Monday, October 27, 2014

Stood Up Straight

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Minute Meditations

Discern God's Will
The way isn't always clear. Sometimes, we think God is calling us to do something when it turns out our ego or personality or fears, not God, are pushing us in that direction. Piety's example reminds us to take time out to and not to rush into things.
— fromSisterhood of Saints

Blessed Bartholomew of Vicenza
(c. 1200-1271)

Dominicans honor one of their own today, Blessed Bartholomew of Vicenza. This was a man who used his skills as a preacher to challenge the heresies of his day.

Bartholomew was born in Vicenza around 1200. At 20 he entered the Dominicans. Following his ordination he served in various leadership positions. As a young priest he founded a military order whose purpose was to keep civil peace in towns throughout Italy.

In 1248, Bartholomew was appointed a bishop. For most men, such an appointment is an honor and a tribute to their holiness and their demonstrated leadership skills. But for Bartholomew, it was a form of exile that had been urged by an antipapal group that was only too happy to see him leave for Cyprus. Not many years later, however, Bartholomew was transferred back to Vicenza. Despite the antipapal feelings that were still evident, he worked diligently—especially through his preaching—to rebuild his diocese and strengthen the people's loyalty to Rome.

During his years as bishop in Cyprus, Bartholomew befriended King Louis the Ninth of France, who is said to have given the holy bishop a relic of Christ's Crown of Thorns.

Bartholomew died in 1271. He was beatified in 1793.

Saint of the Day
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.


Lord grant me the grace
to have freedom of the spirit.
Cleanse my heart and soul
so I may live joyously in Your love


Knowing that God loves me unconditionally, I look honestly over the last day, its events and my feelings.
Do I have something to be grateful for?
Then I give thanks. Is there something I am sorry for?
Then I ask forgiveness.

The Word of God

Reading 1 eph 4:32-5:8

Brothers and sisters:
Be kind to one another, compassionate,
forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.

Be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love,
as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us
as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.
Immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be mentioned among you,
as is fitting among holy ones,
no obscenity or silly or suggestive talk, which is out of place,
but instead, thanksgiving.
Be sure of this, that no immoral or impure or greedy person,
that is, an idolater,
has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God.

Let no one deceive you with empty arguments,
for because of these things
the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient.
So do not be associated with them.
For you were once darkness,
but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of light.

Responsorial Psalm ps 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6

R. (see Eph. 5:1) Behave like God as his very dear children.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Behave like God as his very dear children.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Behave like God as his very dear children.
Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Behave like God as his very dear children.

Gospel lk 13:10-17

Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath.
And a woman was there who for eighteen years
had been crippled by a spirit;
she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect.
When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said,
"Woman, you are set free of your infirmity."
He laid his hands on her,
and she at once stood up straight and glorified God.
But the leader of the synagogue,
indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath,
said to the crowd in reply,
"There are six days when work should be done.
Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day."
The Lord said to him in reply, "Hypocrites!
Does not each one of you on the sabbath
untie his ox or his ass from the manger
and lead it out for watering?
This daughter of Abraham,
whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now,
ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day
from this bondage?"
When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated;
and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.

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: Luke 13:10-17

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30th Week in Ordinary Time

A woman was there who for eighteen years had been crippled by a spirit. (Luke 13:11)

Imagine how this woman's affliction affected her everyday life. She couldn't look up at the sky. She needed help to reach items over her head. It was next to impossible to find a comfortable spot to sit or sleep—but standing was also painful.

Much Jewish thinking at the time made a direct correlation between illness and sin (John 9:2). God rewarded a virtuous person with good health and punished sinners with misfortune of every sort, including disease. Since this woman bore an obvious disability, she must have done something terrible to deserve it. So people probably avoided her, not only because her appearance made them uncomfortable but because they feared contamination by contact with her unholiness.

Burdened by actual and imagined guilt, this woman must have searched her heart over and over, trying to find out what she had done to deserve this burden. At the same time, she also persevered in her faith and trust in God. Why else would she have been at the synagogue?

Seeing her faith, Jesus spoke words of freedom and touched her. Suddenly she was able to stand, and her immediate reaction was to praise God! Not only had Jesus straightened her back; he freed her from guilt and isolation as well.

