Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Watch Out

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Minute Meditations

My True Identity Minute Meditations

By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus. --Mother Teresa of Calcutta
— from Seven Saints for Seven Virtues

Seven Founders of the Servite Order
(13th century)

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Can you imagine seven prominent men of Boston or Denver banding together, leaving their homes and professions, and going into solitude for a life directly given to God? That is what happened in the cultured and prosperous city of Florence in the middle of the 13th century. The city was torn with political strife as well as the heresy of the Cathari, who believed that physical reality was inherently evil. Morals were low and religion seemed meaningless.

In 1240 seven noblemen of Florence mutually decided to withdraw from the city to a solitary place for prayer and direct service of God. Their initial difficulty was providing for their dependents, since two were still married and two were widowers.

Their aim was to lead a life of penance and prayer, but they soon found themselves disturbed by constant visitors from Florence. They next withdrew to the deserted slopes of Monte Senario.

In 1244, under the direction of St. Peter of Verona, O.P., this small group adopted a religious habit similar to the Dominican habit, choosing to live under the Rule of St. Augustine and adopting the name of the Servants of Mary. The new Order took a form more like that of the mendicant friars than that of the older monastic Orders.

Members of the community came to the United States from Austria in 1852 and settled in New York and later in Philadelphia. The two American provinces developed from the foundation made by Father Austin Morini in 1870 in Wisconsin.

Community members combined monastic life and active ministry. In the monastery, they led a life of prayer, work and silence while in the active apostolate they engaged in parochial work, teaching, preaching and other ministerial activities.


The time in which the seven Servite founders lived is very easily comparable to the situation in which we find ourselves today. It is "the best of times and the worst of times," as Dickens once wrote. Some, perhaps many, feel called to a countercultural life, even in religion. All of us are faced in a new and urgent way with the challenge to make our lives decisively centered in Christ.


"Let all religious therefore spread throughout the whole world the good news of Christ by the integrity of their faith, their love for God and neighbor, their devotion to the Cross and their hope of future glory.... Thus, too, with the prayerful aid of that most loving Virgin Mary, God's Mother, 'Whose life is a rule of life for all,' religious communities will experience a daily growth in number, and will yield a richer harvest of fruits that bring salvation" (Vatican II, Decree on the Renewal of Religious Life, 25).


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....


There are very few people
who realise what God would make of them
if they abandoned themselves into his hands,
and let themselves be formed by his grace. (Saint Ignatius)
I ask for the grace to trust myself totally to God's love.


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 Gn 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10

When the LORD saw how great was man's wickedness on earth,
and how no desire that his heart conceived
was ever anything but evil,
he regretted that he had made man on the earth,
and his heart was grieved.

So the LORD said:
"I will wipe out from the earth the men whom I have created,
and not only the men,
but also the beasts and the creeping things and the birds of the air,
for I am sorry that I made them."
But Noah found favor with the LORD.

Then the LORD said to Noah:
"Go into the ark, you and all your household,
for you alone in this age have I found to be truly just.
Of every clean animal, take with you seven pairs,
a male and its mate;
and of the unclean animals, one pair,
a male and its mate;
likewise, of every clean bird of the air, seven pairs,
a male and a female,
and of all the unclean birds, one pair,
a male and a female.
Thus you will keep their issue alive over all the earth.
Seven days from now I will bring rain down on the earth
for forty days and forty nights,
and so I will wipe out from the surface of the earth
every moving creature that I have made."
Noah did just as the LORD had commanded him.

As soon as the seven days were over,
the waters of the flood came upon the earth.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 29:1a and 2, 3ac-4, 3b and 9c-10

R. (11b) The Lord will bless his people with peace.
Give to the LORD, you sons of God,
give to the LORD glory and praise,
Give to the LORD the glory due his name;
adore the LORD in holy attire.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The voice of the LORD is over the waters,
the LORD, over vast waters.
The voice of the LORD is mighty;
the voice of the LORD is majestic.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The God of glory thunders,
and in his temple all say, "Glory!"
The LORD is enthroned above the flood;
the LORD is enthroned as king forever.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.

Alleluia Jn 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord;
and my Father will love him
and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 8:14-21

The disciples had forgotten to bring bread,
and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.
Jesus enjoined them, "Watch out,
guard against the leaven of the Pharisees
and the leaven of Herod."
They concluded among themselves that
it was because they had no bread.
When he became aware of this he said to them,
"Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread?
Do you not yet understand or comprehend?
Are your hearts hardened?
Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear?
And do you not remember,
when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand,
how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?"
They answered him, "Twelve."
"When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand,
how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up?"
They answered him, "Seven."
He said to them, "Do you still not understand?"


