Friday, August 8, 2014

In His Kingdom

Untitled document

Minute Meditations

Repelled by Sin
The idea of the ugliness of sin and the feeling of sorrow for my personal sins are a response to God's action in my mind as He guides my mind's eye to perceive certain aspects of His truth while I listen to Him speaking through His revealed Word in the Bible.
— from Answers

St. Dominic

Listen to AudioIf he hadn't taken a trip with his bishop, Dominic would probably have remained within the structure of contemplative life; after the trip, he spent the rest of his life being a contemplative in active apostolic work.

Born in old Castile, Spain, he was trained for the priesthood by a priest-uncle, studied the arts and theology, and became a canon of the cathedral at Osma, where there was an attempt to revive the apostolic common life described in the Acts of the Apostles.

On a journey through France with his bishop, he came face to face with the then virulent Albigensian heresy at Languedoc. The Albigensians (Cathari, "the pure") held to two principles—one good, one evil—in the world. All matter is evil—hence they denied the Incarnation and sacraments. On the same principle, they abstained from procreation and took a minimum of food and drink. The inner circle led what some people regarded as a heroic life of purity and asceticism not shared by ordinary followers.

Dominic sensed the need for the Church to combat this heresy, and was commissioned to be part of the preaching crusade against it. He saw immediately why the preaching was not succeeding: the ordinary people admired and followed the ascetical heroes of the Albigenses. Understandably, they were not impressed by the Catholic preachers who traveled with horse and retinues, stayed at the best inns and had servants. Dominic therefore, with three Cistercians, began itinerant preaching according to the gospel ideal. He continued this work for 10 years, being successful with the ordinary people but not with the leaders.

His fellow preachers gradually became a community, and in 1215 he founded a religious house at Toulouse, the beginning of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans).

His ideal, and that of his Order, was to link organically a life with God, study and prayer in all forms, with a ministry of salvation to people by the word of God. His ideal: contemplata tradere: "to pass on the fruits of contemplation" or "to speak only of God or with God."



Legend has it that Dominic saw the sinful world threatened by God's anger but saved by the intercession of Mary, who pointed out to her Son two figures: One was Dominic himself, the other a stranger. In church the next day he saw a ragged beggar enter—the man in the vision. He went up to him, embraced him and said, "You are my companion and must walk with me. If we hold together, no earthly power can withstand us." The beggar was Francis of Assisi. The meeting of the two founders is commemorated twice a year, when on their respective feast days Dominicans and Franciscans celebrate Mass in each other's churches and afterward sit at the same table "to eat the bread which for seven centuries has never been wanting" (Butler's Lives of the Saints).


The Dominican ideal, like that of all religious communities, is for the imitation, not merely the admiration, of the rest of the Church. The effective combining of contemplation and activity is the vocation of truck driver Smith as well as theologian Aquinas. Acquired contemplation is the tranquil abiding in the presence of God, and is an integral part of any full human life. It must be the wellspring of all Christian activity.

Patron Saint of:

Dominican Republic

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


"Be still and know that I am God."
Lord, Your words lead us to the
calmness and greatness of your presence.


"I am free."
When I look at these words in writing
They seem to create in me a feeling of awe.
Yes, a wonderful feeling of freedom.
Thank You, God.


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 na 2:1, 3; 3:1-3, 6-7

See, upon the mountains there advances
the bearer of good news,
announcing peace!
Celebrate your feasts, O Judah,
fulfill your vows!
For nevermore shall you be invaded
by the scoundrel; he is completely destroyed.
The LORD will restore the vine of Jacob,
the pride of Israel,
Though ravagers have ravaged them
and ruined the tendrils.

Woe to the bloody city, all lies,
full of plunder, whose looting never stops!
The crack of the whip, the rumbling sounds of wheels;
horses a-gallop, chariots bounding,
Cavalry charging, the flame of the sword, the flash of the spear,
the many slain, the heaping corpses,
the endless bodies to stumble upon!
I will cast filth upon you,
disgrace you and put you to shame;
Till everyone who sees you runs from you, saying,
"Nineveh is destroyed; who can pity her?
Where can one find any to console her?"

Responsorial Psalm dt 32:35cd-36ab, 39abcd, 41

R. (39c) It is I who deal death and give life.
Close at hand is the day of their disaster,
and their doom is rushing upon them!
Surely, the LORD shall do justice for his people;
on his servants he shall have pity.
R. It is I who deal death and give life.
"Learn then that I, I alone, am God,
and there is no god besides me.
It is I who bring both death and life,
I who inflict wounds and heal them."
R. It is I who deal death and give life.
I will sharpen my flashing sword,
and my hand shall lay hold of my quiver,
"With vengeance I will repay my foes
and requite those who hate me."
R. It is I who deal death and give life.

Gospel mt 16:24-28

Jesus said to his disciples,
"Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life?
Or what can one give in exchange for his life?
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father's glory,
and then he will repay each according to his conduct.
Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here
who will not taste death
until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom."


