Friday, February 27, 2015

If You Bring

Untitled document
Minute Meditations
Christ Among Us Minute Meditations

Life is not always happy, but our connections to others can create a simple and grace-filled quiet celebration of our own and others' lives. These others are the presence of Christ in our lives.
— from Sacred Silence

St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows
(1838-1862 )

Listen to Audio
  Born in Italy into a large family and baptized Francis, he lost his mother when he was only four years old. He was educated by the Jesuits and, having been cured twice of serious illnesses, came to believe that God was calling him to the religious life. Young Francis wished to join the Jesuits but was turned down, probably because of his age, not yet 17. Following the death of a sister to cholera, his resolve to enter religious life became even stronger and he was accepted by the Passionists. Upon entering the novitiate he was given the name Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows.

Ever popular and cheerful, Gabriel quickly was successful in his effort to be faithful in little things. His spirit of prayer, love for the poor, consideration of the feelings of others, exact observance of the Passionist Rule as well as his bodily penances—always subject to the will of his wise superiors— made a deep impression on everyone.
His superiors had great expectations of Gabriel as he prepared for the priesthood, but after only four years of religious life symptoms of tuberculosis appeared. Ever obedient, he patiently bore the painful effects of the disease and the restrictions it required, seeking no special notice. He died peacefully on February 27, 1862, at age 24, having been an example to both young and old.
Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows was canonized in 1920.


When we think of achieving great holiness by doing little things with love and grace, Therese of Lisieux comes first to mind. Like her, Gabriel died painfully from tuberculosis. Together they urge us to tend to the small details of daily life, to be considerate of others' feelings every day. Our path to sanctity, like theirs, probably lies not in heroic doings but in performing small acts of kindness every day.

Patron Saint of:


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

I remind myself that I am in your presence O Lord.
I will take refuge in your loving heart.
You are my strength in times of weakness.
You are my comforter in times of sorrow.
It is so easy to get caught up
with the trappings of wealth in this life.
Grant, O Lord, that I may be free
from greed and selfishness.
Remind me that the best things in life are free.
Love, laughter, caring and sharing.
Help me Lord to be more conscious of your presence. Teach me to recognise your presence in others. Fill my heart with gratitude for the times Your love has been shown to me through the care of others.
The Word of God
  Friday of the First Week of Lent

Reading 1 Ez 18:21-28

Thus says the Lord GOD:
If the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed,
if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just,
he shall surely live, he shall not die.
None of the crimes he committed shall be remembered against him;
he shall live because of the virtue he has practiced.
Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked?
says the Lord GOD.
Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way
that he may live?

And if the virtuous man turns from the path of virtue to do evil,
the same kind of abominable things that the wicked man does,
can he do this and still live?
None of his virtuous deeds shall be remembered,
because he has broken faith and committed sin;
because of this, he shall die.
You say, "The LORD's way is not fair!"
Hear now, house of Israel:
Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?
When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies,
it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die.
But if the wicked, turning from the wickedness he has committed,
does what is right and just,
he shall preserve his life;
since he has turned away from all the sins that he committed,
he shall surely live, he shall not die.

Responsorial Psalm PS 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-7a, 7bc-8

R. (3) If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to my voice in supplication.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
LORD, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness,
that you may be revered.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
I trust in the LORD;
my soul trusts in his word.
My soul waits for the LORD
more than sentinels wait for the dawn.
Let Israel wait for the LORD.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
For with the LORD is kindness
and with him is plenteous redemption;
And he will redeem Israel
from all their iniquities.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?

Verse Before the Gospel Ez 18:31

Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. Why should you die, house of Israel?

Gospel Mt 5:20-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
"I tell you,
unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.

"You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment,
and whoever says to his brother, Raqa,
will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, 'You fool,' will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny."

    Listen to audio of this reading

    Watch a video reflection

Do I notice myself reacting as I pray with the Word of God? Do I feel challenged, comforted, angry? Imagining Jesus sitting or standing by me, I speak out my feelings, as one trusted friend to another.

