Saturday, July 21, 2012

Saturday, July 21, 2012 Litany Lane Blog: discern, Mt 12:14-21, Saint Lorenzo da Brindisi,, Wisdom Literature

Saturday, July 21, 201
discern, Mt 12:14-21, Saint Lorenzo da Brindisi,, Wisdom Literature

Good Day Bloggers! 
Wishing everyone a Blessed Weekend! 

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Something Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7..

We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift knowledge and free will as well, make the most of it. Life on earth is a stepping to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Heaven is our Soul, our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012

Today's Word:  discern   dis·cern   [dih-surn, -zurn]

Origin:  1300–50; Middle English  (< Old French ) < Latin discernere  to separate, equivalent to dis-  + cernere  to separate

verb (used with object)
1. to perceive by the sight or some other sense or by the intellect; see, recognize, or apprehend: They discerned a sail on the horizon.
2. to distinguish mentally; recognize as distinct or different; discriminate: He is incapable of discerning right from wrong.

Today's Gospel Reading - Matthew 12,14-21

Pharisees Scribes, 1665, Murillo
14At this the Pharisees went out and began to plot against Jesus, discussing how to destroy him. Jesus knew this and withdrew from the district. Many followed him and he cured them all but warned them not to make him known. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: Look! My servant whom I have chosen, my beloved, in whom my soul delights, I will send my Spirit upon him, and he will present judgement to the nations; he will not brawl or cry out, his voice is not heard in the streets, he will not break the crushed reed, or snuff the faltering wick, until he has made judgement victorious; in him the nations will put their hope.
• The Gospel today has two parts bound between them: (a) It describes the diverse reactions of the Pharisees and of the people who listen to the preaching of Jesus; (b) it describes what Matthew sees in these diverse reactions: the fulfilment of the prophecy of the Servant of Yahweh, announced by Isaiah.

• Matthew 12,14: The reaction of the Pharisees: they decide to kill Jesus. This verse is the conclusion of the previous episode, in which Jesus challenges the malice of the Pharisees, by curing the man who had a withered hand (Mt 12,9-14). The reaction of the Pharisees was to hold a Council meeting against Jesus. Thus, they arrive to the breaking of the relationship between the religious authority and Jesus. In Mark this episode is much more explicit and provoking (Mk 3,1-6). He says that the decision to kill Jesus was not only that of the Pharisees, but also of the Herodians (Mk 3,6). Altar and Throne joined together against Jesus.

• Matthew 12,15-16: The reaction of the people: to follow Jesus. When Jesus learnt the decision of the Pharisees, he went away from the place where he was. People follow him. Even knowing that the religious authority has decided to kill Jesus, the people do not go away from Jesus, rather they follow him. Many followed him and he cured them all, but warned them not to make him known. People know how to discern. Jesus asks not to diffuse the news, not to say what he is doing. A great contrast! On the one side, the conflict of life and death, between Jesus and the religious authority, and on the other the movement of the people who were desirous to encounter Jesus! They were above all, the marginalized and the excluded who presented themselves to Jesus with their illness and their infirmities. They, who were not accepted in society, and in the religious field, were accepted by Jesus.

• Matthew 12,17: The concern of Matthew: Jesus is our Messiah. This reaction, different from that of the Pharisees and of the people, moved Matthew to see here the realization of the prophecy of the Servant. On the one hand, the Servant was persecuted by the authority which insulted him and spat on his face, but he does not turn back. He presents his face hard as a rock, knowing that he will not be disappointed (Is 50,5-7). On the other hand, the Servant is sought and expected by the people. The crowd coming from far is waiting for his teaching (Is 42,4). This is exactly what is happening to Jesus.

• Matthew 12,18-21: Jesus fulfils the prophecy of the Servant. Matthew presents the entire first Canticle of the Servant. Read the text slowly, thinking of Jesus and the poor who today are excluded:

“Look! My Servant whom I have chosen;
my beloved in whom my soul delights,
I will send my Spirit upon him, and he will present judgment to the nations;
He will not brawl or cry out; his voice is not heard in the streets,
He will not break the crushed reed, or snuff the faltering wick.
Until he has made judgment victorious; in him the nations will put their hope”.
4) Personal questions
• Do you know some case in which the religious authority, in the name of religion, decided to persecute and kill persons who, like Jesus, did good to people?
• In our community are we servants of God for the people? What do we lack?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,

Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane

Saint of the Day:  Saint Lorenzo da Brindisi, O.F.M. Cap.

