Wednesday, March 12, 2014

There Is Something Greater

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Hold Hands With God Minute Meditations
Take the time you need to remember and thank people who over time have proved themselves disciples of Jesus to you. But don't stop there. Be sure to remember and give thanks for the gifts you've received. This is how we hold hands with God, and God with us.
— from Startled By God 

Blessed Angela Salawa

Angela served Christ and Christ's little ones with all her strength.

Born in Siepraw, near Kraków, Poland, she was the 11th child of Bartlomiej and Ewa Salawa. In 1897, she moved to Kraków where her older sister Therese lived. Angela immediately began to gather together and instruct young women domestic workers. During World War I, she helped prisoners of war without regard for their nationality or religion. The writings of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross were a great comfort to her.

Angela gave great service in caring for soldiers wounded in World War I. After 1918 her health did not permit her to exercise her customary apostolate. Addressing herself to Christ, she wrote in her diary, "I want you to be adored as much as you were destroyed." In another place, she wrote, "Lord, I live by your will. I shall die when you desire; save me because you can."

At her 1991 beatification in Kraków, Pope John Paul II said: "It is in this city that she worked, that she suffered and that her holiness came to maturity. While connected to the spirituality of St. Francis, she showed an extraordinary responsiveness to the action of the Holy Spirit" (L'Osservatore Romano, volume 34, number 4, 1991).


Humility should never be mistaken for lack of conviction, insight or energy. Angela brought the Good News and material assistance to some of Christ's "least ones." Her self-sacrifice inspired others to do the same.


Henri de Lubac, S.J., wrote: "The best Christians and the most vital are by no means to be found either inevitably or even generally among the wise or the clever, the intelligentsia or the politically-minded, or those of social consequence. And consequently what they say does not make the headlines; what they do does not come to the public eye. Their lives are hidden from the eyes of the world, and if they do come to some degree of notoriety, that is usually late in the day, and exceptional, and always attended by the risk of distortion" (The Splendor of the Church, p. 187).

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.


It is so easy to get caught up 
with the trappings of wealth in this life.
Grant, O Lord, that I may be free 
from greed and selfishness.
Remind me that the best things in life are free. 
Love, laughter, caring and sharing.


I exist in a web of relationships - links to nature, people, God. I trace out these links, giving thanks for the life that flows through them.
Some links are twisted or broken: I may feel regret, anger, disappointment. I pray for the gift of acceptance and forgiveness.

The Word of God

Reading 1JON 3:1-10

The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time:
"Set out for the great city of Nineveh,
and announce to it the message that I will tell you."
So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh,
according to the LORD's bidding.
Now Nineveh was an enormously large city;
it took three days to go through it.
Jonah began his journey through the city,
and had gone but a single day's walk announcing,
"Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,"
when the people of Nineveh believed God;
they proclaimed a fast
and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.

When the news reached the king of Nineveh,
he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe,
covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes.
Then he had this proclaimed throughout Nineveh,
by decree of the king and his nobles:
"Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep,
shall taste anything;
they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water. 
Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth and call loudly to God;
every man shall turn from his evil way
and from the violence he has in hand.
Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold his blazing wrath,
so that we shall not perish."
When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way,
he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them;
he did not carry it out.

Responsorial Psalm PS 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19

R. (19b) A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me. 
R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.

Gospel LK 11:29-32

While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them,
"This generation is an evil generation;
it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it,
except the sign of Jonah. 
Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites,
so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
At the judgment 
the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation 
and she will condemn them,
because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon,
and there is something greater than Solomon here. 
At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it,
because at the preaching of Jonah they repented,
and there is something greater than Jonah here."


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: Jonah 3:1-10

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1st Week of Lent

Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh. (Jonah 3:3)

 What a great prophet! Here's a man who journeys into the dark heart of a savage empire to proclaim a message that may well get him killed. But he tackles his God-given assignment and gets incredible results. Courageous, selfless, obedient: that's Jonah!

Just kidding.

That may be the Jonah of chapter 3. But if you look at the other three chapters of the Book of Jonah, you'll discover that our "hero" is not really all that heroic. He runs away from God's first call to Nineveh; he puts others at risk to save his own skin; he's unmerciful, self-pitying, and angry (Jonah 1:3, 7; 4:1-3, 9). As the story ends, Jonah sits sulking while God patiently reasons with him.

