Friday, September 12, 2014

Do You Notice

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Minute Meditations

Nothing to Fear
The Most High God came down to us in a perfect way through the humble Virgin Mary, without losing anything of his divinity or holiness. It is likewise through Mary that we poor creatures must ascend to almighty God in a perfect manner without having anything to fear. —St. Louis de Montfort
— from A 40-Day Spiritual Workout

Holy Name of Mary
Mary always points us to God, reminding us of God's infinite goodness.

Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary
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This feast is a counterpart to the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus (January 3); both have the possibility of uniting people easily divided on other matters.

The feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary began in Spain in 1513 and in 1671 was extended to all of Spain and the Kingdom of Naples. In 1683, John Sobieski, king of Poland, brought an army to the outskirts of Vienna to stop the advance of Muslim armies loyal to Mohammed IV in Constantinople. After Sobieski entrusted himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary, he and his soldiers thoroughly defeated the Muslims. Pope Innocent XI extended this feast to the entire Church.


Mary always points us to God, reminding us of God's infinite goodness. She helps us to open our hearts to God's ways, wherever those may lead us. Honored under the title "Queen of Peace," Mary encourages us to cooperate with Jesus in building a peace based on justice, a peace that respects the fundamental human rights (including religious rights) of all peoples.


"Lord our God, when your Son was dying on the altar of the cross, he gave us as our mother the one he had chosen to be his own mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary; grant that we who call upon the holy name of Mary, our mother, with confidence in her protection may receive strength and comfort in all our needs" (Marian Sacramentary, Mass for the Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary).

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....


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.


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?

The Word of God
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Friday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 cor 9:16-19, 22b-27

Brothers and sisters:
If I preach the Gospel, this is no reason for me to boast,
for an obligation has been imposed on me,
and woe to me if I do not preach it!
If I do so willingly, I have a recompense,
but if unwillingly, then I have been entrusted with a stewardship.
What then is my recompense?
That, when I preach, I offer the Gospel free of charge
so as not to make full use of my right in the Gospel.

Although I am free in regard to all,
I have made myself a slave to all
so as to win over as many as possible.
I have become all things to all, to save at least some.
All this I do for the sake of the Gospel,
so that I too may have a share in it.

Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race,
but only one wins the prize?
Run so as to win.
Every athlete exercises discipline in every way.
They do it to win a perishable crown,
but we an imperishable one.
Thus I do not run aimlessly;
I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing.
No, I drive my body and train it,
for fear that, after having preached to others,
I myself should be disqualified.

Responsorial Psalm ps 84:3, 4, 5-6, 12

R. (2) How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
My soul yearns and pines 
for the courts of the LORD.
My heart and my flesh
cry out for the living God.
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest
in which she puts her young—
Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my king and my God!
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
Blessed they who dwell in your house!
continually they praise you.
Blessed the men whose strength you are!
their hearts are set upon the pilgrimage.
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
For a sun and a shield is the LORD God;
grace and glory he bestows;
The LORD withholds no good thing
from those who walk in sincerity. 
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!

Gospel lk 6:39-42

Jesus told his disciples a parable:
"Can a blind person guide a blind person?
Will not both fall into a pit?
No disciple is superior to the teacher;
but when fully trained,
every disciple will be like his teacher.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?
How can you say to your brother,
'Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,'
when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye?
You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly
to remove the splinter in your brother's eye."


What feelings are rising in me as I pray and reflect on God's Word? I imagine Jesus himself sitting or standing near me and open my heart to him.


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: Luke 6:39-42

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The Most Holy Name of Mary

When fully trained, every disciple will be like his teacher. (Luke 6:40)


What a vision Jesus had for his disciples—and for us! We can actually become like him in our attitudes and thoughts, in our desires and dreams. Where the world tells us to have smaller hopes—maybe just to get over one or two sin patterns—Jesus tells us to raise our expectations and believe that he wants to do so much more in us.

But can we really become like Christ, even to the core of our beings? Yes we can, but it doesn't happen automatically. In fact, it can be downright painful at times. How many times have you had a hint that God wants to shine his light into a dark corner of your heart—but you have turned away? Maybe it's envy of someone who has more than you do. Maybe it's a desire to condemn instead of forgive someone who has hurt you.

It's only as we let the Lord expose the darkness within us that we will begin to experience his light. And it's a light that does far more than banish darkness. Like the sun, this light brings warmth, growth, and new beginnings. It transforms even as it illuminates. It's the way God always works. Long before he became our Lawgiver or our Judge, he was our Creator, shaping us to become vessels of his own divine life. Now all he asks is that we let him continue to shape us, removing whatever impurities we have allowed in through sin.