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 5:20-26

Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:20)
In 1912, George Horine leaped two meters skyward during an Olympic trial. Usually, "two" isn't very spectacular. But in the high jump, elevating yourself two meters is something special—and George set the world record. Over the years, that record would change hands many times, until 1993, when the bar was raised to its current height, a staggering 2.45 meters. If George were around, he might have marveled, "That's impossible!"
In today's Gospel, Jesus dramatically elevated the standards for his disciples to live by. He proclaimed that unless they were more righteous than their religious leaders, they would not enter heaven. He then went on to expand the commandment against murder to include speaking and even thinking violence against others. You can just hear the disciples' exasperated response, "This will be impossible!"
Why such a high standard? Because it's a truer reflection of the Father's heart. If we see God's Law as a gift given first to Moses, then developed by the prophets, and completed in Jesus, we can see God raising his people up, step-by-step, to a greater conformity to his own character. What's more, as the stakes are raised, we become more alert to our need for his grace to reach the standard: it's impossible by ourselves!
Take a few moments to answer these questions: Is Jesus inviting you to "elevate" your journey this Lent beyond last year's mark? Is he asking you to run farther, leap higher, or dive deeper in your friendship with him? This invitation means something unique and specific to each one of us. See it as an opportunity to step up and get the closest that you've ever been to your Savior.
What Jesus is asking you to do may feel impossible. On your own, it will be. But you're not on your own! The Holy Spirit is with you. He can lift you up to heights that you've never reached before. And to get there, you're going to need to rely on him to a greater degree than ever before. Who knows? During your Lenten journey, you just may find yourself doing the impossible!
"Jesus, I hear you calling me. Please help me answer!"

Ezekiel 18:21-28
Psalm 130:1-8

From today's 1st Holy Scripture:  "You say, "The LORD's way is not fair!"
The Psalms pray with us: "If you, O LORD, mark iniquities, LORD, who can stand?"
And our Lord comes in the Holy Gospel:  "Jesus said to his disciples: "I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven."
Sounds pretty serious today right?  I mean, so what's at stake here?  Did Jesus just change the rules?  Well, let's just say, we never really knew the rules to begin with, as a people of God.  Let's go back to Scripture:
+From the 1st reading:  "Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way that he may live?"  God sets rules so that we might live...with Him...forever.  It's almost as if we spend our lives grappling with God, but it was like this with Jacob in the book of Genesis, and so it has been from the beginning.  So maybe we shouldn't feel bad if we are grappling with our faith, with our Lord. When the grappling was done scripture says "Then the man said, "You shall no longer be named Jacob, but Israel,* because you have contended with divine and human beings and have prevailed." Gn32:28.   And so we have to understand what our Lord does: He will break you down and answer to your exclamation saying He is not fair.  He broke Jacob's hip and he left the Lord limping.  I want sometimes the Word to cut your heart.  Because what happens is things in this world don't let Him set well in your Spirit. 
Lent will help us break down, get off our high horse, and leave limping for the Lord, because it seems only when we break down and get on our knees is when we are responsive for a life change.
+The Psalms pray on: "Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD; LORD, hear my voice!".  Today we will pray the stations of the cross, the way of the cross, the Passion of Christ as depicted in Catholic Churches across the world.  14 stations in all.  In one of them, Jesus cries out to our Lord on a Friday "Abba!" which means daddy.  And He couldn't have yelled too loud having lost most if not all His precious blood along the way to the cross.  Hear me LORD!  PLEASE!  Grappling.  We feel alone sometimes don't we?  We need God and we need one another...keep that in mind as Jesus speaks:
+In the Holy Gospel, Jesus speaks; "But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment....and whoever says, 'You fool,' will be liable to fiery Gehenna."  You mean, because I called someone stupid or an idiot I may be facing some fiery hell?  You mean, just because I'm mad at someone I could be liable to this judgement?  NOT FAIR!  Yeah LOL, not fair if you believe the lies of the world!  Why do you think GOD said these words today?  For your own salvation?  Yeah, but not just that, but for that person your mad at and called stupid!  He loves them just as much as you!  DOH!   Let's say, I say something about someone or a group of people, or I write a book about it (no difference).  What you do is plant seeds of evil that end up in some of their deaths or demise.  "See that you do not despise one of these little ones,* for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father. " mt 18:10.  Oh no.  Can you start to see why God is serious about despising others in ANY way!?  When someone was speaking to me this week and he kept bringing up so many people's "problems" I made him realize (I hope) that it seemed peculiar that everyone else was the problem. Rock hard hearts huh?  God wants to grapple because He will win.  Are you in?  Are you ready for the truth?  Truth is Jesus and His Word, because He IS THE WORD, turned flesh, and the Word is Among us.  Today, be on your best guard, because He could be disguised as someone you have despised.  Or He could be that nurturing voice you needed to hear, same difference, He can do anything He pleases and however He pleases...with a loving heart
and or

