Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Gave Them Power

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Minute Meditations

Fresh Opportunities

God's job, I think, is to keep lovingly disrupting our lives, and our job is to see if there are fresh opportunities for faith hidden within those disruptions. As a result, God keeps finding fresh ways to shake up our complacencies and challenge us to resist the seductive temptation to play the victim.

— fromStartled By God

Blessed John Henry Newman

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Henry Newman, the 19th-century's most important English-speaking Roman Catholic theologian, spent the first half of his life as an Anglican and the second half as a Roman Catholic. He was a priest, popular preacher, writer, and eminent theologian in both Churches.
Born in London, England, he studied at Oxford's Trinity College, was a tutor at Oriel College and for 17 years was vicar of the university church, St. Mary the Virgin. He eventually published eight volumes of Parochial and Plain Sermons as well as two novels. His poem, "Dream of Gerontius," was set to music by Sir Edward Elgar.
After 1833, Newman was a prominent member of the Oxford Movement, which emphasized the Church's debt to the Church Fathers and challenged any tendency to consider truth as completely subjective.
Historical research made Newman suspect that the Roman Catholic Church was in closest continuity with the Church that Jesus established. In 1845, he was received into full communion as a Catholic. Two years later he was ordained a Catholic priest in Rome and joined the Congregation of the Oratory, founded three centuries earlier by St. Philip Neri. Returning to England, Newman founded Oratory houses in Birmingham and London and for seven years served as rector of the Catholic University of Ireland.

Before Newman, Catholic theology tended to ignore history, preferring instead to draw deductions from first principles—much as plane geometry does. After Newman, the lived experience of believers was recognized as a key part of theological reflection.
Newman eventually wrote 40 books and 21,000 letters that survive. Most famous are his book-length Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine, Apologia Pro Vita Sua (his spiritual autobiography up to 1864) and Essay on the Grammar of Assent. He accepted Vatican I's teaching on papal infallibility while noting its limits, which many people who favored that definition were reluctant to do.

When Newman was named a cardinal in 1879, he took as his motto "Cor ad cor loquitur" (Heart speaks to heart). He was buried in Rednal (near Birmingham) 11 years later. After his grave was exhumed in 2008, a new tomb was prepared at the Oratory church in Birmingham.

Three years after Newman died, a Newman Club for Catholic students began at the University of Pittsburgh. In time, his name was linked to ministry centers at many public and private colleges and universities in the United States.

Pope Benedict XVI beatified Newman on September 19, 2010, at Crofton Park (near Birmingham). The pope noted Newman's emphasis on the vital place of revealed religion in civilized society but also praised his pastoral zeal for the sick, the poor, the bereaved and those in prison.


John Henry Newman has been called the "absent Father of Vatican II" because his writings on conscience, religious liberty, Scripture, the vocation of lay people, the relation of Church and State, and other topics were extremely influential in the shaping of the Council's documents. Although Newman was not always understood or appreciated, he steadfastly preached the Good News by word and example.


Newman composed this prayer: "God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another.

"I have a mission; I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons; He has not created me for naught.
"I shall do good—I shall do his work. I shall be an angel of peace while not intending it if I do but keep his commandments. Therefore, I will trust him."

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



At any time of the day or night we can call on Jesus.
He is always waiting, listening for our call.
What a wonderful blessing.
No phone needed, no e-mails, just a whisper.


Many countries are at this moment suffering the agonies of war.
I bow my head in thanksgiving for my freedom.
I pray for all prisoners and captives.


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


Reading 1 prv 30:5-9

Every word of God is tested;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Add nothing to his words,
lest he reprove you, and you will be exposed as a deceiver.

Two things I ask of you,
deny them not to me before I die:
Put falsehood and lying far from me,
give me neither poverty nor riches;
provide me only with the food I need;
Lest, being full, I deny you,
saying, "Who is the LORD?"
Or, being in want, I steal,
and profane the name of my God.

Responsorial Psalm ps 119:29, 72, 89, 101, 104, 163

R. (105) Your word, O Lord, is a lamp for my feet.
Remove from me the way of falsehood,
and favor me with your law.
R. Your word, O Lord, is a lamp for my feet.
The law of your mouth is to me more precious
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
R. Your word, O Lord, is a lamp for my feet.
Your word, O LORD, endures forever;
it is firm as the heavens.
R. Your word, O Lord, is a lamp for my feet.
From every evil way I withhold my feet,
that I may keep your words.
R. Your word, O Lord, is a lamp for my feet.
Through your precepts I gain discernment;
therefore I hate every false way.
R. Your word, O Lord, is a lamp for my feet.
Falsehood I hate and abhor;
your law I love.
R. Your word, O Lord, is a lamp for my feet.

Gospel lk 9:1-6

Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority
over all demons and to cure diseases,
and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God
and to heal the sick.
He said to them, "Take nothing for the journey,
neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money,
and let no one take a second tunic.
Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there.
And as for those who do not welcome you,
when you leave that town,
shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them."
Then they set out and went from village to village
proclaiming the Good News and curing diseases everywhere.

    Listen to audio of this reading

    Watch a video reflection


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 9:1-6

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25th Week in Ordinary Time

Take nothing for the journey. (Luke 9:3)

"Be prepared." That's the motto for the Boy Scouts of America. Can't you just picture a pack of young boys on a camping trip, loaded down with supplies, ready for whatever nature can throw at them?

