Wednesday, January 8, 2014

.Get Into The Boat

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True Purpose Minute Meditations
O you who were created for union of love with God Himself and whom He is ever attracting to Himself, what are you doing with your precious lives, with your time? You are laboring for nothingness and all you think you possess is pure misery. O terrible human blindness. So great a light about you and you do not see it! So clear a voice sounding and you do not hear! —St. John of the Cross

— from Love Never Fails 

St. Angela of Foligno

Some saints show marks of holiness very early. Not Angela! Born of a leading family in Foligno, Italy, she became immersed in the quest for wealth and social position. As a wife and mother, she continued this life of distraction.

Around the age of 40 she recognized the emptiness of her life and sought God's help in the Sacrament of Penance. Her Franciscan confessor helped Angela to seek God's pardon for her previous life and to dedicate herself to prayer and the works of charity.

Shortly after her conversion, her husband and children died. Selling most of her possessions, she entered the Secular Franciscan Order. She was alternately absorbed by meditating on the crucified Christ and by serving the poor of Foligno as a nurse and beggar for their needs. Other women joined her in a religious community.

At her confessor's advice, Angela wrote her Book of Visions and Instructions. In it she recalls some of the temptations she suffered after her conversion; she also expresses her thanks to God for the Incarnation of Jesus. This book and her life earned for Angela the title "Teacher of Theologians." She was beatified in 1693.


People who live in the United States today can understand St. Angela's temptation to increase her sense of self-worth by accumulating money, fame or power. Striving to possess more and more, she became more and more self-centered. When she realized she was priceless because she was created and loved by God, she became very penitential and very charitable to the poor. What had seemed foolish early in her life now became very important. The path of self-emptying she followed is the path all holy men and women must follow.


Pope John Paul II wrote: "Christ the Redeemer of the World is the one who penetrated in a unique, unrepeatable way into the mystery of the human person and entered our 'hearts.' Rightly therefore does the Second Vatican Council teach: 'The truth is that only in the mystery of the Incarnate Word does the mystery of the human person take on light.... Christ the New Adam, in the very revelation of the mystery of the Father and his love, fully reveals human beings to themselves and brings to light their most high calling'" (Redemptor Hominis, 8).

Saint of the Day for 1/7/2014 Saint of the Day for 1/9/2014

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


Lord, help me to be fully alive to your Holy presence.
Enfold me in your love.
Let my heart become one with yours.


Lord, you granted me the great gift of freedom.
In these times, O Lord, grant that I may be free 
From any form of racism or intolerance.
Remind me, Lord, that we are all equal
in your Loving eyes.


How do I find myself today?
Where am I with God? With others? 
Do I have something to be grateful for? 
Then I give thanks.
Is there something I am sorry for? 
Then I ask forgiveness.

The Word of God

Reading 1

1 JN 4:11-18

Beloved, if God so loved us,
we also must love one another. 
No one has ever seen God. 
Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us,
and his love is brought to perfection in us.

This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us,
that he has given us of his Spirit. 
Moreover, we have seen and testify
that the Father sent his Son as savior of the world. 
Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God,
God remains in him and he in God. 
We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.

God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. 
In this is love brought to perfection among us,
that we have confidence on the day of judgment
because as he is, so are we in this world. 
There is no fear in love,
but perfect love drives out fear
because fear has to do with punishment,
and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.

Responsorial Psalm PS 72:1-2, 10, 12-13

R. (see 11) Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king's son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
The kings of Tarshish and the Isles shall offer gifts;
the kings of Arabia and Seba shall bring tribute.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

Gospel MK 6:45-52

After the five thousand had eaten and were satisfied,
Jesus made his disciples get into the boat
and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida,
while he dismissed the crowd. 
And when he had taken leave of them,
he went off to the mountain to pray. 
When it was evening,
the boat was far out on the sea and he was alone on shore. 
Then he saw that they were tossed about while rowing,
for the wind was against them. 
About the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them walking on the sea. 
He meant to pass by them. 
But when they saw him walking on the sea,
they thought it was a ghost and cried out. 
They had all seen him and were terrified. 
But at once he spoke with them,
"Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!" 
He got into the boat with them and the wind died down. 
They were completely astounded. 
They had not understood the incident of the loaves. 
On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.


Do I notice myself reacting as I pray with the Word of God? Do I feel challenged, comforted, angry? Imagining Jesus sitting or standing by me, I speak out my feelings, as one trusted 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: Mark 6:45-52

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Christmas Weekday

Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid! (Mark 6:50)


Even those who love entertaining know the relief of the door closing behind the last guest. You can finally begin to clean up, unwind, and get some sleep.

Jesus must have felt something like this after having miraculously fed more than five thousand people on a deserted hillside. He just had to get away and pray. So he sent his disciples ahead of him in a boat, dismissed the crowds, and headed for the hills to spend time alone with his Father.

