Monday, October 6, 2014

I Shall Repay

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Minute Meditations

All or Nothing
Great saints are both courageous and creative; they are "yes, and" or non-dual thinkers who never get trapped in the small world of "either-or" except in the ways of love and courage, where they are indeed all or nothing.
— from Eager to Love

St. Bruno
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This saint has the honor of having founded a religious order which, as the saying goes, has never had to be reformed because it was never deformed. No doubt both the founder and the members would reject such high praise, but it is an indication of the saint's intense love of a penitential life in solitude.

Bruno was born in Cologne, Germany, became a famous teacher at Rheims and was appointed chancellor of the archdiocese at the age of 45. He supported Pope Gregory VII in his fight against the decadence of the clergy and took part in the removal of his own scandalous archbishop, Manasses. Bruno suffered the plundering of his house for his pains.

He had a dream of living in solitude and prayer, and persuaded a few friends to join him in a hermitage. After a while he felt the place unsuitable and, through a friend, was given some land which was to become famous for his foundation "in the Chartreuse" (from which comes the word Carthusians). The climate, desert, mountainous terrain and inaccessibility guaranteed silence, poverty and small numbers.

Bruno and his friends built an oratory with small individual cells at a distance from each other. They met for Matins and Vespers each day and spent the rest of the time in solitude, eating together only on great feasts. Their chief work was copying manuscripts.

The pope, hearing of Bruno's holiness, called for his assistance in Rome. When the pope had to flee Rome, Bruno pulled up stakes again, and spent his last years (after refusing a bishopric) in the wilderness of Calabria.

He was never formally canonized, because the Carthusians were averse to all occasions of publicity. However Pope Clement X extended his feast to the whole Church in 1674.


If there is always a certain uneasy questioning of the contemplative life, there is an even greater puzzlement about the extremely penitential combination of community and hermit life lived by the Carthusians.


"Members of those communities which are totally dedicated to contemplation give themselves to God alone in solitude and silence and through constant prayer and ready penance. No matter how urgent may be the needs of the active apostolate, such communities will always have a distinguished part to play in Christ's Mystical Body..." (Vatican II, Decree on the Renewal of Religious Life, 7).

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


Dear Jesus,
as I call on you today I realise that I often come asking for favours.
Today I'd like just to be in your presence.
Let my heart respond to Your Love.


There are very few people
who realise what God would make of them
if they abandoned themselves into his hands,
and let themselves be formed by his grace. (Saint Ignatius)
I ask for the grace to trust myself totally to God's love.


Knowing that God loves me unconditionally, I look honestly over the last day, its events and my feelings.
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 gal 1:6-12

Brothers and sisters:
I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking
the one who called you by the grace of Christ
for a different gospel (not that there is another).
But there are some who are disturbing you
and wish to pervert the Gospel of Christ.
But even if we or an angel from heaven
should preach to you a gospel
other than the one that we preached to you,
let that one be accursed!
As we have said before, and now I say again,
if anyone preaches to you a gospel
other than the one that you received,
let that one be accursed!

Am I now currying favor with human beings or God?
Or am I seeking to please people?
If I were still trying to please people,
I would not be a slave of Christ.

Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,
that the Gospel preached by me is not of human origin.
For I did not receive it from a human being, nor was I taught it,
but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

Responsorial Psalm ps 111:1b-2, 7-8, 9 and 10c

R. (5) The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart
in the company and assembly of the just.
Great are the works of the LORD,
exquisite in all their delights.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
sure are all his precepts,
Reliable forever and ever,
wrought in truth and equity.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
He has sent deliverance to his people;
he has ratified his covenant forever;
holy and awesome is his name.
His praise endures forever.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.

Gospel lk 10:25-37

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said,
"Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
Jesus said to him, "What is written in the law?
How do you read it?"
He said in reply,
"You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your being,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself."
He replied to him, "You have answered correctly;
do this and you will live."

But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus,
"And who is my neighbor?"
Jesus replied,
"A man fell victim to robbers
as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.
They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.
A priest happened to be going down that road,
but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
Likewise a Levite came to the place,
and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him
was moved with compassion at the sight.
He approached the victim,
poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them.
Then he lifted him up on his own animal,
took him to an inn, and cared for him.
The next day he took out two silver coins
and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction,
'Take care of him.
If you spend more than what I have given you,
I shall repay you on my way back.'
Which of these three, in your opinion,
was neighbor to the robbers' victim?"
He answered, "The one who treated him with mercy."
Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."

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: Galatians 1:6-12

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Saint Bruno, Priest

I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking the one who called you. (Galatians 1:6)

Imagine yourself as a member of the Galatian church. You are a Gentile living in a rural setting far away from the metropolis of Rome and from Christianity's Mother Church in Jerusalem. The only "gospel" you have ever heard is the message that Paul has preached about salvation through Jesus' death and resurrection. Freed from sin by the power of God, you are rejoicing in your new faith in Jesus and enjoying the intimacy with God that the Holy Spirit has given you.

But then, Paul leaves to continue his missionary work, and some fringe members of the Jewish-Christian community in Jerusalem come to teach you what it means to live out your faith. Being a recent convert, you welcome their input but find yourself immersed in all sorts of customs and traditions: circumcision, dietary restrictions, and strict sabbath regulations. Instead of the freedom that you once knew, you begin to feel buried under a pile of laws and customs. Troubled by all you are hearing, you soldier on, eager to do everything you can to "complete" your faith!

