Thursday, April 30, 2015

One Who Loves

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Minute Meditations

Powerful Connections
Every connection we make with our brothers and sisters on earth holds great power. Each day, God calls us to be in community, to share faith and friendship, and to lead each other into a beautiful, miraculous, and radical relationship with God.
— from Created to Relate

Blessed Michael Giedroyc
(d. 1485)
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A life of physical pain and mental torment didn't prevent Michael Giedroyc from achieving holiness.

Born near Vilnius, Lithuania, Michael suffered from physical and permanent handicaps from birth. He was a dwarf who had the use of only one foot. Because of his delicate physical condition, his formal education was frequently interrupted. But over time, Michael showed special skills at metalwork. Working with bronze and silver, he created sacred vessels, including chalices.

He traveled to Kraków, Poland, where he joined the Augustinians. He received permission to live the life of a hermit in a cell adjoining the monastery. There Michael spent his days in prayer, fasted and abstained from all meat and lived to an old age. Though he knew the meaning of suffering throughout his years, his rich spiritual life brought him consolation. Michael's long life ended in 1485 in Kraków.

Five hundred years later, Pope John Paul II visited the city and spoke to the faculty of the Pontifical Academy of Theology. The 15th century in Kraków, the pope said, was "the century of saints." Among those he cited was Blessed Michael Giedroyc.

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

Reading 1 Acts 14:5-18

There was an attempt in Iconium
by both the Gentiles and the Jews,
together with their leaders,
to attack and stone Paul and Barnabas.
They realized it,
and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe
and to the surrounding countryside,
where they continued to proclaim the Good News.

At Lystra there was a crippled man, lame from birth,
who had never walked.
He listened to Paul speaking, who looked intently at him,
saw that he had the faith to be healed,
and called out in a loud voice, "Stand up straight on your feet."
He jumped up and began to walk about.
When the crowds saw what Paul had done,
they cried out in Lycaonian,
"The gods have come down to us in human form."
They called Barnabas "Zeus" and Paul "Hermes,"
because he was the chief speaker.
And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city,
brought oxen and garlands to the gates,
for he together with the people intended to offer sacrifice.

The Apostles Barnabas and Paul tore their garments
when they heard this and rushed out into the crowd, shouting,
"Men, why are you doing this?
We are of the same nature as you, human beings.
We proclaim to you good news
that you should turn from these idols to the living God,
who made heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them.
In past generations he allowed all Gentiles to go their own ways;
yet, in bestowing his goodness,
he did not leave himself without witness,
for he gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons,
and filled you with nourishment and gladness for your hearts."
Even with these words, they scarcely restrained the crowds
from offering sacrifice to them.

Responsorial Psalm PS 115:1-2, 3-4, 15-16

R. (1ab) Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
R. Alleluia.
Not to us, O LORD, not to us
but to your name give glory
because of your mercy, because of your truth.
Why should the pagans say,
"Where is their God?"
R. Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
R. Alleluia.
Our God is in heaven;
whatever he wills, he does.
Their idols are silver and gold,
the handiwork of men.
R. Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
R. Alleluia.
May you be blessed by the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
Heaven is the heaven of the LORD,
but the earth he has given to the children of men.
R. Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 14:26

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Holy Spirit will teach you everything
and remind you of all I told you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 14:21-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him."
Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him,
"Master, then what happened that you will reveal yourself to us
and not to the world?"
Jesus answered and said to him,
"Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words;
yet the word you hear is not mine
but that of the Father who sent me.

"I have told you this while I am with you.
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit
whom the Father will send in my name—
he will teach you everything
and remind you of all that I told you."

Catholic Meditations

Meditation: John 14:21-26

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5th Week of Easter

He will teach you everything. (John 14:26)


What is the first thing that comes into your head when you think of a teacher? Homework? A chalkboard? The times you got in trouble? These are the memories that often stick in our minds—along with memories of the very good teachers, the ones who ignited a fire for learning in our hearts.

What set those exceptional teachers apart? They took time to work with us individually. They struck just the right balance between encouraging us and challenging us. They created an environment in which we could ask lots of questions and pursue the answers.

In today's Gospel passage, Jesus talks about how the Holy Spirit is the best teacher in the world. Only instead of math or history, the Spirit wants to teach us about Jesus. As a teacher, his goal is not only to impart new knowledge to us. He wants to help us apply that knowledge to our lives. When we are feeling burdened by guilt, he reminds us that "there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). When we are feeling overwhelmed or frustrated, he reminds us how much Jesus loves us. When we are experiencing a season of blessing and peace, he moves us to thank the Lord for his goodness. He is speaking to us all the time, teaching us how to see the world through the eyes of Christ.

As a dedicated teacher, the Spirit also challenges us in our walk of faith. He nudges us to be more kind or encourages us to compliment rather than criticize. He reminds us to serve one another and bless everyone, even the ones who rub us the wrong way.