As he was praying, he could see his disciples struggling against the wind, making little progress. Perhaps he saw in this image a metaphor for their understanding of his messiahship. They had witnessed so many of his miracles, but they still struggled to understand who he really was.

If only these disciples could learn to come to Jesus the way he had just gone to his Father! If only they could see him as their Redeemer! Perhaps these occasional glimpses into his glory would help them trust him more. He knew it would take a while, but Jesus was committed to them, so he didn't mind. So he interrupted his prayer to give them a clearer vision. He came to them on the water, in the midst of the storm, and told them, "Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid" (Mark 6:50).

We too can have a hard time seeing Jesus as our Messiah and grasping our need for him. Are there ways you seem to be rowing against the wind? Is something gnawing at the back of your mind? Bring it before him now. Perhaps in his wisdom he will wait, keeping his eyes on you for a more opportune moment. Or maybe he will reveal himself to you more deeply. He may even climb into your boat and still the wind. Whatever happens, try your best to trust in Jesus' power and provision. Quiet your heart so that you can hear him tell you, "It is I, do not be afraid." Surrender your concerns to Jesus. Let him meet your needs in the way he knows best.

"Lord Jesus, help me to find my courage in you, no matter my circumstances. Right now, I set aside fear and doubt. Lord, I trust you."


 1 John 4:11-18; Psalm 72:1-2, 10, 12-13

Allow me to translate today's 5 Minutos:
  "Our love to God is real, sincere and concrete when we love our brethren.  To love like God has loved us.  The love of God is the fountain and model of fraternal love.  We are to imitate God.  The joy of loving our brethren is an experience of the love with which God loves us.  Without doubt we find great models in the people who are capable to love with this pure love of God. And without doubt, one of those models is the love of a mother.
They asked a mother: "which is your favorite child?" She answered: "My favorite child, that one which I dedicate myself body and soul, is: my sick child until he is healed, the one who parted until he returns, the one who is tired until he rests, the one who is hungry until he can be nourished, the one who is thirsty, until he can drink, the one who is studying until he reaches his goal, the one who has not found work, until he is employed, the one who is in love, until he gets married, the one who is married until he has children, the one who is a father, until he can speak like I speak today, the one who promises, until he fulfills, the one who owes, until he pays, the one who cries until he smiles, the one who abandoned me, until he returns"...the mothers love in fulness, even though to each distinctly.   There is a monument to the mother: "To the one who loved us without knowing us"...someone added "To the one who loves us even though knowing us!!".  Is this like the love of God? And is your way of loving like the way God loves? "
  What part of "I will be with you to the end of times" do we not understand?  Perfect love casteth out fear, because there is no fear in a true love.  Those that are afraid to lose a love don't love perfectly.  God isn't afraid to lose us, and it is us that are not afraid to lose God.  What we should be afraid of, well, we are not.  We should be afraid to sin.  We should be afraid of losing our faith in God, yet we love to sin and we lose faith in God, almost simultaneously.   Jesus says "do not be afraid" to the disciples before He dies, and then comes back from the dead as if to say "see? Do not be afraid".  God, Our Father, Loves us that much.  He got to experience in the flesh what human love is like, and we got to experience what Divine love is like through Him.  Our love is awesome, and His, even more, and when the two are combined, well, the theology of it will blow you away.  It's as if we can spend our lives doing nothing better than getting to know that love, because that love came to fruit in the blessed womb.  That mother never left Jesus from birth to death.  That God remains.  That Spirit remains.  When I experience the love of family and strangers, I feel the hope of an eternity.  And this is what it is all about on this earth. Realizing this hope that is more than hope, and to live that love that is more than our love.  Such a strange thing that love of God.  It is not based on earthly feelings, it is all Spirit, all unique, all total life, especially that of surrender.  The disciples had just witnessed a miracle of feeding thousands, yet they did not understand that love, because if they had, they would've not been startled by the winds, or the ghost in the night.  That is to say, they wouldn't have feared for their lives, or been afraid of the unknown.  Not when you know Jesus is with you.  It goes to show in the life of today's saint.  She found God, and lost her family.   What a strange notion.  Yet, this love of God propelled her more, to one day be called "teacher of theologians".  How and why?  You leave those answers to faith.  You leave the fear of the unknown to Him.  This is a slap in the face to those who do not believe and have to have answers to everything, because their fear of the unknown seizes their heart, much like today's Gospel and the Apostles in the boat.  Hardened hearts let nothing in and nothing out-sounds like a dead heart.  And so Jesus brings Life to our death.  He told them to get into the boat.  Our boat is the world we live in, until we get to the other shore, having found Jesus along the way, in the strangest of manners and be left as the apostles....COMPLETELY ASTOUNDED
And with a change of heart...salvation
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