This is the kind of confusion that Paul faced when he wrote his passionate, occasionally sarcastic Letter to the Galatians. After a very brief opening, Paul gets right to the point. He urges these new believers not to desert the God who has called them to a life of grace. He reminds them that the heart of the gospel is the power of God to change their lives. And he asks them whether they are still experiencing this power.

Like the Galatians, we too can get off track. In a world of competing "gospels," it's not hard to lose sight of Jesus and forget what it's like to experience his freedom, his joy, and his grace. Without Jesus, none of our customs, traditions, laws, or observances make sense. They become devoid of power to change us. So today, turn to your first love, Jesus. Ask his Spirit to make the gospel so real to you that you are filled with joy over your freedom and salvation.

"I praise you, Jesus, for so great a salvation! Thank you for freeing me from the power of sin and death. Help me to live always in your victory."


Psalm 111:1-2, 7-10; Luke 10:25-37


Allow me to translate today's 5minutos from Sonora, Mexico:
 "Christ is the Good Samaritan.  And He is over all everything through the word compassion, mercy.  This is the great word, undoubtedly, of the Bible.  For compassion has come Christ to this earth, we are redeemed, and He lowers Himself.  To have compassion is this, to lower one to the other, to lower to the situation, to the truth, to reality, to the pain of the other.  This is what the good Samaritan did.  We need that mercy of ways: we need it because we are fallen and need redemption, and we need it to be able to give it to the rest.  If we have not been consoled by God, we can not console others; if we have not been destinators of compassion.  In the measure that I recognize myself as a person like  the fallen man on the road, that has visited the compassionate visit of God, in that measure, transformed by that compassion, I too acquire that gift, the capablility to crouch down before the brother.  I need to receive mercy, because I need to give mercy.  I invite every one to receive the visit of the Good Samaritan, to receive the annointing.  The Samaritan annointed the poor fallen man, for this we all need, we need the annointing of the Spirit.  Let us ask then for our Lord to give us the annointing of His Spirit, so that we are transformed, so that we are not solely objects of mercy, but subjects capable to give mercy to brothers.  May His Gospel happen to us. "
  First and foremost, I want to thank you for your prayers for the cursillo that transpired this weekend.  Perhaps to the men, to all of us, the Good Samaritan appeared in the least expected.  From now on, that is the story of our lives.  Jesus appears when everyone else disappears.  Men that had gone far from mercy, met Him.  Men that had been led far from love, met Him.  I noticed brothers that reconciled with the Church then reconciled with one another.  When Jesus met them, they then met one another.  It was an honor to serve these men.  From now on, it will always be an honor to serve on God's team.  I'll tell you what, there was nothing easy about making this happen, but it was easy.  There were obstacles but there are always obstacles to a life of grace. I was asked to be the so called "director" but really everyone in the team was taking over, God takes over when you trust Him.  Even over the weekend the candidates took over in prayers.  It didn't take much, but it was just enough, already on the tipping scales of turning hearts to God it happened.  I told everyone living a life of grace will always be possible, so long as I can repent and meet with God, the more often the better.  I hope to hear of saints from this weekend, and I know I will hear of saints of those who are reading this today. 
 Today's 1st Holy scripture ended with "For I did not receive it from a human being, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ."  I was only insulted by one person when everyone was saying goodbye at the closing,  "...good job Adrian".  I felt like saying "get away from me Satan".  Should I receive flowers that were intened for my Mother in Heaven?  Should I receive thanks that were intended for Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior?  Don't send me things that will only inflate my dang ego and pride.  If only I could be secluded like today's saint.  Perhaps that would be Heaven.  I digress.  I am referring to the scripture I just mentioned.  I did not do any human feat other than allowing Christ's revelation to be expressed.  So the brother changed it when he saw my attitude and corrected it by saying "ok, thank you then for allowing God to work through you".  Then I accepted his gratitude.  Today's Holy Psalm prays something very important to be impregnated into our hearts, minds, and souls "The Lord will remember His Covenant forever".  If you are new and reading this, remember what was just said, God Keeps His Promise.  What is His promise?  It's more like WHO is His promise.  Jesus.  And we are asked to remain in Him.  He will remain with us until the end of time.  Do you believe?  The Psalms said it beautifully "

I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart in the company and assembly of the just.

Great are the works of the LORD, exquisite in all their delights.

The works of his hands are faithful and just; sure are all his precepts,

Reliable forever and ever, wrought in truth and equity.

He has sent deliverance to his people; he has ratified his covenant forever; HOLY and AWESOME is his name.

Do not ever forget how Holy is His name and How awesome our Teacher is.  If we are to follow this discipline of being a disciple, we've had a great lesson today.  Humility and Holiness. It is the story of our Lord doing what others won't.  It is the story of loving when others can't.  It is the story of uniting and healing.  It is the story of giving.  Not only did the Good Samaritan lift up and heal, but He carried the poor man, and He paid the price for the time the man would have to spend in recovery and still said "if you need more, I'll come back and pay even more".  Who does that?  Who loves like that?  Only God loves beyond more than we can comprehend.  Yet, He calls us to follow Him, this Way, to do as He does, to give of what we receive and still after that offer even more.  We can indeed follow the way to Holiness and be awesome.  God is.  He always IS.  And I am trusting you to be...

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