Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Eating And Drinking

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Minute Meditations

Our Inward Joy
The joy of the Lord is our strength. Therefore, each of us will accept a life of poverty in cheerful trust. We will minister to Christ in the distressing disguise of the poor with cheerful devotion. If our work is done with joy, we will have no reason to be unhappy.
— from Thirsting for God

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
St. Robert Bellarmine

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When Robert Bellarmine was ordained in 1570, the study of Church history and the fathers of the Church was in a sad state of neglect. A promising scholar from his youth in Tuscany, he devoted his energy to these two subjects, as well as to Scripture, in order to systematize Church doctrine against the attacks of the Protestant Reformers. He was the first Jesuit to become a professor at Louvain.

His most famous work is his three-volume Disputations on the Controversies of the Christian Faith. Particularly noteworthy are the sections on the temporal power of the pope and the role of the laity. He incurred the anger of monarchists in England and France by showing the divine-right-of-kings theory untenable. He developed the theory of the indirect power of the pope in temporal affairs; although he was defending the pope against the Scottish philosopher Barclay, he also incurred the ire of Pope Sixtus V.

Bellarmine was made a cardinal by Pope Clement VIII on the grounds that "he had not his equal for learning." While he occupied apartments in the Vatican, Bellarmine relaxed none of his former austerities. He limited his household expenses to what was barely essential, eating only the food available to the poor. He was known to have ransomed a soldier who had deserted from the army and he used the hangings of his rooms to clothe poor people, remarking, "The walls won't catch cold."

Among many activities, he became theologian to Pope Clement VIII, preparing two catechisms which have had great influence in the Church.

The last major controversy of Bellarmine's life came in 1616 when he had to admonish his friend Galileo, whom he admired. Bellarmine delivered the admonition on behalf of the Holy Office, which had decided that the heliocentric theory of Copernicus (the sun as stationary) was contrary to Scripture. The admonition amounted to a caution against putting forward—other than as a hypothesis—theories not yet fully proved. This shows that saints are not infallible.

Bellarmine died on September 17, 1621. The process for his canonization was begun in 1627 but was delayed until 1930 for political reasons, stemming from his writings. In 1930, Pope Pius XI canonized him and the next year declared him a doctor of the Church.


The renewal in the Church sought by Vatican II was difficult for many Catholics. In the course of change, many felt a lack of firm guidance from those in authority. They yearned for the stone columns of orthodoxy and an iron command with clearly defined lines of authority.

Vatican II assures us in The Church in the Modern World, "There are many realities which do not change and which have their ultimate foundation in Christ, who is the same yesterday and today, yes, and forever" (#10, quoting Hebrews 13:8). 

Robert Bellarmine devoted his life to the study of Scripture and Catholic doctrine. His writings help us understand that not only is the content of our faith important, it is Jesus' living person—as revealed by his life, death and resurrection—that is the source of revelation.

The real source of our faith is not merely a set of doctrines but rather the person of Christ still living in the Church today.

When he left his apostles, Jesus assured them of his living presence: "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you to the complete truth" (John 16:30).


"Sharing in solicitude for all the Churches, bishops exercise this episcopal office of theirs, received through episcopal consecration, in communion with and under the authority of the Supreme Pontiff. All are united in a college or body with respect to teaching the universal Church of God and governing her as shepherds" (Vatican II,Decree on the Bishops' Pastoral Office, 3).

Patron Saint of:


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


"Be still and know that I am God."
Lord, Your words lead us to the
calmness and greatness of your presence.




God is not foreign to my freedom.

Instead the Spirit breathes life into my most intimate desires,

gently nudging me towards all that is good.

I ask for the grace to let myself be enfolded by the Spirit.



How do I find myself today? Where am I with God? With others? Do I have something to be grateful for? Then I give thanks. Is there something I am sorry for? Then I ask forgiveness.


The Word of God
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Wednesday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 cor 12:31-13:13

Brothers and sisters:
Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts.

But I shall show you a still more excellent way.

