Thursday, October 2, 2014

And Whoever Receives

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Minute Meditations

Don't Hold Back  
Nothing then, must keep us back, nothing separate us from Him, and nothing come between us and Him.
— from Adventures in Assisi

Feast of the Guardian Angels

Perhaps no aspect of Catholic piety is as comforting to parents as the belief that an angel protects their little ones from dangers real and imagined. Yet guardian angels are not only for children. Their role is to represent individuals before God, to watch over them always, to aid their prayer and to present their souls to God at death.

The concept of an angel assigned to guide and nurture each human being is a development of Catholic doctrine and piety based on Scripture but not directly drawn from it. Jesus' words in Matthew 18:10 best support the belief: "See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father."

Devotion to the angels began to develop with the birth of the monastic tradition. St. Benedict gave it impetus and Bernard of Clairvaux, the great 12th-century reformer, was such an eloquent spokesman for the guardian angels that angelic devotion assumed its current form in his day.

A feast in honor of the guardian angels was first observed in the 16th century. In 1615, Pope Paul V added it to the Roman calendar.


Devotion to the angels is, at base, an expression of faith in God's enduring love and providential care extended to each person day in and day out until life's end.


"May the angels lead you into paradise;
may the martyrs come to welcome you
and take you to the holy city,
the new and eternal Jerusalem." (Rite for Christian Burial)
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 you gave me life and the gift of freedom.
Through Your love I exist in this world.
May I never take the gift of life for granted.
May I always respect the right to life of others.


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

Memorial of the Guardian Angels
Reading 1 jb 19:21-27
Job said:

Pity me, pity me, O you my friends,
for the hand of God has struck me!
Why do you hound me as though you were divine,
and insatiably prey upon me?

Oh, would that my words were written down!
Would that they were inscribed in a record:
That with an iron chisel and with lead
they were cut in the rock forever!
But as for me, I know that my Vindicator lives,
and that he will at last stand forth upon the dust;
Whom I myself shall see:
my own eyes, not another's, shall behold him,
And from my flesh I shall see God;
my inmost being is consumed with longing.
Responsorial Psalm ps 27:7-8a, 8b-9abc, 13-14
R. (13) I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
Hear, O LORD, the sound of my call;
have pity on me, and answer me.
Of you my heart speaks; you my glance seeks.
R. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
Your presence, O LORD, I seek.
Hide not your face from me;
do not in anger repel your servant.
You are my helper: cast me not off.
R. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
The disciples approached Jesus and said,
"Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?"
He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said,
"Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever humbles himself like this child
is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.
And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.

"See that you do not despise one of these little ones,
for I say to you that their angels in heaven
always look upon the face of my heavenly Father."

audio    Listen to audio of this reading

video    Watch a video reflection 


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: Matthew 18:1-5, 10

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The Holy Guardian Angels

Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:4)

Have you ever seen a child jump fearlessly into a pool toward the outstretched arms of her father or mother? Blissfully trusting in her parent's protection, she is filled with confidence! This image of happy freedom can help us grasp the sense of security and peace we can know as children of God.

When Jesus called us to become like little children, he was saying that he wants us to regain some of our childhood innocence. When we were very young, we found it easy to believe in a good God who watches over us and sends angels to protect us. As we grow older, however, such comforting images fade, and we tend to lose our sense of wonder. Life wears us down and tempts us to become cynical about the closeness of God and the reality of our guardian angels. Faced with the inevitable pressures of adulthood, we may begin to believe—or resign ourselves to the belief—that we have no one to help us but ourselves. For better or for worse, we consider ourselves to be the masters of our fate.

Don't let that happen! Let Jesus awaken in you that joy and innocence you knew as a child—the same joy and innocence you felt when you first experienced his love. Christian maturity is not a matter of increased independence from God; it's a deeper dependence on him! Even as an adult, you are still incapable of one day's existence apart from his mercy and grace. From your first breath to your last, it is God who provides for your health, your relationships, your finances, your very life!

So ask the Holy Spirit to do a special work in you today. Ask him to help you view everything that happens today with the eyes of a child who relies on his or her Father's love. Know that your heavenly Father wants you to come to him with every concern, no matter how small, and trust that his angels are watching over you. Let him reassure you with his love and support.

"Holy Spirit, help me to become more like a child as I look to the Father for my strength and my needs. Teach me how to trust in your provision and heavenly protection."

