Tuesday, May 20, 2014

You Heard Me

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Minute Meditations

Greatest Achievement

The greatest romance we will ever experience is God's passionate love. The greatest adventure is the journey into His kingdom. The greatest achievement is to live as a faith-filled brother or sister of Jesus, the Savior. —Cardinal Joseph Bernardin
— from Love Never Fails

St. Bernardine of Siena


Most of the saints suffer great personal opposition, even persecution. Bernardine, by contrast, seems more like a human dynamo who simply took on the needs of the world.
He was the greatest preacher of his time, journeying across Italy, calming strife-torn cities, attacking the paganism he found rampant, attracting crowds of 30,000, following St. Francis of Assisi's admonition to preach about "vice and virtue, punishment and glory."

Compared with St. Paul by the pope, Bernardine had a keen intuition of the needs of the time, along with solid holiness and boundless energy and joy. He accomplished all this despite having a very weak and hoarse voice, miraculously improved later because of his devotion to Mary.

When he was 20, the plague was at its height in his hometown, Siena. Sometimes as many as 20 people died in one day at the hospital. Bernardine offered to run the hospital and, with the help of other young men, nursed patients there for four months. He escaped the plague but was so exhausted that a fever confined him for several months. He spent another year caring for a beloved aunt (her parents had died when he was a child) and at her death began to fast and pray to know God's will for him.

At 22, he entered the Franciscan Order and was ordained two years later. For almost a dozen years he lived in solitude and prayer, but his gifts ultimately caused him to be sent to preach. He always traveled on foot, sometimes speaking for hours in one place, then doing the same in another town.

Especially known for his devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus, Bernardine devised a symbol—IHS, the first three letters of the name of Jesus in Greek, in Gothic letters on a blazing sun. This was to displace the superstitious symbols of the day, as well as the insignia of factions (for example, Guelphs and Ghibellines). The devotion spread, and the symbol began to appear in churches, homes and public buildings. Opposition arose from those who thought it a dangerous innovation. Three attempts were made to have the pope take action against him, but Bernardine's holiness, orthodoxy and intelligence were evidence of his faithfulness.

General of a branch of the Franciscan Order, the Friars of the Strict Observance, he strongly emphasized scholarship and further study of theology and canon law. When he started there were 300 friars in the community; when he died there were 4,000. He returned to preaching the last two years of his life, dying while traveling.


At Bologna, Bernardine preached mightily against the evils of gambling. As was the custom, a huge bonfire was made in the public square, to be a holocaust consuming all the instruments of vice—playing cards, dice and the like. A manufacturer of playing cards complained that Bernardine was taking away his livelihood The saint told him to start making the symbol IHS, and he made more money than ever before.


Another dynamic saint once said, "...I will not be a burden, for I want not what is yours, but you.... I will most gladly spend and be utterly spent for your sakes" (2 Corinthians 12:14). There is danger that we see only the whirlwind of activity in the Bernardines of faith—taking care of the sick, preaching, studying, administering, always driving—and forget the source of their energy. We should not say that Bernardine could have been a great contemplative if he had had the chance. He had the chance, every day, and he took it.

Patron Saint of:

Gambling, compulsive behavior
Public relations

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



Dear Jesus, today I call on you in a special way.
Mostly I come asking for favours.
Today I'd like just to be in Your presence.
Let my heart respond to Your Love.


Lord, you granted me the great gift of freedom.
In these times, O Lord, grant that I may be free
From any form of racism or intolerance.
Remind me, Lord, that we are all equal
in Your Loving eyes.


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 14:19-28

In those days, some Jews from Antioch and Iconium
arrived and won over the crowds.
They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city,
supposing that he was dead.
But when the disciples gathered around him,
he got up and entered the city.
On the following day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.

After they had proclaimed the good news to that city
and made a considerable number of disciples,
they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch.
They strengthened the spirits of the disciples
and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying,
"It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships
to enter the Kingdom of God."
They appointed presbyters for them in each Church and,
with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord
in whom they had put their faith.
Then they traveled through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia.
After proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia.
From there they sailed to Antioch,
where they had been commended to the grace of God
for the work they had now accomplished.
And when they arrived, they called the Church together
and reported what God had done with them
and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.
Then they spent no little time with the disciples.

Responsorial Psalm ps 145:10-11, 12-13ab, 21

R. (see 12) Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
R. Alleluia.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
R. Alleluia.
Making known to men your might
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is a kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
R. Alleluia.
May my mouth speak the praise of the LORD,
and may all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
R. Alleluia.

Gospel jn 14:27-31a

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
You heard me tell you,
'I am going away and I will come back to you.'
If you loved me,
you would rejoice that I am going to the Father;
for the Father is greater than I.
And now I have told you this before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe.
I will no longer speak much with you,
for the ruler of the world is coming.
He has no power over me,
but the world must know that I love the Father
and that I do just as the Father has commanded me."


