Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Began To Speak

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Minute Meditations

God's Design

For God judged it better to bring good out of evil than not to permit any evil to exist. —St. Augustine
— from A 40-Day Spiritual Workout for Catholics

Tuesday, September 16, 2014
St. Cornelius
(d. 253)

There was no pope for 14 months after the martyrdom of St. Fabian because of the intensity of the persecution of the Church. During the interval, the Church was governed by a college of priests. St. Cyprian, a friend of Cornelius, writes that Cornelius was elected pope "by the judgment of God and of Christ, by the testimony of most of the clergy, by the vote of the people, with the consent of aged priests and of good men."

The greatest problem of Cornelius's two-year term as pope had to do with the Sacrament of Penance and centered on the readmission of Christians who had denied their faith during the time of persecution. Two extremes were finally both condemned. Cyprian, primate of North Africa, appealed to the pope to confirm his stand that the relapsed could be reconciled only by the decision of the bishop.

In Rome, however, Cornelius met with the opposite view. After his election, a priest named Novatian (one of those who had governed the Church) had himself consecrated a rival bishop of Rome—one of the first antipopes. He denied that the Church had any power to reconcile not only the apostates, but also those guilty of murder, adultery, fornication or second marriage! Cornelius had the support of most of the Church (especially of Cyprian of Africa) in condemning Novatianism, though the sect persisted for several centuries. Cornelius held a synod at Rome in 251 and ordered the "relapsed" to be restored to the Church with the usual "medicines of repentance."

The friendship of Cornelius and Cyprian was strained for a time when one of Cyprian's rivals made accusations about him. But the problem was cleared up.

A document from Cornelius shows the extent of organization in the Church of Rome in the mid-third century: 46 priests, seven deacons, seven subdeacons. It is estimated that the number of Christians totaled about 50,000.

Cornelius died as a result of the hardships of his exile in what is now Civitavecchia (near Rome).


It seems fairly true to say that almost every possible false doctrine has been proposed at some time or other in the history of the Church. The third century saw the resolution of a problem we scarcely consider—the penance to be done before reconciliation with the Church after mortal sin. Men like Cornelius and Cyprian were God's instruments in helping the Church find a prudent path between extremes of rigorism and laxity. They are part of the Church's ever-living stream of tradition, ensuring the continuance of what was begun by Christ, and evaluating new experiences through the wisdom and experience of those who have gone before.


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....


Lord, you granted me the great gift of freedom.
In these times, O Lord, grant that I may be free
From any form of racism or intolerance.
Remind me, Lord, that we are all equal
in your Loving eyes.


I remind myself that I am in the presence of the Lord. I will take refuge in His loving heart. He is my strength in times of weakness.  He is my comforter in times of sorrow.

The Word of God
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Memorial of Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs

Reading 1 1 cor 12:12-14, 27-31a

Brothers and sisters:
As a body is one though it has many parts,
and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body,
so also Christ.
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body,
whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons,
and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.

Now the body is not a single part, but many.

Now you are Christ's Body, and individually parts of it.
Some people God has designated in the Church
to be, first, Apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers;
then, mighty deeds;
then gifts of healing, assistance, administration,
and varieties of tongues.
Are all Apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers?
Do all work mighty deeds? Do all have gifts of healing?
Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?
Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts.

Responsorial Psalm ps 10:1b-2, 3, 4, 5

R. (3) We are his people: the sheep of his flock.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
R. We are his people: the sheep of his flock.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
R. We are his people: the sheep of his flock.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him; bless his name.
R. We are his people: the sheep of his flock.
For he is good, the LORD, whose kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations. 
R. We are his people: the sheep of his flock.

Gospel lk 7:11-17

Jesus journeyed to a city called Nain,
and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him.
As he drew near to the gate of the city,
a man who had died was being carried out,
the only son of his mother, and she was a widow.
A large crowd from the city was with her.
When the Lord saw her,
he was moved with pity for her and said to her,
"Do not weep."
He stepped forward and touched the coffin;
at this the bearers halted,
and he said, "Young man, I tell you, arise!"
The dead man sat up and began to speak,
and Jesus gave him to his mother.
Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, exclaiming,
"A great prophet has arisen in our midst,"
and "God has visited his people."
This report about him spread through the whole of Judea
and in all the surrounding region.


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: Psalm 100:1-5

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Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs

Enter his gates with thanksgiving! (Psalm 100:4)


Make a joyful noise to the Lord! Serve him with gladness. Come to him today and every day singing, thanking, praising, and blessing him. This is such a lovely psalm of praise, isn't it? And at its center stands the one truth that is an unshakable foundation for all of our praise: the Lord is God, and we are his people. We belong to a God who is good, a God whose love for us never wavers. He is always on our side. He is always rooting for us. He continues to love us and support us without tiring. He is vigorous and changeless in his commitment to us.

