Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Good For Anything

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Minute Meditations

A Sense of Urgency
You and I must develop a sense of urgency about telling the Good News to everyone around us. One of the great spiritual dangers of our generation is apathy, the lazy disregard for Christ's call to really live our faith in him, not just talk about it. Close behind apathy follows indifference.
— from On a Mission

Blessed Joachima

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Born into an aristocratic family in Barcelona, Spain, Joachima was 12 when she expressed a desire to become a Carmelite nun. But her life took an altogether different turn at 16 with her marriage to a young lawyer, Theodore de Mas. Both deeply devout, they became secular Franciscans. During their 17 years of married life they raised eight children. The normalcy of their family life was interrupted when Napoleon invaded Spain. Joachima had to flee with the children; Theodore, remaining behind, died. Though Joachima reexperienced a desire to enter a religious community, she attended to her duties as a mother. At the same time, the young widow led a life of austerity and chose to wear the habit of the Third Order of St. Francis as her ordinary dress. She spent much time in prayer and visiting the sick.

Four years later, with some of her children now married and younger ones under their care, Joachima confessed her desire to a priest to join a religious order. With his encouragement she established the Carmelite Sisters of Charity. In the midst of the fratricidal wars occurring at the time, Joachima was briefly imprisoned and, later, exiled to France for several years.

Sickness ultimately compelled her to resign as superior of her order. Over the next four years she slowly succumbed to paralysis, which caused her to die by inches. At her death in 1854 at the age of 71, Joachima was known and admired for her high degree of prayer, deep trust in God and selfless charity.


Joachima understands loss. She lost the home where her children grew up, her husband and, finally, her health. As the power to move and care for her own needs slowly ebbed away, this woman who had all her life cared for others became wholly dependent; she required help with life's simplest tasks. When our own lives go spinning out of control, when illness and bereavement and financial hardship strike, all we can do is cling to the belief that sustained Joachima: God watches over us always.
Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.


My soul longs for your presence, Lord.
When I turn my thoughts to You,
I find peace and contentment.


There are very few people
who realise what God would make of them
if they abandoned themselves into his hands,
and let themselves be formed by his grace. (Saint Ignatius)
I ask for the grace to trust myself totally to God's love.


Knowing that God loves me unconditionally, I look honestly over the last day, its events and my feelings. 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 1 kgs 17:7-16

The brook near where Elijah was hiding ran dry,
because no rain had fallen in the land.
So the LORD said to Elijah:
"Move on to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there.
I have designated a widow there to provide for you."
He left and went to Zarephath.
As he arrived at the entrance of the city,
a widow was gathering sticks there; he called out to her,
"Please bring me a small cupful of water to drink."
She left to get it, and he called out after her,
"Please bring along a bit of bread."
She answered, "As the LORD, your God, lives,
I have nothing baked;
there is only a handful of flour in my jar
and a little oil in my jug.
Just now I was collecting a couple of sticks,
to go in and prepare something for myself and my son;
when we have eaten it, we shall die."
Elijah said to her, "Do not be afraid.
Go and do as you propose.
But first make me a little cake and bring it to me.
Then you can prepare something for yourself and your son.
For the LORD, the God of Israel, says,
'The jar of flour shall not go empty,
nor the jug of oil run dry,
until the day when the LORD sends rain upon the earth.'"
She left and did as Elijah had said.
She was able to eat for a year, and Elijah and her son as well;
the jar of flour did not go empty,
nor the jug of oil run dry,
as the LORD had foretold through Elijah.

Responsorial Psalm ps 4:2-3, 4-5, 7b-8

R. (7a) Lord, let your face shine on us.
When I call, answer me, O my just God,
you who relieve me when I am in distress;
Have pity on me, and hear my prayer!
Men of rank, how long will you be dull of heart?
Why do you love what is vain and seek after falsehood?
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
Know that the LORD does wonders for his faithful one;
the LORD will hear me when I call upon him.
Tremble, and sin not;
reflect, upon your beds, in silence.
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
O LORD, let the light of your countenance shine upon us!
You put gladness into my heart,
more than when grain and wine abound.
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.

Gospel mt 5:13-16

Jesus said to his disciples:
"You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father."

Remembering that I am still in God's presence,
I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting beside me,
and say whatever is on my mind, whatever is in my heart,
speaking as one 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: 1 Kings 17:7-16

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10th Week in Ordinary Time

The jar of flour shall not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, until the day when the Lord sends rain upon the earth. (1 Kings 17:14)

Have you ever heard the poker term "going all in"? It's when you take your chips and throw them all in during one hand. When you go all in, you know you have the chance to win it all—or to lose absolutely everything.

Today's first reading has a similar "going all in" feel to it, but the stakes are much higher than a poker game. People here are gambling with their lives!

