Wednesday, June 25, 2014

You Will Know

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Minute Meditations

Real Praise

Real praise involves more than just lip service; it engages the mind and the heart. On the receiving end of praise are thoughtful, substantive declarations. By the way, praise will put a smile on the face of your spouse or friend.

— from Praise God and Thank Him

Blessed Jutta of Thuringia
(d. 1264?)

Today's patroness of Prussia began her life amidst luxury and power but died the death of a simple servant of the poor.

In truth, virtue and piety were always of prime importance to Jutta and her husband, both of noble rank. The two were set to make a pilgrimage together to the holy places in Jerusalem, but her husband died on the way. The newly widowed Jutta, after taking care to provide for her children, resolved to live in a manner utterly pleasing to God. She disposed of the costly clothes, jewels and furniture befitting one of her rank, and became a Secular Franciscan, taking on the simple garment of a religious.

From that point her life was utterly devoted to others: caring for the sick, particularly lepers; tending to the poor, whom she visited in their hovels; helping the crippled and blind with whom she shared her own home. Many of the townspeople of Thuringia laughed at how the once-distinguished lady now spent all her time. But Jutta saw the face of God in the poor and felt honored to render whatever services she could.

About the year 1260, not long before her death, Jutta lived near the non-Christians in eastern Germany. There she built a small hermitage and prayed unceasingly for their conversion. She has been venerated for centuries as the special patron of Prussia.



Jesus once said that a camel can pass through a needle's eye more easily than a rich person can enter God's realm. That's pretty scary news for us. We may not have great fortunes, but we who live in the West enjoy a share of the world's goods that people in the rest of the world cannot imagine. Much to the amusement of her neighbors, Jutta disposed of her wealth after her husband's death and devoted her life to caring for those who had no means. Should we follow her example, people will probably laugh at us, too. But God will smile.

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


Even as I seek to prepare the way of the Lord this Advent, I know that God
is already with me.  I pause to bring myself to an awareness of God's presence.


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.


At this moment Lord I turn my thoughts to You. I will leave aside my chores and preoccupations.
I will take rest and refreshment in your presence Lord.

The Word of God

Reading 1 2 kgs 22:8-13; 23:1-3

The high priest Hilkiah informed the scribe Shaphan,
"I have found the book of the law in the temple of the LORD."
Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, who read it.
Then the scribe Shaphan went to the king and reported,
"Your servants have smelted down the metals available in the temple
and have consigned them to the master workmen
in the temple of the LORD."
The scribe Shaphan also informed the king
that the priest Hilkiah had given him a book,
and then read it aloud to the king.
When the king heard the contents of the book of the law,
he tore his garments and issued this command to Hilkiah the priest,
Ahikam, son of Shaphan,
Achbor, son of Micaiah, the scribe Shaphan,
and the king's servant Asaiah:
"Go, consult the LORD for me, for the people, for all Judah,
about the stipulations of this book that has been found,
for the anger of the LORD has been set furiously ablaze against us,
because our fathers did not obey the stipulations of this book,
nor fulfill our written obligations."

The king then had all the elders of Judah
and of Jerusalem summoned together before him.
The king went up to the temple of the LORD with all the men of Judah
and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem:
priests, prophets, and all the people, small and great.
He had the entire contents of the book of the covenant
that had been found in the temple of the LORD, read out to them.
Standing by the column, the king made a covenant before the LORD
that they would follow him
and observe his ordinances, statutes and decrees
with their whole hearts and souls,
thus reviving the terms of the covenant
which were written in this book.
And all the people stood as participants in the covenant.

Responsorial Psalm ps 119:33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 40

R. (33a) Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.
Instruct me, O LORD, in the way of your statutes,
that I may exactly observe them.
R. Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.
Give me discernment, that I may observe your law
and keep it with all my heart.
R. Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.
Lead me in the path of your commands,
for in it I delight.
R. Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.
Incline my heart to your decrees
and not to gain.
R. Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.
Turn away my eyes from seeing what is vain:
by your way give me life.
R. Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.
Behold, I long for your precepts;
in your justice give me life.
R. Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.

Gospel mt 7:15-20

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing,
but underneath are ravenous wolves.
By their fruits you will know them.
Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
Just so, every good tree bears good fruit,
and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.
A good tree cannot bear bad fruit,
nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.
Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down
and thrown into the fire.
So by their fruits you will know them."


