Gathering and Separating

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Jan 18, 2023, 3:42:37 AMJan 18
Gathering and Separating

"And he will separate them one from another as a shepherd
separates the sheep from the goats." So then, people on earth are
intermingled, and not only intermingled in that the righteous live
side by side with the wicked, but they are also indistinguishable.
Between the righteous and the wicked there is no apparent difference.
Even as in wintertime you cannot tell the healthy trees apart from the
withered trees but in beautiful springtime you can tell the
difference, so too each person according to his faith and his works
will be exposed. The wicked will not have any leaves or show any
fruit, but the righteous will be clothed with the leaves of eternal
life and adorned with the fruit of glory. In this way they will be
separated by the heavenly shepherd and Lord. The earthly shepherd
separates animals by their type of body, whereas Christ separates
people by their type of soul. The sheep signify righteous people by
reason of their gentleness, because they harm no one, and by reason of
their patience, because when they are harmed by others, they bear it
without resistance. He refers to sinners as goats, however, because
these vices characterize goats--capriciousness toward other animals,
pride and belligerence."
by an anonymous early author from the Greek church
(excerpt from

January 18th - Saint Jaime Hilario Barbel

Saint Jaime Hilario Barbel, educator and courageous martyr for the
faith. On the occasion of his canonization, Blessed Pope John Paul II
proclaimed, “The ninth Brother, Brother Jaime Hilario Barbel, was from
Catalonia and was martyred in 1937 near Tarragona. The Passionist
Father had come to the school in Turon in order to hear the children's
confessions. The Church is glorifying… [him] because they remained
faithful to their consecration even as far as giving their life for
the faith and their evangelizing mission. The official recognition of
their holiness exalts at the same time their mission--one that we know
is delicate and difficult--as Christian educators of youth.”

Manuel Barbal Cosan was born in Enviny, a town nestled at the foot of
the Pyrenees Mountains in northern Spain. Devout and serious from a
young age, his parents were all too pleased to give their blessing
when he verbalized his desire to enter the minor seminary at Urgel. He
was only 12!

Sadly, Manuel soon developed hearing problems, which led to the
gradual loss of hearing in his ears over the course of his life. He
was advised to leave the seminary, and returned home. There, he
continued his daily prayers and devotions, and looked for alternative
ways in which to serve the Lord. Convinced that he was called to
enter the religious life, Manuel was overjoyed to be accepted into the
Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools in 1917. Traveling
to Irun, Spain, he entered the novitiate and took the name Jaime
Hilario. Brother Jaime spent the next 16 years in various teaching
assignments, working with children, and spreading the Word of God.
Working as a catechist and educator, Jaime strongly believed in
universal education, especially for the poor and marginalized. After
that time, his hearing loss became too profound to continue as an
educator, and instead, he tended the garden at the house of formation
in San Jose, Tarragona. This work he undertook with his usual zeal
and effort, finding God in the smallest and most menial of tasks.

In 1936, on a trip to visit his family at Enviny, the Spanish Civil
War began. During the war, religious were actively arrested and
persecuted. Jaime was immediately recognized as a Brother, arrested,
and imprisoned. In December, he was moved to Tarragona, and confined
in a prison ship with several other brothers. There, he did the best
he could to keep their spirits up and inspire the group not to lose
faith. Tried in 1937, and offered freedom if he denounced his order
and claimed to be only a gardener, Brother Jaime refused, insisting on
his identity as a servant of God and brother of the order.

He was sentenced to execution and brought to the cemetery where it was
to occur, known as the Mount of Olives. On January 18, as he faced
down the firing squad, Saint Jaime proclaimed, “To die for Christ, my
young friends, is to live.” The first two volleys of the firing squad
failed to wound him, and the soldiers responsible dropped their rifles
and fled in panic. It is said that they purposefully missed, as they
feared to harm such a holy and courageous man. Their commander,
however, was not moved, and fired five shots at close range, killing
Saint Jaime instantly. Following his death, over the course of the
war, 96 LaSalle Brothers were killed in Catalunia, Spain. Saint Jaime
is the first to be recognized as saint and martyr.

Saint Jaime’s words inspire us today, to listen for, and follow the
Lord’s commands, and to dedicate ourselves to him: “The day you learn
to surrender yourself totally to God, you will discover a new world,
just as I am experiencing. You will enjoy a peace and a calm unknown,
surpassing even the happiest days of your life.”
--by Jacob

Saint Quote:
“God be blessed; I'll pray for all of you in heaven. What more could I
desire than to die for no other crime but that of being a religious
and for having made my contribution to the Christian education of
children. Dear father and family, I have been judged and condemned to
death. I accept the sentence with joy. No charges have been brought
against me. I have been condemned to death only because I am a
religious. Do not weep for me, I am not worthy of pity. I shall die
for God and for my country. Farewell, I shall be waiting for you in
-- (Saint Jaime Hilario Barbel, writing to his family upon learning
his death sentence, prior to his martyrdom)

Bible quote:
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the
Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one
another with a pure heart fervently. (1 Peter 1:22)

O good Jesus, hide me within Thy wounds

Behold, O good and sweetest Jesus, before Thy Face I
humbly kneel, and with the greatest fervour of my soul I pray
and beseech Thee to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments
of faith, hope, and charity, with true contrition for my sins and
a most firm purpose of amendment, whilst I contemplate with
great sorrow and affection Thy five wounds and ponder them
over in my mind, having before my eyes the words which long
ago David the prophet spoke in Thy own person concerning
Thee, O good Jesus: "They have pierced My hands and My
feet, they have numbered all My bones."

Grant, O Lord Jesus Christ, that we who devoutly cherish
Thy wounds, having them impressed on our hearts, may
honour them by our actions and our life. Glory be to the
Father, etc., five times.
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