Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ate It Up

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Prayer and Contemplation Minute Meditations
In prayer we discover what we already have. You start where you are and you deepen what you already have and you realize that you are already there. We already have everything, but we don't know it and we don't experience it.
— from Simply Merton

St. Bridget


From age seven on, Bridget had visions of Christ crucified. Her visions formed the basis for her activity—always with the emphasis on charity rather than spiritual favors.
She lived her married life in the court of the Swedish king Magnus II. Mother of eight children (the second eldest was St. Catherine of Sweden), she lived the strict life of a penitent after her husband's death.

Bridget constantly strove to exert her good influence over Magnus; while never fully reforming, he did give her land and buildings to found a monastery for men and women. This group eventually expanded into an Order known as the Bridgetines (still in existence).

In 1350, a year of jubilee, Bridget braved a plague-stricken Europe to make a pilgrimage to Rome. Although she never returned to Sweden, her years in Rome were far from happy, being hounded by debts and by opposition to her work against Church abuses.

A final pilgrimage to the Holy Land, marred by shipwreck and the death of her son, Charles, eventually led to her death in 1373. In 1999, she, Saints Catherine of Siena (April 29) and Teresa Benedicts of the Cross (Edith Stein, August 9) were named co-patronesses of Europe.


Bridget's visions, rather than isolating her from the affairs of the world, involved her in many contemporary issues, whether they be royal policy or the years that the legitimate Bishop of Rome lived in Avignon, France. She saw no contradiction between mystical experience and secular activity, and her life is a testimony to the possibility of a holy life in the marketplace.


Despite the hardships of life and wayward children (not all became saints), Margery Kempe of Lynn says Bridget was "kind and meek to every creature" and "she had a laughing face."

Patron Saint of:


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....


"Leave me here freely all alone
In cell where never sunlight shone
should no one ever speak to me
This golden silence makes me free."
Part of a poem written by a prisoner at Dachau concentration camp


I exist in a web of relationships - links to nature, people, God. I trace out these links, giving thanks for the life that flows through them. Some links are twisted or broken: I may feel regret, anger, disappointment.I pray for the gift of acceptance and forgiveness.

The Word of God

Reading 1 jer 1:1, 4-10

The words of Jeremiah, son of Hilkiah,
of a priestly family in Anathoth, in the land of Benjamin.

The word of the LORD came to me thus:

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I dedicated you,
a prophet to the nations I appointed you.
"Ah, Lord GOD!" I said,
"I know not how to speak; I am too young."

But the LORD answered me,
Say not, "I am too young."
To whomever I send you, you shall go;
whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Have no fear before them,
because I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.

Then the LORD extended his hand and touched my mouth, saying,

See, I place my words in your mouth!
This day I set you
over nations and over kingdoms,
To root up and to tear down,
to destroy and to demolish,
to build and to plant.

Responsorial Psalm ps 71:1-2, 3-4a, 5-6ab, 15 and 17

R. (see 15ab) I will sing of your salvation.
In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me, and deliver me;
incline your ear to me, and save me.
R. I will sing of your salvation.
Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked.
R. I will sing of your salvation.
For you are my hope, O Lord;
my trust, O God, from my youth.
On you I depend from birth;
from my mother's womb you are my strength.
R. I will sing of your salvation.
My mouth shall declare your justice,
day by day your salvation.
O God, you have taught me from my youth,
and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds.
R. I will sing of your salvation.

Gospel mt 13:1-9

On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea.
Such large crowds gathered around him
that he got into a boat and sat down,
and the whole crowd stood along the shore.
And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying:
"A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and birds came and ate it up.
Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep,
and when the sun rose it was scorched,
and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it.
But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit,
a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.
Whoever has ears ought to hear."


Jesus you speak to me through the words of the gospels. May I respond to your call today. Teach me to recognise your hand at work in my daily living.


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: Jeremiah 1:1, 4-10

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Saint Bridget, Religious

To whomever I send you, you shall go. (Jeremiah 1:7)

The prophet Jeremiah was sent to the people of Jerusalem during a time of sweeping change. As a boy, he saw his country flourish under the sunset of the Davidic dynasty. It was around this time that Jeremiah answered God's call—a call recounted in today's first reading. But as Jeremiah grew older, the seasons changed. Autumn's pleasure gave way to winter's bitterness when the Babylonian empire overran Jerusalem and sent many of the people into exile.

