Friday, May 30, 2014

In My Name

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Minute Meditations

Our Greatest Teachers

Somehow, children find a way of finding peace amid the noise of this world. They can block out all the things that tend to irritate the adults and find in their hearts the place meant for hearing, for listening, for loving. Many times the young are our greatest teachers.

— from Visiting Mary

St. Joan of Arc

St. Joan of Arc
The piety of this 15th-century military heroine was not appreciated until centuries after her death.

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Burned at the stake as a heretic after a politically-motivated trial, Joan was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920.

Born of a fairly well-to-do peasant couple in Domremy-Greux (southeast of Paris), Joan was only 12 when she experienced a vision and heard voices that she later identified as Sts. Michael the Archangel, Catherine of Alexandria, and Margaret of Antioch.

During the Hundred Years War, she led French troops against the English and recaptured the cities of OrlĂ©ans and Troyes. This enabled Charles VII to be crowned as king in Reims in 1429. Captured near Compiegne the following year, she was sold to the English and placed on trial for heresy and witchcraft. Professors at the University of Paris supported Bishop Pierre Cauchon of Beauvis, the judge at her trial; Cardinal Henry Beaufort of Winchester, England, participated in the questioning of Joan in prison. In the end, she was condemned for wearing men's clothes. The English resented France's military success--to which Joan contributed. 

On this day in 1431, she was burned at the stake in Rouen, and her ashes were scattered in the Seine River. A second Church trial 25 years later nullified the earlier verdict, which was reached under political pressure.

Remembered by most people for her military exploits, Joan had a great love for the sacraments, which strengthened her compassion toward the poor. Popular devotion to her increased greatly in 19th-century France and later among French soldiers during World War I. Theologian George Tavard writes that her life "offers a perfect example of the conjunction of contemplation and action" because her spiritual insight is that there should be a "unity of heaven and earth."

Joan of Arc has been the subject of many books, plays, operas, and movies.


"Joan of Arc is like a shooting star across the landscape of French and English history, amid the stories of the Church's saints and into our consciousness. Women identify with her; men admire her courage. She challenges us in fundamental ways. Despite the fact that more than 500 years have passed since she lived, her issues of mysticism, calling, identity, trust and betrayal, conflict and focus are our issues still." (Joan of Arc: God's Warrior, by  Barbara Beckwith) 


As she was being burned at the stake, Joan called on Jesus.


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


To be present is to arrive as one is and open up to the other.
At this instant, as I arrive here, God is present waiting for me.
God always arrives before me, desiring to connect with me
even more than my most intimate friend.
I take a moment and greet my loving God.


If God were trying to tell me something, would I know?
If God were reassuring me or challenging me, would I notice?
I ask for the grace to be free of my own preoccupations
and open to what God may be saying to me.


In the presence of my loving Creator, I look honestly at my feelings over the last day, the highs, the lows and the level ground.
Can I see where the Lord has been present?

The Word of God
John 16:16-20

Reading 1 acts 18:9-18

One night while Paul was in Corinth, the Lord said to him in a vision,
"Do not be afraid.
Go on speaking, and do not be silent, for I am with you.
No one will attack and harm you,
for I have many people in this city."
He settled there for a year and a half
and taught the word of God among them.

But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia,
the Jews rose up together against Paul
and brought him to the tribunal, saying,
"This man is inducing people to worship God contrary to the law."
When Paul was about to reply, Gallio spoke to the Jews,
"If it were a matter of some crime or malicious fraud,
I should with reason hear the complaint of you Jews;
but since it is a question of arguments over doctrine and titles
and your own law, see to it yourselves.
I do not wish to be a judge of such matters."
And he drove them away from the tribunal.
They all seized Sosthenes, the synagogue official,
and beat him in full view of the tribunal.
But none of this was of concern to Gallio.

Paul remained for quite some time,
and after saying farewell to the brothers he sailed for Syria,
together with Priscilla and Aquila.
At Cenchreae he had shaved his head because he had taken a vow.

Responsorial Psalm ps 47:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (8a) God is king of all the earth.
R. Alleluia.
All you peoples, clap your hands,
shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
is the great king over all the earth.
R. God is king of all the earth.
R. Alleluia.
He brings people under us;
nations under our feet.
He chooses for us our inheritance,
the glory of Jacob, whom he loves.
R. God is king of all the earth.
R. Alleluia.
God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
sing praise to our king, sing praise.
R. God is king of all the earth.
R. Alleluia.

Gospel jn 16:20-23

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn,
while the world rejoices;
you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.
When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived;
but when she has given birth to a child,
she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy
that a child has been born into the world.
So you also are now in anguish.
But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice,
and no one will take your joy away from you.
On that day you will not question me about anything.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you."

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 16:20-23

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6th Week of Easter

You will grieve, but your grief will become joy. (John 16:20)

When we watch a movie or read a book, it's usually pretty easy to follow the plot. We understand the story because we see one event following from another, and we begin to get a feel for where the story is heading. Wouldn't it be nice if life worked the same way? The problem is that when you're "inside" a story, it can be easy to lose the thread of the plot and to wonder where it is heading.

As Jesus approached his crucifixion, he tried to help his disciples with this sort of confusion. He knew that they would be faced with a huge challenge when they saw him die on the cross. To prepare them, he explained that this was part of the great story that he had called them into. They would experience wrenching grief, and they would feel out of step with the rest of the world. But that wouldn't be the final chapter. Their grief would be turned to joy, and the story would take on a whole new meaning.

