Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Person Finds

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Minute Meditations

Listening to God

Prayer should be more listening than speaking.  God gave you two ears and one mouth...use them proportionately.
— from Tweet Inspiration

St. Peter Chrysologus


A man who vigorously pursues a goal may produce results far beyond his expectations and his intentions. Thus it was with Peter of the Golden Words, as he was called, who as a young man became bishop of Ravenna, the capital of the empire in the West.

At the time there were abuses and vestiges of paganism evident in his diocese, and these he was determined to battle and overcome. His principal weapon was the short sermon, and many of them have come down to us. They do not contain great originality of thought. They are, however, full of moral applications, sound in doctrine and historically significant in that they reveal Christian life in fifth-century Ravenna. So authentic were the contents of his sermons that, some 13 centuries later, he was declared a doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XIII. He who had earnestly sought to teach and motivate his own flock was recognized as a teacher of the universal Church.

In addition to his zeal in the exercise of his office, Peter Chrysologus was distinguished by a fierce loyalty to the Church, not only in its teaching, but in its authority as well. He looked upon learning not as a mere opportunity but as an obligation for all, both as a development of God-given faculties and as a solid support for the worship of God.

Some time before his death, St. Peter returned to Imola, his birthplace, where he died around A.D. 450.


Eutyches, the leader of the heresy denying the humanity of Christ, sought support from church leaders, Peter Chrysologus among them, after his condemnation in ad 448. Peter frankly told him: "In the interest of peace and the faith, we cannot judge in matters of faith without the consent of the Roman bishop." He further exhorted Eutyches to accept the mystery of the Incarnation in simple faith. Peter reminded him that if the peace of the church causes joy in heaven, then divisions must give birth to grief.


Quite likely, it was St. Peter Chrysologus's attitude toward learning that gave substance to his exhortations. Next to virtue, learning, in his view, was the greatest improver of the human mind and the support of true religion. Ignorance is not a virtue, nor is anti-intellectualism. Knowledge is neither more nor less a source of pride than physical, administrative or financial prowess. To be fully human is to expand our knowledge—whether sacred or secular—according to our talent and opportunity.
Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.


At any time of the day or night we can call on Jesus.
He is always waiting, listening for our call.
What a wonderful blessing.
No phone needed, no e-mails, just a whisper.


If God were trying to tell me something, would I know?
If God were reassuring me or challenging me, would I notice?
I ask for the grace to be free of my own preoccupations
and open to what God may be saying to me.


How do I find myself today?
Where am I with God? With others?
Do I have something to be grateful for? Then I give thanks.
Is there something I am sorry for? Then I ask forgiveness. 

The Word of God

Reading 1 jer 15:10, 16-21

Woe to me, mother, that you gave me birth!
a man of strife and contention to all the land!
I neither borrow nor lend,
yet all curse me.
When I found your words, I devoured them;
they became my joy and the happiness of my heart,
Because I bore your name,
O LORD, God of hosts.
I did not sit celebrating
in the circle of merrymakers;
Under the weight of your hand I sat alone
because you filled me with indignation.
Why is my pain continuous,
my wound incurable, refusing to be healed?
You have indeed become for me a treacherous brook,
whose waters do not abide!
Thus the LORD answered me:
If you repent, so that I restore you,
in my presence you shall stand;
If you bring forth the precious without the vile,
you shall be my mouthpiece.
Then it shall be they who turn to you,
and you shall not turn to them;
And I will make you toward this people
a solid wall of brass.
Though they fight against you,
they shall not prevail,
For I am with you,
to deliver and rescue you, says the LORD.
I will free you from the hand of the wicked,
and rescue you from the grasp of the violent.

Responsorial Psalm ps 59:2-3, 4, 10-11, 17, 18

R. (17d) God is my refuge on the day of distress.
Rescue me from my enemies, O my God;
from my adversaries defend me.
Rescue me from evildoers;
from bloodthirsty men save me.
R. God is my refuge on the day of distress.
For behold, they lie in wait for my life;
mighty men come together against me,
Not for any offense or sin of mine, O LORD.
R. God is my refuge on the day of distress.
O my strength! for you I watch;
for you, O God, are my stronghold,
As for my God, may his mercy go before me;
may he show me the fall of my foes.
R. God is my refuge on the day of distress.
But I will sing of your strength
and revel at dawn in your mercy;
You have been my stronghold,
my refuge in the day of distress.
R. God is my refuge on the day of distress.
O my strength! your praise will I sing;
for you, O God, are my stronghold,
my merciful God!
R. God is my refuge on the day of distress.

Gospel mt 13:44-46

Jesus said to his disciples:
"The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field,
which a person finds and hides again,
and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant
searching for fine pearls.
When he finds a pearl of great price,
he goes and sells all that he has and buys it."


Begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture you have just read. What part of it strikes a chord in you? Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story you have heard recently - will slowly rise to the surface of your consciousness. If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to you?


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 13:44-46

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Saint Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure. (Matthew 13:44)

There's one thing about the treasure seekers and merchants in today's Gospel: they recognized a good thing when they saw it. They grasped the value of the treasure before them, and they did everything possible to lay hold of it. This parable wouldn't make any sense if the seekers didn't understand what they had found. They would have passed it over without another thought. But how could they do that? They had found a great treasure, an incomparable pearl! Of course they would sell everything so that they could acquire it.

