Monday, May 19, 2014

Who Loves Me

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Minute Meditations

How Love Is Judged

The most trivial work, the least action when inspired by love, is often of greater merit than the most outstanding achievement. It is not on our face value that God judges our deeds, even when they bear the stamp of apparent holiness, but solely on the measure of love we put into them. —St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus
— from Love Never Fails 

St. Theophilus of Corte
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If we expect saints to do marvelous things continually and to leave us many memorable quotes, we are bound to be disappointed with St. Theophilus. The mystery of God's grace in a person's life, however, has a beauty all its own.
Theophilus was born in Corsica of rich and noble parents. As a young man he entered the Franciscans and soon showed his love for solitude and prayer. After admirably completing his studies, he was ordained and assigned to a retreat house near Subiaco. Inspired by the austere life of the Franciscans there, he founded other such houses in Corsica and Tuscany. Over the years, he became famous for his preaching as well as his missionary efforts.

Though he was always somewhat sickly, Theophilus generously served the needs of God's people in the confessional, in the sickroom and at the graveside. Worn out by his labors, he died on June 17, 1740. He was canonized in 1930.


There is a certain dynamism in all the saints that prompts them to find ever more selfless ways of responding to God's grace. As time went on, Theophilus gave more and more singlehearted service to God and to God's sons and daughters. Honoring the saints will make no sense unless we are thus drawn to live as generously as they did. Their holiness can never substitute for our own.


Francis of Assisi used to say, "Let us begin, brothers, to serve the Lord God, for up to now we have made little or no progress" (1 Celano, #193).
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.


Lord, may I never take the gift
of freedom for granted. You gave
me the great blessing of freedom of
spirit. Fill my spirit with Your peace and
Your joy.


I ask how I am within myself today? Am I particularly tired, stressed, or off-form? If any of these characteristics apply, can I try to let go of the concerns that disturb me?

The Word of God

Reading 1 acts 14:5-18

There was an attempt in Iconium
by both the Gentiles and the Jews,
together with their leaders,
to attack and stone Paul and Barnabas.
They realized it,
and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe
and to the surrounding countryside,
where they continued to proclaim the Good News.

At Lystra there was a crippled man, lame from birth,
who had never walked.
He listened to Paul speaking, who looked intently at him,
saw that he had the faith to be healed,
and called out in a loud voice, "Stand up straight on your feet."
He jumped up and began to walk about.
When the crowds saw what Paul had done,
they cried out in Lycaonian,
"The gods have come down to us in human form."
They called Barnabas "Zeus" and Paul "Hermes,"
because he was the chief speaker.
And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city,
brought oxen and garlands to the gates,
for he together with the people intended to offer sacrifice.

The Apostles Barnabas and Paul tore their garments
when they heard this and rushed out into the crowd, shouting,
"Men, why are you doing this?
We are of the same nature as you, human beings.
We proclaim to you good news
that you should turn from these idols to the living God,
who made heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them.
In past generations he allowed all Gentiles to go their own ways;
yet, in bestowing his goodness,
he did not leave himself without witness,
for he gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons,
and filled you with nourishment and gladness for your hearts."
Even with these words, they scarcely restrained the crowds
from offering sacrifice to them.

Responsorial Psalm ps 115:1-2, 3-4, 15-16

R. (1ab) Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
R. Alleluia.
Not to us, O LORD, not to us
but to your name give glory
because of your mercy, because of your truth.
Why should the pagans say,
"Where is their God?"
R. Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
R. Alleluia.
Our God is in heaven;
whatever he wills, he does.
Their idols are silver and gold,
the handiwork of men.
R. Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
R. Alleluia.
May you be blessed by the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
Heaven is the heaven of the LORD,
but the earth he has given to the children of men.
R. Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
R. Alleluia.

Gospel jn 14:21-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him."
Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him,
"Master, then what happened that you will reveal yourself to us
and not to the world?"
Jesus answered and said to him,
"Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words;
yet the word you hear is not mine
but that of the Father who sent me.

"I have told you this while I am with you.
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit
whom the Father will send in my name
he will teach you everything
and remind you of all that I told you."



Conversation requires talking and listening. As I talk to Jesus may I also learn to be still and listen. I picture the gentleness in his eyes and the smile full of love as he gazes on me. I can be totally honest with Jesus as I tell him of my worries and my cares. I will open up my heart to him as I tell him of my fears and my doubts. I will ask him to help me to place myself fully in his care, to abandon myself to him, knowing that he always wants what is best for 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: Acts 14:5-18

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5th Week of Easter

We are of the same nature as you, human beings. (Acts 14:15)

Paul's emphatic statement was meant to stop the people of Lystra from looking up to him and Barnabas as gods. Today, we face a temptation from the other side, to look down on those who don't share our awareness of life's spiritual dimension. We may forget that they are our brothers and sisters, equally loved by God and worthy of just as much respect and honor as the greatest saint.

