Friday, October 24, 2014

How To Interpret

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Minute Meditations

Where Love Is, God Is

The greatest tragedy of our world is that men do not know, really know, that God loves them. Some believe it in a shadowy sort of way. If they were to really think about it they would soon realize that their belief in God's love for them is very remote and abstract. Because of this lack of realization of God's love for them, men do not know how to love God back. —Catherine de Hueck Doherty

— fromLove Never Fails

St. Anthony Claret
Listen to AudioThe "spiritual father of Cuba" was a missionary, religious founder, social reformer, queen's chaplain, writer and publisher, archbishop and refugee. He was a Spaniard whose work took him to the Canary Islands, Cuba, Madrid, Paris and to the First Vatican Council.

In his spare time as weaver and designer in the textile mills of Barcelona, he learned Latin and printing: The future priest and publisher was preparing. Ordained at 28, he was prevented by ill health from entering religious life as a Carthusian or as a Jesuit, but went on to become one of Spain's most popular preachers.

He spent 10 years giving popular missions and retreats, always placing great emphasis on the Eucharist and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Her rosary, it was said, was never out of his hand. At 42, beginning with five young priests, he founded a religious institute of missionaries, known today as the Claretians.

He was appointed to head the much-neglected archdiocese of Santiago in Cuba. He began its reform by almost ceaseless preaching and hearing of confessions, and suffered bitter opposition mainly for opposing concubinage and giving instruction to black slaves. A hired assassin (whose release from prison Anthony had obtained) slashed open his face and wrist. Anthony succeeded in getting the would-be assassin's death sentence commuted to a prison term. His solution for the misery of Cubans was family-owned farms producing a variety of foods for the family's own needs and for the market. This invited the enmity of the vested interests who wanted everyone to work on a single cash crop—sugar. Besides all his religious writings are two books he wrote in Cuba: Reflections on Agriculture and Country Delights.

He was recalled to Spain for a job he did not relish—being chaplain for the queen. He went on three conditions: He would reside away from the palace, he would come only to hear the queen's confession and instruct the children and he would be exempt from court functions. In the revolution of 1868, he fled with the queen's party to Paris, where he preached to the Spanish colony.

All his life Anthony was interested in the Catholic press. He founded the Religious Publishing House, a major Catholic publishing venture in Spain, and wrote or published 200 books and pamphlets.

At Vatican I, where he was a staunch defender of the doctrine of infallibility, he won the admiration of his fellow bishops. Cardinal Gibbons of Baltimore remarked of him, "There goes a true saint." At the age of 63, he died in exile near the border of Spain.


Queen Isabella II once said to Anthony, "No one tells me things as clearly and frankly as you do." Later she told her chaplain, "Everybody is always asking me for favors, but you never do. Isn't there something you would like for yourself?" He replied, "that you let me resign." The queen made no more offers.


Jesus foretold that those who are truly his representatives would suffer the same persecution as he did. Besides 14 attempts on his life, Anthony had to undergo such a barrage of the ugliest slander that the very name Claret became a byword for humiliation and misfortune. The powers of evil do not easily give up their prey. No one needs to go looking for persecution. All we need to do is be sure we suffer because of our genuine faith in Christ, not for our own whims and imprudences.

Patron Saint of:


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


The more we call on God
the more we can feel God's presence.
Day by day we are drawn closer
to the loving heart of God.


If God were trying to tell me something, would I know?
If God were reassuring me or challenging me, would I notice?
I ask for the grace to be free of my own preoccupations
and open to what God may be saying to me.


At this moment Lord I turn my thoughts to you.
I will leave aside my chores and preoccuptions.
I will take rest and refreshment in your presence Lord

The Word of God


Reading 1 eph 4:1-6

Brothers and sisters:
I, a prisoner for the Lord,
urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received,
with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
bearing with one another through love,
striving to preserve the unity of the spirit
through the bond of peace;
one Body and one Spirit,
as you were also called to the one hope of your call;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
one God and Father of all,
who is over all and through all and in all.

Responsorial Psalm ps 24:1-2, 3-4ab, 5-6

R. (see 6) Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
The LORD's are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

Gospel lk 12:54-59

Jesus said to the crowds,
"When you see a cloud rising in the west
you say immediately that it is going to rain--and so it does;
and when you notice that the wind is blowing from the south
you say that it is going to be hot--and so it is.
You hypocrites!
You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky;
why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

"Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?
If you are to go with your opponent before a magistrate,
make an effort to settle the matter on the way;
otherwise your opponent will turn you over to the judge,
and the judge hand you over to the constable,
and the constable throw you into prison.
I say to you, you will not be released
until you have paid the last penny."

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    Watch a video reflection


Conversation requires talking and listening. As I talk to Jesus may I also learn to be still and listen. I picture the gentleness in his eyes and the smile full of love as he gazes on me. I can be totally honest with Jesus as I tell him of my worries and my cares. I will open up my heart to him as I tell him of my fears and my doubts. I will ask him to help me to place myself fully in his care, to abandon myself to him, knowing that he always wants what is best for 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 12:54-59

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Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Bishop

Why do you not know how to interpret the present time? (Luke 12:56)

Psychologists tell us that we make as many as two hundred conscious decisions every day. Some are small, and others carry profound consequences. Wouldn't it be great if we could make the right decision all the time? In a sense, Jesus' words on discerning the signs of the times stand behind this concern. If we could only know what God wants, we would find it a lot easier to decide!

