Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Last Penny

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Minute Meditations

Devotion to the Church
I was seized by a longing to devote all my strength or rather all my weakness to the Church which...I saw as alone holding the key to the knowledge and achievement of all that is good. -St. Anne Marie
— from Sisterhood of Saints

Blessed Jolenta (Yolanda) of Poland
(d. 1298)
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Jolenta was the daughter of Bela IV, King of Hungary. Her sister, St. Kunigunde, was married to the Duke of Poland. Jolenta was sent to Poland where her sister was to supervise her education. Eventually married to Boleslaus, the Duke of Greater Poland, Jolenta was able to use her material means to assist the poor, the sick, widows and orphans. Her husband joined her in building hospitals, convents and churches so that he was surnamed "the Pious."
Upon the death of her husband and the marriage of two of her daughters, Jolenta and her third daughter entered the convent of the Poor Clares. War forced Jolenta to move to another convent where, despite her reluctance, she was made abbess.

So well did she serve her Franciscan sisters by word and example that her fame and good works continued to spread beyond the walls of the cloister. Her favorite devotion was the Passion of Christ. Indeed, Jesus appeared to her, telling her of her coming death. Many miracles, down to our own day, are said to have occurred at her grave.


Jolenta's story begins like a fairy tale. But fairy tales seldom include the death of the prince and never end with the princess living out her days in a convent. Nonetheless, Jolenta's story has a happy ending. Her life of charity toward the poor and devotion to her Franciscan sisters indeed brought her to a "happily ever after." Our lives may be short on fairy-tale elements, but our generosity and our willingness to serve well the people we live with lead us toward an ending happier than we can imagine.

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, may your spirit guide me to seek Your Loving presence more and more. For it is there I find rest and refreshment from
this busy world.


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.


Knowing that God loves me unconditionally, I can afford to be honest about how I am.  How has the last day been, and how do I feel now? I share my feelings openly with the Lord.

The Word of God

Matthew 5:21-26

Reading 1 1 kgs 18:41-46

Elijah said to Ahab, "Go up, eat and drink,
for there is the sound of a heavy rain."
So Ahab went up to eat and drink,
while Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel,
crouched down to the earth,
and put his head between his knees.
"Climb up and look out to sea," he directed his servant,
who went up and looked, but reported, "There is nothing."
Seven times he said, "Go, look again!"
And the seventh time the youth reported,
"There is a cloud as small as a man's hand rising from the sea."
Elijah said, "Go and say to Ahab,
'Harness up and leave the mountain before the rain stops you.'"
In a trice the sky grew dark with clouds and wind,
and a heavy rain fell.
Ahab mounted his chariot and made for Jezreel.
But the hand of the LORD was on Elijah,
who girded up his clothing and ran before Ahab
as far as the approaches to Jezreel.

Responsorial Psalm ps 65:10, 11, 12-13

R. (2a) It is right to praise you in Zion, O God.
You have visited the land and watered it;
greatly have you enriched it.
God's watercourses are filled;
you have prepared the grain.
R. It is right to praise you in Zion, O God.
Thus have you prepared the land:
drenching its furrows, breaking up its clods,
Softening it with showers,
blessing its yield.
R. It is right to praise you in Zion, O God.
You have crowned the year with your bounty,
and your paths overflow with a rich harvest;
The untilled meadows overflow with it,
and rejoicing clothes the hills.
R. It is right to praise you in Zion, O God.

Gospel mt 5:20-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
"I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.

"You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment,
and whoever says to his brother,
'Raqa,' will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, 'You fool,' will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny."

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: 1 Kings 18:41-46

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10th Week in Ordinary Time

Seven times he said, "Go, look again!" (1 Kings 18:43)

Fresh from defeating the pagan prophets, Elijah knew that God was about to break the long famine by sending a monster rainstorm. But seven times he sent his servant to look for a tiny sign of that coming storm. And seven times the servant returned reporting, "There is nothing" (1 Kings 18:43).

Finally the servant reported glimpsing a tiny cloud. That was enough for Elijah. He sent a message to the king and put on his running shoes. Almost immediately, the storm broke in full force.

How often do you find yourself in that servant's position? You intercede, but you can see no sign that God is about to intervene or that he is at work at all in the situation. Usually all you can do is keep praying, keeping your eyes open for that tiny cloud, that little sign that God is about to work. It may not look like much, and it may be a long time coming, but you know that God is perfectly capable of producing impressive results from seemingly unpromising beginnings. The Holy Spirit needs only the tiniest of openings, so never give up hope!