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Those Who Ask

Untitled document

Minute Meditations

Take Up Your Cross Minute Meditations

We need to take up our crosses, but we also need to be gentle with them and with ourselves. If we sit holding our own crosses too tightly we will not be able to put our arms around anyone else, nor will they be able to put their arms around us. That includes God.
— from Sacred Silence

St. Maria Bertilla Boscardin
Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives. Each saint the Church honors responded to God's invitation to use his or her unique gifts. God calls each one of us to be a saint.
Listen to Audio


If anyone knew rejection, ridicule and disappointment, it was today's saint. But such trials only brought Maria Bertilla Boscardin closer to God and more determined to serve him.

Born in Italy in 1888, the young girl lived in fear of her father, a violent man prone to jealousy and drunkenness. Her schooling was limited so that she could spend more time helping at home and working in the fields. She showed few talents and was often the butt of jokes.

In 1904 she joined the Sisters of St. Dorothy and was assigned to work in the kitchen, bakery and laundry. After some time Maria received nurses' training and began working in a hospital with children suffering from diphtheria. There the young nun seemed to find her true vocation: nursing very ill and disturbed children. Later, when the hospital was taken over by the military in World War I, Sister Maria Bertilla fearlessly cared for patients amidst the threat of constant air raids and bombings.

She died in 1922 after suffering for many years from a painful tumor. Some of the patients she had nursed many years before were present at her canonization in 1961.

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



I pause for a moment
and reflect on God's life-giving presence
in every part of my body, in everything around me,
in the whole of my life.


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.


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 Est C:12, 14-16, 23-25

Queen Esther, seized with mortal anguish,
had recourse to the LORD.
She lay prostrate upon the ground, together with her handmaids,
from morning until evening, and said:
"God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are you.
Help me, who am alone and have no help but you,
for I am taking my life in my hand.
As a child I used to hear from the books of my forefathers
that you, O LORD, always free those who are pleasing to you.
Now help me, who am alone and have no one but you,
O LORD, my God.

"And now, come to help me, an orphan.
Put in my mouth persuasive words in the presence of the lion
and turn his heart to hatred for our enemy,
so that he and those who are in league with him may perish.
Save us from the hand of our enemies;
turn our mourning into gladness
and our sorrows into wholeness."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 138:1-2ab, 2cde-3, 7c-8

R. (3a) Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple
and give thanks to your name.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
Because of your kindness and your truth;
for you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
Your right hand saves me.
The LORD will complete what he has done for me;
your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

Verse Before the Gospel Ps 51:12a, 14a

A clean heart create for me, O God;
give me back the joy of your salvation.

Gospel Mt 7:7-12

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which one of you would hand his son a stone
when he asked for a loaf of bread,
or a snake when he asked for a fish?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your heavenly Father give good things
to those who ask him.

"Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.
This is the law and the prophets."

    Listen to audio of this reading

    Watch a video reflection


Jesus you speak to me through the words of the gospels. May I respond to your call today.Teach me to recognise your hand at work in my daily living.


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 7:7-12

1st Week of Lent

How much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him. (Matthew 7:11)

For some people, prayer is sort of like a trip to the casino. Pop in a prayer request, pull the lever, and see what happens. Maybe once in a while they win—a new job, a healing, an unexpected blessing—but more often than not, they're just yanking on the lever and waiting to see what happens. God is like a powerful casino owner who occasionally gives you a payout to keep you coming back.

But God doesn't look at us with the calculating eyes of a businessman. Far from it! He gazes on us with the love of a Father for his children. Like any father, he wants what is best for us. He is committed to helping us become the best possible version of ourselves. So we should feel confident that when we don't get what we ask for, it's not because he is cruelly withholding it. It's because his plan for our lives doesn't end with earthly riches, but with a much deeper and more persistent sense of fulfillment. His plan and his intentions may not always be clear to us, but we can be confident that they are infinitely better than any ideas we come up with on our own.

