Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Come To Me

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Minute Meditations

Feeding My Soul
Oh Jesus, present in the Blessed Sacrament, I humbly ask you to feed my soul, to satisfy the desires of my heart, and to unite me to you in this holy sacrament. I invite you into my soul and I thank you for coming near to me.
— from A Eucharistic Christmas

Blessed Adolph Kolping

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The rise of the factory system in 19th-century Germany brought many single men into cities where they faced new challenges to their faith. Father Adolph Kolping began a ministry to them, hoping that they would not be lost to the Catholic faith, as was happening to workers elsewhere in industrialized Europe.

Born in the village of Kerpen, Adolph became a shoemaker at an early age because of his family's economic situation. Ordained in 1845, he ministered to young workers in Cologne, establishing a choir, which by 1849 had grown into the Young Workmen's Society. A branch of this began in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1856. Nine years later there were over 400 Gesellenvereine (workman's societies) around the world. Today this group has over 450,000 members in 54 countries across the globe.

More commonly called the Kolping Society, it emphasizes the sanctification of family life and the dignity of labor. Father Kolping worked to improve conditions for workers and greatly assisted those in need. He and St. John Bosco in Turin had similar interests in working with young men in big cities. He told his followers, "The needs of the times will teach you what to do. Father Kolping once said, "The first thing that a person finds in life and the last to which he holds out his hand, and the most precious that he possesses, even if he does not realize it, is family life."

He and Blessed John Duns Scotus are buried in Cologne's Minoritenkirche, originally served by the Conventual Franciscans. The Kolping Society's international headquarters are across from this church.

Kolping members journeyed to Rome from Europe, America, Africa, Asia and Oceania for Father Kolping's beatification in 1991, the 100th anniversary of Pope Leo XIII's revolutionary encyclical Rerum Novarum (On the Social Order). Father Kolping's personal witness and apostolate helped prepare for that encyclical.


Some people thought that Father Kolping was wasting his time and talents on young working men in industrialized cities. In some countries, the Catholic Church was seen by many workers as the ally of owners and the enemy of workers. Men like Adolph Kolping showed that was not true.


"Adolph Kolping gathered skilled workers and factory laborers together. Thus he overcame their isolation and defeatism. A faith society gave them the strength to go out into their everyday lives as Christ's witnesses before God and the world. To come together, to become strengthened in the assembly, and thus to scatter again is and still remains our duty today. We are not Christians for ourselves alone, but always for others too" (Pope John Paul II, beatification homily).

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


Dear Jesus, I come to you today
longing for your presence.
I desire to love you as You love me.
May nothing ever separate me from You.


"I am free."
When I look at these words in writing
They seem to create in me a feeling of awe.
Yes, a wonderful feeling of freedom.
Thank You, God.


I remind myself that I am in the presence of the Lord. I will take refuge in His loving heart. He is my strength in times of weakness.  He is my comforter in times of sorrow.

The Word of God

Reading 1 is 40:25-31

To whom can you liken me as an equal?
says the Holy One.
Lift up your eyes on high
and see who has created these things:
He leads out their army and numbers them,
calling them all by name.
By his great might and the strength of his power
not one of them is missing!
Why, O Jacob, do you say,
and declare, O Israel,
"My way is hidden from the LORD,
and my right is disregarded by my God"?

Do you not know
or have you not heard?
The LORD is the eternal God,
creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint nor grow weary,
and his knowledge is beyond scrutiny.
He gives strength to the fainting;
for the weak he makes vigor abound.
Though young men faint and grow weary,
and youths stagger and fall,
They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength,
they will soar as with eagles' wings;
They will run and not grow weary,
walk and not grow faint.

Responsorial Psalm ps 103:1-2, 3-4, 8 and 10

R. (1) O bless the Lord, my soul!
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. O bless the Lord, my soul!
He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion.
R. O bless the Lord, my soul!
Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
R. O bless the Lord, my soul!


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Behold, the Lord comes to save his people;
blessed are those prepared to meet him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel mt 11:28-30

Jesus said to the crowds:
"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."


What feelings are rising in me as I pray and reflect on God's Word? I imagine Jesus himself sitting or standing near me and open my heart to him.


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: Isaiah 40:25-31

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2nd Week of Advent

Have you not heard? The Lord is the eternal God, creator of the ends of the earth. (Isaiah 40:28)

The Israelites needed a wake-up call. Living in exile, surrounded by pagan gods, many of them began to think that Yahweh was just one among many deities. So while we may think that the prophet's question is almost comical—of course God created everything—he was very serious. The people should never forget who God really is!