Remembering that I am still in God's presence,
I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting beside me,
and say whatever is on my mind, whatever is in my heart,
speaking as one friend to another.


I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.

Catholic Meditations

Meditation: Matthew 16:24-28

View NAB Reading at

Subscriber? Login to view archives.

Saint Dominic, Priest

Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. (Matthew 16:24)

A letter to our sisters and brothers who are following Jesus in situations of extreme hardship:

There are millions of you suffering silently—a hundred million, some experts say. You are Catholics and Orthodox, Protestants and Pentecostals, and you live in almost 140 countries in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. You follow Jesus as you take up the crosses that come to us all: sickness, financial worries, family problems, and so on. But unlike most of us who are reading this, you also bear the heavy cross of anti-Christian persecution and violence.

Some of you are denied access to good jobs and educational opportunities. Some of you are forbidden to build churches, pray together, own Bibles and rosaries, or speak about Jesus. Your public officials may turn a blind eye when people destroy your property, bomb your churches, and threaten, injure, rape, or kidnap you. Because you bear the name of Christ, some of you face arrest, imprisonment, torture, and even death. At the very least, eleven of you are killed for your faith every day—and that's been happening for the past ten years.

Brothers and sisters, we honor you for your courageous witness to Christ! You are ordinary men and women who did not choose this cross, and you probably do not think of yourselves as heroes of the faith. Yet every day you put your physical welfare on the line, denying yourselves so that you won't deny the Lord. You follow him by making what Pope Francis has called the "great and difficult decision" to entrust your whole self to God's faithfulness. Truly, you are, as the Holy Father has said, "examples for us" and "a treasure for the Church."

We promise to remember you and to learn more about the struggles you face. We will stand with you by advocating for your rights and by supporting organizations like Aid to the Church in Need and Catholic Relief Services. And we will raise a mighty wave of prayer to heaven, that the Lord will release you from oppression and let you live in his peace.

"Lord Jesus, do justice for your people. Have pity on them, and grant peace to their lands. Lord, let your kingdom come!"


Nahum 2:1, 3; 3:1-3, 6-7; (Psalm) Deuteronomy 32:35-36, 39, 41

I wrote a song this year that says basically (as if our Lord speaking) "I know you're going to hurts me to see you leave, but I will be here waiting for the day you decide to return".  A return to innocence.  This is what people want to see, but most won't do it for themselves, and so you are being called to this life of unwavering purity of soul.  The restoration for the degradation that ocurred with sin.  The fall of Adam and Eve is now being restored through Jesus, you and me.  For those that have been struck, let me tell you a silly thing that happened on our vacation trip with my family; we were pushing our double child stroller in the hot humid weather, sweating, the kids wanted to find the arcade.  We wandered following the sign to no avail, and my little toddler was falling asleep, and bobbing his head almost falling forward off the stroller.  One of the times he actually  fell forward and as he was falling I lunged to catch him, and grasping only his shirt, the shirt stretched and his head hit the concrete floor waking up my little boy in tears.  I was so mad at myself for not having caught him, or better yet, thought of tying him.  I was too busy huffing and sweating pushing them down the sidewalks, in a sense distracted.  I carried the boy to comfort him rushing to get ice for his head, all I could do is hold him tight and blow on his head to cool him and pray for healing.  For the rest of the trip, every time I saw the injury I wanted to kiss it, somehow make up.  On the plane back home yesterday, I held him as he fell asleep on my lap.  The thought hit me, "could it be that this is how God feels for those that are injured?".  If I, a mere mortal, can love like this, then how much more can He?  That is to say, we need healing.  That is to say, He is the healer.  It is to say, He holds tight those that have been injured in any way, because what He wants is good, and healing.  But how often do we injure others?  I know I have a personal problem with those that I saw growing up, grew up going to church together, and as we grew up, we grew apart.  They are doing so well "on their own", thriving in business, or just doing whatever the heck pleases their hearts...but apart from God, almost atheists, gaining the whole world.  Now here is the personal problem...I don't care for their salvation, because never have I prayed a single rosary for any one of them, never have I lifted up their name to be saved, simultaneously calling upon them damnation...yet I dare pray "forgive them as I want to be forgiven" in the Lord's prayer.  I need healing.  And I have prayed for them before writing to you, but open up the revelation from this wretched heart to lead all souls better to Heaven.  A call back to purity, and innocence as when we were a child...of God.  He is waiting for the return.  The return calls for a denial of pleasures and gaining the whole material world...a true cross, a sacrifice.  That is to say to realize the temptations and seductions and say "you know what?  I choose God instead" and immediately begin a path back to His arms, total surrender.
You see, the biggest problem isn't that there are so many atheists or devils, no, it is the very fact that the millions of so called believers won't actually do what they say to believe. Hardened hearts? 
So believe what Mr. Adrian?  The question should be "believe who?".
Believe God.
  Believe He is calling His followers today to deny themselves, pick up our cross and FOLLOW HIM.  Do what He does.  Do what He says...come back to be healed and one with Him, in Him, and through Him.
What an honor to be called to this

Subscribe to the Going4th mailing list.