Thursday, February 13, 2014

Children Be Fed

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Hope In the Cross Minute Meditations
Christianity does not offer a life free of suffering. But from the cross we see that our suffering does not need to end in death; it can bring new life. This is the hope God offers us, which the world cannot give.
— from A 40-Day Spiritual Workout For Catholics 

St. Giles Mary of St. Joseph

In the same year that a power-hungry Napoleon Bonaparte led his army into Russia, Giles Mary of St. Joseph ended a life of humble service to his Franciscan community and to the citizens of Naples.

Francesco was born in Taranto to very poor parents. His father's death left the 18-year-old Francesco to care for the family. Having secured their future, he entered the Friars Minor at Galatone in 1754. For 53 years he served at St. Paschal's Hospice in Naples in various roles, such as cook, porter or most often as official beggar for that community.

"Love God, love God" was his characteristic phrase as he gathered food for the friars and shared some of his bounty with the poor—all the while consoling the troubled and urging everyone to repent. The charity which he reflected on the streets of Naples was born in prayer and nurtured in the common life of the friars. The people whom Giles met on his begging rounds nicknamed him the "Consoler of Naples." He was canonized in 1996.


People often become arrogant and power hungry when they try to live a lie, for example, when they forget their own sinfulness and ignore the gifts God has given to other people. Giles had a healthy sense of his own sinfulness—not paralyzing but not superficial either. He invited men and women to recognize their own gifts and to live out their dignity as people made in God's divine image. Knowing someone like Giles can help us on our own spiritual journey.


In his homily at the canonization of Giles, Pope John Paul II said that the spiritual journey of Giles reflected "the humility of the Incarnation and the gratuitousness of the Eucharist" (L'Osservatore Romano 1996, volume 23, number 1).

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


At any time of the day or night we can call on Jesus.
He is always waiting, listening for our call. 
What a wonderful blessing. 
No phone needed, no e-mails, just a whisper.


If God were trying to tell me something, would I know?
If God were reassuring me or challenging me, would I notice?
I ask for the grace to be free of my own preoccupations
and open to what God may be saying to 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

Reading 11 KGS 11:4-13

When Solomon was old his wives had turned his heart to strange gods,
and his heart was not entirely with the LORD, his God,
as the heart of his father David had been.
By adoring Astarte, the goddess of the Sidonians,
and Milcom, the idol of the Ammonites,
Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD;
he did not follow him unreservedly as his father David had done.
Solomon then built a high place to Chemosh, the idol of Moab,
and to Molech, the idol of the Ammonites,
on the hill opposite Jerusalem.
He did the same for all his foreign wives
who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.
The LORD, therefore, became angry with Solomon,
because his heart was turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel,
who had appeared to him twice
(for though the LORD had forbidden him 
this very act of following strange gods,
Solomon had not obeyed him).

So the LORD said to Solomon: "Since this is what you want,
and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes
which I enjoined on you,
I will deprive you of the kingdom and give it to your servant.
I will not do this during your lifetime, however,
for the sake of your father David;
it is your son whom I will deprive.
Nor will I take away the whole kingdom.
I will leave your son one tribe for the sake of my servant David
and of Jerusalem, which I have chosen."

Responsorial Psalm PS 106:3-4, 35-36, 37 AND 40

R. (4a) Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
Blessed are they who observe what is right,
who do always what is just.
Remember us, O LORD, as you favor your people;
visit us with your saving help. 
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
But they mingled with the nations
and learned their works.
They served their idols,
which became a snare for them. 
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
They sacrificed their sons
and their daughters to demons.
And the LORD grew angry with his people,
and abhorred his inheritance. 
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.

Gospel MK 7:24-30

Jesus went to the district of Tyre.
He entered a house and wanted no one to know about it,
but he could not escape notice.
Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him.
She came and fell at his feet.
The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth,
and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter.
He said to her, "Let the children be fed first.
For it is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs."
She replied and said to him,
"Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children's scraps."
Then he said to her, "For saying this, you may go.
The demon has gone out of your daughter."
When the woman went home, she found the child lying in bed
and the demon gone.


Begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture you have just read. What part of it strikes a chord in you? Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story you have heard recently - will slowly rise to the surface of your consciousness. If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to you?


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 7:24-30

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5th Week in Ordinary Time

His heart was turned away from the Lord. (1 Kings 11:9)

Have you ever seen a dog sit by a table, begging for scraps? Even if he is trained not to beg or whine, that dog will sit there, as near to the table as he is allowed, with ears perked up and alert, and with imploring eyes, as he waits for just one morsel to fall his way.

In today's readings, we hear the story of a Syrophoenician woman who compares herself to a dog waiting for scraps to drop on the floor. She has endured great suffering through her daughter's demonic possession and is willing to do anything—even plead with this Jewish miracle worker—in order to secure healing for her daughter. You can just hear the persistence and strong determination in her voice as she begs Jesus for his help, even after he repeatedly dismisses her. She doesn't even believe in Yahweh, but somehow she knows that he can deliver her girl. This single-minded trust and faith in Jesus wins the day as she receives the desire of her heart: her daughter's deliverance.

