Thursday, September 25, 2014

He Kept Trying

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Minute Meditations

Basic Core Truths
There are basic core truths that have stood the test of time: that God is a Trinity; that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully human; that the human person is created in the image and likeness of God; that the Holy Spirit empowers us to witness to the divine presence in the world through history; that the Bible is the inspired word of God.
— from Accidental Theologians

Blesseds Louis Martin and Zelie Guerin
(1823-1894) (1831-1877)

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Born into a military family in Bordeaux, Louis trained to become a watchmaker. His desire to join a religious community went unfulfilled because he didn't know Latin. Moving to Normandy, he met the highly-skilled lacemaker, Zélie, who also had been disappointed in her attempts to enter religious life. They married in 1858, and over the years were blessed with nine children, though two sons and two daughters died in infancy.

Louis managed the lacemaking business that Zélie continued at home while raising their children. She died from breast cancer in 1877.

Louis then moved the family to Lisieux to be near his brother and sister-in-law, who helped with the education of his five surviving girls. His health began to fail after his 15-year-old daughter entered the Monastery of Mount Carmel at Lisieux in 1888. Louis died in 1894, a few months after being committed to a sanitarium.

The home that Louis and Zélie created nurtured the sanctity of all their children, but especially their youngest, who is known to us as St. Therese of the Child Jesus. Louis and Zélie were beatified in 2008.


In life Louis and Zélie knew great joy and excruciating sorrow. They firmly believed that God was with them throughout every challenge that married life, parenting, and their occupations presented.


Therese once wrote, "God gave me a father and a mother more worthy of heaven than of earth."


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


Help me Lord to be more conscious of your presence. Teach me to recognise your presence in others. Fill my heart with gratitude for the times Your love has been shown to me through the care of others.

The Word of God
Reading 1 eccl 1:2-11
Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth,
vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!
What profit has man from all the labor
which he toils at under the sun?
One generation passes and another comes,
but the world forever stays.
The sun rises and the sun goes down;
then it presses on to the place where it rises.
Blowing now toward the south, then toward the north,
the wind turns again and again, resuming its rounds.
All rivers go to the sea,
yet never does the sea become full.
To the place where they go,
the rivers keep on going.
All speech is labored;
there is nothing one can say.
The eye is not satisfied with seeing
nor is the ear satisfied with hearing.

What has been, that will be;
what has been done, that will be done.
Nothing is new under the sun.
Even the thing of which we say, "See, this is new!"
has already existed in the ages that preceded us.
There is no remembrance of the men of old;
nor of those to come will there be any remembrance
among those who come after them.
R. (1) In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You turn man back to dust,
saying, "Return, O children of men."
For a thousand years in your sight
are as yesterday, now that it is past,
or as a watch of the night.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You make an end of them in their sleep;
the next morning they are like the changing grass,
Which at dawn springs up anew,
but by evening wilts and fades.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O LORD! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
Prosper the work of our hands for us!
Prosper the work of our hands!
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Gospel lk 9:7-9
Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening,
and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying,
"John has been raised from the dead";
others were saying, "Elijah has appeared";
still others, "One of the ancient prophets has arisen."
But Herod said, "John I beheaded.
Who then is this about whom I hear such things?"
And he kept trying to see him.

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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: Ecclesiastes 1:2-11

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25th Week in Ordinary Time

All things are vanity! (Ecclesiastes 1:2)

Wait a minute! Aren't the Scriptures supposed to be encouraging and joyful? After reading Qoheleth's complaints, you may be wondering how the Book of Ecclesiastes even ended up included in the Scriptures! But surprising as it may be, this frustrated and annoyed writer could be considered a great hero of faith.

Most scholars today believe that Ecclesiastes was written some time in the two to three centuries before Christ. The author wrote under the name "Qoheleth," which means "preacher" in Hebrew, but it's not certain who he was. One thing is certain, however: he didn't mince words when he considered the state of human life!

Qoheleth was brutally honest when he described the cycle of life. He didn't sugarcoat the sometimes meaningless labors and injustices that we face. He didn't smile and pretend that everything was fine. He confronted life's inconsistencies, acknowledged them, but continued to believe in God and to trust him to make sense out of things. Now that's a heroic example of faith!

Imagine if Qoheleth had had the benefit of knowing Christ! In light of the resurrection, all the twists and turns of life begin to make sense. All of the longing for something more can be fulfilled now that heaven has been opened. Our challenges have meaning and purpose because we know that the universe really is going somewhere!

This is where you stand today. You know about Christ! You are a child of the resurrection! Think of how much broader that makes your perspective. You can take a long, hard look at your life and the world around you and still proclaim, "No matter how meaningless things seem, no matter how fleeting or confusing, I know that my Redeemer lives! I know he is with me!" The troubling evidence before you doesn't have to shake your faith; it's just the beginning of eternal life.

So don't be afraid of the chaos of life. Go ahead, and ask the tough questions. Just make sure you're asking the right Person. And then open your ears to hear the hope-filled answers he wants to give you.

"Father, it can be hard to believe when I think about all the things that don't seem fair in life. But I trust you. I choose to believe that you have it all under control!"


Psalm 90:3-6, 12-14, 17; Luke 9:7-9


We read today "nothing is new under the sun".  Priests after many years of experience will know that people suffer from the same sins, and will or should know how to treat them in the confessional if God is the presence in the soul.  Maybe we need a new movement in the world.  I asked a supervisor what he was doing with some workers this morning locked behind closed doors, I asked "was it a gripe session I should know about" and he said "it was a renewal of thought process session".  I said Ok and we moved on.  This conversion is a renewal of thought.  We need it, and more than that, it comes about through the movement I am leading to, a movement of conversion brought about by reconciliation, and encounter with our Lord and His Mercy.  How can we herd everyone including myself into the confessionals, into an encounter with Christ?  How do we get everyone including myself to repent and sin no more?  We prayed the Psalm "In every age O Lord, you have been our refuge".  It is only through His grace we are still around.  We don't deserve to live because of the wretchedness and ingratitude of our past generations, but God says we do, by His grace we deserve to live and to live for Him.  And so the question of Herod is still as if it were just yesterday "who is this about whom I hear such things", I thought I killed him already?  "And he kept trying to see him".  Had Herod repented of his pride?  Someone sent me a text of a daily biblical passage that brought up Proverbs this morning "Before destruction a man's heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor" Prov.8:12.  Saints are honored, the haughty are destroyed.  It is an equalization of the world that makes the balance work.  My haughty heart makes my world come crashing down to humility, only to be honored and raised up by Christ in the end.  Reconciliation my family.  Become one with God.  How hard is it?  And it is nothing new being asked, but new to the one who has not lived it.  That's where it's encounter with the risen Lord, Jesus, our King and Savior, our refuge.  And we all want to see fruits.  We all want to see results.  We all want to see to believe, even Herod "kept trying to see".  But that's not enough.  Faith. We have to believe.  Believe that we are passing through this world.  "Prosper the work of our hands" we prayed today in Psalms.  But what work are we doing?  Are we asking to prosper our personal business, or the Father's business which is the Kingdom of God?  I loved reading today about parents that were honored as saints.  I am a parent.  This means it is possible to be saints in a world that says it is impossible.  Praise be to God, He must mean He wants us for Him above all...
The New Movement Starts