Friday, June 27, 2014

Humble Of Heart

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Minute Meditations

God is Love

The good that God wills to us is not simply something He has but rather who He is—Himself. God is the unifying, binding force whose will is to join us to Himself in the greatest possible intimacy.
— from Made For Love, Loved By God

St. Cyril of Alexandria

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Saints are not born with halos around their heads. Cyril, recognized as a great teacher of the Church, began his career as archbishop of Alexandria, Egypt, with impulsive, often violent, actions. He pillaged and closed the churches of the Novatian heretics (who required those who denied the faith to be rebaptized), participated in the deposing of St. John Chrysostom (September 13) and confiscated Jewish property, expelling the Jews from Alexandria in retaliation for their attacks on Christians.
Cyril's importance for theology and Church history lies in his championing the cause of orthodoxy against the heresy of Nestorius, who taught that in Christ there were two persons, one human and one divine.

The controversy centered around the two natures in Christ. Nestorius would not agree to the title "God-bearer" for Mary (January 1). He preferred "Christ-bearer," saying there are two distinct persons in Christ (divine and human) joined only by a moral union. He said Mary was not the mother of God but only of the man Christ, whose humanity was only a temple of God. Nestorianism implied that the humanity of Christ was a mere disguise.

Presiding as the pope's representative at the Council of Ephesus (431), Cyril condemned Nestorianism and proclaimed Mary truly the "God-bearer" (the mother of the one Person who is truly God and truly human). In the confusion that followed, Cyril was deposed and imprisoned for three months, after which he was welcomed back to Alexandria as a second Athanasius (the champion against Arianism).

Besides needing to soften some of his opposition to those who had sided with Nestorius, Cyril had difficulties with some of his own allies, who thought he had gone too far, sacrificing not only language but orthodoxy. Until his death, his policy of moderation kept his extreme partisans under control. On his deathbed, despite pressure, he refused to condemn the teacher of Nestorius.


Lives of the saints are valuable not only for the virtue they reveal but also for the less admirable qualities that also appear. Holiness is a gift of God to us as human beings. Life is a process. We respond to God's gift, but sometimes with a lot of zigzagging. If Cyril had been more patient and diplomatic, the Nestorian Church might not have risen and maintained power so long. But even saints must grow out of immaturity, narrowness and selfishness. It is because they—and we—do grow, that we are truly saints, persons who live the life of God.


Cyril's theme: "Only if it is one and the same Christ who is consubstantial with the Father and with men can he save us, for the meeting ground between God and man is the flesh of Christ. Only if this is God's own flesh can man come into contact with Christ's divinity through his humanity. Because of our kinship with the Word made flesh we are sons of God. The Eucharist consummates our kinship with the word, our communion with the Father, our sharing in the divine nature—there is very real contact between our body and that of the Word" (New Catholic Encyclopedia).
Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.


The more we call on the Lord
the more we can feel his Presence.
Day by day he draws us closer
to his loving heart.



Lord, grant me the grace to be free from the excesses of this life.
Let me not get caught up with the desire for wealth.
Keep my heart and mind free to love and serve you.



Where do I sense hope, encouragement, and growth areas in my life? By looking back over the last few months, I may be able to see which activities and occasions have produced rich fruit.  If I do notice such areas, I will determine to give those areas both time and space in the future.

The Word of God

Solemnity of Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Lectionary: 170

Reading 1 dt 7:6-11

Moses said to the people:
"You are a people sacred to the LORD, your God;
he has chosen you from all the nations on the face of the earth
to be a people peculiarly his own.
It was not because you are the largest of all nations
that the LORD set his heart on you and chose you,
for you are really the smallest of all nations.
It was because the LORD loved you
and because of his fidelity to the oath he had sworn your fathers,
that he brought you out with his strong hand
from the place of slavery,
and ransomed you from the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt.
Understand, then, that the LORD, your God, is God indeed,
the faithful God who keeps his merciful covenant
down to the thousandth generation
toward those who love him and keep his commandments,
but who repays with destruction a person who hates him;
he does not dally with such a one,
but makes them personally pay for it.
You shall therefore carefully observe the commandments,
the statutes and the decrees that I enjoin on you today."

Responsorial Psalm ps 103:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8, 10

R/ (cf. 17) The Lord's kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and forget not all his benefits.
R/ The Lord's kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
He pardons all your iniquities,
heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
crowns you with kindness and compassion.
R/ The Lord's kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
R/ The Lord's kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.

Reading 2 1 jn 4:7-16

Beloved, let us love one another,
because love is of God;
everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.
Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.
In this way the love of God was revealed to us:
God sent his only Son into the world
so that we might have life through him.
In this is love:
not that we have loved God, but that he loved us
and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us,
we also must love one another.
No one has ever seen God.
Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us,
and his love is brought to perfection in us.

This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us,
that he has given us of his Spirit.
Moreover, we have seen and testify
that the Father sent his Son as savior of the world.
Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God,
God remains in him and he in God.
We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.

God is love, and whoever remains in love
remains in God and God in him.

Gospel mt 11:25-30

At that time Jesus exclaimed:
"I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to little ones.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.

