Monday, October 20, 2014

In What Matters

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Minute Meditations

Glimmer of Light
Always bear in mind as a safe general rule that while God tries us by His crosses and sufferings, He always leaves us a glimmer of light by which we continue to have great trust in him and to recognize His immense goodness.
— fromThe Joyful Spirit of Padre Pio

St. Paul of the Cross
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Born in northern Italy in 1694, Paul Daneo lived at a time when many regarded Jesus as a great moral teacher but no more. After a brief time as a soldier, he turned to solitary prayer, developing a devotion to Christ's passion. Paul saw in the Lord's passion a demonstration of God's love for all people. In turn that devotion nurtured his compassion and supported a preaching ministry that touched the hearts of many listeners. He was known as one of the most popular preachers of his day, both for his words and for his generous acts of mercy.

In 1720 Paul founded the Congregation of the Passion, whose members combined devotion to Christ's passion with preaching to the poor and rigorous penances. Known as the Passionists, they add a fourth vow to the traditional three of poverty, chastity, and obedience, to spread the memory of Christ's passion among the faithful. Paul was elected superior general of the Congregation in 1747, spending the remainder of his life in Rome.

Paul of the Cross died in 1775, and was canonized in 1867. Over 2000 of his letters and several of his short writings have survived.


Paul's devotion to Christ's passion must have seemed eccentric if not bizarre to many people. Yet it was that devotion that nurtured Paul's compassion and supported a preaching ministry that touched the hearts of many listeners. He was one of the most popular preachers of his day, known for both his words and his generous acts of mercy.


Paul wrote that God's love "penetrates the inner core of one's being, changes the lover into his beloved. And on a higher level whre love is merged with sorrow and sorrow mingled with love, there results a certain blend of love and sorrow that is so complex that the love can no longer be distinguished from the sorrow nor the sorrow from the love."

Patron Saint of:

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



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 eph 2:1-10

Brothers and sisters:
You were dead in your transgressions and sins
in which you once lived following the age of this world,
following the ruler of the power of the air,
the spirit that is now at work in the disobedient.
All of us once lived among them in the desires of our flesh,
following the wishes of the flesh and the impulses,
and we were by nature children of wrath, like the rest.
But God, who is rich in mercy,
because of the great love he had for us,
even when we were dead in our transgressions,
brought us to life with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
raised us up with him,
and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus,
that in the ages to come
he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace
in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
For by grace you have been saved through faith,
and this is not from you; it is the gift of God;
it is not from works, so no one may boast.
For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for good works
that God has prepared in advance,
that we should live in them.

Responsorial Psalm ps 100:1b-2, 3, 4ab, 4c-5

R. (3b) The Lord made us, we belong to him.
Sing joyfully to the LORD all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
R. The Lord made us, we belong to him.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
R. The Lord made us, we belong to him.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise.
R. The Lord made us, we belong to him.
Give thanks to him; bless his name, for he is good:
the LORD, whose kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.
R. The Lord made us, we belong to him.

Gospel lk 12:13-21

Someone in the crowd said to Jesus,
"Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me."
He replied to him,
"Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?"
Then he said to the crowd,
"Take care to guard against all greed,
for though one may be rich,
one's life does not consist of possessions."

Then he told them a parable.
"There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest.
He asked himself, 'What shall I do,
for I do not have space to store my harvest?'
And he said, 'This is what I shall do:
I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones.
There I shall store all my grain and other goods
and I shall say to myself, "Now as for you,
you have so many good things stored up for many years,
rest, eat, drink, be merry!"'
But God said to him,
'You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you;
and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?'
Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself
but is not rich in what matters to God."

audio    Listen to audio of this reading

video    Watch a video reflection


Jesus, you always welcomed little children when you walked on this earth. Teach me to have a childlike trust in you. To live in the knowledge that you will never abandon me.


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 12:13-21

View NAB Reading at

Saint Paul of the Cross, Priest

One's life does not consist of possessions. (Luke 12:15)

Jesus has just spoken at length to a large crowd about the riches that await those who believe in him, who know that they are beloved of the Father, and who entrust themselves to the care of the Holy Spirit. But then, someone interrupts. "Tell my brother to share with me," he demands. It's a wonder Jesus didn't sigh in frustration! Aside from its rudeness, the interruption portrays the kind of distractions that Jesus knew would only keep people impoverished.

