Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bear It Now

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Minute Meditations

Faith vs. Hope

Faith refers to our living out what we believe; it's our daily steps. Hope is the reason we run. We must fix our eyes on Jesus if we want to win this race. We must continually remind ourselves of the glory that awaits us in heaven.
— from A 40-Day Spiritual Workout for Catholics

Ven. Pierre Toussaint
This former slave is one of many American holy people whose life particularly models Christian values.
Venerable Pierre Toussaint

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Born in modern-day Haiti and brought to New York City as a slave, Pierre died a free man, a renowned hairdresser and one of New York City's most well-known Catholics.

Pierre Bérard, a plantation owner, made Toussaint a house slave and allowed his grandmother to teach her grandson how to read and write. In his early 20s, Pierre, his younger sister, his aunt and two other house slaves accompanied their master's son to New York City because of political unrest at home. Apprenticed to a local hairdresser, Pierre learned the trade quickly and eventually worked very successfully in the homes of rich women in New York City.

When his master died, Pierre was determined to support his master's widow, himself and the other house slaves. He was freed shortly before the widow's death in 1807.

Four years later he married Marie Rose Juliette, whose freedom he had purchased. They later adopted Euphémie, his orphaned niece. Both preceded him in death. He attended daily Mass at St. Peter's Church on Barclay Street, the same parish that St. Elizabeth Seton attended.

Pierre donated to various charities, generously assisting blacks and whites in need. He and his wife opened their home to orphans and educated them. The couple also nursed abandoned people who were suffering from yellow fever. Urged to retire and enjoy the wealth he had accumulated, Pierre responded, "I have enough for myself, but if I stop working I have not enough for others."

He was originally buried outside St. Patrick's Old Cathedral, where he was once refused entrance because of his race. His sanctity and the popular devotion to him caused his body to be moved to St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue.

Pierre Toussaint was declared Venerable in 1996.


Pierre was internally free long before he was legally free. Refusing to become bitter, he daily chose to cooperate with God's grace, eventually becoming a compelling sign of God's wildly generous love.

Emma Cary, one of Pierre's customers, said: "His life was so perfect, and he explained the teaching of the Church with a simplicity so intelligent and courageous that everyone honored him as a Catholic. He would explain the devotion to the Mother of God with the utmost clearness, or show the union of the natural and supernatural gifts in the priest."

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



I pause for a moment and think of the love and the grace that God showers on me, creating me in his image and likeness, making me his temple....


God is not foreign to my freedom.

Instead the Spirit breathes life into my most intimate desires,

gently nudging me towards all that is good.

I ask for the grace to let myself be enfolded by the Spirit.


At this moment Lord I turn my thoughts to You. I will leave aside my chores and preoccupations.
I will take rest and refreshment in your presence Lord.

The Word of God

Reading 1 acts 17:15, 22-18:1

After Paul's escorts had taken him to Athens,
they came away with instructions for Silas and Timothy
to join him as soon as possible.

Then Paul stood up at the Areopagus and said:
"You Athenians, I see that in every respect
you are very religious.
For as I walked around looking carefully at your shrines,
I even discovered an altar inscribed, 'To an Unknown God.'
What therefore you unknowingly worship, I proclaim to you.
The God who made the world and all that is in it,
the Lord of heaven and earth,
does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands,
nor is he served by human hands because he needs anything.
Rather it is he who gives to everyone life and breath and everything.
He made from one the whole human race
to dwell on the entire surface of the earth,
and he fixed the ordered seasons and the boundaries of their regions,
so that people might seek God,
even perhaps grope for him and find him,
though indeed he is not far from any one of us.
For 'In him we live and move and have our being,'
as even some of your poets have said,
'For we too are his offspring.'
Since therefore we are the offspring of God,
we ought not to think that the divinity is like an image
fashioned from gold, silver, or stone by human art and imagination.
God has overlooked the times of ignorance,
but now he demands that all people everywhere repent
because he has established a day on which he will 'judge the world
with justice' through a man he has appointed,
and he has provided confirmation for all
by raising him from the dead."

When they heard about resurrection of the dead,
some began to scoff, but others said,
"We should like to hear you on this some other time."
And so Paul left them.
But some did join him, and became believers.
Among them were Dionysius,
a member of the Court of the Areopagus,
a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

After this he left Athens and went to Corinth.

Responsorial Psalm ps 148:1-2, 11-12, 13, 14

R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
R. Alleluia.
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you his angels;
praise him, all you his hosts.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
R. Alleluia.
Let the kings of the earth and all peoples,
the princes and all the judges of the earth,
Young men too, and maidens,
old men and boys.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
R. Alleluia.
Praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
His majesty is above earth and heaven.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
R. Alleluia.
He has lifted up the horn of his people;
Be this his praise from all his faithful ones,
from the children of Israel, the people close to him.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
R. Alleluia.

Gospel jn 16:12-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
"I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.
But when he comes, the Spirit of truth,
he will guide you to all truth.
He will not speak on his own,
but he will speak what he hears,
and will declare to you the things that are coming.
He will glorify me,
because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.
Everything that the Father has is mine;
for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine
and declare it to you."

What feelings are rising in me as I pray and reflect on God's Word? I imagine Jesus himself sitting or standing near me and open my heart to him.


