Monday, September 15, 2014

Into His Home

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Minute Meditations

Lord, Have Mercy Minute Meditations
For mercy is an indispensable dimension of love; it is as it were love's second name. —Blessed John Paul II
— from A 40-Day Spiritual Workout for Catholics

Our Lady of Sorrows


For a while there were two feasts in honor of the Sorrowful Mother: one going back to the 15th century, the other to the 17th century. For a while both were celebrated by the universal Church: one on the Friday before Palm Sunday, the other in September.

The principal biblical references to Mary's sorrows are in Luke 2:35 and John 19:26-27. The Lucan passage is Simeon's prediction about a sword piercing Mary's soul; the Johannine passage relates Jesus' words to Mary and to the beloved disciple.

Many early Church writers interpret the sword as Mary's sorrows, especially as she saw Jesus die on the cross. Thus, the two passages are brought together as prediction and fulfillment.

St. Ambrose (December7) in particular sees Mary as a sorrowful yet powerful figure at the cross. Mary stood fearlessly at the cross while others fled. Mary looked on her Son's wounds with pity, but saw in them the salvation of the world. As Jesus hung on the cross, Mary did not fear to be killed but offered herself to her persecutors.


John's account of Jesus' death is highly symbolic. When Jesus gives the beloved disciple to Mary, we are invited to appreciate Mary's role in the Church: She symbolizes the Church; the beloved disciple represents all believers. As Mary mothered Jesus, she is now mother to all his followers. Furthermore, as Jesus died, he handed over his Spirit. Mary and the Spirit cooperate in begetting new children of God—almost an echo of Luke's account of Jesus' conception. Christians can trust that they will continue to experience the caring presence of Mary and Jesus' Spirit throughout their lives and throughout history.


"At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.
Through her heart, his sorrow sharing,
All his bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword has passed."
(Stabat Mater)

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


Dear Jesus, I come to you today

longing for your presence.
I desire to love you as You love me.
May nothing ever separate me from You.


Everything has the potential to draw forth from me a fuller love and life.
Yet my desires are often fixed, caught, on illusions of fulfillment.
I ask that God, through my freedom
may orchestrate
my desires in a vibrant loving melody rich in harmony.


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
 audio    Listen to audio of this reading

video    Watch a video reflection

Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows

Reading 1 1 cor 11:17-26, 33
Brothers and sisters:

In giving this instruction, I do not praise the fact
that your meetings are doing more harm than good.
First of all, I hear that when you meet as a Church
there are divisions among you,
and to a degree I believe it;
there have to be factions among you
in order that also those who are approved among you
may become known.
When you meet in one place, then,
it is not to eat the Lord's supper,
for in eating, each one goes ahead with his own supper,
and one goes hungry while another gets drunk.
Do you not have houses in which you can eat and drink?
Or do you show contempt for the Church of God
and make those who have nothing feel ashamed?
What can I say to you? Shall I praise you?
In this matter I do not praise you.

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you,
that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over,
took bread and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, "This is my Body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me."
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,
"This cup is the new covenant in my Blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters,
when you come together to eat, wait for one another.

Responsorial Psalm ps 40:7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 17

R. (1 Cor 11:26b) Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again.
Sacrifice or oblation you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Burnt offerings or sin offerings you sought not;
then said I, "Behold I come."
R. Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again.
"In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
To do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!"
R. Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R. Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again.
May all who seek you
exult and be glad in you
And may those who love your salvation
say ever, "The LORD be glorified."
R. Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again.

Sequence (Optional) - Stabat Mater

At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.

Through her heart, his sorrow sharing,
All his bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword had passed.

Oh, how sad and sore distressed
Was that Mother highly blessed
Of the sole begotten One!

Christ above in torment hangs,
She beneath beholds the pangs
Of her dying, glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep,
'Whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ's dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain
From partaking in her pain,
In that mother's pain untold?

Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
She beheld her tender Child,
All with bloody scourges rent.

For the sins of his own nation
Saw him hang in desolation
Till his spirit forth he sent.

O sweet Mother! font of love,
Touch my spirit from above,
Make my heart with yours accord.

Make me feel as you have felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt
With the love of Christ, my Lord.

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Savior crucified.

Let me share with you his pain,
Who for all our sins was slain,
Who for me in torments died.

Let me mingle tears with you,
Mourning him who mourned for me,
All the days that I may live.

By the cross with you to stay,
There with you to weep and pray,
Is all I ask of you to give.

Virgin of all virgins blest!
Listen to my fond request:
Let me share your grief divine.

Let me to my latest breath,
In my body bear the death
Of that dying Son of yours.

Gospel jn 19:25-27

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved
he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son."
Then he said to the disciple,
"Behold, your mother."
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

or lk 2:33-35

Jesus' father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
"Behold, this child is destined
for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
and you yourself a sword will pierce
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."


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: John 19:25-27

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Our Lady of Sorrows

Woman, behold, your son. (John 19:26)


What makes a mother weep? Of course she is upset when her child is hurt, whether he falls and breaks his leg or is the victim of bullying. She wants to take him in her arms and comfort him.

But there is something that distresses a mother even more, and that is when her child hurts someone else, when he fails to be gentle or respectful or kind to another person. This makes her sad because she feels that she has somehow failed in the way she has raised her child.

