Thursday, March 12, 2015

Gather With Me

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Minute Meditations
Not Always Easy Minute Meditations
To love someone who doesn't love us... It's not easy! Because if we know that a person doesn't like us, then we also tend to bear ill will. But no! We must love even someone who doesn't love us! Opposing evil with good, with pardon, with sharing, with welcome.
— from The Spirit of Saint Francis

Blessed Angela Salawa

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Angela served Christ and Christ's little ones with all her strength.

Born in Siepraw, near Kraków, Poland, she was the 11th child of Bartlomiej and Ewa Salawa. In 1897, she moved to Kraków where her older sister Therese lived. Angela immediately began to gather together and instruct young women domestic workers. During World War I, she helped prisoners of war without regard for their nationality or religion. The writings of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross were a great comfort to her.

Angela gave great service in caring for soldiers wounded in World War I. After 1918 her health did not permit her to exercise her customary apostolate. Addressing herself to Christ, she wrote in her diary, "I want you to be adored as much as you were destroyed." In another place, she wrote, "Lord, I live by your will. I shall die when you desire; save me because you can."

At her 1991 beatification in Kraków, Pope John Paul II said: "It is in this city that she worked, that she suffered and that her holiness came to maturity. While connected to the spirituality of St. Francis, she showed an extraordinary responsiveness to the action of the Holy Spirit" (L'Osservatore Romano, volume 34, number 4, 1991).


Humility should never be mistaken for lack of conviction, insight or energy. Angela brought the Good News and material assistance to some of Christ's "least ones." Her self-sacrifice inspired others to do the same.


Henri de Lubac, S.J., wrote: "The best Christians and the most vital are by no means to be found either inevitably or even generally among the wise or the clever, the intelligentsia or the politically-minded, or those of social consequence. And consequently what they say does not make the headlines; what they do does not come to the public eye. Their lives are hidden from the eyes of the world, and if they do come to some degree of notoriety, that is usually late in the day, and exceptional, and always attended by the risk of distortion" (The Splendor of the Church, p. 187).

Thursday, March 12, 2015
Saint of the Day for 3/11/2015 Saint of the Day for 3/13/2015

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....


If God were trying to tell me something, would I know?
If God were reassuring me or challenging me, would I notice?
I ask for the grace to be free of my own preoccupations
and open to what God may be saying to me.


How do I find myself today?

Where am I with God? With others?

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
Thursday, March 12, 2015 Daily Mass Reading-audio

Reading 1 Jer 7:23-28

Thus says the LORD:
This is what I commanded my people:
Listen to my voice;
then I will be your God and you shall be my people.
Walk in all the ways that I command you,
so that you may prosper.

But they obeyed not, nor did they pay heed.
They walked in the hardness of their evil hearts
and turned their backs, not their faces, to me.
From the day that your fathers left the land of Egypt even to this day,
I have sent you untiringly all my servants the prophets.
Yet they have not obeyed me nor paid heed;
they have stiffened their necks and done worse than their fathers.
When you speak all these words to them,
they will not listen to you either;
when you call to them, they will not answer you.
Say to them:
This is the nation that does not listen
to the voice of the LORD, its God,
or take correction.
Faithfulness has disappeared;
the word itself is banished from their speech.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9

R. (8) If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms to him.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
"Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as in the day of Massah in the desert,
Where your fathers tempted me;
they tested me though they had seen my works."
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Verse Before the Gospel Jl 2:12-13

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
for I am gracious and merciful.

Gospel Lk 11:14-23

Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute,
and when the demon had gone out,
the mute man spoke and the crowds were amazed.
Some of them said, "By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons,
he drives out demons."
Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven.
But he knew their thoughts and said to them,
"Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste
and house will fall against house.
And if Satan is divided against himself,
how will his kingdom stand?
For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons.
If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul,
by whom do your own people drive them out?
Therefore they will be your judges.
But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons,
then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.
When a strong man fully armed guards his palace,
his possessions are safe.
But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him,
he takes away the armor on which he relied
and distributes the spoils.
Whoever is not with me is against me,
and whoever does not gather with me scatters."


How has God's Word moved me? Has it left me cold?

Has it consoled me or moved me to act in a new way?

I imagine Jesus standing or sitting beside me,

I turn 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: Luke 11:14-23

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3rd Week of Lent

By the finger of God . . . (Luke 11:20)

If you went to battle against a fearsome army, how would you defend yourself? You'd likely have your own weapons, bulletproof armor, and lots of backup. But in today's Gospel, we hear that all Jesus needs to overcome the devil is his finger!