In the first reading, we see that Solomon's situation is almost the complete opposite of the Syrophoenician woman. Solomon has been so amazingly blessed by God. He has sat at God's table and enjoyed the rich banquet of food and delights of wealth. But his passion for the one true God has faded. He is worried that the "Gods" of the nations around him are more powerful than Yahweh. He is seduced by the wealth and worldly status of these nations and wants Israel to join them rather than be the unique "light to the nations" that God has called it to be. God has given him so much, but it seems to have done little to convince Solomon of his goodness and love.

These readings show us that a desperate foreigner can receive more blessing than a powerful king of the chosen people. The key is faith and trust, not power and privilege. So dare to persist in your prayers to God. Know that he will reward you for your faithfulness!

"Lord, help me stay focused on you. Don't let my heart wander to areas that may hinder my trust, reliance, and faith in you. You are my all in all!"

1 Kings 11:4-13; Psalm 106:3-4, 35-37, 40

Today's 5 minutos said:
  "I was a young little girl, my father remained in bed, while my mother sowed all day, to keep us going, with her old sowing machine.  I never heard her complain about our luck.  Things went bad especially in the summer and to top things off, a letter came in that was from the loan place that said that unless we paid the balance that we owed, they would take the machine that was ultimately our only possession.  My mother would see it calmly.  I cried thinking what would become of our family, while my mother would say that she had confidence, that something would happen and wouldn't lose the machine.  The day came when when they would come for it and I heard knocking at the door of the kitchen.  However, it was a man well dressed that carried a baby in his arms.  He asked my mother if she was Mrs. Lopez and told her he had a problem.  "My wife was in an accident yesterday and is hospitalized" he said, "we live here a short time and do not have relatives or friends.  I need to open my office this very day.  Can you watch our baby a few days? I will pay you in advance", showing her a fifty dollar bill.  My mother took the money and the baby, and said to him: "Go unconcerned, we will take care of the baby while you need it."  When the man left, my mother looked at us with tears running down her cheeks said to us: "I knew that God would not fail us."    That is faith, like the woman of Canaanite woman of the Gospel."
  During Holy Hour, we pray :

Jesus, my Lord, my God, my All,
How can I love You as I ought?
And how revere this wondrous gift,
So far surpassing hope and thought. 

Sweet Sacrament we Thee adore,
O make us love Thee more and more,
O make us love Thee more and more.

Had I but Mary's sinless Heart,
To love You with, my dearest King.
O with what bursts of fervent praise,
Your goodness Jesus, would I sing.

Funny how we can become lax in our faith, kinda hold back a little, and once you give the devil a little to nibble on, it won't want to go away.  Good news is that if we nibble on God and truly realize He is the best, you will want more and more, never want to go away, like the doggy by the dinner table, as if to think "Hey, forget the dog food, this food from the table is real meat!".  And the meat of Christ is more fulfilling than anything in the entire world.  It is a fortifying Sacrament, it is what strengthens.  Pope Francis said because of this "the Eucharist calls us to see all of them as our brothers and sisters, and to see them in the face of Christ."  God's children are fed, but what about all the others?  Still His children -only not of the fold.  How fair is it that this non-follower of Christ gets a beautiful miracle from God Himself?  How fair is it compared to a follower that does not receive a miracle?  What's fair is faith.  Forget all the activity you do for God if on the way you tripped over the Samaritan.  Forget all your good deeds if you arrive to Heaven's gate alone, not holding the hands of those you helped get to Heaven's gates.  Forget all the good things you said if in the end you turned away.  Solomon was faithful, until he became a little more faithful to the world.  That is why we must not love to death, but to life.  That is why we are Christians, because we believe in the LIFE.  So who do you think you are today?  The poor woman?  One of God's children?  How about the doggy?  Because I feel like the dog at times when sin abounds, just needing a morsel of mercy to hang on to my Master's dinner at the table.  Notice how Jesus always talks about feeding.  When he told Peter our first pope to "feed My lambs" over and over, He meant it.  We need to be fed, we need God's love and mercy to the LIFE.  I know I do, because I am D.O.G., that is Depending On God forever.  If you don't believe the stories, what will you believe?  There was a possessed family in Indiana, ultimately freed with exorcisms, because the children were even crawling up walls backwards.  Demons were trying to choke them, and the list went on and on.  They needed to be delivered, and who was called?  A methodist pastor called a catholic priest for help.  Why Catholic?  Why is the Catholic Church attacked so much?  Because there is truth and darkness hates truth.  So pray for your family like today's woman.  Beg for your family.  Plead for your family, and offer yourself for your family.  I know I am personally inspired about a woman that may be considered to be a saint.  She was a mother that prayed always, and especially for her wayward children.  One of her daughter's was critically ill, and she prayed the Lord to take her instead.  The day she died, her daughter was saved.  All her children this day are extremely faithful, all because she prayed for them and died for them.  That kind of saint inspires me, a person like you and me can inspire.  Take this serious because it brings true joy, the joy of the Lord.  Being fed leads to this ...
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