Monday, March 9, 2015

He PASSED Through

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Minute Meditations

Most Forgotten Minute Meditations
The Holy Spirit may be the most forgotten member of the Trinity, but He is the ever-present member. The Spirit is the bond uniting us with the Father and the Son, an always accessible Gift who longs to fill us with the love of the Trinity.
— from Inspired

St. Frances of Rome
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Frances's life combines aspects of secular and religious life. A devoted and loving wife, she longed for a lifestyle of prayer and service, so she organized a group of women to minister to the needs of Rome's poor.

Born of wealthy parents, Frances found herself attracted to the religious life during her youth. But her parents objected and a young nobleman was selected to be her husband.

As she became acquainted with her new relatives, Frances soon discovered that the wife of her husband's brother also wished to live a life of service and prayer. So the two, Frances and Vannozza, set out together—with their husbands' blessings—to help the poor.

Frances fell ill for a time, but this apparently only deepened her commitment to the suffering people she met. The years passed, and Frances gave birth to two sons and a daughter. With the new responsibilities of family life, the young mother turned her attention more to the needs of her own household.

The family flourished under Frances's care, but within a few years a great plague began to sweep across Italy. It struck Rome with devastating cruelty and left Frances's second son dead. In an effort to help alleviate some of the suffering, Frances used all her money and sold her possessions to buy whatever the sick might possibly need. When all the resources had been exhausted, Frances and Vannozza went door to door begging. Later, Frances's daughter died, and the saint opened a section of her house as a hospital.

Frances became more and more convinced that this way of life was so necessary for the world, and it was not long before she requested and was given permission to found a society of women bound by no vows. They simply offered themselves to God and to the service of the poor. Once the society was established, Frances chose not to live at the community residence, but rather at home with her husband. She did this for seven years, until her husband passed away, and then came to live the remainder of her life with the society—serving the poorest of the poor.


Looking at the exemplary life of fidelity to God and devotion to her fellow human beings which Frances of Rome was blessed to lead, one cannot help but be reminded of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta (September 5), who loved Jesus Christ in prayer and also in the poor. The life of Frances of Rome calls each of us not only to look deeply for God in prayer, but also to carry our devotion to Jesus living in the suffering of our world. Frances shows us that this life need not be restricted to those bound by vows.


Malcolm Muggeridge's book Something Beautiful for God contains this quote from Mother Teresa about each sister in her community: "Let Christ radiate and live his life in her and through her in the slums. Let the poor seeing her be drawn to Christ and invite him to enter their homes and lives." Says Frances of Rome: "It is most laudable in a married woman to be devout, but she must never forget that she is a housewife. And sometimes she must leave God at the altar to find Him in her housekeeping" (Butler's Lives of the Saints).

Patron Saint of:



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....


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 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 2 Kgs 5:1-15ab

Naaman, the army commander of the king of Aram,
was highly esteemed and respected by his master,
for through him the LORD had brought victory to Aram.
But valiant as he was, the man was a leper.
Now the Arameans had captured in a raid on the land of Israel
a little girl, who became the servant of Naaman's wife.
"If only my master would present himself to the prophet in Samaria,"
she said to her mistress, "he would cure him of his leprosy."
Naaman went and told his lord
just what the slave girl from the land of Israel had said.
"Go," said the king of Aram.
"I will send along a letter to the king of Israel."
So Naaman set out, taking along ten silver talents,
six thousand gold pieces, and ten festal garments.
To the king of Israel he brought the letter, which read:
"With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you,
that you may cure him of his leprosy."

When he read the letter,
the king of Israel tore his garments and exclaimed:
"Am I a god with power over life and death,
that this man should send someone to me to be cured of leprosy?
Take note! You can see he is only looking for a quarrel with me!"
When Elisha, the man of God,
heard that the king of Israel had torn his garments,
he sent word to the king:
"Why have you torn your garments?
Let him come to me and find out
that there is a prophet in Israel."

Naaman came with his horses and chariots
and stopped at the door of Elisha's house.
The prophet sent him the message:
"Go and wash seven times in the Jordan,
and your flesh will heal, and you will be clean."
But Naaman went away angry, saying,
"I thought that he would surely come out and stand there
to invoke the LORD his God,
and would move his hand over the spot,
and thus cure the leprosy.
Are not the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar,
better than all the waters of Israel?
Could I not wash in them and be cleansed?"
With this, he turned about in anger and left.

But his servants came up and reasoned with him.
"My father," they said,
"if the prophet had told you to do something extraordinary,
would you not have done it?
All the more now, since he said to you,
'Wash and be clean,' should you do as he said."
So Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times
at the word of the man of God.
His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

He returned with his whole retinue to the man of God.
On his arrival he stood before him and said,
"Now I know that there is no God in all the earth,
except in Israel."

Responsorial Psalm PS 42:2, 3; 43:3, 4

R. (see 42:3) Athirst is my soul for the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?
As the hind longs for the running waters,
so my soul longs for you, O God.
R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?
Athirst is my soul for God, the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?
R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?
Send forth your light and your fidelity;
they shall lead me on
And bring me to your holy mountain,
to your dwelling-place.
R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?
Then will I go in to the altar of God,
the God of my gladness and joy;
Then will I give you thanks upon the harp,
O God, my God!
R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?

Verse Before the Gospel See Psalm 130:5, 7

I hope in the LORD, I trust in his word;
with him there is kindness and plenteous redemption.

