Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Many Such Things

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Minute Meditations

Focus on God Minute Meditations

When we keep our eye on God, we discover that we are both lowly/sinful (humility) and made in God's image (graced). By focusing on God, the soul avoids illusion and avoids getting mired in the pettiness and misery of our sinfulness.
— from Accidental Theologians

St. Scholastica
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Twins often share the same interests and ideas with an equal intensity. Therefore, it is no surprise that Scholastica and her twin brother, Benedict (July 11), established religious communities within a few miles from each other.

Born in 480 of wealthy parents, Scholastica and Benedict were brought up together until he left central Italy for Rome to continue his studies.

Little is known of Scholastica's early life. She founded a religious community for women near Monte Cassino at Plombariola, five miles from where her brother governed a monastery.

The twins visited each other once a year in a farmhouse because Scholastica was not permitted inside the monastery. They spent these times discussing spiritual matters.

According to the Dialogues of St. Gregory the Great, the brother and sister spent their last day together in prayer and conversation. Scholastica sensed her death was close at hand and she begged Benedict to stay with her until the next day.

He refused her request because he did not want to spend a night outside the monastery, thus breaking his own Rule. Scholastica asked God to let her brother remain and a severe thunderstorm broke out, preventing Benedict and his monks from returning to the abbey.

Benedict cried out, "God forgive you, Sister. What have you done?" Scholastica replied, "I asked a favor of you and you refused. I asked it of God and he granted it."

Brother and sister parted the next morning after their long discussion. Three days later, Benedict was praying in his monastery and saw the soul of his sister rising heavenward in the form of a white dove. Benedict then announced the death of his sister to the monks and later buried her in the tomb he had prepared for himself.


Scholastica and Benedict gave themselves totally to God and gave top priority to deepening their friendship with him through prayer. They sacrificed some of the opportunities they would have had to be together as brother and sister in order better to fulfill their vocation to the religious life. In coming closer to Christ, however, they found they were also closer to each other. In joining a religious community, they did not forget or forsake their family but rather found more brothers and sisters.


"All religious are under an obligation, in accordance with the particular vocation of each, to work zealously and diligently for the building up and growth of the whole mystical body of Christ and for the good of the particular churches. It is their duty to foster these objectives primarily by means of prayer, works of penance, and by the example of their own lives" (Vatican II, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops, 33, Austin Flannery translation).

Patron Saint of:


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


Dear Jesus, I come to you today
longing for your presence.
I desire to love you as You love me.
May nothing ever separate me from You.


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


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 Gn 1:20—2:4a

God said,
"Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures,
and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky."
And so it happened:
God created the great sea monsters
and all kinds of swimming creatures with which the water teems,
and all kinds of winged birds.
God saw how good it was, and God blessed them, saying,
"Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas;
and let the birds multiply on the earth."
Evening came, and morning followed--the fifth day.

Then God said,
"Let the earth bring forth all kinds of living creatures:
cattle, creeping things, and wild animals of all kinds."
And so it happened:
God made all kinds of wild animals, all kinds of cattle,
and all kinds of creeping things of the earth.
God saw how good it was.
Then God said:
"Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
the birds of the air, and the cattle,
and over all the wild animals
and all the creatures that crawl on the ground."

God created man in his image;
in the divine image he created him;
male and female he created them.

God blessed them, saying:
"Be fertile and multiply;
fill the earth and subdue it.
Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air,
and all the living things that move on the earth."
God also said:
"See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth
and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food;
and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air,
and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground,
I give all the green plants for food."
And so it happened.
God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good.
Evening came, and morning followed--the sixth day.

Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed.
Since on the seventh day God was finished with the work he had been doing,
he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken.
So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy,
because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation.

Such is the story of the heavens and the earth at their creation.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 8:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (2ab) O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
When I behold your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars which you set in place—
What is man that you should be mindful of him,
or the son of man that you should care for him?
R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
You have made him little less than the angels,
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him rule over the works of your hands,
putting all things under his feet.
R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
All sheep and oxen,
yes, and the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fishes of the sea,
and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!

Alleluia Ps 119:36, 29b

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Incline my heart, O God, to your decrees;
and favored me with your law.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 7:1-13

When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem
gathered around Jesus,
they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals
with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands.
(For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews,
do not eat without carefully washing their hands,
keeping the tradition of the elders.
And on coming from the marketplace
they do not eat without purifying themselves.
And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed,
the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds.)
So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him,
"Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders
but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?"
He responded,
"Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites,
as it is written:

This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines human precepts.

You disregard God's commandment but cling to human tradition."
He went on to say,
"How well you have set aside the commandment of God
in order to uphold your tradition!
For Moses said,
Honor your father and your mother,
and Whoever curses father or mother shall die.
Yet you say,
'If someone says to father or mother,
"Any support you might have had from me is qorban"'
(meaning, dedicated to God),
you allow him to do nothing more for his father or mother.
You nullify the word of God
in favor of your tradition that you have handed on.
And you do many such things."

    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: Genesis 1:20--2:4

View NAB Reading at

Saint Scholastica, Virgin

God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good. (Genesis 1:31)

When you're thinking about buying a used car, it can be difficult to size up your options. You look at the body for scratches or rust. You start it up: how does the engine sound? But this gets you only so far. It's so much better if you also know that this model has a good track record and if you know the car's previous owner.

In some ways, the same is true about understanding ourselves and our world. We get only so far by looking at the way things are right now. It's more helpful to know where the world came from, who made it, and why. Today's reading from Genesis tells us just that. We learn that God made the world. We learn that he made it good, and it gives him pleasure. We learn that he made it for us.

