Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I Am At Work

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True Love Minute Meditations
The cross was not a sign of sin and death, but a sign of the tremendous power of love that speaks through the centuries, across all times and places, to the daily human experiences of true love.
— from The Last Words of Jesus 

St. Francis of Paola

Francis of Paola was a man who deeply loved contemplative solitude and wished only to be the "least in the household of God." Yet, when the Church called him to active service in the world, he became a miracle-worker and influenced the course of nations.

After accompanying his parents on a pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi, he began to live as a contemplative hermit in a remote cave near Paola, on Italy's southern seacoast. Before he was 20, he received the first followers who had come to imitate his way of life. Seventeen years later, when his disciples had grown in number, Francis established a Rule for his austere community and sought Church approval. This was the founding of the Hermits of St. Francis of Assisi, who were approved by the Holy See in 1474.

In 1492, Francis changed the name of his community to "Minims" because he wanted them to be known as the least (minimi) in the household of God. Humility was to be the hallmark of the brothers as it had been in Francis's personal life. Besides the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, Francis enjoined upon his followers the fourth obligation of a perpetual Lenten fast. He felt that heroic mortification was necessary as a means for spiritual growth.

It was Francis's desire to be a contemplative hermit, yet he believed that God was calling him to the apostolic life. He began to use the gifts he had received, such as the gifts of miracles and prophecy, to minister to the people of God. A defender of the poor and oppressed, Francis incurred the wrath of King Ferdinand of Naples for the admonitions he directed toward the king and his sons.

Following the request of Pope Sixtus IV, Francis traveled to Paris to help Louis XI of France prepare for his death. While ministering to the king, Francis was able to influence the course of national politics. He helped to restore peace between France and Brittany by advising a marriage between the ruling families, and between France and Spain by persuading Louis XI to return some disputed land.

Francis died while at the French court.


The King of France, Louis XI, was slowly dying after an apoplectic seizure. He sent a messenger to Italy to beg Francis to come and heal him, making many promises to assist him and his order. Francis refused, until the king appeal to the pope, who ordered Francis to go. Louis fell on his knees and begged Francis to heal him. The saint replied that the lives of kings are in rhe hands of God and have their appointed limits: Prayer should be addressed to God.

Many meetings followed. Though Francis was an unlearned man, those who heard him testified that his words were so full of wisdom that all present were convinced the Holy Spirit wa speaking through him. By prayer and example he brought about a change of heart in the king, who died peacefully in his arms.


The life of Francis of Paola speaks plainly to an overactive world. He was a contemplative man called to active ministry and must have felt keenly the tension between prayer and service. Yet in Francis's life it was a productive tension, for he clearly utilized the fruits of contemplation in his ministry, which came to involve the workings of nations. He responded so readily and so well to the call of the Church from a solid foundation in prayer and mortification. When he went out to the world, it was not he who worked but Christ working through him—"the least in the household of God."

Patron Saint of:


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


"Be still and know that I am God."
Lord, Your words lead us to the
calmness and greatness of Your Presence.


Many countries are at this moment suffering the agonies of war.
I bow my head in thanksgiving for my freedom.
I pray for all prisoners and captives.


At this moment Lord I turn my thoughts to You. I will leave aside my chores and preoccupations.
I will take rest and refreshment in your presence Lord.

The Word of God

Reading 1IS 49:8-15

Thus says the LORD:
In a time of favor I answer you,
on the day of salvation I help you;
and I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people,
To restore the land
and allot the desolate heritages,
Saying to the prisoners: Come out!
To those in darkness: Show yourselves!
Along the ways they shall find pasture,
on every bare height shall their pastures be.
They shall not hunger or thirst,
nor shall the scorching wind or the sun strike them;
For he who pities them leads them
and guides them beside springs of water.
I will cut a road through all my mountains,
and make my highways level.
See, some shall come from afar,
others from the north and the west,
and some from the land of Syene.
Sing out, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth,
break forth into song, you mountains.
For the LORD comforts his people
and shows mercy to his afflicted.

