Thursday, April 6, 2017

your father rejoiced

Hide Nothing Hide nothing from your confessor. A sick man can be cured only by revealing his wounds. —St. Margaret of Cortona ✞ "Lord, help me to m

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Hide Nothing

Hide nothing from your confessor. A sick man can be cured only by revealing his wounds.

—St. Margaret of Cortona


✞ "Lord, help me to make time today to serve you in those who are most in need of encouragement or assistance."
— St. Vincent de Paul

"Fear of the Lord does not mean to be afraid of God. St. John tells us that where there is love, there is no fear. Rather, fear of the Lord is to stand in awe and wonder before the greatness of the Lord. It is to recognize that God is the creator and we are the creatures. Fear of the Lord should lead us to praise and worship."
— Rev. Jude Winkler, OFM, p.95
Daily Meditations with the Holy Spirit

"What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell."
Matthew 10:27-28


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Saint Crescentia Hoess

Saint of the Day for April 6

(October 20, 1682 – April 5, 1744)

Crescentia was born in 1682, the daughter of a poor weaver, in a little town near Augsburg. She spent play time praying in the parish church, assisted those even poorer than herself and had so mastered the truths of her religion that she was permitted to make her first Holy Communion at the then unusually early age of 7. In the town she was called "the little angel."

As she grew older, she desired to enter the convent of the Tertiaries of St. Francis. But the convent was poor, and because Crescentia had no dowry, the superiors refused her admission. Her case was then pleaded by the Protestant mayor of the town to whom the convent owed a favor. The community felt it was forced into receiving her, and her new life was made miserable. She was considered a burden and assigned nothing other than menial tasks. Even her cheerful spirit was misinterpreted as flattery or hypocrisy.

Conditions improved four years later when a new superior was elected who realized her virtue. Crescentia herself was appointed mistress of novices. She so won the love and respect of the sisters that, upon the death of the superior, Crescentia was unanimously elected to that position. Under her, the financial state of the convent improved and her reputation in spiritual matters spread. She was soon being consulted by princes and princesses; bishops and cardinals too sought her advice. And yet, a true daughter of Francis, she remained ever humble.

Bodily afflictions and pain were always with her. First it was headaches and toothaches. Then she lost the ability to walk, her hands and feet gradually becoming so crippled that her body curled up into a fetal position. In the spirit of Francis she cried out, "Oh, you bodily members, praise God that he has given you the capacity to suffer." Despite her sufferings she was filled with peace and joy as she died on Easter Sunday in 1744.

She was beatified in 1900 and canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2001.


Although she grew up in poverty and willingly embraced it in her vocation, Crescentia had a good head for business. Under her able administration, her convent regained financial stability. Too often, we think of good money management as, at best, a less-than-holy gift. But Crescentia was wise enough to balance her worldly skills with such acumen in spiritual matters that heads of State and Church both sought her advice.

The Liturgical Feast Day for Saint Crescentia Hoess is April 5.


Sacred Space
Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Reading 1 Gn 17:3-9

When Abram prostrated himself, God spoke to him:
"My covenant with you is this:
you are to become the father of a host of nations.
No longer shall you be called Abram;
your name shall be Abraham,
for I am making you the father of a host of nations.
I will render you exceedingly fertile;
I will make nations of you;
kings shall stem from you.
I will maintain my covenant with you
and your descendants after you
throughout the ages as an everlasting pact,
to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
I will give to you
and to your descendants after you
the land in which you are now staying,
the whole land of Canaan, as a permanent possession;
and I will be their God."

God also said to Abraham:
"On your part, you and your descendants after you
must keep my covenant throughout the ages."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 105:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
R. (8a) The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought,
his portents, and the judgments he has uttered.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generations –
Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.

Verse Before the Gospel Ps 95:8
If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.

Gospel Jn 8:51-59

Jesus said to the Jews:
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever keeps my word will never see death."
So the Jews said to him,
"Now we are sure that you are possessed.
Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say,
'Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.'
Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died?
Or the prophets, who died?
Who do you make yourself out to be?"
Jesus answered, "If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing;
but it is my Father who glorifies me,
of whom you say, 'He is our God.'
You do not know him, but I know him.
And if I should say that I do not know him,
I would be like you a liar.
But I do know him and I keep his word.
Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day;
he saw it and was glad."
So the Jews said to him,
"You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?"
Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you,
before Abraham came to be, I AM."
So they picked up stones to throw at him;
but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.

Catholic Meditations
Meditation: Genesis 17:3-9

5th Week of Lent

I will maintain my covenant with you and your descendants after you throughout the ages. (Genesis 17:7)

O Lord, in every generation you have revealed yourself to your people. You have shown us your power, your glory, and your majesty. But above all, you have shown us how faithful you are to your promises.

Beginning with the disobedience of our first parents, you promised to restore us to yourself. You chose Abraham to be our father in faith and made an everlasting covenant with him. You remembered this covenant in the bleakest days when we were slaves in Egypt, and you rescued us through your servant Moses. And you didn't just rescue us; you bound us to yourself in a covenant unlike any other.