We may not be surrounded by pagan gods, but the daily grind of our busy schedules can certainly numb us to the astounding realities of who God is. We can become so used to the "concept of God" that we forget how real, how powerful, and how all-encompassing he is. In fact, many of us probably see a crucifix every day, whether at our homes or in church. But how often are we awestruck at God's immensity? The maker of the universe is our friend! He who separated the heavens and the earth is our Father!

God is so much more than an abstract concept or a distant deity. The Israelites in exile faced the temptation to relegate God to the margins, considering him the "god" that their ancestors worshipped in Jerusalem. Some of them thought that the

Babylonian gods were better and were more suited to their situation. Don't let that happen to you! Remember that the God we worship, the God of your ancestors, is a living, active, all-powerful God. He isn't one viable option among many competitors. He is, and everything else comes from him.

As you pray today, let the reality of God, your heavenly Father, fill your imagination. Read today's first reading aloud, slowly and prayerfully, and ask the Holy Spirit to amaze you with the immensity of who God is. Let this passage stretch your thoughts and give you a glimpse of the depth and breadth of the One who made you and who loves you. And then bow down before him. Worship him. Proclaim his greatness. As you do, you'll find him drawing you into a deeper love for him and a greater surrender to his ways. His love for you will fan into flame your love for him!

"Almighty God, I bow before you. I can't even begin to describe how amazing you are! All I can do is sit in awe and surrender my life to you."


Psalm 103:1-4, 8, 10
Matthew 11:28-30

Some may enjoy the 5minutos, so allow me to translate today's:
"The Lord gives strength to the faint, abundant strength to the weak".  Giving echo to these consoling words of the prophet Isaiah, directed to the exiled Israelites, Jesus invites all men:
"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."
Who are these labored and burdened? And, what does the yoke image mean repeated twice?  It is about a message of liberation, and rest and is the alternative of Jesus to the yoke, insupportable load that, in His time, Pharisees and doctors of the Mosaic Law had made over poor people based on a false and exaggerated legalism, and without they themselves lifting a finger to help.  The yoke of Christ, it is not like that; it is bearable and light.  Even though they are yoke and load, they are bearable and light.  Our following of Christ and to accept a moral and Christian religion, are not an imposition, but a free acceptance.  The law of Christ is liberty and relates us filially with God our Father and friend.  Everything is in the secret key that makes it possible, it is the love.  The great secret of the Christian is the love, so much as they receive from God, as who gives their personal surrender of self to their brethren.  Who loves does not feel the Commandment of the Lord has a heavy obligation.  Give us Lord, that we may perceive the pain of others so that our own problems may weigh less.  "
Some saints stories are really interesting.  Some have been able to feel the pains of others, physical and spiritual, and some, some have even had the HONOR of feeling and suffering the pains of Christ, some spiritual and physical, like the stigmata.  The pains of Padre Pio were both.  He suffered the pains of the wounds of Christ on the hands and a few others.  But an interesting pain was one of burning up inside with a love of God, so unbearable he thought he would die, but he would never die as much as he hoped to die to be with God. 
Nowadays, who burns up like that for our Lord?  Flipping through channels on Sunday, I seen a cartoon show on TV that ridiculed and mocked our Lord, making the figure seem to obsessed with sex.  Is it fitting for our culture?  This figure of our Lord obsessed with evil?  It is fitting if we are leaving and living Christ in our lives and being obssessed with sins. 
So the question remains?  Who cares?
We say we care, but do we really?  I mean, at what degree of caring is it really caring?  Who holds the meter?  In the case of our Holy Scriptures, it ends with beautiful words of one never growing faint nor weary because Christ renews us day by day.  This is the yoke of our Lord.  And I am going to limit myself on how many times I will say His name, because it is Holy, only to be used in prayer, praise, and adoration, not desecration and defamation, for the god of money. 
The boss has gotten on my case about why I have been ordering company materials, jackets, pens, etc, and why I put "In God We Trust" on all of them.  Don't get me wrong, his case is this point: one should not use the Lord's name in vain, and by putting our logo with those words is as if trying to use Him to better ourselves.  So I can see his point, but it is too late now for these things I ordered.  I said "it's printed on money" and he said "that's my point".  So, I have to bow in humility and obedience.  Trust in the Lord, for His yoke is easy, not my ways, but His way.
This yoke is His way.
This yoke weighs something, I have to do my part (obedience, love, charity), but He mostly is carrying my life.
This yoke is made of the wood of that cross, because there was holding the weight of all sin and death. 
How powerful is that? 
Can I handle my own sins?  Not without God in my life.  He can erase it, and He can heal the damage it causes, because it causes damage first with my relation to Him, and then to my brothers and sisters on earth.
So today's Gospel was short, light, and sweet.  His law is so, because it is summed up in Him, and He is light...THE LIGHT