Friday, August 29, 2014

Whatever You Ask

Untitled document

Minute Meditations

Unceasing Love

Those who pray learn to favor and prefer God's judgment over that of human beings. God always outdoes us in generosity and in receptivity. God is always more loving than the person who has loved you the most!
— from Yes, and...

Martyrdom of John the Baptist
Listen to Audio

The drunken oath of a king with a shallow sense of honor, a seductive dance and the hateful heart of a queen combined to bring about the martyrdom of John the Baptist. The greatest of prophets suffered the fate of so many Old Testament prophets before him: rejection and martyrdom. The "voice crying in the desert" did not hesitate to accuse the guilty, did not hesitate to speak the truth. But why? What possesses a man that he would give up his very life?

This great religious reformer was sent by God to prepare the people for the Messiah. His vocation was one of selfless giving. The only power that he claimed was the Spirit of Yahweh. "I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire" (Matthew 3:11). Scripture tells us that many people followed John looking to him for hope, perhaps in anticipation of some great messianic power. John never allowed himself the false honor of receiving these people for his own glory. He knew his calling was one of preparation. When the time came, he led his disciples to Jesus: "The next day John was there again with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, 'Behold, the Lamb of God.' The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus" (John 1:35-37). It is John the Baptist who has pointed the way to Christ. John's life and death were a giving over of self for God and other people. His simple style of life was one of complete detachment from earthly possessions. His heart was centered on God and the call that he heard from the Spirit of God speaking to his heart. Confident of God's grace, he had the courage to speak words of condemnation or repentance, of salvation.



"So they came to John and said to him, 'Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing and everyone is coming to him.' John answered and said, 'No one can receive anything except what has been given him from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said I am not the Messiah, but that I was sent before him. The one who has the bride is the bridegroom; the best man, who stands and listens for him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. So this joy of mine has been made complete. He must increase; I must decrease'" (John 3:26--30).


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


"Come to me all you who are burdened
and I will give you rest"
Here I am, Lord.
I come to seek your presence.
I long for your healing power.


God is not foreign to my freedom.
Instead the Spirit breathes life into my most intimate desires,
gently nudging me towards all that is good.
I ask for the grace to let myself be enfolded by the Spirit.


I ask how I am within myself today? Am I particularly tired, stressed, or off-form?
If any of these characteristics apply, can I try to let go of the concerns that disturb me?

The Word of God

Reading 1 1 cor 1:17-25

Brothers and sisters:
Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the Gospel,
and not with the wisdom of human eloquence,
so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning.

The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
For it is written:

I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the learning of the learned I will set aside.

Where is the wise one?
Where is the scribe?
Where is the debater of this age?
Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish?
For since in the wisdom of God
the world did not come to know God through wisdom,
it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation
to save those who have faith.
For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
but we proclaim Christ crucified,
a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike,
Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom,
and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Responsorial Psalm ps 33:1-2, 4-5, 10-11

R. (5) The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
Exult, you just, in the LORD;
praise from the upright is fitting.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten stringed lyre chant his praises.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
For upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
The LORD brings to nought the plans of nations;
he foils the designs of peoples.
But the plan of the LORD stands forever;
the design of his heart, through all generations.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

Gospel mk 6:17-29

Herod was the one who had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison
on account of Herodias,
the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married.
John had said to Herod,
"It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife."
Herodias harbored a grudge against him
and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.
Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man,
and kept him in custody.
When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed,
yet he liked to listen to him.
She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday,
gave a banquet for his courtiers,
his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee.
Herodias' own daughter came in
and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests.
The king said to the girl,
"Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you."
He even swore many things to her,
"I will grant you whatever you ask of me,
even to half of my kingdom."
She went out and said to her mother,
"What shall I ask for?"
She replied, "The head of John the Baptist."
The girl hurried back to the king's presence and made her request,
"I want you to give me at once
on a platter the head of John the Baptist."
The king was deeply distressed,
but because of his oaths and the guests
he did not wish to break his word to her.
So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders
to bring back his head.
He went off and beheaded him in the prison.
He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl.
The girl in turn gave it to her mother.
When his disciples heard about it,
they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.


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.


