Thursday, June 5, 2014

You In Me

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Minute Meditations

Respecting One's Dignity

St. Francis did not draw lines between himself and society's outcasts. He stepped into their shoes, at times quite literally. This both enabled him to help and enabled people to trust him. Even when it jeopardized his own social status, he showed respect and love for the downtrodden.
— from Saint Francis, Pope Francis

St. Boniface

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Boniface, known as the apostle of the Germans, was an English Benedictine monk who gave up being elected abbot to devote his life to the conversion of the Germanic tribes. Two characteristics stand out: his Christian orthodoxy and his fidelity to the pope of Rome.

How absolutely necessary this orthodoxy and fidelity were is borne out by the conditions he found on his first missionary journey in 719 at the request of Pope Gregory II. Paganism was a way of life. What Christianity he did find had either lapsed into paganism or was mixed with error. The clergy were mainly responsible for these latter conditions since they were in many instances uneducated, lax and questionably obedient to their bishops. In particular instances their very ordination was questionable.

These are the conditions that Boniface was to report in 722 on his first return visit to Rome. The Holy Father instructed him to reform the German Church. The pope sent letters of recommendation to religious and civil leaders. Boniface later admitted that his work would have been unsuccessful, from a human viewpoint, without a letter of safe-conduct from Charles Martel, the powerful Frankish ruler, grandfather of Charlemagne. Boniface was finally made a regional bishop and authorized to organize the whole German Church. He was eminently successful.

In the Frankish kingdom, he met great problems because of lay interference in bishops' elections, the worldliness of the clergy and lack of papal control.

During a final mission to the Frisians, he and 53 companions were massacred while he was preparing converts for Confirmation.

In order to restore the Germanic Church to its fidelity to Rome and to convert the pagans, he had been guided by two principles. The first was to restore the obedience of the clergy to their bishops in union with the pope of Rome. The second was the establishment of many houses of prayer which took the form of Benedictine monasteries. A great number of Anglo-Saxon monks and nuns followed him to the continent. He introduced Benedictine nuns to the active apostolate of education.

Boniface literally struck a blow for Christianity in his attempt to destroy pagan superstitions. On a day previously announced, in the presense of a tense crowd, he attacked with an ax Donar's sacred oak on Mount Gudenburg. The huge tree crashed, splitting into four parts. The people waited for the gods to strike Boniface dead—then realized their gods were powerless, nonexistent. He used planks from the tree to build a chapel.



Boniface bears out the Christian rule: To follow Christ is to follow the way of the cross. For Boniface, it was not only physical suffering or death, but the painful, thankless, bewildering task of Church reform. Missionary glory is often thought of in terms of bringing new persons to Christ. It seems—but is not—less glorious to heal the household of the faith.

Patron Saint of:

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.


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.


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

John 17: 20-26

Reading 1 acts 22:30; 23:6-11

Wishing to determine the truth
about why Paul was being accused by the Jews,
the commander freed him
and ordered the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin to convene.
Then he brought Paul down and made him stand before them.

Paul was aware that some were Sadducees and some Pharisees,
so he called out before the Sanhedrin,
"My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of Pharisees;
I am on trial for hope in the resurrection of the dead."
When he said this,
a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and Sadducees,
and the group became divided.
For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection
or angels or spirits,
while the Pharisees acknowledge all three.
A great uproar occurred,
and some scribes belonging to the Pharisee party
stood up and sharply argued,
"We find nothing wrong with this man.
Suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?"
The dispute was so serious that the commander,
afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them,
ordered his troops to go down and rescue Paul from their midst
and take him into the compound.
The following night the Lord stood by him and said, "Take courage.
For just as you have borne witness to my cause in Jerusalem,
so you must also bear witness in Rome."

Responsorial Psalm ps 16:1-2a and 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11

R. (1) Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
R. Alleluia.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the LORD, "My Lord are you."
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
R. Alleluia.
I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
R. Alleluia.
Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence;
Because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
R. Alleluia.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
R. Alleluia.

Gospel jn 17:20-26

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying:
"I pray not only for these,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one,
as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that they also may be in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one,
that the world may know that you sent me,
and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me.
I wish that where I am they also may be with me,
that they may see my glory that you gave me,
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world also does not know you,
but I know you, and they know that you sent me.
I made known to them your name and I will make it known,
that the love with which you loved me
may be in them and I in them."

Jesus, you always welcomed little children when you walked on this earth. Teach me to have a childlike trust in you. To live in the knowledge that you will never abandon me.


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 17:20-26

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Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr

I pray ... that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you. (John 17:20, 21)

He is everywhere in this prayer, yet his name is never mentioned. He's invisible and mysterious, but powerful and awe inspiring. His job is to bring us into the very life of the Trinity. And by inspiring the Gospels, he has ensured that Jesus' words are preserved for all ages. Can you guess who he is?

