Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ones On The Path

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Minute Meditations

Relationship With God Minute Meditations

We talk often about how we are God's "hands and feet," which is true. That being said, we can't fall into the trap of thinking God needs us like we need Him. He's God—which makes the reality that He wants to use us and be in a relationship with us an even sweeter, more profound truth.
— from Tweet Inspiration

St. Thomas Aquinas

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By universal consent, Thomas Aquinas is the preeminent spokesman of the Catholic tradition of reason and of divine revelation. He is one of the great teachers of the medieval Catholic Church, honored with the titles Doctor of the Church and Angelic Doctor.
At five he was given to the Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino in his parents' hopes that he would choose that way of life and eventually became abbot. In 1239 he was sent to Naples to complete his studies. It was here that he was first attracted to Aristotle's philosophy.

By 1243, Thomas abandoned his family's plans for him and joined the Dominicans, much to his mother's dismay. On her order, Thomas was captured by his brother and kept at home for over a year.

Once free, he went to Paris and then to Cologne, where he finished his studies with Albert the Great. He held two professorships at Paris, lived at the court of Pope Urban IV, directed the Dominican schools at Rome and Viterbo, combated adversaries of the mendicants, as well as the Averroists, and argued with some Franciscans about Aristotelianism.

His greatest contribution to the Catholic Church is his writings. The unity, harmony and continuity of faith and reason, of revealed and natural human knowledge, pervades his writings. One might expect Thomas, as a man of the gospel, to be an ardent defender of revealed truth. But he was broad enough, deep enough, to see the whole natural order as coming from God the Creator, and to see reason as a divine gift to be highly cherished.

The Summa Theologiae, his last and, unfortunately, uncompleted work, deals with the whole of Catholic theology. He stopped work on it after celebrating Mass on December 6, 1273. When asked why he stopped writing, he replied, "I cannot go on.... All that I have written seems to me like so much straw compared to what I have seen and what has been revealed to me." He died March 7, 1274.


We can look to Thomas Aquinas as a towering example of Catholicism in the sense of broadness, universality and inclusiveness. We should be determined anew to exercise the divine gift of reason in us, our power to know, learn and understand. At the same time we should thank God for the gift of his revelation, especially in Jesus Christ.


"Hence we must say that for the knowledge of any truth whatsoever man needs divine help, that the intellect may be moved by God to its act. But he does not need a new light added to his natural light, in order to know the truth in all things, but only in some that surpasses his natural knowledge" (Summa Theologiae, I-II, 109, 1).

Patron Saint of:

Catholic schools

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


"Come to me all you who are burdened
and I will give you rest"
Here I am, Lord.
I come to seek Your presence.
I long for your healing power.


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.


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

Reading 1 Heb 10:11-18

Every priest stands daily at his ministry,
offering frequently those same sacrifices
that can never take away sins.
But this one offered one sacrifice for sins,
and took his seat forever at the right hand of God;
now he waits until his enemies are made his footstool.
For by one offering he has made perfect forever
those who are being consecrated.
The Holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying:

This is the covenant I will establish with them
after those days, says the Lord:
"I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them upon their minds,"

he also says:

Their sins and their evildoing
I will remember no more.

Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer offering for sin.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 110:1, 2, 3, 4

R. (4b) You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand
till I make your enemies your footstool."
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The scepter of your power the LORD will stretch forth from Zion:
"Rule in the midst of your enemies."
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
"Yours is princely power in the day of your birth, in holy splendor;
before the daystar, like the dew, I have begotten you."
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD has sworn, and he will not repent:
"You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek."
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower;
all who come to him will live for ever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 4:1-20

On another occasion, Jesus began to teach by the sea.
A very large crowd gathered around him
so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down.
And the whole crowd was beside the sea on land.
And he taught them at length in parables,
and in the course of his instruction he said to them,
"Hear this! A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and the birds came and ate it up.
Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep.
And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it
and it produced no grain.
And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit.
It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold."
He added, "Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear."

And when he was alone,
those present along with the Twelve
questioned him about the parables.
He answered them,
"The mystery of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you.
But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that

they may look and see but not perceive,
and hear and listen but not understand,
in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven."

Jesus said to them, "Do you not understand this parable?
Then how will you understand any of the parables?
The sower sows the word.
These are the ones on the path where the word is sown.
As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once
and takes away the word sown in them.
And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who,
when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy.
But they have no roots; they last only for a time.
Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,
they quickly fall away.
Those sown among thorns are another sort.
They are the people who hear the word,
but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches,
and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word,
and it bears no fruit.
But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it
and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold."


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: Mark 4:1-20

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Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church

The sower sows the word. (Mark 4:14)

Perhaps when you read or hear this parable, you focus on the different kinds of soils, or the environments on which the seeds fall. Maybe you even wonder which one of these soils best fits you, and you hope that you are like the good soil that produces abundantly. But how about seeing yourself as the sower instead? Maybe it's worth considering how much God may want you to sow the seed of his word.

If there is one word that characterizes the sower in this parable, it is generous. This fellow spreads his seeds everywhere. He doesn't seem all that concerned about where the seed will fall. He simply casts it to and fro.

