Thursday, May 22, 2014

Be In You

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Minute Meditations

The Seed of Truth

The seed of God's revealed truth has been sown in our hearts at Baptism. But that was only the beginning. We must do everything in our power to grasp the meaning of what we believe. Otherwise, the devil will come along and steal the faith from our hearts.
— from The Faith

St. Rita of Cascia

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Like Elizabeth Ann Seton, Rita of Cascia was a wife, mother, widow and member of a religious community. Her holiness was reflected in each phase of her life.
Born at Roccaporena in central Italy, Rita wanted to become a nun but was pressured at a young age into marrying a harsh and cruel man. During her 18-year marriage, she bore and raised two sons. After her husband was killed in a brawl and her sons had died, Rita tried to join the Augustinian nuns in Cascia. Unsuccessful at first because she was a widow, Rita eventually succeeded.

Over the years, her austerity, prayerfulness and charity became legendary. When she developed wounds on her forehead, people quickly associated them with the wounds from Christ's crown of thorns. She meditated frequently on Christ's passion. Her care for the sick nuns was especially loving. She also counseled lay people who came to her monastery.

Beatified in 1626, Rita was not canonized until 1900. She has acquired the reputation, together with St. Jude, as a saint of impossible cases. Many people visit her tomb each year.


Although we can easily imagine an ideal world in which to live out our baptismal vocation, such a world does not exist. An "If only ...." approach to holiness never quite gets underway, never produces the fruit that God has a right to expect.

Rita became holy because she made choices that reflected her Baptism and her growth as a disciple of Jesus. Her overarching, lifelong choice was to cooperate generously with God's grace, but many small choices were needed to make that happen. Few of those choices were made in ideal circumstances—not even when Rita became an Augustinian nun.


For the Baptism of adults and for all the baptized at the Easter Vigil, three questions are asked: "Do you reject sin so as to live in the freedom of God's children? Do you reject the glamor of evil, and refuse to be mastered by sin? Do you reject Satan, father of sin and prince of darkness?"

Patron Saint of:

Difficult marriages
Impossible causes


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


"I stand at the door and knock," says the Lord.
What a wonderful privilege
that the Lord of all creation desires to come to me.
I welcome His presence.


"I am free."
When I look at these words in writing
They seem to create in me a feeling of awe.
Yes, a wonderful feeling of freedom.
Thank You, God.


How am I really feeling? Lighthearted? Heavy-hearted? I may be very much at peace, happy to be here.  Equally, I may be frustrated, worried or angry.  I acknowledge how I really am. It is the real me that the Lord loves.

The Word of God

Reading 1 acts 15:7-21

After much debate had taken place,
Peter got up and said to the Apostles and the presbyters,
"My brothers, you are well aware that from early days
God made his choice among you that through my mouth
the Gentiles would hear the word of the Gospel and believe.
And God, who knows the heart,
bore witness by granting them the Holy Spirit
just as he did us.
He made no distinction between us and them,
for by faith he purified their hearts.
Why, then, are you now putting God to the test
by placing on the shoulders of the disciples
a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear?
On the contrary, we believe that we are saved
through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they."
The whole assembly fell silent,
and they listened
while Paul and Barnabas described the signs and wonders
God had worked among the Gentiles through them.

After they had fallen silent, James responded,
"My brothers, listen to me.
Symeon has described how God first concerned himself
with acquiring from among the Gentiles a people for his name.
The words of the prophets agree with this, as is written:

After this I shall return
and rebuild the fallen hut of David;
from its ruins I shall rebuild it
and raise it up again,
so that the rest of humanity may seek out the Lord,
even all the Gentiles on whom my name is invoked.
Thus says the Lord who accomplishes these things,
known from of old.

It is my judgment, therefore,
that we ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God,
but tell them by letter to avoid pollution from idols,
unlawful marriage, the meat of strangled animals, and blood.
For Moses, for generations now,
has had those who proclaim him in every town,
as he has been read in the synagogues every sabbath."

Responsorial Psalm ps 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 10

R. (3) Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.
R. Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.
R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.
R. Alleluia.
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.
R. Alleluia.
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.
R. Alleluia.

Gospel jn 15:9-11

Jesus said to his disciples:
"As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father's commandments
and remain in his love.

"I have told you this so that
my joy might be in you and
your joy might be complete."


Do I notice myself reacting as I pray with the Word of God? Do I feel challenged, comforted, angry? Imagining Jesus sitting or standing by me, I speak out my feelings, as one trusted friend to another.


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 15:7-21

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Saint Rita of Cascia, Religious

He made no distinction between us and them, for by faith he purified their hearts. (Acts 15:9)

Are you tired of memorizing passwords for websites, bank machines, and mobile phones? What if there were a pill that could turn you into a "human password"?

Consider Motorola's Edible Password Pill, which is currently in development. When you swallow this pill, your stomach acid activates a tiny chip that gives off an electronic signal that unlocks your computer or phone. If this pill ever comes to market, people would no longer need locks or keys. It would be almost like a superpower, since our bodies alone could do all the unlocking!

In a sense, we can see a similar concept at work when the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles at Pentecost. The Spirit pulsed through them, opening their hearts and minds to the Lord. They were delighted to be able to speak to foreigners in their own language, to heal, to prophesy, and to baptize. It must have felt as if they were alive with spiritual superpowers!