Sometimes I wonder what I might say if I were to meet you in person Lord. I think I might say "Thank You Lord" for always being there for me. I know with certainty there were times when you carried me, Lord, when it was through your strength I got through the dark times in my life.


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 14:27-31

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Saint Bernardine of Siena

The world must know that I love the Father. (John 14:31)

It's a natural instinct to listen carefully to a loved one's last words as he or she approaches the moment of death. We long to receive a parting assurance of love or a special word as a legacy to guide us in the future. Imagine, then, how much we should cherish and ponder the words Jesus spoke on the last night of his life (John 14--17)!

Did you know that in these words of farewell, spoken to his closest friends, Jesus referred to "the world" almost forty times? Since he spoke of it so often—and in so many different ways—we might wonder what exactly he meant by "the world."

In one sense, the world is all of creation (including us), which God loves deeply. Fashioned by God, the world around us and all its inhabitants reflect his creative goodness: "God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good" (Genesis 1:31). And yet, sin entered the world through disobedience, and since then the world has been under the influence of the evil one, whom Jesus called the "ruler of the world" (John 14:30). So when Scripture warns us not to love "the world," it's a warning not to become attached to philosophies in the world that reject or are opposed to God.

Rejecting "the world" doesn't mean rejecting all that is good and healthy in creation or in our relationships. Neither does it mean building a wall around ourselves to avoid contamination. It means being shrewd about the voices we listen to, the way we spend our time, and the horizon that we are looking toward. If we are concerned only about the few decades we have on this earth, there is a good chance that we have become enamored of the world. But if we are living a joyful, full life in this world while keeping our hearts set on heaven, we will find the right balance.

On the cross, Jesus overcame the sin in the world. Now, he wants all of us to work with him to turn this beloved creation of his into a mirror image of his kingdom. Yes, you are his ambassador!

"Jesus, may your kingdom come! Make me into your witness so that I can help change the world."


Acts 14:19-28; Psalm 145:10-13, 21



WOW. Jesus comes with a peace that is out of this world.  The IHS symbol is the Son.  Well they said "sun" but it is the letters of JEsus in greek, the Son, Jesus.  And every time I see that symbol, I know I am staring at the sign of His peace...a piece of Him in the most Holy Eucharist.  And when our Lord says today "...but the world must know that I love the Father", it only goes to prove He's been here since the beginning.  The Psalms we pray today say "Your friends make known, Oh Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom".  And we read about St. Paul getting stoned, for making His name known.  You see, Paul became a dear friend of Jesus, God Himself, and He suffered greatly for being His friend.  Today in the news, (Christian news, not main stream media) you can read about modern day people being stoned or crucified, or sentenced to death like a lady in Sudan, and for what?  For being Christian.  She didn't kill anybody, she didn't commit adultery, she didn't steal, she didn't do anything, she just believes in Christ the Lord that rose from the dead.  We don't live in a world like that...or do we?  What are you afraid of?  Why don't you go to the streets, your home, your community and proclaim the name of Jesus?  As we cooked burgers for the homeless, my cousin Thomas said "you know, why can't we do what the Jesus House Ministry is doing?  Why doesn't our community do something like this?"  I laughed and said "well, since you thought of it, and ministries are born of who thought of it, then you are the chairman! LOL, don't worry bro, I got your back!".  He tried to back out of it, but He's got all the backing he needs...the rest is up to us.  We don't live in world that will put you down for believing in Christ...or do we?  We don't live in a world where you will be thrown out of the circle for bringing Jesus into the mix...or do we?  Saint Teresa of Avila said one time ""(said of God):If this is the way you treat your friends, it's no wonder you have so few!"  LOL.  The true followers, sometimes take some severe beatings.  That is one of the hard parts of living the Way.  I don't want to dwell on that, because the true joy of it all overcomes and surpasses all of that, the Son encompasses all, that's why we keep coming back.  That is why the IHS symbol is overcome by the sun light.  That is why the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is overcome by rays of sunlight, it means that the Son is greater, the Jesus inside.  Saint Teresa of Avila said the following quotes:
"Pain is never permanent"

"It is love alone that gives worth to all things"

"To have courage for whatever comes in life - everything lies in that."

Accustom yourself continually to make many acts of love, for they enkindle and melt the soul."

"Let nothing disturb thee; Let nothing dismay thee; All thing pass; God never changes. Patience attains All that it strives for. He who has God Finds he lacks nothing:God alone suffices."

Something I have learned in my journey is that when things get tough, you got to be tougher, and we are speaking about spiritual matters, the things that really matter.  So how do we gain souls for Christ?  How do we become instruments of God's savlation and grace?  EASY.  Allow Him In.  Allow Him to lead the way.  If it leads back to Antioch to get stoned again, so let it be.  The difference between a Saint and a Sinner is that when they fall, the Saint always gets back up.  The world must know that I love the Father



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