Thursday, April 24, 2014

Arise In Your Hearts

Untitled document

Minute Meditations

Total Surrender 

Obedience means total surrender and wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor. All the difficulties that come in our work are the result of disobedience.
— from Thirsting for God

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen

 If a poor man needed some clothing, Fidelis would often give the man the clothes right off his back. Complete generosity to others characterized this saint's life.

Born in 1577, Mark Rey (Fidelis was his religious name) became a lawyer who constantly upheld the causes of the poor and oppressed people. Nicknamed "the poor man's lawyer," Fidelis soon grew disgusted with the corruption and injustice he saw among his colleagues. He left his law career to become a priest, joining his brother George as a member of the Capuchin Order. His wealth was divided between needy seminarians and the poor.

As a follower of Francis, Fidelis continued his devotion to the weak and needy. During a severe epidemic in a city where he was guardian of a friary, Fidelis cared for and cured many sick soldiers.

He was appointed head of a group of Capuchins sent to preach against the Calvinists and Zwinglians in Switzerland. Almost certain violence threatened. Those who observed the mission felt that success was more attributable to the prayer of Fidelis during the night than to his sermons and instructions.

He was accused of opposing the peasants' national aspirations for independence from Austria. While he was preaching at Seewis, to which he had gone against the advice of his friends, a gun was fired at him, but he escaped unharmed. A Protestant offered to shelter Fidelis, but he declined, saying his life was in God's hands. On the road back, he was set upon by a group of armed men and killed.

He was canonized in 1746. Fifteen years later, the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, which was established in 1622, recognized him as its first martyr.


Fidelis's constant prayer was that he be kept completely faithful to God and not give in to any lukewarmness or apathy. He was often heard to exclaim, "Woe to me if I should prove myself but a halfhearted soldier in the service of my thorn-crowned Captain." His prayer against apathy, and his concern for the poor and weak make him a saint whose example is valuable today. The modern Church is calling us to follow the example of "the poor man's lawyer" by sharing ourselves and our talents with those less fortunate and by working for justice in the world.


"Action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world fully appear to us as a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel, or, in other words, of the Church's mission for the redemption of the human race and its liberation from every oppressive situation" ("Justice in the World," Synod of Bishops, 1971).

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



Dear Lord as I come to you today
Fill my heart and my whole being
with the wonder of your presence



Lord, you created me to live in freedom.
Mostly I take this gift for granted.
Inspire me to live in the freedom you intended,
with a heart untroubled and with complete trust in You.



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 1 acts 3:11-26

As the crippled man who had been cured clung to Peter and John,
all the people hurried in amazement toward them
in the portico called "Solomon's Portico."
When Peter saw this, he addressed the people,
"You children of Israel, why are you amazed at this,
and why do you look so intently at us
as if we had made him walk by our own power or piety?
The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,
the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus
whom you handed over and denied in Pilate's presence,
when he had decided to release him.
You denied the Holy and Righteous One
and asked that a murderer be released to you.
The author of life you put to death,
but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses.
And by faith in his name,
this man, whom you see and know, his name has made strong,
and the faith that comes through it
has given him this perfect health,
in the presence of all of you.
Now I know, brothers and sisters,
that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did;
but God has thus brought to fulfillment
what he had announced beforehand
through the mouth of all the prophets,
that his Christ would suffer.
Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away,
and that the Lord may grant you times of refreshment
and send you the Christ already appointed for you, Jesus,
whom heaven must receive until the times of universal restoration
of which God spoke through the mouth
of his holy prophets from of old.
For Moses said:

A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you
from among your own kin;
to him you shall listen in all that he may say to you.
Everyone who does not listen to that prophet
will be cut off from the people.

"Moreover, all the prophets who spoke,
from Samuel and those afterwards, also announced these days.
You are the children of the prophets
and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors
when he said to Abraham,
In your offspring all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
For you first, God raised up his servant and sent him to bless you
by turning each of you from your evil ways."

Responsorial Psalm ps 8:2ab and 5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (2ab) O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
R. Alleluia.
O LORD, our Lord,
how glorious is your name over all the earth!
What is man that you should be mindful of him,
or the son of man that you should care for him?
R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
R. Alleluia.
You have made him little less than the angels,
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him rule over the works of your hands,
putting all things under his feet.
R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
R. Alleluia.
All sheep and oxen,
yes, and the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fishes of the sea,
and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
R. Alleluia.

Gospel lk 24:35-48

The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way,
and how they had come to recognize him in the breaking of bread.

While they were still speaking about this,
he stood in their midst and said to them,
"Peace be with you."
But they were startled and terrified
and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
Then he said to them, "Why are you troubled?
And why do questions arise in your hearts?
Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.
Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones
as you can see I have."
And as he said this,
he showed them his hands and his feet.
While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed,
he asked them, "Have you anything here to eat?"
They gave him a piece of baked fish;
he took it and ate it in front of them.

