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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Until This Day

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Minute Meditations

Everyday Pilgrimage
Parenting is a long-haul effort—a pilgrimage of sorts. It isn't easily measured by any one criterion. We are co-creators with God, and the biblical story is a journey with which any parent can identify.
— from St. Anthony Messenger


St. Kateri Tekakwitha
(1656-1680)


The blood of martyrs is the seed of saints. Nine years after the Jesuits Isaac Jogues and John de Br├ębeuf (October 19) were tomahawked by Iroquois warriors, a baby girl was born near the place of their martyrdom, Auriesville, New York.

Her mother was a Christian Algonquin, taken captive by the Iroquois and given as wife to the chief of the Mohawk clan, the boldest and fiercest of the Five Nations. When she was four, Kateri lost her parents and little brother in a smallpox epidemic that left her disfigured and half blind. She was adopted by an uncle, who succeeded her father as chief. He hated the coming of the Blackrobes (Jesuit missionaries), but could do nothing to them because a peace treaty with the French required their presence in villages with Christian captives. She was moved by the words of three Blackrobes who lodged with her uncle, but fear of him kept her from seeking instruction. She refused to marry a Mohawk brave and at 19 finally got the courage to take the step of converting. She was baptized with the name Kateri (Catherine) on Easter Sunday.

Now she would be treated as a slave. Because she would not work on Sunday, she received no food that day. Her life in grace grew rapidly. She told a missionary that she often meditated on the great dignity of being baptized. She was powerfully moved by God's love for human beings and saw the dignity of each of her people.

She was always in danger, for her conversion and holy life created great opposition. On the advice of a priest, she stole away one night and began a 200-mile walking journey to a Christian Indian village at Sault St. Louis, near Montreal.

For three years she grew in holiness under the direction of a priest and an older Iroquois woman, giving herself totally to God in long hours of prayer, in charity and in strenuous penance. At 23 she took a vow of virginity, an unprecedented act for an Indian woman, whose future depended on being married. She found a place in the woods where she could pray an hour a day—and was accused of meeting a man there!

Her dedication to virginity was instinctive: She did not know about religious life for women until she visited Montreal. Inspired by this, she and two friends wanted to start a community, but the local priest dissuaded her. She humbly accepted an "ordinary" life. She practiced extremely severe fasting as penance for the conversion of her nation. She died the afternoon before Holy Thursday. Witnesses said that her emaciated face changed color and became like that of a healthy child. The lines of suffering, even the pockmarks, disappeared and the touch of a smile came upon her lips. She was beatified in 1980 and canonized in 2012..



Comment:

We like to think that our proposed holiness is thwarted by our situation. If only we could have more solitude, less opposition, better health. Kateri repeats the example of the saints: Holiness thrives on the cross, anywhere. Yet she did have what Christians—all people—need: the support of a community. She had a good mother, helpful priests, Christian friends. These were present in what we call primitive conditions, and blossomed in the age-old Christian triad of prayer, fasting and alms: union with God in Jesus and the Spirit, self-discipline and often suffering, and charity for her brothers and sisters.

Quote:

Kateri said: "I am not my own; I have given myself to Jesus. He must be my only love. The state of helpless poverty that may befall me if I do not marry does not frighten me. All I need is a little food and a few pieces of clothing. With the work of my hands I shall always earn what is necessary and what is left over I'll give to my relatives and to the poor. If I should become sick and unable to work, then I shall be like the Lord on the cross. He will have mercy on me and help me, I am sure."

 

Daily Prayer - 2015-07-14

Presence

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....

Freedom

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.

Consciousness

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 Ex 2:1-15a

A certain man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman,
who conceived and bore a son.
Seeing that he was a goodly child, she hid him for three months.
When she could hide him no longer, she took a papyrus basket,
daubed it with bitumen and pitch,
and putting the child in it,
placed it among the reeds on the river bank.
His sister stationed herself at a distance
to find out what would happen to him.

Pharaoh's daughter came down to the river to bathe,
while her maids walked along the river bank.
Noticing the basket among the reeds, she sent her handmaid to fetch it.
On opening it, she looked, and lo, there was a baby boy, crying!
She was moved with pity for him and said,
"It is one of the Hebrews' children."
Then his sister asked Pharaoh's daughter,
"Shall I go and call one of the Hebrew women
to nurse the child for you?"
"Yes, do so," she answered.
So the maiden went and called the child's own mother.
Pharaoh's daughter said to her,
"Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will repay you."
The woman therefore took the child and nursed it.
When the child grew, she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter,
who adopted him as her son and called him Moses;
for she said, "I drew him out of the water."

On one occasion, after Moses had grown up,
when he visited his kinsmen and witnessed their forced labor,
he saw an Egyptian striking a Hebrew, one of his own kinsmen.
Looking about and seeing no one,
he slew the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
The next day he went out again, and now two Hebrews were fighting!
So he asked the culprit,
"Why are you striking your fellow Hebrew?"
But the culprit replied,
"Who has appointed you ruler and judge over us?
Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?"
Then Moses became afraid and thought,
"The affair must certainly be known."

Pharaoh, too, heard of the affair and sought to put Moses to death.
But Moses fled from him and stayed in the land of Midian.

Responsorial Psalm PS 69:3, 14, 30-31, 33-34

R. (see 33) Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
I am sunk in the abysmal swamp
where there is no foothold;
I have reached the watery depths;
the flood overwhelms me.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
But I pray to you, O LORD,
for the time of your favor, O God!
In your great kindness answer me
with your constant help.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
But I am afflicted and in pain;
let your saving help, O God, protect me;
I will praise the name of God in song,
and I will glorify him with thanksgiving.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
"See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not."
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.