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: 1 Corinthians 1:17-25

View NAB Reading at


The Passion of Saint John the Baptist

The foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom. (1 Corinthians 1:25)

Heavenly Father, we turn to you today and ask you to grant us forerunners like John the Baptist. Send out men and women who will go before the Lord to prepare his way. Raise up zealous missionaries who will break new ground for the gospel. Inspire men and women to seek you in desert solitude—to usher in your kingdom through fasting and prayer.

Father, we ask you to send new John the Baptists into the world—evangelists filled with the power of your Spirit from their earliest years. Through them, flood our malls and highways, our schools, homes, and office buildings with the good news of your promises. Send them into every country to transform the culture of death into a garden of life. Light the fire of your love in them, so that they can enkindle that fire wherever they go.

O Jesus, raise up new prophets like John the Baptist, who will speak your word courageously. Fill believers with the gift of prophecy and send them into the church to renew, revive, purify, and lift our hearts to heaven. Give these new prophets the sword of your Spirit to cut through the darkness and confusion in the world and reveal your light and truth. May your word issue forth as a powerful proclamation to every country, bringing humanity back to you, the Prince of Peace.

Merciful Father, grant us new John the Baptists who are willing to become martyrs for your word. Send them into the lands where sin has a foothold. Strengthen them to crush the head of the enemy and bring new life, even to the shedding of their blood.

Lord, we acknowledge that it's not just about other people being raised up. May all your people be willing to lay down their lives so that a civilization of love may spring forth. Grant each one of us the grace to decrease so that Jesus may increase.


Each of us has a calling to which we must listen. No one will ever repeat the mission of John, and yet all of us are called to that very mission. It is the role of the Christian to witness to Jesus. Whatever our position in this world, we are called to be disciples of Christ. By our words and deeds, others should realize that we live in the joy of knowing that Jesus is Lord. We do not have to depend upon our own limited resources, but can draw strength from the vastness of Christ's saving grace.

"Lord, make me as holy as John the Baptist was. Teach me to seek you first, shunning the riches of this world in favor of your heavenly treasures. Make my family holy in word and deed, a mini-church determined to serve the mission of Jesus. O Lord, may men and women and children everywhere come to love you and work to usher in your kingdom!"


Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 10-11; Mark 6:17-29

We read that the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.  We read that the foolishness of God is more than any power in the world.  So this what we coin to be "foolishness" in our eyes is more than we will ever be able to know, because there is no foolishness but what we have called foolishness in the Lord's ways.  And then we pray "the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord" only to read about John the Baptist being beheaded.  It gives easy reason for an atheist to say "if God is good then how can He allow that to happen?".  What do you mean "allow"?  Oh you mean allowance of freedom?  You mean your allowance to not believe in God?  You mean your liberty to choose between life and death?  Today's 5minutos said (allow me translate):
  "The believer always has had the temptation to fall back at the moment to live their faith, to risk, but still today counts on the presence of the Lord that would never abandon his fortune.  In a land in war, there was a King who caused great fear.  He always made the prisoners, not killing them, would take them to a large room where there was a group of archers at one side and an inmense iron door on the other which had figures of skulls covered in blood.  In this room he would make them form a circle and would say then..."You can choose to die crossed with arrows or pass through that mysterious door".  All would choose to be killed by archers.  At the end of the war, a soldier that served a long time for the king directed to the sovereignty and said "Sir, can I ask you a question?  And the King responded "Tell me soldier".  "What was behind that horrendous door?".  - "Go and see for yourself", responded the king.  The soldier, then, afraid opened the door, and as he opened, rays of sunlight entered and cleared the ambience...and, finally, discovered surprisingly that the door opened to a road that led to liberty.  The soldier admiredly alone saw his king that said -"I gave those to choose, but they chose to die rather than to risk opening that door".    How many times do we loose liberty and die inside, just because we feel afraid to open that door of our dreams or goals? "
 Yet, we read "the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord" and this on a Friday, a day of the week our Lord was crucified?  Goodness was crucified!?  What's up with that?  Last night we celebrated the 40th anniversary of a woman having lived her cursillo.  She gave a speech that seemed to be prepared.  She said last year she wasn't supposed to live much longer (and a miracle happened) and had wanted this gathering to speak.  She spoke of how she always wanted somebody to love and to love her.  She said she left her cursillo on clouds and prepared for a year to learn a talk she would give at a cursillo now being on a team.  But as the time came she was told she would not do it.  A rumor had gone around about her that caused a priest to stop her from giving the talk.  All because someone had came up with something against her.  She felt like committing suicide.  My, how words can kill, just like Herodias.  Yet we ask "How can GOD BE SO BAD?"  Those are the devil's words.  The devil will twist the bible for you to doubt and not believe.  She said her 40 years had been with someone that kept saying "Have FAITH!...HAVE FAITH!!".  Only the Holy Spirit encourages.  When God came to the world, Jesus left only to remain in us all through the Holy Spirit.  So it is true, God is with us and the earth is full of goodness.  On her speech, I was left with the question "who was her friend for 40 years?" because she said how she has lost many loved ones, siblings, parents, and more heartaches.  But she was joyous.  I saw a guy in a bandana that seemed to not stop crying during her speech.  Hers was a speech of perseverance, and of a love of God.  He never said He would take away your cross but give you a cross if you love Him.  How backwards to our train of thought of the world that says "you don't have to suffer". Yes you do.  It has to hurt to grow.  The more, the better, for Jesus.  Saints would love to take your suffering, your cross.  Why? Because they know the value.  But few knew that as we gathered last night, someone prayed a rosary for me at a funeral vigil, and a man in a nursing home with broken knees and elbow was hurting in pain and said he would offer the pain for our gathering of cursillistas and for those suffering along him at the nursing home.  Oh the joy of knowing the goodness of the Lord. is foolishness to the world!



