Thursday, September 18, 2014

She Wiped Them

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Minute Meditations

Works of Peace

Lord, help me to spread your fragrance wherever I go. Let me preach you without preaching, not by words but by my example, by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what I do, the evident fullness of the love my heart bears for you. --Cardinal Newman
— from Thirsting for God

St. Joseph of Cupertino

Joseph is most famous for levitating at prayer.

Already as a child, Joseph showed a fondness for prayer. After a short career with the Capuchins, he joined the Conventuals. Following a brief assignment caring for the friary mule, Joseph began his studies for the priesthood. Though studies were very difficult for him, Joseph gained a great deal of knowledge from prayer. He was ordained in 1628.

Joseph's tendency to levitate during prayer was sometimes a cross; some people came to see this much as they might have gone to a circus sideshow. Joseph's gift led him to be humble, patient and obedient, even though at times he was greatly tempted and felt forsaken by God. He fasted and wore iron chains for much of his life.

The friars transferred Joseph several times for his own good and for the good of the rest of the community. He was reported to and investigated by the Inquisition; the examiners exonerated him.

Joseph was canonized in 1767. In the investigation preceding the canonization, 70 incidents of levitation are recorded.



While levitation is an extraordinary sign of holiness, Joseph is also remembered for the ordinary signs he showed. He prayed even in times of inner darkness, and he lived out the Sermon on the Mount. He used his "unique possession" (his free will) to praise God and to serve God's creation.


"Clearly, what God wants above all is our will which we received as a free gift from God in creation and possess as though our own. When a man trains himself to acts of virtue, it is with the help of grace from God from whom all good things come that he does this. The will is what man has as his unique possession" (St. Joseph of Cupertino, from the reading for his feast in the Franciscan breviary).

Patron Saint of:

Air travelers


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 grant me the grace
to have freedom of the spirit.
Cleanse my heart and soul
so I may live joyously in Your love


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

Reading 1 1 cor 15:1-11

I am reminding you, brothers and sisters,
of the Gospel I preached to you,
which you indeed received and in which you also stand.
Through it you are also being saved,
if you hold fast to the word I preached to you,
unless you believed in vain.
For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received:
that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures;
that he was buried;
that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures;
that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve.
After that, he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once,
most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.
After that he appeared to James,
then to all the Apostles.
Last of all, as to one born abnormally,
he appeared to me.
For I am the least of the Apostles,
not fit to be called an Apostle,
because I persecuted the Church of God.
But by the grace of God I am what I am,
and his grace to me has not been ineffective.
Indeed, I have toiled harder than all of them;
not I, however, but the grace of God that is with me.
Therefore, whether it be I or they,
so we preach and so you believed.

Responsorial Psalm ps 118:1b-2, 16ab-17, 28

R. (1) Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
Let the house of Israel say,
"His mercy endures forever."
R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
"The right hand of the LORD is exalted;
the right hand of the LORD has struck with power."
I shall not die, but live,
and declare the works of the LORD.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
You are my God, and I give thanks to you;
O my God, I extol you.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.

Gospel lk 7:36-50

A certain Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him,
and he entered the Pharisee's house and reclined at table.
Now there was a sinful woman in the city
who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee.
Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment,
she stood behind him at his feet weeping
and began to bathe his feet with her tears.
Then she wiped them with her hair,
kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself,
"If this man were a prophet,
he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him,
that she is a sinner."
Jesus said to him in reply,
"Simon, I have something to say to you."
"Tell me, teacher," he said.
"Two people were in debt to a certain creditor;
one owed five hundred days' wages and the other owed fifty.
Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both.
Which of them will love him more?"
Simon said in reply,
"The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven."
He said to him, "You have judged rightly."
Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon,
"Do you see this woman?
When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet,
but she has bathed them with her tears
and wiped them with her hair.
You did not give me a kiss,
but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered.
You did not anoint my head with oil,
but she anointed my feet with ointment.
So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven;
hence, she has shown great love.
But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little."
He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."
The others at table said to themselves,
"Who is this who even forgives sins?"
But he said to the woman,
"Your faith has saved you; go in peace."


Begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture you have just read. What part of it strikes a chord in you? Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story you have heard recently - will slowly rise to the surface of your consciousness. If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to you?


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 15:1-11

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24th Week in Ordinary Time

By the grace of God I am what I am. (1 Corinthians 15:10)

Have you ever been at a party or social gathering where you felt way out of your element? Perhaps you were surrounded by very sophisticated, highly educated people. Maybe everyone seemed to have the trappings of success: nice clothes, fine jewelry, new cars. Or you might have felt that everyone there was better looking than you. Whatever the case, did you notice that when you began comparing yourself to the people around you, it probably didn't end well?