Through all this upheaval, Jeremiah faithfully answered his call to speak on God's behalf. He reminded the people of their covenant with God. He shed light on their sins, but also illuminated the faithfulness of the Lord. He predicted their imminent exile, but he prophesied hope, too, saying that after seventy years, the people would return home to enjoy a springtime of divine favor. Jeremiah revealed that a new covenant—a deeper revelation of God's love—was on the horizon. All of these messages helped usher the people through a pivotal time in their history.

How did Jeremiah accomplish all of this? He might say, "I just answered the call. God did the rest! He gave me the words to speak, the courage to speak them, and the protection I needed from my enemies."

God has a calling for you, too! As he sent Jeremiah to the people of Jerusalem, he wants to send you to your own "people" today. That could mean your family members or co-workers. It could be a fellow parishioner or a stranger on the bus. He is asking you not just to speak a message of love but to demonstrate this love with just as much humility and conviction. So show people Jesus through your smile, your encouraging voice, and your careful service. In so doing, you will help usher people into their own deeper experience of the gospel, God's covenant of love.

So imitate Jeremiah. Prayerfully seek out God's call, and answer it. Then let him do the rest! Trust that he will give you the words to say, the courage to say them, and protection from the enemy.

"Lord Jesus, I humbly accept your call on my life."


Psalm 71:1-6, 15, 17; Matthew 13:1-9



In the Word Among Us reflection above, it is all about "the call" it seems right?  Jeremiah, the prophet, the young prophet was called.  The Lord extended His hands and put them over his mouth, "see I place my words in your mouth".  And He did. Today we heard our Lord giving the parables of the sower while sitting on a boat on the sea.  The setting among the crowds make Him the subject of attention in an amphitheatre setting.  They listened, some grasped the message, most probably did not.  Nowadays we know what Jesus meant, or do we?  Nowadays we have many theatre settings, and what is at the center given attention to?  Do we get anything at all?  Do we learn anything?  I digress.  The call of the Lord is being made to you right now.  That is the seed.  What will grow?  For starters the shoot shall be of faith.  The fruits of faith shall come.  The air comes from the Holy Spirit.  The dirt comes from the earth.  The Light comes from the Son.  It's almost as if plants are "son worshippers" and we are indeed worshippers of the Son of God.  But do I worship the ground He walks on?  Do I give praise to where He walked, how He talked, what He did, where He went, what He told us to do?  Because I believe many of us grow among rocks, and way too many of us among thorns that choke out the plant God planted in the womb.  This week we should be remembering NFP.  Do you know what that is?  Natural Family Planning, the healthy alternative to contraception.  The Holy Church has given it a thumbs up, and it proves to make for happy marriages and healthy bodies.  But the world wants you to pay for contraception, and or give it to for free (someone else can pay).  But who really pays?  Families.  Families suffer.  The weeds are choking the life out of what should be life giving, the plants of God, you and me.  I too need air to breathe (the Holy Spirit). I too need dirt for nourishment (that's what we are made of) and I too need the light of the Son to guide me to live and gives life to live.  Just as the world could not survive without the sun, we can not live without the light of the Son of God.  A saint once said that it would be easier to live without the sun than without the Eucharist (the body of Christ).  "Do you realize that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you - for you alone? He burns with the desire to come into your heart...don't listen to the demon, laugh at him, and go without fear to receive the Jesus of peace and love... "Receive Communion often, very often...there you have the sole remedy, if you want to be cured. Jesus has not put this attraction in your heart for nothing..." "The guest of our soul knows our misery; He comes to find an empty tent within us - that is all He asks." - St. Therese of Lisieux.  Laugh at evil?  Ohhh, no how scary right?  LOL.  We are so backwards, scared of the wrong things.  Look my child, I'm sorry I'm writing later than usual, I been swamped at work, but I have not forgotten you.  I care for you so much, as a matter of fact, it is you that are keeping me in line in my spiritual journey.  It's not me doing it for you, it's a two way thing.  Thank you.  But the point is, it's not me, it's God.  WOW!  You mean He cares for me?  Well, if He cares for the birds in the sky, how much more for you who get to partake of His Divinity?  You are more.  He knew you before you were planted in your mother's womb.  He cares for those in the womb.  Who cares nowadays? Not the ones doing abortions.  But God cares.  And forgives.  That right there is an amazing God.  The blood of millions of innocent killed in wombs should've already brought an onslaught of fury of God's wrath, a whole generation is gone, non-existent, wiped from the face of the earth.  I am lucky to be alive, and so are you. But luck is nothing when living in His Kingdom, it is called a blessing.  You will see this if you have eyes for Him.  You will hear Him if you got ears for Him.  You will love Him back, if you have heart for Him