Alleluia Ps 95:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 11:20-24

Jesus began to reproach the towns
where most of his mighty deeds had been done,
since they had not repented.
"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!
For if the mighty deeds done in your midst
had been done in Tyre and Sidon,
they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.
And as for you, Capernaum:

Will you be exalted to heaven?
You will go down to the netherworld.


For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom,
it would have remained until this day.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you."

 

Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • Jesus taught about the kingdom of God and proclaimed a message of healing and conversion but his teaching and powerful deeds were not always accepted. He rebukes the people of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum for not being open to the fruits of his mission, making them reflect on how they were losing out on what God was offering them.
  • Do I notice the ways in which the teaching of Jesus is actively having an effect in my life? I pray that I may grow in the riches of faith -- giving thanks and gratitude for the gifts freely given to me and opening myself more to God's grace and providence.
 

Conversation

Jesus, You always welcomed little children when you walked on this earth.
Teach me to have a childlike trust in you.
To live in the knowledge that You will never abandon me.

Conclusion

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: Exodus 2:1-15

View NAB Reading at USCCB.org

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Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, Virgin (Memorial)

She was moved with pity for him. (Exodus 2:6)

Have you ever thought of what might have happened if Pharaoh's daughter hadn't opened that basket? Or what if she had opened it but had gone about her business? This woman may seem like a minor character, but she played a vital role in the deliverance of Israel. And in a sense, she mirrored the God who would deliver the Israelites. Moved by pity and parental care, she reached down and rescued a lost child. Doesn't that sound a lot like what our Father has done for us?

So what about you? What are some situations that move your heart? It might be the sight of an impoverished child or the realization that many people go hungry and cold every day. It could be the loneliness of a co-worker or the exhaustion of a neighbor working two jobs just to make ends meet.

Sometimes these realizations move us to action, and we make a difference in someone's life. But there are other times when we feel moved, but the urge to do something gets lost in everything else we have to do. Then the opportunity passes, and we miss out on a chance to be Christ to someone.

Maybe it's a good idea to try to keep track of the times that the Lord moves your heart so that you can remember to do something about it. A prayer journal can be very helpful in this. You could block out a few pages just to write about the things that touch your heart so that you can begin to see where the Lord might be calling you to act. You could write notes on little slips of paper and put them in your Bible. That way, they will catch your attention when you open it.

Do whatever it takes to respond to these little tugs on your heart. You may not be able to do a lot, but many of the saints' stories began with small actions. Besides, it may seem small to you, but it could be life changing for the other person. The important thing is to take a step and do something. Who knows? You just might help the next Moses!

"Lord, move my heart, and help me to act today."

 

Psalm 69:3, 14, 30-31, 33-34
Matthew 11:20-24

 

 


 


my2cents:
We heard in today's 1st Holy Scripture, of basically the beginnings of the life of Moses, from the time he was born, pulled out of the water, grew up, messed up, and ran away from the people he grew up with.  Pretty typical life of a baptized soul.  Pretty typical to just want to run away...perhaps seeking salvation?  I want you to reflect on your life.  You are most probably baptized (I hope with all my heart).  You are probably remorseful, (at least you should be) of some sin that has messed up your life.  Either we are the victim or made others the victim.  Such was the story of Moses.  He was a victim, thrown into the river beause of the Pharoah's commands, saved, only to repay by killing a follower of Pharoah.  Sin goes in circles.  And if you can't get out of that vicious circle, get help! 
The Psalms pray on today "I am sunk in the abysmal swamp where there is no foothold; I have reached the watery depths;
the flood overwhelms me." and the response is "Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live".  You will live!  Isn't that what we want?  To live?  Yes, of course it is. Life is worth living!  Life is worth fighting for.  But the life is this:  JESUS.  Who will live for Jesus? Today's Saint Kateri, she found her life in Him.  You can too.  There is something about giving that fills an empty void.  And so it is all the more fulfilling when given to Jesus.  Yesterday, I dropped the kids at the pool for a community swimming deal, then I went to a softball game some of our co-workers were having, our company team was playing a team in town.  I looked to the people.  Some I knew, some I knew not, mostly not.  My wires were getting crossed.  The joy that I should see there, I could not.  Is there a cloud hovering keeping true joy out?  You see, true joy is Jesus.  I've been to many places.  People in all the places and events I go to, they are seeking.  What you are seeking and where...that is the question...turn to the Lord!
  In comes our Lord in the most Holy Gospel.  I must've felt like our Lord today.  For all the goodness you have been bestowed...you do not repent!?  What's wrong with your heart?  Why do you not give to Jesus?  Why do you not follow Him sincerely?  Why have you not picked up your cross of love for love?  I wonder if the Sacred heart of Jesus ached today?  I know mine aches, but not of sadness per say, but more like an urgency.  Perhaps I felt like a mid-life crisis.  But not about work, or family, or finding of self, but to realize here, life is probably getting close to halfway through, and what have I done for the Lord?  What success have I accomplished, but I'm not worried about numbers, but about so many lives I see that could truly be alive!  You see, what I want is for you to see the truth before your very eyes.  It's as if people used the Lord for His miracles, as if to say "Thanks, SEE YOU LATER".  Failing to grasp the whole idea, the whole offering behind the saving powers of God! 
So let us reconsider, why do you want a miracle?  Why do you say you want God in your life?  For insurance?  For re- assurance?  For ....convenience?  Could you be playing with the God of the Universe?  This is why our Lord says it would be more tolerable for Sodom (a severely immoral people) on the day of judgement. Because we have tolerated with evil, and if you look up the word tolerate, it means "to allow the existence" and we have allowed the existence of evil among us and are shocked when it runs rampant. 
Suddenly, the message is not for some body else...it is for you, and it is for me.  What are you seeking?  Or better said...WHO

Let it be Jesus forever and  in every soul you encounter...
adrian
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Going4th,