The apostle Paul was in a similar situation. He was in close contact with the other apostles, and it would have been easy for him to feel inadequate compared to them. They had spent years living and working with Jesus, while Paul had just one brief encounter with the Lord. The other apostles hadn't followed Jesus perfectly, but Paul had persecuted the Church! How could he ever live that down?

Actually, he didn't try. Here's how he put it: "By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been ineffective" (1 Corinthians 15:10). Paul recognized that God had a plan for his life, and this plan was different than what God was doing with the other apostles. Sure, he had made some very big mistakes, but God's grace was at work in him, and that was enough.

God has a plan for your life as well, and it may not look like what he's doing with other people. Meaning in your life will come from how God sees you, not how you see yourself, and certainly not how you think you stack up against other people! In fact, comparing yourself like this can keep you from Jesus. Consider today's Gospel reading. If this woman had been concerned with what people thought about her, she never would have come to Jesus!

Try to watch yourself this week. Listen to your thoughts. Are you critical of yourself? Or maybe you tend to look down on others. Memorize Paul's words, and repeat them to yourself: by the grace of God I am what I am. And then offer this blessing to everyone else: by the grace of God you are what you are.

"Father, thank you for working in my life, for loving me, and for accepting me."


Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 28; Luke 7:36-50

All of today's readings should culminate to move us.  Yesterday's was perhaps a call to conversion.  And today? That and more, a call to purity, a call to holiness, a call to come to Jesus, a call to receive Jesus.  We read of St. Paul, and he spoke of when he used to be Saul.  The P-for Pastor in the name Paul, used to be an S-for sinner, in the name Saul.  Someone once said we will have a "real name" in Heaven, it probably won't be the name we use on earth.  I hope so, because mine has been of a sinner.  But Christ changes our names, and I wonder what He is going to call us...if He has called us?  How will I know if He calls?  Shhhh.  Keep silent.  Listen to Him in His Presence.   Sacred silence.  We sung that song at Monsignor (Father) Frey's funeral.  Let Him be, let Him speak.  Saul was so busy "doing stuff" for God as a Jew, too busy locking up Christians and having them killed, so busy that he failed to have ever met God.  This could be any one of us, just so busy that we fail to stop in silence, retreat, give time to God, to listen for the call, thus, we "believe in vain" as St. Paul said today.  We prayed the Psalm "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good".  How is God good in the case of Saul turned into St. Paul?  He turns bad to good.  Now we read the Holy Gospel, where a sinful woman comes into the Pharisee's house, and she comes to the feet of Jesus, crying, and kissing His feet and annointing them with expensive oil.  She was quite possibly a grave sinner.  Simon declares a truth, a great sinner has more gratefulness when he is forgiven...if he/she even comes to Jesus for forgiveness.  Now, listen, here comes a call, because you have been silent reading this: Jesus wants you, your sins He can wipe away, don't worry about them.  Vanity keeps us from coming to Him.  "Uhhp, what will people say?"  Would you starve yourself to death for fear of what people will say? The Pharisee had not invited Jesus into his home to ask for forgiveness, but the sinning woman did.  So, today is a call to conversion, because who am I in the story?  The Pharisee inviting Jesus to dine, or the sinner coming to eat what He feeds?  Who am I?  Am I the person who fled from the cross?  Or am I the person who stayed there no matter what people said, to cry at the feet of Jesus, to kiss them, and to annoint His Precious Body?  Who am I?  Most often, we are the person that flees, it's just so much easier to run from our problems, especially if faith becomes a problem, if it requires me to sacrifice, if it needs me to stay away from work or family or to forgive, it has to take 2nd place.  And so, just as easy, evil takes over.  When we fail to listen to His call, when we fail to come to Him at His feet, when we fail to cry with the dirge, or dance to the flute, when we starve ourselves by not coming to receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist in Holiness and state of grace, then we fail and flee, because it is so much easier.  It's the God stuff that people won't do.  How many families do you know before bed time kneel and pray the rosary DAILY?  I can't think of any.  Not even mine.  It's too hard.  We are too busy.  Sometimes, I'm too busy being "busy" for the Lord!  Saul is still hanging around. isn't he?  But the weeping woman is my example of holiness...yes, the worst of sinners.  There was a woman in Texas that was the director of Planned Parenthood, in charge of possibly hundreds or thousands of abortions, killing for a false prophet-the profit.  Pro-lifers were praying, and one day she had a conversion.  Today, her guilt has turned into a vigor to save lives.  She is one of the strongest defenders of life we have now, and she is now Catholic to boot.  You, you horrible sinner YOU.  You with the biggest of sins.  YOU come to Jesus.  Listen: and what does He say? 
and as if that were not enough, He goes to say more after that,

 "Your faith has saved you, Go in Peace"

I ain't going nowhere now Lord, I'm staying with YOU!
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