Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Account Of The Son

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Minute Meditations

Mirror of Christ

Mary does not ask us to concentrate on her. She called herself the handmaid of the Lord. The handmaid's eyes are not on herself, but on her Lord. Mary is a mirror of Christ and the Church.
— from Holding Jesus

St. Thomas of Villanova



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St. Thomas was from Castile in Spain and received his surname from the town where he was raised. He received a superior education at the University of Alcala and became a popular professor of philosophy there.

After joining the Augustinian friars at Salamanca he was ordained and resumed his teaching--despite a continuing absentmindedness and poor memory. He became prior and then provincial of the friars, sending the first Augustinians to the New World. He was nominated by the emperor to the archbishopric of Granada, but refused. When the see again became vacant he was pressured to accept. The money his cathedral chapter gave him to furnish his house was given to a hospital instead. His explanation to them was that "our Lord will be better served by your money being spent on the poor in the hospital. What does a poor friar like myself want with furniture?"

He wore the same habit that he had received in the novitiate, mending it himself. The canons and domestics were ashamed of him, but they could not convince him to change. Several hundred poor came to Thomas's door each morning and received a meal, wine and money. When criticized because he was at times being taken advantage of, he replied, "If there are people who refuse to work, that is for the governor and the police to deal with. My duty is to assist and relieve those who come to my door." He took in orphans and paid his servants for every deserted child they brought to him. He encouraged the wealthy to imitate his example and be richer in mercy and charity than they were in earthly possessions.

Criticized because he refused to be harsh or swift in correcting sinners, he said, "Let him (the complainer) inquire whether St. Augustine and St. John Chrysostom used anathemas and excommunication to stop the drunkenness and blasphemy which were so common among the people under their care."

As he lay dying, Thomas commanded that all the money he possessed be distributed to the poor. His material goods were to be given to the rector of his college. Mass was being said in his presence when after Communion he breathed his last, reciting the words: "Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit."

Thomas of Villanova was already called in his lifetime "the almsgiver" and "the father of the poor." He was canonized in 1658.


The absent-minded professor is a stock comic figure. This absent-minded professor earned even more derisive laughs with his determined shabbiness and his willingness to let the poor who flocked to his door take advantage of him. He embarrassed his peers, but Jesus was enormously pleased with him. We are often tempted to tend our image in others' eyes without paying sufficient attention about how we look to Christ. Thomas still urges us to rethink our priorities.

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



I remind myself that, as I sit here now,
God is gazing on me with love and holding me in being.
I pause for a moment and think of this.



It is so easy to get caught up 
with the trappings of wealth in this life.
Grant, O Lord, that I may be free 
from greed and selfishness.
Remind me that the best things in life are free. 
Love, laughter, caring and sharing.



How am I really feeling? Lighthearted? Heavy-hearted? I may be very much at peace, happy to be here. Equally, I may be frustrated, worried or angry. I acknowledge how I really am.
It is the real me that the Lord loves.

The Word of God

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Wednesday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 cor 7:25-31

Brothers and sisters:
In regard to virgins, I have no commandment from the Lord,
but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy.
So this is what I think best because of the present distress:
that it is a good thing for a person to remain as he is.
Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek a separation.
Are you free of a wife? Then do not look for a wife.
If you marry, however, you do not sin,
nor does an unmarried woman sin if she marries;
but such people will experience affliction in their earthly life,
and I would like to spare you that.

I tell you, brothers, the time is running out.
From now on, let those having wives act as not having them,
those weeping as not weeping, 
those rejoicing as not rejoicing,
those buying as not owning,
those using the world as not using it fully.
For the world in its present form is passing away.

Responsorial Psalm ps 45:11-12, 14-15, 16-17

R. (11) Listen to me, daughter; see and bend your ear.
Hear, O daughter, and see; turn your ear,
forget your people and your father's house.
So shall the king desire your beauty;
for he is your lord, and you must worship him.
R. Listen to me, daughter; see and bend your ear.
All glorious is the king's daughter as she enters;
her raiment is threaded with spun gold.
In embroidered apparel she is borne in to the king;
behind her the virgins of her train are brought to you.
R. Listen to me, daughter; see and bend your ear.
They are borne in with gladness and joy;
they enter the palace of the king.
The place of your fathers your sons shall have;
you shall make them princes through all the land.
R. Listen to me, daughter; see and bend your ear.

Gospel lk 6:20-26

Raising his eyes toward his disciples Jesus said:
"Blessed are you who are poor,
for the Kingdom of God is yours.
Blessed are you who are now hungry,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who are now weeping,
for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you,
and when they exclude and insult you,
and denounce your name as evil
on account of the Son of Man.

Rejoice and leap for joy on that day!
Behold, your reward will be great in heaven. 
For their ancestors treated the prophets
in the same way.

But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
But woe to you who are filled now,
for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will grieve and weep.
Woe to you when all speak well of you,
for their ancestors treated the false 
prophets in this way."



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: 1 Corinthians 7:25-31

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23rd Week in Ordinary Time

It is a good thing for a person to remain as he is. (1 Corinthians 7:26)

Why is it that the invitation to pray "for vocations" is usually understood to mean pray only for certain vocations—namely, for more priests and religious? Why do Catholics who are single—widowed, divorced, or unmarried—often feel vocationless and in spiritual limbo? Why isn't Christian marriage more generally seen as a high calling and not just a default option for people who can't handle a consecrated celibate life?

