Monday, March 2, 2015

Gifts Will Be

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Minute Meditations

A Humble Prayer Minute Meditations
We do not need to pile up words upon words in order to be heard in the heart of God. Jesus also has a very comforting message: The Father knows what we need even before we ask for it.
— from Sacred Silence

St. Agnes of Bohemia

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Agnes had no children of her own but was certainly life-giving for all who knew her.

Agnes was the daughter of Queen Constance and King Ottokar I of Bohemia. At the age of three, she was betrothed to the Duke of Silesia, who died three years later. As she grew up, she decided she wanted to enter the religious life.

After declining marriages to King Henry VII of Germany and Henry III of England, Agnes was faced with a proposal from Frederick II, the Holy Roman Emperor. She appealed to Pope Gregory IX for help. The pope was persuasive; Frederick magnanimously said that he could not be offended if Agnes preferred the King of Heaven to him.

After Agnes built a hospital for the poor and a residence for the friars, she financed the construction of a Poor Clare monastery in Prague. In 1236, she and seven other noblewomen entered this monastery. St. Clare sent five sisters from San Damiano to join them, and wrote Agnes four letters advising her on the beauty of her vocation and her duties as abbess.

Agnes became known for prayer, obedience and mortification. Papal pressure forced her to accept her election as abbess; nevertheless, the title she preferred was "senior sister." Her position did not prevent her from cooking for the other sisters and mending the clothes of lepers. The sisters found her kind but very strict regarding the observance of poverty; she declined her royal brother's offer to set up an endowment for the monastery.

Devotion to Agnes arose soon after her death on March 6, 1282. She was canonized in 1989.


Agnes spent at least 45 years in a Poor Clare monastery. Such a life requires a great deal of patience and charity. The temptation to selfishness certainly didn't vanish when Agnes walked into the monastery. It is perhaps easy for us to think that cloistered nuns "have it made" regarding holiness. Their route is the same as ours: gradual exchange of our standards (inclination to selfishness) for God's standard of generosity.


"Have nothing to do with anyone who would stand in your way and would seek to turn you aside from fulfilling the vows which you have made to the Most High (Psalm 49:14) and from living in that perfection to which the Spirit of the Lord has called you" (Clare to Agnes of Bohemia, Letter II in Murray Bodo, O.F.M., Clare: A Light in the Garden, p. 118).


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


God is with me, but more,
God is within me, giving me existence.
Let me dwell for a moment on God's life-giving presence
in my body, my mind, my heart
and in the whole of my life.


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.


At this moment Lord I turn my thoughts to You. I will leave aside my chores and preoccupations.
I will take rest and refreshment in your presence Lord.

The Word of God

Monday of the Second Week in Lent

Reading 1 Dn 9:4b-10

"Lord, great and awesome God,
you who keep your merciful covenant toward those who love you
and observe your commandments!
We have sinned, been wicked and done evil;
we have rebelled and departed from your commandments and your laws.
We have not obeyed your servants the prophets,
who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes,
our fathers, and all the people of the land.
Justice, O Lord, is on your side;
we are shamefaced even to this day:
we, the men of Judah, the residents of Jerusalem,
and all Israel, near and far,
in all the countries to which you have scattered them
because of their treachery toward you.
O LORD, we are shamefaced, like our kings, our princes, and our fathers,
for having sinned against you.
But yours, O Lord, our God, are compassion and forgiveness!
Yet we rebelled against you
and paid no heed to your command, O LORD, our God,
to live by the law you gave us through your servants the prophets."

Responsorial Psalm PS 79:8, 9, 11 and 13

R. (see 103:10a) Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.
Remember not against us the iniquities of the past;
may your compassion quickly come to us,
for we are brought very low.
R. Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.
Help us, O God our savior,
because of the glory of your name;
Deliver us and pardon our sins
for your name's sake.
R. Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.
Let the prisoners' sighing come before you;
with your great power free those doomed to death.
Then we, your people and the sheep of your pasture,
will give thanks to you forever;
through all generations we will declare your praise.
R. Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.

Verse Before the Gospel See Jn 6:63c, 68c

Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life;
you have the words of everlasting life.

Gospel Lk 6:36-38

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

"Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you;
a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you."

    Listen to audio of this reading

    Watch a video reflection


Conversation requires talking and listening. As I talk to Jesus may I also learn to be still and listen. I picture the gentleness in his eyes and the smile full of love as he gazes on me. I can be totally honest with Jesus as I tell him of my worries and my cares. I will open up my heart to him as I tell him of my fears and my doubts. I will ask him to help me to place myself fully in his care, to abandon myself to him, knowing that he always wants what is best for me.


