Hungary Church in Cleveland Ohio

Readings at Mass

Liturgical Colour: White. Year: A(I).

Readings for the feria

Readings for the memorial

These are the readings for the feria

First readingWisdom 13:1-9 ©

How have those who investigated the world been so slow to find its Master?

Naturally stupid are all men who have not known God
and who, from the good things that are seen, have not been able to discover Him-who-is,
or, by studying the works, have failed to recognise the Artificer.
Fire however, or wind, or the swift air,
the sphere of the stars, impetuous water, heaven’s lamps,
are what they have held to be the gods who govern the world.
If, charmed by their beauty, they have taken things for gods,
let them know how much the Lord of these excels them,
since the very Author of beauty has created them.
And if they have been impressed by their power and energy,
let them deduce from these how much mightier is he that has formed them,
since through the grandeur and beauty of the creatures
we may, by analogy, contemplate their Author.
Small blame, however, attaches to these men,
for perhaps they only go astray
in their search for God and their eagerness to find him;
living among his works, they strive to comprehend them
and fall victim to appearances, seeing so much beauty.
Even so, they are not to be excused:
if they are capable of acquiring enough knowledge
to be able to investigate the world,
how have they been so slow to find its Master?

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 18(19):2-5 ©
The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The heavens proclaim the glory of God,
  and the firmament shows forth the work of his hands.
Day unto day takes up the story
  and night unto night makes known the message.
The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
No speech, no word, no voice is heard
  yet their span extends through all the earth,
  their words to the utmost bounds of the world.
The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

Gospel AcclamationHeb4:12
Alleluia, alleluia!
The word of God is something alive and active:
it can judge secret emotions and thoughts.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Stand erect, hold your heads high,
because your liberation is near at hand.

GospelLuke 17:26-37 ©

When the day comes for the Son of Man to be revealed

Jesus said to the disciples:
  ‘As it was in Noah’s day, so will it also be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating and drinking, marrying wives and husbands, right up to the day Noah went into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It will be the same as it was in Lot’s day: people were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but the day Lot left Sodom, God rained fire and brimstone from heaven and it destroyed them all. It will be the same when the day comes for the Son of Man to be revealed.
  ‘When that day comes, anyone on the housetop, with his possessions in the house, must not come down to collect them, nor must anyone in the fields turn back either. Remember Lot’s wife. Anyone who tries to preserve his life will lose it; and anyone who loses it will keep it safe. I tell you, on that night two will be in one bed: one will be taken, the other left; two women will be grinding corn together: one will be taken, the other left.’ The disciples interrupted. ‘Where, Lord?’ they asked. He said, ‘Where the body is, there too will the vultures gather.’


These are the readings for the memorial

First reading1 John 3:14-18 ©

We too ought to give up our lives for our brothers

We have passed out of death and into life,
and of this we can be sure
because we love our brothers.
If you refuse to love, you must remain dead;
to hate your brother is to be a murderer,
and murderers, as you know, do not have eternal life in them.
This has taught us love –
that he gave up his life for us;
and we, too, ought to give up our lives for our brothers.
If a man who was rich enough in this world’s goods
saw that one of his brothers was in need,
but closed his heart to him,
how could the love of God be living in him?
My children,
our love is not to be just words or mere talk,
but something real and active.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 33(34):2-11 ©
I will bless the Lord at all times.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
I will bless the Lord at all times,
  his praise always on my lips;
in the Lord my soul shall make its boast.
  The humble shall hear and be glad.
I will bless the Lord at all times.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Glorify the Lord with me.
  Together let us praise his name.
I sought the Lord and he answered me;
  from all my terrors he set me free.
I will bless the Lord at all times.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Look towards him and be radiant;
  let your faces not be abashed.
This poor man called, the Lord heard him
  and rescued him from all his distress.
I will bless the Lord at all times.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
The angel of the Lord is encamped
  around those who revere him, to rescue them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
  He is happy who seeks refuge in him.
I will bless the Lord at all times.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Revere the Lord, you his saints.
  They lack nothing, those who revere him.
Strong lions suffer want and go hungry
  but those who seek the Lord lack no blessing.
I will bless the Lord at all times.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Gospel AcclamationJn13:34
Alleluia, alleluia!
I give you a new commandment:
love one another just as I have loved you,
says the Lord.

GospelLuke 6:27-38 ©

Love your enemies

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I say this to you who are listening: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who treat you badly. To the man who slaps you on one cheek, present the other cheek too; to the man who takes your cloak from you, do not refuse your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your property back from the man who robs you. Treat others as you would like them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what thanks can you expect? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks can you expect? For even sinners do that much. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what thanks can you expect? Even sinners lend to sinners to get back the same amount. Instead, love your enemies and do good, and lend without any hope of return. You will have a great reward, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
  ‘Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.’



Christian Art


Each day, The Christian Art website gives a picture and reflection on the Gospel of the day.

The readings on this page are from the Jerusalem Bible, which is used at Mass in most of the English-speaking world. The New American Bible readings, which are used at Mass in the United States, are available in the Universalis apps, programs and downloads.

You can also view this page with the Gospel in Greek and English.

TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; lk17; lk6; ordinarytime; prayer
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 11/17/2023 7:38:07 AM PST by annalex
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To: All

KEYWORDS: catholic; lk17; lk6; ordinarytime; prayer

2 posted on 11/17/2023 7:39:24 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...

Alleluia Ping

Please FReepmail me to get on/off the Alleluia Ping List.