Feast Day: July 21
Died: 1619
Patron Saint of : Town of  Brindisi, Italy; linguists

St Lorenzo da Brindisi
Saint Lorenzo da Brindisi also known as Saint Lawrence of Brindisi, O.F.M. Cap., (July 22, 1559 – July 22, 1619), born Giulio Cesare Russo, was a Catholic priest and a member of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin.  Lawrence of Brindisi is a noted linguist for outstanding gift of languages. In addition to a thorough knowledge of his native Italian, he had complete reading and fluent in Latin, Hebrew, Greek, German, Bohemian, Spanish and French.

Giulio was born in Brindisi, Kingdom of Naples, to a family of Venetian merchants. He was educated at Saint Mark's College in Venice, and joined the Capuchins in Verona as Brother Lawrence. He received further instruction from the University of Padua. An accomplished linguist, Lawrence spoke most European and Semitic languages fluently.

He was appointed Definitor General to Rome for the Capuchins in 1596; Pope Clement VIII assigned him the task of converting the Jews in the city. Beginning in 1599, Lawrence established Capuchin monasteries in modern Germany and Austria, furthering the Counter-Reformation and bringing many Protestants back to the Catholic faith.

In 1601, he served as the imperial chaplain for the army of Rudolph II, Holy Roman Emperor, and successfully recruited Philippe Emmanuel, Duke of Mercœur to help fight against the Ottoman Turks. He then led the army during the capture of Székesfehérvár in Hungary from the Ottoman Empire, armed only with a crucifix.

In 1602 he was elected Vicar General of the Capuchin friars, at that time the highest office in the Order. He was elected again in 1605, but refused the office. He entered the service of the Holy See, becoming papal nuncio to Bavaria. After serving as nuncio to Spain, he retired to a monastery in 1618. He was recalled as a special envoy to the King of Spain regarding the actions of the Viceroy of Naples in 1619, and after finishing his mission, died on his birthday in Lisbon.

Having resigned his office of vicar-general in 1605, he was sent by the pope to evangelize Germany. He here confirmed the faith of the Catholics, brought back a great number to the practice of virtue, and converted many heretics. In controversies his vast learning always gave him the advantage, and, once he had won the minds of his hearers, his saintliness and numerous miracles completed their conversion. To protect the Faith more efficaciously in their states, the Catholic princes of Germany formed the alliance called the "Catholic League". Emperor Rudolph sent Lorenzo to Philip III of Spain to persuade him to join the League. Having discharged this mission successfully, the saintly ambassador received a double mandate by virtue of which he was to represent the interests of the pope and of Madrid at the court of Maximilian of Bavaria, head of the League. He was thus, much against his wishes, compelled to settle in Munich near Maximilian. Besides being nuncio and ambassador, Lorenzo was also commissary general of his order for the provinces of Tyrol and Bavaria, and spiritual director of the Bavarian army. He was also chosen as arbitrator in the dispute which arose between the princes, and it was in fulfillment of this role that, at the request of the emperor, he restored harmony between the Duke of Mantua and a German nobleman. In addition to all these occupations he undertook, with the assistance of several Capuchins, a missionary campaign throughout Germany, and for eight months traveled in Bavaria, Saxony, and the Palatinate.

With his facility for languages he was able to study the Bible in its original texts. At the request of Pope Clement VIII, he spent much time preaching to the Jews in Italy. So excellent was his knowledge of Hebrew, the rabbis felt sure he was a Jew who had become a Christian.

The known writings of St. Lorenzo of Brindisi comprise eight volumes of sermons, two didactic treatises on oratory, a commentary on Genesis, another on Ezechiel, and three volumes of religious polemics. Most of his sermons are written in Italian, the other works being in Latin. The three volumes of controversies have notes in Greek and Hebrew. In 1956 the Capuchins completed a 15-volume edition of his writings. Eleven of these 15 contain his sermons, each of which relies chiefly on scriptural quotations to illustrate his teaching.