Do you believe that your life is part of this same story? In fact, you are a child of the author! While the disciples had to wrestle through the grief of Jesus' death, you have come in later in the plot. You know about Jesus' resurrection! If you can try to center your life in Jesus' victory, you'll know a joy, a stability, and a peace that nothing in this world can take away from you.

At times we lose sight of God's story. We forget that our joy comes from Jesus' salvation, not from the story that the world offers us. Losing focus, we can begin to lose our trust that God is with us. That's why we need to immerse ourselves every day in the story of the Scriptures. We need God's word to sharpen our focus.

Never forget that you are part of an epic story. You are one of the "great cloud of witnesses" whose lives have been changed by the Lord (Hebrews 12:1). You aren't just a passive observer; you're an active participant. You have a role to play today in moving this story forward. So get out there and do it!

"Lord, teach me the wonderful story of your salvation. Help me to make it the story of my life."


Acts 18:9-18; Psalm 47:2-7


Yesterday was a gloomy day for me. Perhaps the accumulation of unchecked stress for many reasons finally culminated.  It was hard to even look up or talk to anybody right.  Work issues, people issues, and more.  So hard to even pray.  What came over me?  Probably evil, and all this after I prayed a rosary!  LOL, and the other day as I drove out of town, right after praying the rosary I got pulled over and was given a ticket.  I joked with my wife "but I prayed the rosary!".  As if nothing is supposed to happen to you after you pray...right?  I can only imagine the gloom the apostles must've felt when they killed the love of their lives, their very livelihood, Jesus.  The pains of this labor and anguish can be daunting.  But as a woman in labor, we have to push, and push, and push through to the end.  What comes later is joy, and peace.  A joy that only one who has gone through the labor can explain.  Some people ask, so what is a cursillo like?  "I don't know you just have to live it".  You have to go through the experience to be able to know.  And we are speaking of a spiritual experience.  Yesterday I took a new worker to the field and he brought up faith without me even talking about it (oh yeah, he saw my emblem on my truck that says "He Died For Me, I'll Live For Him").  He said "i'm not religious, but I am spiritual".  I left it at that when he went on about he had just moved in with his girlfriend.  And I'll leave it to you, if you are religious or spiritual, because to me, truly being spiritual is truly being religious, only the spiritual means we are all on a journey.  Another worker told me this week about his hardships with his little girl almost dying at birth and the mother who had a C-section without being numbed because they feared for the baby's life they cut the mother open and she had to feel everything, the cut was jagged because she moved alot, and the wound took forever to heal.  The baby was born with some defects when all the doctors told them to abort the baby earlier on they fought for its life.  The baby was born and stopped moving and they declared the baby was dead until it lifted its hand and they realized she was alive.  The worker said "I'm catholic, don't go much to church, I don't know how to pray, but the little I did know how, I did day I felt a hand touch my shoulder as I waited in the lobby of the hospital and it ran chills up my neck".  I said it was perhaps an angel.  The baby's name is Paloma Guadalupe, (Guadalupe after the Blessed Mother).  I told him to come pray with us for her in our bible study group that afternoon.  He asked what time and never came.  The next day he asked for a raise to continue treatements on Paloma and an upcoming operation on her deformities.  Yesterday was gloomy, after the rosary and after a meeting out of town, I noticed my truck bumper guard was broken, funny though cuz it was not like that earlier.  As I stared at it hanging off the front of the truck, a business man walked in the parking lot, trying to get to his fancy car next to my truck and saw my problem and looked at it curiously and said as he left "nothing a little money won't fix".  So is it that we think money will solve our problems?  My disbelief wasn't a problem of money, but "what in the world is going on" as if the devil on continuous attack mode, and it only escalated from there.  I digress. I offered true healing for Paloma, but he asked for money.  This is what I mean.  Set God First And The Rest Will Follow.  Tithing is a part of it and essential, but giving of your very life is more.  Jesus did that. Labor to death for the new to come.  We took our family to a school function in the evening and then to the playground next to the church.  I couldn't pick up my head all day.  We went to pray in the Church after the playground.  I could not even pick up my head while praying. And then I cheated.  I looked up to Our Lady of Guadalupe and prayed.  Mother helped.  It's not fair that I write to you and say this if you do not believe in her.  But the woman in labor in the book of Revelation is Mary, giving birth to Jesus the King of the Universe, the sun rays at her back mans the Son she carried is more than the sun and light of our world.  If you are not Catholic you can not fathom the thought.  And so my prayers for everyone I meet is that you are not a mediocre Christian.  Many say they change "religions" and only go to another Christian denomination and so called non-denomination (because all are denominations or splitting of other churches).  There are only 3 major religions in the world, Christian, Jew, and Muslim.  You don't change religions if you believe in Christ as King and Lord.  And so I write to you to become the best Christian in the world.  I am no longer in the gloom of yesterday, Mother pulled through.  I want you to know that she is with Jesus, and as the first apostle and disciple and lover of Christ she knows the pains of our labor.  Have faith.  Push through.  There is a hope and it is alive.  I would not say it if it were not true.  Believe.  I've heard people not wanting to get pregnant and say "what for, why bring a child into a cruel and sad world".  Take off those sad and cruel glasses.  See the light of the Son and bask in the Glory to God In The Highest

Catholic Rekindleadrian
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