Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Believe In Me

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Minute Meditations

Virtue of Hope
In running the race of faith, we need to keep our eyes on our prize: eternal salvation and glory in Jesus Christ. This is known as the virtue of hope.
— from A 40-Day Spiritual Workout for Catholics

St. Augustine of Canterbury
(d. 605?)

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In the year 596, some 40 monks set out from Rome to evangelize the Anglo-Saxons in England. Leading the group was Augustine, the prior of their monastery in Rome. Hardly had he and his men reached Gaul (France) when they heard stories of the ferocity of the Anglo-Saxons and of the treacherous waters of the English Channel. Augustine returned to Rome and to the pope who had sent them—St. Gregory the Great (September 3 )—only to be assured by him that their fears were groundless.
Augustine again set out. This time the group crossed the English Channel and landed in the territory of Kent, ruled by King Ethelbert, a pagan married to a Christian, Bertha. Ethelbert received them kindly, set up a residence for them in Canterbury and within the year, on Pentecost Sunday, 597, was himself baptized. After being consecrated a bishop in France, Augustine returned to Canterbury, where he founded his see. He constructed a church and monastery near where the present cathedral, begun in 1070, now stands. As the faith spread, additional sees were established at London and Rochester.

Work was sometimes slow and Augustine did not always meet with success. Attempts to reconcile the Anglo-Saxon Christians with the original Briton Christians (who had been driven into western England by Anglo-Saxon invaders) ended in dismal failure. Augustine failed to convince the Britons to give up certain Celtic customs at variance with Rome and to forget their bitterness, helping him evangelize their Anglo-Saxon conquerors

Laboring patiently, Augustine wisely heeded the missionary principles—quite enlightened for the times—suggested by Pope Gregory the Great: purify rather than destroy pagan temples and customs; let pagan rites and festivals be transformed into Christian feasts; retain local customs as far as possible. The limited success Augustine achieved in England before his death in 605, a short eight years after he arrived in England, would eventually bear fruit long after in the conversion of England. Augustine of Canterbury can truly be called the "Apostle of England."


Augustine of Canterbury comes across today as a very human saint, one who could suffer like many of us from a failure of nerve. For example, his first venture to England ended in a big U-turn back to Rome. He made mistakes and met failure in his peacemaking attempts with the Briton Christians. He often wrote to Rome for decisions on matters he could have decided on his own had he been more self-assured. He even received mild warnings against pride from Pope Gregory, who cautioned him to "fear lest, amidst the wonders that are done, the weak mind be puffed up by self-esteem." Augustine's perseverance amidst obstacles and only partial success teaches today's apostles and pioneers to struggle on despite frustrations and be satisfied with gradual advances.


In a letter to Augustine, Pope Gregory the Great wrote: "He who would climb to a lofty height must go by steps, not leaps."

Patron Saint of:

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


"Be still and know that I am God."
Lord, Your words lead us to the
calmness and greatness of your presence.


Lord grant me the grace
to have freedom of the spirit.
Cleanse my heart and soul
so I may live joyously in Your love


How do I find myself today? Where am I with God? With others? 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 16:22-34

The crowd in Philippi joined in the attack on Paul and Silas,
and the magistrates had them stripped
and ordered them to be beaten with rods.
After inflicting many blows on them,
they threw them into prison
and instructed the jailer to guard them securely.
When he received these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell
and secured their feet to a stake.

About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying
and singing hymns to God as the prisoners listened,
there was suddenly such a severe earthquake
that the foundations of the jail shook;
all the doors flew open, and the chains of all were pulled loose.
When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open,
he drew his sword and was about to kill himself,
thinking that the prisoners had escaped.
But Paul shouted out in a loud voice,
"Do no harm to yourself; we are all here."
He asked for a light and rushed in and,
trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas.
Then he brought them out and said,
"Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus
and you and your household will be saved."
So they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to everyone in his house.
He took them in at that hour of the night and bathed their wounds;
then he and all his family were baptized at once.
He brought them up into his house and provided a meal
and with his household rejoiced at having come to faith in God.

Responsorial Psalm ps 138:1-2ab, 2cde-3, 7c-8

R. (7c) Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
R. Alleluia.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple,
and give thanks to your name.
R. Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Because of your kindness and your truth,
you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me.
R. Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Your right hand saves me.
The LORD will complete what he has done for me;
your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands.
R. Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Gospel jn 16:5-11

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Now I am going to the one who sent me,
and not one of you asks me, 'Where are you going?'
But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts.
But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go.
For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you.
But if I go, I will send him to you.
And when he comes he will convict the world
in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation:
sin, because they do not believe in me;
righteousness, because I am going to the Father
and you will no longer see me;
condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned."

I begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture I have just read.What part of it strikes a chord in me?Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story I have heard recently- will slowly rise to the surface in my consciousness.If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to me?


I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.

Catholic Meditations

Meditation: John 16:5-11

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Saint Augustine of Canterbury

Because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts. (John 16:6)

You probably have shed many a tear at some time in your life over the departure of a dear friend or beloved family member. Saying good-bye is hard.

Imagine how hard it must have been for the disciples. They had put their lives on the line, associating so closely with Jesus. What they had done was counter to their culture in many respects. Jesus had become as a brother to them, and God had become "Abba," their heavenly Father.

It's no wonder, then, that when Jesus announced his imminent departure, they panicked a little. Grief filled their hearts, and anxious thoughts, their minds. They were so upset that they seem to have missed his final words: love one another; abide in me; keep my commands; don't be afraid. They missed his final assurances: I will not leave you as orphans; I will give you my peace; the Father will send the Helper, the Holy Spirit; I will come to you.

Sadness and fear can so easily cause us to miss what's most important. But it doesn't have to be this way! Exactly because Jesus left, the Father gave us the Holy Spirit. He sent us an Advocate, One who pleads on our behalf, One who argues for us, One who counsels and advises us and empowers us as we try to live out our faith. Jesus was trying to shift the disciples' focus away from the loss they dreaded and onto the great gain they were about to experience. He will do no less for you, because that same gain is yours!

Think of all the gifts the Holy Spirit brings: the love Jesus commanded us to have for each other. Peace and joy. Patience. Kindness and goodness, the kind that God shows us every day, every hour, every minute. Gentleness and faithfulness in the face of a world that values neither particularly highly. Self-control in a world that advocates against it. Wisdom, strength, endurance, and so much more.

When the reality of family life or work or relationships that you are involved in stirs up anxiety, confusion, or fear, shift your focus onto the Advocate, the Holy Spirit. And thank Jesus for having sent him to you!

"Holy Spirit, come! I welcome you into my heart today."


Acts 16:22-34; Psalm 138:1-3, 7-8


Today's 5minutos ends with:
" ...We all have struggles.  These could be related to age, finances, relationships, or thousands of other difficulties.  But if we really dispose our heart to trust in God, and if we remain grateful inclusive in the middle of our problems, it is more probable that we recognize that "we do not have anything to complain about", what do you have to do to save yourself?  Believe also in Jesus and accept Him as your Savior and put your life in His hands and open your heart to His goodness."
  Yesterday I went to pray with my brothers at the church, after the rosary with the men, we made our own personal visit to the Blessed Sacrament (for those that do not know, this is the place in the church where the Tabernacle keeps the consecrated bread to the body of Christ).   His presence is there.  Yet, as I left, I still kept speaking to the Lord "if only I could have you here in the flesh" because we feel alone out here in the big bad mean world sometimes don't we?  Today, Jesus says "you will no longer see me" and then says He will send the Advocate, the Spirit of God, and Jesus is Lord and God, one in the Trinity, Father, Son, Holy Spirit, all in one.   If this goes beyond comprehension, let it be, it is a mystery that we need not concern ourselves, for if you understand God now, you have made yourself a god.  It is better in humility to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior for all He is...everything.  This is what the men in the jail did today.  Instead of crying and being filled with anxiety, what did they do?  Sing praise and hymns to God, prayers together, and they were released.  After the rosary, we sat for reunion group of friends (a vital part of the Cursillo).  We prayed a prayer invoking the Holy Spirit.  We set a chair for the Lord. The earth didn't shake, but these bonds that tied us to earth were broke.  This happens with a life with the Lord.  I told the brothers "you can tell when you are not walking (living) a life with the Lord" they knew exactly what I meant.  One bro described it as being sucked into a vacuum.  Black holes in the universe do that, just soak in the light and turn it into darkness.  Whether they take you into another universe or not, who knows (God does know).  And so the question is for you.  Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ?  Do you reject satan and all his evil works?  Do you accept God as your everything?  Do you reject the ways of the world?  Many can not believe in God.  I wonder if it is a gift then.  Yes, if it is a gift, then it is meant to be shared and given.  The more you give, the more you get.  And we are speaking of the spiritual blessings that come from Heaven.  My latest signature quote on business emails says a line from C.S. Lewis "Aim at Heaven and you will get Earth 'thrown in': aim at Earth and you will get neither."  There is our sense of direction. Christ before me always, and hope is alive.  Christ all around me, and He is near.  Christ behind me and He encourages us to live His Way.  Christ inside of me, through the Spirit and flesh of the out world, I can conquer anything!!!!