Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Be Called Greatest

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Minute Meditations

Praise God Always
We are invited to praise God, even in our times of suffering. In our own chapters of life, tribulation will come, but so will endurance, grace, and blessings.
— from The Princess Guide


Blessed Joachima

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Born into an aristocratic family in Barcelona, Spain, Joachima was 12 when she expressed a desire to become a Carmelite nun. But her life took an altogether different turn at 16 with her marriage to a young lawyer, Theodore de Mas. Both deeply devout, they became secular Franciscans. During their 17 years of married life they raised eight children.

The normalcy of their family life was interrupted when Napoleon invaded Spain. Joachima had to flee with the children; Theodore, remaining behind, died. Though Joachima reexperienced a desire to enter a religious community, she attended to her duties as a mother. At the same time, the young widow led a life of austerity and chose to wear the habit of the Third Order of St. Francis as her ordinary dress. She spent much time in prayer and visiting the sick.

Four years later, with some of her children now married and younger ones under their care, Joachima confessed her desire to a priest to join a religious order. With his encouragement she established the Carmelite Sisters of Charity. In the midst of the fratricidal wars occurring at the time, Joachima was briefly imprisoned and, later, exiled to France for several years.

Sickness ultimately compelled her to resign as superior of her order. Over the next four years she slowly succumbed to paralysis, which caused her to die by inches. At her death in 1854 at the age of 71, Joachima was known and admired for her high degree of prayer, deep trust in God and selfless charity.


Joachima understands loss. She lost the home where her children grew up, her husband and, finally, her health. As the power to move and care for her own needs slowly ebbed away, this woman who had all her life cared for others became wholly dependent; she required help with life's simplest tasks. When our own lives go spinning out of control, when illness and bereavement and financial hardship strike, all we can do is cling to the belief that sustained Joachima: God watches over us always.

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


Daily Prayer - 2015-06-10


As I sit here, the beating of my heart,

the ebb and flow of my breathing, the movements of my mind

are all signs of God's ongoing creation of me.

I pause for a moment, and become aware

of this presence of God within me. 


Everything has the potential to draw forth from me a fuller love and life.

Yet my desires are often fixed, caught, on illusions of fulfillment.

I ask that God, through my freedom may orchestrate

my desires in a vibrant loving melody rich in harmony.


At this moment Lord I turn my thoughts to You. I will leave aside my chores and preoccupations.
I will take rest and refreshment in your presence Lord.

The Word of God


Reading 1 2 Cor 3:4-11

Brothers and sisters:
Such confidence we have through Christ toward God.
Not that of ourselves we are qualified to take credit
for anything as coming from us;
rather, our qualification comes from God,
who has indeed qualified us as ministers of a new covenant,
not of letter but of spirit;
for the letter brings death, but the Spirit gives life.

Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, was so glorious
that the children of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses
because of its glory that was going to fade,
how much more will the ministry of the Spirit be glorious?
For if the ministry of condemnation was glorious,
the ministry of righteousness will abound much more in glory.
Indeed, what was endowed with glory
has come to have no glory in this respect
because of the glory that surpasses it.
For if what was going to fade was glorious,
how much more will what endures be glorious.

Responsorial Psalm PS 99:5, 6, 7, 8, 9

R. (see 9c) Holy is the Lord our God.
Extol the LORD, our God,
and worship at his footstool;
holy is he!
R. Holy is the Lord our God.
Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
and Samuel, among those who called upon his name;
they called upon the LORD, and he answered them.
R. Holy is the Lord our God.
From the pillar of cloud he spoke to them;
they heard his decrees and the law he gave them.
R. Holy is the Lord our God.
O LORD, our God, you answered them;
a forgiving God you were to them,
though requiting their misdeeds.
R. Holy is the Lord our God.
Extol the LORD, our God,
and worship at his holy mountain;
for holy is the LORD, our God.
R. Holy is the Lord our God.

Alleluia Ps 25:4b, 5a

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Teach me your paths, my God,
and guide me in your truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 5:17-19

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven."

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    Watch a video reflection



Remembering that I am still in God's presence,

I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting beside me,

and say whatever is on my mind, whatever is in my heart,

speaking as one friend to another.


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: Matthew 5:17-19

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10th Week in Ordinary Time

I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. (Matthew 5:17)

Being outside in a snowstorm can be very disorienting. Even if you're very close to your house or car, you can feel a million miles from anywhere. Trying to push your way through the deep snow is exhausting. It's not a perfect analogy, but in many ways trying to follow God's law can be similar: even though God's law is good, we still lose our way, and even when we know where we're going, our energy can fade fast.

