Monday, November 10, 2014

"I Am "Sorry"

Minute Meditations
Using Your Talents

Let’s pray for discernment, that we will come to understand our own gifts and talents and use them to serve God. If we all dedicate our lives to using our gifts fully to serve Him and those in need around us, the world will be transformed.
— from Joyful Witness

St. Leo the Great
(d. 461)

With apparent strong conviction of the importance of the Bishop of Rome in the Church, and of the Church as the ongoing sign of Christ’s presence in the world, Leo the Great displayed endless dedication as pope. Elected in 440, he worked tirelessly as "Peter’s successor," guiding his fellow bishops as "equals in the episcopacy and infirmities."
Leo is known as one of the best administrative popes of the ancient Church. His work branched into four main areas, indicative of his notion of the pope’s total responsibility for the flock of Christ. He worked at length to control the heresies of Pelagianism (overemphasizing human freedom), Manichaeism (seeing everything material as evil) and others, placing demands on their followers so as to secure true Christian beliefs. A second major area of his concern was doctrinal controversy in the Church in the East, to which he responded with a classic letter setting down the Church’s teaching on the two natures of Christ. With strong faith, he also led the defense of Rome against barbarian attack, taking the role of peacemaker.
In these three areas, Leo’s work has been highly regarded. His growth to sainthood has its basis in the spiritual depth with which he approached the pastoral care of his people, which was the fourth focus of his work. He is known for his spiritually profound sermons. An instrument of the call to holiness, well-versed in Scripture and ecclesiastical awareness, Leo had the ability to reach the everyday needs and interests of his people. One of his sermons is used in the Office of Readings on Christmas.
It is said of Leo that his true significance rests in his doctrinal insistence on the mysteries of Christ and the Church and in the supernatural charisms of the spiritual life given to humanity in Christ and in his Body, the Church. Thus Leo held firmly that everything he did and said as pope for the administration of the Church represented Christ, the head of the Mystical Body, and St. Peter, in whose place Leo acted.


It is said of Leo that his true significance rests in his doctrinal insistence on the mysteries of Christ and the church and in the supernatural charisms of the spiritual life given to humanity in Christ and in his body, the church. Thus Leo held firmly that everything he did and said as pope for the administration of the church represented Christ, the head of the Mystical Body, and Saint Peter, in whose place Leo acted.

At a time when there is widespread criticism of Church structures, we also hear criticism that bishops and priests—indeed, all of us—are too preoccupied with administration of temporal matters. Pope Leo is an example of a great administrator who used his talents in areas where spirit and structure are inseparably combined: doctrine, peace and pastoral care. He avoided an "angelism" that tries to live without the body, as well as the "practicality" that deals only in externals.

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

God is with me, but more,God is within me, giving me existence.Let me dwell for a moment on God's life-giving presencein my body, my mind, my heartand in the whole of my life.

Lord grant me the grace
to have freedom of the spirit.
Cleanse my heart and soul
so I may live joyously in Your love
Knowing that God loves me unconditionally, I look honestly over the last day, its events and my feelings.
Do I have something to be grateful for?
Then I give thanks. Is there something I am sorry for?
Then I ask forgiveness.

The Word of God

Reading 1 ti 1:1-9

Paul, a slave of God and Apostle of Jesus Christ
for the sake of the faith of God’s chosen ones
and the recognition of religious truth,
in the hope of eternal life
that God, who does not lie, promised before time began,
who indeed at the proper time revealed his word
in the proclamation with which I was entrusted
by the command of God our savior,
to Titus, my true child in our common faith:
grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our savior.

For this reason I left you in Crete
so that you might set right what remains to be done
and appoint presbyters in every town, as I directed you,
on condition that a man be blameless,
married only once, with believing children
who are not accused of licentiousness or rebellious.
For a bishop as God’s steward must be blameless, not arrogant,
not irritable, not a drunkard, not aggressive,
not greedy for sordid gain, but hospitable, a lover of goodness,
temperate, just, holy, and self-controlled,
holding fast to the true message as taught
so that he will be able both to exhort with sound doctrine
and to refute opponents.