Job 19:21-27; Psalm 27:7-9, 13-14

One of the songs I recorded was about my baptism.  It's a spanish song, and says that with the baptism, I died to sin and death with Jesus, and later in the song it said that I am now an angel of God because I am co-missioned to bring about the Good News of Christ, and at the end of the song it said that Jesus came to defeat sin and death and that I am to follow His lead.  The song is not about me but about every baptized soul.  In the book of Job, he was asking for pity, that is for mercy from friends, and at last said "I know my redeamer eyes shall behold Him...from my flesh I shall see God, my inmost being is consumed with longing".  This longing is our emptiness ready for Love...ready for God.  For Job had family, and it was ripped away, one by one, all those "blessings", work, family, and success were stripped and all those so-called friends even turned, but only one remained.  I can relate personally to Job.  After cursillo, we are to join friends, and friends join ultreyas so that there may live on cursillo teams.  In my 10 years of being a cursillista, I've lost friends that I depended on to meet for weekly group.  Some I've lost to death, but most I've lost to the world.  There has been one faithful friend that remained, my brother...and our Father Jesus our Lord.  He's been there when everyone else has gone away.  Like Job, He was the redeemer.  He gave back many times over what Job lost, work, family and so forth.  This is what I mean about placing God first in your life.  In the end, it is you that will render count and who will be left to vouch for you?  Only you and the Lord.  We do have a laywer and we do have supporters.  The laywer is Mary and the supporters are the Angels.  Which one do you believe?  Today we prayed the Psalm "I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living".  Job believed. Do you?  Then Jesus said something unbelievable in the Holy Gospel, something that we don't believe in, or most don't, something like when He said His body was flesh we needed to eat to enter the Kingdom.  He said it in just about all the Gospels "Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child* will not enter it."  He is talking about accepting Jesus fully into your heart, mind, and soul.  There is no fuller way than an open soul's heart to His Divinity.  God is talking to you.  We block the call.  We put on earphones with loud worldly music.  We are the ones who put a "do not disturb" sign on our doors when He comes by to clean up and save.  We are the ones who do not want to see with our own eyes.  This is not some circus act or show.  Don't ask for a miracle that you do not need.  Ask for the miracle of Job.  To have such a faith, to go from riches to rags and losing your health, down on your knees and to still be able to say "I know, my vindicator lives".  To accept like a child full heartedly as a fool to the world, accept Jesus, accept the Kingdom to enter the Kingdom.  Do you want to know what happens when they open the doors to the tabernacle, the place in the Catholic Church that contains the Blessed Sacrament, the body of Christ?  It is opening the doors to the Kingdom.  It is a secret portal to forever.  What should one do when they open the doors?  Some people see the doors open and are unmoved, they see nothing.   Some people are curious but that's it.  Some people may pray.  Some people like a Holy Priest will see the doors open and stop everything they are doing to kneel pointing to the open doors. We are speaking of seeing something that no one dares to see.  Holiness.  Jesus.  Eternity.  What do I see when I see the consecrated body of Christ?  I see what Jesus is made of and that I am about to consume in this body to behold the lamb of God with my own eyes.  My angels already look to God's face continuously.  My angels in Heaven are constantly on guard.  Perhaps some for my physical safety, but mostly my spiritual salvation.  Like the country song says "I believe there are angels among us".  We took a family trip this summer, and on airlines and various stations on the journey, I noticed all our servants looked a certain way and helped a certain way and my mind kept saying "these are angels of God" so tender, so willing to help me and my family get to our destination.  That's what our angels do in Heaven.  They are ready to help.  Our job is to get onboard to our destination, Heaven.  Do not despise the Holy ones, for their reflectors and supporters are directly in line with God.  Rather, accept and become one.  I have to be extremely Holy if I want my family and loved ones to be a tad bit holy.  Because it is the same for a priest in church for any baptized priest, prophet, and king. 
If the priest is a saint, his people will be holy.
If the priest is holy, his people will be good.
If the priest is good, his people will be fair.
If the priest is fair, his people will be mediocre.
If the priest is mediocre, his people will be bad.
Pray for your priest.
Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?  The humble that believe and receive. 
I'll give you a clue in our life on earth on who to receive like this is most often the forgotten and most often the least you expect.  You cross me and I will pray for your soul.  Suddenly the thought of grace is appearing.  This vision I pray for as we embark this afternoon to a cursillo.  I ask for your prayers, for this marvelous encounter that is about to transpire.  I am excited.  Usually, people that live a cursillo will say at the end that they do not want to go back home.  This is how it is in Heaven.  You never want to go back.  They say they see everything in a different light.  LOL, that's because the light turned on!  Some rarely will say what I blurted out in front of hundreds at my closing...I want to be a soldier of God.  But I did say what many have said "...I now see Jesus in all of your faces"
Suddenly grace appears and you're immersed in love. 
Suddenly God is making my heart pump erraticaly. 
Suddenly my eyes water when His Blessed Sacramental Presence is in front of me.  One of my new songs says "what's wrong with me, why in your presence do I start to cry?" In spanish "que pasa conmigo porque en tu presencia empiezo a llorar"? 
Because our bodies can not fully contain His joy, His power, His Grace, yet somehow it happens in the Eucharist, like a baby in the womb, He comes into our soul, like a child born in poverty, like the forgotten and judged. 
Oh my Lord, you are beyond Awesome, you are totality for eternity
and I long for you in my soul


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