He's the Holy Spirit, and this is his way. He is usually found moving behind the scenes, invisible and powerful as the wind. Proceeding from the Father and the Son, he seeks to pour divine life into everyone who turns to God. Sent from heaven by the Father and the Son, he is always at work, empowering us to share the good news and forming us into his Church, the body of Christ.

Jesus' prayer here beautifully expresses these two works of the Spirit—uniting us as one body and empowering us to bring the good news to the world. Jesus knew that he had to "go" (die on the cross) so that the Spirit could come, and he welcomed that fact (John 16:7). He knew that nothing would happen if the Spirit didn't come.

If you want to see God's will fulfilled in your heart and in the world around you, know that you can't do it without the Holy Spirit! So let's all turn to the Spirit together. Let's ask him to make Jesus' prayer a deeper reality in our lives.

"We worship and glorify you, Holy Spirit, together with the Father and Son. We welcome you into our hearts and into our homes as our guest of honor. We unite ourselves in Jesus' prayer, and we ask you to unite us as one people. Teach us to look on all our brothers and sisters with love and humility. Show us how to break down dividing walls of suspicion and prejudice.

"Come, Holy Spirit, and usher us into the heart of the Trinity. We want to share in your divine life. Open our eyes to the glory and love that the Father has poured onto the whole world. By your power at work in us, transform us so that the world will see Christ in every member of your Church."

"Come, Holy Spirit. You make all things possible!"


Acts 22:30; 23:6-11; Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11


Maybe He passed right in front and I never realized.  Maybe He's been talking, speaking with me and I never heard Him or realized.  Maybe He's been sending this pulsating love all the time and I just never realized.  Maybe I should be one with all the people but never realized.  Maybe instead of just taking Communion we should be in Holy Common Union but we just don't realize.  Maybe we have been one from the beginning, perhaps through the big bang theory, where everything was tightly united in one atom.  It seems the explosion, the expansion makes for too much space.  We grow apart.  And our longing is always to really be united but find ourselves not.  Maybe you need encouragement.  I know I need it.  A brother called me last night "yeah, I don't think I'm going to help on the cursillo team".  I was asked to be a director all of a sudden, a task I do not look forward to with great joy.  Why is that?  Why don't we look for great joy in the mission of God's work?  And so I found myself encouraging the brother to stay, and the more I encouraged him and begged him, the more I found myself being encouraged and begged to.  It began with our yes to the Lord.  Lest our yes become a no.  How can we say no?  Jesus said to St. Paul "TAKE COURAGE".  That is what the Holy Spirit does.  Encourages, gives strength, gives perseverance, gives love and zeal to a person that seems to be losing it.  It is fitting to live a life in the Holy Spirit.  Jesus ends today in the Gospel of John "...I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them."  So the love with which He loves us means it is Jesus inside of us.  Maybe we will realize He is really there when we do not "feel" it.  Maybe we will realize He's been speaking all along when we open our hearts.  Maybe our hearts will start pounding with tears.  I hope one of these emails brings you to tears, because many times it does is the love of the Lord.  He is inside and He wants you to be courageous.  He wants you to face what He faced.  When I learned of grace of God, I learned that it was honor to suffer for Him, and as I realized the sufferings were much, I started to lose grace.  I say this because how soon the test comes, a true love test, and we fail, sometimes failing miserably.  But maybe we will realize that the Holy Spirit never gives up.  Mercy and Love never let up.  Maybe we will realize that by helping the poor, I'm actually helping ourselves.  It is in giving that is the blessing, not receiving.  Jesus gives continuously and forever.  There is no reward, it is not about what I will get, it is about THEM.  When I read the Gospel, they more Jesus spoke of "them" to the Father, the more I realized how much He Loved "Them".  How often do we speak in the church  about "them" in a bad way?  How often do we say "they don't care"?  Could we be pointing the finger while the rest point back? I want you to know, that this is an attempt to cut the heart, break the stone that has formed around the so called "faithful".  The world is suffering and in deep need of the message of Christ.  If Christ unites, we unite.  If Christ forgives, I forgive.  If Christ suffers, I suffer.  If they are bad, they need good.  If they are dying, they need to be saved.  Jesus gives the love of the Father to us.  We too can do what Jesus did, I promise.  He loves so much, that He become one of us so that we could become one of Him.  Jesus, I love you for reading this with me and talking to me.  Jesus, let your Holy Spirit pour on us all on Pentecost.  Jesus, I want to be strong.  Jesus, I want to be joyful, and only you can make it complete.  Jesus, I love you, help me love you more and more