If I speak in human and angelic tongues
but do not have love,
I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.
And if I have the gift of prophecy
and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge;
if I have all faith so as to move mountains,
but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give away everything I own,
and if I hand my body over so that I may boast
but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, love is not pompous,
it is not inflated, it is not rude,
it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,
it does not rejoice over wrongdoing
but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.
If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing;
if tongues, they will cease;
if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing.
For we know partially and we prophesy partially,
but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.
When I was a child, I used to talk as a child,
think as a child, reason as a child;
when I became a man, I put aside childish things.
At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror,
but then face to face.
At present I know partially;
then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.
So faith, hope, love remain, these three;
but the greatest of these is love.

Responsorial Psalm ps 33:2-3, 4-5, 12 and 22

R. (12) Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten stringed lyre chant his praises.
Sing to him a new song;
pluck the strings skillfully, with shouts of gladness.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
For upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
who have put our hope in you.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

Gospel lk 7:31-35

Jesus said to the crowds:
"To what shall I compare the people of this generation?
What are they like?
They are like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another,

'We played the flute for you, but you did not dance.
We sang a dirge, but you did not weep.'

For John the Baptist came neither eating food nor drinking wine,
and you said, 'He is possessed by a demon.'
The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said,
'Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard,
a friend of tax collectors and sinners.'
But wisdom is vindicated by all her children."


How has God's Word moved me? Has it left me cold?
Has it consoled me or moved me to act in a new way?
I imagine Jesus standing or sitting beside me,
I turn and  share my feelings with 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: 1 Corinthians 12:31--13:13

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Saint Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:8)


Paul's beautiful hymn of charity, as this passage is often called, portrays a mature love filled with spiritual vitality. It is not the textbook definition of love that we find in the dictionary but rather a soaring hymn that expresses what Christian love looks like as it is lived out day by day. It is patient and kind rather than irritable; it serves the needs and interests of others, not insisting on its own way; it is not quick-tempered; and it doesn't brood over injuries.

It's important to know that Paul wrote this vigorous call to love to the Corinthians, a community that was plagued by division, competition, and immorality. He urged them to let the love of Christ that they had experienced so powerfully at their conversion overcome their faults and heal their lack of unity. By appealing to love—especially to the example of Jesus, who taught what it means to love from the cross—Paul appealed to their deepest desires and offered them the one sure way to overcome their sins and failings.

There's little doubt that Paul had his own life in mind, too, as he wrote about growing from childish ways into mature faith (1 Corinthians 13:11). Paul had started out as a hotheaded young Pharisee who persecuted Christians. It took some time, even after his conversion, for him to calm down. But over time, he grew into a committed lover of Jesus and a force for reconciliation and unity.

It's as we yield to God's love, just as Paul learned to yield, that we grow into a deeper love for the Lord and for one another. This mature love embraces God's ways and binds us together in unity. No longer children, we "grow in every way into him who is the head." We begin to live as part of his body, joined together so that we are no longer concerned only for ourselves but also for helping the whole Church as it "builds itself up in love" (Ephesians 4:13, 15, 16). We can walk in Christian charity—if we keep walking with Christ.

"Jesus, light the fire of your love in my life! Burn away all the dross in my heart, so that I can love you with a pure love and love others with your own love aflame in me."



