Monday, October 13, 2014

Something Greater

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Minute Meditations

We Are Called

In the words of St. Francis of Assisi: "We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way."
— from St. Anthony Messenger

Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher

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Canada was one diocese from coast to coast during the first eight years of Marie-Rose Durocher's life. Its half-million Catholics had received civil and religious liberty from the English only 44 years before. When Marie-Rose was 29, Bishop Ignace Bourget became bishop of Montreal. He would be a decisive influence in her life.

He faced a shortage of priests and sisters and a rural population that had been largely deprived of education. Like his counterparts in the United States, he scoured Europe for help and himself founded four communities, one of which was the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. Its first sister and reluctant co-foundress was Marie-Rose.

She was born in a little village near Montreal in 1811, the 10th of 11 children. She had a good education, was something of a tomboy, rode a horse named Caesar and could have married well. At 16, she felt the desire to become a religious but was forced to abandon the idea because of her weak constitution. At 18, when her mother died, her priest brother invited her and her father to come to his parish in Beloeil, not far from Montreal. For 13 years she served as housekeeper, hostess and parish worker. She became well known for her graciousness, courtesy, leadership and tact; she was, in fact, called "the saint of Beloeil." Perhaps she was too tactful during two years when her brother treated her coldly.

As a young woman she had hoped there would someday be a community of teaching sisters in every parish, never thinking she would found one. But her spiritual director, Father Pierre Telmon, O.M.I., after thoroughly (and severely) leading her in the spiritual life, urged her to found a community herself. Bishop Bourget concurred, but Marie-Rose shrank from the prospect. She was in poor health and her father and her brother needed her.

She finally agreed and, with two friends, Melodie Dufresne and Henriette Cere, entered a little home in Longueuil, across the Saint Lawrence River from Montreal. With them were 13 young girls already assembled for boarding school. Longueuil became successively her Bethlehem, Nazareth and Gethsemani. She was 32 and would live only six more years—years filled with poverty, trials, sickness and slander. The qualities she had nurtured in her "hidden" life came forward—a strong will, intelligence and common sense, great inner courage and yet a great deference to directors. Thus was born an international congregation of women religious dedicated to education in the faith.

She was severe with herself and by today's standards quite strict with her sisters. Beneath it all, of course, was an unshakable love of her crucified Savior.

On her deathbed the prayers most frequently on her lips were "Jesus, Mary, Joseph! Sweet Jesus, I love you. Jesus, be to me Jesus!" Before she died, she smiled and said to the sister with her, "Your prayers are keeping me here—let me go."

She was beatified in 1982.


The Christian triad has always been and will always be prayer, penance and charity. In our day we have seen a great burst of charity, a genuine interest in the poor. Countless Christians have experienced a deep form of prayer. But penance? We squirm when we read of terrible physical penance done by people like Marie-Rose. That is not for most people, of course. But the pull of a materialistic culture oriented to pleasure and entertainment is impossible to resist without some form of deliberate and Christ-conscious abstinence. That is part of the way to answer Jesus' call to repent and turn completely to God.


To a novice leaving religious life, Marie-Rose said: "Do not imitate those persons who, after having spent a few months as postulant or novice in a community, dress differently, even ludicrously. You are returning to the secular state. My advice is, follow the styles of the day, but from afar, as it were."

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


Dear Jesus, today I call on you in a special way.
Mostly I come asking for favours.
Today I'd like just to be in Your presence.
Let my heart respond to Your Love.


 Lord, may I never take the gift
of freedom for granted. You gave
me the great blessing of freedom of
spirit. Fill my spirit with Your peace and
Your joy.


In God's loving presence I unwind the past day,
starting from now and looking back, moment by moment.
I gather in all the goodness and light, in gratitude.
I attend to the shadows and what they say to me,
seeking healing, courage, forgiveness.

The Word of God

Reading 1 gal 4:22-24, 26-27, 31-5:1

Brothers and sisters:
It is written that Abraham had two sons,
one by the slave woman and the other by the freeborn woman.
The son of the slave woman was born naturally,
the son of the freeborn through a promise.
Now this is an allegory.
These women represent two covenants.
One was from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery;
this is Hagar.
But the Jerusalem above is freeborn, and she is our mother.
For it is written:
Rejoice, you barren one who bore no children;
break forth and shout, you who were not in labor;
for more numerous are the children of the deserted one
than of her who has a husband
Therefore, brothers and sisters,
we are children not of the slave woman
but of the freeborn woman.

For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm
and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.

Responsorial Psalm ps 113:1b-2, 3-4, 5a and 6-7

R. (see 2) Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Praise, you servants of the LORD,
praise the name of the LORD.
Blessed be the name of the LORD
both now and forever.
R. Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
From the rising to the setting of the sun
is the name of the LORD to be praised.
High above all nations is the LORD;
above the heavens is his glory.
R. Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Who is like the LORD, our God,
who looks upon the heavens and the earth below?
He raises up the lowly from the dust;
from the dunghill he lifts up the poor.
R. Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel lk 11:29-32

While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them,
"This generation is an evil generation;
it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it,
except the sign of Jonah.
Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites,
so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
At the judgment
the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation
and she will condemn them,
because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon,
and there is something greater than Solomon here.
At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it,
because at the preaching of Jonah they repented,
and there is something greater than Jonah here."

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Sometimes I wonder what I might say if I were to meet you in person Lord.  I think I might say "Thank You Lord" for always being there for me.  I know with certainty there were times when you carried me, Lord. When it was through your strength I got through the dark times in my life.


