Friday, September 26, 2014

Do You Say

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Minute Meditations

A Shining Serenity
The sweetness of the Holy Spirit is immeasurable and swift, encircling all creatures in grace. The Holy Spirit is a burning and shining serenity that will never be depleted and which kindles fiery virtues so that, by the Holy Spirit, all darkness is banished. --St. Hildegard
— from Accidental Theologians

Sts. Cosmas and Damian
(d. 303?)
Listen to Audio

Nothing is known of their lives except that they suffered martyrdom in Syria during the persecution of the Emperor Diocletian.

A church erected on the site of their burial place was enlarged by the emperor Justinian. Devotion to the two saints spread rapidly in both East and West. A famous basilica was erected in their honor in Constantinople. Their names were placed in the canon of the Mass (Eucharistic Prayer I) , probably in the sixth century.

Legend says that they were twin brothers born in Arabia, who became skilled doctors. They were among those who are venerated in the East as the "moneyless ones" because they did not charge a fee for their services. It was impossible that such prominent persons would escape unnoticed in time of persecution: They were arrested and beheaded.

Nine centuries later, Francis of Assisi (October 4) rebuilt the dilapidated San Damiano chapel outside Assisi.


For a long time, it seems, we have been very conscious of Jesus' miracles as proofs of his divinity. What we sometimes overlook is Jesus' consuming interest in simply healing people's sickness, whatever other meaning his actions had. The power that "went out from him" was indeed a sign that God was definitively breaking into human history in final fulfillment of his promises; but the love of God was also concrete in a very human heart that was concerned about the suffering of his brothers and sisters. It is a reminder to Christians that salvation is for the whole person, the unique body-spirit unity.


In the Preface for Martyrs I, the Church acknowledges that a martyr's blood shows God "marvelous works, by which in our weakness you perfect your powerand on the feeble bestow power to bear you witness, through Christ our Lord."

Patron Saint of:


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....


"I am free."
When I look at these words in writing
They seem to create in me a feeling of awe.
Yes, a wonderful feeling of freedom.
Thank You, God.


Knowing that God loves me unconditionally, I can afford to be honest about how I am.  How has the last day been, and how do I feel now? I share my feelings openly with the Lord.

The Word of God

Reading 1 eccl 3:1-11

There is an appointed time for everything,
and a time for every thing under the heavens.
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to tear down, and a time to build.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them;
a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away.
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to be silent, and a time to speak.
A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.

What advantage has the worker from his toil?
I have considered the task that God has appointed
for the sons of men to be busied about.
He has made everything appropriate to its time,
and has put the timeless into their hearts,
without man's ever discovering,
from beginning to end, the work which God has done.

Responsorial Psalm ps 144:1b and 2abc, 3-4

R. (1) Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
my mercy and my fortress,
my stronghold, my deliverer,
My shield, in whom I trust.
R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
LORD, what is man, that you notice him;
the son of man, that you take thought of him?
Man is like a breath;
his days, like a passing shadow.
R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!

Gospel lk 9:18-22

Once when Jesus was praying in solitude,
and the disciples were with him,
he asked them, "Who do the crowds say that I am?"
They said in reply, "John the Baptist; others, Elijah;
still others, 'One of the ancient prophets has arisen.'"
Then he said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
Peter said in reply, "The Christ of God."
He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone.

He said, "The Son of Man must suffer greatly
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised."

audio    Listen to audio of this reading

video    Watch a video reflection 

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


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 3:1-11

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Saints Cosmas and Damian, Martyrs

What advantage has the worker from his toil? (Ecclesiastes 3:9)

If today's reading were some kind of riddle, the answer would probably be "a funeral."

This passage from Ecclesiastes focuses on two big challenges of our lives. It reminds us that there will be seasons when we will endure trials and seasons filled with joy. It even addresses the questions we often ponder about what God is trying to accomplish through us. How can our brief time on Earth possibly make a difference? To what effect is all of our toil?