Psalm 33:2-5, 12, 22; Luke 7:31-35


As we read today's 1st Holy Scripture, what was going through your mind?  Were you distracted or were you being drawn deep into the Word and what it is saying to the heart? Because it spoke of love.  Without love, we are as if nothing.  Let us re-read that phrase and think of God because God IS Love, and so, "without God, we are as if nothing".  And then, the Word tells us what love is and what it is not.  Unfortunately I found myself to have failed at every one.  Love is patient:  Nope, I blow my top! Short fuse.  Love is Kind: nope! I'm not always the kindest person you will meet.  You know, as I write, I remember something I heard on EWTN radio.  They say that God is always action.  He is always BEING and doing, I forget which saint declared this, Aquinas or someone.  I digress, we are called to be like Jesus and Jesus is God.  It is not jealous; woops, been there done that!  It is not pompous: wait, pomp-what?  Oh, that what makes me greater than others perhaps? Man, I hate that about me.  Love ain't inflated; well I've been known to be full of myself probably.  Love is not rude: pshh, I think I was rude earlier today, and the day just started!  Boy, should I go on?  Love does not seek self interest; we've all failed at that.  Last night we had a Knights meeting.  The Grand Knight is recovering from an auto accident at our local nursing home for old folks.  He has started to realize what I have been saying for years now, these people are the poor and needy.  He wants us to make a feeding for these poor forgotten folks.  When he proposed the idea, the room was silent.  I made a motion that we do what he requested, "I make a motion to feed the most forgotten in our town" and soon I got a second and the motion was approved.  I noticed though, the hesitation.  We are hesitant to do something if there is nothing in it for me.  WHOA!  Failing at love.  We sure are good at that, right?  Let's go back to reflection: Love is not quick tempered; but we are.  Love does not brood over injury; I sure as heck won't let someone forget how much wrong they did me, I talk about them behind their back about it for years.  This is WRONG.  Love though, God though, rejoices with the TRUTH; we are rejoicing in hope.  Stay here now. It bears all things.  Please stay her now!  Because if we are rejoicing with Jesus, we can not neglect the cross.  The hard stuff, you have to bear with the truth...Jesus!  Love believes all things. Well, do we believe all things being said, especially about God and what He wants?  Not's too hard.  Love hopes.  That's why you are reading this right here, right now...for hope, for the love of God. Love hopes, God hopes, we hope for one another, where will we meet?  Love endures all things.  This is evident in a marriage, yet unfortunately today, couples wait for the slightest or biggest excuse to abandon one another, and I'm talking about our marriage with God.  At the slightest excuse "uhhp, it's raining today, can't go to church!", or "uhhp, I got family deal going on, sorry Lord, I can't go!"  Sounds harsh, the things I say right?  But these are the people not fit for the Kingdom! DOH. Did I just make it worse?  Remember the story when people wanted to follow Christ and one after another had an excuse? One had to tend to business, another had to bury his father, a funeral for crying outloud!  Fr. Fabian, the Carmelite Abbot for the monks said he no longer desired to be a parish priest with vacations and salary and days off during the week, he said exactly what I thought "what is that?", should I take a day off from the Lord?  Endurance is faithfulness.  Love is true.
  How I wish we could sit together and go through this together, you could see the emphatic ways I would express myself with.  Better not to though, because I would probably get a trembly voice and lose it.  But know for sure the Word of the Lord...Love NEVER fails.  God doesn't fail, but I do.  WOW!  Isn't it awesome to know that God's love and mercy is unfailing?  But know this for sure, on earth is where we can witness it in real time.  The Psalm we prayed said "Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be His own".  He chose you, I am speaking on behalf of the Holy Spirit.  Because you have made it this far after reading all the stuff above, here over 2,600 words later, He meets our heart.  And all this so we can know one thing He wants in our lives...the Grace of God.  Don't know the Grace?  Pray for it and begin to soar.  That's something the Cursillo will facilitate in your life, but live the method.  Then our King Jesus said "we played a flute for you but you did not dance".  As if our Lord said "I've gone through hoops for you in your life, I've opened up so many possibilities and doors," the very fact that you can breathe without a machine is a chance for praise and thanksgiving, breathe disparity, sadness, and animosity, "what's that?".  No my child, dance and sing for Jesus, with open arms like a child rejoicing at no apparent reason, but our reason is God Almighty in my heart and soul!  "We sang a dirge but you did not weep".  So what will move you?  I told you I wanted to cry earlier, did it not tug at your heart?  Cry for the forgotten, but better yet, go be with the forgotten and cry with them.  The bad part is, you will probably be more uplifted than them in the end.  For our Fall Church Festival, I'm asking many to help me, and my invitation goes like this "I want you to come serve all day because you will get more out of it than just showing up for a little while to play a game".  I am not lying, doesn't a teacher learn more by teaching?  In our blocked hearts we will never see right.  "Uhhp, they are too this or too that, I ain't go to that church no more!".  But the rest of the fingers point back to self.  And God wants them all to open up, so He can place His Sacred heart at the palm that leads to the soul.
And this means salvation, to be with Him FOREVER AND EVER, AMEN!