Thursday, August 28, 2014


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Minute Meditations

Spacious Silence

Silence is the ability to trust that God is acting, teaching, and using me—even before I perform or after my seeming failures. Silence is the necessary space around things that allows them to develop and flourish without my pushing. God takes it from there.
— from Yes, and...

St. Augustine of Hippo

A Christian at 33, a priest at 36, a bishop at 41: Many people are familiar with the biographical sketch of Augustine of Hippo, sinner turned saint. But really to get to know the man is a rewarding experience.

There quickly surfaces the intensity with which he lived his life, whether his path led away from or toward God. The tears of his mother (August 27), the instructions of Ambrose (December 7) and, most of all, God himself speaking to him in the Scriptures redirected Augustine's love of life to a life of love.

Having been so deeply immersed in creature-pride of life in his early days and having drunk deeply of its bitter dregs, it is not surprising that Augustine should have turned, with a holy fierceness, against the many demon-thrusts rampant in his day. His times were truly decadent—politically, socially, morally. He was both feared and loved, like the Master. The perennial criticism leveled against him: a fundamental rigorism.

In his day, he providentially fulfilled the office of prophet. Like Jeremiah and other greats, he was hard-pressed but could not keep quiet. "I say to myself, I will not mention him,/I will speak in his name no more./But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,/imprisoned in my bones;/I grow weary holding it in,/I cannot endure it" (Jeremiah 20:9).


Augustine is still acclaimed and condemned in our day. He is a prophet for today, trumpeting the need to scrap escapisms and stand face-to-face with personal responsibility and dignity.


"Too late have I loved you, O Beauty of ancient days, yet ever new! Too late I loved you! And behold, you were within, and I abroad, and there I searched for you; I was deformed, plunging amid those fair forms, which you had made. You were with me, but I was not with you. Things held me far from you—things which, if they were not in you, were not at all. You called, and shouted, and burst my deafness. You flashed and shone, and scattered my blindness. You breathed odors and I drew in breath—and I pant for you. I tasted, and I hunger and thirst. You touched me, and I burned for your peace" (St. Augustine, Confessions).

Patron Saint of:


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....


"In these days, God taught me
as a schoolteacher teaches a pupil" (Saint Ignatius).
I remind myself that there are things God has to teach me yet,
and ask for the grace to hear them and let them change me.


In God's loving presence I unwind the past day, starting from now and looking back, moment by moment.
I gather in all the goodness and light, in gratitude. I attend to the shadows and what they say to me,
seeking healing, courage, forgiveness.

 The Word of God

Memorial of Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 428

Reading 1 1 cor 1:1-9

Paul, called to be an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
and Sosthenes our brother,
to the Church of God that is in Corinth,
to you who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy,
with all those everywhere who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I give thanks to my God always on your account
for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus,
that in him you were enriched in every way,
with all discourse and all knowledge,
as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you,
so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift
as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He will keep you firm to the end,
irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is faithful,
and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Responsorial Psalm ps 145:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (1) I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Every day will I bless you,
and I will praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD and highly to be praised;
his greatness is unsearchable.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Generation after generation praises your works
and proclaims your might.
They speak of the splendor of your glorious majesty
and tell of your wondrous works.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
They discourse of the power of your terrible deeds
and declare your greatness.
They publish the fame of your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your justice.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.

Gospel mt 24:42-51

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this:
if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.

"Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant,
whom the master has put in charge of his household
to distribute to them their food at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so.
Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property.
But if that wicked servant says to himself, 'My master is long delayed,'
and begins to beat his fellow servants,
and eat and drink with drunkards,
the servant's master will come on an unexpected day
and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely
and assign him a place with the hypocrites,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth."

Sometimes I wonder what I might say if I were to meet you in person Lord.  I think I might say "Thank You Lord" for always being there for me.  I know with certainty there were times when you carried me, Lord. When it was through your strength I got through the dark times in my life.


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: 1 Corinthians 1:1-9

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Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

You are not lacking in any spiritual gift. (1 Corinthians 1:7)

Scientists tell us that DNA is the master plan behind every living organism—including ourselves. This one tiny molecule holds all the data that determines a person's gender, eye color, height, susceptibility to various diseases, and, according to some researchers, parts of the individual's personality. In a number of ways, DNA is what makes us—us. It's all there ready to burst out. We have no control over it, but in God's perfect plan, it comes out at just the right moment.

Did you know that you also have a spiritual DNA? Scripture tells us that God "has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens ... before the foundation of the world" (Ephesians 1:3, 4). That's you! You have every heavenly grace you will ever need. It's all there, inside of you, ready to burst out at just the right moment. Grace to say no to temptation? It's already there. Grace to share your faith? That too! What about the grace to love someone who gets on your nerves? Yes, even that!

What's more, you have the Holy Spirit at work in your heart, cultivating it so that all these spiritual gifts can have the greatest effect possible.

So why don't we always see this grace active in us? It could be because we're too busy. It could be because we're not used to looking for grace. But another key reason may be that we are used to focusing on our failings and weaknesses more than on the grace that is in us. But even when we lose sight of our great potential, God doesn't! Like any good architect, he knows exactly how he built us, and he longs to see us use every tool he has given us.

