Thursday, October 9, 2014

His Persistence

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Minute Meditations

Communion of Saints Persistent Prayer

Your only greatness is that you share the common greatness of the whole communion of saints. Your membership in the communion of sinners is a burden you can now carry patiently because others are also carrying it with you. You no longer need to be personally correct as much as you just need to be connected.
— from Eager to Love

St. Denis and Companions
(d. 258?)

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This martyr and patron of France is regarded as the first bishop of Paris. His popularity is due to a series of legends, especially those connecting him with the great abbey church of St. Denis in Paris. He was for a time confused with the writer now called Pseudo-Dionysius.

The best hypothesis contends that Denis was sent to Gaul from Rome in the third century and beheaded in the persecution under Emperor Valerius in 258.

According to one of the legends, after he was martyred on Montmartre (literally, "mountain of martyrs") in Paris, he carried his head to a village northeast of the city. St. Genevieve built a basilica over his tomb at the beginning of the sixth century.


Again we have the case of a saint about whom almost nothing is known, yet one whose cult has been a vigorous part of the Church's history for centuries. We can only conclude that the deep impression the saint made on the people of his day reflected a life of unusual holiness. In all such cases, there are two fundamental facts: A great man gave his life for Christ, and the Church has never forgotten him—a human symbol of God's eternal mindfulness.


"Martyrdom is part of the Church's nature since it manifests Christian death in its pure form, as the death of unrestrained faith, which is otherwise hidden in the ambivalence of all human events. Through martyrdom the Church's holiness, instead of remaining purely subjective, achieves by God's grace the visible expression it needs. As early as the second century one who accepted death for the sake of Christian faith or Christian morals was looked on and revered as a 'martus' (witness). The term is scriptural in that Jesus Christ is the 'faithful witness' absolutely (Revelations 1:5; 3:14)" (Karl Rahner, Theological Dictionary).
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 reflect on God's life-giving presence
in every part of my body, in everything around me,
in the whole of my life.

It is so easy to get caught up
with the trappings of wealth in this life.
Grant, O Lord, that I may be free
from greed and selfishness.
Remind me that the best things in life are free.
Love, laughter, caring and sharing.


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 gal 3:1-5

O stupid Galatians!
Who has bewitched you,
before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?
I want to learn only this from you:
did you receive the Spirit from works of the law,
or from faith in what you heard?
Are you so stupid?
After beginning with the Spirit,
are you now ending with the flesh?
Did you experience so many things in vain?--
if indeed it was in vain.
Does, then, the one who supplies the Spirit to you
and works mighty deeds among you
do so from works of the law
or from faith in what you heard?

Responsorial Psalm lk 1:69-70, 71-72, 73-75

R. (68) Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior,
born of the house of his servant David.
R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
Through his holy prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.
R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.
R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; He has come to his people.

Gospel lk 11:5-13

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Suppose one of you has a friend
to whom he goes at midnight and says,
'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey
and I have nothing to offer him,'
and he says in reply from within,
'Do not bother me; the door has already been locked
and my children and I are already in bed.
I cannot get up to give you anything.'
I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves
because of their friendship,
he will get up to give him whatever he needs
because of his persistence.

"And I tell you, ask and you will receive;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives;
and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
What father among you would hand his son a snake
when he asks for a fish?
Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit
to those who ask him?"

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Do I notice myself reacting as I pray with the Word of God? Do I feel challenged, comforted, angry? Imagining Jesus sitting or standing by me, I speak out my feelings, as one trusted friend to another.


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 3:1-5

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Saint Denis, Bishop, and Companions, Martyrs

O stupid Galatians! (Galatians 3:1)

Stupid? Foolish? St. Paul could be pretty tough when he felt the situation warranted it. From what he had heard, Paul sensed that the Galatians weren't using their gift of reason in the right way. He expected them to know what it meant to live by faith and to understand how the Holy Spirit wanted to empower them. As far as he was concerned, they should have known enough about the Lord by then to be living in the freedom of the gospel. So we have to ask ourselves what it is that St. Paul considered essential to know about faith. What should we know that will bring us into greater freedom?

First of all, faith is open. It can hold to the possibility of God working in and around us. Next, faith welcomes this activity of God; it doesn't keep God at arm's length. Faith is also trusting, in that it believes what has been received through prayer or Scripture.

