Tuesday, February 24, 2015

In Praying

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Minute Meditations

Walk With Jesus Minute Meditations

The journey of Lent provides an opportunity to walk more closely with Jesus, who desires our presence, sometimes more than we desire His. May we be vigilant in our sacrifices and strong in resisting temptation, and so get all the more "caught up" in the love of God through His Son's cross and resurrection.
— from St. Anthony Messenger

Blessed Luke Belludi
(1200-c. 1285)
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In 1220, St. Anthony was preaching conversion to the inhabitants of Padua when a young nobleman, Luke Belludi, came up to him and humbly asked to receive the habit of the followers of St. Francis. Anthony liked the talented, well-educated Luke and personally recommended him to St. Francis, who then received him into the Franciscan Order.

Luke, then only 20, was to be Anthony's companion in his travels and in his preaching, tending to him in his last days and taking Anthony's place upon his death. He was appointed guardian of the Friars Minor in the city of Padua. In 1239 the city fell into the hands of its enemies. Nobles were put to death, the mayor and council were banished, the great university of Padua gradually closed and the church dedicated to St. Anthony was left unfinished. Luke himself was expelled from the city but secretly returned. At night he and the new guardian would visit the tomb of St. Anthony in the unfinished shrine to pray for his help. One night a voice came from the tomb assuring them that the city would soon be delivered from its evil tyrant.

After the fulfillment of the prophetic message, Luke was elected provincial minister and furthered the completion of the great basilica in honor of Anthony, his teacher. He founded many convents of the order and had, as Anthony, the gift of miracles. Upon his death he was laid to rest in the basilica that he had helped finish and has had a continual veneration up to the present time.


The epistles refer several times to a man named Luke as Paul's trusted companion on his missionary journeys. Perhaps every great preacher needs a Luke; Anthony surely did. Luke Belludi not only accompanied Anthony on his travels, he also cared for the great saint in his final illness and carried on Anthony's mission after the saint's death. Yes, every preacher needs a Luke, someone to offer support and reassurance—including those who minister to us. We don't even have to change our names!

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


My soul longs for your presence, Lord.
When I turn my thoughts to you,
I find peace and contentment.


Lord, you granted me the great gift of freedom.
In these times, O Lord, grant that I may be free
From any form of racism or intolerance.
Remind me, Lord, that we are all equal
in your Loving eyes.


In the presence of my loving Creator, I look honestly at my feelings over the last day, the highs, the lows and the level ground.
Can I see where the Lord has been present?

The Word of God


Tuesday of the First Week of Lent

Reading 1 Is 55:10-11

Thus says the LORD:
Just as from the heavens
the rain and snow come down
And do not return there
till they have watered the earth,
making it fertile and fruitful,
Giving seed to the one who sows
and bread to the one who eats,
So shall my word be
that goes forth from my mouth;
It shall not return to me void,
but shall do my will,
achieving the end for which I sent it.

Responsorial Psalm PS 34:4-5, 6-7, 16-17, 18-19

R. (18b) From all their distress God rescues the just.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R. From all their distress God rescues the just.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R. From all their distress God rescues the just.
The LORD has eyes for the just,
and ears for their cry.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
R. From all their distress God rescues the just.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
R. From all their distress God rescues the just.

Verse Before the Gospel Mt 4:4b

One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.

Gospel Mt 6:7-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
"In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

"This is how you are to pray:

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

"If you forgive men their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions."

    Listen to audio of this reading

    Watch a video reflection


Begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture you have just read. What part of it strikes a chord in you?  Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story you have heard recently - will slowly rise to the surface of your consciousness. If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to you?


I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.


Catholic Meditations

Meditation: Isaiah 55:10-11

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1st Week of Lent

My word ... shall not return to me void. (Isaiah 55:11)

For thousands of years, politicians and merchants have made claims about what they or their products can do. And some of us have learned, to our chagrin, that more than a few of these claims are wildly exaggerated. Not so with God! He tells us that his word goes out and never fails to accomplish his will—and he's absolutely right! Think about the word that proceeds from God's mouth:

The word is creative. Read the first chapter of Genesis. When God said, "Let there be light," there was light. So too with day and night, earth and sea, plants and animals, and all the rest. All things, St. John says, came to be through that word. When a word goes forth from God's mouth, it brings into being something that never was—life. It establishes in you what is lacking so that his life in you can flourish, so that your faith and your relationships can deepen.

The word is authoritative. That might suggest notions of government, commands, and obedience. But authoritative also means trusted, true, reliable, and dependable. This is who God is! And he is for you. When he commands, he also offers the grace to obey. Your obedience to him brings you life, because in everything, he works for good with us. His authoritative word never changes or varies. It never deceives or manipulates. It just is—solid, true, dependable, and trustworthy.

The word is near to you. This creative word, which you can rely on and trust and which surpasses everything, is as near as your tongue, as close as your heart. You long for life or peace, joy or patience, and the word, which is close to you, can bring them about. Ask God for what you lack: healing, forgiveness, a new start, or a permanent break with old habits. He will speak the word you need, and as you take it up, it will accomplish his desires for you.

Finally, the word is alive! Jesus, the Word of God, became flesh, dwelt among us, and overcame death.

Nothing can conquer the word of God. So rejoice in that word today! Read it. Seek its guidance. Invite it into your life, and watch it bear fruit!

"Father, speak your word to me today. I long to be made alive with you."


Psalm 34:4-7, 16-19
Matthew 6:7-15




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In Praying

Today's 1st Holy Scripture is from the prophet Isaiah, speaking for the Lord, he says the word from God's mouth will achieve its end.  It is right and just, because the Word is Truth and life.  Scripture says it is the seed for the sower, and the bread for those who eat.  Jesus comes later in history, the Word made flesh, and He says I am the body, eat, this is my flesh, food for the life of the world.  Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. " Jn 5:53. (I wrote a song a couple weeks ago using these scriptures with angels voices I heard singing Eternal Love. you can listen to it if you wish) and the next verse after Jn5:53 says "Whoever eats* my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. "  It goes with today's 1st reading because the word comes down and goes back up, and is sowed and bestowed on His creation, you and me.  You see, He is the God of the impossible.  The Psalms pray "I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. " and From all their distress God rescues the just." 
I want you to imagine for just a moment, some one, or some thing that is causing you great distress in your life right now. 
Now, I want you to imagine, just imagine forgiving them, or rectifying that thing in your life causing stress.  That's what God can do.  He can forgive and He can make paths straight.  Yet, that seed, that bread we eat is just that!  Forgiveness isn't so much for the other, but for me and you.  Let's stop saying the others are the problem, because it begins Here inside my heart and soul with Jesus.  And this is where the healing begins.  When our Lord teaches us His prayer today, there is a point made at the end "...if you do not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions".  Forgiving is for you, not just for them, because you are the one holding them by the throat.  Asking God for His bread is phenomenal.  How can I eat the Word?  How can I consume the Word?  I am eating the Lord's prayer, the Lord's promises, the Lord's part in His covenant, and with mine? 
What is my part?  As an eater of the Word and sower of the Word, my part is HUGE!  Our part in the Kingdom is HUGE.  Your world is extremely important to Him, because the greatest of things comes from the smallest.  A single drop of blood of Jesus is enough for the world to be saved, and the blood is much more now inside of us all.  Because if He is the new Adam, we are of a new creation.  That is why the Sabbath for a Christian is a Sunday.  The resurrection is why we are Christians, followers of Christ.  Can the world see you are following Christ?  Do they know by what you said?  Or by what you done?  Because the Word is living and active and forever NOW

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