3 posted on 11/17/2023 7:40:32 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
My dad is back in the hospital. [JimRob update at 242]
Jim still needs our prayers. Thread 2
Prayer thread for Salvation's recovery
Pray for Ukraine
Prayer thread for Fidelis' recovery
Update on Jim Robinson's health issues
4 posted on 11/17/2023 7:40:58 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
 English: Douay-RheimsLatin: Vulgata ClementinaGreek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
 Luke 17
26And as it came to pass in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. Et sicut factum est in diebus Noë, ita erit et in diebus Filii hominis :και καθως εγενετο εν ταις ημεραις νωε ουτως εσται και εν ταις ημεραις του υιου του ανθρωπου
27They did eat and drink, they married wives, and were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark: and the flood came and destroyed them all. edebant et bibebant : uxores ducebant et dabantur ad nuptias, usque in diem, qua intravit Noë in arcam : et venit diluvium, et perdidit omnes.ησθιον επινον εγαμουν εξεγαμιζοντο αχρι ης ημερας εισηλθεν νωε εις την κιβωτον και ηλθεν ο κατακλυσμος και απωλεσεν απαντας
28Likewise as it came to pass, in the days of Lot: they did eat and drink, they bought and sold, they planted and built. Similiter sicut factum est in diebus Lot : edebant et bibebant, emebant et vendebant, plantabant et ædificabant :ομοιως και ως εγενετο εν ταις ημεραις λωτ ησθιον επινον ηγοραζον επωλουν εφυτευον ωκοδομουν
29And in the day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. qua die autem exiit Lot a Sodomis, pluit ignem et sulphur de cælo, et omnes perdidit :η δε ημερα εξηλθεν λωτ απο σοδομων εβρεξεν πυρ και θειον απ ουρανου και απωλεσεν απαντας
30Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man shall be revealed. secundum hæc erit qua die Filius hominis revelabitur.κατα ταυτα εσται η ημερα ο υιος του ανθρωπου αποκαλυπτεται
31In that hour, he that shall be on the housetop, and his goods in the house, let him not go down to take them away: and he that shall be in the field, in like manner, let him not return back. In illa hora, qui fuerit in tecto, et vasa ejus in domo, ne descendat tollere illa : et qui in agro, similiter non redeat retro.εν εκεινη τη ημερα ος εσται επι του δωματος και τα σκευη αυτου εν τη οικια μη καταβατω αραι αυτα και ο εν τω αγρω ομοιως μη επιστρεψατω εις τα οπισω
32Remember Lot's wife. Memores estote uxoris Lot.μνημονευετε της γυναικος λωτ
33Whosoever shall seek to save his life, shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose it, shall preserve it. Quicumque quæsierit animam suam salvam facere, perdet illam : et quicumque perdiderit illam, vivificabit eam.ος εαν ζητηση την ψυχην αυτου σωσαι απολεσει αυτην και ος εαν απολεση αυτην ζωογονησει αυτην
34I say to you: in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Dico vobis : In illa nocte erunt duo in lecto uno : unus assumetur, et alter relinquetur :λεγω υμιν ταυτη τη νυκτι εσονται δυο επι κλινης μιας εις παραληφθησεται και ο ετερος αφεθησεται
35Two women shall be grinding together: the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left: two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. duæ erunt molentes in unum : una assumetur, et altera relinquetur : duo in agro : unus assumetur, et alter relinquetur.δυο εσονται αληθουσαι επι το αυτο μια παραληφθησεται και η ετερα αφεθησεται
36They answering, say to him: Where, Lord? Respondentes dicunt illi : Ubi Domine ? 
37Who said to them: Wheresoever the body shall be, thither will the eagles also be gathered together. Qui dixit illis : Ubicumque fuerit corpus, illuc congregabuntur et aquilæ.17:36 και αποκριθεντες λεγουσιν αυτω που κυριε ο δε ειπεν αυτοις οπου το σωμα εκει συναχθησονται οι αετοι

(*) Verse 35, "two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left" does not appear in either the original or the Latin translation. Verse 36 corresponds to 36 and 37 in the translations.

5 posted on 11/17/2023 7:45:22 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

Catena Aurea by St. Thomas Aguinas


26. And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.

27. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.

28. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;

29. But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.

30. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

BEDE. The coming of our Lord, which He had compared to lightning flying swiftly across the heavens, He now likens to the days of Noah and Lot, when a sudden destruction came upon mankind.

CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. 1, in Ep. 1. ad Thess.) For refusing to believe the words of warning they were suddenly visited with a real punishment from God; but their unbelief proceeded from self-indulgence, and softness of mind. For such as a man’s wishes and inclinations are, will also be his expectations. Therefore it follows, they eat and drank.

AMBROSE. He rightly declares the deluge to have been caused by our sins, for God did not create evil, but our deservings found it out for themselves. Let it not however be supposed that marriages, or again meat and drink, are condemned, seeing that by the one succession is sustained, by the other nature, but moderation is to be sought for in all things. For whatsoever is more than this is of evil.

BEDE. Now Noah builds the ark mystically. The Lord builds His Church of Christ’s faithful servants, by uniting them together in one, as smooth pieces of wood; and when it is perfectly finished, He enters it: as at the day of Judgment, He who ever dwells within His Church enlightens it with His visible presence. But while the ark is in building, the wicked flourish, when it is entered, they perish; as they who revile the saints in their warfare here, shall when they are crowned hereafter be smitten with eternal condemnation.

EUSEBIUS. Having used the example of the deluge, that no one might expect a future deluge by water, our Lord cites, secondly, the example of Lot, to shew the manner of the destruction of the wicked, namely, that the wrath of God would descend upon them by fire from heaven.

BEDE. Passing by the unutterable wickedness of the Sodomites, He mentions only those which may be thought trifling offences, or none at all; that you may understand how fearfully unlawful pleasures are punished, when lawful pleasures taken to excess receive for their reward fire and brimstone.

EUSEBIUS. He does not say that fire came down from heaven upon the wicked Sodomites before that Lot went out from them, just as the deluge did not swallow up the inhabitants of the earth before that Noah entered the ark; for as long as Noah and Lot dwelt with the wicked, God suspended His anger that they might not perish together with the sinners, but when He would destroy those, He withdrew the righteous. So also at the end of the world, the consummation shall not come before all the just are separated from the wicked.

BEDE. For He who in the mean time though we see Him not yet sees all things, shall then appear to judge all things. And He shall come especially at that time, when He shall see all who are forgetful of His judgments in bondage to this world.

THEOPHYLACT. For when Antichrist has come, then shall men become wanton, given up to abominable vices, as the Apostle says, Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. (2 Tim. 3:4.) For if Antichrist is the dwelling-place of every sin, what else will he then implant in the miserable race of men, but what belongs to himself. And this our Lord implies by the instances of the deluge and the people of Sodom.