This is why the Sacrament of Reconciliation is such a blessing. It's also why it's called a celebration. In Confession we move from darkness to light, rejoicing in the mercy of a God who wants nothing more than to make us like himself. By actively deciding to confess our sins, we can invite Jesus to prune us like an expert gardener so that we can bear fruit for him. By removing the "logs" from our eyes in Confession, we can be enlightened more. We can become more like Jesus, our great Teacher, Lord, and Friend.

"Holy Spirit, burn in my heart. Set aflame all that stands in opposition to you. I want to look at people with the eyes of Christ. You have loved me so much, Lord; help me to give your love away."



1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-27; Psalm 84:3-6, 12

This morning, I feel under the weather, but that does not take away from how awesome God is.  How hard is it to feel really good and put on a good face when you do not carry it inside, would that be a hypocrite?  So, we are being called in today's 1st Holy Scripture to be beyond all that in this race we find ourselves in.  It is a race to the finish.  My priest that we had a funeral this week for, he finished the race and we can agree, finished rather well.  I had a man come into my office that day  of the funeral and told me how he was never able to forgive that priest for "calling him a liar" and when he wanted to, it was too late.  I said to him "wow, I can still feel that hatred in your voice".  This, a man that takes the Holy Eucharist!?  What gives?  Not one's heart, that's for sure.  And so we are being called in the scripture to live a discipline, and the root word is DISCIPLE.  Disciple in a learning experience of Jesus, to follow in His steps, be like Him and love like Him.  To go beyond our comfort zone.  Have you ever run into someone who gives you advice but you see their two-timing face hurting others behind their back?  I know I have, and it is closer to home than I am comfortable with.  Evil does not set well, but it makes a home in comfort for those that cannot see it, like a big fat snake in the attic or under the house where it is never to be bothered.  Preach using words but more actions. I told my co-workers in our bible study, "I don't like saying stuff like God Bless You without meaning it, to be empty and using God's name in emptiness".  Another agreed saying "one says "vaya con Dios" as just a manner of speaking to make it sound a little better you throw in "God".  Throwing words into the wind.  So how am I to be a disciple of Christ?  Do what He said.  Do in His memory, give every drop of blood to every soul.  They gave a "Fisher of Men" award to Monsignor Bridges last night at a benefit dinner for our local Catholic Guadalupe Radio.  The introduction from Tino said "I asked Monsignor what his greatest accomplishment has been and Monsignor said 'You . ..your salvation'.  And that it is what it's all about as we read today "I have become all things to all, to save at least some".  We prayed the Psalm "How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, Might God!".  Can I make a dwelling place for God?  We are.  The purpose of the race is for the dwelling place.  Where God is, that's where we, in the discipline, want to be.  In comes Jesus today.  Can a blind person follow a blind person?  When we were young, an old man that breeded rabbits to sell, once told my dad "we should start a church, they make money you know?".  I can think now of a thousand reasons why this should not be, starting with blindness.  For Christ started a church, His Holy Universal Church.  A Holy Church!  How can I be Holy without what He gave?  It is not about making my own set of beliefs in this world!  Should I let a blind man fall into a pit?  Should I guide others to the pits of hell by not believing?  Because I am perplexed.  Will every person I meet that doesn't seem to be a good Christian in good standing with the church be doomed to hell?  Listen, it is not about if they are doomed but I ! My demise to not evangelize!  Should I pluck away the little grass in their eye and not see my own demise?  I am being called to a discipline like no other, and when I say the word "I" it means you, we are being called to beyond what we are believing.  Remove that beam in your life that is blocking your way to freedom.  How do I remove it?  And what in the world is that beam?  Most often it is unholiness.  Most often it is doubt.  Most often we live behind a beam thinking we are free, like the story of a child that grew up in a prison camp, the child never knew they were locked up always believed he was free!  Jesus wants you to see.  Jesus came to set you free.  Jesus wants you and me.  And if this is the case, then his is our discipline.  I want to be free and I want you to be free.  Now this is leading to grace.  Now we are tapping into a realm of peace and joy, but moreover a unity in God like no other.  The world is trying to "crack down" on Catholics,  Christians, the beheadings, the threats from government.  You know what I think?  It's because until now, we were not able to see.  Now we begin to see what was settling into our lives; a sexual revolution, a false emancipation, an absolute takeover of family life by the devil himself, all things to disrupt creation.  YOU must FIGHT.  You must create.  You Must create and fight, and you know how?  Love GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART MIND AND SOUL.  Truly follow the discipline.  Truly be a disciple.  If people can not see Christ in you it is because you have not seen Christ in them.
I better stop there, because tears are building the beam trying to remove from my eye????

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