Thursday, October 16, 2014

Something He Might Say

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Minute Meditations

In God's Image

A good homily helps listeners understand God's self-revelation in Scripture and in the faith community; it helps them see their lives as God sees them. Then they make whatever choices will better reflect their dignity as people made in God's image and likeness.

— fromSt. Anthony Messenger

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
This 17th-century French nun helped to promote devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

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Margaret Mary was chosen by Christ to arouse the Church to a realization of the love of God symbolized by the heart of Jesus.

Her early years were marked by sickness and a painful home situation. "The heaviest of my crosses was that I could do nothing to lighten the cross my mother was suffering." After considering marriage for some time, Margaret Mary entered the Order of Visitation nuns at the age of 24.

A Visitation nun was "not to be extraordinary except by being ordinary," but the young nun was not to enjoy this anonymity. A fellow novice (shrewdest of critics) termed Margaret Mary humble, simple and frank, but above all kind and patient under sharp criticism and correction. She could not meditate in the formal way expected, though she tried her best to give up her "prayer of simplicity." Slow, quiet and clumsy, she was assigned to help an infirmarian who was a bundle of energy.

On December 21, 1674, three years a nun, she received the first of her revelations. She felt "invested" with the presence of God, though always afraid of deceiving herself in such matters. The request of Christ was that his love for humankind be made evident through her. During the next 13 months he appeared to her at intervals. His human heart was to be the symbol of his divine-human love. By her own love she was to make up for the coldness and ingratitude of the world—by frequent and loving Holy Communion, especially on the first Friday of each month, and by an hour's vigil of prayer every Thursday night in memory of his agony and isolation in Gethsemane. He also asked that a feast of reparation be instituted.

Like all saints, Margaret Mary had to pay for her gift of holiness. Some of her own sisters were hostile. Theologians who were called in declared her visions delusions and suggested that she eat more heartily. Later, parents of children she taught called her an impostor, an unorthodox innovator. A new confessor, St. Claude de la Colombiere, a Jesuit, recognized her genuineness and supported her. Against her great resistance, Christ called her to be a sacrificial victim for the shortcomings of her own sisters, and to make this known.

After serving as novice mistress and assistant superior, she died at the age of 43 while being anointed. "I need nothing but God, and to lose myself in the heart of Jesus."


Our scientific-materialistic age cannot "prove" private revelations. Theologians, if pressed, admit that we do not have to believe in them. But it is impossible to deny the message Margaret Mary heralded: that God loves us with a passionate love. Her insistence on reparation and prayer and the reminder of final judgment should be sufficient to ward off superstition and superficiality in devotion to the Sacred Heart while preserving its deep Christian meaning.


Christ speaks to St. Margaret Mary: "Behold this Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself, in order to testify its love. In return, I receive from the greater part only ingratitude, by their irreverence and sacrileges, and by the coldness and contempt they have for me in this sacrament of love.... I come into the heart I have given you in order that through your fervor you may atone for the offenses which I have received from lukewarm and slothful hearts that dishonor me in the Blessed Sacrament" (Third apparition).

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.


God is not foreign to my freedom.
Instead the Spirit breathes life into my most intimate desires,
gently nudging me towards all that is good.
I ask for the grace to let myself be enfolded by the Spirit.


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

Luke 11:47-54

  Reading 1 eph 1:1-10

Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
to the holy ones who are in Ephesus
and faithful in Christ Jesus:
grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
to be holy and without blemish before him.
In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,
in accord with the favor of his will,
for the praise of the glory of his grace
that he granted us in the beloved.

In Christ we have redemption by his Blood,
the forgiveness of transgressions,
in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us.
In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us
the mystery of his will in accord with his favor
that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times,
to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth.

Responsorial Psalm ps 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4, 5-6

R. (2a) The Lord has made known his salvation.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
Sing praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
sing joyfully before the King, the LORD.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.

Gospel lk 11:47-54

The Lord said:
"Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets
whom your fathers killed.
Consequently, you bear witness and give consent
to the deeds of your ancestors,
for they killed them and you do the building.
Therefore, the wisdom of God said,
'I will send to them prophets and Apostles;
some of them they will kill and persecute'
in order that this generation might be charged
with the blood of all the prophets
shed since the foundation of the world,
from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah
who died between the altar and the temple building.
Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood!
Woe to you, scholars of the law!
You have taken away the key of knowledge.
You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter."
When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees
began to act with hostility toward him
and to interrogate him about many things,
for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.

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Remembering that I am still in God's presence, I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting beside me, and say whatever is on my mind, whatever is in my heart, speaking as one friend to another.


I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.