Thursday, August 28, 2014


Untitled document

Minute Meditations

Spacious Silence

Silence is the ability to trust that God is acting, teaching, and using me—even before I perform or after my seeming failures. Silence is the necessary space around things that allows them to develop and flourish without my pushing. God takes it from there.
— from Yes, and...

St. Augustine of Hippo

A Christian at 33, a priest at 36, a bishop at 41: Many people are familiar with the biographical sketch of Augustine of Hippo, sinner turned saint. But really to get to know the man is a rewarding experience.

There quickly surfaces the intensity with which he lived his life, whether his path led away from or toward God. The tears of his mother (August 27), the instructions of Ambrose (December 7) and, most of all, God himself speaking to him in the Scriptures redirected Augustine's love of life to a life of love.

Having been so deeply immersed in creature-pride of life in his early days and having drunk deeply of its bitter dregs, it is not surprising that Augustine should have turned, with a holy fierceness, against the many demon-thrusts rampant in his day. His times were truly decadent—politically, socially, morally. He was both feared and loved, like the Master. The perennial criticism leveled against him: a fundamental rigorism.

In his day, he providentially fulfilled the office of prophet. Like Jeremiah and other greats, he was hard-pressed but could not keep quiet. "I say to myself, I will not mention him,/I will speak in his name no more./But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,/imprisoned in my bones;/I grow weary holding it in,/I cannot endure it" (Jeremiah 20:9).


Augustine is still acclaimed and condemned in our day. He is a prophet for today, trumpeting the need to scrap escapisms and stand face-to-face with personal responsibility and dignity.


"Too late have I loved you, O Beauty of ancient days, yet ever new! Too late I loved you! And behold, you were within, and I abroad, and there I searched for you; I was deformed, plunging amid those fair forms, which you had made. You were with me, but I was not with you. Things held me far from you—things which, if they were not in you, were not at all. You called, and shouted, and burst my deafness. You flashed and shone, and scattered my blindness. You breathed odors and I drew in breath—and I pant for you. I tasted, and I hunger and thirst. You touched me, and I burned for your peace" (St. Augustine, Confessions).

Patron Saint of:


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


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....


"In these days, God taught me
as a schoolteacher teaches a pupil" (Saint Ignatius).
I remind myself that there are things God has to teach me yet,
and ask for the grace to hear them and let them change me.


In God's loving presence I unwind the past day, starting from now and looking back, moment by moment.
I gather in all the goodness and light, in gratitude. I attend to the shadows and what they say to me,
seeking healing, courage, forgiveness.

