Monday, March 10, 2014

Of The Children

Untitled document


We Are Called Minute Meditations
Our sense of self as sinner and saint at the same time is possible only because God has opened our eyes to see how they finally meet on the horizon of the Holy Mystery. The words of Jesus always call us to cast off our sin, but, in the process, we're never condemned—only called.
— from Startled By God 

St. Dominic Savio

So many holy persons seem to die young. Among them was Dominic Savio, the patron of choirboys.

Born into a peasant family at Riva, Italy, young Dominic joined St. John Bosco as a student at the Oratory in Turin at the age of 12. He impressed John with his desire to be a priest and to help him in his work with neglected boys. A peacemaker and an organizer, young Dominic founded a group he called the Company of the Immaculate Conception which, besides being devotional, aided John Bosco with the boys and with manual work. All the members save one, Dominic, would in 1859 join John in the beginnings of his Salesian congregation. By that time, Dominic had been called home to heaven.

As a youth, Dominic spent hours rapt in prayer. His raptures he called "my distractions." Even in play, he said that at times "It seems heaven is opening just above me. I am afraid I may say or do something that will make the other boys laugh." Dominic would say, "I can't do big things. But I want all I do, even the smallest thing, to be for the greater glory of God."

Dominic's health, always frail, led to lung problems and he was sent home to recuperate. As was the custom of the day, he was bled in the thought that this would help, but it only worsened his condition. He died on March 9, 1857, after receiving the Last Sacraments. St. John Bosco himself wrote the account of his life.

Some thought that Dominic was too young to be considered a saint. St. Pius X declared that just the opposite was true, and went ahead with his cause. Dominic was canonized in 1954.


Like many a youngster, Dominic was painfully aware that he was different from his peers. He tried to keep his piety from his friends lest he have to endure their laughter. Even after his death, his youth marked him as a misfit among the saints and some argued that he was too young to be canonized. Pius X wisely disagreed. For no one is too young—or too old or too anything else—to achieve the holiness to which we are all called.

Patron Saint of:

Juvenile delinquents

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


The more we call on God
the more we can feel God's presence.
Day by day we are drawn closer
to the loving heart of God.


Lord you gave me life and the gift of freedom.
Through Your love I exist in this world.
May I never take the gift of life for granted.
May I always respect the right to life of others.


Knowing that God loves me unconditionally, I look honestly over the last day, its events and my feelings. 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 1LV 19:1-2, 11-18

The LORD said to Moses,
"Speak to the whole assembly of the children of Israel and tell them:
Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.

"You shall not steal.
You shall not lie or speak falsely to one another.
You shall not swear falsely by my name,
thus profaning the name of your God.
I am the LORD.

"You shall not defraud or rob your neighbor.
You shall not withhold overnight the wages of your day laborer.
You shall not curse the deaf,
or put a stumbling block in front of the blind,
but you shall fear your God.
I am the LORD.

"You shall not act dishonestly in rendering judgment.
Show neither partiality to the weak nor deference to the mighty,
but judge your fellow men justly.
You shall not go about spreading slander among your kin;
nor shall you stand by idly when your neighbor's life is at stake. 
I am the LORD.

"You shall not bear hatred for your brother in your heart. 
Though you may have to reprove him,
do not incur sin because of him. 
Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your fellow countrymen.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
I am the LORD."

Responsorial Psalm PS 19:8, 9, 10, 15

R. (John 6:63b) Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart.
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
Let the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart
find favor before you,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

Gospel MT 25:31-46

Jesus said to his disciples:
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory,
and all the angels with him,
he will sit upon his glorious throne,
and all the nations will be assembled before him. 
And he will separate them one from another,
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right,
'Come, you who are blessed by my Father.
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.'
Then the righteous will answer him and say,
'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,
or naked and clothe you? 
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?'
And the king will say to them in reply,
'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did
for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Then he will say to those on his left,
'Depart from me, you accursed,
into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.
For I was hungry and you gave me no food,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
a stranger and you gave me no welcome,
naked and you gave me no clothing,
ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.'
Then they will answer and say,
'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty
or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison,
and not minister to your needs?'
He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you,
what you did not do for one of these least ones,
you did not do for me.'
And these will go off to eternal punishment,
but the righteous to eternal life."


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.


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: Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18

View NAB Reading at

Subscriber? Login to view archives.

1st Week of Lent

You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Leviticus 19:18)

 We are familiar with what Jesus calls the "two great commandments" of the Law: "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart... . You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:37, 39). But these commandments can seem so vague that we may not know how to observe them.

Here in Leviticus, where these words first appear, there are plenty of specifics. Don't steal or cheat. Don't take advantage of the poor. Don't disparage those with disabilities or make things more difficult for them. Don't stand by idly when you could be helping someone in need. Instead of hanging on to resentment or seeking revenge, tell your neighbor what he's done wrong, and then let him resolve it with the Lord.

Jesus is just as specific. We may sometimes wonder how we can love a Messiah who is invisible and who lives up in heaven. He can seem so distant to us, so different from the people we encounter every day.