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 16:12-15

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6th Week of Easter

He will glorify me. (John 16:14)

Most everyone has a favorite song, but did you ever think of what goes into writing a song? Often it takes more than one person. An idea starts in someone's head, maybe words or just a melody. But often someone else is needed to complete that idea. And then there are the musicians who provide the accompaniment, not to mention the producer who puts together the final version. Gilbert and Sullivan, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber—these were songwriting teams, not lone superstars.

By analogy, we can think of Jesus in the same way. He has a beautiful, inspiring message that he wants to bring us. But that message doesn't come from him alone. He works hand in hand with the Father, who is the author of salvation, and the Holy Spirit, who is the breath of God's love and grace. Jesus is the "Word," but the one who plays the tune is the Holy Spirit. He works in our hearts to guide us to "all truth," to the astounding truth that God loves us and has an eternal plan for our lives (John 16:13).

But the Holy Spirit doesn't play the same melody over and over again. He plays endless variations on a theme. He thrills us with a song about the power of Jesus' resurrection. He soothes us with a song of mercy. He makes us want to dance to his song of salvation. His love song is fresh and new every day, so we never get tired of hearing it!

Great music has the power to move hearts, and no music can do that as much as the Spirit's music. The more we listen to his song, the more we are shaped by it and the more we come to resemble Jesus. It's not because we are being compelled to act differently; it's because the Father's love melts our "stony hearts"—and then we too have a "new song" to sing! (Ezekiel 36:26; Psalm 40:4). So today, try turning off the world's noise for a few minutes, and listen for what the Spirit is saying, or singing, inside you. But don't let it stop there. Go ahead, and join the chorus!

"Holy Spirit, open my heart to hear your music. I give you my cares and anxieties, my past, present, and future. Come, and renew in me the joy of my salvation!"


Acts 17:15, 22--18:1; Psalm 148:1-2, 11-14


Jesus our Lord, King, Master, and Savior says He has much to tell us, but you can not bear it now.  St. Paul had much to tell the pagans, but they could not bear it, just a few.  That is to say, The Holy Spirit speaks, constantly, with few bearing it, and even fewer accepting.  What's good about this?  The few that accept are the good.  They are the ones to bear witness like the saint of the day.  And who is a living saint?  The one reading this today is a living saint.  Perhaps when we die one of us will be called a saint.  Perhaps you will work miracles in your lifetime through the power of Jesus, the name of Jesus.  Perhaps you will bring many souls to the faith, many of whom you would've never known.  And that my friend, that is what it's all about.  Yesterday on the road, I for some reason though of Jonah.  How he did not want to do what God said until God forced him to do it. Jonah didn't want to because he "just knew" the people wouldn't repent, they wouldn't listen, and they probably deserved what was coming to them.  God forced him to prophecy, and the people were saved.  God wanted their salvation.  It is for this reason we hear the Good News. Because in the end, it's because God wants us with Him.  I read a quote today ""God calls us to change our lives." Richard and Reneé Stearns ,He Walks Among Us.  We were born and we will die, all the saints died.  The difference is in the Life.  When we read the Psalm we prayed "He has lifted up the horn of His people".  Did it catch your attention? I know it did mine.  His people exclaim and are heard.  If we only trust and listen.  And trust means doing His will not ours.  I didn't want to pray very well at this morning's safety meeting to start it off, I didn't feel like it, but I did it anyway, I looked down, not at anybody and as I prayed aloud, through the corner of my eyes I could see some took their hats off, and I saw a new older gentleman raising his hand up in the air, in the middle of the full room of men, raising his hand in prayer, as if reaching in a way.  That to me was inspiring.  That to me should say "shame on me for not wanting to pray", "shame on me for not wanting to save God's people", shame on me for not doing His will.  When I was in college, I worked part time and studied full time.  In between I was often wore out mentally and physically, but it was in those moments I felt weighed down that I forced myself to go to the gym and workout.  It is in our toughest times that we have to do what we don't want...PRAY, turn to Jesus.  Our days are coming.  The sun is coming.  Take this from I ran across to reflect: "

Book of Wisdom 5:6 "This shall be our summer. Now during the winter weather the fruits appear not on the stock; you observe, so to say, dead trees during the winter. He who cannot see truly, thinks the vine dead; perhaps there is one near it which is really dead; both are alike during winter; the one is alive, the other is dead, but both the life and death are hidden: summer advances; then the life of the one shines brightly, the death of the other is manifested: the splendour of leaves, the abundance of fruit, comes forth, the vine is clothed in outward appearance from what it has in its stock. Therefore, brethren, now we are the same as other men: just as they are born, eat, drink, are clothed, pass their life, so also do the saints. Sometimes the very truth deceives men, and they say, "Lo, he has begun to be a Christian: has he lost his headache?" or, "because he is a Christian, what gains he from me?" O dead vine, you observe near you a vine that is bare indeed in winter, yet not dead. Summer will come, the Lord will come, our Splendour, that was hidden in the stock, and then "He shall exalt the horn of His people," after the captivity wherein we live in this mortal life..."

We shall be free.  No longer a slave, but a friend.  No longer dead, but alive.  No longer captivated by what we see, but captivated by what we do not see.  I pray Jesus, send forth Your Spirit and enkindle in us the fire of your love.
With which to love you more and more.
More of Jesus, less of me.