Time and again, when we forgot the covenant and began to take upon ourselves the ways of other nations, you remained faithful. Through the prophets you patiently and persistently called us back to you. Through Jeremiah and Ezekiel, you promised to gather us again and put your law within our hearts. You promised to give us a new heart and place a new spirit within us so that we could be faithful to you.

Then, when the time was right, you made a new covenant in the blood of your only Son. Through this covenant, our sins were taken away. We were reconciled to you forever, and you gave us the promise of everlasting life. Because of this, Father, your grace is constantly available to us to enlighten us, strengthen us, and draw us ever closer to your side.

Father, you have never failed us! As we ponder your fidelity through the ages, we are filled with awe. We want nothing more than to praise you, adore you, and follow you. We are forever grateful!

Father, we thank you for so many things: for revealing yourself to us, for your Son's death and resurrection, for the gift of your Spirit, for the Church, for your commandments and the power to live them out, for the promise of eternal life. Thank you, Father. Thank you!

"Father, I believe that you are a faithful and awesome God! I want to respond to you by loving you, serving you, and trusting you all the days of my life."

Psalm 105:4-9
John 8:51-59


Our Lord said ""On your part, you and your descendants after you
must keep my covenant throughout the ages."

We prayed today "The Lord remembers his covenant for ever. Look to the LORD in his strength; seek to serve him constantly.
Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought, his portents, and the judgments he has uttered."

Our Lord enters our life today "Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever keeps my word will never see death."
And then, He said something that made them more mad ""Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM."
Complete craziness. But on who's part? That God would be standing right in front of them? Or that the people would not be able to stand that very thought? So far were their hearts from the Holy Spirit, so blind, so hard, so deaf, so desensitized even to human dignity. Perhaps they had become pagan Romans. Yet, they said they believed.
My dear family, Lent is about to end with Holy Week next week. What happened this lent? What happened in your life? Nothing? Then perhaps we didn't put nothing in it. It takes an extreme amount of work, richness in grace and mercy and sacrifice to see almost nothing, but something. Spring is symbolic of what should've happened to our cold hard hearts. Perhaps this is some of the reasons we see baby bunnies or eggs, or green grass when we think of Easter, but I see a white cloth.

A white cloth represents holiness, purity, all things we shall return to...innocence. That what was lost in the beginning when the world began and ended on the 7th day when He the tomb...alone, beat down, bloody, stabbed, bled to death, worked to death, physically and psychologically beat down, but spiritually never. God never lost His heart...He gives it all away. The people Jesus faced accused him, pointed the finger at him saying "you are possessed". Lies. Accusations. All things of the devil.

What happened in 40 days? Much happened here. A long 8 hour journey last night took me through the desert mountains and a couple of young men from church, trying to get them a car for school. At night I drove alone through the mountains, it was dark, I could see the silhouette of the mountains, and a bright star was the only thing ahead of me as if were shining the way. There was no cell phone reception. If we broke down, we'd fend for ourselves. If anything happened, we'd be alone. And so they followed me, I kept watch on them, never let them out of my sight. I had tools, I had a powerful truck that could pull them if need be. I busted a U turn when they stopped to fuel without telling me until I was way ahead. I would not leave them alone. This journey of faith is like that. We have not been alone. God is with us when we are rejected. We should never look at others and declare them possessed. God is with them. God is with us. They picked up stones to throw at Jesus, and this wasn't the first time. All because He said something impossible for them to believe.
And we are called to believe in the impossible.
Believe when the world says it is impossible.
Believe when the world turns against you.
Jesus believed. Jesus is God.
He believed in this world. Otherwise, He would not have come.
God is with us. Believe. I face negativity everywhere, at home, at work, and at church. I have to believe when no one else will. Believe in Love. Believe in the impossible. Believe you can be Holy. That white cloth of resurrection and holiness and purity is waiting. Saints are waiting and praying for us. Angels are waiting and helping us. God is waiting and working and helping us. God loves His more than we will ever know....




Thought for today: It can be so easy to distract ourselves so we don't think about our sadness. We can be too quick to push the hurt down and run to something else to cover it up. Sometimes its easier not to pray so that we don't have to face the things we don't want to think about. Those are the places God wants to come into. He wants your mess. He wants to reach into your heart and fill that God-sized-hole with His love. Its okay if you don't know what that love feels like. Ask Him to know that love, to feel it, and to have it heal your heart forever.

Action for today: Spend 10 minutes in silence today. Invite God to come and sit with you. Don't worry about speaking to Him or doing anything, just breathe and let His presence be enough.

Prayer for today: God, I want to know Your love deeply and intimately. I invite you into my heart today.

Quote for today: "You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You." – St. Augustine

Be a Hero today – #ShareJesus: Invite someone to either pray with you, or go to mass with you. If you're going on a retreat, going to a prayer meeting, or doing some kind of special devotion, invite someone to go with you to that. Your invitation might be the first step in helping that person know the love of God more deeply in their lives.