Monday, December 1, 2014

Under My Roof

Minute Meditations

Be Alert

Advent is about the One who comes to overwhelm us beyond our wildest dreams with what God has in store for those who wait in joyful hope. So keep awake, wait on the Lord, and pray with expectation that the earth will yield its full bounty when we celebrate the birth of Jesus this Christmas.
— from Let Us Adore Him

Blessed Charles de Foucauld

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Born into an aristocratic family in Strasbourg, France, Charles was orphaned at the age of six, raised by his devout grandfather, rejected the Catholic faith as a teenager and joined the French army. Inheriting a great deal of money from his grandfather, Charles went to Algeria with his regiment, but not without his mistress, Mimi.

When he declined to give her up, he was dismissed from the army. Still in Algeria when he left Mimi, Charles reenlisted in the army. Refused permission to make a scientific exploration of nearby Morocco, he resigned from the service. With the help of a Jewish rabbi, Charles disguised himself as a Jew and in 1883 began a one-year exploration that he recorded in a book that was well received.

Inspired by the Jews and Muslims whom he met, Charles resumed the practice of his Catholic faith when he returned to France in 1886. He joined a Trappist monastery in Ardeche, France, and later transferred to one in Akbes, Syria. Leaving the monastery in 1897, Charles worked as gardener and sacristan for the Poor Clare nuns in Nazareth and later in Jerusalem. In 1901 he returned to France and was ordained a priest.

Later that year Charles journeyed to Beni-Abbes, Morocco, intending to found a monastic religious community in North Africa that offered hospitality to Christians, Muslims, Jews, or people with no religion. He lived a peaceful, hidden life but attracted no companions.

A former army comrade invited him to live among the Tuareg people in Algeria. Charles learned their language enough to write a Tuareg-French and French-Tuareg dictionary, and to translate the Gospels into Tuareg. In 1905 he came to Tamanrasset, where he lived the rest of his life. A two-volume collection of Charles' Tuareg poetry was published after his death.

In early 1909 he visited France and established an association of laypeople who pledged to live by the Gospels. His return to Tamanrasset was welcomed by the Tuareg. In 1915 Charles wrote to Louis Massignon: "The love of God, the love for one's neighbor...All religion is found there...How to get to that point? Not in a day since it is perfection itself: it is the goal we must always aim for, which we must unceasingly try to reach and that we will only attain in heaven."  

The outbreak of World War I led to attacks on the French in Algeria. Seized in a raid by another tribe, Charles and two French soldiers coming to visit him were shot to death on December 1, 1916.
Five religious congregations, associations, and spiritual institutes (Little Brothers of Jesus, Little Sisters of the Sacred Heart, Little Sisters of Jesus, Little Brothers of the Gospel and Little Sisters of the Gospel) draw inspiration from the peaceful, largely hidden, yet hospitable life that characterized Charles. He was beatified on November 13, 2005.


The life of Charles de Foucauld was eventually centered on God and was animated by prayer and humble service, which he hoped would draw Muslims to Christ. Those who are inspired by his example, no matter where they live, seek to live their faith humbly yet with deep religious conviction.


In his homily at the beatification Mass, Cardinal José Saraiva Martins noted that Charles chose as his motto, "Iesus Caritas, Jesus Love." In 1916 Charles wrote: "There is, I believe, no word from the Gospel that has a more profound impression on me nor has transformed my life more than this: 'Whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.' If we reflect that these words are those from the uncreated Truth, those from the mouth of He who said, 'This is my body...this is my blood,' what forces drive us to seek and to love Jesus in these 'least ones, these sinners, these poor ones.'"

Monday, December 1, 2014
Saint of the Day for 11/30/2014 Saint of the Day for 12/2/2014

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


Dear Lord, help me to be open to you
for this time as I put aside the cares of this world.
Fill my mind with your peace, Your Love.


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.


I ask how I am within myself today? Am I particularly tired, stressed, or off-form?
If any of these characteristics apply, can I try to let go of the concerns that disturb me?

The Word of God

Reading 1 is 2:1-5

This is what Isaiah, son of Amoz,
saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

In days to come,
The mountain of the LORD's house
shall be established as the highest mountain
and raised above the hills.
All nations shall stream toward it;
many peoples shall come and say:
"Come, let us climb the LORD's mountain,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
That he may instruct us in his ways,
and we may walk in his paths."
For from Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations,
and impose terms on many peoples.
They shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks;
One nation shall not raise the sword against another,
nor shall they train for war again.

O house of Jacob, come,
let us walk in the light of the LORD!

Responsorial Psalm ps 122:1-2, 3-4b, 4cd-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
"We will go up to the house of the LORD."
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
May those who love you prosper!
May peace be within your walls,
prosperity in your buildings.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Because of my relatives and friends
I will say, "Peace be within you!"
Because of the house of the LORD, our God,
I will pray for your good.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Alleluia See Ps 80:4

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come and save us, LORD our God;
let your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel mt 8:5-11

When Jesus entered Capernaum,
a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying,
"Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully."
He said to him, "I will come and cure him."
The centurion said in reply,
"Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof;
only say the word and my servant will be healed.
For I too am a man subject to authority,
with soldiers subject to me.
And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes;
and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes;
and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it."
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him,
"Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.
I say to you, many will come from the east and the west,
and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven."