Responsorial Psalm ps 24:1b-2, 3-4ab, 5-6

R. (see 6) Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

Gospel lk 17:1-6

Jesus said to his disciples,
“Things that cause sin will inevitably occur,
but woe to the one through whom they occur.
It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck
and he be thrown into the sea
than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.
Be on your guard!
If your brother sins, rebuke him;
and if he repents, forgive him.
And if he wrongs you seven times in one day
and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’
you should forgive him.”

And the Apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,
you would say to this mulberry tree,
‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”

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What feelings are rising in me as I pray and reflect on God's Word? I imagine Jesus himself sitting or standing near me and open my heart to him.

 I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.

Catholic Meditations

Meditation: Luke 17:1-6

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Saint Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church
Forgive. (Luke 17:3)
Jesus wasn’t tiptoeing around the issue. Millstones are heavy. Large ones, like the one Jesus refers to in today’s Gospel reading, can weigh more than a ton. Still, we can get so focused on the millstone that we lose the heart of his central message here: if you have been sinned against, you need to forgive. Seven times or seven times seventy times, it amounts to the same thing: every time. Jesus wasn’t just offering a public rebuke to the ones who cause people to sin. He was telling all of us to forgive!
We have all been hurt at some time in our lives, and sometimes the memory of that hurt can stay with us for a long, long time. If we don’t deal with our pain through the gift of forgiveness, it can become a constant companion: a recurring complaint, a rancorous story told repeatedly, a sad movie that plays persistently in our thoughts. Whether we speak about the hurt or keep it bottled up inside, the result is the same: resentment and fear and shame deepen; bitterness festers. The chains that those emotions forge tighten and become heavier and heavier.
We don’t have to live in that kind of bondage! Forgiveness is the key. Forgive. And if the hurt resurfaces, forgive again. And again. Seven times seventy times, if necessary.
Sometimes, all you need is to take just one small step to forgive a hurt. Other times, you need to take a number of steps, over a long period of time, before you get your heart to a place where you can forgive. Whatever it takes, as long as you are trying to move forward, your heavenly Father will help you along.
Then there are those times when the pain is too sharp and the offense is too great for you to forgive. Know that even in these situations, God sees your heart, and he will ask you only to take the steps that you can take at that moment. Ever patient and compassionate, he is with you to help you and to heal your wounds.
So whatever your situation, picture your heavenly Father sitting next to you, his arm around your shoulder. Tell him what hurts. Tell him how hard it is to forgive. And ask him for his help. Give him time, just as he is giving you time, and he will help you take the next step. And the next one. And the next one.
“Father, help me to forgive. Heal me so that I can let go of anything that is holding me back!”