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 7:15-20

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12th Week in Ordinary Time

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing. (Matthew 7:15)

You can probably think of people you might call a "false prophet." The media is filled with people who spread inaccurate and harmful messages. Imagine yourself talking to one of these people. You forthrightly explain what is wrong with his or her message. You present your point of view calmly and reasonably. It all seems so cogent and convincing to you. But unless you're very persuasive, this person is not going to change.

Now change the picture. Imagine that the person you are talking to is ... you! As often as not, we are the first ones to lead ourselves astray. So many thoughts come our way every day that truly do resemble sheep-cloaked wolves: "That dessert is tasty—you need a third helping!" "That person is really attractive. You've got to take another look!" "After what she did to you, there's no way you should forgive her." "That beggar should get a job instead of bothering me!"

We know that if we listen to these wolfish thoughts, they will lead to bad fruit—selfishness, sadness, isolation, and sin. It's tough to look inside ourselves, but Jesus wants us to examine our thoughts. Not because he wants to show us how bad we are, because we're not. It's because he wants us to be free to hear and to live by the voice of the Holy Spirit. Only by quieting our racing minds will we be able to hear his words of affirmation, conviction, and direction. Only by silencing the wolves can we hear the Lamb!

How do you take control of these renegade thoughts? The same way you would change your wardrobe. Every day, you decide to "put away" your old undesirable thoughts and "put on" Christ (Ephesians 4:22, 24). His clothes are so much better!

So receive his Spirit—through his word, through the sacraments, and by just being in his presence. And he will give you new clothes, his "glorious mantle" (Isaiah 61:3). As your mind is renewed, your life will change. You are already a new creation—now dress like it!

"Lord, right now I want to quiet down and listen to my heart—for you live there! Show me if there are any wolves lurking about. Help me to renounce anything that keeps your love out!"


2 Kings 22:8-13; 23:1-3; Psalm 119:33-37, 40



Today's 5 minutos had the scripture Gal.5:1-26 in which we read "... I say, then: live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh.*
17  For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you want.
18  But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 
19* Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions,
21 occasions of envy,* drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
24 Now those who belong to Christ have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit.
26 Let us not be conceited, provoking one another, envious of one another."

And this is fitting to the Holy Scriptures of today.  The Old Testament is filled with a Covenant, a promise, a pact with God.  And the New Testament a new covenant, with God, Jesus.  What pact?  The one deal made with you.  The Way.  It is offered.  What is the 'Way'?  Jesus.  You mean I have to live like Jesus?  Are you a disciple of Christ?  Are you a follower of His Way?  Jesus is the Covenant.  That makes His mother, the new ark of the new covenant.  Not only now do we have commands, commandments, but a new commandment that calls for a holiness like no other.  Sell all and give to the poor?  Never look upon others with disdain or in sin?  Yes.  But the covenant is even more.  The old covenant had the commandments, the staff of Aaron, and the Mana from Heaven.  They are all wrapped in one in Jesus. People have to partake of the covenant, the will of God, the Life offered through it, and the bread of Jesus for eternal life.  Life in the Spirit.  Life of Service.  Last night my wife was feeding the baby and when he ran out of bottle she asked me and/or my daughter to go make another bottle.  My daughter just "couldn't" get off her phone and as I got up I said "we should be rushing to see who can serve one another".  LOL, she's only 9 but smart, "but daddy knows how to make the bottle better!", no excuse though, we are called to a Love service.  If you love you will serve.  Does this mean that those whom don't serve the Lord do not love the Lord?  The covenant, just as the bottle, is there for the taking.  My sister in law and  her husband are living with us.  They are cleaning and serving constantly.  They said last night, "thanks for everything, letting us stay here and all" and I said "it is no burden when you are serving the way you are".  The act of thanks has been given, not just by words as a wolf in sheep's clothing.  Because we ourselves become wolves in sheep clothing when we attack one another and do not serve with love for one another.  The infiltration is within.  The Holy Spirit is within. "We absorb what is around us" I said in the safety meeting this morning as we discussed heat safety.  But the same is with the Spirit.  Bad spirits are always around, but can not infiltrate a body that is filled with a Good Spirit, the new Covenant, JESUS.  So the fruits are given in due time.  "Oh but we don't grow in numbers" they say at ministries sometimes.  So what?  Good fruit is eaten here and constantly shared.  I've noticed that for plants, they give off thousands perhaps millions of seeds and only a few take to a new life.  And so is our good fruit, at least it is giving off thousands if not millions of good seeds.
Otherwise it'd be a bad tree...
Jesus on a tree, born from the wood of a tree, the stump of Jesse, be with us...we turn to you for Light, and water, love and mercy, the grace to live a life of you, the Way...

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