Jesus is stronger than the devil, so much so that when Satan, a "strong man," bothers us, Jesus, the "stronger" man, easily overcomes him! This is what the story of the two strong men in today's Gospel reading is about. One man is "strong," "fully armed," and has possessions he thinks are safe. But then a "stronger man" comes along, takes away the strong man's armor, and "overcomes" him. The strong man is Satan, whose lies and temptations can make us feel like hostages.

Where do you feel trapped or held hostage? Perhaps you feel that a pattern of sin or a struggling relationship will never get resolved. The downward spiral is too strong for you to overcome. Don't give up! Remember Jesus, the stronger man. Remember the finger of God! In story after story in the Gospels, we read about the Lord doing awesome deeds as if it were nothing. Remember when he was confronted with a violent storm at sea. All he had to do was say, "Quiet! Be still!" and everything went calm (Mark 4:39). Or think about how he raised Jairus' daughter from the dead with just two words: Talitha koum (5:41).

Satan may be strong, but Jesus is stronger. What's more, he considers you very valuable. So he will absolutely answer when you call to him. Remember, he formed you and loves you. He has redeemed you and claimed you as his own. He will always come to your aid.

So invite Jesus into your strongholds. You may not see immediate results, but that doesn't mean that he isn't breaking through and answering your prayers. He is! Just stay close to him. "Gather" to him instead of "scattering" to other forms of comfort and security (Luke 11:23). Keep your heart fixed on him, and you'll find him giving you his peace and his deliverance.

"Lord, you are my strong deliverer! In your protection, I rest secure."

Jeremiah 7:23-28
Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9

Gather With Me:audio2cents
The prophecies of Jeremiah became ever more true when Jesus walked this earth, "They walked in the hardness of their evil hearts
and turned their backs, not their faces, to me."  and "When you speak all these words to them, they will not listen to you either;
when you call to them, they will not answer you." and finally "This is the nation that does not listen to the voice of the LORD, its God".  There is not much I can say to this, because you know what it means.  It means we are a people that do not listen.  We go to Mass, to Church to "hear" the Word of God, but very, VERY few "listen" to God.  That is to say, in the world there are over a billion Catholics, and hundreds of millions of Christians, and of those, there are only a few real Christ followers and lovers.  Take those in government positions that say that are Catholic, "practicing" they say, officially they supposedly stand for Christ, but not with His Church and all its teachings.  This is the problem when you do not fully accept everything of Christ and His Holy Bride, the Holy Catholic Church.  Even the teachings are watered, twisted, and distorted.  Just take a few words that Pope Francis I says and watch how the people are amazed and then twist it to mean something against actual church teachings. 
As I skimmed through the readings as I was putting together all of this email for you this morning, I caught a couple of words from the Holy Gospel "...they were amazed".  I said "uh oh, something not so good is coming" because many times people are amazed and then try to use their own rationality instead of being open to God's message, therefore killing the seed that lands in their hearts.  Therefore, the Psalms pray today the life of Christ's word "If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts".  Such were the hearts when Jesus walked among the so called "nation of God", the chosen ones, the people of God!  And this is the tendency to sin we must diligently fight, or else be overtaken by something Satan.
In comes our Lord our Savior.  The Holy Gospel lays out the one of thousands of times our Lord saved someone from a demonic possession, they were amazed, and then start thinking...too much.  This little bitty brain of ours seems to get in the way sometimes.  Too much thought, not enough heart.  That is why our Lord likens the Kingdom belonging to children, because they can believe with more purity than those who see the world through dark glasses.  They say a blasphemy, that the Lord was not doing good through good, but evil.  The devil was instigating a war that is to this day trying to be fought, because we are in the world, there is evil, but because we are of the Lord we are with the triumphant and victory of sin and death.  God says with the tip of His finger He can break down the strongest of evils.  WOw.  Do you trust God in that?  I do.  When evil is running rampant, do you fall for the temptation that we are overtaken by evil?  I know some people that do.  They tune into the world news instead of the WORD news, the Truth of Jesus our Christ and our Savior.  When you sin, you are not a sinner, the devil doesn't tell you who you ultimately are, like it was trying to tell Jesus, trying to bring Him down.  God says no.  He comes to remind us that we are HIS.  The nation of God, the people of God, they are HIS, the whole world is His, this is why He came, to reclaim what was given to Him by the Father, yet Jesus and the Father are one.  So God came to earth to reclaim what is His.  What is His is the heart of man.  He says "I AM first and foremost your first love".  We are on a trip on springbreak with the kids right now.  Last night, I was talking to my 4yr. old daughter about God.  I told her at one point "God made you so He could let you know how much He loves you".  I hope it computed and engraved in her little brain, but more importantly...her big beautiful and wonderful Heart
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