Catholic Meditations

Meditation: Ephesians 1:1-10

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Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, Virgin

He chose us in him, before the foundation of the world. (Ephesians 1:4)

In 2012, the United Nations estimated that there were 7.2 billion people living on the Earth. And in an even more jaw-dropping statistic, the Population Reference Bureau provided a guesstimate in 2011 of how many people have ever lived on earth since the beginning of time: 108 billion! Can you imagine that before God created the world, in the midst of these 108 billion people who would live in it, he knew you perfectly and chose you to be with him?

When we hear that God chose us before the foundation of the world, it can sound so theoretical. We think of "us" as a universal group: God's people, believers, followers of Christ. And while we are all part of a large group of believers, that doesn't mean we're just anonymous members of the crowd. No, our Father's love for us is not generalized. It is personal and specific for each of us. He loves you for who you are. He loves you in the best way you can be loved.

Today, take the time to consider that before he made the world, before time began, God thought of you and chose you to be his child. Even if there have been 108 billion people living on the earth, it doesn't matter. You—yes you, with all your quirks and idiosyncrasies—were in the mind of God and in his heart. He created you with a specific purpose, and he longs for you to be with him forever!

Here's a great way to ponder this amazing truth: take today's first reading, and wherever you see the word "us," substitute your name. For example, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed [your name] in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose [your name] in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him." Reread it slowly a couple of times. Proclaim it out loud. Let God expand your understanding of how much he loves you. Then bask in that love today.

"Father, my heart soars to know that I am in your heart! Help me to receive your personal love today and every day!"


Psalm 98:1-6; Luke 11:47-54

He Chose us before the foundation of the world to be Holy.
In love He destined us for adoption to Himself through Jesus Christ.
For the praise of the glory of His grace.
Because of His blood we have redemption, the forgiveness of our transgressions.
These words I can hardly fathom and wrap my little big head around right now.  How do we give praise to the glory of His grace?  How am I healed through the blood?  How or why was I chosen?  And how come God chooses people to be His? And who exactly is chosen?  I don't have all the answers, but I do immerse myself like today's saint.  We prayed the Psalm "The Lord has made known His salvation".  Well here we go again?  How has He made it known?  What does salvation mean?  Who is it for exactly and what is it about it that I should know?  Now I ask you to immerse yourself like today's saint.  Let's move on to the Holy Gospel; Jesus is on the case again on the scholars and pharisees, "Woe to you scholars of the law!".  As if to say "you have made the laws of God to close out God Himself!" (took the keys to the doors away).  When Jesus left they began to act hostile towards Him.  What does that mean?  Bitter.  Malicious.  Unfriendly.  The readings began with speaking of giving praise for glory of His grace, to the Psalm of His salvation being made known, to now the hardened hearts of scholars.  The good message gets filtered.  And this filter gets clogged.  What Jesus is asking is for a cleansing, and He offers the cleansing agent...His own blood.  How nasty can we be behind people's backs?  Yet we look down on the scholars of today's gospel.  FOOLS.  How foolish can we be?  As if the readings are about anybody else but me and you, the chosen ones reading this on this very day!  The call is a call back to purity and holiness.  "Oh Adrian, poor holy roller, going off ranting again".  We bounce and deflect the message, "this message would be good for so and so".  NO!  It is for YOU!  "They" don't need to read this, it is YOU, for your eyes only.  God is calling you to tear apart your heart, let His blood join yours, that's the adoption He is calling for, making us one with Him through Jesus Christ our Savior.  He is offering salvation right here and right now.  "I want you my child".  I want you to be Holy.  Sure you will be ridiculed sometimes, but don't you love me?  Sure you're going to go through some hard spots, but don't you trust me? "
I read a paper my wife left in the bathroom that said "I believe in the Sun even when it isn't shining".  I believe in Love even though I don't feel it".  I believe in God even though He is silent".  Somebody gave me the serenity prayer this morning "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference."  Courage!  I am going to give you another smidge of helping advice.  Next time you spit, literally, think of something sinful you want out of your life, or a pain in your life.  Or if you have fear or doubt, next time you pluck an eyebrow or something, as you pull it mention in your mind and heart what you want out of your life, and do it in the name of Jesus.  Out with the inhibitors and in with the activator, Jesus.  Soon, you will notice a difference, and what a difference Jesus, God, makes in our lives.  Perhaps I'm a crazy fool, all I seem to do is for Christ, all I seem to think of is Christ, when I meet someone, I'm seeking for Christ and hope them to see Christ.  When I'm driving I'm praying or listening for Christ on EWTN radio.  Christ always everywhere and around.  This is taking on salvation, my adoption.  Because there was a moment in my life that I was not in this world, and was with Our Father, so what does that mean?  It means when the world chewed you up and spit you out, He took you in.  Adoption means love.  As a matter of fact, He knew He would adopt you before you were born.  And He would also give of His only Son's blood to be transfused with yours, to be rightly blood family, because all the past and future has already culminated at the apex, the center of the horizontal and the vertical...the Most Sacred Heart of JESUS