Of course we can ask God for anything we think we need, even for those things we just plain want. He accepts every prayer we breathe, if only because it's another opportunity for us to come into his presence and for him to shape us. Every time we come to him in prayer, he gently and gradually shows us what we really need, what our hearts really cry out for. We bring him our desires and hopes and dreams, and he transforms them! He shifts our priorities and preoccupations and helps us learn how to long for those things that truly are good for us.

God won't condemn you for being selfish or greedy. Remember, he sent Jesus not to condemn but to save. You are precious to him, and he wants nothing more than to make you happy. Really and truly happy!

"Lord, you have given me so many good things. I am so grateful for the way you provide for me and watch over me. Jesus, I trust in you!"


Esther C:12, 14-16, 23-25
Psalm 138:1-3, 7-8



audio of: "Those Who Ask"

You have to read the book of Esther in the bible to really take in the juices of today's Holy Scriptures.  In short, she fasted.  In short, her and the Jewish people fasted and for 3 days.  Then, she dared to approach the king.  And the king granted her desire.  Only thing we heard from her in today's 1st readings were her prayers, her pleas.  The Fathers of the Church considered Esther as a type of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Always the Old Testament must be read in light with the new, because Jesus came to fulfill the old in the new. 
But before going to the new, the Psalms pray the life of Christ "Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me".  Can you imagine God calling on God for help?  I'm talking about Jesus.  Because we already read about Esther's pleas.  Jesus got the answer in Gethsemane, where He suffered extreme anguish, turmoil, temptations and distress, the devil haunting with, "look at what's going to happen to all your people you so much love, I'm going to hurt them and haunt them and they will worship everything but you!". I get these notions from Blessed  Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824) Mystic, Stigmatist, Visionary, and Prophet in her book "The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ" which I invited many to listen to as an audio book during last year's lent, and everyone fizzled away, got bored out probably LOL. But for me that stuck through was life changing even.  In the book, you walk through the Passion of Christ (eventually) and witness firsthand many things not written, some of which barely made the movie Passion of the Christ.
Among those most impacting, two things stood out: The Mother of God, and the Blessed Sacrament.  Who do you think was suffering for 3 days in anguish like Esther until the resurrection?  Probably none more than the world's first Christian, and saint, the Blessed Virgin Mother Mary.  Notice the title I wrote: Blessed as described in the Gospel of Luke 1:48.  Virgin, because as much as the world tries to destroy her virginity, you can not prove with any evidence that she was forever the virgin and mother of God, our Lord Jesus. Lastly Mother: For at the foot of the cross, the plea of Christ was for the disciple to take His Mother to his home.
I digress.  Esther's pleas were heard because the Lord saw it was fitting and good.  Mary's pleas are fitting and good in Heaven this very day.  The crying Jesus did the night before He was crucified, a Thursday, were heard by God, and an angel set at His side when Jesus said the words of His mother when another angel was with her, and the words were "THY WILL BE DONE".  Then God works tremendous marvels.
And so, when you hear the words "seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you", our Lord is asking for us to have faith.  Jesus was 33 yrs old when He died for you.  So what are we to seek?  in Mt 6:33 it says "But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness,* and all these things will be given you besides."  AH HA!  Now it is being revealed, not to seek what we think is right, but what God knows is right and just...His Will



Subscribe to the Going4th mailing list.
podcast for my2cent click here


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Greater Than

<br /> Untitled document<br />

Minute Meditations

Open to Love

Minute Meditations

For me, forgiveness has been key.
In forgiving, I have eased my own burden and this
allows me to generate more love, to live and do
as Jesus, who is all about love. --Patty

— from St. Anthony

Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio


Sebastian's roads and bridges
connected many distant places. His final
bridge-building was to help men and women recognize
their God-given dignity and destiny.
parents were Spanish peasants. At the age of 31 he
sailed to Mexico, where he began working in the fields.
Eventually he built roads to facilitate agricultural
trading and other commerce. His 466-mile road from
Mexico City to Zacatecas took 10 years to build and
required careful negotiations with the indigenous
peoples along the way.

In time Sebastian was a wealthy farmer and rancher. At
the age of 60 he entered a virginal marriage. His
wife's motivation may have been a large inheritance;
his was to provide a respectable life for a girl
without even a modest marriage dowry. When his first
wife died, he entered another virginal marriage for the
same reason; his second wife also died young.