“God is love, and all his operations proceed from love. Once he wills to manifest that goodness by sharing his love outside himself, then the Incarnation becomes the supreme manifestation of his goodness and love and glory. So, Christ was intended before all other creatures and for his own sake. For him all things were created and to him all things must be subject, and God loves all creatures in and because of Christ. Christ is the first-born of every creature, and the whole of humanity as well as the created world finds its foundation and meaning in him. Moreover, this would have been the case even if Adam had not sinned” (St. Lawrence of Brindisi, Doctor of the Universal Church, Capuchin Educational Conference, Washington, D.C.).

He was beatified in 1783 by Pope Pius VI, canonized in 1881 by Pope Leo XIII, and declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope John XXIII in 1959. His feast day is July 21, in both the ordinary and extraordinary forms.

References: Courtesy of the Catholic Online, and Courtesy of Wikipedia,
    • Candide, Henri. "St. Lorenzo da Brindisi." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 17 Jul. 2012 <>.

    Featured Items from Litany Lane


    Today's Snippet:  Wisdom Literature

    Wisdom literature is a genre of literature common in the Ancient Near East. This genre is characterized by sayings of wisdom intended to teach about divinity and about virtue. The key principle of wisdom literature is that while techniques of traditional story-telling are used, books also presume to offer insight and wisdom about nature and reality.
    The most famous examples of wisdom literature are found in the Bible. The following Biblical books are classified as wisdom literature:
    • Book of Job 
    • Psalms 
    • Proverbs 
    • Ecclesiastes 
    • Song of Songs 
    • Wisdom (also known as Wisdom of Solomon
    • Sirach (also known as Ben Sira or Ecclesiasticus)
     (Wisdom and Sirach are deuterocanonical books, placed in the Apocrypha by Protestant Bible translations.) The genre of mirror-of-princes writings, which has a long history in Islamic and Western Renaissance literature, represents a secular cognate of biblical wisdom literature. Within Classical Antiquity, the advice poetry of Hesiod, particularly his Works and Days has been seen as a like-genre to Near Eastern wisdom literature.

    Biblical wisdom literature

    Wisdom literature includes several books of the Old Testament, including two books of the Deuterocanon (Wisdom of Solomon and Sirach) that are classified as Apocryphal writings by Protestants but canonical by Catholics and Orthodox. The philosophy apparent in these texts combines a more semitic emphasis on practical wisdom with a Hellenic/Platonic concept of transcendent wisdom. The Hebrew wisdom evident in these works is a departure from early Hebraic texts that tell of the decrees of God through prophets and kings to acknowledgment of the plethora of human emotions in daily life and recommendations on how humans can maintain a relationship with God.

    While connections of good behavior and good individuals maintain a special relationship to God, wisdom books introduce opportunities in Lamentations, Psalms, and other books to use one's faith to express displeasure, pain, fear, and dispassion to God in productive ways. Rather than mere discouragement of such emotions, wisdom texts particularly seek to rationalize these human reactions to life and emphasize that they are not excuses to avoid contact with God, but just like joy are to be expressed and lived with.

    The extant writings of the Jewish sages are contained in the books of Job, Proverbs, Psalms, Ben-Sira, Tobit, Ecclesiastes, Wisdom of Solomon, 4th Maccabees, to which may be added the first chapter of Pirke Aboth (a Talmudic tract giving, probably, pre-Christian material). Of these Job, Psalms 49, 73, 92 . 6-8 (5-7), Ecclesiastes, Wisdom, are discussions of the moral government of the world; Proverbs, Psalms 37, 119, Ben-Sira, Tobit 4, 12: 7-11, Pirke, are manuals of conduct, and 4th Maccabees treats of the autonomy of reason in the moral life; Psalms 8, 29:3-10, 90: 1-12, 107:17-32, 131, 144: 3f., 147: 8f.) are reflections on man and physical nature (cf. the Yahweh addresses in Job, and Ecclus. 42-3). Sceptical views are expressed in Job, Proverbs 30: 2-4 (Agur), and Ecclesiastes; the rest take the then orthodox positions on faith.

