Thursday, August 6, 2009


"St. Cajetan"
Artist and Date are UNKNOWN


Biographical Information about St. Cajetan [1]

Readings for the Memorial of St. Cajetan

Readings and Commentary:

Sirach 2:7-11

You who fear the LORD, wait for his mercy,
turn not away lest you fall.
You who fear the LORD, trust him,
and your reward will not be lost.
You who fear the LORD, hope for good things,
for lasting joy and mercy.
You who fear the Lord, love him
and your hearts will be enlightened.
Study the generations long past and understand;
has anyone hoped in the LORD and been disappointed?
Has anyone persevered in his commandments and been forsaken?
Has anyone called upon him and been rebuffed?
Compassionate and merciful is the LORD;
he forgives sins, he saves in time of trouble
and he is a protector to all who seek him in truth.
Commentary on
Sir 2:7-11

This passage from Sirach is a litany for the faithful – first to wait for the Lord, then to trust him, hope in him, and finally to love him. He reminds the reader of God’s compassion and mercy in the past and assures his forgiveness to those who seek it.

Psalm 112:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9

R. (1) Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Wealth and riches shall be in his house;
his generosity shall endure forever.
Light shines through the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious and merciful and just.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice;
He shall never be moved;
the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

An evil report he shall not fear.
His heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is steadfast;
he shall not fear till he looks down upon his foes.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Lavishly he gives to the poor,
his generosity shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Commentary on
Ps 112:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9

This hymn of praise and thanksgiving from Psalm 112 commends the people faithful to the Law of Moses. The one who is blameless in the eyes of God has nothing to fear those from his community or others since the Lord is his protector. A repeating theme is the praise of those who are generous to the poor and poor in spirit.

Luke 12:32-34

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Do not be afraid any longer, little flock,
for your Father is pleased to give you the Kingdom.
Sell your belongings and give alms.
Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out,
an inexhaustible treasure in heaven
that no thief can reach nor moth destroy.
For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be."
Commentary on Lk 12:32-34

This passage is part of a great compilation of the saying of Jesus in the 12th Chapter. Here the Lord emphasizes the need of true dependence on God alone. True treasure is acting on the spiritual impulses that come from God, a commandment taken to its most extreme by the religious who vow extreme poverty, depending upon God's mercy for subsistence. This greatness of spirit cannot be taken from the one so endowed. Going further, the saying points out that the one who loves the Lord will do works that are pleasing to him as an natural consequence of that love (“For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”)

CCC: Lk 13:33 557
How difficult it must have been to be a dedicated servant of Christ and Church during the years St. Cajetan served as priest. There was rampant corruption among the clergy at all levels and the Church was seen more as a political force than a spiritual entity. The Holy Spirit sent dedicated servants of God into this period of history. Servants like St. Cajetan who, through long prayer and love of God lead people back to the values in the Gospel. In particular, our saint combined the best practices of the developing monastic orders, cloistered in prayer with the best practices of the clergy who continued to lead local churches.

He thus evaded the secular traps of power and wealth that had ensnared many well intentioned clergy of the time. In doing this great work, St. Cajetan shows us how to live the Gospel. His great love of God expressed itself in tireless work for God’s people. The Lord said “…where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” In the case of this great saint, his heart, completely dedicated to the Lord became not only his own treasure in heaven, but became a treasure of the Church as well.

Today we ask for his prayers. We are all confronted by demands in our lives and these demands require us to spend time on tasks that may become burdensome (even those who work in ministry may find that the work that must be done in the Lord’s name may become a drudgery). In these times we must recall the words of the Gospel and recognize that what we do must be for God’s greater glory, not for money, not for fame or power but that our heart’s treasure may be expressed for all to see. We ask St. Cajetan to pray for us so that our motives will always be to advance the teachings of Christ and to express the love we have for our Heavenly Father and his Son – Jesus the Christ.

Here is a short biography from the

St Cajetan (1480 - 1547)
He was born in Vicenza and became a priest at the age of 36. He worked hard for the poor and the sick and for the reform of the Church; with this last aim in mind, he founded a congregation of secular priests which became known as the Theatines. These had three functions: preaching, the administration of the sacraments, and the celebration of the liturgy.

He encouraged the growth of pawn-shops as a means of helping the poor out of temporary financial difficulties and keeping them out of the hands of usurers. His congregation also cared for incurable syphilitics (a particularly virulent form of syphilis was sweeping Europe, having been imported from the Caribbean by Columbus’s men).

His example encouraged many others on the path to active sanctity. He said [in a letter to Elisabeth Porto]: “Do not receive Christ in the Blessed Sacrament so that you may use him as you judge best, but give yourself to him and let him receive you in this Sacrament, so that he himself, God your savior, may do to you and through you whatever he wills.”


[1] The picture is St. Cajetan, Artist and Date are UNKNOWN
[2] Text of Readings is taken from the New American Bible, Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 1973, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.

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