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: Matthew 8:5-11

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1st Week of Advent

Only say the word. (Matthew 8:8)
If you were a Jewish man living in Jesus' time, how would you have reacted to this centurion's request? Because you lived under Roman occupation, you might have hesitated. After all, it's possible that this soldier had arrested or even killed some of your neighbors or family members. Not only that, but he was a pagan who worshipped false gods. Wouldn't you want to tell him to go to his own "gods" for help instead?
But Jesus didn't take this attitude. He treated the soldier with compassion and listened closely as he poured out his heart. And what he heard amazed him: here was a pagan who showed greater faith than many of his fellow Jews! This prompted Jesus to prophesy that many more Gentiles would follow this man's example and enter the kingdom of God (Matthew 8:11).
This story is one of the most dramatic illustrations of the fact that God sent his Son so that everyone could have eternal life and the healing and wholeness that come with it!
If Jesus was so gracious toward this Gentile, clearly he won't scorn or ignore your requests. No, his compassion and mercy are for everyone, even you. No matter how unworthy you may think you are. No matter how sinful you think you are. No matter how—anything—you think you are!
As many times as we hear this, we may still find it hard to accept. Feelings of shame, guilt, and unworthiness tell us that we don't measure up. And if we've experienced rejection from people we once trusted, we can start to believe that Jesus will treat us the same way. But the truth is just the opposite. He stretches his arms out to embrace everyone—the lost and confused just as much as the strong and self-confident. No matter what we've been through, we can bring him all of our needs. Nothing is too hard for Jesus to handle.
Don't ever believe that you are beyond hope. Jesus is ready to "only say the word."
"Father, I hand my challenges and trials over to you. I believe that you have a perfect plan, and I trust in your providence. Come, Lord Jesus!"

Isaiah 2:1-5
Psalm 122:1-9

From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"For from Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem....O house of Jacob, come,
let us walk in the light of the LORD!"

The Psalm goes on "Let us go rejoicing to the House of the Lord"

Come and save us, LORD our God;
let your face shine upon us, that we may be saved."

And then the centurion believed in ways most couldn't or wouldn't and the centurion amazes Jesus.   Isn't it amazing that we can amaze Jesus?
We can.  Will we?  Yet to be seen.  With people that amaze Him, He says "go, your faith has saved you".  And with those words, light comes into darkness, it comes to be.  Much like the beginning of the world, with a simple word, and it came to be.  If I give someone a command and they do it, my word comes to be.  Now we are talking about the Kingdom of God coming to be, the house of Jacob, the House of the Lord, because Jacob experienced a vision of a ladder with angels ascending and descending and he named that place Bethel (God's House), of which we are leading to Bethlehem.  Jacob's son would redeem and save them, Joseph.  This is a prefigure of Jesus Christ and the house of God, of whom would come to save not just a family but all of mankind, salavation is there for the taking.  And as if it were not enough, Bethlehem is the site where King David was born, another prefigure of Christ to come.
What does all this mean?  The house of bread is God's house, and we are leading to the roof that houses the roofs ...of our mouths. "Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof;
only say the word and my servant/soul will be healed."
Now this prefigure is of bread, the meat, the Christ, in God's house comes into yours, in the temple of God, your temple of the body where the spirit resides.
This has the world to do with you.  Because Jesus amazes and we amaze, for we are yet a little less than angels, less than gods, yet we amaze Him.  What amazes Him again?  Our faith. This notion in our lives that our God is greater.
Greater than what?  Your problems? Yes.  Greater than what?  Your sins?  Yes He overcomes and saves.  Greater than death?  Yes.  We lost a worker yesterday to a massive heart attack as he visited his family in Colorado.  When I got the news, I asked my brother in law to pray with me for the man.  Pray for the dead?  Yes.  Why?  Because we are on a journey, before and after death, and if our prayers count once on earth, they count twice for those who have left this world.  Why twice?  Because, what little there is, is worth much.  This is faith, and your faith matters more than anything in the world.  Enter under the roof.  "Oh but I'm not worthy!"  YEs you are.  Jesus entered anyway and healed.  You are made worthy through Him.  Don't let the devil keep you away by saying you are not worthy to receive Him.  We are not worthy, yet God enters. 
There were only 3 in confessions last week, and perhaps 300 went to receive Christ under their roof.  If God had not wanted it to be, He  would not enter.  This should open our eyes to mercy and lead to holiness. 

Lord, I say I am not worthy, yet you wait with open arms, on the cross, on the altar, and feed me with your last drop of blood.
I want to love like that.  Your house needs to be filled with sinners, for the swords to be molded into plows for your Kingdom.
God, mold me and shape me, and let your light, your face shine upon us forever.

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