We can imagine various solutions for the snowbound traveler. If the temperature were to rise dramatically, the snow would turn to rain, and the piles would melt. Problem solved! Or a helicopter could arrive and airlift the shivering hiker to safety. In the same way, we sometimes picture our salvation in Christ in these terms. We can hope that our struggles will melt away like snowbanks in the warm sun. Or we may think, "I shouldn't have to keep struggling and fighting. Jesus will lift me out of this mess."

But Jesus gives us a different vision in today's Gospel. He explains that he has come to fulfill the Law and the prophets, not abolish them. Abolishing the Law would be like raising the temperature in a blizzard. The challenges just melt away. But Jesus' plan for us is also not like a helicopter rescue. He tells us that anyone wanting to be his disciple needs to follow all of the commandments. He won't just whisk us out of the situation and deposit us safely in the kingdom of heaven!

So what does Jesus do for us? Sticking with our analogy, Jesus is something of a Sherpa guide. He knows the way, and he goes ahead of us, allowing us to follow behind him where the going is easier. Eventually we find our way out of the snowstorm, but only because we are with the One who shares our journey with us.

Take a few minutes to reflect on this. Have you been hoping for a warming spell or a helicopter airlift? Take this to Jesus, and ask him to show you his presence in your life. Then join him in the great journey.

"Lord, thank you for working in me so that I can live for you."


2 Corinthians 3:4-11
Psalm 99:5-9


We read today's 1st Holy Scripture: "Not that of ourselves we are qualified to take credit for anything as coming from us; rather, our qualification comes from God, who has indeed qualified us as ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter brings death, but the Spirit gives life."  Pretty powerful words from St. Paul to the Corinthians, this very St. Paul that used to be named Saul, a zealous Jew that persecuted and killed Christians, because he followed the law down to the letter.  But something happened.  Jesus came into His life.  And this is a cataclysmic event.  He took His life not by violence as Saul was doing, but by such a shaking of his roots that it changed him from the inside out...and that is what and where we are getting at.

The Psalms pray on "Holy is the Lord our God", and "From the pillar of cloud he spoke to them; they heard his decrees and the law he gave them."  God spoke and the laws came to them.  Jesus is one in the Father, God Himself, and He spoke the decrees and the laws.  He said He came to fulfill the laws.  He actually fulfilled all the prophecies too.  In other words, that entire old testament is Jesus and He makes it new.  And rightly so because God is the new, and they say everything in Heaven is always new, not the same old same old.  But, we have those that go to Mass and leave and say it was the same old thing.  This happens when you go and do not receieve the Holy Spirit, and it was not because the Holy Spirit was not there!  There is a differnce of life and death between the letter of the law and the spirit.  Jesus came to give life to the letter.  Not to abolish the law, but to make them everlasting, and this is what happens in Holy Communion.  If this is too much to consume, then think about it again.  Some people go to Mass to fulfill the letter of the law, to follow the commandment, yet leave as good as dead.  Some people don't go to Mass, they don't kill anybody, they don't steal, following  those letters of the law and teach others to do what they do, living a life...dead.  And Jesus says in Mt.18:6 ""If anyone causes one of these little ones--those who believe in me--to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea."  So...what are you teaching your loved ones and strangers?  Because let's say there's about 7billion people in the world and 1 billion are Catholic Christian.  Now, you would think this is a good start in Christianity for the world to be evangelized.  Not so my friend.  Of those 1 billion Catholics, let's say 25% are actually going to church (following the letter of the law).  And who is actually following the Spirit of the Lord, and the fulfilmment of the law?  So what is happening?  Stumbling blocks.  So ours is a daunting mountain of a task, to evangelize, first ourselves but along with the others.  You can't say I'm going to study about Jesus and then get to the others.  You find Jesus in the others.  
I want you to leave with this, go to the places where you will not be tempted by the devil, but by the Lord, and keep going, to classes, listening to Christian music, Catholic programming, just apply yourself as you would apply yourself to anything else that interests you.  
What I do daily is attempt to pour out the importance of following the law of God, and more importantly, falling in love with God. Because if there was ever a fall out, it was a fall away from Love, thanks to Adam and Eve.  And so now there are many loves in the world "oh I love this new phone", or "Oh how I love this team", or "oh how I love my family", and what about God?  What of Him being your first Love and all you think about?  It is the saddest thing for me to see, someone going to Church and I know they are not open to Him as He sits there with His arms wide open on the cross, on the altar of the mountain.  What loves and lack there of have got us to this point?
If I could just grab everyone's shoulders and wake them up there including myself in Holy Mass !WAKE UP!  See what is before us!  IT IS CHRIST!  HE IS HERE FOR YOU!!!