Friday, June 13, 2014

It Is Better

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Minute Meditations

A New Creation

The truth is that if you're living in such a way that people notice a difference in you, you're doing something right! Christianity is about becoming a new creation, not a "better version" of your old self.
— from Tweet Inspiration

St. Anthony of Padua

The gospel call to leave everything and follow Christ was the rule of Anthony's life. Over and over again God called him to something new in his plan. Every time Anthony responded with renewed zeal and self-sacrificing to serve his Lord Jesus more completely.

His journey as the servant of God began as a very young man when he decided to join the Augustinians in Lisbon, giving up a future of wealth and power to be a servant of God. Later, when the bodies of the first Franciscan martyrs went through the Portuguese city where he was stationed, he was again filled with an intense longing to be one of those closest to Jesus himself: those who die for the Good News.

So Anthony entered the Franciscan Order and set out to preach to the Moors. But an illness prevented him from achieving that goal. He went to Italy and was stationed in a small hermitage where he spent most of his time praying, reading the Scriptures and doing menial tasks.

The call of God came again at an ordination where no one was prepared to speak. The humble and obedient Anthony hesitantly accepted the task. The years of searching for Jesus in prayer, of reading sacred Scripture and of serving him in poverty, chastity and obedience had prepared Anthony to allow the Spirit to use his talents. Anthony's sermon was astounding to those who expected an unprepared speech and knew not the Spirit's power to give people words.

Recognized as a great man of prayer and a great Scripture and theology scholar, Anthony became the first friar to teach theology to the other friars. Soon he was called from that post to preach to the Albigensians in France, using his profound knowledge of Scripture and theology to convert and reassure those who had been misled by their denial of Christ's divinity and of the sacraments..

After he led the friars in northern Italy for three years, he made his headquarters in the city of Padua. He resumed his preaching and began wrtiting sermon notes to help other preachers.


Anthony should be the patron of those who find their lives completely uprooted and set in a new and unexpected direction. Like all saints, he is a perfect example of turning one's life completely over to Christ. God did with Anthony as God pleased—and what God pleased was a life of spiritual power and brilliance that still attracts admiration today. He whom popular devotion has nominated as finder of lost objects found himself by losing himself totally to the providence of God.


In his sermon notes, Anthony writes: "The saints are like the stars. In his providence Christ conceals them in a hidden place that they may not shine before others when they might wish to do so. Yet they are always ready to exchange the quiet of contemplation for the works of mercy as soon as they perceive in their heart the invitation of Christ."

Patron Saint of:

Lost items

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


The mystery we celebrate at Christmas calls to mind how God was present
long ago so that I might know the presence of God now.I pause to bring to mind
how very close God wants to be to me now.


I will ask God's help,
to be free from my own preoccupations,
to be open to God in this time of prayer,
to come to know, love and serve God more.


How am I really feeling? Lighthearted? Heavy-hearted? I may be very much at peace, happy to be here. Equally, I may be frustrated, worried or angry. I acknowledge how I really am.
It is the real me that the Lord loves.

The Word of God

Reading 1 1 kgs 19:9a, 11-16

At the mountain of God, Horeb,
Elijah came to a cave, where he took shelter.
But the word of the LORD came to him,
"Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD;
the LORD will be passing by."
A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains
and crushing rocks before the LORD—
but the LORD was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake—
but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake there was fire—
but the LORD was not in the fire.
After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound.
When he heard this,
Elijah hid his face in his cloak
and went and stood at the entrance of the cave.
A voice said to him, "Elijah, why are you here?"
He replied, "I have been most zealous for the LORD,
the God of hosts.
But the children of Israel have forsaken your covenant,
torn down your altars,
and put your prophets to the sword.
I alone am left, and they seek to take my life."
The LORD said to him,
"Go, take the road back to the desert near Damascus.
When you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king of Aram.
Then you shall anoint Jehu, son of Nimshi, as king of Israel,
and Elisha, son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah,
as prophet to succeed you."

Responsorial Psalm ps 27:7-8a, 8b-9abc, 13-14

R. (8b) I long to see your face, O Lord.
Hear, O LORD, the sound of my call;
have pity on me, and answer me.
Of you my heart speaks; you my glance seeks.
R. I long to see your face, O Lord.
Your presence, O LORD, I seek.
Hide not your face from me;
do not in anger repel your servant.
You are my helper: cast me not off.
R. I long to see your face, O Lord.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R. I long to see your face, O Lord.

Gospel mt 5:27-32

Jesus said to his disciples:
"You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery.
But I say to you,
everyone who looks at a woman with lust
has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If your right eye causes you to sin,
tear it out and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.
And if your right hand causes you to sin,
cut it off and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.

"It was also said,
Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.
But I say to you,
whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful)
causes her to commit adultery,
and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery."


I begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture I have just read.  What part of it strikes a chord in me? Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story I have heard recently- will slowly rise to the surface in my consciousness.If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to 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 19:9, 11-16

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Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church

There was a tiny whispering sound. (1 Kings 19:12)

Israel was at a critical juncture in its history, and Elijah had retreated to Mount Horeb to hear the voice of the Lord. First a strong wind, then an earthquake, then a fire passed before Elijah—all very impressive manifestations of God's power, each one seeming to bear the kind of majesty that befitted Israel's need. But God was in none of them. Instead, Elijah heard the Lord through a "tiny whispering sound" that was so intimate and so intense it made the prophet hide his face in his cloak (1 Kings 19:13).