    Though the intellectual world of the sages is different from that of the prophetic and legal Hebraism, they do not break with the fundamental Jewish theistic and ethical creeds. Their monotheism remains Semitic–even in their conception of the cosmogonic and illuminating function of Wisdom. The material consistently regards God as standing outside the world of physical nature and man. Nor does man grasp or accept the idea or the identity of the human and the divine, there is thus a sharp distinction between this general theistic position and that of Greek philosophy. The wisdom books do maintain the old high standard of Hebraic morals, and in some instances go beyond it, as in the injunctions to be kind to enemies (Proverbs 25:21 f.) and to do to no man what is hateful to one's self (Tobit 4:15).

    Like the prophetical writings before Ezekiel, the wisdom books, while they recognize the sacrificial ritual as an existing custom, attach less importance to it as an element of religious life (the fullest mention of it is in Ecclus. 35 Phoenix-squares 4 if., I); the difference between prophets and sages is that the former do not regard the ritual as of divine appointment (Jeremiah 7:22) and oppose it as non-moral, while the latter, probably accepting the law as divine, by laying stress on the universal side of religion, it deemphasizes the local and mechanical side (see Ecclus. 35:1-3). The interest of the material is in the ethical training of the individual, which is pleasing to God, on earth. Nationalistic overtones, state, or even governmental recommendations are not emphasized in favor of instructing the average man and woman.

    Though the wisdom writers regard the miracles of the ancient times (referred to particularly in Wisdom 16-19) as historical facts, they say nothing about a miraculous element in the lives of their own time. Angels occur only in Job and Tobit, and therein noteworthy characters: in Job they are beings whom God charges with folly (4: 18), or they are mediators between God and man (5:1, 33:23), and are consequently more humanized. This is to be contrasted with the angels appearing in Genesis and other earlier canonical works. In the prologue, the figure of Satan accounts for Job's calamities; in Tobit the "affable" angel Raphael is a clever man of the world. Except in Wisdom 2:24 (where the serpent of Genesis 3 is called " Diabolos "), there is mention of one demon only (Asmodeus, in Tobit 3:8, 17), and that a Persian figure. Job alone introduces the Leviathan (3:8, 7:12, 9:13, 26:12) that occurs in late prophetical writings (Amos 9:3; Isaiah 27)

    Contrast with Greek thought

    Hebraic wisdom literature downplays the philosophical discussion on the basis of the moral life that was common in the Greek world at that time. The standard of good and the reason for good conduct is existing law, custom, and individual eudaemonistics in the Hebrew wisdom literature. This is in contrast to social philosophies co-developing in Greece that encourage good behavior for the health of the state, families, or from fear of reprisal. While the wisdom books, particularly Ecclesiastes, note that punishment may follow from poor choices, it is because the laws of goodness and rightness are God's and are ordained good by God that they should be followed. Wisdom is represented as the result of human reflection, and thus as the guide in all the affairs of life but predetermination of good remains God's prerogative (in Wisd. of Sol. and in parts of Prov. and Ecclus., but not in Eccles.). The wisdom texts emphasize human powers as bestowed directly by God; it is identified with the fear of God (Job 28:28; Prov. 1:7; Ecclus. 15:I ff.), an extension of which is obedience to the Jewish law (Ecclus. 24:23).

    References:  Courtesy of Wikipedia,
    • 'The Wisdom Books'. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, New American Bible. Washington DC: 2002.
    •  Comay, Joan; Ronald Brownrigg (1993) (in English). Who's Who in the Bible:The Old Testament and the Apocrypha, The New Testament. New York: Wing Books. pp. Old Testament, 355-356. ISBN 0-517-32170-X.
    • Ward, Benedicta (2003-07-29). The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks (Revised ed.). Penguin Classics. ISBN 0-14-044731-8.

    Recommended reading:

      • Crenshaw, J. L. (2010). Old Testament Wisdom: an introduction. ISBN 0-664-23459-3.
      • Murphy, R. E. (2002). The Tree of Life: an exploration of biblical wisdom literature. ISBN 0-8028-3965-7