But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me;
my Lord has forgotten me."
Can a mother forget her infant,
be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Even should she forget,
I will never forget you.

Responsorial Psalm PS 145:8-9, 13CD-14, 17-18

R. (8a) The Lord is gracious and merciful.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. The Lord is gracious and merciful.
The LORD is faithful in all his words
and holy in all his works.
The LORD lifts up all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
R. The Lord is gracious and merciful.
The LORD is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.
R. The Lord is gracious and merciful.

Gospel JN 5:17-30

Jesus answered the Jews: 
"My Father is at work until now, so I am at work."
For this reason they tried all the more to kill him,
because he not only broke the sabbath
but he also called God his own father, making himself equal to God.

Jesus answered and said to them,
"Amen, amen, I say to you, the Son cannot do anything on his own,
but only what he sees the Father doing;
for what he does, the Son will do also.
For the Father loves the Son
and shows him everything that he himself does,
and he will show him greater works than these,
so that you may be amazed.
For just as the Father raises the dead and gives life,
so also does the Son give life to whomever he wishes.
Nor does the Father judge anyone,
but he has given all judgment to the Son,
so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father.
Whoever does not honor the Son
does not honor the Father who sent him.
Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word
and believes in the one who sent me
has eternal life and will not come to condemnation,
but has passed from death to life.
Amen, amen, I say to you, the hour is coming and is now here
when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God,
and those who hear will live.
For just as the Father has life in himself,
so also he gave to the Son the possession of life in himself.
And he gave him power to exercise judgment,
because he is the Son of Man.
Do not be amazed at this,
because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs
will hear his voice and will come out,
those who have done good deeds
to the resurrection of life,
but those who have done wicked deeds
to the resurrection of condemnation.

"I cannot do anything on my own;
I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just,
because I do not seek my own will
but the will of the one who sent me."


How has God's Word moved me? Has it left me cold? Has it consoled me or moved me to act in a new way?
I imagine Jesus standing or sitting beside me, I turn and share my feelings with 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: Isaiah 49:8-15

View NAB Reading at |

Saint Francis of Paola, Hermit

He who pities them leads them and guides them beside springs of water. (Isaiah 49:10)


Did you know that the earth's surface is over 70 percent water? And more than half of the people on earth live within 3 kilometers of fresh water! Not only that, but our bodies are 60 percent water. And while you can survive for weeks without food, you will only last 3-5 days without water. Clearly, water is essential for life.

The theme of water permeates the Scriptures, too, especially in Lent. So far, our Lenten readings have presented multiple images of trees planted by streams of water; Moses striking the rock for water in the desert; Naaman the leper being cleansed in the river; and a Samaritan woman receiving living water from Jesus. And just yesterday, we read Ezekiel's image of the Temple flowing with the river of life along with the story of a man Jesus healed by the pool of Bethsaida in Jerusalem.

Through all of these stories and more, God is showing us that his life is like water for us. In fact, our spiritual lives are surrounded by water. In Baptism we were cleansed by water, and we received within ourselves a spring of living water bubbling up in our hearts. And at the end of our lives, during the Mass of Christian Burial, our bodies are sprinkled with holy water. Each Lent, we prepare for the great liturgies of the Triduum, when holy water is blessed, and catechumens are baptized into the Church.

How do you need to experience God's life-giving water today? Take a moment in prayer, and ask the Lord to help you come in touch with the life he has placed in you. Let the spring well up within you—a spring of hope, of joy, of cleansing, and of peace. Let that living water irrigate any "parched ground" in you—softening your heart, cleansing your conscience, healing your memories, enlivening your imagination. Let it carry away your burdens and give you the simple joy of knowing that Christ is in you and that he will never stop loving and caring for you.