How do you know when God is speaking to you and when you're just thinking good thoughts? We may think that heroes like Elijah found it easy to hear God, but history shows that they were ordinary people just like us. They, too, had to learn the art of discernment. Was God speaking in the whirlwind? Or was that just the prophet's emotional turmoil? Was that faint whisper in the back of her mind the Holy Spirit? Or was it just wishful thinking? Only trial and error could sharpen their skills.

The same is true for us. God speaks to us in many different ways: in the events of the day, in the Scriptures and teachings of the Church, in the words and actions of friends, and, yes, in powerful manifestations of his presence. In all of these situations, God wants us to learn how to discern the voice of his Spirit.

So how do we begin? It's really quite simple. Jesus once said, "By their fruits you will know them" (Matthew 7:16). This can apply to our own thoughts as well as to other people. For instance, if a thought in your mind helps you love God more or be a little kinder to someone, it's probably from the Lord. But if something makes you anxious, fearful, angry, or resentful, it's probably not God speaking to you.

God wants to speak to you. In fact, he's probably trying to tell you something right now. Take a moment to quiet your heart and listen.

"Holy Spirit, open the ears of my heart. Teach me to hear you clearly, so that I may follow your plan for my life."


Psalm 27:7-9, 13-14; Matthew 5:27-32

Allow me to translate today's 5minutos:
I know what you think. You believe your child can not send you this message.  By word, perhaps not.  But through body language perhaps yes.  Because what disconcerts children most is the lack of norms, limits, of discipline.  A child that does not get limits, ends up being a disoriented person.  The child needs guidelines to act, and, if they are lacking, it walks by feeling in the dark.  And the worst that can happen is that they lead the child to an adolescence that is difficult and complicated.  There are parents that say that they want to be friends to their children.  They forget that first they have to be is parents.  But this can not be accomplished simply by yielding, permitting, and tolerating...Let us know at the appropriate time to say "no", and to put limits on the children.  Today, "there has been generated a system of child rights, without having known to mark some limits".  Educate supposes to give security, affection; transmit values; and also order and place clear guidelines.  And this is a basic function parents should exercise.  It is much easier to permit than to put limits, but this attitude is totally anti-educative.  Because to educate is to understand that not everything can be, that there are things that shouldn't be done; that it is not possible to have everything; that a healthy frustration is also positive.  Acting like this is to be dramatic.  The "Democracy" assumes "the no", when it requires the respect of the others.  The permissive education of the "yes" to everything has not formed good citizens, but more so, selfish and frustrated people.  If we do not want that the children come to extreme situations let us place in time some limits.  If we do not do it, the "little dictator" will turn into a great dictator in adolescence, and later on will also be over his, or over his wife when he gets married."
Today, we read of one of my daily saints.  Such a weird notion for those that don't "believe" in saints yet believe in one another.  You see, in the Holy Catholic Church, we believe in the communion of saints and the ones who have gone before us.  In eternity the time is a forever now. And so although I was not always a believer of the unknown saints, I have come to rely on this particular saint more often than not.  I'll give you one quick example or two of the "lost items" that he helped me with. Years ago, one hot summer day I was at the sand hills riding my 4 wheeler, a sporty racing machine, I jumped this hill and that hill, speeding across the dunes making sand waves as I spun across turns. As I spead across, I heard a sound.  When I finally stopped to see what it was, I realized I had lost my brand new 2way radio.  I looked back at the vast desert sand hills and nothing.  I backtracked my riding pattern and nothing.  I really wanted that radio, felt bad for losing it, and right then I remembered a little prayer a nun taught my mom "Tony Tony look around (whatever you lost is said here)  must be found".  The nun would use the prayer to find a close parking spot at the mall, LOL, but I use it almost too much in my life, it's not funny.  I digress.  It was kind of hot that day, as I trekked with my hot clothes for quite a long time, with heavy riding boots, and prayed, right as I prayed  the prayer, as I went up a sand dune, my foot dug into the sand and kicked out the radio up and out of the sand and right in front of me.  I was shocked, my body felt weird with the surprise, a miracle?  I picked it up and went back to camp.  As I rode around camp, I kept jumping hills some more, thinking about the "miracle", and somehow felt it had all happened by chance, kind of dismissing the work of a saint in my life.  Right then, I heard a sound, "oh no! not again!" as I rode, I looked, and sure enough, I had dropped my new radio again. DOH!  I back tracked, started dragging my feet and looking for the phone, tired and after feeling anxious, I prayed again asking Saint Anthony to help.  Right then someone yelled from a nearby camp, they yelled and waved at me "hey! did you lose a radio!?"  WOW.  I said "thank you Saint Anthony", and picked up my radio.  And this is one of thousands of examples.  Is it one of faith?  You know, a thought has been hounding me lately, "if God were to assure me my spot in Heaven, I wouldn't want to go...not without bringing all my brothers and sisters".  Communion.  Elijah went to pray because God said He would meet him there.  He wasn't in the earthquake, nor the strong wind, nor the fire, but in the quiet whisper of the heart.  And this is where Jesus is aiming in the Holy Gospel.  If Saint Anthony ever helps you find anything, let it be Jesus in the heart.  There lost, hidden away is that tiny whisper that has always been in the forever now.  We lose material things, but we don't pray to find spiritual things.  Let's ask for things, but good things, and all good things come from above.  The sinful act began with a thought, that entered the heart and the heart decides on love, and God wants that heart to love above all what is Holy.  Let God Speak in the silence of your heart
especially when being one in
His Holy Presence...