So many things keep us from standing up and giving glory to God. It could be a physical illness for which we subtly blame God. It could be a fractured relationship on which we've given up or the memory of a past sin that we doubt God will forgive. Whatever it is, after carrying such burdens for years, we can get used to having them. We hardly notice that we are compensating for our supposed disabilities, maybe by avoiding new situations or withdrawing into ourselves.

Think of your most hopeless situation. Is it too hard for Jesus? Absolutely not! Is there a sin too big for Jesus to forgive? No. Is he punishing you for some past misdeed? Of course not. So follow this woman's lead. Go to Jesus, in the "synagogue" of your heart and of the Church. Be where he is so that he can see you, touch you, and set you free.

"Father, you have created me to live in freedom. Release me from everything that burdens my spirit, especially shame and guilt."

Ephesians 4:32--5:8; Psalm 1:1-4, 6

It takes very little to become something for God.  It took very little for the cripple in today's Gospel to be healed of something nobody was able to heal.  And it is fitting for the one that was to come, Jesus.  In today's 1st Holy Scripture it spoke of acting and talking like a child of light, no room for inuendos which we tend to do as guys or even girls.  From today's 5minutos:
"This passage of St. Paul, takes the consequences of inmense blessings that we have come to hear from the beginning of the letter to the Ephesians. Essentially, it is about a strong message that invites to holiness.  The call is clear: "imitate God".  The way to argue is simple and eloquent: God loved you; you love too.  God forgave you; you forgive too.  God illuminated you; you be light for the others too.  At the bottom it is about not holding tup he river of goodness: the river came up to you; you've drunk of its waters; don't hold it in you!  Good program for our journey. If we take it into account, surely it will better the quality of our personal life and the climate of our family or of the community.  Before everything, let us be "good, and compassionate" and forgive one another "like God has forgiven".  The closest example we have in Christ Jesus, who has turned Himself in for us: that is how we have to act between each other.  The Christians, "holy people", we should demonstrate, with simplicity but with courage, that we don't want to be like the majority, if that majority is abandoning fundamental values.  Even though the statistic majority is selfish, a Christian should not be.  If the majority has fallen in the ethical deterioration of customs, a Christian should fight against the current and know how to defend the cleanliness of the heart amidst the permissive reign.  Even though it is general in this world, a Christian avoids the career to enrich themselves at all costs."
As a testimony, we now have a family business, not that we sought it, not that we looked for riches, but that just maybe God entrusted us with something as such.  All I remember is growing up, my dad worked hard, was top notch in all he did, and one day opportunity literally knocked at the front door.  All I remember is kneeling many nights in the living room, praying the rosary.  All I remember is going to Mass, wherever we were at.  And the story is still true today. And so is the Gospel.  God is entrusting us.  With what?  With the light of God.  He gives light on Sundays, and we are to carry the torch from there.  Christ is the light.  That's why we have candles in Holy Mass and at the Blessed Sacrament, to symbolize what God wants in our lives, for us to see the light and take the light to a dark world.  When it is extinguishing, go back to the light of God.  "Behave like God as his very dear children" we prayed today.  Behave!  Act and talk as angels ALWAYS.  Those in the dark will see and believe, be crippled no more, I promise you that.  There is healing to be had, and it is beyond what we believe as norms, don't you ever put God in a little box, have Him figured out, because He will break that box and break you along the way.  And it is good.  For example, there are laws in the land that are contrary to Life.  State by state they are supposedly becoming the "norm".  Not it is NOT.  Life can not be contained, not a life of God, never has been, and never will be!  Our God is greater.  When we go to Mass, we go to receive healing.  Were you not healed this last time you went?  Then you did not present your heart to Jesus.  Because He always does HIS part.  It will do me no good to knock at Heaven's gates and say "don't you remember all those Sundays I went to church?" and He will say "GET AWAY FROM ME YOU EVIL DOER!"  Say Whhhhhaaaa?  What God wants is holiness.  What God wants is good.  What God wants is a life of Him, for Him, and through Him.  We can do this, and there is nothing that can hold us back...ever