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: Luke 11:29-32

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28th Week in Ordinary Time

There is something greater than Jonah here. (Luke 11:32)

"If only I had been alive when Jesus walked the earth! I would have hung on his every word, noted his every action, and learned all about his hidden life. I wish I had been there to see just one of his miracles. I would never have questioned him! How sad that the time of miracles is past."

Guess what? Jesus is walking the earth today! His body thrives as its members in the Church open their hearts and hands to one another, ministering his presence more powerfully than the voice of any single individual. His body clutches at your heartstrings in the plight of every needy human being. And best of all, that really is his Body on the altar at every Mass.

Is the time of miracles over? Jesus promised, "Whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these" (John 14:12). Jesus is still in the business of performing miracles, sometimes in response to prayer and sometimes through his people as we minister his presence. No matter how he does it, Jesus is still healing incurable diseases, reconciling people after years of estrangement, and awakening repentance in the most hardened of hearts.

Often we can discern the hand of God more clearly when we look back over a period of time. Not all miracles are instantaneous; many slip under the radar until we compare the overwhelming results to our meager human resources. It's true that the more we look, the more signs and miracles we will recognize. Jesus comes to us in planned moments, during daily Mass or personal prayer time. But he also comes to us in spontaneous moments, when we least expect him. Responding to his presence may require setting aside our plans and goals, but it's always worth it.

Do you want to see miracles today? Then begin by praying, "Jesus, I know I will encounter you today. Help me to recognize you right away and respond in faith." Then when evening comes, look back over the day, and you'll be amazed at all the ways the Lord has been at work.

"Jesus, you continue to be God's Word among us. Open my eyes to see you and my heart to respond to you. Lord, may I become an instrument of your miraculous presence today!"


Galatians 4:22-24, 26-27, 31--5:1; Psalm 113:1-7

We all look for signs.  We have to.  Many converts realize the importance of signs and so a conversion becomes possible.  And so it is for one who needs to be converted more to freedom, the truth, our Lord Jesus.  There are a tremendous amount of signs out there.  We ask God to open our eyes and hearts, but must He do all the work?  Signs are everywhere.  I've just to live another day for that to be a sign of God's love.  All signs point to Jesus.  Going through a rough patch?  Signs are pointing to Jesus.  A single miracle is often not enough, and so God does millions.  I thought about that when receiving the body of Christ in the Eucharist.  Imagine how many consecrated hosts have been given across the world throughout the last couple thousand years.  It is phenomenal.  He gives more than He receives.  We receive God and we do not give of His gift.  He gives us freedom of which we are born from, yet we choose the slavery of sin.  The promise is there for the taking.  What promise?  If you repent, and sin no more, you will be free.  You will be free to what?  Become a true follower of Christ of which you already call yourself a "Christian".  Why do I need freedom?  Because it is good.  Take for instance, yesterday I led the rosary before Mass, and as I got up afterwards, I saw this man that quit at work over what I'm thinking was an insurance issue, he quit  workand did not say thanks or goodbye.  I went to shake his hand, and he turned his face away and did not shake my hand.  One could feel the coldness of a stale heart.  So I kept an eye on him during time for receiving Jesus in the Eucharist..."yup, he's getting up, I got to pray for him, lest he partakes of condemnation and not freedom".  I prayed for his soul.  This is freedom.  Free to turn away from evil and hating right back.  I am not a child of slavery or murder.  I am a child of God, and God is love.  "Oh you make yourself out to be so good" says the devil.  The accuser is always prowling hungry to devour the weak, and still the weak God looks out after.  This freedom I experience is living a life of grace.  One that can constantly be rejected and accused of, yet still live free.  This is the promise of whom we prayed to "Blessed be the name of the Lord forever."  He raises up the lowly from the dust, from the dunghill he lifts up the poor.  Am I talking about me in the case of the rejected handshake?  Or is it God acting through me to raise up the would-be insulter?  Who is raising up who?  Yet the temptor hit me with the thought at the moment "...and yet this is the people I am serving?".  People that look down on me?  People that hate on me?  People that are ungrateful.  Because as I walked towards the Eucharist, to my left, a family that won't respond to my pleas for help in the church, yet want to lead.  To my right, a family that claims to serve God yet can not forgive one another in their own family.  I find myself among those in slavery that are righteously to be free.  I serve a very needy and poor people.  I serve to the one who said to me last week "I feel worthless right now".  I slapped back to him in reply ", you sound faithless!".  Because our worth is not measured by earthly terms.  What's worth it, is worthiness.  And you are worthy.  You are worthy to praise God, especially in the storm.  I am quite backwards.  True Christians are to be backwards.  The fish symbol is a fish swimming to the right, backwards from the current.  You will find yourself swimming against the current, your own whims and fancies, and this is to be free, because the currents of the world lead to sin and death.  But on the contrary is Jesus, freedom from sin and death.  There is absolutely nothing easy about being a true follower, but the joy, and the freedom is worth every last drop of blood.  And it began with a promise to what the world thought and made out to be impossible...

Jesus, let us be on our way to your most precious Sacred Heart that you serve without reserve,
Help us love you more and more, and each other more and more,
Help us begin to see the signs of love you pour out daily,
Help us with renewed zeal and energy to live your life,
Help us start at home, with family and friends,
and every time you ask me of me,
help me say yes