Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Final Test

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Minute Meditations

Eager to Love

We must remain in love, which is why it is a commandment as such (John 15:9), in fact, the commandment of Jesus. Only when we are eager to love can we see love and goodness in the world around us.
— from Eager to Love

St. John Leonardi


"I am only one person! Why should I do anything? What good would it do?" Today, as in any age, people seem plagued with the dilemma of getting involved. In his own way John Leonardi answered these questions. He chose to become a priest.

After his ordination, he became very active in the works of the ministry, especially in hospitals and prisons. The example and dedication of his work attracted several young laymen who began to assist him. They later became priests themselves.

John lived after the Protestant Reformation and the Council of Trent (1545-63). He and his followers projected a new congregation of diocesan priests. For some reason the plan, which was ultimately approved, provoked great political opposition. John was exiled from his home town of Lucca, Italy, for almost the entire remainder of his life. He received encouragement and help from St. Philip Neri, who gave him his lodgings—along with the care of his cat!

In 1579, John formed the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, and published a compendium of Christian doctrine that remained in use until the 19th century.

Father Leonardi and his priests became a great power for good in Italy, and their congregation was confirmed by Pope Clement in 1595. He died at the age of 68 from a disease caught when tending those stricken by the plague.

By the deliberate policy of the founder, the Clerks Regular of the Mother of God have never had more than 15 churches and today form only a very small congregation.


What can one person do? If you ever glanced through a Christopher Notes pamphlet you know—plenty! In the life of each saint one thing stands clear: God and one person are a majority!  What one individual, following God's will and plan for his or her life, can do is more than our mind could ever hope for or imagine.  Each of us, like John Leonardi, has a mission to fulfill in God's plan for the world.  Each one of us is unique and has been given talent to use for the service of our brothers and sisters for the building up of God's kingdom.


"Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy" (Luke 12:32-33).

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


Lord, help me to be fully alive to your holy presence.
Enfold me in your love.
Let my heart become one with yours.


"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.


How am I really feeling? Lighthearted? Heavy-hearted? I may be very much at peace, happy to be here. Equally, I may be frustrated, worried or angry. I acknowledge how I really am.
It is the real me that the Lord loves.

The Word of God


Reading 1 gal 2:1-2, 7-14

Brothers and sisters:
After fourteen years I again went up to Jerusalem with Barnabas,
taking Titus along also.
I went up in accord with a revelation,
and I presented to them the Gospel that I preach to the Gentiles--
but privately to those of repute--
so that I might not be running, or have run, in vain.
On the contrary,
when they saw that I had been entrusted with the Gospel to the uncircumcised,
just as Peter to the circumcised,
for the one who worked in Peter for an apostolate to the circumcised
worked also in me for the Gentiles,
and when they recognized the grace bestowed upon me,
James and Cephas and John,
who were reputed to be pillars,
gave me and Barnabas their right hands in partnership,
that we should go to the Gentiles
and they to the circumcised.
Only, we were to be mindful of the poor,
which is the very thing I was eager to do.

And when Cephas came to Antioch,
I opposed him to his face because he clearly was wrong.
For, until some people came from James,
he used to eat with the Gentiles;
but when they came, he began to draw back and separated himself,
because he was afraid of the circumcised.
And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him,
with the result that even Barnabas
was carried away by their hypocrisy.
But when I saw that they were not on the right road
in line with the truth of the Gospel,
I said to Cephas in front of all,
"If you, though a Jew,
are living like a Gentile and not like a Jew,
how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?"

Responsorial Psalm ps 117:1bc, 2

R. Go out to all the world, and tell the Good News.
Praise the LORD, all you nations,
glorify him, all you peoples!
R. Go out to all the world, and tell the Good News.
For steadfast is his kindness toward us,
and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever.
R. Go out to all the world, and tell the Good News.

Gospel lk 11:1-4

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished,
one of his disciples said to him,
"Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples."
He said to them, "When you pray, say:

Father, hallowed be your name,
your Kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread
and forgive us our sins
for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us,
and do not subject us to the final test."

    Listen to audio of this reading

    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: Galatians 2:1-2, 7-14

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27th Week in Ordinary Time

He clearly was wrong. (Galatians 2:11)

Have you ever let someone down? Overpromised and underdelivered? Of course. We all have. Unfortunately, we often compound our mistake by beating ourselves up about it, convincing ourselves that we just don't have what it takes to be faithful.

What we tend to forget is that we are not alone. We forget incidents like the one we find in today's first reading. When Paul reported to Peter (Cephas) and the other leaders about his work in bringing the gospel to the Gentiles, Peter was all for it. Even when he was visiting the church in Antioch, which was composed of Jews and Gentiles, Peter put aside Jewish tradition and freely shared meals with all of them, regardless of their religious backgrounds. But when other people from Jerusalem arrived, he pulled back, apparently deciding not to cross this boundary in front of other Jews, who might take it the wrong way.

We don't know exactly what Peter was thinking. Perhaps he had valid concerns about creating unnecessary conflict in the young Church. But it does seem clear that his actions caused offense and hurt among the believers in Antioch and led Paul to rebuke him publicly. Then we remember another time that Peter also assured Jesus that he would never turn his back on him, but then denied the Lord three times.