He said to them,
"These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you,
that everything written about me in the law of Moses
and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled."
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
And he said to them,
"Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things."


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 MeditationsMeditation: Acts 3:11-26

View NAB Reading at

Subscriber? Login to view archives.

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

You are the children of the prophets and of the covenant. (Acts 3:25)

Noticing that a crowd has gathered around the man whom they have just cured, Peter takes full advantage of the people's curiosity. He launches into an address that both explains what has just happened and offers everyone else a share in the salvation that this miracle has revealed.

Although Peter announces that this salvation comes through repentance, he doesn't just

address the people as sinners guilty of condemning Jesus to death. Rather, he addresses what's best in their nature and experience. He invites them to take hold of the grace God has already given them. He recalls the God they have always worshipped and reminds them that in Jesus, the crucified and risen Messiah, this God is now freely healing people and giving them new life.

Generously, Peter attributes their part in the death of Christ to ignorance rather than to malice. Then he goes on to point to the promised blessing that is rightfully theirs. No wonder so many are eager to believe!

What a model for us as we take up the call to share the gospel! We are surrounded by people who need a savior. How do we view them? How do we talk about them? How do we talk to them? It can be tempting to focus on their shortcomings and sins, but such an approach can lead us to turn our backs on them as being hopeless. It will certainly lead them to keep their distance from us! No one is attracted by condemnation!

On the other hand, we can try to develop a more positive attitude. We can begin by looking for Jesus in each person around us. We can try to identify his image in them and look for ways that they manifest his goodness. Certainly any desire to do the right thing, any impulse of generosity or sense of justice, can show us a way to talk with them about the Lord. If we begin at this spot, we'll find it easier to help them take one step closer to the God who is already at work in their hearts.

All it takes is an open, respectful heart. The rest is up to God.

"Father, you loved me long before I came to know you. Open my eyes to see how you are at work in every human heart."


Psalm 8:2, 5-9; Luke 24:35-48


The Spanish reflection ended today with the line:

"It is easier for a person with a clean conscience to accept the immortality, the resurection, the eternal life...than a person that has reason to fear...because of their evildoing. 

Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Mathew 5:8"

Many people will have lived life, and never seen God.  Some people will have lived life, and seen God.  Last night at our co-worker bible study, we discussed Easter, and one question asked  "What is your proof that Jesus rose from the dead?" Many of the questions left us wondering what to say.  The answers came one by one from different men, "faith", "answered prayers", "the Holy Church", and the answers kept coming in relation to these.  I pondered on all they said, and then I gave my answer: "My proof is just like all of yours, and the fact that I have witnessed the Eucharist actually become the flesh, where the priest no longer holds a piece of bread, but flesh...which I kept to myself, until my parents began speaking about it days later and attested that they had seen the same thing, then I knew it wasn't just me".  Then I went on to explain how I was taken away during Divine Mercy chaplet in a cursillo, and I saw the living God on the cross in darkness, suffering His last breaths for our sins, and the whole time my heart knew I was in the presence of MY Father, Our Father. I didn't have to see clearly, I just knew where I was and who He was and what was going on.  The darkened day and the blood all over his countenance was evidence of our sins taken on by Him for us to be healed.  This is my proof, and it is enough when it happens to you, even though nobody else will believe.  And so to people like that, there is still hope, like doubting Thomas, whom Jesus told to touch His wounds and then He asked that He be given something to eat.  Eating was something He always did with His followers, and then He became something for them to eat.  Here's where things get beyond human comprehension.  It's like another answer I gave last night to which I touched upon the subject of eternity, "there is no such thing as time further away from this world, our minds can not fathom the fact that we will be reunited with those of thousands of years ago".  This is what Jesus did in the resurrection, unlocking gates of doom and longful wait.  And so today we have various shocking moments that should leave us with a question in our heart to answer like we had to answer last night "what should our reaction be?".  The first was the shock and awe of a healed man in the temple.  The second was the surprise of Jesus appearing in front of His apostles.  It should be no shock though when His first words are "peace".  Peace be with you.  This means Jesus be with you.  I've only had one opportunity to see a Pope, and it was Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in New York City, a busy city, thousands of people, and the only explanation of my proximity to Him cruising by a few feet away on the pope-mobile was that of peace.  This is what should be forth most in our lives...Peace...Jesus.  Pray for it and you pray for Jesus, the truth in hope and peace and love and mercy.  Will Jesus come again?  As if He hasn't already made Himself available enough daily and in the Holy Sacraments...Yes


Subscribe to the Going4th mailing list.