Titus 1:1-9; Psalm 24:1-6


St. Paul talks about a bishop and how one is to be as a bishop.  What is a bishop?  One who oversees.  One who is repsonsible for others.  A steward, a manager of God's goods.  That's all of us.  Because what soon follows is a call to a life "as God’s steward- must be blameless, not arrogant,
not irritable, not a drunkard, not aggressive, not greedy for sordid gain, but hospitable, a lover of goodness, temperate, just, holy, and self-controlled, holding fast to the true message as taught"  The message is for you and me.  We prayed "Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.  In comes our Lord Jesus:  "Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the one through whom they occur".  And he is leading to forgivness, and He is leading to your heart.  You caused the sin, repent, and request forgiveness.  Someone has failed you time and time again, forgive him or her time and time again.  If this is the Love of the Father then it is your love to live.  And this, well, it's going to take a LOT of Faith.  The Holy Gospel ends with them asking our King "increase our faith".  And He tells them if they only had a little bit of faith something spectacular would happen, something even Jesus had not done but they could do.  Question is, Do YOU believe?  Do you believe you can forgive like that?  Because we rather not believe in others, that is to say, believe in the Lord's words.  "I don't believe he/she will ever change" or "I can't handle this anyore".  Well if your life is not in danger, then it must be your pride that is in danger.  Now, let's go to the 7 deadly sins.  Lust.  Greed. Gluttony.  Envy.  Anger.  Pride.  Sloth.  Now, bear with me because it is "fixing to" get personal.  Most sins in the confessional will be of Lust.  They are recognized and people are addicted to it like a drug.  Ever share a lustful story of a sexual encounter with someone?  Then you've just introduced or facilitated someone to open their spirit to that sin.  WOE TO YOUR SOUL.  Thinking back on my personal life, I can only think of the damage I've not caused on the other person for this, but most damage is on myself.  God's children hurt themselves and God hates that.  Keep going?  Greed.  Probably rarely heard in confessionals, greed will hide its ugly head because we all want more and more, with an unsatisfying lust and hunger, braking the 9th commandment of coveting thy neighbor's goods.  "Oh I want that car!" or "Oh wow...look at their spouse...wish I had one like THAT".  Now, we are mixing and mingling one sin upon another, lust, and greed hand in hand, right?  Greed is terrible because of the damage of having one god of self and not the true Holy God that came with nothing and left with nothing...what about our hearts?  Shall I continue?  Getting personal yet?  Scary?  Because these deadly sins are the cause of the death of a soul...I'm starting to shake.  Gluttony.  I read from Catholic101 "The chief error about Gluttony is to think it only pertains to food. Some people can't have enough toys, television, entertainment, sex, or company. It is about an excess of anything. There are at least three forms of Gluttony:
  1. Wanting more pleasure from something than it was made for.
  2. Wanting it exactly our way (delicacy).
  3. Demanding too much from people (excessive desire for other people's time or presence).
YIKES.  Sounds like other gods are rearing their heads.  Using others?  HOGGING up other's time and more?  Yeah, sounds like Lust, Greed, and Gluttony are mingled in together, one invites the other evils and each one could be considered a demon, at least a portal.  Let's keep going:  Envy; what is envy to you?  Just eyeing other things "wish I had that".  Ever heard of John 3:16?   How about the contrary, James 3:16 "For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice."  wait a minute, didn't we just talk about selfishness earlier, pretty much in the previous sins.  Envy is perverted because it "loves" what other people possess, rather than what is Good, Beautiful and True.  Other gods again?  Oh my, OH MY.  Lust of the eyes is rearing its ugly head again.  Anger.  Oh no, who gets angry?  Who does that any more?  "Oh you have a right to get mad" says the devil, and why does the devil say that through a demonic trance?  Because it is DEADLY.  DEATH TO THE SOUL.  Jesus said it "Whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment"- Matthew 5:22.  I went through this probably this weekend, yet I walked my happy feet all the way up to the altar to receive Jesus in my soul!?  And I won't say why I got upset because it is embarassing, but it dips into other sins, like jealousy and "who is right" or wrong.  Turns out, it's all worked out and I found out who was right...GOD.   Afterall, it don't take much to cause another to sin, just say one harsh word and an explosion of evil could happen across the world or right in front of you.  "A mild answer calms wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." - Proverbs 15:1.  Suddenly, these 7 deadly sins are getting really, really interesting, to each and every one of us, no?  Then if you said no, let's discuss the next: PRIDE.  Your pride will NOT let you see the others sins, and this stealth mode devil is hard to catch in self and in others, working its way-rotting the soul.
  "The Devil, the proud spirit, cannot endure to be mocked."
- St. Thomas More, 16th Century

"God is stern in dealing with the arrogant, but to the humble He shows kindness."
- Proverbs 3:34
"Hatred of God comes from pride. It is contrary to the love of God ..."
- The Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2094
Satan's face is in pride.  Wasn't it the reason satan got thrown away from Heaven?  Watch out!  I heard this weekend someone say to another person not me, "oh you do so well at church, it is not the same when you aren't there".  I was watching to see if that other guy would take the bait of the devil, offering pride.  I'm not sure if he took the apple, but watch yourself, pride inflates with hot air from hell.  The first requirement of pride is spiritual blindness.  How much does the pride of others hurt me?  How much of MY pride hurts others?  Proud Catholic?  What an oxymoron.  And moron is more than oxy, because we are fooled by the king of lies, and that is exactly what satan calls you when you fall for it.  Try praying for the one with pride next time, and most of the time it will be oneself.  Lastly, Sloth.  Oh what's so bad about being lazy?  Well, if you cause others to be lazy, there is HELL TO PAY.  "His master replied, `You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?" - Matthew 25:26
"If a man is lazy, the rafters sag; if his hands are idle, the house leaks."
- Ecclesiastes 10:18
 We are on a journey, life is depending on you just like you are depending on life.
At the end of the Cursillo we heard those exact words; [[%0%|My Child]], Christ Is Counting On You"
and the promise of a word that can pull a tree and put it in an ocean blurts out from with in, the response we are told to give is not to be a lie

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