Today, make it a point to repeat this statement over and over: "I am loved by God. He has a perfect plan for my life. He has equipped me for every challenge I may face. I am fearfully, wonderfully made!" Never forget that God sees your potential. Never forget that his Son gave up his life so that you can become the you he created you to be!

"Thank you, Father, for all the grace and blessings you have given me. Teach me how to open these mighty gifts and use them for your glory."


Psalm 145:2-7; Matthew 24:42-51

Allow me to translate today's 5minutos:

  "There came a cowboy to tell his boss that a rattlesnake had bitten one of his employees.  Rapidly the administrator asked him if he'd given him an antivenom serum injection that he had in storage;  the cowboy responded that he had not done it but that he had given the little box of antidote to the man that was bitten by the serpent, because he didn't know how to give an injection.  The administrator asked that he accompany him to go see him, when we got to the hospital we asked for the person that had been bitten by the serpent, the medic came that attended him to tell us that the person had passed away, but that he did not understand how this person got to the hospital with the antivenom serum in hand.  He asked the man that was the rattlesnake victim, "why didn't you put in the antivenome serum?' to which the worker trembling and with irregular breathing and accelerated heart due to the venom of the serpent responded that he "didn't know how to put it on"; the medic responded but there in the box are the recommendations on how to use it, and the worker said that he did not take the luxury of reading it, and then passed away. Having life in his hands, he didn't use it.  How many times do we ignore or forget that we have at our hand the perfect antidote to give life to what we believe is lost, do not permit that the "venom" extend in your life.  Apply today the dose of Life, Jesus, in your heart.  Do not throw in rotten sack, the life of Christ, who gave Himself for all of us. "

T"o you who have been called to be Holy", says St. Paul, "He will keep you firm to the end, irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful...."  Had I read yesterday, today's readings? No.  Did I say God is faithful? Yes.  And I also said we are called to be like God, faithful.  We prayed the Psalm, "I will praise your Name Forever Lord".  Faithful to the end.  To the end of times?  Yes!  Why not?  But Jesus says "Stay Awake!"  What good will it be for me to be faithful and drift off snoozing into an oblivion.  Like the Pharisees were extremely faithful, but were lost.  How can this be?  Sin has a way of creeping up on you and biting you when you least expect.  Let me give you a silly example of yours truly, a sinner among sinners.  I was watching TV last night, I don't even remember what I was watching, the news or something, and my kids came by one by one to say goodnight.  Before I knew it they were all in bed.  I just now remembered we didn't pray together like the night before.  Funny how distractions keep us from God.  And sin is like that.  A small distraction here, a little doubt there, and BOOM, we missed our boat to salvation!  STAY AWAKE!  We know not the day or the hour of the end.  At our last ultreya (cursillista gathering) a couple were recalling how they had witnessed a horrible accident, a jeep turned over and they went to go see if the driver was ok, and they saw his body mutilated, when seconds before they had seen the young man's face driving wreckless.  From one second to the next he was gone.  In what condition did He leave earth?  "We prayed for him", the couple said, that's all they could do.  I said "that's the best thing you could've done at the moment of his death".  We know not the hour, and those that do, a blessing.  Jesus tells us of those that are found unfaithful, how they will be punished.  This is getting serious, but stay with me now.  For those that take in the Holy Eucharist, you are swallowing the entirety of the Holy Gospel, including today's Words.  We take in not only love and mercy, but God's justice.  I told our co-worker group last night, that we will be hardened for the better, or for worse when we take in that GOD into our souls in the Eucharist.  This should make you afraid.  A co-worker asked "why does it say in the bible that we should fear the Lord?".  We agreed that we fear everything else but Him.  Him we take less serious, for our earthly problems and our health are more important than fear of Him.  We go do whatever in the heck we want without the least drop of fear of God.  The world does not fear God, but good Christians do.  So what is Jesus asking me right now Mr. Adrian?  With a big sigh of relief and love from God, He is giving us an awesome opportunity to hear Him and be transformed by Him into Him, who is all Holy and Good, all those beautiful things God is, we can be for the world.  He is calling on faithfulness, always on the alert, because evil is constantly on the prowl to devour the weak.  For this reason we are to never look down on the weak (sinful) but to help them.  OOOPS!  I done goof on that quite a bit, don't we tend to ridicule that lazy bum, or that wretched horrible person that done others wrong?  Hmm.  Stay AWAKE!  We don't want a place with hypocrites.  You are either all in, or all out.  God wants to find us all in.  Or should I desecrate His Holiness like King Belshazzar using the chalice to my own desire.  Daniel chapter 5:  "You, his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this; 23you have rebelled against the Lord of heaven. You had the vessels of his temple brought before you, so that you and your nobles, your consorts and your concubines, might drink wine from them; and you praised the gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, that neither see nor hear nor have intelligence. But the God in whose hand is your very breath and the whole course of your life, you did not glorify. "
It is boiling down to the day in our life when we gave Glory to God.

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