Tuesday, May 13, 2014

No One Can

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Minute Meditations

Loving Family

Jesus, in your family life, you grew in wisdom, age and grace before God and people. Help us to follow the same path on our journey toward a loving union with you. With your guidance we can live in a family united in respect and love.
— from Holding Jesus


Our Lady of Fatima
Our model of discipleship is also one whom we call Mother. Share your devotion with an e-card.

Between May 13 and October 13, 1917, three Portuguese children received apparitions of Our Lady at Cova da Iria, near Fatima, a city 110 miles north of Lisbon. (See February 20 entry for Blesseds Jacinta and Francisco Marto). Mary asked the children to pray the rosary for world peace, for the end of World War I, for sinners and for the conversion of Russia. The third visionary, Lucia dos Santos, became a Carmelite nun and died in 2005 at the age of 97.
Mary gave the children three secrets. Since Francisco died in 1919 and Jacinta the following year, Lucia revealed the first secret in 1927, concerning devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The second secret was a vision of hell.

Pope John Paul II directed the Holy See's Secretary of State to reveal the third secret in 2000; it spoke of a "bishop in white" who was shot by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows into him. Many people linked this to the assassination attempt against Blessed John Paul II in St. Peter's Square on May 13, 1981.

The feast of Our Lady of Fatima was approved by the local bishop in 1930; it was added to the Church's worldwide calendar in 2002.



The message of Fatima is simple: Pray. Unfortunately, some people—not Sister Lucia—have distorted these revelations, making them into an apocalyptic event for which they are now the only reliable interpreters. They have, for example, claimed that Mary's request that the world be consecrated to her has been ignored. Sister Lucia agreed that Pope John Paul II's public consecration in St. Peter's Square on March 25, 1984, fulfilled Mary's request. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith prepared a June 26, 2000 document explaining the "third secret" (available at

Mary is perfectly honored when people generously imitate her response "Let it be done to me as you say" (Luke 1:38). Mary can never be seen as a rival to Jesus or to the Church's teaching authority, as exercised by the college of bishops united with the bishop of Rome.


"Throughout history there have been supernatural apparitions and signs which go to the heart of human events and which, to the surprise of believers and non-believers alike, play their part in the unfolding of history. These manifestations can never contradict the content of faith and must, therefore, have their focus in the core of Christ's proclamation: the Father's love which leads men and women to conversion and bestows the grace required to abandon oneself to him with filial devotion. This too is the message of Fatima which, with its urgent call to conversion and penance, draws us to the heart of the Gospel" (The Message of Fatima, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, June 26, 2000).

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


I remind myself that I am in your presence O Lord.
I will take refuge in your loving heart.
You are my strength in times of weakness.
You are my comforter in times of sorrow.


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 1 acts 11:19-26

Those who had been scattered by the persecution
that arose because of Stephen
went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch,
preaching the word to no one but Jews.
There were some Cypriots and Cyrenians among them, however,
who came to Antioch and began to speak to the Greeks as well,
proclaiming the Lord Jesus.
The hand of the Lord was with them
and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.
The news about them reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem,
and they sent Barnabas to go to Antioch.
When he arrived and saw the grace of God,
he rejoiced and encouraged them all
to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart,
for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.
And a large number of people was added to the Lord.
Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul,
and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch.
For a whole year they met with the Church
and taught a large number of people,
and it was in Antioch that the disciples
were first called Christians.

Responsorial Psalm ps 87:1b-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (117:1a) All you nations, praise the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
His foundation upon the holy mountains
the LORD loves:
The gates of Zion,
more than any dwelling of Jacob.
Glorious things are said of you,
O city of God!
R. All you nations, praise the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
I tell of Egypt and Babylon
among those who know the LORD;
Of Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia:
"This man was born there."
And of Zion they shall say:
"One and all were born in her;
And he who has established her
is the Most High LORD."
R. All you nations, praise the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
They shall note, when the peoples are enrolled:
"This man was born there."
And all shall sing, in their festive dance:
"My home is within you."
R. All you nations, praise the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Gospel jn 10:22-30

The feast of the Dedication was taking place in Jerusalem.
It was winter.
And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon.
So the Jews gathered around him and said to him,
"How long are you going to keep us in suspense?
If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
Jesus answered them, "I told you and you do not believe.
The works I do in my Father's name testify to me.
But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep.
My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,
and no one can take them out of the Father's hand.
The Father and I are one."


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: John 10:22-30

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Our Lady of Fatima

No one can take them out of my hand. (John 10:28)

Sheep don't have a reputation for being very smart. They tend to go wherever the flock goes, and they can be easily led astray if they aren't tended carefully. So it can feel a bit unpleasant when Jesus refers to us as his sheep. But really, it should give us comfort knowing that the Good Shepherd will keep us safe and sound.