BEDE. Now mystically, Lot, which is interpreted ‘turning aside,’ is the people of the elect, who, while in Sodom, i. e. among the wicked, live as strangers, to the utmost of their power turning aside from all their wicked ways. But when Lot went out, Sodom is destroyed, for at the end of the world, the angels shall go forth and sever the wicked from among the just, and cast them into a furnace of fire. (Matt. 13:49.) The fire and brimstone, however, which He relates to have rained from heaven, does not signify the flame itself of everlasting punishment, but the sudden coming of that day.


31. In that day, he which shall he upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.

32. Remember Lot’s wife.

33. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.

AMBROSE. Because good men must needs on account of the wicked be sore vexed in this world, in order that they may receive a more plentiful reward in the world to come, they are here punished with certain remedies, as it is here said, In that day, &c. that is, if a man goes up to the top of his house and rises to the summit of the highest virtues, let him not fall back to the grovelling business of this world.

AUGUSTINE. For he is on the housetop who, departing from carnal things, breathes as it were the free air of a spiritual life. But the vessels in the house are the carnal senses, which many using to discover truth which is only taken in by the intellect, have entirely missed it. Let the spiritual man then beware, lest in the day of tribulation he again take pleasure in the carnal life which is fed by the bodily senses, and descend to take away this world’s vessels. It follows, And he that is in the field, let him not return back; that is, He who labours in the Church, as Paul planting and Apollos watering, let him not look back upon the worldly prospects which he has renounced.

THEOPHYLACT. Matthew relates all these things to have been said by our Lord, with reference to the destruction of Jerusalem, that when the Romans came upon them, they who were on the housetop should not come down to take any thing, but fly at once, nor they that were in the field return home. And surely so it was at the taking of Jerusalem, and again will be at the coming of Antichrist, but much more at the completion of all things, when that intolerable destruction shall come.

EUSEBIUS. He hereby implies that a persecution will come from the son of perdition upon Christ’s faithful. By that day then He means the time previous to the end of the world, in which let not him who is flying return, nor care to lose his goods, lest he imitate Lot’s wife, who when she fled out of the city of Sodom, turning back, died, and became a pillar of salt.

AMBROSE. Because thus she looked behind, she lost the gift of her nature. For Satan is behind, behind also Sodom. Wherefore flee from intemperance, turn away from lust, for recollect, that he who turned not back to his old pursuits escaped, because he reached the mount; whereas she looking back to what was left behind, could not even by the aid of her husband reach the mount, but remained fixed.

AUGUSTINE. Lot’s wife represents those who in time of trouble look back and turn aside from the hope of the divine promise, and hence she was made a pillar of salt as a warning to men not to do likewise, and to season as it were their hearts, lest they become corrupt.

THEOPHYLACT. Next follows the promise, Whosoever shall seek, &c. as if he said, Let no man in the persecutions of Antichrist seek to secure his life, for he shall lose it, but whoso shall expose himself to trials and death shall be safe, never submitting himself to the tyrant from his love of life.

CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA. How a man may lose his own life to save it, St. Paul explains when he speaks of some who crucified their flesh with the affections and lusts, (Gal. 5:24.) that is, with perseverance and devotion engaging in the conflict.


34. I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.

35. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

36. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

37. And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.

BEDE. Our Lord had just before said, that he who is in the field must not return back; and lest this should seem to have been spoken of those only who would openly return from the field, that is, who would publicly deny their Lord, He goes on to shew, that there are some who, while seeming to turn their face forward, are yet in their heart looking behind.

AMBROSE. He rightly says, night, for Antichrist is the hour of darkness, because he pours a dark cloud over the minds of men while he declares himself to be Christ. But Christ as lightning shines brightly, that we may be able to see in that night the glory of the resurrection.

AUGUSTINE. (de Qu. Ev. lib. ii. qu. 41.) Or He says, in that night, meaning in that tribulation.

THEOPHYLACT. Or He teaches us the suddenness of Christ’s coming, which we are told will be in the night. And having said that the rich can scarcely be saved, He shews that not all the rich perish, nor all the poor are saved.

CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA. For by the two men in one bed, He seems to denote the rich who repose themselves in worldly pleasures, for a bed is a sign of rest. But not all who abound in riches are wicked, but if one is good and elect in the faith, he will be taken, but another who is not so will be left. For when our Lord descends to judgment, He will send His Angels, who while they leave behind on the earth the rest to suffer punishment, will bring the holy and righteous men to Him; according to the Apostle’s words, We shall be caught up together in the clouds to meet Christ in the air. (1 Thess 4:17.)

AMBROSE. Or out of the same bed of human infirmity, one is left, that is, rejected, another is taken up, that is, is caught to meet Christ in the air. By the two grinding together, he seems to imply the poor and the oppressed. To which belongs what follows. Two men shall be in the field, &c. For in these there is no slight difference. For some nobly bear up against the burden of poverty, leading a lowly but honest life, and these shall be taken up; but the others are very active in wickedness, and they shall be left. Or those grinding at the mill seem to represent such as seek nourishment from hidden sources, and from secret places draw forth things openly to view. And perhaps the world is a kind of corn mill, in which the soul is shut up as in a bodily prison. And in this corn mill either the synagogue or the soul exposed to sin, like the wheat, softened by grinding and spoilt by too great moisture, cannot separate the outward from the inner parts, and so is left because its flour dissatisfies. But the holy Church, or the soul which is not soiled by the stains of sin, which grinds such wheat as is ripened by the heat of the eternal sun, presents to God a good flour from the secret shrines of the heart. Who the two men in the field are we may discover if we consider, that there are two minds in us, one of the outer man which wasteth away, the other of the inner man which is renewed by the Sacrament. These are then the labourers in the field, the one of which by diligence brings forth good fruit, the other by idleness loses that which he has. Or those who are compared we may interpret to be two nations, one of which being faithful is taken, the other being unfaithful is left.

AUGUSTINE. (de Qu. Ev. ut sup) Or there are three classes of men here represented. The first is composed of those who prefer their ease and quiet, and busy not themselves in secular or ecclesiastical concerns. And this quiet life of theirs is signified by the bed. The next class embraces those who being placed among the people are governed by teachers. And such he has described by the name of women, because it is best for them to be ruled by the advice of those who are set over them; and he has described these as grinding at the mill, because in their hands revolves the wheel and circle of temporal concerns. And with reference to these matters he has represented them as grinding together, inasmuch as they give their services to the benefit of the Church. The third class are those who labour in the ministry of the Church as in the field of God. In each of these three classes then there are two sorts of men, of which the one abide in the Church and are taken up, the other fall away and are left.

