Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Because I Am

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Jesus is Our Religion Minute Meditations
Dear God, Jesus taught us that just because someone is in love with religion does not mean that person is in love with God. Help us realize that Jesus is our religion, and that all you ask is we open our hearts to him and love him and follow him along the way on our pilgrimage towards you.
— from Stories of Jesus 

St. Casimir

Casimir, born of kings and in line (third among 13 children) to be a king himself, was filled with exceptional values and learning by a great teacher, John Dlugosz. Even his critics could not say that his conscientious objection indicated softness. Even as a teenager, Casimir lived a highly disciplined, even severe life, sleeping on the ground, spending a great part of the night in prayer and dedicating himself to lifelong celibacy.

When nobles in Hungary became dissatisfied with their king, they prevailed upon Casimir's father, the king of Poland, to send his son to take over the country. Casimir obeyed his father, as many young men over the centuries have obeyed their government. The army he was supposed to lead was clearly outnumbered by the "enemy"; some of his troops were deserting because they were not paid. At the advice of his officers, Casimir decided to return home.

His father was irked at the failure of his plans, and confined his 15-year-old son for three months. The lad made up his mind never again to become involved in the wars of his day, and no amount of persuasion could change his mind. He returned to prayer and study, maintaining his decision to remain celibate even under pressure to marry the emperor's daughter.

He reigned briefly as king of Poland during his father's absence. He died of lung trouble at 23 while visiting Lithuania, of which he was also Grand Duke. He was buried in Vilnius, Lithuania.


For many years Poland and Lithuania faded into the gray prison on the other side of the Iron Curtain. Despite repression, the Poles and Lithuanians remained firm in the faith which has become synonymous with their name. Their youthful patron reminds us: Peace is not won by war; sometimes a comfortable peace is not even won by virtue, but Christ's peace can penetrate every government repression of religion.

Patron Saint of:


Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M. 


"Be still and know that I am God."
Lord, Your words lead us to the
calmness and greatness of your presence.


Lord, grant me the grace to be free from the excesses of this life. 
Let me not get caught up with the desire for wealth.
Keep my heart and mind free to love and serve you.


I exist in a web of relationships - links to nature, people, God. I trace out these links, giving thanks for the life that flows through them. Some links are twisted or broken: I may feel regret, anger, disappointment.I pray for the gift of acceptance and forgiveness.

The Word of God

Reading 11 PT 1:10-16

Concerning the salvation of your souls
the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours
searched and investigated it
investigating the time and circumstances
that the Spirit of Christ within them indicated
when it testified in advance
to the sufferings destined for Christ
and the glories to follow them.
It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you
with regard to the things that have now been announced to you
by those who preached the Good News to you
through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven,
things into which angels longed to look.

Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, live soberly,
and set your hopes completely on the grace to be brought to you
at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Like obedient children,
do not act in compliance with the desires of your former ignorance
but, as he who called you is holy,
be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct,
for it is written, Be holy because I am holy.

Responsorial Psalm PS 98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4

R. (2a) The Lord has made known his salvation.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him, 
his holy arm.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.

Gospel MK 10:28-31

Peter began to say to Jesus,
"We have given up everything and followed you."
Jesus said, "Amen, I say to you,
there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters
or mother or father or children or lands
for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel
who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age:
houses and brothers and sisters
and mothers and children and lands,
with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.
But many that are first will be last, and the last will be first."


Jesus, You always welcomed little children when you walked on this earth. Teach me to have a childlike trust in you. To live in the knowledge that You will never abandon me.


Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.

Catholic Meditations

Meditation: Mark 10:28-31

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Saint Casimir

Many that are first will be last, and the last will be first. (Mark 10:31)


Do you ever fish for compliments? When we have done something really admirable or we have an ability that we're really proud of, it can be tempting to draw attention to it. Even when we fight the temptation, we can promote ourselves in our own minds, imagining the compliments we would like to receive.

After Jesus announced how difficult it is for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God in today's Gospel reading, Peter piped up with some compliment fishing of his own: "We have given up everything and followed you" (Mark 10:28). It's as if he were saying, "Give us some credit here!" But Jesus cut him off, maybe in an effort to save Peter from embarrassing himself. Yes, you have done well, he said, and you will be rewarded.