"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."


Do I notice myself reacting as I pray with the Word of God? Do I feel challenged, comforted, angry? Imagining Jesus sitting or standing by me, I speak out my feelings, as one trusted friend to another.


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: Psalm 103

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The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Bless the Lord, my soul! (Psalm 103:1)

Yes! Bless the Lord today. Praise him and exalt him with all that is within you—not just the things that you are proud of or good at or that seem important to you. God has created you unique among all creation, and his heart is always for you. He loves to help you fulfill his plans for your life.

Know that you can't be too clumsy, absentminded, or stubborn to become God's instrument. He can work with those things! Consider Margaret Mary Alacoque, a seventeenth-century nun considered to be no practical good in her convent. She found it difficult to pray according to the order's established format, and she inspired only scorn and contempt among her fellow nuns. But it was to her that Jesus entrusted the message of the Sacred Heart. He told "useless" Sr. Margaret Mary that three streams flow eternally from his heart: mercy for sinners, help for all in need, and love and light to enable people to shine forth the glory of the Lord.

He pardons all your iniquities, heals all your ills. (Psalm 103:3) His stream of mercy flows without end to forgive and to restore whatever is wrong in you. Invite him to touch whatever is weak, or painful, or shameful, or just plain annoying. He will forgive. He will transform and heal.

He redeems your life from destruction, crowns you with kindness and compassion. (Psalm 103:4) That second stream, help for all in need, flows also without ceasing. Set your heart on serving him, despite the things that you believe disqualify you. You are not too weak, inept, or useless. He understands you and will help you!

Merciful and gracious is the Lord, slow to anger and abounding in kindness. (Psalm 103:8) Love and light flow from Jesus' Sacred Heart. Love, full of grace and mercy, streams towards you daily. That love is ever patient, not easily riled, and infinitely gentle. God cares about you. He wants you to succeed as you promote his glory, in whatever ways he shows you to do that.

So bless the Lord today—and every day!

"Sacred Heart of Jesus, forgive and heal me. Redeem me, and crown me with your steadfast love. Most of all, guide me in all my ways."


Deuteronomy 7:6-11; 1 John 4:7-16; Matthew 11:25-30


What does God want?  From the first Holy Scripture to the Holy Gospel, His will is written.  That we should keep His commandments, that we bless the Lord, that we love one another, that we remain in Him who is Love, that come to Him and take His yoke.  The Sacred Heart of Jesus has a history.  It is an image of Jesus was His heart outside His body.  Ever think about that?  And most often a hand under the heart as if to offer the heart, and the heart is Love.  So often the love offer goes unanswered by the ones it is offered to, namely you and me.  So often we sin, so often we fail.  And the failure is in the rejection of this Divine Love.  That's something I pointed out as I lead a rosary funeral vigil last night.  I introduced myself saying I was volunteering and that I really didn't know anybody there, but that I was honored to pray with everyone.  At the point of giving a short few words, I said we were given God's love and that we have to share it. I also said that to forgive others is to forgive self.  It is in the Lord's prayer and it is truth.  That is the point of love, to give to be made whole and one with Him.  For God gave His only son in the world with flesh and bones and a soul to love us with.  Yet Christ lives in those who believe.  No one has seen God but I see love in you, and if God is love then amazingly I see Him in the flesh.  I wrote a song to that effect last week in which one part said "

I can not live focused only on God and not His children,

His heart is with His elect, with all He has chosen,

That means He is on earth below, not just in Heaven,

That means He lives in hearts of a simple human.

And so the prayers continued in the vigil for a brother unknown but prayed for fervently.  After the rosary, I was saying a few farewell words and I opened the book for vigils and a paper I had just written stood out.  I sensed it was the Holy Spirit that had done this, so I decided to read the paper.  I told the family and friends "we'll let the Holy Spirit work, allow me to read a poem I wrote today and I began to choke up reading it out to them, because earlier that day I was inspired to write at after standing up at my desk only to notice a bloody tear stain image as if the crucifix was telling me something.  I felt like telling the Lord no more, I will love you, and the poem came and I will leave you with this on this beautiful day of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus:

Don't you cry, not one more tear should drop from your eyes,
Before I fail you again, I'd rather die,
I don't know how I am going to show you that I love you,
But I sure am going to try.

I'm sorry so many people have failed you time and time again,
I'm so sorry people really don't care.
I'm sorry I wish I was like you, a true and good friend,
I'm sorry, when it's one way, it's just not fair.

As if you had to shed just one more tear,
As if you didn't die without any fear,
As if you didn't give everything you ever had,
I live as if people owe me, living life mad.

Don't you cry, not one more tear,
I'm going to be brave, with you near I have no fear,
I want to make you so happy, never want to see you cry,
Before I fail you, I would rather die.

I love you Jesus. I love you more and more.
You died for me, and you're all I'll live for.
I love you Jesus. Be sad for us no more.


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So you want more? If you've read down to here, I invite you to listen to a song me and my 9yr. old daughter sung to Jesus, a prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, a prayer turned song "Heart of Jesus".