Friday, June 20, 2014

Eye Is Sound

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Minute Meditations

Say Yes to God's Will

Praise and thank God that He sees more in us than we see in ourselves. All God needs to make a masterpiece in you is your consent.

— fromPraise God and Thank Him

St. Paulinus of Nola

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Anyone who is praised in the letters of six or seven saints undoubtedly must be of extraordinary character. Such a person was Paulinus of Nola, correspondent and friend of Augustine, Jerome, Melania, Martin, Gregory the Great, and Ambrose.
Born near Bordeaux, he was the son of the Roman prefect of Gaul, who had extensive property in both Gaul and Italy. Paulinus became a distinguished lawyer, holding several public offices in the Roman Empire. With his Spanish wife, Therasia, he retired at an early age to a life of cultured leisure.

The two were baptized by the saintly bishop of Bordeaux and moved to Therasia's estate in Spain. After many childless years, they had a son who died a week after birth. This occasioned their beginning a life of great austerity and charity, giving away most of their Spanish property. Possibly as a result of this great example, Paulinus was rather unexpectedly ordained a priest at Christmas by the bishop of Barcelona.

He and his wife then moved to Nola, near Naples. He had a great love for St. Felix of Nola, and spent much effort in promoting devotion to this saint. Paulinus gave away most of his remaining property (to the consternation of his relatives) and continued his work for the poor. Supporting a host of debtors, the homeless and other needy people, he lived a monastic life in another part of his home. By popular demand he was made bishop of Nola and guided that diocese for 21 years.

His last years were saddened by the invasion of the Huns. Among his few writings is the earliest extant Christian wedding song.


Many of us are tempted to "retire" early in life, after an initial burst of energy. Devotion to Christ and his work is waiting to be done all around us. Paulinus's life had scarcely begun when he thought it was over, as he took his ease on that estate in Spain. "Man proposes, but God disposes."

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


I pause for a moment and think of the love and the grace that God showers on me, creating me in his image and likeness, making me his temple....


Lord, you created me to live in freedom.
May your Holy Spirit guide me to follow you freely.
Instil in my heart a desire
To know and love you more each day.


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 11:1-4, 9-18, 20

When Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah,
saw that her son was dead,
she began to kill off the whole royal family.
But Jehosheba, daughter of King Jehoram and sister of Ahaziah,
took Joash, his son, and spirited him away, along with his nurse,
from the bedroom where the princes were about to be slain.
She concealed him from Athaliah, and so he did not die.
For six years he remained hidden in the temple of the LORD,
while Athaliah ruled the land.

But in the seventh year,
Jehoiada summoned the captains of the Carians
and of the guards.
He had them come to him in the temple of the LORD,
exacted from them a sworn commitment,
and then showed them the king's son.

The captains did just as Jehoiada the priest commanded.
Each one with his men, both those going on duty for the sabbath
and those going off duty that week,
came to Jehoiada the priest.
He gave the captains King David's spears and shields,
which were in the temple of the LORD.
And the guards, with drawn weapons,
lined up from the southern to the northern limit of the enclosure,
surrounding the altar and the temple on the king's behalf.
Then Jehoiada led out the king's son
and put the crown and the insignia upon him.
They proclaimed him king and anointed him,
clapping their hands and shouting, "Long live the king!"

Athaliah heard the noise made by the people,
and appeared before them in the temple of the LORD.
When she saw the king standing by the pillar, as was the custom,
and the captains and trumpeters near him,
with all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing trumpets,
she tore her garments and cried out, "Treason, treason!"
Then Jehoiada the priest instructed the captains
in command of the force:
"Bring her outside through the ranks.
If anyone follows her," he added, "let him die by the sword."
He had given orders that she
should not be slain in the temple of the LORD.
She was led out forcibly to the horse gate of the royal palace,
where she was put to death.

Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the LORD as one party
and the king and the people as the other,
by which they would be the LORD's people;
and another covenant, between the king and the people.
Thereupon all the people of the land went to the temple of Baal
and demolished it.
They shattered its altars and images completely,
and slew Mattan, the priest of Baal, before the altars.
Jehoiada appointed a detachment for the temple of the LORD.
All the people of the land rejoiced and the city was quiet,
now that Athaliah had been slain with the sword
at the royal palace.

Responsorial Psalm ps 132:11, 12, 13-14, 17-18

R. (13) The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling.
The LORD swore to David
a firm promise from which he will not withdraw:
"Your own offspring
I will set upon your throne."
R. The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling.
"If your sons keep my covenant
and the decrees which I shall teach them,
Their sons, too, forever
shall sit upon your throne."
R. The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling.
For the LORD has chosen Zion;
he prefers her for his dwelling.
"Zion is my resting place forever;
in her will I dwell, for I prefer her."
R. The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling.
"In her will I make a horn to sprout forth for David;
I will place a lamp for my anointed.
His enemies I will clothe with shame,
but upon him my crown shall shine."
R. The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling.

Gospel mt 6:19-23

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal.
But store up treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

"The lamp of the body is the eye.
If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light;
but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness.
And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be."


