Monday, January 12, 2015

A Little Farther

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Minute Meditations

False Gods Minute Meditations

Today we worship things like social media, movies, sports, food, and entertainment. These are the idols that presently enslave our culture. And what makes matters worse is the fact that many of us don't even realize that we're worshiping false gods.
— from Zealous

St. Marguerite Bourgeoys

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"God closes a door and then opens a window," people sometimes say when dealing with their own disappointment or someone else's. That was certainly true in Marguerite's case. Children from European as well as Native American backgrounds in seventeenth-century Canada benefited from her great zeal and unshakable trust in God's providence.

Born the sixth of 12 children in Troyes, France, Marguerite at the age of 20 believed that she was called to religious life. Her applications to the Carmelites and Poor Clares were unsuccessful. A priest friend suggested that perhaps God had other plans for her.

In 1654, the governor of the French settlement in Canada visited his sister, an Augustinian canoness in Troyes. Marguerite belonged to a sodality connected to that convent. The governor invited her to come to Canada and start a school in Ville-Marie (eventually the city of Montreal). When she arrived, the colony numbered 200 people with a hospital and a Jesuit mission chapel.

Soon after starting a school, she realized her need for coworkers. Returning to Troyes, she recruited a friend, Catherine Crolo, and two other young women. In 1667 they added classes at their school for Indian children. A second trip to France three years later resulted in six more young women and a letter from King Louis XIV, authorizing the school. The Congregation of Notre Dame was established in 1676 but its members did not make formal religious profession until 1698 when their Rule and constitutions were approved.

Marguerite established a school for Indian girls in Montreal. At the age of 69, she walked from Montreal to Quebec in response to the bishop's request to establish a community of her sisters in that city. By the time she died, she was referred to as the "Mother of the Colony." Marguerite was canonized in 1982.


It's easy to become discouraged when plans that we think that God must endorse are frustrated. Marguerite was called not to be a cloistered nun but to be a foundress and an educator. God had not ignored her after all.


In his homily at her canonization, Pope John Paul II said, " particular, she contributed to building up that new country , realizing the determining role of women, and she diligently strove toward their formation in a deeply Christian spirit." He noted that she watched over her students with affection and confidence "in order to prepare them to become wives and worthy mothers, Christians, cultured, hardworking, radiant mothers."
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 think of the love and the grace that God showers on me, creating me in his image and likeness, making me his temple....


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 Heb 1:1-6

Brothers and sisters:
In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways
to our ancestors through the prophets;
in these last days, he spoke to us through the Son,
whom he made heir of all things
and through whom he created the universe,

who is the refulgence of his glory,
the very imprint of his being,
and who sustains all things by his mighty word.
When he had accomplished purification from sins,
he took his seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
as far superior to the angels
as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

For to which of the angels did God ever say:

You are my Son; this day I have begotten you?

Or again:

I will be a father to him, and he shall be a Son to me?

And again, when he leads the first born into the world, he says:

Let all the angels of God worship him.

Responsorial Psalm PS 97:1 and 2b, 6 and 7c, 9

R. (see 7c) Let all his angels worship him.
The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice;
let the many isles be glad.
Justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne.
R. Let all his angels worship him.
The heavens proclaim his justice,
and all peoples see his glory.
Let all his angels worship him.
R. Let all his angels worship him.
Because you, O LORD, are the Most High over all the earth,
exalted far above all gods.
R. Let all his angels worship him.

Alleluia Mk 1:15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Kingdom of God is at hand:
repent and believe in the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 1:14-20

After John had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the Gospel of God:
"This is the time of fulfillment.
The Kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the Gospel."

As he passed by the Sea of Galilee,
he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea;
they were fishermen.
Jesus said to them,
"Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men."
Then they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along a little farther
and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They too were in a boat mending their nets.
Then he called them.
So they left their father Zebedee in the boat
along with the hired men and followed him.


Sometimes I wonder what I might say if I were to meet you in person Lord.  I think I might say "Thank You Lord" for always being there for me.  I know with certainty there were times when you carried me, Lord. When it was through your strength I got through the dark times in my life.


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: Hebrews 1:1-6

View NAB Reading at

1st Week in Ordinary Time

In these last days, he spoke to us through a son. (Hebrews 1:2)

There is so much we don't know about the Letter to the Hebrews. Most scholars today agree it wasn't written by St. Paul, as was previously thought, but they don't know who did write it. We aren't sure when it was written, but we think it was around ad 90. It may be a letter or it may be a sermon. It might have been written to Jewish Christians—but maybe not.

But for all that we don't know, there is one thing that brooks no argument: its message. Even a light reading of Hebrews reveals a powerful word of encouragement.

The language of Hebrews is fresh and novel, echoing in every verse the promise of a new covenant in Christ. God has spoken to the world through his Son, and in doing so he has turned the traditional understanding of Judaism on its head. Hebrews stresses, however, that this is not a different direction but a surprising fulfillment of God's plan for his people.

