Tuesday, September 2, 2014

They Were Astonished

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Minute Meditations

The Gift of Friendship

The amazing friends I have: I didn't "find" them; I certainly don't deserve them; but I do have them. And there is only one feasible reason: because my friends are God's gift to me in proof of His love for me, His friendship.
— from Made For Love, Loved By God

Blessed John Francis Burté and Companions
(d. 1792; d. 1794)

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These priests were victims of the French Revolution. Though their martyrdom spans a period of several years, they stand together in the Church's memory because they all gave their lives for the same principle. The Civil Constitution of the Clergy (1791) required all priests to take an oath which amounted to a denial of the faith. Each of these men refused and was executed.

John Francis Burté became a Franciscan at 16 and after ordination taught theology to the young friars. Later he was guardian of the large Conventual friary in Paris until he was arrested and held in the convent of the Carmelites.

Appolinaris of Posat was born in 1739 in Switzerland. He joined the Capuchins and acquired a reputation as an excellent preacher, confessor and instructor of clerics. Sent to the East as a missionary, he was in Paris studying Oriental languages when the French Revolution began. Refusing the oath, he was swiftly arrested and detained in the Carmelite convent.

Severin Girault, a member of the Third Order Regular, was a chaplain for a group of sisters in Paris. Imprisoned with the others, he was the first to die in the slaughter at the convent.


These three plus 182 others—including several bishops and many religious and diocesan priests—were massacred at the Carmelite house in Paris on September 2, 1792. They were beatified in 1926.

John Baptist Triquerie, born in 1737, entered the Conventual Franciscans. He was chaplain and confessor of Poor Clare monasteries in three cities before he was arrested for refusing to take the oath. He and 13 diocesan priests were guillotined in Laval on January 21, 1794. He was beatified in 1955.



"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" was the motto of the French Revolution. If individuals have "inalienable rights," as the Declaration of Independence states, these must come not from the agreement of society (which can be very fragile) but directly from God. Do we believe that? Do we act on it?


"The upheaval which occurred in France toward the close of the 18th century wrought havoc in all things sacred and profane and vented its fury against the Church and her ministers. Unscrupulous men came to power who concealed their hatred for the Church under the deceptive guise of philosophy.... It seemed that the times of the early persecutions had returned. The Church, spotless bride of Christ, became resplendent with bright new crowns of martyrdom" (Acts of Martyrdom).
Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.


God is with me, but more, God is within me.
Let me dwell for a moment on God's life-giving presence
in my body, in my mind, in my heart, as I sit here, right now.


I will ask God's help,
to be free from my own preoccupations,
to be open to God in this time of prayer,
to come to know, love and serve God more.


In the presence of my loving Creator, I look honestly at my feelings over the last day, the highs, the lows and the level ground. Can I see where the Lord has been present?

Brothers and sisters:
The Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God.
Among men, who knows what pertains to the man
except his spirit that is within?
Similarly, no one knows what pertains to God except the Spirit of God.
We have not received the spirit of the world
but the Spirit who is from God,
so that we may understand the things freely given us by God.
And we speak about them not with words taught by human wisdom,
but with words taught by the Spirit,
describing spiritual realities in spiritual terms.

Now the natural man does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God,
for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it,
because it is judged spiritually.
The one who is spiritual, however, can judge everything
but is not subject to judgment by anyone.

For "who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to counsel him?"
But we have the mind of Christ.

Responsorial Psalm ps 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13ab, 13cd-14

R. (17) The Lord is just in all his ways.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. The Lord is just in all his ways.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. The Lord is just in all his ways.
Making known to men your might
and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
R. The Lord is just in all his ways.
The LORD is faithful in all his words
and holy in all his works.
The LORD lifts up all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
R. The Lord is just in all his ways.

Gospel lk 4:31-37

Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee.
He taught them on the sabbath,
and they were astonished at his teaching
because he spoke with authority.
In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon,
and he cried out in a loud voice,
"What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are--the Holy One of God!"
Jesus rebuked him and said, "Be quiet! Come out of him!"
Then the demon threw the man down in front of them
and came out of him without doing him any harm.
They were all amazed and said to one another,
"What is there about his word?
For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits,
and they come out."
And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.


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.


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: 1 Corinthians 2:10-16

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22nd Week in Ordinary Time

We speak about them not with words taught by human wisdom, but with words taught by the Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:13)

Have you ever worked in public relations? You probably have, even if you didn't realize it at the time. If you've ever commended a friend when they weren't around, or sung the praises of your favorite restaurant, that's a form of PR! It's all about strategic conversation. It's meant to help other people appreciate someone or something more in the hopes that they will develop their own relationship with that person or organization.