Both of these failures must have caused Peter great anguish and embarrassment. The important thing to recognize, though, is that this wasn't the end of the story for Peter. Far from it. Peter made mistakes. He let people down. But he never stopped following the Lord and trying his best to live in Christ's love. Because he kept himself open to God's forgiveness and grace, the Church has been impacted throughout the ages.

So let's go back to where we started. Have you ever let someone down or felt like you failed someone who needed you? How about this one: have you let God forgive you for these failures? Have you let him separate your sin from you as far as the east is from the west, as he has promised to do? Open yourself to God's grace today; let him pick you up and dust you off. Never stop giving yourself to him.

"Father, give me the grace to receive your forgiveness."


Psalm 117:1-2; Luke 11:1-4

 Allow me to translate today's 5minutos:
"They asked Jesus to teach them to pray because they saw Him praying.  He is the best model: He, who dedicated Himself continuously to evangelize and tend to the people, but who also prayed, with a filial attitude of communion with the Father.  We pray many times the Lord's prayer, and for this there is a danger that the routine not permit us to get all the Spiritual gist out that it deserves.  It is the most important of all prayers that we say, the one that Jesus Himself taught us.  The Lord's prayer is endearing, that helps us get situated in relation before God, asking before all that His name be glorified and that His Kingdom come soon.  The center of our life is God.  Then we ask for us: to be given the bread of our substinence, forgive us our faults and give us strength to not fall into temptation.  It is our prayer of children.  Today we would do good to say the Lord's prayer for our count, slow, savoring it, for example after Holy Communion, believeing what we say.  Then, we'd have to show others to pray it with faith and love of children (of our Father).  The rest of the prayers are glosses, commentaries, not as important as this one.  To the children of a family, to the children of catechism, we have to intiate them in prayer over all "praying with them", not so much "telling them to pray", and precisely with these words that Jesus taught us.  The Lord's prayer and prayer of the Church, and 'summary of all the gospel'. Pray this marvelous prayer with great faith. "

In today's 1st Holy scripture, we can see the life of evangelism and the nitty gritty of how it is when trying to figure out how to spread the good news.  Rightly so, the Psalm prays today "Go out to ALL the world and tell the Good News".  In comes the Lord's prayer after the disciples asked our Master Teacher how to pray in the discipline of being a disciple of Christ.  The prayer in its full form contains about a dozen of already daily Jewish prayers.  It contains volumes of books, and carries rightly so the Gospels in the bible.  The sum of all things He desires and we ought to desire are met at the middle with the bread, the body of Christ, where Heaven meets Earth in a Holy Mass anywhere in the world.  It begins with Our Father.  The world begins with Our Father.  My conversion began with Our Father.  Because Our Father chose it to be.  Our Father will meet us.  Some may not want to believe in Our Father, but they sure want to be given; "give me this" or "give me that".  But a good father gives what is good for the child.  Sometimes it is not what the child wants.  But an obedient child does the Father's will.  And we are beginning to be revealed the truth of the Gospel, the will of the Father.  He didn't work so hard through the Old Testament for the New to be in vain.  It took much blood, guts, goof ups, and sacrifices with the ultimate being the Supreme King of the Universe, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  Yet, still today, it is requiring guts and sacrifices in a way that we don't want to dare give.  Who will lay down their current lives for a life of God?  WIFM?  What's In it For Me?  GLORY TO GOD is what's in it.  It would only rightly give honor and glory from the inside instead of from the teeth out.  I owe God my life.  There are so many instances I could've lost it in so many ways looking back now.  But He chose blessings for me instead.  Nobody has ever loved me nor ever will love me like that.  I come down very hard though, and my zeal consumes me at times.  I'm not one to have soft words as much as I'd like to say I do.  The truth comes out crude, and some may see it as rude.  But the truth doesn't set well among falseness.  So I don't plan on sugar coating it, not in the way the world wants you to present Christ.  The way of the world is "just let everyone do their own thing and believe whatever they want".  That is the devil telling you to shut up.  That is the devil telling you not to glorify God with your whole heart, mind, soul, and strength.  That is the devil telling you to rush through faith.  Turn off Adrian's 2 cents, it's too long, just blabbering.  That is the devil telling you to get anxious when listening or trying to do church stuff.  Something revealed to me during this cursillo that I never told anyone was "for ever doubt in our Catholic faith, there has been a protestation denomination brought up".  Let's say, for instance, the doubt of the church's authority, so King James doubted, splintered and to this day that church of doubt the Anglican exists.  Before that, perhaps the first split was Martin Luther, with his doubt of indulgences of the Holy Church, and so there was a split, and the Lutheran Church is still worshipped in today.  I'll stop there because there are possibly over 50,000 of them today across the world.  Can you imagine the power of doubt?  This is how the devil got what he wanted with Adam and Eve.  We seriously need to evaluate what our Christian priorities are when we say "Our Father".  And it is an issue though, of every child of God.  How I treat my brothers and sisters is the bond that is loosed or tied to Heaven.  Do I lose souls to hell or lead souls to hell by my life?  How many hours have I spent worshipping the TV and sports?  I spend my time, talent, and treasure in that front, but what about God?  Could I truly give more honor and Glory to the true reward?  And what is the reward?  True Honor and Glory to God.  Jesus, help us, we are in an ocean of lukewarm, tepid and timid so called Christians.  As St. Ignatius of Antioch said "I wish not to be called Christian, but also to be Christian".

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