While this may be good training for ten-year-olds, it isn't always the best advice when it comes to living in the Spirit. Jesus offers an alternative vision to his disciples in today's Gospel reading. As he sends them out to preach and heal, he says, "Take nothing for the journey." Nothing! Then, in case they're wondering, he spells it out: "Neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic" (Luke 9:3). So much for the Boy Scouts!

Here's what's wrong with focusing too much on being prepared: we risk missing out on some of the work God has for us—and some of the blessings that come as a result. Maybe we are waiting until we feel close enough to someone to share our faith. Or maybe we are waiting until we have a large enough nest egg before we will donate to the Lord's work. Whatever it is, Jesus wants us to think differently. He wants to make us confident in him. He wants us to know that we don't have to be perfectly clear on every theological truth before we begin telling people how much Jesus loves them.

Think about the disciples Jesus sent out. They still had a lot to learn. Some of them were hoping for personal glory. Others were lacking in courage. One would go on to betray him! But Jesus sent them out anyway. Sure, they would make mistakes. But that's how they would learn and grow. And while they were learning and growing, they would also do a lot of good.

What risk is the Lord calling you to take for his kingdom? Is there something that you have been waiting to do but just haven't felt prepared for yet? Ask God if now is the time to go through that door. And then trust him to teach you as you go.

"Father, I am ready. Send me out, Lord! Give me the grace to trust you for all that I need."


Proverbs 30:5-9; Psalm 119:29, 72, 89, 101, 104, 163

It could very well be that you let the Lord into your house, your home, but you never really let Him in.  This is the case of our faith.  If Jesus is waiting with open arms and open heart, and I witness, there is actually a reminder of it on the crucifix, He is there, waiting, open arms stretched to the max, and His Sacred heart pierced open bleeding, and waiting.  Yes we walk in to church, yes we are trying, but are we really trying?  How hard?  How hard is it to let Him into the home of the heart?  Some come in too rich as the Holy Scripture said today in Proverbs.  Too full of oneself and worldly interests and preoccupations.  Some come in too poor, bitter, angry, even at God, taking instead of giving.  How many of us go for a blessing and desire not to bless others?  That's easy.  We go to Holy Mass, we don't tithe.  We go to church, and we don't give.  We don't even offer our ugly sins.  We go to receive the blood of Christ and do not give ours.  We take take and take, but don't really  We are better rakes, all bringing in and never really putting out.  If you are thinking "oh Mr. Adrian, I tithe, I give to the Church so what you are saying doesn't apply."  Well then, I shake my dust from you. "SAY WHAT?"
   Ok, so we prayed the Psalm today "Your word, O Lord, is a lamp for my feet. Remove from me the way of falsehood, and favor me with your law."  We carry falsehood when we do not favor His law.  His law is precious food for the soul.  How precious I make it is to the degree of my holiness, our holiness as a whole.  So we could be lying saying "God you are so good" and "Lord have mercy" when we really don't make Him good by the way I live, and we really don't want His mercy by remaining in sin.  Hmmm.  Sounds like my money and my words aren't enough now huh?  A lamp for my feet.  I shake the dust from my feet.  I shake the dust so the light is not affected.  I must carry a lighted foot, and Jesus is the light and I am at the foot of the cross.  Such has been a revelation one day when I was zapped out of this world to witness the darkest moment of God's life on earth, our crucifying Him on the cross, the moment that was so dark on our part, yet was so loving on His part, going through darkness for us.  I felt eyes piercing me as I led a funeral rosary last night at the pulpit next to Maria de Jesus Reyes' body next to me.  I wanted no part of them looking at me any more, so I hit my knees.  I felt I was distracting them but I felt I was distracted.  I noticed the prayers were more clear as I hit my knees, but they were my prayers.  I felt like a salesman as after the vigil, I was signing up a candidate for a cursillo.  I was though, trusting in the Lord.  Shake the dust off your faith.  Remove distractions, and mostly they are self, too rich or too poor.  I see more poor people than rich in the spirit.  Yes, many people are possessed by worldly things, but I see more that are far gone from God.  Too often the rich are church goers.  More often the poor will not dare go to church.  Who needs God more?  Both.  We all need God first.  I thought I said it in proclamation at the vigil, I thought I mentioned it at the cursillo sign-up, and I thought I said it at the safety meeting prayer I led this morning...God comes first.  I am second.  I've been in many competitions in life, band, I was second place trumpet among 30 students, in racing motorcycle quads in arenas, second again.  It felt like I was first loser.  But being second to God, I am the greatest in His eyes.  Why?  Because He is first, and the more first I make Him feel the more blessed I will be.  I am looking for you Lord.  I am watching out for you.  I am reaching out to you wherever you are hiding.  I will find you because we are talking continuously.  Funny thing is though, I know I will see Him when I stop hiding.  Funny thing is all I have to do is open the eyes of my heart.  Thing is, He's been waiting for thousands of years.  Thing is, I have only a few more years to engulf myself with Him.  I told everyone at the vigil that these few years are leading up to the eternal journey we will all begin. 
Lord, thank you.  Thank you for choosing me.  You chose me to read this today.  You chose me to come to you.  Thank you.  Help me to see your face every day in the people I meet.  Help me to see you in the poor and the rich.  Those that have no god and those that make false gods.  I know you are in there because I seen your reflection in their eyes, Jesus inside.  What will it take for me to take you more serious?  What will it take for me to live in Grace? 
It will take sacrifice...which means love.  It means giving more than we are comfortable with.  It means stretching beyond human comprehension and compassion.  That's what I want!

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