 The Word of God

Memorial of Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 428

Reading 1 1 cor 1:1-9

Paul, called to be an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
and Sosthenes our brother,
to the Church of God that is in Corinth,
to you who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy,
with all those everywhere who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I give thanks to my God always on your account
for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus,
that in him you were enriched in every way,
with all discourse and all knowledge,
as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you,
so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift
as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He will keep you firm to the end,
irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is faithful,
and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Responsorial Psalm ps 145:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (1) I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Every day will I bless you,
and I will praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD and highly to be praised;
his greatness is unsearchable.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Generation after generation praises your works
and proclaims your might.
They speak of the splendor of your glorious majesty
and tell of your wondrous works.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
They discourse of the power of your terrible deeds
and declare your greatness.
They publish the fame of your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your justice.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.

Gospel mt 24:42-51

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this:
if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.

"Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant,
whom the master has put in charge of his household
to distribute to them their food at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so.
Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property.
But if that wicked servant says to himself, 'My master is long delayed,'
and begins to beat his fellow servants,
and eat and drink with drunkards,
the servant's master will come on an unexpected day
and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely
and assign him a place with the hypocrites,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth."

Sometimes I wonder what I might say if I were to meet you in person Lord.  I think I might say "Thank You Lord" for always being there for me.  I know with certainty there were times when you carried me, Lord. When it was through your strength I got through the dark times in my life.


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: 1 Corinthians 1:1-9

View NAB Reading at

Subscriber? Login to view archives.

Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

You are not lacking in any spiritual gift. (1 Corinthians 1:7)

Scientists tell us that DNA is the master plan behind every living organism—including ourselves. This one tiny molecule holds all the data that determines a person's gender, eye color, height, susceptibility to various diseases, and, according to some researchers, parts of the individual's personality. In a number of ways, DNA is what makes us—us. It's all there ready to burst out. We have no control over it, but in God's perfect plan, it comes out at just the right moment.

Did you know that you also have a spiritual DNA? Scripture tells us that God "has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens ... before the foundation of the world" (Ephesians 1:3, 4). That's you! You have every heavenly grace you will ever need. It's all there, inside of you, ready to burst out at just the right moment. Grace to say no to temptation? It's already there. Grace to share your faith? That too! What about the grace to love someone who gets on your nerves? Yes, even that!

What's more, you have the Holy Spirit at work in your heart, cultivating it so that all these spiritual gifts can have the greatest effect possible.

So why don't we always see this grace active in us? It could be because we're too busy. It could be because we're not used to looking for grace. But another key reason may be that we are used to focusing on our failings and weaknesses more than on the grace that is in us. But even when we lose sight of our great potential, God doesn't! Like any good architect, he knows exactly how he built us, and he longs to see us use every tool he has given us.

Today, make it a point to repeat this statement over and over: "I am loved by God. He has a perfect plan for my life. He has equipped me for every challenge I may face. I am fearfully, wonderfully made!" Never forget that God sees your potential. Never forget that his Son gave up his life so that you can become the you he created you to be!

"Thank you, Father, for all the grace and blessings you have given me. Teach me how to open these mighty gifts and use them for your glory."


Psalm 145:2-7; Matthew 24:42-51

Allow me to translate today's 5minutos:

  "There came a cowboy to tell his boss that a rattlesnake had bitten one of his employees.  Rapidly the administrator asked him if he'd given him an antivenom serum injection that he had in storage;  the cowboy responded that he had not done it but that he had given the little box of antidote to the man that was bitten by the serpent, because he didn't know how to give an injection.  The administrator asked that he accompany him to go see him, when we got to the hospital we asked for the person that had been bitten by the serpent, the medic came that attended him to tell us that the person had passed away, but that he did not understand how this person got to the hospital with the antivenom serum in hand.  He asked the man that was the rattlesnake victim, "why didn't you put in the antivenome serum?' to which the worker trembling and with irregular breathing and accelerated heart due to the venom of the serpent responded that he "didn't know how to put it on"; the medic responded but there in the box are the recommendations on how to use it, and the worker said that he did not take the luxury of reading it, and then passed away. Having life in his hands, he didn't use it.  How many times do we ignore or forget that we have at our hand the perfect antidote to give life to what we believe is lost, do not permit that the "venom" extend in your life.  Apply today the dose of Life, Jesus, in your heart.  Do not throw in rotten sack, the life of Christ, who gave Himself for all of us. "