Where can you discern a tiny cloud on your horizon today? What is God up to?

Look first for the tiny signs that God is at work in situations you have been laying at his feet for a long time. Perhaps that neighbor who turns a deaf ear to God-talk is troubled by something he regards as unjust. Perhaps the niece who no longer goes to church has decided to name her newborn after a favorite saint. Perhaps you realize that a book you and a friend are reading together may provide an opening to share the good news.

Try also to be open to surprises God may have in hand—areas that haven't yet entered your mind or prayers. His cloud may look like an invitation to a party with a casual acquaintance. Maybe an innocent question opens up a new level of conversation. When you catch a glimpse like this, act on it! One thing is certain: God never delays. He comes at exactly the right time. May we always be open and alert to his work!

"Lord, open my eyes so that I can see you at work in my life and in your world."


Psalm 65:10-13; Matthew 5:20-26


God there is a beautiful little thing going on in the Church, it can be seen in the horizon of your eyes, and I believe...yes Lord I believe!  Last night in our co-worker bible study, we read actually today's readings, where our Lord brings up our righteousness, and the severity of following His commandments to the t, or the smallest letter, otherwise we could face hell to pay.  And what's all this "being locked up in prison until we've paid" deal all about?  Purgatory. Hard to believe for someone that does not believe.  You see, there is this righteousness that we do not hear about God very often.  No. Often more, we will hear about his Love, and Mercy (because we need to be reminded) but seldomly will we hear about His righteousness.  His Justice.  I was in jury duty, a grand jury for most of this year.  Towards the end, a thought hit me while sitting in jury "I'm glad there is justice" and more often throughout I desired for every person to be prayed for.  Yet, so often our justice and righteousness is not in line with that of Jesus our Lord.  So often we will hear people that don't go to church say "oh, I'm ok, i'm good, I don't kill nobody, I'm not like so and so, I don't steal, nothing like that."  But right there you've already judged yourself.  You've already compared yourself to some earthly material.  We fail to compare ourselves to the measure of Jesus.  We are called to be disciples of Him and that means following Him in every single way.  LOL. Last night I asked our co-worker group to recall the name someone had chosen for our group when I asked them to come up with a name.  Only the guy that had come up with the name said it.  I told the bro., "go ahead, tell them the name you chose for this group"....the reply came "The Disciples of God".  We look at each other as if to say 'that's too much for us to be named'.  What a tall order!  LOL.  What are we? Chickens?  Or men?  What are we afraid of?  They say in the bible it says about 365 times "do not be afraid".  It's like me constantly my kids not to be scared, because they seem to be afraid of anything (unknown), a moth, a neighbor's dog, the dark, and the things go on and on.  The only way I can put one of my little toddler boys to bed is by simply setting him in there in the dark, and then leaving him alone.  At first he cried alot, and then realized he would be ok, and just fall asleep.  That's you and me.  We feel left alone, but the Father has not left us alone in the dark.  He is the light in the dark.  The peace in the storm.  He is everything we will ever need.  I texted a young man I sponsored for Confirmation, yesterday. Just said "Hi".  I had seen that his family business is growing and seen their name on a really nice new building, and I wanted to check up on his status in faith.  I want to get a pulse on the spiritual life of those I pray for.  Is he alive?  Or is he dead? For a while back I heard his brother was atheist, and soon after most of the family would not be seen in church.  Are you fruitful my child?  I compared myself like a miserable man.  As if I had to compare my financial success.  "I've got all I ever need".  I don't need anything.  I am honored to write to you daily.  I am blessed to be called to serve in the most Holy Church on earth, the one that gets persecuted more than any other in the world.  What an honor.  If I see one suffer now, then glory be to God!  We pay last pennies on earth as well as it is in the hereafter.  I encourage you to go beyond the basics.  Go beyond the minimums.  Turn your life over to God completely.  A co-worker said "yeah, but miracles are very rare aren't they".  I said "to me, miracles are very normal every day occurence and occure more than we care to acknowledge".  Then I went off giving examples of my personal life within the last couple of days.  The greatest miracles is the transformation of one being into another...and that is following Christ to the last drop
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