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: Matthew 6:19-23

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11th Week in Ordinary Time

The lamp of the body is the eye. (Matthew 6:22)

Did you know that dozens of diseases that affect the body can be initially diagnosed by an in-depth eye examination? Diabetes, sickle-cell anemia, juvenile arthritis, and brain tumors are just a few. Just as our eyes can be windows to our bodies' health, so too can our eyes be indicators of our spiritual health.

In today's Gospel reading, Jesus makes this point just after he talks about how senseless it is to store up treasures on earth. And, as if to emphasize this connection, the first reading tells the story of Athaliah, the would-be queen of Judah.

Athaliah was the daughter of Jezebel and King Ahab of the northern kingdom of Israel. When her son Ahaziah died and she lost her claim to the throne, she tried to kill everyone who was in the royal line of David so that she could seize power. Her eyes were so fixed on becoming queen that she didn't care how much evil she had to do to get there.

But Jehosheba, King Ahaziah's sister and the wife of the high priest Jehoiada, saved the only remaining heir, one-year-old Joash, and kept the baby in hiding in the Temple. For six years, while Athaliah focused on stamping out the worship of God, Jehoiada kept his eyes and heart focused on restoring David's heir to the throne. Through patient, careful planning, Jehoiada was able to install Joash as king. For her part, Athaliah was executed.

While Athaliah's eyes were darkened with greed, Jehosheba and Jehoiada kept their eyes fixed on God's plan of continuing David's royal lineage. When the time came, they acted heroically, while Athaliah acted monstrously.

Throughout your day today, consider the spiritual health of your own eyes. Think about the things that your eyes focus on and how your heart responds to what you see. For instance, do you look at beautiful homes and expensive cars with envy? Do you look at homeless people with fear or disgust? Ask the Lord to help you see things the way he sees them. That is the way to a healthy spirit!

"Lord, I thank you for the gift of spiritual sight. Help me to see things through your eyes and with your heart. Help me keep my eyes full of your light."


2 Kings 11:1-4, 9-18, 20; Psalm 132:11-14, 17-18

A quick search on "lamp" in the bible brings tons of times from the Old Testament to the New. Because what is a lamp and what is the eye? 
2 Samuel 22:29-"You, Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light.
Job 18:5 - "The lamp of a wicked man is snuffed out; the flame of his fire stops burning
Job 29:3 - "when his lamp shine on my head and by his light I walked through darkness!"
Psalm 119:105 - "Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path."
Proverbs 6:23 - "For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life"

Zephaniah 1:12 - "At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish those who are complacent, who are like wine left on its dregs, who think, 'The Lord will do nothing, either good or bad.'
Matthew 5:15 - "Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house."

Luke 12:35 - "Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning,"
Revelation 4:5 - "From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God."

Revelation 22:5 - "There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever."

And these are only a few I've brought to your attention.  Which one stood out? What does one see as you look into the eye of the person?  The eye is reflecting a reflection.  What is the eye looking at?  It often sees what it wants, yet many tricks are played on the eye through the process of the brain.  We don't really see everything, and so what is important is the focus.  They say we only really see a very small portion of all the things we see at once, there is a very small focal point at any given point in time.  And so what is my eye focused on? What dreams? What is in front of me at all times?  Usually it's what makes my heart beat, my desire.  I like that song that sings "you are my desire.. you're all I want...Jesus".  Throughout the entire day, there will be a focal point, a treasure in front of you.  Is it earthly?  Or is it Heavenly?  That is where your heart is leading you.  All our loves on earth will fade away, but not Jesus.  Focus on that.  I am amazed at how many are diagnosed with deception.  The world offers drugs and pleasures to get your mind off of things and have less stress, but only offering more stress and problems in the end.  Focus on what.  Focus every single heart beat on Jesus.  It's when we veer off that the light goes away.  "I don't feel like helping or going to church today".  Lost focus.  Notice "the lamp of a wicked man is snuffed out, the flame of his fire stops burning".  Wickedness turns out the lights, and if we're not careful, could be forever.  The world is preaching that no matter what you do, "you'll get right into heaven".  Not so.  Not all.  Deception turns out the lights.  We read "be ready for service and keep your lamps burning".  How? With what oil?  The "feast of lights", Hanukkah, for the Jews is the miracle of the lamp that did not burn out.  The Spirit of God is our oil.  He will not burn out even if we believe we're "burned out".  Re-ignite the flames.  It does not matter what others see, it matters what I see.  What I see is the love of God in His consuming fire.  In our co-worker bible study as we waited for others to arrive, I told a brother about the time Jesus said "I have come to set the world on fire, and oh how I wish it were already ablaze".  It is the Holy Spirit talking.  God wants to be your light.  He wants to be your sight.  LOL. I'm kind of wimpy sometimes in the morning before writing to you, like today, and as I just kind of put this email together, the thought said to me laughing at myself "as if you are doing any of the work.  God is doing everything, you just have to let Him".  Oddly enough, the first meditation said just that.  The deal is the gates we open through our souls, and they say the eye is the window of the soul......

"We must ask ourselves: how have we given ourselves to God? How have we allowed God into our lives? Which is our surrender to him?"- Mother Teresa

You're all I need....JESUS
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