Isn't this a great image for how we should view evangelization? Shouldn't we be generous, almost indiscriminate, in the way we share God's word and his promises? We really shouldn't worry about where the seeds may fall or the "soil quality" of those with whom we share the word. Whether, in our judgment, the ground is hard, weedy, thorny, or fertile shouldn't matter. After all, it is the Lord who gives the growth, not us (1 Corinthians 3:6-7). All we have to worry about is sowing as generously as we can.

Think for a moment how many other seeds the world, the flesh, and the devil are sowing all around us. There's nothing stingy in their tactics. How much more, then, should we counter all these poisonous seeds with the seeds of the gospel! The need is great, so don't be intimidated! And by all means, don't feel defeated or outnumbered! God has promised to be with you always as you spread his word.

So how are you going to sow today? What opportunities will you seize to spread the seeds of the gospel? They're all around, after all. Keep your eyes open, as you ask the Lord to help you see ways you can creatively witness to his love. Who knows? He may even give you brothers and sisters in Christ who are just as zealous as you to proclaim the word, in season and out!

"Lord Jesus, make me a generous evangelizer and sower of your word in all kinds of soil. Fill me with zeal and courage to go forth and spread your seeds all over the world!"


Hebrews 10:11-18
Psalm 110:1-4

We prayed the rosary at home as a family last night, something my heart had always yearned for and forgotten.  The seeds planted long ago, began to gave fruit, God hears the prayers of the heart, and if He can hear, and we are to be His children, we ought to hear if we lend an ear to what He is saying to us today.  After the rosary I was led to the back room where the Holy Spirit took over and another song for the Lord came "Sanctify ME!" was the song written by the Holy Spirit.  I got a little bit of chills when I read the first Holy Scripture this morning "...For by one offering he has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated" because the song pleads one to be consecrated in one lyric "consecrate me, save me through your blood".  The song continues "make me Holy, make my Holy Yours...come inside me, come into my soul".   About half the rest of the song speaks about how we are "born of this earth, and He commands a new birth".  It says that He "suffered with the thorns, all for love,  for us to be re-born".  The Psalms spoke of a birth, ""Yours is princely power in the day of your birth, in holy splendor; before the daystar, like the dew, I have begotten you."  And Jesus offers the birth through His blood, death, and resurrection in the Sacrament of His blood, body, soul, and divinity.  The song from last night also said "I want you to be mine, bring you to divine".  And what is divine is God, are you hungry for Him?  I remember when a relative of mine, my Holy Communion sponsor suffered a divorce, I remember at one point him speaking of starving for the Lord in the Eucharist (having not been able to receive).  I could hear wailing in the night of his cries in pains and agony from half a mile away, where was Christ in the moment of despair? 
Let us go to the Holy Gospel where the High Priest forever speaks words that will calculate into words to break into a soul with life.  He brings us a parable from Heaven, the Word that depicts trials and tribulations we all suffer and even our Lord suffered.  The first attack was Satan, who had possession of a soul and the Word bounced right off the path, devoured by birds.  The second was the Word on rocky ground where the soul was so happy to receive the Word and then worldly (evil) persecutions and tribulations come, they fade away, for lack of roots.  The third, the thorns. The thorns choke the life out of a soul, the worldly lures of the devil, cravings for other things, anxiety, chasing riches, they all attempt and often choke the life (our Lord) out of our body, which should be the Holy Temple of God.  Common denominator?  The devil is at work, and non-stop, waiting for you to relax in faith to pounce like a lion.  Our Lord tempted with trials, tribulations, persecutions.  Satan tempted our Lord in the desert with lures to riches, and even tempting angels and miracles but failed.  Satan attempted to possess the Word, but failed.  Satan attempted to break apart the stone that the architects rejected and failed.  Because Jesus was accused falsely, He was beaten black and blue, flesh torn off his flesh to tempt Him to call on angels and miracles, still, just like in the desert, but failed.  Jesus was holding true to the Truth of what would have to be.  Satan put a crown of thorns to make blood gush from the face and head of Jesus to pierce the mind with torture and anxiety, but once again failed, and when all else failed our Lord was crucified.  And when the world saw He had done what He said would happen, the worldly evil took one last stab at the heart with no life.  Ruthless.  Yet, the stabber was converted, and evil was defeated and death would no longer be.
This morning, I led the safety meeting with a prayer.  We discussed electric safety.  At the end I asked for questions, seeing there was none I made a few on the safety topic and then asked one last question "do any of you know someone in this room that was electrocuted to death?"  Finally one said "Martin" (the boss, also my dad).  I said yes, only, he came back to life and his cousin electrocuted alongside him that day did not come back to life.  I told everyone to take life (and safety) serious.  As I closed the meeting  and walked out, i walked up to the bossy, my dad said "I never really died" and I knew what he meant, so I replied "I know, but your body died, and you came back inside".  From that moment of death, the life of the boss would never be the same, I was born 9 months later (they were newly wed) LOL.  The fact that we live on miracles and even electricity powers our bodies, something actually gives it life...Jesus at the moment of conception (fertilization) and even before then, God knew you.  And so, don't feel like the scum of the earth because you were tempted.  I know it's been my case in confessions, but the priest made it known that they are temptations we can overcome, and it is true, because they have already been overcome and defeated.  I await in joyful hope of Christ.  This heart is on fire.  Because when I say "Sanctify Me" and "make me Holy" to God in the song, it means to Him I want to belong, completely His....forever.
I invite you to the fire of Love