Jonah's full portrait is not a pretty picture! But whose is? We all have our unseemly moments of rebelling against God's plan or sinking into self-absorption. In fact, as we give more attention to prayer this Lent, we may see areas where we're being called to be less like Jonah and more like Jesus. As we do, we can find at least two encouraging messages in Jonah's story.

First: Just because you have faults and failings doesn't mean God can't work through you. So often, seeing our dark corners and unheroic characteristics, we tell ourselves that we're too weak and imperfect to undertake some calling that God puts before us. But God isn't hampered by our limitations! His power working through us is what brings results. Does he seek our cooperation and holiness? Of course. But even if our motives are mixed, even if some parts of us are not beautiful yet, we can still do something beautiful for God.

Second: The work God gives you to do for the good of others is for your good too. It wasn't just to save the Ninevites that God sent them a prophet: he wanted to save the prophet as well! Likewise, when God calls you to give of yourself, it's also to give you more of his life. Even if the task reveals a hidden fault, as with Jonah, God is there to flood the area with his light and healing—to do you good.

"Lord, thank you for the story of my brother Jonah. And tell me please: what beautiful thing are you calling me to do for you today?"


Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19; Luke 11:29-32

Allow me to translate today's 5minutos:
  "Lent is, to see Jesus right, see his face, learn his features by memory, contain them, for them to be natural to you, that they be yours, part of your history.

Lent is to climb to Tabor, to Calvary, going all the way from the desert to Easter, without looking bac and without getting one lost, overcoming the effort in hope.

Lent is to open all your house, dirty, and dark, to let the wind clean it, and let in all the sun, illuminated, a converted radiant glass.

Lent is to listen to the powerful word, that is a sharpened sword and a hammer, rip your heart and crush it, to make it new, the Spirit Creator.

Lent is to supplicate for the fire and for the water to turn off the thirst and against the cold, that the fire convert into a live flame, and the water be an inexhaustible river.

Lent is a going out to encounter the brother/sister and at once put yourself to their service, discover those features that you know, perhaps they be the features of Christ.

Lent is Jesus Christ, with His fidelity, and surrender, who shows us, following His example, to do what God awaits in us.  How? Not conquering, but receiving.  Not escalating, but descending.  Not doubting, but believing.  Not rebelling, but serving.  Not hogging, but sharing.  Not hating, but forgiving.   Not warring, but pacifying.  Not taking life, but giving it.  That is to say, loving, letting oneself be loved and living the love.  Who loves deifies.  Who gives their life for love is converted into another Christ. "

To your lil bro Adrian, lent is the time to truly be Christ.  Is it a coincidence that lent rhymes with repent?  And does it just so happen that the temptations have really been brought on now that lent started?  Well, everything just said goes together.  Being and seeing through the eyes of Christ means calling on repentance and seeing what has been there all along...temptation.  Problem is, we have to many Jonahs but not enough.  That is to say, too many not really wanting to do God's will, but still, not too many that will actually do God's will.  And His will is to call on the world to repent.  Start with self.  Finally Jonah had to relent, to surrender to His will, only to complain later to our Father "why couldn't you just let them have it for being so evil?".  Let them have what?  Punishment? Violence?  Because those are the ways of the world, but our Father desired mercy.  That leads us into the Gospel, but only through the Psalm "A Heart Contrite and humbled Oh Lord, You will not spurn".  Jesus arrives.  For all those needing a sign, it has been given, or better said, proclaimed, or better said...served.  Because the He said what was to be, a call to repent, like Jonah, and the promise to come, the body of Christ.  Ok?  Does it make sense?  So what is being asked of me?  LOL.  Anything stick so far?  God loves our total surrender to Him for the blessings to come.  Because if we do not give (into) Him, we give into something, or some one else.  Therefore, what is lent again?  A call to holiness through repentance.  When Jesus serves His body, soul, and divinity, His Holy Words were "Do This In Remembrance Of Me".  Do what?  Serve Christ to the world.  That is why every priest is special, especially during Holy Mass, he becomes another Christ.  Yet, we too can become another Christ to one another.  This is the call of Lent