Wednesday, June 17, 2015

When You Pray

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Minute Meditations

Path to Heaven
God doesn't just "have a plan" for our salvation—He became the plan (Phil 2:6-16). The path to heaven is the way of the cross.
— from Tweet Inspiration

St. Joseph Cafasso
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Even as a young man, Joseph loved to attend Mass and was known for his humility and fervor in prayer. After his ordination he was assigned to a seminary in Turin. There he worked especially against the spirit of Jansenism, an excessive preoccupation with sin and damnation. Joseph used the works of St. Francis de Sales and St. Alphonsus Liguori to moderate the rigorism popular at the seminary.
Joseph recommended membership in the Secular Franciscan Order to priests. He urged devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and encouraged daily Communion. In addition to his teaching duties, Joseph was an excellent preacher, confessor and retreat master. Noted for his work with condemned prisoners, Joseph helped many of them die at peace with God.

St. John Bosco was one of Joseph's pupils. Joseph urged John Bosco to establish the Salesians to work with the youth of Turin. Joseph was canonized in 1947.


Devotion to the Eucharist gave energy to all Joseph's other activities. Long prayer before the Blessed Sacrament has been characteristic of many Catholics who have lived out the gospel well, St. Francis, Bishop Sheen, Cardinal Bernardin and Blessed Mother Teresa among them.


"O admirable heights and sublime lowliness! O sublime humility! O humble sublimity! That the Lord of the universe, God and the Son of God, so humbles Himself that for our salvation He hides Himself under the little form of bread! Look, brothers, at the humility of God and pour out your hearts before Him! Humble yourselves, as well, that you may be exalted by Him. Therefore, hold back nothing of yourselves for yourselves so that He Who gives Himself totally to you may receive you totally" (Saint Francis, Letter to the Entire Order).

Patron Saint of:


Daily Prayer - 2015-06-17


Dear Jesus, today I call on you in a special way.
Mostly I come asking for favours.
Today I'd like just to be in Your presence.
Let my heart respond to Your Love.


Lord, may I never take the gift
of freedom for granted. You gave
me the great blessing of freedom of
spirit. Fill my spirit with Your peace and
Your joy.


I remind myself that I am in the presence of the Lord.
I will take refuge in His loving heart. He is my strength in times of weakness. He is my comforter in times of sorrow.

The Word of God



Reading 1 2 Cor 9:6-11

Brothers and sisters, consider this:
whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver.
Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you,
so that in all things, always having all you need,
you may have an abundance for every good work.
As it is written:

He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.

The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food
will supply and multiply your seed
and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

You are being enriched in every way for all generosity,
which through us produces thanksgiving to God.

Responsorial Psalm PS 112:1bc-2, 3-4, 9

R. (1b) Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Wealth and riches shall be in his house;
his generosity shall endure forever.
Light shines through the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious and merciful and just.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Lavishly he gives to the poor;
his generosity shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him
and we will come to him.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 6:1-6, 16-18

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them;
otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets
to win the praise of others.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

"When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites,
who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
so that others may see them.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door,
and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

"When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.
They neglect their appearance,
so that they may appear to others to be fasting.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
so that you may not appear to others to be fasting,
except to your Father who is hidden.
And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you."

Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • It is remarkable how strongly Jesus feels about hypocrisy. He hammers home his disapproval through a series of examples: Hypocrisy can undermine the virtue in almsgiving, in prayer, and in fasting. This list is not exhaustive. Maybe you can add to it.
  • Ask Jesus to sensitise you to any hypocrisy that may have crept into your own life and to heal you of its contagion.


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: 2 Corinthians 9:6-11

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11th Week in Ordinary Time

Whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. (2 Corinthians 9:6)

Among all the statues and paintings, the signs and symbols in our churches, one sign that doesn't receive much attention is one of the most important: the "Exit" sign. What we do outside of church—the ways we serve, the degree to which we love, our commitment to evangelization—is a vital counterpart to what we celebrate at Mass.

Paul illustrated this point when he appealed to the Corinthian believers on behalf of their brothers and sisters in Jerusalem. The church in Jerusalem had always been poor, and Paul made it a point as he traveled to other churches to ask for donations to help them out. You could say that in addition to being a passionate preacher and a committed pastor, Paul was also a very effective fundraiser! Just look at today's passage, and you'll see how good he was at moving people to give generously.

Paul's ability to mingle pastoral and financial concerns shows us that Christianity is not just about praying and going to Mass. It's not just about getting redeemed and securing a place for ourselves in heaven. It is just as much about caring for God's people, binding up the wounded, and preaching the gospel.