Take some time to ponder just one thought from today's Gospel reading, and see what comes into your heart. You could look at Jesus' promise to come dwell in you. You could focus on loving Jesus by following his commands. You could focus, as we did, on the Holy Spirit as a teacher. Just mull this one idea in your mind, and see if any new thoughts come to you. If they are filled with peace, hope, or encouragement, you can be sure that the Spirit is teaching you!

"Thank you, Holy Spirit, for opening my mind and my heart. Come and teach me about Jesus today."



Acts 14:5-18; Psalm 115:1-4, 15-16

Give credit where the credit is due.  In today's 1st Holy Scriptures, St. Paul and Barnabas give all honor and credit to our Lord for His great deeds.  But the people fail to see...God.  Some may have seen, otherwise we wouldn't have heard about it.  And so is the story of your faith and mine.  Failure to see God in our lives has been our failure to love God in our lives.  Let's read on the life of Christ.
Today's Psalms pray: Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name give glory because of your mercy, because of your truth.  Why should the pagans say, "Where is their God?"  Why should people ask you if you believe in the Lord?  Does it not show?  Why should people doubt?  So is the life of faith.  I asked the students in our praise and worship, "who here wants to be a saint!?".  Not very many answers, maybe confusion (is this a real question?).  Truth is, we are Holy and called to be saints, yet we don't want to be what we are designed to be!  Just don't know what is truly natural (holiness).   What's up with that?  And for this we speak out about our faith.
Our Lord speaks today, ""Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him."  For those that love Him, He is revealed.  At times in my life, I dare to ask when I believe I feel and see Him "Jesus, is that you?", but I only ask in my mind.  Sometimes, a stranger, sometimes, a priest, sometimes in the unseen, but never, in the Holy Eucharist.  And so I invite you to a love relationship with our Father, which only comes through Jesus.  "Then why are you Catholics so nuts about Saints and Angels?, and MARY!?"  Because, they bring us closer to Jesus, and it is so awesome to be brought closer to Jesus.  The commandments are clear.  The first 3 are commandments between us and Him, and the other 7, between us and "them", the people we meet daily and live with.  The 3 found and base a Love relationship that will affect the other 7.  The 7 can not be more than the first 3.  Just because I didn't kill someone or have an affair, or steal, doesn't mean you have fulfilled the obseranve in its fullness, because ignoring the Love of the Father would be as if to say "I don't get along with my parents, but I am good to everyone else".  Might as well say "I curse at my parents, but not to anybody else".  How backwards is that?  It's as if to say, "I believe, but I don't".  And so what I am asking for is for you to see the Father, and you will see Him when you Love Him above all!
Get up, I want you For ME


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

You May Believe

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Minute Meditations

Serving the Poor

There is nothing better that you can do in this world than to totally give yourself to God in the person of the poor and our needy brother. --Blessed Dulce Lopes Pontes
— from Sisterhood of Saints

April 30
St. Pius V
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This is the pope whose job was to implement the historic Council of Trent. If we think popes had difficulties in implementing Vatican Council II, Pius V had even greater problems after Trent than four centuries earlier.

During his papacy (1566-1572), Pius V was faced with the almost overwhelming responsibility of getting a shattered and scattered Church back on its feet. The family of God had been shaken by corruption, by the Reformation, by the constant threat of Turkish invasion and by the bloody bickering of the young nation-states. In 1545 a previous pope convened the Council of Trent in an attempt to deal with all these pressing problems. Off and on over 18 years, the Church Fathers discussed, condemned, affirmed and decided upon a course of action. The Council closed in 1563.

Pius V was elected in 1566 and was charged with the task of implementing the sweeping reforms called for by the Council. He ordered the founding of seminaries for the proper training of priests. He published a new missal, a new breviary, a new catechism and established the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) classes for the young. Pius zealously enforced legislation against abuses in the Church. He patiently served the sick and the poor by building hospitals, providing food for the hungry and giving money customarily used for the papal banquets to poor Roman converts. His decision to keep wearing his Dominican habit led to the custom of the pope wearing a white cassock.

In striving to reform both Church and state, Pius encountered vehement opposition from England's Queen Elizabeth and the Roman Emperor Maximilian II. Problems in France and in the Netherlands also hindered Pius's hopes for a Europe united against the Turks. Only at the last minute was he able to organize a fleet which won a decisive victory in the Gulf of Lepanto, off Greece, on October 7, 1571.

Pius's ceaseless papal quest for a renewal of the Church was grounded in his personal life as a Dominican friar. He spent long hours with his God in prayer, fasted rigorously, deprived himself of many customary papal luxuries and faithfully observed the spirit of the Dominican Rule that he had professed.


In their personal lives and in their actions as popes, Pius V and Blessed Paul VI (d. 1978) both led the family of God in the process of interiorizing and implementing the new birth called for by the Spirit in major Councils. With zeal and patience, Pius and Paul pursued the changes urged by the Council Fathers. Like Pius and Paul, we too are called to constant change of heart and life.