T"o you who have been called to be Holy", says St. Paul, "He will keep you firm to the end, irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful...."  Had I read yesterday, today's readings? No.  Did I say God is faithful? Yes.  And I also said we are called to be like God, faithful.  We prayed the Psalm, "I will praise your Name Forever Lord".  Faithful to the end.  To the end of times?  Yes!  Why not?  But Jesus says "Stay Awake!"  What good will it be for me to be faithful and drift off snoozing into an oblivion.  Like the Pharisees were extremely faithful, but were lost.  How can this be?  Sin has a way of creeping up on you and biting you when you least expect.  Let me give you a silly example of yours truly, a sinner among sinners.  I was watching TV last night, I don't even remember what I was watching, the news or something, and my kids came by one by one to say goodnight.  Before I knew it they were all in bed.  I just now remembered we didn't pray together like the night before.  Funny how distractions keep us from God.  And sin is like that.  A small distraction here, a little doubt there, and BOOM, we missed our boat to salvation!  STAY AWAKE!  We know not the day or the hour of the end.  At our last ultreya (cursillista gathering) a couple were recalling how they had witnessed a horrible accident, a jeep turned over and they went to go see if the driver was ok, and they saw his body mutilated, when seconds before they had seen the young man's face driving wreckless.  From one second to the next he was gone.  In what condition did He leave earth?  "We prayed for him", the couple said, that's all they could do.  I said "that's the best thing you could've done at the moment of his death".  We know not the hour, and those that do, a blessing.  Jesus tells us of those that are found unfaithful, how they will be punished.  This is getting serious, but stay with me now.  For those that take in the Holy Eucharist, you are swallowing the entirety of the Holy Gospel, including today's Words.  We take in not only love and mercy, but God's justice.  I told our co-worker group last night, that we will be hardened for the better, or for worse when we take in that GOD into our souls in the Eucharist.  This should make you afraid.  A co-worker asked "why does it say in the bible that we should fear the Lord?".  We agreed that we fear everything else but Him.  Him we take less serious, for our earthly problems and our health are more important than fear of Him.  We go do whatever in the heck we want without the least drop of fear of God.  The world does not fear God, but good Christians do.  So what is Jesus asking me right now Mr. Adrian?  With a big sigh of relief and love from God, He is giving us an awesome opportunity to hear Him and be transformed by Him into Him, who is all Holy and Good, all those beautiful things God is, we can be for the world.  He is calling on faithfulness, always on the alert, because evil is constantly on the prowl to devour the weak.  For this reason we are to never look down on the weak (sinful) but to help them.  OOOPS!  I done goof on that quite a bit, don't we tend to ridicule that lazy bum, or that wretched horrible person that done others wrong?  Hmm.  Stay AWAKE!  We don't want a place with hypocrites.  You are either all in, or all out.  God wants to find us all in.  Or should I desecrate His Holiness like King Belshazzar using the chalice to my own desire.  Daniel chapter 5:  "You, his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this; 23you have rebelled against the Lord of heaven. You had the vessels of his temple brought before you, so that you and your nobles, your consorts and your concubines, might drink wine from them; and you praised the gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, that neither see nor hear nor have intelligence. But the God in whose hand is your very breath and the whole course of your life, you did not glorify. "
It is boiling down to the day in our life when we gave Glory to God.

Subscribe to the Going4th mailing list.



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

On The Outside

Untitled document

Minute Meditations

Watching Over Us
Heavenly Father, I am sure there are frequently tiny miracles where you protect us and are present to us although you always remain anonymous. Help me appreciate how carefully you watch over me and my loved ones all day long, and be sensitive enough to stay close to you. I ask this in Jesus's name. Amen.
— from Stories of Jesus

St. Monica

Monica had at least three children who survived infancy. The oldest, Augustine (August 28) , is the most famous. At the time of his father's death, Augustine was 17 and a rhetoric student in Carthage. Monica was distressed to learn that her son had accepted the Manichean heresy (all flesh is evil)  and was living an immoral life. For a while, she refused to let him eat or sleep in her house. Then one night she had a vision that assured her Augustine would return to the faith. From that time on, she stayed close to her son, praying and fasting for him. In fact, she often stayed much closer than Augustine wanted.


When he was 29, Augustine decided to go to Rome to teach rhetoric. Monica was determined to go along. One night he told his mother that he was going to the dock to say goodbye to a friend. Instead, he set sail for Rome. Monica was heartbroken when she learned of Augustine's trick, but she still followed him. She arrived in Rome only to find that he had left for Milan. Although travel was difficult, Monica pursued him to Milan.