But then Jesus spoke a simple sentence, easy to repeat, easy even to understand, but hard to take in fully: "Many that are first will be last, and the last will be first" (Mark 10:31). Peter had learned the way of the gospel as far as giving up everything to follow the Lord. But he had not yet learned that Jesus calls us to give up even our desire to achieve, our striving to be first. He calls us, in fact, to follow him all the way to the cross.

As we stand on the cusp of Lent, let's keep this verse in mind. God is calling you to free yourself from the world and your fallen nature a little bit more. He is calling you to devote yourself to him and his kingdom a little more. But it's easy to become proud of your Lenten observances and, like Peter, want to promote yourself.

You don't have to argue your case before God! He sees everything you do for him, and he delights in all of it—even the smallest act of self-giving. He loves you. He wants to draw you close to himself. He rejoices in everything you do that brings you one step closer to him. So stop trying to put yourself forward. Rather, imitate him by preferring the back of the line. Don't worry; he'll find you. And when he does, he will usher you right into his kingdom!

"Lord, draw me to yourself more completely during this season; help there to be more of you and less of me."


1 Peter 1:10-16; Psalm 98:1-4

Today's 5 minutos said (I will attempt to translate for you):
  "Receive a hundred times more" does not mean you will "recuperate" a hundredfold all that has been renounced, because we would be left in the Old Testament (Job 42:10).  Receiving "a hundred times more" of the renounced means to give an eternal sense, of "eternal life".  That is to say, that the "reward" is not more than the organization of life life from a few "eternal" values.  The fundamental of poverty  and renunciation is to order human realities not in function of earthly outdated values, but spiritual values; that's to say, according to the love of God and neighbor.  That's why, the poverty through the Gospel can not stay in a simple renunciation of goods, nor giving the goods a social end.  The message of the Lord, asks for more: organize all the life in function of the Kingdom.  If we recognize that before God we are poor, it is to recover our original condition, when we went naked before the hands of God.  After this, the creation, and, over all, the salvation, is a Grace of God.   Father of man, you who offer the riches of your Kingdom to who have a heart of the poor: prepare us to listen to your Word with a desire to put it into practice.  With open hands before you, we give you thanks, God of life, because your love enriches us with the only goods that do not perish.  Blessed are You for the infinite gift that you make in Jesus, Your Son, our inheritance and our eternal joy!  In Him we are freed from all useless weight, and the door of Your Kingdom opens to welcome the poor and the humble." 
Last night, my daughter went to pray at the community rosary at Church with me.  During one of the mysteries, she noticed we prayed for humility.  She asked as we prayed, whispering, and I said "I'll tell you after we finish praying", because the rosary is a meditational prayer.  Now, I had to explain what it means to be humble.  I couldn't explain.  So I asked the others there to explain to her.  Explanations came, "putting others first" was sort of the answer.  I said too, "then putting God first", that is what it must truly mean to be humble...anything else and we are proud, the opposite of humility.  Humble means to suffer in a way, which reminds me of the Gospel when our Lord says those who give up everything, "with persecutions" will inherit the reward.  But we feel like anxious little kids, "when will we get to see?  When will we get there?  Are we there yet?"  Our Lord always says "the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand".  And it is ours for the taking, and this is when to take what He wants seriously.  We prayed the Psalm "His right hand has won victory for Him, His Holy Arm".  The first Holy Scripture ended with "Like obedient children, do not act in compliance with the desires of your former ignorance but, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct, for it is written, Be holy because I am holy."  This Lenten journey will be a journey to Holiness.  Because when we empty ourselves of self, we will fill ourselves with Him and share it.  That is why it is important to confess, reconcile and begin this together.  His right hand is the Holy Church at His hand, it will win Him victory, and we are speaking of battling spirits, not people.  We will not win peace with war, but with Jesus ONLY.  Peace with Jesus is a piece of Heaven, in the Eucharist and with one another.  Ever want to taste it?  It will come with the tenacity of your prayers and the actions of your heart.  "Act, and God will act. "- St. Joan of Arc


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