Faith is also intelligent: it observes the work of the Spirit and draws rational conclusions from it. Faith is persistent, as well. Having begun with the Holy Spirit, it strives to stay with the Spirit. Most of all, faith is free, unhampered by doubt, unfettered by superstition, undeceived by worldly philosophies. This is the kind of faith that grasps the truth, accepts it, and opens the way for God to work mightily in a person's heart.

So having faith is no problem, right? Or is it? If the qualities we listed above seem to highlight where your faith is weak, remember this foundational truth: if faith were all your own work, the demands of living by faith would be overwhelming. Who could ever muster all these attitudes and positions? But it's not up to you alone. Before anything else, faith is God's gift. It comes to us as an almost natural response to God's revelation in our hearts. It arises spontaneously as we experience the Spirit's touch in our lives. All we have to do is nurture it through prayer and give it room to grow through obedience. If we do, we'll find the Holy Spirit alive in us in ever increasing measure.

"Father, you know where my faith is weak; come and strengthen me today! Pour out more of your Spirit, so that I can live a life supported by faith, growing in faith, and encouraging others in faith."


(Psalm) Luke 1:69-75; Luke 11:5-13


The 5 minutos says today:
  "Following His teaching on prayer, the day before yesterday, yesterday the Lord's prayer, today Jesus proposes two small apologies (teachings of our faith) taken from family life: the impertinent and the father that hears the petitions of his child.  In both, He assures that God will attend our prayer.  If the friend does it, at least by insisting of who is asking for help, and if the father does it with this with the child, how much more will God not do with  they who ask for something!  Jesus assures us: "our Heavenly father will give the Holy Spirit to who asks", or to say, He will give the best, His Spirit, the plenitude of all we could ask for.  Jesus invites us to persevere in our prayer, to direct confidently our supplications to the Father.  And He assures that our prayer will be effective, will always be heard: "if you know how to give good things to your children, how much more will your celestial Father...?".  The effectiveness consists in that God always hears.  That He does not make Himself deaf before our prayer.  Because all the good we could ask for is already thought of before Him, who wants the good for us more than we do.  It's like when we go out for fresh air or go to the sun or take a dip in the ocean: we put ourselves in march to that intention, but the air and sun and water were already there.  When we ask God to help us-manifesting so our weakness and our confidence of children-, we put ourselves in harmony with His desires, that are previous to ours.  "
  This morning I replied to a sales/manager to be patient and insistent.  I could sense him getting worked up, kind of like we all tend to be.  We let our feelings get the better part instead of letting God in the situation.  Love is patient and kind and if it's not, then it must not be of God.  That's what I read of one of Padre Pio's lines last night, and this after having been unkind and not so patient with my family last night.  Oh sure I was supposedly "right" in what I did, but I was not right in being unkind or impatient.  We prayed immediately afterwards just as we had before our family meal.  A wave of who knows what struck.  That's why we have to be set on solid ground.  I sat afterwards reading Padre Pio's book.  I stopped.  I couldn't read this love book without resetting my heart.  So, the Lord's prayer was once again hard to pray.  I couldn't get past the part that says "...hallowed be thy name".  Hallowed means holy.  (that's why halloween is hallow's eve, the day before all Saints Day, holiness) I digress.  I couldn't say "Holy be thy name" if I were not making it Holy by my words and actions.  But I persisted, something had to give way.  You HAVE TO BE insistent, especially in prayer and asking the Holy Spirit to be a part of your life, especially when it is the hardest.  You can not give up.  Those that give up do not receive.  So what happened with the friend in the Gospel that wanted bread?  This morning, I read a letter of someone who got an anullment.  They were insistent in prayer and efforts, and may soon receive the bread by way of reconciliation with the Holy Church.  God is incomprehensible.  I stood there in disbelief.  God must really want us to be with Him.  He must really care.  Yet you would never know of His insistence if we do not insist ourselves.  I was yelled at "..then why don't you pray for them".  I didn't say nothing.  They do not know that I fasted for 40 days for them, they do not know that I have been praying more for them more than most things or people I pray for.  I am probably the most insistent person on their behalf that I know.  Just this week I was in front of that person, father of the family I pray for and said to for him shape up, this accident you had this weekend could've been your death.  God is insistent with messengers.  God wants you with Him.  It is us that are not insistent.  It is us that give up, and the only option away from God is death.  If today's Word of God serves me as a lesson it brings me to tears.   Because the serving is what we are to ask for above all...Jesus, the Father...Holy Spirit