Monday, September 29, 2014

You Will See

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Minute Meditations

The Spirit of Understanding

Just as a father or mother answers a child when it tries to learn something from them, so also the Holy Spirit fosters human knowledge in any of the arts when the person seeks to learn it through inclination, desire, and diligence. --St. Hildegard

— fromAccidental Theologians

Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael

Angels—messengers from God—appear frequently in Scripture, but only Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are named.

Michael appears in Daniel's vision as "the great prince" who defends Israel against its enemies; in the Book of Revelation, he leads God's armies to final victory over the forces of evil. Devotion to Michael is the oldest angelic devotion, rising in the East in the fourth century. The Church in the West began to observe a feast honoring Michael and the angels in the fifth century.

Gabriel also makes an appearance in Daniel's visions, announcing Michael's role in God's plan. His best-known appearance is an encounter with a young Jewish girl named Mary, who consents to bear the Messiah.

Raphael's activity is confined to the Old Testament story of Tobit. There he appears to guide Tobit's son Tobiah through a series of fantastic adventures which lead to a threefold happy ending: Tobiah's marriage to Sarah, the healing of Tobit's blindness and the restoration of the family fortune.

The memorials of Gabriel (March 24) and Raphael (October 24) were added to the Roman calendar in 1921. The 1970 revision of the calendar joined their feasts to Michael's.


Each of these archangels performs a different mission in Scripture: Michael protects; Gabriel announces; Raphael guides. Earlier belief that inexplicable events were due to the actions of spiritual beings has given way to a scientific world-view and a different sense of cause and effect. Yet believers still experience God's protection, communication and guidance in ways which defy description. We cannot dismiss angels too lightly.


"For the honor we pay the angelic creatures in whom you delight dedounds to your own surpassing glory, and by their great dignity and splendor you show how infinitely great you are, to be exalted above all things, through Christ our Lord" (Roman Missal, Preface for this feast).

Patron Saint of:

Police officers
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....


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.


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 dn 7:9-10, 13-14

As I watched:

Thrones were set up
and the Ancient One took his throne.
His clothing was bright as snow,
and the hair on his head as white as wool;
His throne was flames of fire,
with wheels of burning fire.
A surging stream of fire
flowed out from where he sat;
Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him,
and myriads upon myriads attended him.

The court was convened, and the books were opened.
As the visions during the night continued, I saw

One like a son of man coming,
on the clouds of heaven;
When he reached the Ancient One
and was presented before him,
He received dominion, glory, and kingship;
nations and peoples of every language serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
that shall not be taken away,
his kingship shall not be destroyed.

or rv 12:7-12ab

War broke out in heaven;
Michael and his angels battled against the dragon.
The dragon and its angels fought back,
but they did not prevail
and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.
The huge dragon, the ancient serpent,
who is called the Devil and Satan,
who deceived the whole world,
was thrown down to earth,
and its angels were thrown down with it.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
"Now have salvation and power come,
and the Kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed.
For the accuser of our brothers is cast out,
who accuses them before our God day and night.
They conquered him by the Blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
love for life did not deter them from death.
Therefore, rejoice, you heavens,
and you who dwell in them."

Responsorial Psalm ps 138:1-2ab, 2cde-3, 4-5

R. (1) In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple
and give thanks to your name.
R. In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.
Because of your kindness and your truth;
for you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me.
R. In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.
All the kings of the earth shall give thanks to you, O LORD
when they hear the words of your mouth;
And they shall sing of the ways of the LORD
"Great is the glory of the LORD
R. In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.

Gospel jn 1:47-51

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him,
"Here is a true child of Israel.
There is no duplicity in him."
Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?"
Jesus answered and said to him,
"Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree."
Nathanael answered him,
"Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel."
Jesus answered and said to him,
"Do you believe
because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree?
You will see greater things than this."
And he said to him, "Amen, amen, I say to you,
you will see heaven opened
and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."

audio    Listen to audio of this reading

video    Watch a video reflection


Conversation requires talking and listening.  As I talk to Jesus may I also learn to be still and listen.  I picture the gentleness in His eyes and the smile full of love as he gazes on me.  I can be totally honest with Jesus as I tell Him of my worries and my cares.  I will open up my heart to Him as I tell Him of my fears and my doubts.  I will ask Him to help me to place myself fully in His care, to abandon myself to Him, knowing that He always wants what is best for me.


I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.

Catholic Meditations

Meditation: Psalm 138:1-5

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Raphael, Archangels

I praise your name for your fidelity and love. (Psalm 138:2)

Have you ever thought about what it's like to praise God with all of his angels? We know that the archangels we celebrate today act as God's messengers to his people, and there are many biblical examples of their work in salvation history. But did you realize that one of the most important roles of the angels of God is to praise him before his throne?

What is heavenly worship like? Today's readings give us a glimpse. Imagine God, the "Ancient One," on his throne, surrounded by myriads of heavenly beings, with glory shining all around (Daniel 7:9-10). Imagine the angels of God "ascending and descending on the Son of Man," who has put all his enemies at his feet (John 1:51). The descriptions of angelic worship in the Book of Revelation provide a window for our imagination as well. And let's not forget the heavenly chorus that announced the birth of Jesus with joyful songs of praise and glory!

How do we enter into this joyous celebration? While our times of personal prayer lay an essential foundation, they aren't the only opportunity. Any time we lift our hearts to the Lord is a chance to take part in heavenly worship. When we go to Mass, heaven touches earth, and we are lifted up into worship. But our hearts can be raised up to heaven just as easily when we are walking down a busy street as when we are kneeling in church. Opportunities can come as we are cooking dinner or driving to work. There's nothing to stop us from putting on some praise music and dancing around the living room with our children!