It's true that many people seem hostile or indifferent to the reality of God. They equate religion with superstition that holds people back from developing their full potential. They see Christians as joyless robots who do as they are told rather than thinking for themselves.

But recent popes have written and spoken eloquently about how God really wants us to live. They have told us that to be fully human means developing every facet of our personalities in the light of God's revelation. We don't have to suppress our persistent questions, our strong feelings, or our desires. Rather, we let them develop according to God's creative and redemptive love. Our unflinching questions can motivate us to explore how God has built this world. Our outrage at injustice can lead us to fight for the powerless. Our wonder at God's creation can unlock our own creative potential.

As Paul told the people of Lystra, God has left traces of himself everywhere, especially in human beings since we are created in his image. If we want to be effective evangelists, we need to value the people around us. If we can see them as family, we'll be more willing to come alongside them, affirm what is good in them, and help them discover the "more" that God has for them.

Today, consider these words from Pope Francis: "It is urgently necessary to find new forms and new ways to ensure that God's grace may touch the heart of every man and woman and lead them to him. We are all simple but important instruments of his; we have not received the gift of faith to keep it hidden but rather to spread it so that it can illumine a great many of our brethren on their journey" (Address to Participants in the Meetings of the Pontifical Mission Societies, May 17, 2013).

"Father, thank you for creating us in your image. Help me to treasure your image in every person I meet."


Psalm 115:1-4, 15-16; John 14:21-26


Today's spanish reflection ended with a quote "Without God, you live without heart, or it is made of rock, or it is a solitary heart and 'a solitary heart is not a heart'(Machado)".
This calls to mind a quote by Pope Francis when he said last week "The Christian is not a monad" and you cannot understand a Christian outside of the people of God." "Jesus inserted himself into the journey of His people".   What an interesting word, "monad", it is kind of a complicated microcosm of one, in of itself.  That is not what God intended us to live.  So tha challenge is, how do we unite for the Lord and not make gods of ourselves?  That is the danger we live in nowadays.  People come up with ideas and worship their own thinking instead of God's thinking.  We allow Him no room, and the danger is that itself, because today we read ""Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.  Whoever does not love me does not keep my words;"  Soooo, you have to love Him, for Him to come make a dwelling within.  Whoever does not love Him will not do as He says.  Sooo, I've done things that disobey Him, does that mean He loves me less?  Nope, it means I've not loved Him more.  I wrote a song last night that spoke to that effect.  I meant for the song to say in our Lord's words a farewell to me when I go to my life of sinning, "you're leaving, but I'll still be here waiting".  How can someOne love so much?  Have you ever loved somebody that don't love you back?  That's God.  And He is saying you belong to Him.  He is asking to come make His dwelling within you.  Me?  Yes.  Why me though?  Because He loves you, because He created you.  So in a sense we are like little gods, because we are His.  We fed the homeless this weekend, and a sister in law came up to me in tears  "Adrian I can feel the presence of God here" as we were feeding the people.  I was at the grill with a cousin cooking away and said "do you remember the presence of God in the Blessed Sacrament? is the same here and there".  He chooses His dwelling, and the homeless need Him to dwell in them.  I met a loner at the feeding, tall black man with dark glasses "George".  This nomad has wondered his way to our area from Los Angeles.  No family, no real friends, for a so called "friend" abandoned them and left him where he is at today.  I said to George "but we have a true friend in Jesus, He is always with us".  And I wonder if I wasn't speaking to Jesus Himself!  We will never know, but God knows we need each other.  But we can have a family and still be monad in life.  We keep away from each other, don't talk, don't share, and thus, not really allow God to live because God is love.  That's why He says today to us "whoever loves Me will be loved by my Father."  That is what He is after, the Father's love for everyone of us.  Love by keeping the commandments, and the first of all being "love God above everything and everyone else", which entails having no other gods in His place.  Do you love your family more than God?  Probably if you are not allowing them to love God above all.  You are loving them to death.  This love has to be real, this love for God.  It can not be what I think but what He thinks.  And we'll never know what He thinks if we never speak with Him and much less allow Him to speak.  And He needs no words for you to hear.  HE speaks to the heart in ways that lead.  Allow Him to dwell.  That's why we partake of His body, blood, soul, and divinity in Holy Mass. 

Lord, Dwell in Me

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