Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What Is Hidden

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Minute Meditations

Cooling Our Temper
If being ourselves means letting our frustration loose too easily, we would do well to work harder at not being so much ourselves. A simple social rule: Treat those closest with the same demeanor reserved for those less close.
— from Fighting Mad

Venerable Matt Talbot
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Matt can be considered the patron of men and women struggling with alcoholism.

Matt was born in Dublin, where his father worked on the docks and had a difficult time supporting his family. After a few years of schooling, Matt obtained work as a messenger for some liquor merchants; there he began to drink excessively. For 15 years—until he was almost 30—Matt was an active alcoholic.

One day he decided to take "the pledge" for three months, make a general confession and begin to attend daily Mass. There is evidence that Matt's first seven years after taking the pledge were especially difficult. Avoiding his former drinking places was hard. He began to pray as intensely as he used to drink. He also tried to pay back people from whom he had borrowed or stolen money while he was drinking.

Most of his life Matt worked as a builder's laborer. He joined the Secular Franciscan Order and began a life of strict penance; he abstained from meat nine months a year. Matt spent hours every night avidly reading Scripture and the lives of the saints. He prayed the rosary conscientiously. Though his job did not make him rich, Matt contributed generously to the missions.

After 1923 his health failed, and Matt was forced to quit work. He died on his way to church on Trinity Sunday. Fifty years later Pope Paul VI gave him the title venerable.


In looking at the life of Matt Talbot, we may easily focus on the later years when he had stopped drinking for some time and was leading a penitential life. Only alcoholic men and women who have stopped drinking can fully appreciate how difficult the earliest years of sobriety were for Matt.

He had to take one day at a time. So do the rest of us.


On an otherwise blank page in one of Matt's books, the following is written: "God console thee and make thee a saint. To arrive at the perfection of humility four things are necessary: to despise the world, to despise no one, to despise self, to despise being despised by others."

Patron Saint of:

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


"Come to me all you who are burdened
and I will give you rest"
Here I am, Lord.
I come to seek your presence.
I long for your healing power.



Lord, may I never take the gift
of freedom for granted. You gave
me the great blessing of freedom of
spirit. Fill my spirit with Your peace and
Your joy.



I ask how I am within myself today? Am I particularly tired, stressed, or off-form?
If any of these characteristics apply, can I try to let go of the concerns that disturb me?


The Word of God

Reading 1 2 kgs 2:1, 6-14

When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind,
he and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal.
Elijah said to Elisha, "Please stay here;
the LORD has sent me on to the Jordan."
"As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live,
I will not leave you," Elisha replied.
And so the two went on together.
Fifty of the guild prophets followed and
when the two stopped at the Jordan,
they stood facing them at a distance.
Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up
and struck the water, which divided,
and both crossed over on dry ground.

When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha,
"Ask for whatever I may do for you, before I am taken from you."
Elisha answered, "May I receive a double portion of your spirit."
"You have asked something that is not easy," Elijah replied.
"Still, if you see me taken up from you,
your wish will be granted; otherwise not."
As they walked on conversing,
a flaming chariot and flaming horses came between them,
and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.
When Elisha saw it happen he cried out,
"My father! my father! Israel's chariots and drivers!"
But when he could no longer see him,
Elisha gripped his own garment and tore it in two.

Then he picked up Elijah's mantle that had fallen from him,
and went back and stood at the bank of the Jordan.
Wielding the mantle that had fallen from Elijah,
Elisha struck the water in his turn and said,
"Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?"
When Elisha struck the water it divided and he crossed over.

Responsorial Psalm ps 31:20, 21, 24

R. (25) Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
How great is the goodness, O LORD,
which you have in store for those who fear you,
And which, toward those who take refuge in you,
you show in the sight of the children of men.
R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
You hide them in the shelter of your presence
from the plottings of men;
You screen them within your abode
from the strife of tongues.
R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
Love the LORD, all you his faithful ones!
The LORD keeps those who are constant,
but more than requites those who act proudly.
R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.

Gospel mt 6:1-6, 16-18

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them;
otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets
to win the praise of others.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

"When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites,
who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
so that others may see them.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door,
and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

"When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.
They neglect their appearance,
so that they may appear to others to be fasting.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
so that you may not appear to others to be fasting,
except to your Father who is hidden.
And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay 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: 2 Kings 2:1, 6-14

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11th Week in Ordinary Time

Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah? (2 Kings 2:14)

From Esau and Jacob to the prodigal son, stories about inheritance run throughout the Scriptures. In this passage, however, the focus is on a spiritual rather than a material inheritance. When Elisha asked Elijah for a double portion of his spirit, he was asking for the honor of being his spiritual son. And at the end of the passage, we find Elisha stepping into his new role.

It seems simple, doesn't it? Just pick up the prophet's mantle, and miracles will flow. But that's not exactly how it happened. Elisha was able to do all he did because he had spent many days, months, and years with Elijah, learning from his mentor. He saw the man of God in action; he heard him preach; he prayed and fasted with him; he endured the same persecutions and challenges Elijah did. In the end, when he parted the Jordan River, it wasn't because he had Elijah's magical cloak. It was because he had taken on Elijah's heart.