At the age of 72 Sebastian distributed his goods among
the poor and entered the Franciscans as a brother.
Assigned to the large (100-member) friary at Puebla de
los Angeles south of Mexico City, Sebastian went out
collecting alms for the friars for the next 25 years.
His charity to all earned him the nickname "Angel of

Sebastian was beatified in 1787 and is known as a
patron of travelers.

Comment: According to the Rule of St. Francis,
the friars were to work for their daily bread.
Sometimes, however, their work would not provide for
their needs; for example, working with people suffering
from leprosy brought little or no pay. In cases such as
these, the friars were allowed to beg, always keeping
in mind the admonition of Francis to let their good
example commend them to the people. The life of the
prayerful Sebastian, still hard at work in his 90's,
certainly drew many closer to God.

Quote: St. Francis once told his followers:
"There is a contract between the world and the friars.
The friars must give the world a good example; the
world must provide for their needs. When they break
faith and withdraw their good example, the world will
withdraw its hand in a just censure" (2
, #70).


Saint of the
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.


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.


Knowing that God
loves me unconditionally, I can afford to be
honest about how I am. How has the last day
been, and how do I feel now? I share my
feelings openly with the Lord.

The Word of God

First Reading

1Then the
word of the LORD came to Jonah the second
time, saying,
2"Arise, go
to Nin'eveh, that great city, and proclaim to
it the message that I tell
3So Jonah
arose and went to Nin'eveh, according to the
word of the LORD. Now Nin'eveh was an
exceedingly great city, three days' journey
in breadth.
began to go into the city, going a day's
journey. And he cried, "Yet forty days, and
Nin'eveh shall be
5And the
people of Nin'eveh believed God; they
proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from
the greatest of them to the least of
tidings reached the king of Nin'eveh, and he
arose from his throne, removed his robe, and
covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in
7And he
made proclamation and published through
Nin'eveh, "By the decree of the king and his
nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor
flock, taste anything; let them not feed, or
drink water,
8but let
man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and
let them cry mightily to God; yea, let every
one turn from his evil way and from the
violence which is in his
9Who knows,
God may yet repent and turn from his fierce
anger, so that we perish
10When God
saw what they did, how they turned from their
evil way, God repented of the evil which he
had said he would do to them; and he did not
do it.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalms 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19
1Have mercy
on me, O God, according to thy steadfast
love; according to thy abundant mercy blot
out my transgressions.
2Wash me
thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me
from my sin!
10Create in
me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and
right spirit within me.
11Cast me
not away from thy presence, and take not thy
holy Spirit from me.
16For thou
hast no delight in sacrifice; were I to give
a burnt offering, thou wouldst not be
sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken
spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God,
thou wilt not despise.

Luke 11:29-32
29When the
crowds were increasing, he began to say,
"This generation is an evil generation; it
seeks a sign, but no sign shall be given to
it except the sign of Jonah.

30For as Jonah became a sign to the men
of Nin'eveh, so will the Son of man be to
this generation.
31The queen
of the South will arise at the judgment with
the men of this generation and condemn them;
for she came from the ends of the earth to
hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold,
something greater than Solomon is
32The men
of Nin'eveh will arise at the judgment with
this generation and condemn it; for they
repented at the preaching of Jonah, and
behold, something greater than Jonah is


What is stirring in me as I pray? Am I
consoled, troubled, left cold? I imagine Jesus
himself standing or sitting at my side and
share my feelings with 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: Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19

View NAB Reading at

1st Week of Lent

A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you
will not spurn. (Psalm 51:19)

Imagine a group of nuns building a chapel by
hand. They have one cart between them for
carrying sand. One morning, that cart tips over
six times in a row. Their leader comes and
points out that maybe the trouble is that they
need to repent for something. So the sisters
pause, pray together, and realize that they
have been criticizing one another in their
hearts. After this admission and apologies all
around, everyone is much more at peace. And the
cart doesn't tip over anymore!

This story is from Basilea Schlink, leader of
the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary. In her book
Repentance—The Joy-Filled Life, she
shows how repentance is crucial if we want to
grow in our relationship with the Lord.

Schlink writes that just as an earthly father
"is waiting for a response from his children
. . . our Father, who created us
and who loves us with an unfathomable love,
waits." He waits for us to turn to him in
repentance. He waits, oh so patiently, for us
to turn back to him. Think of the "good thief"
who hung on the cross next to Jesus. With just
a few short words, he confesses that he has
sinned, and he turns to Jesus for salvation.
And right then and there, Jesus promises
heaven! There, at the last hour, God's patience
paid off, and this man found the salvation he
was longing for.