Even though God has kept the prophet Elijah hidden and protected him from Queen Jezebel's death threats, God now tells him to go to a widow who lives in Jezebel's homeland of Zarephath. Knowing how dangerous such a journey could be, Elijah goes all in. He leaves his safe haven and travels across the drought-ridden land to find the woman.

For showing such faith, Elijah is rewarded. He discovers that this widow is also willing to go all in with the Lord—even though she is a pagan with no connection to the God of Israel! She puts her life and the life of her son at risk, trusting that God will do what he has promised through this wandering prophet.

How about you? Have there been times in your life when you decided to go all in with the Lord? Perhaps by choosing one vocation over another or by finding the courage to finally confess a long-standing sin. Have you ever done this and not been rewarded by the Lord? Of course not!

But it's not just in the major events that we can take steps like this. Every day offers us numerous opportunities to decide whether we are going to remain all in with the Lord. "How should I respond when people at work start to gossip?" "What should I say when a friend asks why I go to church?" "Is there anything I can do for that poor fellow on the street corner?" Each and every decision we make is an opportunity to affirm that we are "all in" with Christ.

Throw in all your chips, and see what kind of reward the Lord has waiting for you.

"Lord, help me go all in with you today. Teach me to entrust my whole life to you."


Psalm 4:2-5, 7-8; Matthew 5:13-16


It is not my job to explain the Holy Scriptures to you, it is only my duty to explain what is happening to me in light of the scriptures.  I am not a theologian, I am not a professor, but some could call me a teacher.  And so I do my best to reflect God's love so that it illuminates your soul, inspires to do more than has ever happened to me and I believe this is true.  Yet, this could be called faith, a trust in God right?  Much like the widow in the first Holy Scripture of today...right?  What was her name?  Did you get her name down?  I went back and looked for her name, it wasn't there.  Not important? What is important is her faith.  That's what is our reflection of light, and God is the light.  There is a group out there in Central or South America that call themselves "Luz del Mundo" (Light of the World).  I have done some research on them because I've heard of their "attacks"(misconceptions) on Catholics.  We have to be very careful on what is considered light, because Lucifer (Satan) was once the prince of lights (luz means light).  I digress.  Elijah asked her to believe.  She did.  This day we read about faith.  I'm asking you to believe.  Believe what?  Yesterday after praying the rosary at church I prayed in front of the most Blessed Sacrament.  Seeing that one friend couldn't make it to friendship group, I made my way home.  I called my wife "hey, I'm taking this guy to this town", she said "you didn't pick up that hitchhiker did you?".  Good thing I had taken my phone off bluetooth on my car speakers.  "Yes, I'll be back after a while", and she said "please be careful".  It was a young man, Eliot.  He was talkative, but a listener.  He spoke of his upbringing, I never asked him about all that. Said his dad passed away before he was born. Said he had a stepfather that had been in and out of their lives.  I asked about the faith.  (In comes the salt).  I told him we have a Father in heaven, and one day he would see his dad in heaven.  I told him he was never alone.  Said, the Holy Spirit had taken him to where I picked him up, on the highway (he doesn't know he was close to my home, almost to my gate).  Said, "let me pray for you, close your eyes, don't look at me anymore, I am not the Father, I am your brother, now look ahead while I pray".  I think he may have been nervous, but I put my hand over him and prayed blessings and protection and for a prosperous life in the Spirit.  I told him "you see how easy it is to pray? You don't need fancy prayers if you don't know them, just talk to our Father all day long".  Among the conversation he said "I always give to my last penny, but I don't like to ask for anything".  I said, "Ok, hold up just right there, it says in the bible "ask and ye shall receive", now it is speaking for us to ask for His blessings and not temporal things....didn't you ask for a job? Didn't you ask the cashier to check you out?  Surely we can ask for things and especially from God who knows how to give the best".  He took it all in and said he always felt protected.  I said "you're pretty brave hitch hiking, dangerous folks out there and all".  He said "I know I'm not very big, but I feel something around me protecting me".  I said it is the Father.  I also was amazed for one to venture out relying only on that kind of faith, on that protection. He didn't know if he was baptized and I asked him to do it.  I dropped him off and he said "God Bless You".  Perhaps he got blessed, but I got blessed.  The world needs a taste of God, for God made the world perfect, and we make it less.  So seasoning is needed, but the shelf life of salt over time can lose its taste.  Don't let it go to waste.  Use it.  Use your faith and season the world.  Shine the light, the love of our Father, ourLord Jesus Christ, and be the light of the world of Jesus.  Don't say "I can't ask" or "won't do" out of pride. I told him pride was of evil.  We have to do, and we have to ask.    Why are we embarrassed or ashamed?  Pride. 
This world is no longer about me.  I will be upfront with you, especially when it comes to faith.  God is first, I am second.