Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Tuesday 6 September 2016 Tuesday of week 23 in Ordinary Time

A sermon by St Bernard

I shall stand upon my watch-tower to see what the Lord will say to me
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We read in the gospel that when the Lord was teaching his disciples and urged them to share in his passion by the mystery of eating his body, some said: This is a hard saying, and from that time they no longer followed him. When he asked the disciples whether they also wished to go away, they replied: Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
  I assure you, my brothers, that even to this day it is clear to some that the words which Jesus speaks are spirit and life, and for this reason they follow him. To others these words seem hard, and so they look elsewhere for some pathetic consolation. Yet wisdom cries out in the streets, in the broad and spacious way that leads to death, to call back those who take this path. Finally, he says: For forty years I have been close to this generation, and I said: They have always been faint-hearted. You also read in another psalm: God has spoken once. Once, indeed, because for ever. His is a single, uninterrupted utterance, because it is continuous and unending.
  He calls upon sinners to return to their true spirit and rebukes them when their hearts have gone astray, for it is in the true heart that he dwells and there he speaks, fulfilling what he taught through the prophet: Speak to the heart of Jerusalem. You see, my brothers, how the prophet admonishes us for our advantage: If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts. You can read almost the same words in the gospel and in the prophet. For in the gospel the Lord says: My sheep hear my voice. And in the psalm blessed David says: You are his people (meaning, of course, the Lord’s) and the sheep of his pasture. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
  Hear also the prophet Habakkuk in today’s reading. Far from hiding the Lord’s reprimands, he dwells on them with attentive and anxious care. He says: I will stand upon my watch-tower and take up my post on the ramparts, keeping watch to see what he will say to me and what answer I will make to those who try to confute me. I beg you, my brothers, stand upon our watch-tower, for now is the time for battle. Let all our dealings be in the heart, where Christ dwells, in right judgement and wise counsel, but in such a way as to place no confidence in those dealings, nor rely upon our fragile defences.

Image result for images: AFRICAN BABIES  IN GAMBIA
To help the sick poor. We need your help all the time but especially now as the Malaria season has started. We have plenty of the Anti malaria medicine (Artemether and Lumefantrine tablets) for adults and children over 5 years of age but for the babies, we send them over to the small hospital nearby. We have arranged with the nurses at the hospital, to have them treat the young ones. Often times they need injections of the Anti malaria medicine or the pediatric suspension. They have given us a discounted rate for the laboratory test and
the medicine but we don't have money to cover the cost. I tried begging them to take the babies gratis but the owner of the hospital (a very nice German lady) said she couldn't do that since she has to buy the medicines and the test kits.
We don't treat the babies at Nazareth Hermitage as it can be risky in case of a reaction to the malaria medicine.
When we tell the mothers that they need to go to the hospital they usually tell us they have no money. If we have put aside money for food, the helpers here will  always give up their main meal so we can use the money for the day to help the little ones. But that doesn't go far and then the same problem presents itself again. I have to tell the parents that we don't have the funds and they could try asking the nurses to help them....meds now, pay later! When they are leaving the hermitage I walk them  to the gate and then watch as they turn to go back to their village or home and NOT to the hospital.....they have no money!!
Malaria can be a killer and it seems children are more susceptible than the adults. Won't you please help to save these little ones?
You can send your donations to:

Please make checks payable to "Monastery of Christ in the Desert"
Memo reads:  Hermitage sick poor
Address envelope to: Monastery of Christ in the Desert,
>                                      St. Paul's Hermitage
>                                      P.O. Box 270
>                                      Abiquiu NM 87510
My name should not appear anywhere on your check.
The Monastery receives the donation and will send you an acknowledgement for tax purposes (should you need it).
Then your check will go to St. Pauls hermitage (located on the Monastery grounds) and finally the donation will be put into my bank account and the little ones will get the help they need.


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