Thursday, February 26, 2015

Those Who Ask

Untitled document

Minute Meditations

Take Up Your Cross Minute Meditations

We need to take up our crosses, but we also need to be gentle with them and with ourselves. If we sit holding our own crosses too tightly we will not be able to put our arms around anyone else, nor will they be able to put their arms around us. That includes God.
— from Sacred Silence

St. Maria Bertilla Boscardin
Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives. Each saint the Church honors responded to God's invitation to use his or her unique gifts. God calls each one of us to be a saint.
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If anyone knew rejection, ridicule and disappointment, it was today's saint. But such trials only brought Maria Bertilla Boscardin closer to God and more determined to serve him.

Born in Italy in 1888, the young girl lived in fear of her father, a violent man prone to jealousy and drunkenness. Her schooling was limited so that she could spend more time helping at home and working in the fields. She showed few talents and was often the butt of jokes.

In 1904 she joined the Sisters of St. Dorothy and was assigned to work in the kitchen, bakery and laundry. After some time Maria received nurses' training and began working in a hospital with children suffering from diphtheria. There the young nun seemed to find her true vocation: nursing very ill and disturbed children. Later, when the hospital was taken over by the military in World War I, Sister Maria Bertilla fearlessly cared for patients amidst the threat of constant air raids and bombings.

She died in 1922 after suffering for many years from a painful tumor. Some of the patients she had nursed many years before were present at her canonization in 1961.

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 reflect on God's life-giving presence
in every part of my body, in everything around me,
in the whole of my life.


Lord, may I never take the gift
of freedom for granted. You gave
me the great blessing of freedom of
spirit. Fill my spirit with Your peace and
Your joy.


Knowing that God loves me unconditionally, I look honestly over the last day, its events and my feelings. 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 Est C:12, 14-16, 23-25

Queen Esther, seized with mortal anguish,
had recourse to the LORD.
She lay prostrate upon the ground, together with her handmaids,
from morning until evening, and said:
"God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are you.
Help me, who am alone and have no help but you,
for I am taking my life in my hand.
As a child I used to hear from the books of my forefathers
that you, O LORD, always free those who are pleasing to you.
Now help me, who am alone and have no one but you,
O LORD, my God.

"And now, come to help me, an orphan.
Put in my mouth persuasive words in the presence of the lion
and turn his heart to hatred for our enemy,
so that he and those who are in league with him may perish.
Save us from the hand of our enemies;
turn our mourning into gladness
and our sorrows into wholeness."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 138:1-2ab, 2cde-3, 7c-8

R. (3a) Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple
and give thanks to your name.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
Because of your kindness and your truth;
for you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
Your right hand saves me.
The LORD will complete what he has done for me;
your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

Verse Before the Gospel Ps 51:12a, 14a

A clean heart create for me, O God;
give me back the joy of your salvation.

Gospel Mt 7:7-12

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which one of you would hand his son a stone
when he asked for a loaf of bread,
or a snake when he asked for a fish?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your heavenly Father give good things
to those who ask him.

"Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.
This is the law and the prophets."

    Listen to audio of this reading

    Watch a video reflection


Jesus you speak to me through the words of the gospels. May I respond to your call today.Teach me to recognise your hand at work in my daily living.


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: Matthew 7:7-12

1st Week of Lent

How much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him. (Matthew 7:11)

For some people, prayer is sort of like a trip to the casino. Pop in a prayer request, pull the lever, and see what happens. Maybe once in a while they win—a new job, a healing, an unexpected blessing—but more often than not, they're just yanking on the lever and waiting to see what happens. God is like a powerful casino owner who occasionally gives you a payout to keep you coming back.

But God doesn't look at us with the calculating eyes of a businessman. Far from it! He gazes on us with the love of a Father for his children. Like any father, he wants what is best for us. He is committed to helping us become the best possible version of ourselves. So we should feel confident that when we don't get what we ask for, it's not because he is cruelly withholding it. It's because his plan for our lives doesn't end with earthly riches, but with a much deeper and more persistent sense of fulfillment. His plan and his intentions may not always be clear to us, but we can be confident that they are infinitely better than any ideas we come up with on our own.

Of course we can ask God for anything we think we need, even for those things we just plain want. He accepts every prayer we breathe, if only because it's another opportunity for us to come into his presence and for him to shape us. Every time we come to him in prayer, he gently and gradually shows us what we really need, what our hearts really cry out for. We bring him our desires and hopes and dreams, and he transforms them! He shifts our priorities and preoccupations and helps us learn how to long for those things that truly are good for us.

God won't condemn you for being selfish or greedy. Remember, he sent Jesus not to condemn but to save. You are precious to him, and he wants nothing more than to make you happy. Really and truly happy!

"Lord, you have given me so many good things. I am so grateful for the way you provide for me and watch over me. Jesus, I trust in you!"


Esther C:12, 14-16, 23-25
Psalm 138:1-3, 7-8



audio of: "Those Who Ask"

You have to read the book of Esther in the bible to really take in the juices of today's Holy Scriptures.  In short, she fasted.  In short, her and the Jewish people fasted and for 3 days.  Then, she dared to approach the king.  And the king granted her desire.  Only thing we heard from her in today's 1st readings were her prayers, her pleas.  The Fathers of the Church considered Esther as a type of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Always the Old Testament must be read in light with the new, because Jesus came to fulfill the old in the new. 
But before going to the new, the Psalms pray the life of Christ "Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me".  Can you imagine God calling on God for help?  I'm talking about Jesus.  Because we already read about Esther's pleas.  Jesus got the answer in Gethsemane, where He suffered extreme anguish, turmoil, temptations and distress, the devil haunting with, "look at what's going to happen to all your people you so much love, I'm going to hurt them and haunt them and they will worship everything but you!". I get these notions from Blessed  Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824) Mystic, Stigmatist, Visionary, and Prophet in her book "The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ" which I invited many to listen to as an audio book during last year's lent, and everyone fizzled away, got bored out probably LOL. But for me that stuck through was life changing even.  In the book, you walk through the Passion of Christ (eventually) and witness firsthand many things not written, some of which barely made the movie Passion of the Christ.
Among those most impacting, two things stood out: The Mother of God, and the Blessed Sacrament.  Who do you think was suffering for 3 days in anguish like Esther until the resurrection?  Probably none more than the world's first Christian, and saint, the Blessed Virgin Mother Mary.  Notice the title I wrote: Blessed as described in the Gospel of Luke 1:48.  Virgin, because as much as the world tries to destroy her virginity, you can not prove with any evidence that she was forever the virgin and mother of God, our Lord Jesus. Lastly Mother: For at the foot of the cross, the plea of Christ was for the disciple to take His Mother to his home.
I digress.  Esther's pleas were heard because the Lord saw it was fitting and good.  Mary's pleas are fitting and good in Heaven this very day.  The crying Jesus did the night before He was crucified, a Thursday, were heard by God, and an angel set at His side when Jesus said the words of His mother when another angel was with her, and the words were "THY WILL BE DONE".  Then God works tremendous marvels.
And so, when you hear the words "seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you", our Lord is asking for us to have faith.  Jesus was 33 yrs old when He died for you.  So what are we to seek?  in Mt 6:33 it says "But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness,* and all these things will be given you besides."  AH HA!  Now it is being revealed, not to seek what we think is right, but what God knows is right and just...His Will



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