AMBROSE. For God is not unjust that He should separate in His reward of their deserts men of like pursuits in life, and not differing in the quality of their actions. But the habit of living together does not equalize the merits of men, for not all accomplish what they attempt, but he only who shall persevere to the end shall be saved.

CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA. When He said that some should be taken up, the disciples not unprofitably inquire, ‘Where, Lord?’

BEDE. Our Lord was asked two questions, where the good should be taken up, and where the bad left; He gave only one answer, and left the other to be understood, saying, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.

CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA. As if He said, As when a dead body is thrown away, all the birds which feed on human flesh flock to it, so when the Son of man shall come, all the eagles, that is, the saints, shall haste to meet Him.

AMBROSE. For the souls of the righteous are likened to eagles, because they soar high and forsake the lower parts, and are said to live to a great age. Now concerning the body, we can have no doubt, and above all if we remember that Joseph received the body from Pilate. (Matt. 28.) And do not you see the eagles around the body are the women and Apostles gathered together around our Lord’s sepulchre? Do not you see them then, when he shall come in the clouds, and every eye shall behold him? (Rev. 1:7.) But the body is that of which it was said, My flesh is meat indeed; (John 6:55.) and around this body are the eagles which fly about on the wings of the Spirit, around it also eagles which believe that Christ has come in the flesh. And this body is the Church, in which by the grace of baptism we are renewed in the Spirit.

EUSEBIUS. Or by the eagles feeding on the dead animals, he has here described the rulers of the world, and those who shall at that time persecute the saints of God, in whose power are left all those who are unworthy of being taken up, who are called the body or carcase. Or by the eagles are meant the avenging powers which shall fly about to torment the wicked.

AUGUSTINE. (de Con. Ev. l. ii. c. 7.) these things which Luke has given us in a different place from Matthew, he either relates by anticipation, so as to mention beforehand what was afterwards spoken by our Lord, or he means us to understand that they were twice uttered by Him.

Catena Aurea Luke 17

6 posted on 11/17/2023 7:47:17 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

Saint John Climacus and his heavenly ladder

7 posted on 11/17/2023 7:47:42 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
 English: Douay-RheimsLatin: Vulgata ClementinaGreek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
 Luke 6
27But I say to you that hear: Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you. Sed vobis dico, qui auditis : diligite inimicos vestros, benefacite his qui oderunt vos.αλλ υμιν λεγω τοις ακουουσιν αγαπατε τους εχθρους υμων καλως ποιειτε τοις μισουσιν υμας
28Bless them that curse you, and pray for them that calumniate you. Benedicite maledicentibus vobis, et orate pro calumniantibus vos.ευλογειτε τους καταρωμενους υμιν προσευχεσθε υπερ των επηρεαζοντων υμας
29And to him that striketh thee on the one cheek, offer also the other. And him that taketh away from thee thy cloak, forbid not to take thy coat also. Et qui te percutit in maxillam, præbe et alteram. Et ab eo qui aufert tibi vestimentum, etiam tunicam noli prohibere.τω τυπτοντι σε επι την σιαγονα παρεχε και την αλλην και απο του αιροντος σου το ιματιον και τον χιτωνα μη κωλυσης
30Give to every one that asketh thee, and of him that taketh away thy goods, ask them not again. Omni autem petenti te, tribue : et qui aufert quæ tua sunt, ne repetas.παντι δε τω αιτουντι σε διδου και απο του αιροντος τα σα μη απαιτει
31And as you would that men should do to you, do you also to them in like manner. Et prout vultis ut faciant vobis homines, et vos facite illis similiter.και καθως θελετε ινα ποιωσιν υμιν οι ανθρωποι και υμεις ποιειτε αυτοις ομοιως
32And if you love them that love you, what thanks are to you? for sinners also love those that love them. Et si diligitis eos qui vos diligunt, quæ vobis est gratia ? nam et peccatores diligentes se diligunt.και ει αγαπατε τους αγαπωντας υμας ποια υμιν χαρις εστιν και γαρ οι αμαρτωλοι τους αγαπωντας αυτους αγαπωσιν
33And if you do good to them who do good to you, what thanks are to you? for sinners also do this. Et si benefeceritis his qui vobis benefaciunt, quæ vobis est gratia ? siquidem et peccatores hoc faciunt.και εαν αγαθοποιητε τους αγαθοποιουντας υμας ποια υμιν χαρις εστιν και γαρ οι αμαρτωλοι το αυτο ποιουσιν
34And if you lend to them of whom you hope to receive, what thanks are to you? for sinners also lend to sinners, for to receive as much. Et si mutuum dederitis his a quibus speratis recipere, quæ gratia est vobis ? nam et peccatores peccatoribus fœnerantur, ut recipiant æqualia.και εαν δανειζητε παρ ων ελπιζετε απολαβειν ποια υμιν χαρις εστιν και γαρ αμαρτωλοι αμαρτωλοις δανειζουσιν ινα απολαβωσιν τα ισα
35But love ye your enemies: do good, and lend, hoping for nothing thereby: and your reward shall be great, and you shall be the sons of the Highest; for he is kind to the unthankful, and to the evil. Verumtamen diligite inimicos vestros : benefacite, et mutuum date, nihil inde sperantes : et erit merces vestra multa, et eritis filii Altissimi, quia ipse benignus est super ingratos et malos.πλην αγαπατε τους εχθρους υμων και αγαθοποιειτε και δανειζετε μηδεν απελπιζοντες και εσται ο μισθος υμων πολυς και εσεσθε υιοι υψιστου οτι αυτος χρηστος εστιν επι τους αχαριστους και πονηρους
36Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Estote ergo misericordes sicut et Pater vester misericors est.γινεσθε ουν οικτιρμονες καθως και ο πατηρ υμων οικτιρμων εστιν
37Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you shall be forgiven. Nolite judicare, et non judicabimini : nolite condemnare, et non condemnabimini. Dimitte, et dimittemini.και μη κρινετε και ου μη κριθητε μη καταδικαζετε και ου μη καταδικασθητε απολυετε και απολυθησεσθε
38Give, and it shall be given to you: good measure and pressed down and shaken together and running over shall they give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you shall mete withal, it shall be measured to you again. Date, et dabitur vobis : mensuram bonam, et confertam, et coagitatam, et supereffluentem dabunt in sinum vestrum. Eadem quippe mensura, qua mensi fueritis, remetietur vobis.διδοτε και δοθησεται υμιν μετρον καλον πεπιεσμενον και σεσαλευμενον και υπερεκχυνομενον δωσουσιν εις τον κολπον υμων τω γαρ αυτω μετρω ω μετρειτε αντιμετρηθησεται υμιν

8 posted on 11/17/2023 7:52:32 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

Catena Aurea by St. Thomas Aguinas


27. But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

28. Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

29. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.

30. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.

31. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

BEDE. Having spoken above of what they might suffer from their enemies, He now points out how they ought to conduct themselves towards their enemies, saying, But I say to you who hear.

AMBROSE. Having proceeded in the enumeration of many heavenly actions, He not unwisely comes to this place last, that He might teach the people confirmed by the divine miracles to march onward in the footsteps of virtue beyond the path of the law. Lastly, among the three greatest, (hope, faith, and charity,) the greatest is charity, which is commanded in these words, Love your enemies.

BASIL. (in reg. brev. 176.) It is indeed the part of an enemy to injure and be treacherous. Every one then who does harm in any way to any one is called his enemy.

CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA. But this way of life was well adapted to the holy teachers who were about to preach throughout the earth the word of salvation, and if it had been their will to take vengeance upon their persecutors, had failed to call them to the knowledge of salvation.

CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. 18. in Matt.) But He says not, Do not hate, but love; nor did He merely command to love, but also to do good, as it follows, Do good to them which hate you.

BASIL. (ubi sup.) But because man consists of body and soul, to the soul indeed we shall do this good, by reproving and admonishing such men, and leading them by the hand to conversion; but to the body, by profiting them in the necessaries of life.

It follows, Bless them that curse you.

CHRYSOSTOM. For they who pierce their own souls deserve tears and weeping, not curses. For nothing is more hateful than a cursing heart, or more foul than a tongue which utters curses. O man, spit not forth the poison of asps, nor be turned into a beast. Thy mouth was given thee not to bite with, but to heal the wounds of others. But he commands us to count our enemies in the rank of our friends, not only in a general way, but as our particular friends for whom we are accustomed to pray; as it follows, Pray for them which persecute you. But many on the contrary falling down, and striking their faces upon the ground, and stretching forth their hands, pray God not for their sins, but against their enemies, which is nothing else but piercing their own selves. When thou prayest to Him that He would hear thee cursing thy enemies, who has forbidden thee to pray against thy enemies, how is it possible for thee to be heard, since thou art calling Him to hear thee by striking an enemy in the king’s presence, not with the hand indeed, but with thy words. What art thou doing, O man? thou standest to obtain pardon of your sins, and thou fillest thy mouth with bitterness. It is a time of forgiveness, prayer, and mourning, not of rage.

BEDE. But the question is fairly raised, how it is that in the prophets are to be found many curses against their enemies. Upon which we must observe, that the prophets in the imprecations they uttered foretold the future, and that not with the feelings of one who wishes, but in the spirit of one who foresees.

CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA. Now the old law commanded us not to injure one another; or if we are first injured, not to extend our wrath beyond the measure of the injurer, but the fulfilling of the law is in Christ and in His commands. Hence it follows, And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek, offer also the other.

CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. 18. in Matt.) For physicians also, when they are attacked by madmen, have then most compassion on them, and exert themselves to restore them. Have thou also a like consideration towards thy persecutors; for it is they who are under the greatest infirmity. And let us not cease until they have exhausted all their bitterness, they will then overpower thee with thanks, and God Himself will give thee a crown, because thou hast delivered thy brother from the worst disease.

BASIL. (in Esai. 1, 23. in App.) But we almost all of us offend against this command, and especially the powerful and rulers, not only if they have suffered insult, but if respect is not paid them, accounting all those their enemies who treat them with less consideration than they think they deserve. But it is a great dishonour in a prince to be ready to take revenge. For how shall he teach another, to return to no man evil for evil (Rom. 12:17.), if he is eager to retaliate on him who injures him.

CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA. But the Lord would moreover have us to be despisers of property. As it follows, And him that taketh away thy cloak, forbid not to take thy coat also. For this is the soul’s virtue, which is altogether alien from feeling the pleasure of wealth. For it becomes him who is merciful even to forget his misfortunes, that we may confer the same benefits upon our persecutors, whereby we assist our dear friends.

CHRYSOSTOM. (ubi sup.) Now He said not, Bear humbly the rule of thy persecutor, but, Go on wisely, and prepare thyself to suffer what he desires thee to do; overcoming his insolence by thy great prudence, that he may depart with shame at thy excellent endurance.

But some one will say, How can this be? When thou hast seen God made man, and suffering so many things for thee, dost thou still ask and doubt how it is possible to pardon the iniquities of thy fellow servants? Who has suffered what thy God has, when He was bound, scourged, enduring to be spat upon, suffering death? Here it follows, But to every one who seeks, give.

AUGUSTINE. (de Serm. Dom. lib. 1. c. 20.) He says not, To him that seeketh give all things, but give what you justly and honestly can, that is, what as far as man can know or believe, neither hurts you, nor another: and if thou hast justly refused any one, the justice must be declared to him, (so as not to send him away empty,) sometimes thou wilt confer even a greater boon when thou hast corrected him who seeks what he ought not.

CHRYSOSTOM. Herein however we do not lightly err, when not only we give not to those who seek, but also blame them? Why (you say) does he not work, why is the idle man fed? Tell me, dost thou then possess by labour? but still if thou workest, dost thou work for this, that thou shouldest blame another? For a single loaf and coat dost thou call a man covetous? Thou givest nothing, make then no reproaches. Why dost thou neither take pity thyself, and dissuadest those who would? If we spend upon all indifferently, we shall always have compassion: for because Abraham entertains all, he also entertains angels. For if a man is a homicide and a robber, does he not, thinkest thou, deserve to have bread? Let us not then be severe censors of others, lest we too be strictly judged.

It follows, And of him that taketh away thy goods, ask them not again.

CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. 10. in 1 Cor.) Every thing we have we receive from God. But when we speak of “mine and thine,” they are only bare words. For if you assert a house to be yours, you have uttered an expression which wants the substance of reality. For both the air, the soil, and the moisture, are the Creator’s. Thou again art he who has built the house; but although the use is thine, it is doubtful, not only because of death, but also on account of the issues of things. Thy soul is not thy own possession, and will be reckoned to thee in like manner as all thy goods. God wishes those things to be thine which are entrusted to thee for thy brethren, and they will be thine if thou hast dispensed them for others. But if thou hast spent richly upon thyself what things are thine, they are now become another’s. But through a wicked desire of wealth men strive together in a state contrary to Christ’s words, And of him that taketh away thy goods, ask them not again.

AUGUSTINE. (de Ser. Dom. lib. 1. c. 19.) He says this of garments, houses, farms, beasts of burdens, and generally of all property. But a Christian ought not to possess a slave as he does a horse or money. If a slave is more honourably governed by thee than by him who desires to take him from thee, I know not whether any one would dare to say, that he ought to be despised, as a garment (ut vestimentum.)

CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. 13. ad Pop. Ant.) Now we have a natural law implanted in us, by which we distinguish between what is virtue, and what is vice. Hence it follows, And as ye would that men should do unto you, do ye also to them. He does not say, Whatever ye would not that men should do unto you, do not ye. For since there are two ways which lead to virtue, namely, abstaining from evil, and doing good, he names one, signifying by it the other also. And if indeed He had said, That ye may be men, love the beasts, the command would be a difficult one. But if they are commanded to love men, which is a natural admonition, wherein lies the difficulty, since even the wolves and lions observe it, whom a natural relation compels to love one another. It is manifest then that Christ has ordained nothing surpassing our nature, but what He had long before implanted in our conscience, so that thy own will is the law to thee. And if thou wilt have good done unto thee, thou must do good to others; if thou wilt that another should shew mercy to thee, thou must shew mercy to thy neighbour.


32. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.

33. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.

34. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.

35. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

36. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. i. in Col.) The Lord had said that we must love our enemies, but that you might not think this an exaggerated expression, regarding it solely as spoken to alarm them, he adds the reason, saying, For if you love them which love you, what thank have ye? There are indeed several causes which produce love; but spiritual love exceeds them all. For nothing earthly engenders it, neither gain, nor kindness, nor nature, nor time, but it descends from heaven. But why wonder that it needs not kindness to excite it, when it is not even overcome of malice? A father indeed suffering wrong bursts the bands of love. A wife after a quarrel leaves her husband. A son, if he sees his father come to a great age, is troubled. But Paul went to those who stoned him to do them good. (Acts 14:17) Moses is stoned by the Jews, and prays for them. (Exod. 17:4) Let us then reverence spiritual love, for it is indissoluble. Reproving therefore those who were inclined to wax cold, he adds, For sinners even love those which love them. As if he said, Because I wish you to possess more than these, I do not advise you only to love your friends, but also your enemies. It is common to all to do good to those who do good to them. But he shews that he seeks something more than is the custom of sinners, who do good to their friends. Hence it follows, And if you do good to those who do good to you, what thank have ye?

BEDE. But he not only condemns as unprofitable the love and kindness of sinners, but also the lending. As it follows, And if ye lend to those from whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.

AMBROSE. Now philosophy seems to divide justice into three parts; one towards God, which is called piety; another towards our parents, or the rest of mankind; a third to the dead, that the proper rites may be performed. But the Lord Jesus passing beyond the oracle of the law, and the heights of prophecy, extended the duties of piety to those also who have injured us, adding, But love your enemies.

CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. 58. in Gen.) Whereby thou wilt confer more upon thyself than him. For he is beloved by a fellow servant, but thou art made like unto God. But it is a mark of the greatest virtue when we embrace with kindness those who wish to do us harm. Hence it follows, And do good. For as water, when cast upon a lighted furnace, extinguishes it, so also reason joined with gentleness. But what water is to fire, such is lowliness and meekness to wrath; and as fire is not extinguished by fire, so neither is anger soothed by anger.

GREGORY OF NYSSA. (Orat. cont. usurar.) But man ought to shun that baneful anxiety with which he seeks from the poor man increase of his money and gold, exacting a profit of barren metals. Hence he adds, And lend, hoping for nothing again, &c. If a man should call the harsh calculation of interest, theft, or homicide, he will not err. For what is the difference, whether a man by digging under a wall become possessed of property, or possess it unlawfully by the compulsory rate of interest?

BASIL. (Hom. in Ps. 14.) Now this mode of avarice is rightly called in the Greek τόκος, from producing, because of the fruitfulness of the evil. Animals in course of time grow up and produce, but interest as soon as it is born begins to bring forth. Animals which bring forth most rapidly cease soonest from breeding, but the money of the avaricious goes on increasing with time. Animals when they transfer their bringing forth to their own young, themselves cease to breed, but the money of the covetous both produces an increase, and renews the capital. Touch not then the destructive monster. For what advantage that the poverty of to-day is escaped, if it falls upon us repeatedly, and is increased? Reflect then how canst thou restore thyself? Whence shall thy money be so multiplied as that it will partly relieve thy want, partly refresh thy capital, and besides bring forth interest? But thou sayest, How shall I get my living? I answer, work, serve, last of all, beg; any thing is more tolerable than borrowing upon interest. But thou sayest, what is that lending to which the hope of repayment is not attached? Consider the excellence of the words, and thou wilt admire the mercifulness of the author. When thou art about to give to a poor man from regard to divine charity, it is both a lending and a gift; a gift indeed, because no return is hoped for; lending, because of the beneficence of God, who restores it in its turn. Hence it follows, And great shall be your reward. Dost thou not wish the Almighty to be bound to restore to thee? Or, should He make some rich citizen thy security, dost thou accept him, but reject God standing as security for the poor?

CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. 3. in. Gen.) Observe the wonderful nature of lending, one receives and another binds himself for his debts, giving a hundred fold at the present time, and in the future eternal life.