"In this universal assembly, in this privileged point of time and space, there converge together the past, the present, and the future. The past: for here, gathered in this spot, we have the Church of Christ with her tradition, her history, her councils, her doctors, her saints; the present: we are taking leave of one another to go out toward the world of today with its miseries, its sufferings, its sins, but also with its prodigious accomplishments, values, and virtues; and the future is here in the urgent appeal of the peoples of the world for more justice, in their will for peace, in their conscious or unconscious thirst for a higher life, that life precisely which the Church of Christ can give and wishes to give to them" (from Pope Paul's closing message at Vatican II).


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


Daily Prayer - 2015-04-30


Dear Lord as I come to you today
Fill my heart and my whole being
with the wonder of your presence


Your death on the cross has set me free.
I can live joyously and freely
without fear of death.
Your mercy knows no bounds.


I exist in a web of relationships - links to nature, people, God.

I trace out these links, giving thanks for the life that flows through them.

Some links are twisted or broken: I may feel regret, anger, disappointment.

I pray for the gift of acceptance and forgiveness.

The Word of God

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 282

Reading 1 Acts 13:13-25

From Paphos, Paul and his companions
set sail and arrived at Perga in Pamphylia.
But John left them and returned to Jerusalem.
They continued on from Perga and reached Antioch in Pisidia.
On the sabbath they entered into the synagogue and took their seats.
After the reading of the law and the prophets,
the synagogue officials sent word to them,
"My brothers, if one of you has a word of exhortation
for the people, please speak."

So Paul got up, motioned with his hand, and said,
"Fellow children of Israel and you others who are God-fearing, listen.
The God of this people Israel chose our ancestors
and exalted the people during their sojourn in the land of Egypt.
With uplifted arm he led them out,
and for about forty years he put up with them in the desert.
When he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan,
he gave them their land as an inheritance
at the end of about four hundred and fifty years.
After these things he provided judges up to Samuel the prophet.
Then they asked for a king.
God gave them Saul, son of Kish,
a man from the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.
Then he removed him and raised up David as their king;
of him he testified,
I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart;
he will carry out my every wish.

From this man's descendants God, according to his promise,
has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus.
John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance
to all the people of Israel;
and as John was completing his course, he would say,
'What do you suppose that I am? I am not he.
Behold, one is coming after me;
I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.'"

Responsorial Psalm PS 89:2-3, 21-22, 25 and 27

R. (2) For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
The favors of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, "My kindness is established forever";
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
"I have found David, my servant;
with my holy oil I have anointed him,
That my hand may be always with him,
and that my arm may make him strong."
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
"My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him,
and through my name shall his horn be exalted.
He shall say of me, 'You are my father,
my God, the Rock, my savior.'"
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia See Rv 1:5ab

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus Christ, you are the faithful witness,
the firstborn of the dead,
you have loved us and freed us from our sins by your Blood.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 13:16-20

When Jesus had washed the disciples' feet, he said to them:
"Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master
nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him.
If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it.
I am not speaking of all of you.
I know those whom I have chosen.
But so that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me.
From now on I am telling you before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe that I AM.
Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send
receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me."


How has God's Word moved me? Has it left me cold? Has it consoled me or moved me to act in a new way?
I imagine Jesus standing or sitting beside me, I turn 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: John 13:16-20

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Saint Pius V, Pope

I am. (John 13:19)


Jesus probably startled his disciples when he identified himself as "I am" and then delivered what seems to be a word problem: "Whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me" (John 13:20).

Jesus wanted the disciples to be clear. They were to give the One he would send—that is, the Holy Spirit—the same fidelity and loyalty they were giving to him and his words. He also wanted them to know that having received him meant they had received the Father, too.

In this context, "to receive" is a very active thing. It means to lay hold of, to seize, to accept, to try out. It's not passive at all. "Go ahead and take it" rather than "Close your eyes and hold out your hands."

This is important! Jesus wants all of us to lay hold of the Holy Spirit, to pursue him and try him out. This is the only way we will be able to do his work on earth—and it's the only way we'll develop a personal relationship with God. Developing both an interior spiritual life and a more outward, practical experience of the Spirit are both essential to living the life Jesus offers us. Actively receiving is the key to experiencing a life that is creative, nurturing, exciting, and full of love.

You can live like that! You can, because you have received the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Is someone you know far from the Lord? Ask the Father to give you the words and love that will draw that person to him. Is a friend or family member sick or anxious? Pray with that person, and ask for Jesus' healing. Do problems loom at work? Ask the Spirit to inspire you with creative solutions. Your life with God is meant to overflow, touching everyone around you!

So go ahead and actively receive the Holy Spirit. Receive the Father, the One who sent Jesus. Seek to know his heart and thoughts. Spend time in his presence. Ask him questions. Ask him to make you look like him. You will be surprised and delighted by what he will do for you!

"Jesus, I want to go for it today! Holy Spirit, work in me and through me. Father, foster in me more of your character."



Acts 13:13-25; Psalm 89:2-3, 21-22, 25, 27

"Behold, one is coming after me; I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.'"  The litany of humility we read earlier this week demonstrates this is the way to live, away from pride, accepting the poor.  But our minds are programmed backwards in the world as we grow up, thinking the poor folks are just those without money, maybe those homeless on the streets.  As if I am more than them for having so much more money than them.  Pride.  As if they are not better than me?  As if someone's ugly sin is worse than mine?  As if Jesus isn't living in them as much as He is trying in mine?  And so is the message of acceptance.  But hold on, there's much more!
The Psalms pray today "For you have said, "My kindness is established forever"; in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness."  God has chosen throughout history, who He wants.  I'm going to divulge a secret.  I've invited probably 5 people within the last 5 days to come to Jesus, in RCIA, or classes, or somehow.  And you know what I done before and or after?  I prayed to our Lord, asking for permission for them to come into His Kingdom.  It is not for an elite group, but for those who can discern Him calling you, the Shepherd making an outreach, an effort, through messengers called angels among our lives.  Because many said no by not responding, I am held by faith.  I read in the catechism that 10,000 difficulties do not cause a doubt, and we are speaking about that seed, that faith that we are to nurture and grow and become fruitful.
Jesus comes into our lives, and oh so amazingly.  He washes the feet of His chosen ones.  He is humble, the servant, the attendant.  Who do you serve?  Who do you attend?  Because your attendance makes a difference, that attention of the heart.  What He says afterwards is amazing "I know those whom I have chosen".  And later says "Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me."  Embrace His call.  Love it.  Perhaps my saying yes to the Lord has dragged me to the edge of an ocean of love.  I want you to become a "Yes Lord" person.  What other answer can you give to the Lord of all?  As a matter of fact, as you are reading this, I am travelling to Kansas from Texas, because I said yes to the Lord, to a spanish retreat called "Escuela De La Cruz" (School of the Cross).  Pray for us and our journey, for the Lord sent another person with me, a cousin, which I had asked the Lord to send someone with me on this 500 mile journey one way.  Crazy huh?  Leaving work? Leaving Family?  All the church plans?  First Friday Adoration?  Saturday Mass?  Spiritual Theology class on Sunday?  Why leave all if the Lord is already here?  
Because, the Lord wants us to receive Him in ways we don't even know!  Newness is of Heaven, goodness is the best newness.  I pray that you find yourself embracing His Word of humility and acceptance of HIM.  Because as I read the Holy Gospel, I felt as if the Lord was taking a child among the disciples and embracing the child and saying ""Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me."Mark 9:37.  And that embrace?  A person, a messenger, Christ.  When is the last time you embraced a priest like that?  Or someone who brought news of the Lord into your life?  Did you receive them with great joy or ignored them or shut the door in their face?  Because in them is the one who sent them...the Holy Spirit, the life of the world...
I Love You Oh My God!



What I Say

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Minute Meditations

Love Alone

I propose to have no other purpose in all my activities, either interior or exterior, other than the motive of love alone, by constantly asking myself: "Now what am I doing in this action? Do I love God?" If I should notice any obstacle to pure love, I shall take myself in hand and recall that I must seek to return my love for his love. --St. Teresa Margaret
— from Sisterhood of Saints

St. Catherine of Siena

The value Catherine makes central in her short life and which sounds clearly and consistently through her experience is complete surrender to Christ. What is most impressive about her is that she learns to view her surrender to her Lord as a goal to be reached through time.

She was the 23rd child of Jacopo and Lapa Benincasa and grew up as an intelligent, cheerful and intensely religious person. Catherine disappointed her mother by cutting off her hair as a protest against being overly encouraged to improve her appearance in order to attract a husband. Her father ordered her to be left in peace, and she was given a room of her own for prayer and meditation.

She entered the Dominican Third Order at 18 and spent the next three years in seclusion, prayer and austerity. Gradually a group of followers gathered around her—men and women, priests and religious. An active public apostolate grew out of her contemplative life. Her letters, mostly for spiritual instruction and encouragement of her followers, began to take more and more note of public affairs. Opposition and slander resulted from her mixing fearlessly with the world and speaking with the candor and authority of one completely committed to Christ. She was cleared of all charges at the Dominican General Chapter of 1374.

Her public influence reached great heights because of her evident holiness, her membership in the Dominican Third Order, and the deep impression she made on the pope. She worked tirelessly for the crusade against the Turks and for peace between Florence and the pope

In 1378, the Great Schism began, splitting the allegiance of Christendom between two, then three, popes and putting even saints on opposing sides. Catherine spent the last two years of her life in Rome, in prayer and pleading on behalf of the cause of Urban VI and the unity of the Church. She offered herself as a victim for the Church in its agony. She died surrounded by her "children" and was canonized in 1461. 

Catherine ranks high among the mystics and spiritual writers of the Church. In 1939, she and Francis of Assisi were declared co-patrons of Italy. Paul VI named her and Teresa of Avila doctors of the Church in 1970. Her spiritual testament is found in The Dialogue.


Though she lived her life in a faith experience and spirituality far different from that of our own time, Catherine of Siena stands as a companion with us on the Christian journey in her undivided effort to invite the Lord to take flesh in her own life. Events which might make us wince or chuckle or even yawn fill her biographies: a mystical experience at six, childhood betrothal to Christ, stories of harsh asceticism, her frequent ecstatic visions. Still, Catherine lived in an age which did not know the rapid change of 21st-century mobile America. The value of her life for us today lies in her recognition of holiness as a goal to be sought over the course of a lifetime.


Catherine's book Dialogue contains four treatises—her testament of faith to the spiritual world. She wrote: "No one should judge that he has greater perfection because he performs great penances and gives himself in excess to the staying of the body than he who does less, inasmuch as neither virtue nor merit consists therein; for otherwise he would be an evil case, who for some legitimate reason was unable to do actual penance. Merit consists in the virtue of love alone, flavored with the light of true discretion without which the soul is worth nothing."

Patron Saint of:


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

Daily Prayer - 2015-04-29


"I stand at the door and knock," says the Lord.
What a wonderful privilege
that the Lord of all creation desires to come to me.
I welcome His presence.


Lord, grant me the grace to be free from the excesses of this life.
Let me not get caught up with the desire for wealth.
Keep my heart and mind free to love and serve you.


How do I find myself today? Where am I with God? With others? 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


Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

Reading 1 Acts 12:24—13:5a

The word of God continued to spread and grow.

After Barnabas and Saul completed their relief mission,
they returned to Jerusalem,
taking with them John, who is called Mark.

Now there were in the Church at Antioch prophets and teachers:
Barnabas, Symeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene,
Manaen who was a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said,
"Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul
for the work to which I have called them."
Then, completing their fasting and prayer,
they laid hands on them and sent them off.

So they, sent forth by the Holy Spirit,
went down to Seleucia
and from there sailed to Cyprus.
When they arrived in Salamis,
they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6 and 8

R. (4) O God, let all the nations praise you!
R. Alleluia.
May God have pity on us and bless us;
may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth;
among all nations, your salvation.
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
R. Alleluia.
May the nations be glad and exult
because you rule the peoples in equity;
the nations on the earth you guide.
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
R. Alleluia.
May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you!
May God bless us,
and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
R. Alleluia.

Gospel Jn 8:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 12:44-50

Jesus cried out and said,
"Whoever believes in me believes not only in me
but also in the one who sent me,
and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me.
I came into the world as light,
so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness.
And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them,
I do not condemn him,
for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.
Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words
has something to judge him: the word that I spoke,
it will condemn him on the last day,
because I did not speak on my own,
but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak.
And I know that his commandment is eternal life.
So what I say, I say as the Father told me."

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    Watch a video reflection



How has God's Word moved me? Has it left me cold? Has it consoled me or moved me to act in a new way?
I imagine Jesus standing or sitting beside me, I turn 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: John 12:44-50

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Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world. (John 12:47)

When you think of someone being condemned, what image comes to mind? A courtroom with a judge hammering his gavel? A stern jury? A pointing finger?

How about a flashlight? If you were trying to hide something, a flashlight would be very good for exposing whatever you were doing. You'd shrink back from it because it condemns you. If you were lost in the woods in the darkness, the flashlight would light the way back to the path, and you'd see its shining beam as your freedom.

Jesus said he came into the world as light. He came to shine his word and his truth into our hearts. But just like the flashlight, Jesus' light can elicit different reactions, depending on our disposition. If we are open to him and trying to follow him, his light can bring us warmth and insight. It can illuminate our path, correct our missteps, and bring us closer to the salvation we are longing for. But if we are opposed to him, that very same light can feel cold and embarrassing. We might scramble to stay hidden from the light, only showing by our actions that we are rejecting Jesus. In both cases, it's our own relationship to the Lord and his truth that either saves us or condemns us.

What is one of the best ways to experience the warmth of Jesus' light? In the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Far from being a means of condemning us, Reconciliation is the perfect way to let the light of Christ probe and illuminate our hearts. Will there be areas that you don't want to bring into the light? Probably. But remember, he didn't come to condemn—only to save. So even when he brings your sin to light, remember that his light shines only to heal and restore, not to judge and dismiss.

So let the light shine on you today! Let Jesus' word pierce your heart and illuminate every corner of your life. Trust that he's not out to get you. He wants to help you. He wants to save you and reunite you to himself. Let him draw you home.

"Lord Jesus, help me not to shrink from your light. I believe you came not to condemn me, but to save me!"


Acts 12:24--13:5; Psalm 67:2-3, 5-6, 8


Someone lay their hands on me a while back, and the Holy Spirit was infused in me.  Was it at confirmation?  The baptism with fire?  I think so.  Was it at the retreats I've grown up in?  Yeah, them too.  And so it is with Jesus.  He put His hands on His apostles and made them bishops, presbyters who were priests, and I ask you too have them lay their hands on you.  They lay their hands on the gifts at the altar, and the Holy Spirit descends and we consume the Holy Spirit.  They lay their hands on us in confession, and the Holy Spirit comes.  I told the confirmation students, "you don't go to confession to just dump your sins!  you go to receive grace!".  And it is sanctifying, it is saving, and it is powerful in the most meek way I can explain.  Because we want to think of power as the world thinks, with force, with armies, with brute strength, but Jesus came with no armies, and even answered, "My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here."  Notice He said "My attendants", He did not say "my warriors" or "soldiers".  Meekness.  Opposite of pride.  This power overcomes the world.
The Psalms pray "May God bless us, and may all the ends of the earth fear him!".  I'm currently at a loss, on how much fear we lack as a nation, or world, a fear of God.  Not even the announcement of the end of the world would wake up the zombies walking this earth today.  And the end is in your lifetime, when your life ends!  So it is indeed near!  REPENT!  "Let all the nations praise you!".
When someone insinuates that I am going to Heaven "Adrian , I just know you're going to Heaven", this is how I crying.  Out of joy?  No.  This is how I respond "what about you?  I don't want to go without you!"  I'm not leaving without you.  Yet, I can't force nobody, but I can P.U.S.H, Pray Until Something Happens.  And trust me, I push, with words, with more prayer than words, and the message is for none other than salvation. 
I'm in need of faith.  Because I feel sometimes I doubt what I say.  Yet much of the time that I speak, I learn of God.  So am I doubting God?  It is the Holy Spirit.  Have faith.  Is your faith being challenged?  Have faith.  Are you in need of peace?  Have faith.  So easy to say right?  I want your faith to grow.  I want you to go ahead and show the way.  Jesus will not condemn us.  His Word has been set.  The evidence of self condemnation reveals itself, many times on earth.  I want you to wake up from sleep mode.  I want the Holy Spirit to be infused into your soul.  I wrote a letter to a couple of men, in hopes they'd join us in RCIA class we started last night, and I'll leave you with it now, as I was inspired by the Spirit, I will not doubt again:
Good Men:

I know a lot of "good men".

And I worry about their soul.


Too many believe in God that are dead,

Too many that won't do what He said.


Too many that say they live the life,

But not Christ, rather, are living the lies.


Can I say I believe and not want to hear?

Or is it that you don't, and live locked in fear.


Because choosing Christ means to choose His life.

It means I will carry a cross, and follow the light.


It means at every moment that I breathe,

It means that at every moment my heart beats,


I will not say NO to the Lord ever again.

I will not give into the sin.


Because to be dead means not to have life

To be dead, is to not have Christ.


To be dead means we chose this instead.

To be dead means not doing what He said.


If someone asks you to come to the Lord, will it be a yes or a no?

Because if your answer rhymes with no, like "I don't know"

Because if you're answer is anything other than a yes,

It means you choose to doubt, and choose to guess.

It means I choose something else, more of death.


They say it takes evil this to succeed:  for good men to do nothing, and it is happening in deed.

I live among so many "good men", good for what?  And what of their seed?


Because God created man to work the land with the seed to grow,

And today, is man working the land? Yes, and the seed?  Do you know?


What you are sowing, will say where you're going

right now, God is working and showing.


This is a call to give up your life, the life you love and try to save

It is call to you my brother, Jesus through me, so what do you say?

The men did not show up.  Will you too turn away?  Because it is Jesus coming to us and inviting us to follow Him in a most intimate way.  Today's 5 minutos ended with the priest's words:  "...To the 'Fox', my dog, it does not care to be in the best of places that I prepare for him.  My dog only cares about being next to me...independent of where we may be.   Heaven never interested us when they told us it was a "place"...Heaven is an intimate participation in the infinite love of God.  And the way to get there is love.  After knowing Jesus, let us not run the risk of being left in dark exteriors...where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Mt.8:12"




Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Testify To Me

Untitled document

Minute Meditations

Looking for Jesus

Here is an often overlooked piece of advice: When trying to determine what God wants us to do, we should seek Him out and remain close to Him. Makes perfect sense doesn't it? If we are concerned about following the Lord's will, having a close relationship with Him makes the process much simpler.
— from Faith, Hope & Clarity

St. Peter Chanel


Anyone who has worked in loneliness, with great adaptation required and with little apparent success, will find a kindred spirit in Peter Chanel.
As a young priest he revived a parish in a "bad" district by the simple method of showing great devotion to the sick. Wanting to be a missionary, he joined the Society of Mary (Marists) at 28. Obediently, he taught in the seminary for five years. Then, as superior of seven Marists, he traveled to Western Oceania where he was entrusted with an apostolic vicariate (term for a region that may later become a diocese). The bishop accompanying the missionaries left Peter and a brother on Futuna Island in the New Hebrides, promising to return in six months. He was gone five years.

Meanwhile, Pedro struggled with this new language and mastered it, making the difficult adjustment to life with whalers, traders and warring natives. Despite little apparent success and severe want, he maintained a serene and gentle spirit and endless patience and courage. A few natives had been baptized, a few more were being instructed. When the chieftain's son asked to be baptized, persecution by the chieftain reached a climax. Father Chanel was clubbed to death, his body cut to pieces.

Within two years after his death, the whole island became Catholic and has remained so. Peter Chanel is the first martyr of Oceania and its patron.


Suffering for Christ means suffering because we are like Christ. Very often the opposition we meet is the result of our own selfishness or imprudence. We are not martyrs when we are "persecuted" by those who merely treat us as we treat them. A Christian martyr is one who, like Christ, is simply a witness to God's love, and brings out of human hearts the good or evil that is already there.


"No one is a martyr for a conclusion, no one is a martyr for an opinion; it is faith that makes martyrs" (Cardinal Newman, Discourses to Mixed Congregations).

Patron Saint of:



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

Daily Prayer - 2015-04-28


"Be still and know that I am God."
Lord, Your words lead us to the
calmness and greatness of Your Presence.


Your death on the cross has set me free.
I can live joyously and freely
without fear of death.
Your mercy knows no bounds.


To be conscious about something is to be aware of it. Dear Lord help me to remember that You gave me life. Thank you for the gift of life. Teach me to slow down, to be still and enjoy the pleasures created for me.
To be aware of the beauty that surrounds me. The marvel of mountains, the calmness of lakes, the fragility of a flower petal. I need to remember that all these things come from you.

The Word of God


Reading 1 Acts 11:19-26

Those who had been scattered by the persecution
that arose because of Stephen
went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch,
preaching the word to no one but Jews.
There were some Cypriots and Cyrenians among them, however,
who came to Antioch and began to speak to the Greeks as well,
proclaiming the Lord Jesus.
The hand of the Lord was with them
and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.
The news about them reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem,
and they sent Barnabas to go to Antioch.
When he arrived and saw the grace of God,
he rejoiced and encouraged them all
to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart,
for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.
And a large number of people was added to the Lord.
Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul,
and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch.
For a whole year they met with the Church
and taught a large number of people,
and it was in Antioch that the disciples
were first called Christians.

Responsorial Psalm PS 87:1b-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (117:1a) All you nations, praise the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
His foundation upon the holy mountains
the LORD loves:
The gates of Zion,
more than any dwelling of Jacob.
Glorious things are said of you,
O city of God!
R. All you nations, praise the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
I tell of Egypt and Babylon
among those who know the LORD;
Of Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia:
"This man was born there."
And of Zion they shall say:
"One and all were born in her;
And he who has established her
is the Most High LORD."
R. All you nations, praise the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
They shall note, when the peoples are enrolled:
"This man was born there."
And all shall sing, in their festive dance:
"My home is within you."
R. All you nations, praise the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 10:22-30

The feast of the Dedication was taking place in Jerusalem.
It was winter.
And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon.
So the Jews gathered around him and said to him,
"How long are you going to keep us in suspense?
If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
Jesus answered them, "I told you and you do not believe.
The works I do in my Father's name testify to me.
But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep.
My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,
and no one can take them out of the Father's hand.
The Father and I are one."

    Listen to audio of this reading

    Watch a video reflection

How has God's Word moved me? Has it left me cold?

Has it consoled me or moved me to act in a new way?

I imagine Jesus standing or sitting beside me,

I turn and  share my feelings with


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: Acts 11:19-26

View NAB Reading at

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Saint Peter Chanel, Priest and Martyr

The hand of the Lord was with them. (Acts 11:21)

History is filled with unlikely pairings that work amazingly well. Think, for instance, about food pairings: bacon and chocolate, caramel and salt, or bananas on pizza. Or think about how opposites often attract in marriage: the slob and the neat freak, for example.

Well, in ancient Antioch, another kind of pairing, but no less unique, appeared: Jews and Greeks sharing the same religious convictions. Historically, there was a great enmity between these two groups, and in a city as big as Antioch, they could have easily kept to themselves. There were plenty of synagogues to go around, as well as more than enough Greek temples. Yet in the midst of this divided city, the Holy Spirit touched the hearts of Jews and Gentiles alike, making them into "Christians" (Acts 11:26).

When word reached the apostles and elders in Jerusalem, they were intrigued and perhaps a bit skeptical. Would the Gentiles dilute the purity of the Jews' faith? Would the Jews look down on their Gentile brothers and sisters? Such a potentially volatile and delicate situation needed some attention. So they sent Barnabas to study the situation. Though this was clearly a unique pairing, Barnabas could see that it was God's doing, so he "rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord" (Acts 11:23).

Just as the Holy Spirit created an unlikely pairing in Antioch, he is doing something similar today. He is encouraging Christians from different faith traditions to come together and pray for greater unity. For example, in a video he recorded on a Protestant pastor's iPhone, Pope Francis addressed a gathering of Pentecostal leaders. "Let's move forward," he urged them. "We are brothers; let us give each other that spiritual embrace and allow the Lord to complete the work he has begun."

Whenever Christians from different traditions, whether in ancient Antioch or in the cyberspace of today, come together, it's a sign that "the hand of the Lord" is at work (Acts 11:21). Today, let's all pray for Christian unity. May we become witnesses of our own unique pairings with our brothers and sisters in Christ!

"Holy Spirit, thank you for my brothers and sisters of all faith traditions. Come and make us one!"


Psalm 87:1-7; John 10:22-30


I'm kind of an oddball I guess.  I am not in tune with the worldly news.  A young new worker came in asking for something and asked "did you hear about the wal-marts shutting down and the military coming in and setting up base in them?"  I said "no, I guess we're going to war!?"  I think I took him by surprise.  I could feel his anxiety and fear, the kind that wants to sink under your skin.  But I took the news like I do when people are striking at the Church.  Proceed with caution.  Please care.  And so is the message.  They sent Barnabas to check out the growing numbers of Christians.  Only to his surprise they were filled with the Holy Spirit, just like he was.  And so he encouraged them.  I encourage you too.  Have faith. 
  This weekend I was a caller on EWTN radio to comment on a question about the late Cardinal George, I think from Chicago, that before he died had said "I suspect that I will die in my bed, and my successor will be put in jail, and his successor will die a martyr". 
The radio host proposed the "signs of the times" with so many natural disasters ocurring, is the end coming?  I called to say to remember the message of the prophet Jonah to Niniveh.  Repent!  And what did they do?  They repented.   Nothing happened to them, which means they were spared, saved.  God loves obedience and a heart turned to him.
Later Cardinal George explained" I expected to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. What is omitted from the reports is a final phrase I added about the bishop who follows a possibly martyred bishop: 'His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.' What I said is not 'prophetic' but a way to force people to think outside of the usual categories that limit and sometimes poison both private and public discourse."
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Sounds like the kind of message I say at times.  Pretty harsh, or is it not harsh enough?  Because, I don't see people freaking out for Jesus.  I see the opposite, they freak out for death.  Police shoot innocent people, the protectors killing out of fear.  That's the kind of thing that should be an eye opener.  Not wars, but those that are called to serve and protect.  Keep with me, I'm speaking about the body of Christ, those "Christians" as they were began to be called in today's 1st reading.
The Psalms pray "All You Nations, Praise the Lord".  What are nations?  Geographical places?  No.  They are groups of people.  Jesus, before ascending into Heaven said to His beloved people, his flock and shepherds "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit".  His call is to all.  Everytime I evangelize to someone, I tell them bluntly, "The Holy Spirit is calling you".  If it were not, the good news would not be introduced to them, an invitation, a call, to a closer more intimate relationship with Him.  Repent.  Convert.  That's the whole point of me reaching out to you.  That's the whole point I am engulfed with Him.  People talk about "ministries" as if they were some type of a separate entity, a separate part of the body, but it is not.  Serving the Lord is simply loving the Lord, and I tell people that are serving "what are you serving?"  Because if it is not love for Love (God),  what are you doing?  Repent! CONVERT!  And never stop serving, for we are a work in progress, in a process to Heaven.
Jesus is asked "Just tell us if you are the Christ!!".  And He tells them AGAIN He is, but they do not believe, that's why they have to keep asking.  Can Jesus be so humble?  So natural?  So in your face?  Yes He can.  Hardened hearts can not see Him.  I've only begun a few pages of the book "Introduction To Devout Life" with St. Francis de Sales, and I've already begun to see more clearly, what it means to be devout, and more clearly said, a devout follower of Jesus.  Because we have too many "believers" in God and not enough followers, not enough people to say "Yes Lord".  Then, do you truly believe?  Jesus says today "My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me."  Have you heard Him calling?  Sometimes when I pray, as I've prayed lately for many of my loved ones and god-children, I pray calling their names for the Lord, like a shepherd making a call.  The things I do, I say so that you will do. Pray for one another, call.  Be with one another, such were the first Christians.  "No one can take them out of my hand" says our Father, Jesus, our King.  Once His, Always His. 
I Am His.  Say that.  I Am His.  I Am His child.
I told the confirmation class, that each one is special.  Who cares what anyone says.  At the end, I culminated my prophecy and announced it to them, demanding a response.  I said, "I've got a message from the Lord! He says "I Love you!".  And I asked how to respond.  They didn't answer, until I kept at it, one said "amen", and I said "is that how you respond when someone says "I love you"?  So I yelled it louder "I LOVE YOU"...finally they got it and responded "I LOVE YOU TOO!"  I said doesn't it feel good to love?  Because we were designed to love, made in His image.
Now, you that are listening and reading this, the Lord is calling you.  This message isn't for someone else, never deflect a message you are reading.  You are doing this for your sake, your soul and thus sharing it from here on out.  How do you respond?  Do you just say the words "I love you" or do you actually mean them?  Such is the leading of a devout life
to Jesus