What is stirring in me as I pray? Am I consoled, troubled, left cold? I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting at my side 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: Mark 8:14-21

View NAB Reading at

The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order

Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear? (Mark 8:18)

Listening is hard. There are lots of obstacles: people don't always communicate clearly, or we might react emotionally to what we're hearing. But perhaps the most common obstacle to listening is when we think we already know what someone is trying to say, and we don't pay close enough attention to his or her words. Our minds are already full of our own thoughts.

It appears that the disciples are guilty of this in today's Gospel reading. After a busy time of ministry and travel, they have their minds on their next meal. When Jesus tries to give them a spiritual warning, they assume he is talking about food. Jesus spends some time trying to show them that he's not worried about the next meal. He has already shown that he can provide food! No, he wants to talk about some much larger issues.

This story highlights the fact that as hard as it can be to listen to other people, it can be even harder to listen to God. It takes work to begin to see things from his perspective, to be able to hear what he wants to say to us. Just think: does it make sense to worry about not having bread in the boat when you've just seen Jesus feed thousands of people with just a few loaves and fish? There were even leftovers! But like the disciples, we can tend to focus on our needs and problems, which in turn can prevent us from hearing the things God may be saying to us.

Of course God is concerned with your daily needs. Of course he wants you to bring them to him. But don't let that be the only thing you do in prayer. Be sure to take time to listen to him, to hear him on his terms. Remember: he wants to reveal his mind to you. He wants to share his thoughts with you. This is a great privilege, something to treasure every day!

Do you leave some time each day to listen to God? It's not easy, and sometimes it's just silence, but if we make the space, God will speak. There is so much he wants to say to you!

"Lord, give me ears to hear your voice."


Genesis 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10
Psalm 29:1-4, 9-10




The first Holy Scripture today says much of God and His people, His Kingdom.  He's the boss.  He's our Father.  And ultimately, for the faithful, He is our Savior!  He cleanses the lands.  He has mercy.  The people that we think shouldn't have been killed would've ultimately killed themselves, and this is what grieved His heart.  And so He sends an Ark of the covenant, His promise was in the boat.  His sign would later appear in the sky, a rainbow and a peace sign of an olive branch brought in by a bird to resemble the Holy Spirit.  Noah would not control the boat, it was God who would control the direction of salvation.  If everything God created was good, we had made it bad.  And we still do.  We abuse sexuality.  We abuse one another.  We continue to hurt one another with attitudes and words, and this is what grieved God in the boat with the disciples today in the Holy Gospel.  But first, the Psalms pray: The Lord will bless His people ...with PEACE.  Peace in the heart even though you are being slaughtered.  Jesus was the silent lamb, until He was nailed to the cross whereupon we heard a faint cry to His Daddy, "why have you abandoned" and this was the starving cry of the disciples in the boat, to live in a train of thought that you are without, when you have everything in the boat.  I related my story in friendship group last night about how I was made to sit out and not serve God on Sunday, and they said it was for humility, and some said it was for me to be the backup, and another said "hold the fort down".  But I'm afraid they missed the point of what I was trying to say: WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS JESUS.
  In the boat, (not Noah's...or is it?) Jesus is telling them "Don't you understand???"  I am your salvation, I am your food.  Stop living in the material world by what you see and feel alone!  I'm going to tell you a secret again to be a successful Christian: stop listening to earthly feelings, worldly feelings.  If you feel anything let it be love because God is love and He brings peace.  "Every one that drinks of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst. "John 14:13-14.  God provides and salvation is in the same boat we are in...Jesus.  You will never hunger again once you partake of the bread of God, the Mana from Heaven, and we hear the words in every single Mass "26 While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is My body."  The Son of God is offering His body in the bread.  It doesn't transform into a piece of meat until it becomes one with ours, but it already is the Son of God's body, blood, soul, and divinity.  And so I'll take it a step further and aggrevate some on the Ark of the Covenant.  The Ark that brought in the new covenant was the Blessed Virgin Mother Mary.  In came the new promise, and the Ark throughout God's History has been a place of holiness.  The more she is Holy the more the Son of God is Holy.  This flies in the face that try to make Mary "just one of us" regular old sinners.  NO.  The Immaculate Conception was reserved to be born without Eve's sin.  For Mary would be the new Eve and Jesus the new Adam. 
  The leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod are the world and governance today.  They offer schools of thought, and want you to live materially.  But Jesus is asking us to live in the Spirit with Him.  If I tend to Him in the world, I tend to Him in the Spirit.  And the Spirit is forever, and the greatest gift in the world.  So it is good to fast with the Lord, as He did for us, we can do for Him.  As He died for us, we can die for Him.  Are you thinking of your earthly body dying?  DOH!! LOL.  "Do you not understand?"  We have to die to who we are, our understandings, our wordly feelings and beliefs.  We have to realize what is most important is right there in the boat of salvation.  And it is not what is important, but WHO is important.  Jesus is RIGHT THERE!  He is asking us to believe in Him so we will remain with Him forever and ever! 

Last day testing audio my2cents