Jesus has not come "to call the righteous to
repentance but sinners" (Luke 5:32). That's all
of us! His invitation is wide and generous.
Whether we have committed horrible sins or just
told little white lies, he asks us to come
clean—and to come to him. He wants to shower us
with his mercy, but he needs us to take the
first step toward him in repentance.

As we come to Jesus with humble honesty about
how we have fallen short, he will take care of
the rest. This simple, honest confession, "I
have sinned," is all that he asks. That brief
moment, when we are exposed before the Lord, is
a moment of great joy for him. We have come
back to him, and now he can embrace us, forgive
us, and heal us!

"Father, thank you for your mercy! Help me
always to be open and honest with you."

Jonah 3:1-10 Luke 11:29-32


my2cents: Johah, oh Jonah, the
great little prophet, and still a
pre-figurement of Christ!  Now, who do you
suppose is asking you to repent?  It's not
that prophet, for he is being used as God's
voice, an instrument of faith, a calling to
reunification with the creator.  A calling
in the desert to where we are leading in
lent.  Jonah though, was thrown into the
sea.  He had to suffer hardships for God,
but mostly because he would not repent
himself!  He wouldn't give himself, and so
went into the sea running away from his duties
to God, upon which the sailors in a storm
decided it was Jonah's fault the gods were
angry. Over and out, and into the sea he was
flung, only to be swallowed by a whale for 3
days and spit back Ninevah. 
Funny how God writes with crooked lines and we
have to zoom out to see the greater picture of
what is being said here. Let's take into
account our own lives.  Jonah thought
Niniveh didn't DESERVE God's mercy.  God
was wanting to reach them through Jonah, but he
was blocking the way to grace and mercy. 
Let's take this to heart.  How many times
does God want to work mercy and grace through
us but we keep running away and trying to
hide?  And so the beauty is that Jonah
realized God's will, and His will was done, one
way or the other LOL!  The people
amazingly repented.  They offered
sacrifices the 40 days.  They turned from
sin and violence.  And the marvelous gift
of our Lord was this:  That Nothing
Happened.  I hope one day our Lord will
show you how many evil things could've happened
in your life, but they didn't happen, because
of His mercy for you.  How many times I
could've gotten killed or wound up on the wrong
side one more time.  How many times I
could've hidden from our Lord but He relented
and allowed me to stay with Him.  And this
is where we leading with Jesus.  But
first, the Psalms pray today "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and
put a new and right spirit within
...The sacrifice
acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken
and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not
despise."  Ahh this is what it's all
about.  A new creation.  In comes our
Lord our King, Jesus.  He speaks and says
an evil generation seeks signs and no sign will
be given except that of Jonah.  Yes, 3
days dead to the world, and once back,
repentance and salvation forever.  Jesus
dies, resurrects and brings the ultimate sign
of salvation for all and forever.  Jesus
shows the way.  He fasted 40 days, why
can't I?  He was Holy, why can't I be
Holy?  He died for the love of God in
obedience and the love of all mankind, to make
all things whole, and so why can't I? 
Because Lent is a discipline.  We
discipline ourselves in a way that disposes us
to God.  Self-mortification in
ascetism.  The word asceticism
comes from the Greek askesis which
means practice, bodily exercise, and more
especially, athletic training.  We are in
training, lest we show up to the battle in bad
shape, kind of like I did in an arena race last
month, and I got severely beat up for not being
ready! and so the same is for the Spirit. 
Be ready to resist temptation.  Be ready
for Him to come in.  Be ready for the time
and the hour that God says go, and we go. 
Jesus went into training, boot camp, and this
is where we are now.  How serious we are
is how serious we are taking the sign of Jonah
in Jesus.  Because ultimately, it is of
self surrender to our Lord.  That is why
evil seeks signs, as Father Alberto Cerezo of
Food for the Poor said in our Mass a few weeks
ago "signs are a substitute for faith". 
People want signs for the wrong reasons. 
The signs that are provided are the ones that
God wants to give, not the ones we want to
see.  The humble and contrite heart will
see the sign...of LOVE
Subscribe to the Going4th mailing list.

online player: