Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Those Who Ate

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Minute Meditations

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God lavished love on those who didn't deserve it. When we reflect on God's choice of Jacob the cheater or David the adulterer, or on Jesus' forgiveness of those who crucified Him, we begin to see that if God's love extended to the likes of them, it surely extends to us.
— from St. Anthony Messenger

St. André Bessette

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Brother André expressed a saint's faith by a lifelong devotion to St. Joseph.

Sickness and weakness dogged André from birth. He was the eighth of 12 children born to a French Canadian couple near Montreal. Adopted at 12, when both parents had died, he became a farmhand. Various trades followed: shoemaker, baker, blacksmith—all failures. He was a factory worker in the United States during the boom times of the Civil War.

At 25, he applied for entrance into the Congregation of the Holy Cross. After a year's novitiate, he was not admitted because of his weak health. But with an extension and the urging of Bishop Bourget (see Marie-Rose Durocher, October 6), he was finally received. He was given the humble job of doorkeeper at Notre Dame College in Montreal, with additional duties as sacristan, laundry worker and messenger. "When I joined this community, the superiors showed me the door, and I remained 40 years," he said. 

In his little room near the door, he spent much of the night on his knees. On his windowsill, facing Mount Royal, was a small statue of St. Joseph, to whom he had been devoted since childhood. When asked about it he said, "Some day, St. Joseph is going to be honored in a very special way on Mount Royal!"

When he heard someone was ill, he visited to bring cheer and to pray with the sick person. He would rub the sick person lightly with oil taken from a lamp burning in the college chapel. Word of healing powers began to spread.

When an epidemic broke out at a nearby college, André volunteered to nurse. Not one person died. The trickle of sick people to his door became a flood. His superiors were uneasy; diocesan authorities were suspicious; doctors called him a quack. "I do not cure," he said again and again. "St. Joseph cures." In the end he needed four secretaries to handle the 80,000 letters he received each year.

For many years the Holy Cross authorities had tried to buy land on Mount Royal. Brother André and others climbed the steep hill and planted medals of St. Joseph. Suddenly, the owners yielded. André collected 200 dollars to build a small chapel and began receiving visitors there—smiling through long hours of listening, applying St. Joseph's oil. Some were cured, some not. The pile of crutches, canes and braces grew.

The chapel also grew. By 1931 there were gleaming walls, but money ran out. "Put a statue of St. Joseph in the middle. If he wants a roof over his head, he'll get it." The magnificent Oratory on Mount Royal took 50 years to build. The sickly boy who could not hold a job died at 92.

He is buried at the Oratory. He was beatified in 1982 and canonized in 2010. At his canonization in October 2010, Pope Benedict XVI said that St. Andre "lived the beatitude of the pure of heart."


Rubbing ailing limbs with oil or a medal? Planting a medal to buy land? Isn't this superstition? Aren't we long past that?

Superstitious people rely only on the "magic" of a word or action. Brother André's oil and medals were authentic sacramentals of a simple, total faith in the Father who lets his saints help him bless his children.


"It is with the smallest brushes that the artist paints the most exquisitely beautiful pictures," said St. André Bessette.
Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.


At any time of the day or night we can call on Jesus.
He is always waiting, listening for our call.
What a wonderful blessing.
No phone needed, no e-mails, just a whisper.


Lord, you created me to live in freedom.
Mostly I take this gift for granted.
Inspire me to live in the freedom you intended,
with a heart untroubled and with complete trust in You.


In God's loving presence I unwind the past day,
starting from now and looking back, moment by moment.
I gather in all the goodness and light, in gratitude.
I attend to the shadows and what they say to me,
seeking healing, courage, forgiveness.

The Word of God  

Reading 1 1 Jn 4:7-10

Beloved, let us love one another,
because love is of God;
everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.
Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.
In this way the love of God was revealed to us:
God sent his only-begotten Son into the world
so that we might have life through him.
In this is love:
not that we have loved God, but that he loved us
and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.

Responsorial Psalm PS 72:1-2, 3-4, 7-8

R. (see 11) Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king's son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
The mountains shall yield peace for the people,
and the hills justice.
He shall defend the afflicted among the people,
save the children of the poor.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

Alleluia Lk 4:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Lord has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor
and to proclaim liberty to captives.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 6:34-44

When Jesus saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them,
for they were like sheep without a shepherd;
and he began to teach them many things.
By now it was already late and his disciples approached him and said,
"This is a deserted place and it is already very late.
Dismiss them so that they can go
to the surrounding farms and villages
and buy themselves something to eat."
He said to them in reply,
"Give them some food yourselves."
But they said to him,
"Are we to buy two hundred days' wages worth of food
and give it to them to eat?"
He asked them, "How many loaves do you have? Go and see."
And when they had found out they said,
"Five loaves and two fish."
So he gave orders to have them sit down in groups on the green grass.
The people took their places in rows by hundreds and by fifties.
Then, taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples
to set before the people;
he also divided the two fish among them all.
They all ate and were satisfied.
And they picked up twelve wicker baskets full of fragments
and what was left of the fish.
Those who ate of the loaves were five thousand men.