In a similar way, you share in Christ's inheritance. The Holy Spirit lives in you in all his fullness. But just as Elisha walked every day with Elijah and learned to be like him, you too need to walk with Jesus every day so that you can take on his heart. That's what releases the power of the Spirit in your life!

Whether you realize it or not, you are probably already spending a lot of time with the Lord. Do you go to Mass? Pray for your friends and family? Read Scripture? Talk to the Lord at home or at work? Every second spent with him counts! That's because, as hard as you may be trying to please him, he is working so much more in you. He always takes the little we give him and multiplies it immensely—just as he multiplied five loaves and two fishes!

Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah? He's in your heart! Try to follow Elijah's—and Elisha's—example and take a step of faith today. Encourage a downcast friend. Go out of your way to help a family member. If there is an opportunity to share your faith, take it. Then watch the Lord pour out his grace!

"Thank you, Jesus, for paving the way for me to share in your inheritance."


Psalm 31:20-21, 24; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

The 5minutos ended today with, "...does your prayer identify yourself and leave you in peace with God?".  As I read the 5 minutos I remembered the 5finger prayer: while looking at your hand pointers to remember how to pray:

1. Your thumb is the nearest to you. So begin your prayer by praying for those

closest to you. They are the easiest to remember. To pray for our loved

ones is, as C. S. Lewis once said, a "sweet duty."

2. The next finger is the pointing finger. Pray for those who teach, instruct,

and heal. This includes teachers, doctors, and ministers. They need support

and wisdom in pointing others in the right direction. Keep them in your


3. The next finger is the tallest finger. It reminds us of our leaders. Pray for

the president, leaders in industry and business, and administrators. These

people shape our nation and guide public opinion. They need God's


4. The fourth finger is our ring finger. Surprising to many is the fact that this is

our weakest finger; as any piano teacher will testify. It should remind us to

pray for those who are weak, in trouble, or in pain. They need your prayers

day and night. You cannot pray too much for them.

5. And lastly comes our little finger; the smallest finger of all. Which is where

we should place ourselves in relation to God and others. As the Bible says,

"the least shall be the greatest among you." Your pinky should remind you

to pray for yourself.

Notice everyone else comes first, not me.  If others are first, God will soon be first and foremost if you are praying these things to Him.  I read a quote today, ""I urge you, no matter what, to keep praying. If you abandon prayer, you are taking a great risk."-St. Teresa of Avila.  Prayer is the air we breathe in our faith.  Without it, we could die in the Spirit.  Have you ever, though, felt so far from God that you didn't pray, or couldn't pray?  I wrote a song about it.  It sang "somebody help me, because I'm dying" and at the end the truth is revealed of who was going to die after prayer...the devil inside was dying.  God must reign and everything else subdue before Him.  When Elisha asks for the Spirit, it was given.  This happens in our supplications, our prayers.  Jesus tells us today He knows our hearts.  Yesterday a deacon brother took me to get prison training to do ministry.  We spoke on the way home, and we talked about how God knows what we are going to ask before we even ask.  In my inner frustrations I've began to pray inside the heart "Lord, if you know what bad has gone in my heart, then right here I am going to ask you to hear my prayer" and then I add my prayer.  Usually I pray for deliverance, or for someone in particular in a most solemn prayer...from the heart.  Jesus didn't say "don't pray on the street corner for the unborn"(as we've done), He is saying "I know your heart, I am available there all the time", He is asking us to have a most inner deep relationship with Him where it most matters.  It happens to me every day before I write to you.  I ask for Him to possess me, no more of me, because throughout the day I am bound to fail.  This is the beauty of confession, a prayer, a surrender.  A song I wrote a few days ago says "let the Holy Spirit flow" and later says "throw your hands up in the air" and this to let me surrender to His Spirit.  The nation is facing a moral crisis.  There will not be an invasion from an enemy, it has already infiltrated and set up a detonation to implode the edifice, what has been built up on.  It happened to Rome, it was never conquered but fell to pieces on its own.  The latest gallup polls show birth control is at a 90% approval (acceptablility), Divorce at 69%, sex between unmarried man and woman 66%, having babies outside of marriage 58%, doctor assisted suicide 52%, and only 33% think pornography is unacceptable, and only 19% believe suicide is highly unacceptable, and only 7% believe an affair is highly unacceptable.  "Record highs" states the gallup pole site.  Forget the wars across the world, forget global warming, the deterioration of the family is what the Catholic Church has been battling for the last decades.  Did it start with birth control? Did it start with pornography? Chances are, it started long ago, at the heart of man.  This is a call to Holiness.  The Heart is at the matter, and what matters most?  Jesus said "...your FATHER who sees what is hidden will repay you".  He gives Holiness and Grace, Mercy and Love, and what do we give?  What do we pray.......

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