Jesus taught that it is not lack of material possessions that makes us poor. Rather, preoccupation with what and how much we have—and how to get more of it—impoverishes us. Why? Because it keeps us distracted from the riches God wants to give us. It shifts our thoughts and efforts from serving our Creator and makes us slaves to created things instead. Jesus doesn't say material possessions are bad or to be despised. He is clear, however, that "one's life does not consist of possessions" (Luke 12:15).

What are the things that matter to God? First, that we would know his love for us personally. He created us out of love, and he loves us always. Second, that we matter to him—so much so that we can trust him always to take care of us. Third, that Jesus died and rose so that we could experience God's transforming grace in our lives. And finally, that confident in his love for us, we would dedicate ourselves to loving and serving the people around us, especially those in need.

These are the riches we can steep ourselves in no matter how materially rich or poor we are. Every prayer time, we can tell God how much we love him. Better still, we can hear him tell us how much he loves us! Every word of Scripture can become a treasure, illustrating that love and showing us how to deepen our experience of it. Reading the lives of the saints or spiritual books, attending daily Mass—through all these ways, we can store up for ourselves all the things that matter.

"Father, teach me how to store up your heavenly riches. I trust that you will provide for me."

Ephesians 2:1-10; Psalm 100:1-5

Today's 5 minutos ended with "...his sin was not that he was rich, nor worrying about the future.  But to forget God and close himself to the rest."  Before I continue, thank you for your prayers, the festival was beautiful, beginning with the phenomenal weather, and culminating with the families that were full of joy.  I prayed too.  Alot.  Throughout the year, and my prayers up to the last minute were like I told many of the cooking teams/families for the event a few days before in a festival meeting..."I invited our Lord, and He is going to be there".  I prayed for success, "Lord, if it is ok, I would like to pray for success for this festival".  And a thought hit me right as I prayed "...what is considered success?  The money to be made?  Is that success?  Is that what our Lord will consider a success?  And so I left it at "Lord, whatever you consider success that's what I pray for".  Sounds now like "Thy will be done" now that I'm talking about it.  And so right now, I don't really know that we made more money than last year and at this moment, I don't really care.  We had a Holy Mass right after the festival.  They announced "thank you all for making the festival a success".  Ok?  So right now all I hear is "that was so much fun".  Indeed.  The entire focus as a director was for families to have fun, and not just for our parish but the entire community.  The smiles everywhere were worth every day we spent preparing.  Last week my sister in law asked "why do you do have to do all of this (work)?".  I didn't know what to say.  To me the sentiment is more like "why not?"  My answer was more like, the expression of those that have those crazy Christmas light shows at their house, they do it for the people, all their money riches were spent on the richness of the joy of the people.  And this is the point of today's readings.  The first spoke of riches, do you remember?  It said "...that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus."  Hmm. Our Lord is offering riches, all there for the taking!  But how?  Hmmm.  The Psalm we prayed said "The Lord made us, we belong to Him"...and "serve the Lord with gladness".  Then our Lord Jesus asks that we reconsider what we consider as riches.  One time, some stranger saw my kids and said "there's your real riches right there".  I just smiled, but even to that I disagree.  My riches are in the Lord's hands.  Jesus is holding the riches and they are in good hands.  And the success then became made known as a brother in law helped me clean up and move various trailers for the festival; he said at one point " know what, I had alot of fun, but it was something spiritual".  YESSS.  That's the success.  Throughout the event, in conversation, people talked to me about God, I had not brought him up at all.  One couple that normally don't go to Mass were asking what time Mass would be.  Sucessssss.  God had made His riches known.  The emptying of self.  The sister in law that had asked why I was doing so much work, seeing me work many days and nights, she was busy the day of the festival, and for the first time having served she said that night "it was so much fun".  Sucesssss!  It is indeed better to be on the serving side, with gladness, with joy.  I told the food teams/families to serve love and smiles, because they are contagious.  Forget the ebola epidemic, there is an even stronger epidemic going on with the Lord and it is good and it is great, and even more awesome than imaginaeable.  I want you to consider the richness of God's unending love and mercy.  Last night, as I knelt in prayer, something came over me as if my thoughts said "you know what forget it, I can worry and pray until my face is blue for people, God has this thing with His people, He has so much mercy it is unbelievable...",  my job is simply to bring people to love His mercy, and His grace, and my job is of serving, and serving what?  God.  Serving love.  When the people receive what is served, the smiles in turn are contagious back to the server. 

May the Lord our God bless you and keep you.

"God did not tell us to follow Him because He needed our help, but because He knew that loving Him would make us whole." -St. Irenaeus