Or is he? If you want to see Jesus, look into the eyes of someone who is poor, hungry, homeless, sick, or imprisoned. Look into the eyes of a friend or family member who is suffering in some way. Listen carefully to what this person is saying—and is not saying. Stay long enough to find Jesus, so that you will end up treating him or her as you would treat the Lord.

This can seem overwhelming, especially when we think about how limited our own resources are. How can I possibly show this person real love? The key comes in God's word to the Israelites: "I am the Lord" (Leviticus 19:18). It is as if Jesus is telling us, Here I am, looking through the eyes of this man's homelessness, that woman's poverty, this child's woundedness. They are all "these least brothers of mine," and when you look at them, you see me. When you serve them, you serve me. When you love them, you are loving me.

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta would often say that it was a privilege to care for the poorest of the poor because they offered her so many opportunities to meet Jesus. May we all find this same privilege as we minister to the needy ones among us—even those in our own families!

"Jesus, open my eyes so that I can see you and love you in my neighbor."


Psalm 19:8-10, 15; Matthew 25:31-46

I could easily say "oh look at the government, how they think they are above everybody, treating the people as if subordinates, those less than, less smart, less honorable".  But then again, I've seen families that feel as if they are better than other families, a group of friends who think others don't belong or aren't as good, and even worse, within the own family the bickering and fighting, and even name calling.  What God wants is spelled out in today's Holy Scriptures; Be Holy, For I The Lord, YOUR GOD, am Holy.  Holiness is attainable.  I asked somebody, "why haven't you given up anything for lent?  You should give up those cokes you love or something."  Turns out, after much poking and probing, they had indeed given up, on arguments, the fighting.  This is far better than coke cans lined up, because it calls for peace in the families and beyond.  This is a step in holiness.  This is what God wants.  Because what God wants is indeed possible.  What does our Lord want?  The original man (mankind) he made.  The kind that sees His face among the brothers and sisters.  The kind that is actually kind.  I read a quote today from Blessed Mother Teresa "We must be kind because we love".  Is this far fetched?  Or will you join in the bashing today?  Who do you esteem?  Who do you hold above all others?  I am speaking to you my child, because as if any day, your mouth can run off, or your heart can trample on fellow man (any human) in the world.  When your eyes leave this screen, the world you see will be a stark difference.  Here you may see the Heavens open up like St. Dominic.  Here you will read about how beautiful holiness can be, but when your eyes leave this screen, that's where the difference is made for eternity, but not for you, but for them.  Will you lead your children to Heaven?  Yes?  How?  Please do not say you are sending them to Sunday School ONLY, because that is only part of the equation.  Please do not say you will ONLY pray for them.  Please do not say you intend to show them personally.  So how?  The question boils down to the faith, your faith.  I see many cherish their children so much, love them so much, but only to death.  We do not know how to love.  Then we hear about those crazy people that kill their own children and look on them with disgust and disdain, while we cherish those who are in favor of abortions as if it were any different, or worse, those that raise a godless child.  We love to love and we love to hate.  What is that all about?  I want this message to be loud and clear, for all the negative people reading this right now, the world is not cruel, you do not have to hide your holiness St. Dominic.  It is a crying shame that people feel they have to hide their holiness from the world, because you will be made fun of.  Funny thing was though, St. Dominic tried to hide it but the light shone right through.  This is humility, when it shows.  This lent is all about humility.  I must decrease, choose less of me, and more of others.  That is why we are called to give (sacrifice), give (prayers), and give (to the needy).  That is to say, give all the more to God, and this is more holiness.  Funny how this works, God wants your sins, for you to repent of your sins, and in return, He gives you grace and holiness.  What a trade!  Give forgiveness when others give you poop.  Give love when others give you grief.  Give kindness when others give you insults.  I can only laugh at how I imagine some of us will appear before our Lord.  Imagine you trying to get into heaven with only one cheek slapped?  Why is the other one still in good shape?  Hmmm!  LOL.  Jesus our Lord, He not only turned one cheek but every part of His body to be mutilated for the salvation of souls.  We get slapped once and we quit.  No my little brothers and sisters.  Do not shake your head and be like the rest.  Hold your head steadfast in the Lord.  Become Holy.  Wait, "become" holy?  How in the world do you suppose one can do that?  Be coming to Jesus. Come for mercy, come for grace. Empty yourself and you will begin to see where He is, most often abandoned and forgotten.  How often do we come to the Lord in Church and never in neighbor, imprisoned, or forgotten?  But let me tell you, as you kneel before the Lord in Church, ask and you shall receive "help me love you" Lord.  "Help me see your face on earth", Jesus.  "Help me find you".  Soon thereafter you will see, after you've emptied yourself of sin, of self, and having two red cheeks in humility.  Only after that second slap on the other cheek you will see...after that humility.  Be ready for a whole new world when you see.  Being Holy will then become a lifelong process, but one that keeps getting brighter, so bright that even if you try to hide others will see, and be led to salvation, an eternity with our Master.  See?