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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: 1 John 4:7-10

View NAB Reading at

Saint André Bessette, Religious

We love because God first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

A farmer goes into the field at planting time. He tills the soil, then carefully works the seed into the ground and waters it, hoping for a bumper crop. In a similar way, our heavenly Father has planted the seed of his divine love into each of us. As he waters and nurtures this seed, he rejoices at the crop it produces—a harvest of love for one another.

It's funny that, as deep as the gospel message is, it can still be expressed in three simple words: God is love. We can live in love because he has loved us first and planted the seed of his love into our hearts.

But how does this seed grow? John is very clear about this in today's first reading. Love comes from God, and if we know God and are open to his love, then the seed sprouts, and we are able to love. If we turn away from God's love, we find it a lot harder to love the people around us. Anyone who has been in love knows that love isn't something we generate on our own power. It rises up within us, a wonderful gift from God and a taste of his divine love. It only stands to reason that the more we come into contact with his love for us, the more we will be able to love everyone else—even when we don't feel like it!

God longs to see us love one another. We may struggle with hurts from the past, but we can lay these issues at the feet of Jesus and come to know his peace over time. We may not know how to show our love, but the Holy Spirit can teach us and show us the way.

Your heavenly Father is speaking to you right now. He is asking you to open your heart to his love, which is endless and strong. Let it wash over you now. Release everything to him, and let him fill you!

"Father, I know you have placed the seed of your love and your life in my heart. I trust in the power of that love to shape me and lift me up. May this same love also flow out of me to my brothers and sisters."


Psalm 72:1-4,7-8
Mark 6:34-44

As we walked in to pray the rosary last night, I told my brother in law that had walked there from his new home "why are you waiting outside in the cold, you should go inside the Church, this place should feel more like home than any other home".  Today, we read about God's love.  It will never be a tiring message because it is one of hope.  It is a message of faith that leads to the Gospel.  The Psalms proclaim "Lord every nation on earth will ADORE You".  Even if you do not, the nation will.  Even if you are not on board this crazy love train, it will go on, with or without you.  Later after rosary in friendship group, bro. in law said "...last week that I couldn't meet here, I felt I was held back and it feels good to be back".  But truly, nothing can keep us from the love of God, not death, no people on earth, no evil, no angels in Heaven.  Thus was the battle of Jacob, and thus was the battle with David.  Thus is your battle this day, a battle for love.  Thus is the story of our lives.  I heard on EWTN radio yesterday someone say that someone said "there are two days that a Christian should not worry about, yesterday, and tomorrow".  This is the day that will make all the difference in being what is being given from Heaven, the Love of God. For as long as I can remember, there have been people saying that the end of the world is near.  Never has it been true, and the saying ends with "well, we are one day closer".  Closer to what?  Because if the end is the beginning and the beginning is the end, then all is one with death and life, a climactic and pivotal moment begins because God is the beginning of all and there can be no end.  And so, there is no end in sight for God's revealing and redeeming love.  I would say a large percentage of the messages I let the Holy Spirit transpire through these fingers are a message of love.  The bible are a copilation of letters of Love from Heaven.  They ask us to do something until they come back for us.  Think we should listen?
  Here locally, we've had a winter storm like no other, power outtages for over 20,000 families, and we ourselves have had no electricity for the last 3 going on 4 days, as I write, we are powered by a generator.  The first night, a brother from Church let me borrow some generators that I went to get in the freezing/sleeting cold afternoon.  I would go with another that helped me pull them to various families without asking if they needed, provided.  I did ask one person, another brother in law, "do you want one of these light plants to help you tonight?" and the answer was more like "nah, we're going to wait and see, probably rent a hotel".  That night they were cold and without power.  Our frustration is that the opportunity is not taken advantage of.  One of the half dozen families texted me to thank me for providing power in their time of need, and I replied saying it had been an act of God through someone in the Church.  Notice how we are leading back to the Church providing the power to keep warm, that warm embrace we talked about.  Now think about the message God is giving you right now.  Some may say I am naive, or a quack, that I don't live in reality.  But the reality of God is the Wisdom that we will never fathom without a humble heart which is faith.  I live in the clouds because of the Holy Sacraments.  These are graces that are the written words of Love turned into reality.  People want us to get our head out of the clouds but that's where my heart is.  We are designed to be where we find ourselves today for His greater Honor and Glory.  This is a revelation given to me yesterday as I drove to the rosary at Church.  We are designed and destined for love, and God is love.  I've heard people say "oh I know I'm going to hell", and I say the devil has lied to you and caught you in a trap.  For this redeeming love has arrived, the epiphany of the Lord is God's revelation to man and when it is is Love Revealed