But now the apostles are discovering that some Gentiles have also received the Holy Spirit and are exhibiting the same superpowers. How could this be? The Jews always looked down on the Gentiles as being unclean and outside of God's covenant. But if Gentiles had been given the Holy Spirit, that meant that the Jewish Christians had to embrace them as brothers and sisters in Christ. It's a good thing they had the "superpower" of the Spirit to help them!

Today, try to recognize the Holy Spirit working in you, but try to be just as aware of the way the Spirit is at work in the people around you—especially the ones you may not like so much. Perhaps it's that man with body piercings and tattoos in the back row of your church. Maybe it's someone at work from another religion. Perhaps it's the neighbor who always drives too fast in your neighborhood or plays his music too loud. Whatever the situation, try to recognize and welcome the Holy Spirit in these people. Try to look at them through God's eyes, just as the apostles learned to look at the Gentiles. God makes no distinction, and neither should we!

"Thank you, Holy Spirit, for calling us all into one body. Help me to see your grace and power at work in all my brothers and sisters."


Psalm 96:1-3, 10; John 15:9-11

Bear with me as I attempt to translate today's 5minutos reflection from Sonora, Mexico:
"On a hunting expedition, a family stopped to eat breakfast.  The children were playing in the shade of a tree, distant from their parents and the rest of the adults of the group.  Suddenly, the father of one of them jumped and yelled to his son: "Drop to the ground", and this one did it immediately.  The others in the group were impacted to know there was a venemous serpent that drug itself through the tree ready to attack the child.  If it had bitten, he would've died.  Only the father of the infant saw the serpent.  It caused astonishment,  that instant response of the child at the order of the father.  This last one explained the permanent love that they enjoyed and everytime became more.  The boy didn't mess around at the order of the father, he trusted in him and responded in consequence to it.  The father also hoped this would be the behavior of his son.  The repose that these enjoyed later that same day, was evidence of the lasting rest that God has for each one of his children at measure that we learn to trust in Him.  God wants to remain in us, and longs that we reamin in Him.  This remaining is more easy to some than others.  It is not always possible to know what God has planned for our lives, but we can assure ourselves that whatever it be, He is ready to sustain us in that situation, to give us the capacity with the necessary to endure, while there He wants us.  The permanence begins with the confidence and concludes with absolute rest."

I read a quote today:

"Christianity is not a matter of persuading people of particular ideas, but of inviting them to share in the greatness of Christ. So pray that I may never fall into the trap of impressing people with clever speech, but instead I may learn to speak with humility, desiring only to impress people with Christ himself."— St. Ignatius of Antioch

It's not about me, it's about HIM.  Jesus loves us with Our Father's Love.  He asked us today, he TOLD us to REMAIN in HIS Love.  THen He told us how....keep the commandments.  The first commandment being to love God above all in your life: "I AM the LOrd your God, you shall have no other gods before me."  The second being never to use His name in vain.  When Jesus Came, He reinforced it, and said to Love God above all  and then love your neighbor as yourself.  God is commanding, He is not just asking us to remain in Him, the vine, the truth, the way.  For what reason? For our own good and our own joy to be complete.  When God tells us something, how often do we mess around and dodge the bullet, drag our feet in hopes He will change His mind, so we play with thoughts and logic until His command disappears?  I say this because that's how my kids are.  "Go help your sister get to the bathroom", then I hear "ahh, but I have to finish this I'm doing right now".  And the one suffering is not tended to, this makes me mad, and I wonder if God gets mad.  Probably not, but the repercussions are still there, the suffering of the child, and the pain this causes God, and all because of what?  Our disobedience, this basic lack of trust.  I told my relative yesterday, "had you called me that night, I would've done anything for you, and you know I will, I would've driven 200 miles for you as you know I did our other relative the other day, but I am mad because you did not trust me, didn't need me, and so you were locked up in jail" and the rest have to suffer the ramifications.  I notice more and more the lack of communication is tied to a lack of trust, and I'm speaking of our prayer life with God.  Consider this.  As I wrote to you this morning, I heard some cuss words being thrown at work.  These often annoy me.  So what do I do?  Curse the one cussing?  Just be annoyed and say how dumb they are?  Or how about the alternative?  What alternative?  Pray for them.  HMmm.  Love thy neighbor as self.  Wouldn't I love someone to pray for me?  I know I do.  I know some of you pray for me.  This reminds me of our Father's love.  Watching after one another.  What I can not understand is what I need not worry about.  For instance, last night I expressed to our Lord in our co-worker bible study, "Lord, i don't know why you have me here with this group of men, but I will do your will and I pray for these men".  I say this because I remember one time I asked them in a study "so how do we love or trust the Lord"?  And a newer older man said "by following the commandments".  If he said that, and I know he never goes to church, how can he say that? (The third commandment is to keep Holy The Sabbath, go to Church).   I'm probably just speaking to Jesus for all I know.  Because I was the one that didn't want to accept that answer.  That child in the mirror looks like me.  This just in from God: "my child, just love Me above all".  And stop dragging your feet.  Where is this excitement for the Lord?  Where is the adrenaline rush of reaching out to your world?  I could never reach your aunts, cousins, friends...but you can. 

That is to say...JESUS can

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