Wednesday, May 7, 2014

You Have Seen Me

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Minute Meditations

The Road to Humility

So it is always with God's love, that, in order to reach us, takes the way of humility. One can take no other road, if I do not lower myself, if you do not lower yourself, you are not a Christian. --Pope Francis
— fromSaint Francis, Pope Francis

St. Rose Venerini

Rose was born at Viterbo in Italy, the daughter of a doctor. Following the death of her fiancé she entered a convent, but soon returned home to care for her newly widowed mother. Meanwhile, Rose invited the women of the neighborhood to recite the rosary in her home, forming a sort of sodality with them.


As she looked to her future, Rose, under the spiritual guidance of a Jesuit priest, became convinced that she was called to become a teacher in the world rather than a contemplative nun in a convent. Clearly, she made the right choice: She was a born teacher, and the free school for girls she opened in 1685 was well received.

Soon the cardinal invited her to oversee the training of teachers and the administration of schools in his Diocese of Montefiascone. As Rose's reputation grew, she was called upon to organize schools in many parts of Italy, including Rome. Her disposition was right for the task as well, for Rose often met considerable opposition but was never deterred.

She died in Rome in 1728, where a number of miracles were attributed to her. She was beatified in 1952 and canonized in 2006. The sodality, or group of women she had invited to prayer, was ultimately given the rank of a religious congregation. Today, the so-called Venerini Sisters can be found in the United States and elsewhere, working among Italian immigrants.


Whatever state of life God calls us to, we bring with us an assortment of experiences, interests and gifts—however small they seem to us. Rose's life stands as a reminder that all we are is meant to be put to service wherever we find ourselves.


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


I pause for a moment and think of the love and the grace that God showers on me, creating me in his image and likeness, making me his temple....


Lord, you granted me the great gift of freedom.
In these times, O Lord, grant that I may be free
From any form of racism or intolerance.
Remind me, Lord, that we are all equal
in your Loving eyes.


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 1 acts 8:1b-8

There broke out a severe persecution of the Church in Jerusalem,
and all were scattered
throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria,
except the Apostles.
Devout men buried Stephen and made a loud lament over him.
Saul, meanwhile, was trying to destroy the Church;
entering house after house and dragging out men and women,
he handed them over for imprisonment.

Now those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.
Thus Philip went down to the city of Samaria
and proclaimed the Christ to them.
With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip
when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing.
For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice,
came out of many possessed people,
and many paralyzed and crippled people were cured.
There was great joy in that city.

Responsorial Psalm ps 66:1-3a, 4-5, 6-7a

R. (1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth,
sing praise to the glory of his name;
proclaim his glorious praise.
Say to God, "How tremendous are your deeds!"
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
"Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you,
sing praise to your name!"
Come and see the works of God,
his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
He has changed the sea into dry land;
through the river they passed on foot;
therefore let us rejoice in him.
He rules by his might forever.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.

Gospel jn 6:35-40

Jesus said to the crowds,
"I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst.
But I told you that although you have seen me,
you do not believe.
Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
because I came down from heaven not to do my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.
And this is the will of the one who sent me,
that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him
may have eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day."


What is stirring in me as I pray? Am I consoled, troubled, left cold? I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting at my side and share my feelings with him.


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: John 6:35-40

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3rd Week of Easter

This is the will of my Father. (John 6:40)

After major sporting events, most television networks air a "postgame show," during which highlights and important facets of the game are replayed, discussed, and analyzed. True fanatics of the sport follow such information with rapt attention. It's a good way for them to feel connected to a sport that has so captured their imaginations.

In a similar way, we can look at the Easter season as a good, long postgame show as well. Nothing could possibly be greater than the death and resurrection of God's own Son, so it's well worth reviewing it and gaining every possible insight from it!

And what is one of the most important insights we can receive this Easter season? We are created for eternity! As Jesus told his disciples, "This is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life" (John 6:40). When we think about God's will, we often are drawn to consider issues like our vocation. Should I be married or enter religious life? Should I teach or be a missionary or an accountant? But most important of all is the fact that God's will for you is that you live with him forever.

That one truth undergirds everything else. It's not confusing, debatable, or uncertain. Your Father wants to bring you to heaven. He wanted it so much that he sent his only Son to give up his life so that it could happen. God's will is that you will never be separated from his love and presence. Everything else is just details. They can be important details, but they should never outweigh the fact that you are precious in God's sight. They should never overshadow the fact that he loves you so much that he wants to spend eternity with you.

Right now, today, God is standing by your side. He is telling you, "Don't be afraid; I will help you do whatever I ask of you. I will give you everything you need so that you can live with me forever." He has taken you by the hand, and no one can snatch you from him. You belong to him, and he belongs to you. Forever!

"Father, I want to live with you for all eternity. Hold me close, and keep me always in your presence."


Acts 8:1-8; Psalm 66:1-7


Last night I led a funeral vigil for a man that used to work for us, and his son is my friend.  For some reason, when I was choosing the Holy Scriptures, the Holy Spirit led me to Scriptures like those of today, about the thirsty, the hungry, and the feading of the bread of Jesus.  Are you hungry?  Chances are you may feel hungry and you keep trying to satisfy it with food, or shopping, or entertainment, pleasures, but it leaves you empty moments later, hours later, days later, or just later in life.  Try filling every void with Jesus.  And if you can, as Catholic, fill it as often as you can with the consecrated body of Christ, the Most Holy Eucharist.  Something happens when you fill yourself up with Jesus.  LOL, sometimes I've gone to a morning Mass, thanks be to God I have the opportunity sometimes, but after daily Mass, my bodily hunger is satiated, I feel full after taking in the Body Of Christ, but it is the kind of full that is happy and peaceful, not even my thirst or hunger matter anymore.  This is the kind of thing Jesus offers, something super and natural.  I get a lump in my throat when I hear the song that is sung sometimes  "and I will raise you up, and I will raise you up...on the last, day". John 6:51 says "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."  This is where it got bad for Jesus, as it continues "The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
 "How can this man give us flesh to eat?" Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.  Whoever eats* my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.  For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him." 
   What happens when you eat His flesh again?  You remain in Him.  And He remains in you.  You know, my life has been altered since listening to the Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ by sister Anne Emerich.  She usually referred to the "spouse" of the Church...Jesus.  And here comes a moment of intimacy, that special moment between spouses, where He enters the Holy Church and the fruit of the encounter is light unto the world.  The intimate moment?  The moment He enters our body.  From that moment we are His and He remains in us.  And what is His, is eternal.  The moment Stephen was stoned to death, another fruit was born, Philip went out preaching, and healing in the name of Jesus.  We need more of that, and for that, will it take another martyr?  Martyr means witness.  Yes, the world needs martyrs for the faith.  But how can you witness what you haven't witnessed. 
 Taste for yourself and see for yourself how good the Lord is, that will be enough for you to bear witness and give fruit with Him


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