We can come up with a lot of reasons to worry all by ourselves. "Am I good enough for God to love me?" "What if I lose track of Jesus? Will he be able to find me?" And then other people's unkind words can add to our insecurity, just as the devil's subtle whisperings can make small doubts and anxieties seem a lot bigger. If we're not careful, we can begin to question whether God is with us at all!

Let Jesus' words today sink in. He isn't criticizing you for being a sheep; he doesn't want you to become more independent, less reliant on his careful shepherding. No, he wants you to become more sheeplike: more single-minded in faith, more reliant on him, more "helpless." He wants you to learn to rest in his salvation and trust him more fully.

Can Jesus really handle all of your problems? Will he be there for you all the time? Yes! Jesus reminds us today that his hand is also the hand of his Father, the creator of all. And the creator of all, the sustainer of everything there is, doesn't have to struggle to keep his promises. He's not in a closely matched competition with the evil one. He is in control of everything—including your life! He will never fail you. He will never let you be snatched out of his hand.

Spend some time today thinking about being a sheep. Watch and listen for messages from the world and from your own heart that urge you to be independent, to take care of yourself. Are you listening to those messages more than to the messages that come from the Good Shepherd? He truly does love and care for you, so let him make you more and more like one of his trusting, obedient sheep.

"Jesus, I put myself into your hands. I trust you to be my shepherd."


Acts 11:19-26; Psalm 87:1-7


Today's spanish reflection ended with:

"Jesus is the only Way that takes us to the Father, and Mary is the surest and easiest way  to go to Jesus.  In the incarnation of the perfections of the Father, Jesus made it possible for us His imitation.  Mary, modeling in her the perfections of Jeus, has put them more to our reach.  Like Jesus came to us through Mary, that is how we have to go to Jesus through Mary."

I remember a few years ago, a young man that walked in during our nursing home Holy Mass.  He walked in with a bible and was listening in, and I could tell he was a visitor, not a Catholic.  Weeks later, I bumped into him at an Autozone.  We recognized each other, said hello, and for some odd reason he pulled out this little cartoon pamphlet that explained beliefs of catholics and Mary and how that figure of Mary was basically the anti-christ, almost like a devil, an idol etc.  I was shocked to see such demonic figures depicted of...My Mother.  How can a stranger tell me these horrible things about my own MOTHER!?  I'm sure he saw the shock in my face, and I said "brother, this book is wrong, this is not at all what we believe in the Mother of God" and I gave him my number and told him to call me whenever he wanted to sit down and discuss what I truly believe.  I never got a call.  And so we read today of those who do not believe.  I wonder more often about those that hate Mary.  They must not really love Jesus.  Catholics, true Catholics, are true Jesus freaks, so in love with Jesus Christ our Lord, our Master, and our King.  Those that come with false accusations are believers, but of Jehova (a misspelled name of Yaweh, or God).   Patience.  For it took me a while to grasp the hand of Mary, and even this very Lent, I've come to know her more, and love her more through the Dolorous Passion with Sister Emerich.  The Sunday before last, a man came up to me after Holy Mass and said "we were commenting on how much better the rosaries are prayed", ( lead the rosary) and right then I realized he was right, but I also realized at the same time two things; first, that I thought they were the ones praying better, not myself necessarily, and second, it was because of this transforming love for Christ realized through Mary in the Dolorous Passion.  At first glance, for some it may have been hard to read earlier "we have to go through Mary to Jesus".  But not if you understood what happened to me.  Last night we took all 6 kids to the community rosary.  As usual, the kids were loud, ants in their pants, fighting, crying, but we prayed, and I led it with the Fatima prayer, including praying for the conversion of Russia and recalling the promises of Fatima.  Some do not understand the rosary, much less this "belief" in Mary, which is actually a veneration, not adoration which belongs to Christ alone.  If one day in your life, Jesus gives you Mary, the love in his eyes at the cross, you should be so SO happy, rejoicing to have a disciple that knows how to love with the full love of the Holy Spirit.  Mary wiped every drop of blood she could see on the Way of the Cross.  Where were all the other so called followers or disciples?  Hiding and scared.  Not Mary, not the love of God.  If ever a moment we believe God has left us, then believe He left us His love and has not let go of our side.  Not so long as we breathe.  No one can separate you from the love of God, NOTHING!  Not death, not evil, nothing!   Jesus said it again today, "no one can take them out of my hand".  There's just one problem...the unbelievers, the ones He was speaking to, they would one day have Him crucified.  There's just one problem with that itself...later on in Acts 5:12, after the crucifixion and resurrection, the believers would find themselves at the very Portico of Solomon doing amazing things for God, preaching throughout the world the Good News of Jesus Christ.  And there's just one problem with is an all consuming wild fire that can not be contained in the heart.  And it is fitting, because the Psalm prayed today

My Home Is Within You