In Milan, Augustine came under the influence of the bishop, St. Ambrose, who also became Monica's spiritual director. She accepted his advice in everything and had the humility to give up some practices that had become second nature to her (see Quote, below). Monica became a leader of the devout women in Milan as she had been in Tagaste.

She continued her prayers for Augustine during his years of instruction. At Easter, 387, St. Ambrose baptized Augustine and several of his friends. Soon after, his party left for Africa. Although no one else was aware of it, Monica knew her life was near the end. She told Augustine, "Son, nothing in this world now affords me delight. I do not know what there is now left for me to do or why I am still here, all my hopes in this world being now fulfilled." She became ill shortly after and suffered severely for nine days before her death.


Almost all we know about St. Monica is in the writings of St. Augustine, especially his Confessions




Today, with Internet searches, e-mail shopping, text messages, tweets and instant credit, we have little patience for things that take time. Likewise, we want instant answers to our prayers. Monica is a model of patience. Her long years of prayer, coupled with a strong, well-disciplined character, finally led to the conversion of her hot-tempered husband, her cantankerous mother-in-law and her brilliant but wayward son, Augustine.


When Monica moved from North Africa to Milan, she found religious practices new to her and also that some of her former customs, such as a Saturday fast, were not common there. She asked St. Ambrose which customs she should follow. His classic reply was: "When I am here, I do not fast on Saturday, but I fast when I am in Rome; do the same and always follow the custom and discipline of the Church as it is observed in the particular locality in which you find yourself."

Patron Saint of:

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


St. Ignatius Of Loyola Gospel Contemplation:


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


"Leave me here freely all alone
In cell where never sunlight shone
should no one ever speak to me
This golden silence makes me free."

Part of a poem written by a prisoner at Dachau concentration camp


Help me Lord to be more conscious of your presence. Teach me to recognise your presence in others.  Fill my heart with gratitude for the times Your love has been shown to me through the care of others.

The Word of God

Reading 1 2 thes 3:6-10, 16-18

We instruct you, brothers and sisters,
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
to shun any brother
who walks in a disorderly way
and not according to the tradition they received from us.
For you know how one must imitate us.
For we did not act in a disorderly way among you,
nor did we eat food received free from anyone.
On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day we worked,
so as not to burden any of you.
Not that we do not have the right.
Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you,
so that you might imitate us.
In fact, when we were with you, we instructed you that
if anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat.

May the Lord of peace himself
give you peace at all times and in every way.
The Lord be with all of you.

This greeting is in my own hand, Paul's.
This is the sign in every letter; this is how I write.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you.

Responsorial Psalm ps 128:1-2, 4-5

R. (1) Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

Gospel mt 23:27-32

Jesus said,
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside,
but inside are full of dead men's bones and every kind of filth.
Even so, on the outside you appear righteous,
but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You build the tombs of the prophets
and adorn the memorials of the righteous,
and you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our ancestors,
we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets' blood.'
Thus you bear witness against yourselves
that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets;
now fill up what your ancestors measured out!"



What is stirring in me as I pray? Am I consoled, troubled, left cold? I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting at my side, and share my feelings with 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: 2 Thessalonians 3:6-10, 16-18

View NAB Reading at

Login to view archives.

Saint Monica

We wanted to present ourselves as a model for you, so that you might imitate us. (2 Thessalonians 3:9)

We often hear celebrities and athletes spoken of as role models. When they display good character, they are praised as good role models, and when their behavior is not so good, they're called bad role models. But should we even consider distant public figures like these as models at all?

In today's first reading, St. Paul speaks about how he was a role model when he lived among the Thessalonians. He explains how he did certain things not because he had to but because he wanted to set a good example. And now in his letter, he points back to his behavior and calls the Thessalonians to follow his example.

Sometimes we assume that it is someone else's job to be a role model. Maybe not athletes or celebrities, but certainly teachers, priests, or community leaders. But in fact, we all have people who look up to us. And if you choose to embrace this role as Paul did, God can use you in powerful ways.

It's easy to feel intimidated at the idea of mentoring someone. Where do you start? Paul gives us a couple of ideas. For one thing, he knew that he couldn't be a role model from a distance. He invested in his relationships so that people could "see" his message as well as hear it. He made it a point to teach with with deeds as well as words, even though it was probably uncomfortable at times. Also, he made sure that he was available to people instead of favoring a very private, secluded life.