What made Jesus' mother weep? Yes, she wept over the suffering her son had to undergo, but she also wept for the people who made him suffer. It grieved her to see the leaders of her people miss what God was offering them and turn against Jesus and all he was teaching. She longed for them to know and experience the forgiveness that Jesus had come to proclaim, the forgiveness he declared from the cross.

Anticipating the role of mother Jesus gave her in today's Gospel reading, Mary was also grieved that most of his friends had run away. She understood their fear and knew they couldn't face the seeming finality of his death. She was so concerned for them that she sought them out after the resurrection and joined them in awaiting the gift of the Holy Spirit. Imagine her comforting presence there as they prayed and wondered what would happen next!

In the same way, our heavenly Mother shares our sorrow and reaches out to comfort us when we suffer or are confused. But her tears flow even more fully when she finds us making other people suffer. She knows that we are capable of being and doing so much better.

Our Lady seldom castigates her children, and she never speaks to us without tender love. But if we look carefully, we will see tears running down her cheeks every time we choose selfish paths that harm others.

Let's invite Mary to give us the gift of genuine sorrow for our own sins so that we can experience the powerful forgiveness and transformation that Jesus' resurrection has unlocked.

"Mother Mary, show me how to wipe away your tears through my repentance and my care for the people around me."



1 Corinthians 11:17-26, 33; Psalm 40:7-10, 17

Today's 1st Holy Scripture ended with "my brothers and sisters, when you come  together to eat, wait for one another".  I was reading an article this morning about the growing satanic chapters in our nation.  They are attracting those who have "no religious affiliation".  Those with an indifference towards religion.  Those right now who don't really have a church.  Those right now that are attracted to the satanic deceptions of "individualism" and "freedom to offend".  You know as Christ followers we are not called to be individuals but one.  We are not being called to lead, but to wait for one another, to serve one another.  What I am doing as I write is serving and still leading by serving.  If there is something I hate is to see those in higher up positions think they are above the lower positions, how soon they forget they are the servants, not the other way around.  Come to wait on one another, and wait like our Lord, wait with mercy and love and a spirit of sacrifice.  We heard our Lord to "DO This in rememberance of Me", He took His own body and blood and gave it to His disciples, and we still do this every day in a Holy Mass, something the satanist deplores.  So what does satan do?  Makes you care for it less, draws you away from Him, makes you forget instead of individualistic, be realistic, be your own...god.  Now this is getting scary, because we let ourselves get carried away.  We prayed the Psalm "Proclaim the death of the Lord until He comes again".  Wait, now wait a minute; so we got to remember for ever the Lord's giving of Himself in the bread and wind turned body and blood forever, AND we have to proclaim His death until He comes again?  The two are tied.  Do the first and you will do the second...remember, get together in rememberance, be One with Him.  In comes the Holy Gospel: we find our Mother gathered with always.  This time, at the foot of the cross where her beloved and only Son, the love of her life is dying.  Upon the dying words of our Lord, He gives His everything to the world, and His Mother.  He had no possessions, He left with no possessions.  He gave what He got from the Father and offered it back to the Father.  This is called giving Glory to God.  Glory means guts.  Glory means offering.  Yet, an individual will only glorify self without God in their life.  All your possessions are given to your own ideals, not to God but the god you make up sitting on your couch.  Together, she found herself together with the Lord, our Mother in Heaven.  EWTN's Johnette Benkovic gave a talk at a benefit dinner we went to last week.  She said we are in a spiritual battle and was rallying us to stand for our faith at this moment where nuns are being killed, catholics beheaded for the world to see, and our own religious freedom is under attack in our own country.  She brought up the fact that her husband had passed away, yet, she feels like she loves him even more now than when he was alive.  I say this because it is possible to love beyond our earthly love.  Our Blessed Mother Mary, she loved the church because she was there when it was started.  The pains she suffered where caused by the devil.  So who hurts when a couple goes through a divorce?  The children.  So who hurts when I sin?  The children of God.  If I argue with my wife in front of my kids, I see their little bodies tense up and freeze.  Thank you devil, for hurting my children, and I say this so I never again will argue or raise my voice, because God lives in me.  If I argue with cursillo team members, who hurts?  the rest of the team.  Thank you devil for trying to freeze up the children of God.  Now I will never raise my voice, but wait and serve with love and charity...the grace of God.  If I sin, I am hurting my church, my God, my Lord is the spouse, and so it is in every sense an infidelity to God, Jesus.  Thank you devil for trying to hurt my faith, from now on, I will offer my life to God, His Holy Church that is currently under attack across the world.  You can thank the devil for every bad thing that has ever happened in your life.  But don't forget to thank God for having rescued you from its clutches.  Oh yeah, another thing new satanists believe is that satain is their liberator, especially from all this Tradition.  All this traditional stuff is in their eyes the enemy.  Turns out what we have done for thousands of years in rememberance is the thing they attack.  Turns out it is boiling down to Jesus.  And guess who is suffering?  The children.  The little souls that are designed to be on route to Heaven.  My brothers and sisters wait for one another; Love one another, and to love is to forgive and to serve and to sacrifice for them.  Then, and only then will we find ourselves together, with Him, and our Mother that suffers sorrows to this day for the suffering of Christ...on earth
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