The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Wednesday, Memorial of St. Philip Neri, 26 May 2021 Philippians 4:4-9 ><}}}*> + ><}}}*> + ><}}}*> Mark 10:32-45
Rejoice in the Lord always, I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. (Philippians 4:4-5)
Thank you very much, dear God our loving Father for the gifts of joy and sense of humor. So many times we forget that we are most alive when we are laughing, when we are filled with joy in our hearts. Just like your amusing saint today, St. Philip Neri.
Give us the grace of wisdom and intelligence, simplicity and humor nurtured by a deep prayer life of St. Philip Neri who would always reserve the nights for his prayer periods especially at the catacombs of Rome where he experienced great joy that enlarged and expanded his heart that broke two of his ribs!
And always, give us some sprinklings of his sense of humor that he came to be the patron saint of joy and humor, saying that “A joyful heart is more easily made perfect than a downcast one.”
He was so filled with life in his ministry that he spent serving everyone – from the poorest of the poor including prostitutes to the men and women of power and influence in royal courts and palaces, government offices and most of all, in the Vatican as well as local churches.
Because of his great love for you, St. Philip Neri became a great patron of arts, inspiring and supporting so many artists during his time when the Reformation period was bent on attacking the many paintings that adorn our churches.
It is really amazing how St. Philip Neri without any plans of reforming the Church actually gave the human touch in the realizations of the Counter Reformation efforts by St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Charles Borromeo, and other saints.
His Congregation of Oratory proved to be so essential in the life of the Church with his priests who were more concerned with prayers, spiritual reading, and administering the sacraments than emphasizing discipline and obedience.
Teach us to imitate St. Philip Neri to take into our hearts the essence and meaning of your Son Jesus Christ’s words today:
"whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Mark 10:44-45)
We pray, O God, today for those feeling sad due to the many problems and difficulties this pandemic has caused to many of us. Give us a fresh and new perspective in life where we rely more on you than on our selves and the world, enabling us to see the light and beauty around us, especially among those the suffering we must lend our hands to.
Like St. Philip Neri, in sharing the joys and laughter of children we may become like children again. Amen.