In today's first reading, Paul affirms that we are all called to be in public relations. Our job is to engage people in a conversation that will help them appreciate God and welcome him into their lives. Throughout your life, you will connect with countless people, some of whom you know well and others whom you just meet in passing. Some of these people know the truth about God and his love for the world, but others may have misconceptions. Some may feel far from God, while others deny his existence. So you have to learn how to tailor your words and gestures to suit each person. Like a good PR person, you have to be flexible and creative.

If this is starting to seem like a job for someone with a little more field experience, don't worry. Paul encourages us not to rely only on our human abilities—they simply aren't enough. Not even the smoothest evangelist can draw a person to the Lord on his or her own. You need to cooperate with the Holy Spirit. Let him help steer your conversations in the right direction. Let him give you suggestions about how you can connect with each person you are speaking with.

It takes just a little practice to keep one ear open to the person you are speaking with and the other ear open to the Spirit. What does this person need right now? What does he or she think about God? How can I show God's love to him or her? The Spirit loves to answer these questions!

So work on your PR abilities. You'll be surprised at how often the Spirit suggests a thought or idea that will make a big difference in someone's life!

"Holy Spirit, speak through me so that people may come to know you better."


Psalm 145:8-14; Luke 4:31-37



 Today's 5 minutos says:
  "The 'demons', for the Jewish world are 'something' created and distinguish themselves totally and clearly to the divine; its action and character are something radically perverse, for they are summitted to the empire of Satan, the rebellious spirit, or devil.  Inasmuch, the 'demonic possession' is negative: the demons of the land are found summitted to Satan, they tempt, the man, they perver, until they take them far from God.  The first form of manifestation of this "possession" is sin; but then intimately associates itself with sin, the infirmity, overall psychologically.  Ultimately, it destroys everything that unites man in his personal life (human and religious) appears as a demonic influence.  Regardless, Israel believed that these must be expulsed with the true force of God and not through occult rites and with the help of demoniac powers.  Jesus acts with this force of God, with authority and manifested that He comes to free man profoundly of all that impedes to live as a human and child of God.  Jesus does not offer new "rites" of exorcism, He tells us the only way to conquer always evil: live close with Him, the way to Calvary and Easter, death to sin to resurrect to a new life, it is the best "antidote" against any demonic "possession".  Do you believe you are possessed by "demons" that tempt you, pervert you, and try to pull you from God?  If you want to be free from these "demons", recognize them and ask Jesus to accompany you and give you His grace to defeat them like Him.  Or you will tell Him: "What have you to do with us Jesus?" (Lk.4:34)"

The Word of The Lord, we read every day.  And it is the Word that frees us.  What is keeping you from God?  Usually, 90% of the time, sin.  The other 10%?  Doubt, yet Satan authors both sin and doubt.  I find it perplexing, there are some people that when you begin to speak about devils etc, they want to change the conversation, just don't want to hear about it.  It's one thing to give attention to the devil, but another to speak against it, the evils of the world, like the killings every day of Christians all around the world by word and deed, even the millions of unborn Christians in our own land.  "Conform to my belief or die".  Sounds like "my way or the highway".  And that sounds like no humility.  It's pretty easy to realize sin, but not when you are becoming hardened.  So don't turn the channel just because we read about demons and devils.  Take charge and take control and throw them out!  How?  Get close to Jesus.  And in idle time rosaries, and if praying ain't working, fast.  If fast ain't working, bring in the Church, and if that don't work?  LOL, devote your entire living life as as an offering to Jesus.  How can I offer bad?  Offer (give and die) to sin until there is none to offer.  Thing is, we don't, and we won't.  The naturalist will not understand because they use earthly wisdom to try and understand what is not natural.  Most of us here can agree, we know the devil is out there.  Knowing this, why don't we take safety precautions to seal our home? Too many cracks when we relax.  When there is hardly any movement around my house, snakes show up. Just last week one was found near our sidewalk, a small rattlesnake making its home nearly inside my own.  I use this analogy because the same happens in the spiritual world.  When there is not much going on for the Lord, snakes start to come by, demons.  They want to find a place to call home, where they can take shelter and feed and will bite anyone in the way.  Open your eyes to this reality and believe in the power of our Lord Jesus Christ.  What if I was so terrified of snakes that I wasn't living comfortable knowing they could be in my house?  That means the snake has control.  Now I am telling you, there is nothing to be afraid of, God has given us control and authority to live free.  Free from snakes, sin.  Free from being afraid.  Recognize though. Those around Him in today's Gospel were astonished, stunned, yet only one recognized Him as the Son of God, and it was a demon.  How far are we fooled in our thoughts that we cannot see God right in front of our face? Doubt. Sin.  Living these things blocks the way to freedom.  Holiness is the way. Spread the news and live the news.  Jesus is hear with all the power we need to live...with HIM