But what about us, the sheep of his flock? Sheep are wooly wonders that trot faithfully alongside their shepherd—or wander away, heedless of the shepherd. It is said that, given an unlimited food source, sheep will eat until they die or until their shepherd pens them up. They can agitate each other until group panic sets in, yet without the group, they are defenseless against predators. That's not a bad description of us, is it? Sometimes faithful, sometimes wandering. Sometimes gorging ourselves, occasionally requiring restraint. Egging each other on until fear or fighting breaks out, yet vitally in need of each other. 

Through it all, God is unfailingly good. He knows exactly how he made you. He knows your strengths and weaknesses, your hopes and dreams, your fears and expectations. He knows your thoughts and your words even before you do. He knows everything about you—and still he loves you. He is good to his people. He is good. Always!

This is why the psalmist urges us to approach the Lord with gladness, singing our thanks and praise for his unwavering love. Your God loves you. He loves to give you good things. He loves you so much that sometimes he restrains you. He calms you when panic strikes, and he will always defend you against whatever might prey on your soul. He is the Good Shepherd who calls you by name. So sing joyfully to him! Praise and thank him for his kindness and faithfulness to you!

"God, you are good! When I wander, you remain faithful. When I follow, you lavish kindness on me. I praise you for your constant goodness!"



1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27-31; Luke 7:11-17

What would be of me ... if it weren't for your grace and your love?  Those are the words of a spanish existing song I've sung before.  Think about it.  Where would we be if we did not have God's mercy and love and Grace?  Where would we be if we had no hope for reconcililation?  We would not experience Heaven, that is for sure.  Today's 1st Holy Scripture says we are One body, one body in Christ.  The Psalm we prayed said "We are His people, the sheep of His flock".  And we read when Jesus came up to gates and met a suffering widow, the loss of her livelihood, her only son, whom she loved dearly, she wept bitterly.  Jesus was moved.  Had he known the pain that His own mother would go through?  I bet He did.  This moved Him to action.  When death met the Lord, He made it go away.  That's what happens when we are one body with Christ, in Christ, and through Jesus the Christ, the savior.  So we need to be reconciled, made whole and it is only with Him that we are made whole and wholly Holy.  What does reconciling mean?  To restore.  To bring back to existing together.  Sin and death takes us away.  Jesus meets us at the gate to be made one with Him.  So who is going to forgive that evil man in black that beheaded the catholic for the world to see?  You?  The family that is suffering the loss of their son?  In spanish people say "hay que Dios lo perdone, pero yo no" (in english "let God forgive him...but not me").  Did you know that hurting one another in life could be worse than killing the body?  I just heard that a little girl took her life this weekend, for being cyber-bullied.  Do you know how much that hurts?  Do you know how much that hurts the community?  The devil is relentless, with its "right to offend" is the satanist beliefs.  And that kills.  Already before the person has taken their life, they had been suffering and living dead.  How many of us are living dead?  Those not reconciled with God. Those not tied intimately with Him.  My children!  WAKE UP!  This is a catastrophe.  I want to take to the streets to proclaim God's news.  I want to alert you to the fact that we can no longer live this way, the way of death, the way of the world.  Can we not see that Jesus came to make us whole again?  Whole in happiness!  Fill that hole!  I am typing and a man I know is sitting across my desk.  I remember his story; for years he took tons of pills for depression, all these anti-depressants, up to 20 pills per day, and the void was still there.  One day he went to a 3 day retreat at St. Elizabeth's, a lock up for 3 days and he came back alive.  At those gates, Jesus met him.  Today his testimony says he no longer takes ANY pills, he is living for the Lord, he is now in the deaconate program. He doesn't know I'm talking about him but he knows one day I told him when he was angry at a priest, "Brother, don't leave us, we are the church, not just the priest".  He reconciled, and now...he is alive!  And this message is for you. Don't leave me.  Don't leave the Church.  Don't leave...JESUS.  We need one another really bad, yet we find ourselves being really bad to on a body killing cancer.  Stop it.  This weekend we had a retreat with the Carmelite Monks.  Our cursillo team helped groundskeeping, and Fr. Fabian gave us a talk direct to the heart, the Holy Spirit was in control.  Do you believe what I have just said?  We had confessions afterwards, reconciliation.  You know what?  I feel more alive now.  We supposedly offered ourselves for the monks, but Jesus offered Himself more.  We can not outgive God, because He is the ulimate giver!  Fr. Fabian, the founder, the abbot, said "I just had 3 cysts remove from my head...I will die working for the Lord." and in his frail voice he said "I want to build a beautiful church before I die, but we do not have any money...I pray...a Methodist man comes and says, "how much will it cost?" and the abbot said "I have no idea, maybe 3 or 4 million dollars" and the Methodist said "we will help you".  Fr. Fabian said "you see, the money it belongs to God, He can do as He pleases".  That is to say, we simply offer ourselves and the blessings will come.  And I'm talking about you and your filthy sin.  Offer it and receive a blessing, a blessing that will keep you from sin again.  Why?   To be alive.  To be One with Him.  This treasure is out of this world, yet God shares it with you.  Can I share His gifts?  His mercy?  and His Love?  What would be of me if I had not known His mercy and His love?  Would I be alive this day?  I want to be alive, let's go