A funeral often gives us the opportunity to see how a single life has affected so many. It's the goal of a eulogy to examine the ups and downs of a person's life, reflecting on the good that has come from it all. People often share stories about how the deceased person has touched their lives and how his or her struggles taught them faith and perseverance. The puzzle comes together piece by piece as this person's significance becomes clearer and clearer.

Of course, we don't need to have a funeral in order to reflect on our lives or discover the impact that other people have had on us. We can do this any time we want. Using a simple tool like a prayer journal every day can help us become more reflective. And honoring other people? We can make it a point to do this on a regular basis. It can all start right now!

Take some time today to think about the differences, both small and large, that just one person has made in your life and in the world around you. Write that person a note or find some other way to tell that person how God has worked through him or her. Then spend some time looking at your own life. Try to recognize the ways that you have made a difference in other people's lives. Know that every positive thing that you do, no matter how small, is part of the way you are fulfilling God's mission for you.

"Lord, give me the wisdom and patience to walk with you through all the different seasons in life. Teach me to encourage and honor other people for the ways that they have brought me closer to you."


Psalm 144:1-4; Luke 9:18-22

How many times have people gathered to pray because of you?  Was it when you were sick?  When did you initiate prayer just to give thanks and praise to God?  Do you hold neighborhood prayer meetings?  When I walked out of the funeral vigil earlier this week, I, in a way, thought "thanks be to God for the sister that passed away, for this opportunity to gather and pray, when else would all lost children gather to pray?"  There is a time for everthing, and there IS time for the Lord.  There is a time for everything else, but everything else is second.  I left my wife at an ACTS retreat last night.  She left everything second, left all her family and work to be first with the Lord.  There is a time to retreat, and there is a time to make for the Lord first.  They sang many songs and one was singing "...bless the Lord Oh my soul".  Today we prayed the Psalm "Blessed be the Lord, my Rock".  And today,  in the Holy Gospel, Jesus asked the disciples who did people say He was, and then He asked "who do YOU say that I am?"  Eventually the rock answered to our Rock, Peter answered to Jesus the answer that comes only from the Holy Spirit,  "you are the Christ" as if to say "Jesus, you are everything".  This answer should be our every prayer of every moment of our lives.  It would be this faith that would be put through the nastiest of sledge hammers to try and bust open the rock, to split it up to pieces, but the rock remained until it was fulfilled what had been proclaimed.
   I want you right now to proclaim from your heart, not what I say, but what is near and dear to the heart; tell our Lord what needs to be said, out with it!  Hold nothing back, because it will hold us back.  Let the Lord be who He is already...everything; everything that is Holy, everything that is good, everything that makes life worth living, everything that makes us give our lives for...Jesus, our rock, the one we hold onto, just like a light tower built on a rock, so is our faith.  People around you are looking for faith, believe it or not.  Children are looking, adults are looking, elderly are looking.  Herod didn't know how to respond to the question, but we do.  We know how we ought to respond, but do we?  Because be careful who you say Jesus is, because the biggest sin is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, to profane His Holy Name, to be sacrilegious, to bring it down instead of raising up.  And our sins could lean towards that tendency.  So, right now, Jesus is asking from the right hand of the Father "my child, who do you say that I am?".  If I beheld His presence and He asked me, I would probably freeze, or I would jump and exclaim an answer.  What would be the answer?  Now, don't jump to blurt out an answer, don't say what you think should be the right answer from the lips out, no, rather,  jump at the next opportunity God asks you for something.  That is the answer He seeks...the heart.  He don't need my money or family, He owns everything, when we give money or have family it is for our benefit, so no, what He is asking right now is for more, more than we care to give.  That smile to that someone you think don't deserve it.  That money to that person you know will never be able to pay you back.  That shirt off your back for that person that needs it immediately.  That venturing to church when you don't have the strength or will-power to go.  Give and give, because this is what is telling God you truly are blessing His Holy Name.  Bless God.  Give Glory to God.  The sign of the cross does all of this.  And He did it first...