AMBROSE. How great the reward of mercy which is received into the privilege of divine adoption! For it follows, And ye shall be the sons of the Highest (Ps. 82:6.). Follow then mercy, that ye may obtain grace. Widely spread is the mercy of God; He pours His rain upon the unthankful, the fruitful earth refuses not its increase to the evil. Hence it follows, For he is kind to the unthankful, and to the evil.

BEDE. Either by giving them temporal gifts, or by inspiring His heavenly gifts with a wonderful grace.

CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA. Great then is the praise of mercy. For this virtue makes us like unto God, and imprints upon our souls certain signs as it were of a heavenly nature. Hence it follows, Be ye then merciful, as your heavenly Father also is merciful.

ATHANASIUS. (Orat. 3. cont. Arian.) That is to say, that we beholding His mercies, what good things we do should do them not with regard to men, but to Him, that we may obtain our rewards from God, not from men.


37. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

38. Give, and it shall be given unto you: good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

AMBROSE. The Lord added, that we must not readily judge others, lest when conscious of guilt thyself, thou shouldest be compelled to pass sentence upon another.

CHRYSOSTOM. Judge not thy superior, that is, thou a disciple must not judge thy master, nor a sinner the innocent. Thou must not blame them, but advise and correct with love; neither must we pass judgment in doubtful and indifferent matters, which bear no resemblance to sin, or which are not serious or forbidden.

CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA. He here expresses that worst inclination of our thoughts or hearts, which is the first beginning and origin of a proud disdain. For although it becomes men to look into themselves and walk after God, this they do not, but look into the things of others, and while they forget their own passions, behold the infirmities of some, and make them a subject of reproach.

CHRYSOSTOM. You will not easily find any one, whether a father of a family or an inhabitant of the cloister, free from this error. But these are the wiles of the tempter. For he who severely sifts the fault of others, will never obtain acquittal for his own. Hence it follows, And ye shall not be judged. For as the merciful and meek man dispels the rage of sinners, so the harsh and cruel adds to his own crimes.

GREGORY OF NYSSA. Be not then rash to judge harshly of your servants, lest ye suffer the like. For passing judgment calls down a heavier condemnation; as it follows, Condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned. For he does not forbid judgment with pardon.

BEDE. Now in a short sentence he concisely sums up all that he had enjoined with respect to our conduct towards our enemies, saying, Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven, wherein he bids us forgive injuries, and shew kindness, and our sins shall be forgiven us, and we shall receive eternal life.

CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA. But that we shall receive more abundant recompense from God, who gives bountifully to those who love him, he explains as follows, Good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall they give into your bosom.

THEOPHYLACT. As if he says, As when you wish to measure meal without sparing, you press it down, shake it together, and let it pour over abundantly; so the Lord will give a large and overflowing measure into your bosom.

AUGUSTINE. (de Qu. Ev. l. ii. q. 8.) But he says, shall they give, (Mat. 10:42.) because through the merits of those to whom they have given even a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, shall they be thought worthy to receive a heavenly reward. It follows, For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

BASIL. (Hom. in Ps. 61.) For according to the same measure with which each one of you metes, that is, in doing good works or sinning, will he receive reward or punishment.

THEOPHYLACT. But some one will put the subtle question, “If the return is made overabundantly, how is it the same measure?” to which we answer, that He said not, “In just as great a measure shall it be measured to you again, but in the same measure.” For he who has shewn mercy, shall have mercy shewn unto him, and this is measuring again with the same measure; but our Lord spoke of the measure running over, because to such a one He will shew mercy a thousand times. So also in judging; for he that judges and afterwards is judged receives the same measure. But as far as he was judged the more severely that he judged one like unto himself, was the measure running over.

CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA. But the Apostle explains this when he says, He who sows sparingly, (that is, scantily, and with a niggardly hand,) shall also reap sparingly, (2 Cor. 6:9.) (that is, not abundantly,) and he who sows blessings, shall reap also blessings, that is, bountifully. But if a man has not, and performs not, he is not guilty. For a man is accepted in that which he has, not in that which he has not.

Catena Aurea Luke 6

9 posted on 11/17/2023 7:54:46 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

"Merciful Lord, in Your boundless love, be pleased to make us worthy to enter the path of Theosis before we leave the present temporal world"


10 posted on 11/17/2023 7:55:06 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary

November 17: Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious—Memorial

Patron Saint of Third Order Franciscans, bakers, beggars, brides, charitable societies and workers, exiles, falsely accused people, homeless people, hospitals, lacemakers, nursing homes, nursing services, people ridiculed for their piety, widows
Invoked against in-law problems, the death of children, and toothache
Canonized by Pope Gregory IX on May 27, 1235
Liturgical Color: White

On Good Friday in 1228, having placed her hands on the altar in the chapel of her city, Eisenach, to which she had welcomed the Friars Minor, in the presence of several friars and relatives Elizabeth renounced her own will and all the vanities of the world. She also wanted to resign all her possessions, but I dissuaded her out of love for the poor. Shortly afterwards she built a hospital, gathered the sick and invalids and served at her own table the most wretched and deprived. When I reprimanded her for these things, Elizabeth answered that she received from the poor special grace and humility ~Testimony of her spiritual director, Friar Conrad, during the process of canonization

Elizabeth was born to King Andrew II and Queen Gertrude of Hungary. Her aunt on her mother’s side was Saint Hedwig, Duchess of Silesia. As was the common practice at that time for nobility, marriages were arranged at an early age to secure alliances between powerful ruling families. When Elizabeth was only four, knights arrived to take her to Thuringia, about five hundred miles away, where she was brought up in the court of Hermann I, Landgrave (ruler) of Thuringia. Her upbringing was alongside Hermann I’s eleven-year-old son, Louis IV, to whom Elizabeth was betrothed in marriage, which took place ten years later. Elizabeth’s mother was from the powerful House of Andechs and had similarly married King Andrew for political reasons. Because Queen Gertrude was not from Hungary, she was queen consort, meaning she was queen by virtue of marriage, not enjoying direct authority in Hungary on account of her royal lineage. Nonetheless, Gertrude regularly exerted her influence within Hungary’s royal court, causing conflict among the nobles and royal family. As a result, Queen Gertrude was assassinated when her daughter, Elizabeth, was six years old.