The angels rejoice when heaven touches earth and when we mortals are lifted up to join them in their chorus of praise! So don't miss out on the many opportunities you will have today. Ask the Holy Spirit to open the heavens for you so that you can sing and dance and praise and worship the Lord.

"Holy Spirit, even though my feet are on the ground, help me to lift my mind and heart to heaven so that I can join all the angels in praising and worshipping God!"


Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14; John 1:47-51


LOL, those that are far from the Church seem to believe very well in devils, the stuff of Satan, but not very well in the Angels of God and the stuff from our Holy Lord Jesus.  I remember studying the book of Revelation with hundreds of men of all sorts of denominations, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, and the topic for that fall season was focus on the book of Revelation.  We split into different groups and we had a more in depth conversations, questions from a workbook.  I believe I was the only Catholic, probably out of the hundreds?  I digress.  When it came to my turn to answer a question on Revelation, I said something that made the room fall silent, awkward maybe, but I will never forget I spoke from the heart my devout Catholic belief, "I believe much of the book of Revelation has alread been revealed".  I didn't go into all the details, but I am prett sure I divulged Our Lady of Guadalupe, on how the book speaks of her, clothed with the sun and the stars and she was about to give birth as the serpent/dragon awaited to devour the child.  Of course Jesus was born and in the world of a a Heavenly Mother, Mary.  Their whole life was spent in hardship, loving and suffering together, until the serpent/dragon/Satan devoured what it could, the killing of our Lord Jesus.  Now the triumph comes.  Jesus came back from the death sentence to put a period at the end...He would have the final say...death is not the end, sin is not the end of me.  In comes the Angels from of Old.  They stand guard and protect the righteous through this valley death.  They rise up and come to earth.  Nowhere is this more evident in the time of the world than in the realms and realities of a Holy Mass.  And what makes it Holy?  Jesus, and I can too.  There, myriads of Angels ascend and descend, Heaven meets earth.  I would not say it if I did not believe that sitting among us and serving as we serve are angels ministering to Christ our King.  Bow.  Kneel. Sing.  Praise.  Lift up your hands.  Lift up your heart!  God is among us, the Word is among us.  I believe there are angels appearing.  I wonder at times of things that have happened to me and people that guided me or helped me were angels now?  Treat one another as angels of God.  Their faces look upon Him constantly.  Our guardian angels meet angels from Heaven.  And of all this angelic talk we still prayed the Psalm today "In the sight of your angels, I will sing your praises Lord".  Sometimes, I am the only one singing His praises.  Is it fitting that I am singing to angels?  I don't want to sing at your funeral only.  I was left alone with the kids this weekend as my wife was on retreat.  On Friday we had praise and worship at our house.  I sang a song that my mother in law really liked and she said "I want you to sing that song at my funeral".  I laughed and joked "Oh Mary, by then I will be too old to sing!" And the night continued with kids dancing and singing to God and my sister in law with closed eyes and hands in the air praising God our Jesus.  I am going to sing you a tune that will move your heart to tears.  I don't want it to be at your funeral.  I want God to open your heart to see angels going up and down to Heaven.  It happens with Jesus.  It happens on the altars, and it happens at church.  When we read Genesis chapter 28, Jacob dreams one night on his journey.  He dreams of stairs and angels going up and down.  From that day forth he would have descendants spread across the world.  Fitting for he came from Abraham.  Later we would hear of Jacob wrestling with an angel, only to have the angel tell him after injuring his hip "you will now be named Israel".  This grappling with God is the story of our faith, with angels.  Where is the challenge so that I can be blessed?  The challenge is the faith.  It is yours daily.  I want you to be strong.  Jacob never let go of the angel in the fight until he got blessed.  I want you to never let go in the fight for the Lord.  I want you to hang out and grapple with angels.  I want you to be struck.  Jesus was struck.  Jacob was struck.  We will be struck but not destroyed.  Jesus has the final word...VICTORY.  Jacob's dream happened at Luz which he named Bethel.  Luz means light in spanish.  Bethel means house of God.  Jesus came from Bethlehem which means house of bread.  So, Jesus is the light, the house of God and the bread of life.  I want you to be struck by these words.  The Eucharist is the bread of life whereupon the angels are ascending and descending at a critical moment in History.  This divinity is to be held on to for our lives.  We will exit life, to what?  A perfect world or a lost world?  My dear brothers and sisters, it is what our lives do for the Lord that determin the exit, because the remnants are left in the world.  Accept the challenge...the love of God.  I have not been so moved as to a few things within the last few weeks.  My heart was moved to hear of people challenging Satan's black Mass, taking the satanists to court and winning the Eucharist back, Jesus.  That touched me because it showed someone loves Jesus.  Then, a people I been praying for got married on Saturday afternoon by the Church, a Holy Sacrament, God was let into their lives, true Love.  My heart was moved the same way, I could only wish blessings from where I was at, and where was I at the moment of their marriage?  Waiting to surprise my wife in prayer service in another city, whereupon the next morning we went to Holy Mass and kneeling in the cry room with my kids, after the consumption of the Holy Eucharist in my body, I opened my eyes for an instant and saw an you want to know what I saw?  I bet you do.  I saw a family walking towards me after receiving the Eucharist, and my focus was on their little girl, a pretty little girl, I saw her struggling to walk, perhaps had a disability, but my heart was moved just as the Holy Marriage, or the defense of the Eucharist.  What is going on here is the story of the Holy Bible.  Revelations are living out day by day.  Be blessed.  I want you to never let Go of Gods hand. That little girl was being held by her daddy's hand.  Our struggle will be the same, but we are being held by our daddy's hand in Heaven.  God is so in love with you right now, He gave you life and wants you with Him forever.  That's where we are going, that's our struggle to make sure me and everyone else and their mommas get there...