It can be easy to forget these basic facts about our world. Sin has wounded our world, but we must always remember the goodness, the beauty, the lavish generosity that lies at the heart of all creation. Today's first reading is overflowing with wondrous details. Look at the words that show the bounty of creation: teem, abundance, fertile, multiply. Notice the variety of the creation, both in the passage and outside your window. God doesn't do anything in half measures!

And then there's the crown of creation, the culmination of all that God made. "God created man in his image" (Genesis 1:27). Humans are unique in all of creation because God modeled us after himself. It's difficult to even take in what that means, but it's certainly a life-changing truth.

Do you think of yourself as part of God's creation? Is it sinking in that God delights in you, just as he delighted in the things he made in Genesis? What's more, God wants to share his creation with you; he has appointed us as caretakers of his good world. In part, this means that we hurt because of the darkness sin has brought into the world, but it also means that we can still delight in its beauty and goodness.

So rejoice today in the goodness and love of your Creator—and in your own goodness and beauty!

"Father, thank you for making me and sharing your creation with me."


Psalm 8:4-9
Mark 7:1-13



The 5 minutos said today:
 "Let us never forget the fundamental of our life, the love.  Doña María was hanging clothes in the patio when she heard the clucking of the broody chicken in the rubbish, "where did the chicken go to hatch the babe chicks?" thought the woman.  Taking long difficult steps throug the dry branches and piles of weeds she finally found the chicken, laying on her baby chicks.  But there was no water or food there.  They could die in that never ending of rubbish and branches.  Rapidly she gathered the 10 babe chicks in her apron, she gathered the mother under her arm and took them to the chicken coop.  The chicken didn't seem too happy with the change.  She probably needs food, thought the good peasant woman.  While she went and came back with a plate of cooked rice, the chicken had disappeared, leaving her baby chicks.  The woman grumbled: "What such ditsy and dumb chicken. She left her hatchlings and left somewhere without thinking".  She thought it may have gone to its other nest, she went back, and yup, there was the chicken.  But she could hardly believe what she saw.  There comfortably sat in her wings a little babe chick that was forgotten by the peasant woman.  Doña María was so moved that she began to cry.  The babe chick could die because lack of food, but never because a lack of love!  What lesson of love for so many parents, and for all of us as Chrsitians! "
  In today's first Holy Scripture, we continue about reading about God's creation, and the clue words are given on how He CHOSE to make us, "in His the DIVINE image".  What does "divine" mean?  It means of God, and He is wholy Divine, and we are his, man and woman, designed to be fertile and multiply.  God's designs are perfect, we are the ones who tend to mess things up (or try to anyways) and we are speaking of sin.  But we are granted in our hearts a grace, and all the more every time we partake of the Holy Sacraments.  The Psalms pray "Oh Lord our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth".  In another scripture we read that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made".  In comes the Pharisees, "uh oh" dun, Dun DUN!  The ones who think they got the whole 'god thing' figured out and are living out perfectly.  Those types of folks that know all the ins and outs of the church, even all the supposed secrets that people don't really need to know about.  But the beans are spilled today.  Jesus turns on the divine mirror so we can see ourselves for who we really are, or have become.  And our Lord starts with saying " hypocrites".  Enough said.  We say one thing and live another.  We supposed are godly but live earthly.  We are supposed to be holy but inside we are ugly.  Worried about so and so doing this and that wrong in the church and at home and picking at everybody's little faults while failing to realize we have our own to tend to.  Not to say we shouldn't point out in loving charity and compassion our sins, but to say also the ones within should be ousted with love and compassion...Jesus Himself. 
  I read a quote today "When we make a good resolution, we merely consider the beauty and excellence of virtue, which attracts even the most vapid minds, but we never consider the difficulties of attaining it. Consequently, cowardly souls are dismayed at the first sign of trouble and they hurriedly abandon their project. For this reason, it would be better for you to consider the difficulties which occur in acquiring virtue, rather than the virtues themselves, and to prepare yourself accordingly. You may rest assured that the greater courage you show in conquering yourself or defeating your enemies, the sooner will your difficulties diminish, and they will gradually vanish."— Dom Lorenzo Scupoli, p. 94.  That is to say, where there is holiness to be attained in our spirituality, you will hit obstacles, lest you live comfortably with sin, that convenience that kills.  Take for instance the mentality and actual usage of contraception which the Church teaches against.  Contraception means "AGAINST Conception" and thus against God's plan for which we were divinely created...for Him.  Not only does contraception hurt women (causes cancers) but it hurts men, causing a dying of self, giving of self for nothing, closed to life, and Jesus is the Life. 
  So what's worse?  Killing the body or the soul?  Because the pharisees were concerned about the body, but Jesus was concerned for the soul. They did things supposedly "for God" and in the name of "God" like qorban, which ultimately said as Brant Pitre put it this weekend in the conference, "sorry mom and dad, I can't help you out in your old age, everything I've dedicated to God already".  This is worse than using the Lord's name in vain.  Suddenly, our human traditions are proving to show what they shoud've been designed for...honoring God.  Take for instance, as I'm writing to you someone came into my office, and I did something I have never done, I said to them "hey I'm doing something here can you come back some other time".  Usually I stop, tend to their needs, and if they really get on my nerves I know the spirits are asking for prayer for them.  But this is an example of how we are not to be.  Using God as an excuse, instead of tending to God's needs.  Not to say sometimes evil just bugs you, but to say, either way, God's love should triumph in our lives, because in the end, Jesus is triumphant...

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