Two years before, a large entourage and dowry from her father had accompanied Elizabeth to the court of the Landgrave of Thuringia. There, she received a Catholic upbringing, an excellent education, and was cared for by attendants (ladies-in-waiting). She learned culture, manners, and royal protocol; attended banquets; wore fine clothing; and witnessed the intrigue and power struggles common in the royal court. The Castle of Wartburg in which she lived was a magnificent castle, and the Landgrave of Thuringia one of the richest in the empire. Life was extravagant, with poets and musicians, fine meals and social gatherings, and the best of what the world at that time had to offer. Behind the scenes, many factions plotted and formed alliances, seeking power and favors. Despite the challenges and worldly temptations she was thrust into at such a young age, Elizabeth grew in faith. She prayed, practiced mortification, and fell deeply in love with her Lord.

During the first ten years in Wartburg Castle, Elizabeth and her future husband, Louis IV, were raised together and formed a deep personal and spiritual bond. Though the marriage was arranged, they put their minds, hearts, and wills into what would soon become their future together. Louis’ father died when he was sixteen years old, and Louis became the Landgrave of Thuringia. Four years later, Elizabeth and Louis were wed.

From the very beginning, Elizabeth did not fit in with the courtly life. She was sensitive to the poor, sought virtue, and preferred simplicity, which made her an object of gossip and slander among the more “refined” members of the court. In Louis, however, she found a strong support. He admired her virtues and goodness and dismissed any criticism that came to his ears, defending her before all.

About two years after their marriage, when Elizabeth was sixteen, Franciscan friars arrived at the castle to care for the spiritual needs of the royal court. The holy Friar Conrad of Marburg became Elizabeth’s spiritual director. Through him, she learned about the saintly life of Saint Francis who probed the highest heights of holiness, even being pierced with the stigmata at the end of his life by a Seraphim, the highest of the choirs of angels, earning him the revered title “the Seraphic Father.” Stories of Saint Francis, the influence of the friars, and her own devotional life drew her deeper into the mysteries of faith. One story relates that one time, while praying in the castle chapel, she took off her royal crown, placed it before the Crucifix, and then lay prostrate before her Lord in prayer. When her mother-in-law saw this, she chastised Elizabeth, telling her such a gesture was beneath her dignity. Elizabeth responded, “How can I, a wretched creature, continue to wear a crown of earthly dignity, when I see my King Jesus Christ crowned with thorns?”

Elizabeth’s heart was inflamed with a desire for charity and justice. If she saw an injustice, she quickly sought to remedy it. Rather than eat food that was unjustly obtained, she preferred to go hungry. If the poor were cheated, she paid the debt owed them out of her own money. She loved to go down to the villagers, especially the poor, and bring them food, clothing, and whatever else they needed. She distributed these goods personally, in the company of her maids. This humility and generosity won her the love and respect of the peasant class, despite the ongoing ridicule of the nobility. When the nobility complained to her husband, he continued to support her and her charitable works.

One day, when Elizabeth was secretly bringing bread from the castle to the poor, she encountered her husband in the street. He had been told that she was stealing from the castle, so he asked her what she was carrying in her apron. When she opened it, beautiful roses appeared, to the delight of Louis who saw that as a sign of divine favor that humbled her detractors. On another occasion, she brought a leper into her own bedroom and laid him on her bed to care for him. Later, when Louis was told what Elizabeth did by her indignant mother-in-law, Louis went to strip the infected sheets from their shared bed. When he did so, he either saw in a vision, or was given an infused spiritual intuition that it was Christ Himself Whom Elizabeth cared for in the person of the leper. This only deepened Louis’ admiration for his young wife.

In 1227, at the age of twenty-six, Louis joined the army of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II for the sixth crusade against the Muslims to take back the Holy Land which had been lost in 1187. On the way, disease spread through the troops and Louis fell ill, dying shortly afterwards. News of her husband’s death was devastating to the twenty-year-old Elizabeth. She and Louis had previously made vows to each other not to remarry if either of them died, so Elizabeth turned her eyes more fully to Chirst, devoting herself to His mission, no matter where He led.

Elizabeth and Louis had three children together. Their youngest, Gertrude, with whom Elizabeth was still pregnant when Louis died, grew up and became abbess of Altenburg Abbey. Their middle child, Sophie, married Henry II, Duke of Brabant. Their oldest, Hermann, initially succeeded his father as Landgrave of Thuringia when he was only four. Though Elizabeth acted on her son’s behalf in the governance of the Landgrave, Louis’ brother, Henry, seized control as regent for young Hermann and ran Elizabeth and her children out of the castle, causing many of the nobles to reject her. Hermann died unexpectedly several years later before he could make his claim as Landgrave, and Henry assumed full control.

Wandering for a while with two of her handmaids, Elizabeth entrusted her children to the care of some of Louis’ sympathetic family members. Eventually, the family members were able to secure Elizabeth refuge in the Castle of Marburg where, with the guidance of Friar Conrad, she fully dedicated herself to God’s service with private vows, took a gray habit, and formed a small community with other friends. Louis’ family secured for her the remainder of her dowry, which she used to build a hospital for the poor. She spent the next three years caring for the sick in the humblest of ways. In 1231, at the age of twenty-four, Elizabeth came down with a high fever and after days of suffering, offered herself to God. When the people heard of her illness, they flocked to her in prayer. Soon after her death, miracles were attributed to her intercession. People became so devoted to her that only four years after her death, Pope Gregoy IX canonized her and built a church in Marburg in her honor.

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary was given all the privileges and wealth this world had to offer her at a very young age, yet in her heart, none of that compared to the privilege of serving her Lord, especially as he was present to her in the sick and poor. She chose the better part and will forever rejoice with her God in Heaven.

As we honor this saintly noblewoman, ponder her choice to follow Christ in the midst of so many temptations and trials. As you do, follow her example by making the will of God the greatest treasure of your life.

Saint Elizabeth, you dedicated yourself to your loving and crucified Lord from an early age, rejecting the vanities of this world. Despite your many temptations and hardships, you remained true to your King until the end. Please pray for me, that I will also reject all that is vain in this world and always choose my Lord and His will above all else. Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, pray for me. Jesus, I trust in You.

11 posted on 11/17/2023 7:59:09 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

The Charity of St. Elizabeth of Hungary

Edmund Leighton (1852–1922)

12 posted on 11/17/2023 8:02:24 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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