These are tough questions, but one explanation is that in the early centuries of the Church, there developed a tremendous appreciation for monastic life. This was an inspired, important development. However, it was not complemented by a similar appreciation of Christian marriage and lay life. As a result, passages like today's reading were often interpreted to mean that consecrated celibacy is the only serious option for people seeking a life centered on God. Even saints like Ambrose saw marriage as a God-given but lesser calling—one in which "we seem to lower and close eyes that were intent on the kingdom of God for a kind of slumber here in the world and are asleep to divine things."

It's true that Catholic tradition sees celibacy for the "kingdom of heaven" as a kind of shorter, steeper road toward union with God (Matthew 19:12). Yet as Vatican II affirmed, there is one universal call to holiness, and it addresses "all Christians in any state or walk of life" (On the Church, 40). Each person's vocation is his or her "particular gift from God," says St. Paul, and what ultimately matters is how well we obey God in this individual calling (1 Corinthians 7:7, 19).

If you have been called to consecrated celibacy, live the gift! The world needs your witness to the reality of a life beyond this one. If you are married, embrace your call! As you love your spouse and care for your family, you are becoming a hero of the faith. If you are single, know that you are a precious gift, loved by God and commissioned to help build the kingdom. Whoever you are, wherever you are, sink your roots into your calling, and bloom into the holiness God offers you.

"Jesus, I embrace the gift of my present life and circumstances. Help me to value my calling as the path to deeper union with you."


Psalm 45:11-12, 14-17; Luke 6:20-26


Once you have come to know the Lord, you will realize that you don't have to suffer for Jesus...You GET To Suffer for Jesus!  This is actual grace.  This is a life that is strange to the world.  This is living your vocation, God calling you where you are to be one with Him.  And the things that should make you stand with pride and arrogance, they will hurt you, once you live in grace.  I don't like to stand in front of a crowd to preach or sing.  People may see that as weird, but you do not understand, it is not about me, it is all about Him, and that ultimately is why I do what I don't want to do.  Doing those things you don't want, you start realizing when living grace,  are the actual things God wants.  We prayed today "LISTEN TO ME, daughter, see and bend your ear".  Only to be followed by the powerful words of Jesus in the Holy Gospel.  He wants us to listen, bend your ear so that you don't miss any of it.  Blessed are they who are "poor, hungry, weeping, hated, insulted and denounced as evil" all for Jesus.  Notice the difference is made, when it is made for Jesus.  But whoa to those who are rich, and laugh, and are spoken well of.  Wait, wait, don't we all just love to be rich and laugh and be spoken well of?  Most fights I know of are because of money, someone laughing at someone or being made fun of.  Once again, the difference is the lack of Jesus, the love and humility and being blessed for being ridiculed, being blessed for being poor, being blessed for hungering, being blessed for being hated and insulted for ...Jesus!
I don't HAVE TO serve at church, I GET to serve!  I don't HAVE TO suffer the pains of offering my time, talent and treasure for Jesus, I GET TO!  I don't HAVE TO cry for doing what I do, I GET TO!  I don't HAVE TO be insulted for being a Jesus lover, I GET TO.  "If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.o"  Jn 15:19.  "If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.i " 1Peter 4:14.  This leads me to say what is perhaps theological; what God wants is good, and that is why He wants us to stay away from sin...for our own good.  He has no intention to condemn but to save.  After people left from my boy's birthday party yesterday evening, I was sweeping and a thought hit me " is perplexing and awesome to see that Jesus came as someone needy".  Because God we feel is all fullness, but He came to the world as one in need. But need of what?  It is a question in need of who.  He needs you.  The beggar needs the giver as the giver needs the beggar.  I need to give and I need to beg, together we are one and equalized in love.  I don't HAVE TO write to you every day of the week.  I GET TO.  And many times it has gotten me in trouble, at work, at home, and even the church.  I suffer more than people know, and it is good.  Not that I am happy about it, but I know in my heart, the right of God is being placed.  I have the right as a baptized soul to let the Holy Spirit speak.  If it gets me in trouble it is because the world does not understand nor see with the eyes and heart of Jesus.  I am One with Him.  He needs me, a beggar and sinner, and I need Him.  Yet He presents Himself as needy, many times often alone and abandoned, where in turn I become the giver and He the beggar.  What an awesome privelege to serve.  That is why my life is centered on Him, and so based on an equalizer that balances out the rest of my life.  Through the eyes of a saint, we get to suffer, but only as a gift from God.  Mine is an oath in the Sacrament, but so is His.  He promises to heal, so long as I have faith in the healing...thus the healer.  So take heart.  We are among realms of angels, not just demons.  They appear out of nowhere, and I will never know their names.  They are among us watching and guiding us.  Listen to them.  This dimension of the world is not easily seen, but only realized in time and in faith.  This is a great gift that lets the beatitudes become a reality in our lives.  God wouldn't have said it if it were not true, now ours is the faith to step into this realm and dominion, in reality...a point of no return