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: Luke 6:36-38

2nd Week of Lent

The measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you. (Luke 6:38)

The Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore once told a story about a beggar who was picking up grains of corn along the streets when the king approached in a golden carriage. Dumbfounded, the man hoped to receive riches. The king, however, held out his hand and asked the beggar what he had to give him! Confused and unsure of himself, the beggar took out the smallest grain of corn he had and handed it to the king. At the end of the day, when he emptied his bag, he was surprised to find a tiny grain of gold in the heap.

"I bitterly wept," the beggar moans, "and wished that I had had the heart to give thee my all." He regrets his "small-heartedness," for it meant he was able to receive only a little in return.

Maybe we can relate: time is limited, money is tight, and our hearts are guarded. But God nevertheless asks us to open our hearts wide to our neighbors. He wants us to pass along the blessings we have received from him with the same generosity with which he first gave them to us. He tells us that if we give a little, we will receive a little in return. But if we give as much as we have received, we will be given even more. Our God is never outdone in generosity!

How is God holding out his hand to you? Maybe he's waiting to see you share your plate with the hungry or relieve someone's loneliness or extend forgiveness. In all of these, we can imitate Jesus, who withheld nothing from his Father—and nothing from us.

So imagine your reaction at the end of your journey when you see how generous God has been with your offerings: "So much treasure for the little bit I gave?" Now imagine how much more he could do if you gave just a little bit more!

"Father, may the wonder of your mercy open my heart to receive all that you have to give me!"


Daniel 9:4-10
Psalm 79:8-9, 11, 13




Gifts will be...


And so we begin the week with these words from the 1st Holy Scripture:  "Lord, Great and Awesome God".  Then we read how we rebelled against Him, His commandments and His laws.  We're pretty good at that huh?  We're pretty good at this sinning stuff, mostly because we relax and it takes the devil a little bitty moment of being caught off guard for it to seep in.  I notice so many, including myself, how very much we need prayer.  That is to say then, how much, how VERY much we need...God our Lord, our King and Savior.  It's as if we pay more attention to anything...but Him.
The Psalms pray the life of Christ:  "Let the prisoners' sighing come before you; with your great power free those doomed to death...Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins".  If our Lord dealt with us according to our sins, no one on earth would stand a chance at salvation, but His Mercy is awesome and so great, that we can not so much as fathom the thought.
In comes our Lord and Savior with words of salvation: "BE MERCIFUL" just like your Father in Heaven.  WHOA.  So He is asking us to be awesome too?  He is asking us to be great?  Great in mercy and compassion, yes.  So be great.  Pray much.  I relay my faith here, so here is another tid bit: A couple weeks ago, I said a deep felt prayer to our Lord for a couple workers for them to come to the Lord. That following Sunday, they appeared in church, at Holy Mass with their families, and I shook their hands on our way out.  I have not prayed any more for them, and I have not seen them again in church.  And I'm left wondering, "do we constantly need to be praying for one another?".  How can we get people to come to give thanks as in the Psalms "Then we, your people and the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; through all generations we will declare your praise." ?  I'll tell you, as I've been involved greatly in various "church activities", the sheep need a good Shepherd.  They don't need just ANY shepherd, they need a GOOD shepherd.  And I'll take it a step further, they don't need just a "good" shepherd, they need an "AWESOME and GREAT" shepherd.  They need the shepherd above all, JESUS. 
What am I trying to say?  The world needs Jesus.  The world needs you.  THe world needs Jesus through you.  Jesus gave of Himself...TOTALLY.  We need to give of ourselves TOTALLY.  Yeah, God is good and great, and that is awesome as we live we get to call on Him, yet, why are we afraid to give of ourselves totally to Him?  "Totus Tuus" was St. John Paul II's motto, which means "Totally Yours".  That's the kind of life we're called to.  Totally God's.  Totally Jesus.  And, without reservation.  Who are you saving the best for?  The time has come to give your best.  Give.  Mercy. Your money. Your time with God.  Give.  You have to spend to invest.  Our reward for giving of our time, talent, and tresure into God's Kingdom we can not measure in earthly terms for it is too awesome and great, and we will cry after we die having thought "I should've listened", and "I should've known". 
The time is now, and the place is here.  I will be the first to declare, I don't think I pray enough.  I don't think I give enough.  I don't think I...Love enough.
The message is for you.  Pray more, the world is in deep desire to see Jesus, yet they don't know it, because they are in search through the world.
The message is for you.  Give more.  I've not lifted a finger, yet we expect everyone else to give except yourself.  How sad...for you.  Sad because we are not like God, the one who all He knows how and what to do is to...Give.
The message is for you.  Love more.  So much time is spent on worldly loves, the love for this and the love for that, yet, not enough is spent on real love...the love of Love and God is love.

This is a cry from the prophet Adrian.  Because we are all called to be priest, prophet, and king through our Heavenly Baptism.  Render your garments, surrender your heart.