But the Christian life isn't only about the "religious" things we do like prayer, service, and evangelization. It's also about our approach to recreation, the way we treat our neighbors, our work ethic—even the way we eat and drink. In short, it's about the way we allow the Holy Spirit to influence us no matter what we are doing. It's a matter of welcoming the Spirit into all the areas of our lives and keeping them in balance.

We all face the challenge of what we will do after we pass the Exit sign. One of the best ways to answer the challenge is to try our best to stay open to the Spirit's promptings in all the aspects of our lives: our relationship with God, the way we deal with everyday life, and our call to serve the mission of the Church.

"Father, thank you for your kindness and generosity. Show me how I can have more balance in my walk with you."


Psalm 112:1-4, 9
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18




Today we read the word of God "God loves a cheerful giver".  I am guilty of not being a cheerful giver.  I've given a bunch of whining, remorse, and yells, that's what I've given.  I have given not cheerfuly, but forcefully.  I have given anything but joy.  I have given many things but peace.  And yet our Lord waits for it, after another few slaps verbally and even physically, we realize we slapped our Lord, we assaulted our Lord, in the most vulnerable, those that perhaps were even...innocent.  God loves a cheerful giver.  As I sit here and attempt to share my faith, with much regret of what I have given wrongly, I dare to pray.  And then I give my sinfulness, my ingratitude, my impatience, my pride our Lord for Him to do with it as He pleases in hopes He will help me get rid of it.  And we have to.  And we can.  And this is the formidable force of prayer.  The 1st reading ended with "You are being enriched in every way for all generosity, which through us produces thanksgiving to God."  As I read this, I am envisioning me consuming the Holy Eucharist, and envision it as an enrichment, yet what is being enriched?  For sure what you are bringing to the altar, sins or holiness.  There, an enrichment is taking place, for generosity, which leads to thanksgiving, of which the very word Eucharist means thanksgiving!  We talked about this last night, what the meaning of the Eucharist is.  Simply put, it is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ.  As I tried to explain what it means, I tried to explain it as a power, but not power as we like to think of on earth, I said it is a power in humility, if God were to so grant such a wondruous gift to a poor soul.  God loves a cheerful giver suddenly sounds like God loves a humble and giving heart.  If we are eating His Body and Divinity, then we are to become what we eat, the humble and obedient lamb of God, the sacrificed one that came for all, to take back with Him to the Father.  How soon I forget what I am, and am called to be.
The Psalms pray "Blessed Be the Man Who Fears the Lord".  In our world, I don't think very many actually fear the Lord.  If there was a Holy Fear of Love, then, there would be no sin.  Yet we are backwards, affectionate towards sin and obstinate towards His persisting love.  And you know what?  As much as we like to blame the world for our faults, it's not all "their" fault, the change is possible, but we are stubborn.  The sacrifice is possible, but we will not give.  We give to temptation, but we don't give to God.  And what is being given?  Our lives.  Even the collection in the Holy Mass, we are supposed to be giving.  The collection prayers are a collection of our prayers, and the collection of your money?  I heard a priest say "money is like little life certificates, you worked an hour for this much money, so money (your wage) is a certificate of your life, and it is what is offered" in Mass?  How much of your life are you willing to give?  That is what I asked the RCIA students last night.  Your heart is leading your soul.  Let's go to Heaven!
The holy Gospel brings up the things we hear during lent.  Usually readings on fasting and prayer.  If we were to start 40 days right now, without counting Sundays, we'd lead up close to the Transfiguration of the Lord.  Will you fast and pray for 40 days to be transfigured with the Lord?  What does transfiguration mean?  A quick internet definition said "transform into something more beautiful, or elevated".  Would you fast and pray for that?  Because this would mean to be transfigured into Him.  This would mean to give into Him, so that with Him we would be elevated.  This is why in the Holy Mass, a priest puts drops of water into wine, a mingling of humanity with divinity, and then it is raised up.  Only through Him can we be raised up.  I do want to be a cheerful giver.  When I am put down at church, I smile, take the beatings with joy.  When I am put down at work or at home, it seems I don't give in very easily.  What this says to me, I have to bring church to the poor.  Starting with me.  Start giving in by giving love of God first.  Because there is a suffering Church and it is neglected beyond human comprehension.  Neglected ones turn wild.  Wild ones are harder to tame, yet an expert can lead a wild horse with a whisper, such does the same, the Holy Spirit through us and our prayers.  Largely, the wild do not pray, and those who pray, pray not as they ought.  Too much prayer is spent talking, unfortunately, it is the only form of prayer non-catholics know.  There is an internal prayer, closing the door, meditational, spending time delving selves into His life, in the rosary, or both rosary and scripture.  Some convents read a verse and sit for one hour meditating on that verse.  And so the forms of prayer are diverse.  How can we get started?  Ask God for anything, ask to be guided to the truth, and there you will find Jesus.

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