God's will isn't meant to be mysterious and unapproachable. In fact, Scripture is filled with the conviction that it is possible to understand spiritual realities. In his book What Does God Want? Fr. Michael Scanlan proposes five basic questions to ask when facing an important decision.

First: Does it conform to God's law as revealed through Scripture, tradition, and the teaching of the Church? If it doesn't, we can't do it.

Second: Does it foster growth in holiness? As we make decisions that deepen our union with God, the life of Christ will become more evident in our lives.

Third: Is it consistent? Many of our decisions will flow directly from previous decisions—providing, of course, that our previous decisions have borne good fruit! God may give us new challenges and take us in new directions, but he tends to reveal them in a manner consistent with how he has spoken to us in the past.

Fourth: What confirms it? After we make a decision, God usually sends some confirmation, maybe by opening doors that were once closed, by revealing needed resources, or by affirming words spoken by a trusted friend. Of course, there are times when we just have to decide on something and then examine its fruit. Experience isn't the best teacher; evaluated experience is!

Fifth: What does your heart say? We should cautiously consider the difference between the peace of the heart and the conclusion of the mind. The head may say yes, but until the heart is convinced, we may experience "decision gridlock." This doesn't mean that we will like everything God asks us to do. But deep down, we will want to do it.

God is not playing hide-and-seek. When we seek his help in making key decisions, he will guide us.

"Father, I know that you want the best for me. Help me in all the challenging decisions I face."


Ephesians 4:1-6; Psalm 24:1-6

St. Paul said he was in prison, and he begged all the free to live in unity.  Who are all the free?  The ones Christ has set free.  "Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face", we prayed.  And our Lord exhorts us in the Holy Gospel to recognize the times we live in.  So what times do we live in?  Look around.  What do you see my child?  What is your heart seeing?  Well, what do you see mr. Adrian?  I see people I love dearly.  I see I do things for them at work, at church, and at home, and they are not thankful, but I still love them and guide them.  I see a world of extreme need.  And this need is a need of Jesus.  I see a church, not divided, but a church as a family, some go spend time in their rooms, some spend time at the table, and some take off, who knows when they'll be back.  But I wait.  I wait some more, and I wait upon the Lord, serving all the while.  I love serving the Lord because He pays with Love.  And I don't do it for payment, but because I love.  My child, welcome to the Kingdom of God, where serving one another Love is beyond belief.  Welcome to a place where suffering is joy and joy is love.  Welcome to a place that exists in the heart of man and has been hidden until you open your heart to God.  Welcome to a place where people love one another and that is all that matters because God is the matter that holds all together.  Whether you are believing this is physical, metaphysical, or spiritual, you are on the path to enlightenment.  "The Lord's are the earth and it's fullness" prayed the Psalm with us today.  It does not belong to darkness, but to God.  Just because the prince of darkness is in the world, does not mean the world is of darkness, NO!  It is of our Lord Jesus our God.  And I say forever Jesus is God, because to many, too many times it is a figure that was nice, but not God.  Jesus is King, fully alive and acting around our world through angels.  Do you believe? They are in the presence of God always, serving, waiting.  I believe.  They alert you to what is going on, pointing you in the right direction, for you are not alone, open your eyes to the signs and open your heart to God.  There's these two little dogs my sister and brother in law have at our house, very annoying, a little winnie dog and a little chihuahua.  They bark all the time, although they live at my house they bark at me and my kids constantly.  Last night, they were going crazy barking, I was in my comfy clothes playing with the baby in the living room, my wife said "I think they're barking by the tree".  I gave the baby to her to peak my head out the door and I heard a water-like sound, I knew what it was...a rattle snake.  Sounded like big rattles, couldn't see, it was pitch black.  I went to look for a flashlight, put pants, boots on, and told them to get my brother in law to help.  I went out there and saw the snake under a go-kart in my driveway by the garage door.  My bro in law showed up and we got it, and beheaded it.  Some may say "you should've "removed" the snake, not kill it".  I don't believe in putting away a deadly snake, not when I have toddlers playing outside and down the road a toddler was bit and taken to the hospital a while back.  I believe in removing what's deadly from my home the best way possible to protect my family.  But I listened to the signs, did not ignore those annoying barks.  Now I'm talking about removing sin, deadly poisonous sin from your home, your spiritual body, for good. Listen to those annoying people about God in your life and those annoying signs.  Listen to them, discern what is right and good.  Snake handlers eventually get bit.  You live with snakes you could die, you live in sin, you could die forever to a world with God.  That's not what God wants at all.  Just because you read this today means He wants you for HIM RIGHT NOW.  This is your annoying little doggie barking, my child, Jesus Loves you.  Does this perplex you?  Is it annoying that someOne loves you and you don't love Him back?  Or is it nice, and you don't really care?  Discern the call.  This an invitation to a love relationship like no other in the world.  This God of ours is beyond crazy love, nobody can love the way He loves.  After all we've done, He wants you right now with Him, constantly and forever, and the real forever, not the forever kind people say in little love letters, until the day they die, no...God wrote love letters in the bible that say forever is eternal after THAT is crazy love because it is infinite, beyond time, beyond measure, beyond what our minds can compute and fathom.  Annoyed yet?  LOL, GOOD.  God is getting to you.  Gotta love Him.  He'll do anything to get your attention, and I MEAN ANY THING