"Father, I want your living waters to flow in me today. Nourish, cleanse, and bring me your joy. I need you to give me your life."


Psalm 145:8-9, 13-14, 17-18; John 5:17-30


Saying to the prisoners: Come out! To those in darkness: Show yourselves!

For just as the Father raises the dead and gives life,

so also does the Son give life to whomever he wishes.

The Lord is Gracious and merciful.

These are all words of the Word of God today.  Last night I read a similar Psalm at the funeral vigil they asked me to pray at.  But who are they?  "They" are the Lord calling.  And I showed up, and the Lord was there among the faithful.  What happened today with the readings of the prophet Isaiah?  Our Lord manifested Himself, fulfilled these words.  Jesus gave life to the dead and still does to whomever He wishes.  If the bible is leading up to Jesus, all the lives involved led up to Jesus, and we are living from the time of Jesus till today, then where do we fit in the bible?  We fit in the revelations of Christ.  We fit in the Kingdom.  We fit, but will we go? Will we go when the Lord is calling?  Jesus unlocked the prisoners when He died, and commanded them "show yourselves" from the darkness.  This call is a call to all of us, to "Come out of the darkness and show ourselves".  He was making this call to the Jews as well, not just the dead in flesh but dead in spirit.  I read a quote today
You know well enough that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love at which we do them."- St. Therese of Lisieux
Because the Jews were the law, but not to the heart of God.  Because I can serve to death at Church, without doing anything for God.  Because I can be someone who does nothing at church, and not serve God.  Because at the heart of the matter is what and how we serve.  God is calling us to a new life with Him.  When we die?  Yes.  When will I die?  The day you say "Lord, no longer is life about me, but all about you".  That's the first step to death and to true life.  The Son of God is the fulfillment of all the Old Testament.  I see a family member of mine, pretty faithful to her protestant church, I don't know what denomination they belong to exactly, but they (the women) have to wear skirts is all I know and they seem to know much about the Old Testament, but I don't hear much of the New.  She is pretty faithful to following the orders, but I don't see Jesus as their supreme love, and I can testify because I heard once her blurt out the Lord's name in vain in a joking exasperation "Jesus CHRIST" as if it were funny or normal.  This name is above all, because He is equal with the Father of the old.  We have to get out of our mentality and attitude of thinking we know it all and actually allow the Holy Spirit to lead our lives.  My eyes watered Monday evening to see all my kids sitting eating dinner, they almost glowed as we sat there as a family and I had to leave them, and the temptation to stay was so great, skip Church, skip God.  Trust God, we say.  Yesterday the kids were fussing, the babies were crying and coughing, and I had to lead to the funeral vigil...Trust God they say.  And today someone will come up and make my heart anxious with their attitude and the problems will come.  But Trust God, right?
 How am I supposed to die to myself and all that I love so much?  I seem to love problems because I keep focusing on them more than God.  What is it exactly that is first in your life?  I got home Monday from Church that evening, only minutes later, nobody was there to meet, so I got the entire afternoon with the kids and wife, God tested me and blessed.  I got home from the vigil last night, only to find the house in peace and not even heard much coughing, and we prayed before we lay to bed.  God was trusted with the Holy Angels.  The problems people bring me with their attitude, I pray for them and dump out all the anxieties and let peace abound, let not my thoughts torment me, let those be blessed.  Trust God "they" say.  Why?  Because it is the way of faith. Where?  Right where you are always. When? Begin from this moment til forever.  How?  Die to yourself, your whims and thoughts and life, all your so called loves.  It is perhaps the greatest challenge in our lives, to take the plunge of faith, but I have prayed for you to greatness and God proves the soul "as gold in the furnace" I read at the funeral vigil.  Take your test, your cross.  God is calling the faithful and the fearful of Him and of nothing else.  God blesses those who are faithful, I know you trust God with your life and mine, so come out from the darkness, from death unto true life...
Jesus is the Life, the Truth, and the Way
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