Gospel Lk 4:24-30

Jesus said to the people in the synagogue at Nazareth:
"Amen, I say to you,
no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel
in the days of Elijah
when the sky was closed for three and a half years
and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,
but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel
during the time of Elisha the prophet;
yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian."
When the people in the synagogue heard this,
they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built,
to hurl him down headlong.
But he passed through the midst of them and went away.

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Remembering that I am still in God's presence, I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting beside me, and say whatever is on my mind, whatever is in my heart, speaking as one friend to another.


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: 2 Kings 5:1-15

Saint Frances of Rome, Religious

Go and wash seven times in the Jordan. (2 Kings 5:10)

Try to picture what this would look like today. Naaman is desperate for a cure for his leprosy. He gets a letter of introduction from his boss, the king of Syria, to show the king of Israel. He brings witih him several briefcases filled with money—probably around five million dollars in today's currency. Then there's a rack of expensive suits, probably just to show off to the king. Then a fleet of cars—Bentleys or Mercedes Benzes. But it makes no impression on Elisha. The prophet tells Naaman to just take a bath. Well, seven baths!

Think about how hard this must have been for Naaman. A renowned military commander, he was now expected to surrender. He had to surrender his status as an influential, powerful man and submit to an unceremonious dunking. But God didn't care about his status, and neither did Elisha. And to everyone's surprise—maybe even Naaman's—he followed the prophet's directions and was healed! Naaman the pagan, Naaman, a commander in an enemy's army, became a model of faith and trust.

That is often the way God works with us when we ask something of him. He could intervene instantly, and sometimes he does. But sometimes, he doesn't just hand it to us. He first leads us down some unexpected, often uncomfortable, path that gives us surprising but inspiring results. His goal, always, is that we grow in faith and draw closer to him. And from an eternal perspective, that step of faith may be just as important as what results from it!

Perhaps you've been praying for something for a long time. But the reason you haven't received it yet may be because God is waiting on you! Perhaps there's a "box" he wants you to step out of, some movement from disbelief to trust. Or from fear and inertia to action and freedom. Or from resentment to forgiveness. Until you take that step into the unknown, you won't know what's on the other side. Just go for it—you have nothing to lose, and so much to gain!

"Lord, if there is anything blocking me from you or your blessings, please show me. I'm willing to do what seems difficult or frightening—or ridiculous—so that you can do the impossible!"


Psalm 42:2-3; 43:3-4
Luke 4:24-30


He Passed Through

There is a key element in today's Holy Scriptures speaking clear.  In today's 1st Holy Scripture, a leper (in our case, a sinner) is called to be healed.  He listened to a young woman, a slave or servant, listened to the message of healing.  And so Naaman went off on a journey.  And we are speaking about our own faith journey towards healing, that of a sinner going to encounter the Lord.  When it came to it, Naaman said "Nah Man" this is crazy! LOL.  He didn't want to believe in the healing waters, waters he thought were dirty, and that nothing good ever came of them.  Funny how we put things in a box, like we got things figured out, pretty much faithless in a nutshell.  But, once again, like the young servant that told him, the prophet told him to do something, and the secret was that Naaman listened, and was saved.
The Holy Psalms pray today "Athirst is my soul for the Living God", and this is our journey to salvation.  "When shall I go and behold the face of God?".  We are learning in spiritual theology class with Dr. Brant Pitre (CD course), that contemplation is a form of prayer and it is a focus solely on Him and nothing else.  This in a sense is beholding the face of God, only it will be fully revealed in Heaven and all this longing in our lives to see God will be fulfilled in Heaven.  Yet this longing is saving.  If you long for God it means He is longing for you, like two lovers looking for one another.  Where will they meet?  That is the surprise of a lifetime, because once they meet, life is no longer the same, because LOVE has entered the soul.
Jesus amazed the people of today in the Gospel, yet their hardness of hearts turned amazement to judgement.  From the temple they drove Him to the edge to kill Him, and this with people that "knew Him".  They "knew Him" so well that they wanted to kill Him.  If they knew Him and all the good He was accomplishing, they would've really known Him.  But nope, just like nowadays, we just "know Him" and kill Him out of our lives by having other gods, idols we worship, like sports, work, or just earthly people we decide to devote all our love and attention to.  What does God do?  Wait.  And He waits until the day we die.  Now, there are 2 ways to die.  1.) Die naturally.  2.) Die unnaturally.  To die naturally means you will follow nature until you breathe no more, never having found salvation.  Or 2.) Living life naturally until you die to that way of living, and let the super-natural in your life, that is, finding Salvation, and then, you die to your earthly self and loves, and so the day you naturally die in the body, it was already dead long ago!  Because it is no longer I that lives, but Christ! 
What I beg of you is to take the secret lesson of all the readings today...Listen.  Listen to God speaking to you in your life.  If you don't die to sin, He will pass by you.  During Holy Hour Adoration this past Friday, we were ending the hour with Divine Mercy chaplet, and with my hands open to the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, and eyes closed, I felt something come in from the altar towards me and my wife. I would later learn from my wife that she at that very moment had felt a burning sensation in her palms and realized her hands had opened up to the Lord on their own.  I told her that God wanted to talk to us all, but He revealed to me that sin was keeping me and perhaps all of us from hearing Him.
Perhaps this is a prophecy for us all.  We can keep Him from talking simply by being locked up in our sin.
We need the baths of His saving waters in our lives, that what we don't want to do...go and do