No matter how old or young we are, we all need role models—and we can all become role models as well. When you are out with your husband or wife, your gestures and words have the potential to demonstrate love and unity to the people around you. When you speak with your children, even about trivial matters, you can give them a glimpse of God the Father. In fact, your life is always on display. Isn't it a good thing that Christ is in you to help you mirror his character?

"Father, thank you for the role models you have given me. Help me to live as a model for others."


Psalm 128:1-2, 4-5; Matthew 23:27-32


Those that don't work don't eat?  What's up with that?  In the case of any text we read, it's on the way you take it, but in this case it is the truth we are reading about.  It is what it is, and it is the truth no matter how you want to interpret it.  In today's first Holy Scripture, we read, "For we did not act in a disorderly way among you, nor did we eat food received free from anyone...we instructed you that if anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat."  In the spanish 5 minutos it said today "Pope Francis said: 'Work gives us dignity!".  This is true, but we are reading in the context of the Kingdom of God.  And the example we set for the Kingdom, the model St. Paul said "we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you, so that you might imitate us." and they imitated Christ.  I randomly opened the book "The Imitation of Christ" as I write to you and it said "Let one person seek this, another that; let this person exult in one thing, another in something else, and be praised any number of times.  As for you, let your contentment be solely in what pleases Me and for My honor alone.  Your greatest desire must be-whether in life or in death-that God may be always glorified in you."  Wow!  He wants us to imitate Him, and Him is ultimately Christ.  We prayed today "Blessed are those who fear the Lord".  And then Jesus spoke in the most Holy Gospel.  He spoke seriously to those with whitewashed tombs, sparkling on the outside and on the inside dead.  Our culture teaches you to look like this and be like that, mostly all about looks, and God is asking us to look like Him, especially most importantly on the inside.  What am I filled with? Well, tell me, what are you eating?  Are you  being fed?  Most often I hear of Catholics that fall away say "I wasn't being fed". WHHHHHAAT?  LOL.  Are you kidding me?  I wish, like marriages, there would be an outreach for such people, those thinking about leaving to go through counseling with the Counselor (Our Lord).  But many don't, and leave.  They say that the biggest group of Christians is Catholic, and then the largest group after that is not any protestant denomination, but "fallen away Catholics".  What has happened?  It's what has happened since the beginning with Satan, it all begin with a little bitty doubt and the doubt was fed by the attention of the sinner.  And then the great split, the divide.  And so we have our Lord come to earth to bring back together what was divided, to make one with Him all.  "Oh I would've never struck Jesus they way they did...I would've believed!"  Oh yeah?? Usually it's those that say these things that do the opposite.  Archbishop Fulton Sheen had this keen gift of knowing.  A priest was the associate pastor  and railed against the Church's supposed greed, and Fulton Sheen leaned in on him and asked 'so how long have you been stealing from the collection'?  The priest was dumbfounded because the truth was revealed.  The priest had been complaining on how rich the Vatican is etc.  I remember praying outside an abortion clinic.  I spoke with an older man that said the same thing, how come the Vatican don't go broke and give to all the poor, and I (inconspicuously) asked him if he tithed.  I turned the tables and said we are to give and give.  The same is being asked from all of us hypocrites that supposedly say we give.  "But Adrian you don't even know me, how can you say I don't give?"  LOL, have you sold all your houses and cars and given up all your family for the Lord?  Look, God wants first and foremost what would have you sell everything to be with Him.  That is to say, we need not sell but give everything, an offering.  This is the hardest struggle I see for a person trying to grow in faith.  We want everything without lifting a finger.  We want to be blessed, but we don't really bless.  And I'm speaking about blessing God.  What?  Bless God? Isn't He the one that is supposed to do all the blessings?  LOL, NOPE!  "But Adrian, isn't He the one that is supposed to be faithful?"  Wait, wait, wait just a darn minute!  Yes, He gives and blesses and is faithful, but we are being called to imitate Him in all He DOES.  Doing is working.  "Ohhhhh".  YES, then as you strive and work in faith, you will get your reward...something to eat.  And we are deserving to eat?  JESUS?  We eat Jesus in the Holy Eucharist?  Did I work for that?  And work is doing His work. And His Work aims for a Holy World. 
WOW, let's bring this to our real world