God's life in you is that treasure. And he wants to show you just how valuable it is. He wants you to understand it with such depth and clarity that you won't hesitate to throw aside anything that keeps you from experiencing its fullness. So keep your eyes open for the glimpses he will give you of the different ways he is at work in your life. The more you see, the more you will want to embrace his work by cooperating with him more fully.

You can probably think of a time when you felt led to speak to someone, and in retrospect you felt sure that the Holy Spirit had used you to comfort or encourage them in a specific way. Wasn't that an awesome feeling? It probably made you more alert to other opportunities, didn't it? Or think about a really good confession, a time when you had a deep encounter with God's mercy and experienced a real sense of renewal and hope. It probably helped make you more comfortable with the sacrament. Or when you saw the healing that came from your attempt to reconcile with someone after an argument—didn't that make it worth letting go of a grudge or resentment?

Let God surprise you by showing you how much he's doing in your life! Let him convince you of the power of his transforming love. Let him inspire you to do all you can to welcome him into every area of your life.

"Father, you are worth more than anything else in my life. Open my eyes to the treasure of your work in me so that I can cast off anything of lesser value!"


Jeremiah 15:10, 16-21; Psalm 59:2-4, 10-11, 17-18

Today's 5minutos goes as follows:
"Of how many "strategies" does Jesus propose us to accept His Kingdom! Today He tells us how He presents us the opportunity to do "the business of your life".  Generally we consider the "business" the daily cases: money, houses, consumer goods, realities of life, but we believe the "business" of the Kingdom is not important.  So Jesus "shakes" us so that we understand that to be about the "businesses" we can lose the business, the opportunity, the occasion that is unique and unrepeatable of reaching our human happiness and our salvation.   There are so many things to do, but 'are they so important as to play with salvation?'  It is precise to understand, furthermore, that this gift of the Kingdom that Jesus makes us and we call a "christian vocation" does not admit "mixtures".   "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, with all your strength." 
It is not enough to have just a little religion, some "candles", some devotion, one or other Mass throughout the year, a little prayer, a little charity, a little humility, etc.  The Gospel commits us to a person in their totality.  God who is love invites us through purely His grace, but this invitation commits all the life.  A human invitation can be accepted or rejected.  If it is rejected, there is no serious harm; if it is accepted one is not committed existentially.  In return, God is so marvelous, that upon inviting, He commits, and it is a compromise that changes life totally, He transfigures it, makes it new.  Is your faith to you a treasure?"

Today we read: "When I found your words, I devoured them; they became my joy and the happiness of my heart, Because I bore your name".  Jeremiah devoured the Word of God.  As Catholics we devour the Word that became flesh.  But I will be darned when I see that person try to devour another.  With exasperation this morning in our safety meeting, a culmination brought me to say almost in tears with sentiment "what did we read on the opening slide of the safety presentation?  We read In God We Trust, didn't we?  And just so, I am trusting you to do a good and safe job.  I wear many hats hear at work and I notice what is going on overall...what I see is not bad trucks or bad work, but mostly bad attitudes!"  Then I spoke looking into the eyes of every person that I knew had failed to come to work, or coming in late, or the like.  I said "I am not asking you to do extraordinary things!  I am asking you, just like you ask me for things, for you to do your job!".  How many of us wear the name "Christian" but are really not there for the Lord?  Sure we ask tons of things of God (if we ask at all), but when He asks us for something the answer is almost automatically "no".  And what in the world is He asking for?  To accept what He offers.  What is He offering?  LOL.  SALVATION.  He is offering a "get out of jail free" card.  What jail?  I've heard of people coming to the U.S. and refer to it as having arrived to a "golden cage" (jaula de oro).  When they were free, now they are in a beautiful trap.  How can I say that?  Treasures.  We go after the money.  We go after that big house, that nicer car.  Then we are in debt and no time for nobod or nothing.  But this is an analogy of what is left behind.  I've noticed most of these "trapped" people have let go of the faith.  As I read the Gospel, it almost spoke to me "you have to be smart, you have to plan to get what you want".  And we do plan and get smart to get what we want, don't we?  I'm trying to help my sister in law and husband who are living with us to find a place to live.  They got turned down at the real estate, said to build up more credit. Now we got to get smart.  Throughout the summer I've been planning everything around Holy Adoration, or Cursillo meetings as much as possible.  You have to get smart for the things of the Lord.  But, there is one BIG problem.  We "can't" therefore we "won't".  They say, "where there is a will, there is a way".  But if we don't wan't, there is no way.  Wayne Gretzky, the great hockey player, said "you miss 100% of the shots you don't take".    It is the truth when we deal with taking shots for the business of God.  Just as in earthly business, you win some and lose some.  Yesterday a salesman tried to sell me this and that.  When he saw I wasn't taking one thing, he tried another, until I took the bait.  The same is for fishers of men.  Just because today we didn't get a fish doesn't mean tomorrow we wont' have a net full.  The difference is trying, and accepting.  Accept the treasure of God found in the human heart and in the Holy Presence.  What will I give up for the Lord?  Will you give it up with Love?  I'm telling you, I see and hear things that most people would think I'm crazy, until they start seeing, and hearing, and believing, and it is a city of Gold.  Beautiful Heavens.  Extraordinary life in the most ordinary of situations.  I ended the safety meeting with "Ok guys, I'm going to stop crying (and laughing) I said, let's eat these burritos and donuts we got for everyone and get to work".  And so I leave you with the same about this business of God as if the ending blessing in Holy Mass "Go now, eat (consume Christ), and let's get to work" and this is a true labor of Love....

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