Hebrews makes clear the divine parallels that exist between the covenant with Moses and the new covenant with Christ. Jesus himself has assumed the role of high priest, mediating between us and God. With one single sacrifice he refines the countless thousands made by human priests up to this point. He has "made perfect forever those who are being consecrated" (Hebrews 10:14). The author enumerates the great milestones and heroes of Scripture—Adam, Abraham, David and Samuel—and tells how they, though their faith was strong, did not yet receive what had been promised. But now is the time for the fulfillment of that assurance!

As we journey toward the climax of God's grand plan, Hebrews tells us to take heart. A new kind of grace is available, allowing us to enter into God's kingdom, which is his "rest" (Hebrews 4:11).

Of course, this doesn't mean that every passing dream of ours will come true. It means that the deepest longing of our hearts—a hole that can be filled only by a relationship with God—is satisfied in him, at last.

"Thank you, Lord, for the new covenant in your blood. I praise you for setting me free from sin and death and raising me up as your heir."


Psalm 97:1-2, 6-9
Mark 1:14-20


 In Hebrews 2:7 we can hear these words "For it was not to angels that he subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking.
Instead, someone has testified somewhere: "What is man that you are mindful of him, or the son of man that you care for him?" 
7 You made him for a little while lower than the angels;

you crowned him with glory and honor,

8subjecting all things under his feet."

Jesus walked this earth among angels and those little less than angels.  All subject to Him.  We are all subject to Him.  As a matter of fact, He could walk passed anybody right now and ask them to follow Him and they will, because He is God, and His mercy and power can transform and convert.  This whole notion of "free will" goes flying out the door if He so chooses, and it is good and for the good.  I say this because we can all be touched by Him and His call.  We didn't hear of the fishermen having second thoughts or asking for some time before they left their jobs and their families, no, all we hear is that they got up and followed.  In Luke 9:62 we hear "Jesus said, "No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God."  They didn't look back, and for us that heard His call, there is no looking back, because we are fit for the Kingdom.  Being attentive and read for the call helps. 
I was asked to pick up our visiting priest yesterday, Father Timothy Ryan, a 77 yr. old missionary for Cross Catholic, an organization that helps and feeds the poor.  His calling has led him away from his family and life in Ireland, and dedicated to the Church and the poor.  In our short drive to and from the airport, I learned he battled brain cancer and prostate cancer...and I thought "all on his own out here".  But He gots our Lord, and the family of the Church of which we are all one no matter how you look at it.  Before I dropped him off at the airport yesterday, he gave me a book.  As I drove home I glanced at the book, shiny yellow cover, big title "Confessions of a Mega Church Pastor: How I Discovered the Hidden Treasures of the Catholic Church " by Allen Hunt.  Not really impressed by the title, the picture on the cover of a cathedral dome inside looked alright.  But a thought run through my mind "i bet this is going to be another book in my life I read that is going to make another big impact in my life".  I got home, later that evening my wife said "I'm going to read that book you got" and it was almost like reverse psychology and made me want to read it, so I picked it up..and couldn't put it down.   This man was so mesmerized by holiness and the Eucharist and suffered so much along the way, his perspective puts a refreshed perspective of what we have in our Holy Catholic Faith that we so often overlook or don't undertake.  At one point Allen said "So what does holiness look like?  Remember that Saint Paul connects holiness to love.  Holiness and love go hand-in-hand.  There is no holiness apart from love".    I say this because in His holiness we can hear the call more often than not, the Good Shepherd and His flock.  I can only summize that the Apostles we heard about being called today were holy men.  Indeed, we are all Holy and we are called to let ourselves be what we already are, just a smidge less than angels, Holy and designed to worship God.
And this was the plan of fulfillment for the lives of the Apostles.  They would die for Christ and it started the day they were called.  Little did they know what was about to happen.  He was the light on the transfiguration.  He walked on water and saved them by simply saying a word.  He turned bread into His flesh and wine into His blood.  He poured out His blood on the cross and gave His flesh for the world to be saved, not just you and your favorite group of people, but for all those enemies, so that they would repent and believe and be saved.
And this is not a story of hundreds or thousands of years ago, this is life right now.  I want you to visit the Lord our God in the Blessed Sacrament and listen to Him calling.  I want you to take time out, close your eyes and ears to the world and tune in.  We can hear Him calling.  He needs not say your earthly name, but only to make a calling that leads.  In my life, when I sense the calling it is spiritual and I know the call comes to be no matter what obstacles are thrown.
So in a sense, the Apostles, the Disciples, and all the saints and angels die for Love, and God is love.  Isn't it an honor to be called to serve?  Whether to pickup trash for one another, or to be abused for one another, when done for Him it is all good, because it is for the good.  And this is joy unknown to the world that knows not they belong to God.  This is a moment to cherish, these right now with the Lord and the ones to come even more...