Thursday, March 26, 2015

Keep His Word

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Minute Meditations

Medicinal Love
Lord, when I help someone who is ill, let me never forget that love is the most important medicine. And when I am ill, Lord, please send me medical men and women who are not only wise and skilled but filled with love.
— from The Joyful Spirit of Padre Pio

Blessed Didacus Joseph of Cadiz
(d. 1801)

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Born in Cadiz, Spain, and christened Joseph Francis, the youth spent much of his free time around the Capuchin friars and their church. But his desire to enter the Franciscan Order was delayed because of the difficulty he had with his studies. Finally he was admitted to the novitiate of the Capuchins in Seville as Brother Didacus. He later was ordained a priest and sent out to preach.
His gift of preaching was soon evident. He journeyed tirelessly through the territory of Andalusia of Spain, speaking in small towns and crowded cities. His words were able to touch the minds and hearts of young and old, rich and poor, students and professors. His work in the confessional completed the conversions his words began.

This unlearned man was called "the apostle of the Holy Trinity" because of his devotion to the Trinity and the ease with which he preached about this sublime mystery. One day a child gave away his secret, crying out: "Mother, mother, see the dove resting on the shoulder of Father Didacus! I could preach like that too if a dove told me all that I should say."

Didacus was that close to God, spending nights in prayer and preparing for his sermons by severe penances. His reply to those who criticized him: "My sins and the sins of the people compel me to do it. Those who have been charged with the conversions of sinners must remember that the Lord has imposed on them the sins of all their clients."

It is said that sometimes when he preached on the love of God he would be elevated above the pulpit. Crowds in village and town squares were entranced by his words and would attempt to tear off pieces of his habit as he passed by.

He died in 1801 at age 58, a holy and revered man. He was beatified in 1894.


Didacus was such a poor student that the Observant Franciscans wouldn't have him. When Capuchin Franciscans finally took him into their order and eventually ordained him, he proved to be a powerful preacher—to everyone's surprise. As we often do, Didacus's contemporaries expected little from someone with a slow mind. Didacus proved to them that intelligence is not the only measure. The person who has a loving heart, a listening ear and a wealth of compassion is, in the long run, much wiser.


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, 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.


How am I really feeling? Lighthearted? Heavy-hearted? I may be very much at peace, happy to be here. Equally, I may be frustrated, worried or angry. I acknowledge how I really am.
It is the real me that the Lord loves.

The Word of God


Reading 1 Gn 17:3-9

When Abram prostrated himself, God spoke to him:
"My covenant with you is this:
you are to become the father of a host of nations.
No longer shall you be called Abram;
your name shall be Abraham,
for I am making you the father of a host of nations.
I will render you exceedingly fertile;
I will make nations of you;
kings shall stem from you.
I will maintain my covenant with you
and your descendants after you
throughout the ages as an everlasting pact,
to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
I will give to you
and to your descendants after you
the land in which you are now staying,
the whole land of Canaan, as a permanent possession;
and I will be their God."

God also said to Abraham:
"On your part, you and your descendants after you
must keep my covenant throughout the ages."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 105:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (8a) The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought,
his portents, and the judgments he has uttered.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generations --
Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.

Verse Before the Gospel Ps 95:8

If today you hear his voice;
harden not your hearts.

Gospel Jn 8:51-59

Jesus said to the Jews:
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever keeps my word will never see death."
So the Jews said to him,
"Now we are sure that you are possessed.
Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say,
'Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.'
Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died?
Or the prophets, who died?
Who do you make yourself out to be?"
Jesus answered, "If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing;
but it is my Father who glorifies me,
of whom you say, 'He is our God.'
You do not know him, but I know him.
And if I should say that I do not know him,
I would be like you a liar.
But I do know him and I keep his word.
Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day;
he saw it and was glad."
So the Jews said to him,
"You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?"
Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you,
before Abraham came to be, I AM."
So they picked up stones to throw at him;
but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.

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Sometimes I wonder what I might say if I were to meet you in person Lord. I think I might say "Thank You Lord" for always being there for me. I know with certainty there were times when you carried me, Lord, when it was through your strength I got through the dark times in my life.


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: John 8:51-59

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5th Week of Lent

Before Abraham came to be, I am. (John 8:58)

Throughout this long conversation with the Jewish leaders, Jesus had been hinting at his identity—and angering his opponents in the process. Up to this point, they had already called him a liar, accused him of being a Samaritan, and even suggested that he was demon possessed (John 8:48). You can just imagine them asking, Just who do you think you are, anyway? They might have found it hard enough to swallow if Jesus hadn't gone beyond implying that he was greater than the great patriarch Abraham (8:52-57). But now, by saying, "I am"—a statement which was reserved only for Yahweh to make—Jesus identified himself with Almighty God (8:58)! The claim so infuriated them that they picked up stones to kill him.

We have quite a different dilemma today. Unlike first-century Jews, many people today don't think too much about Jesus' identity. They see him as little more than a noble man or a doer of good deeds. And as a result, their vision of life is sadly limited.

For us who believe, however, understanding who Jesus is can open up possibilities we might never have considered before. Jesus is the great "I am." In his person reside all the qualities of God himself. As the eternal Son of God, he has always existed. Before the world began, he was predestined to rule over us as a shepherd tends his sheep. Even before we fell into sin, the Father intended to send his Son to us to fill us with divine life and bring us into his presence.

Hearing Jesus declare himself "I am" stirs our hearts with the assurance that we are in a safe place. It tells us that the eternal God knows every moment of our lives and that he is with us in every situation. He-who-is never lets us out of his sight—and how wonderful that is! Even when we stumble in sin and disbelief, Jesus is ready to lead us back into his Father's embrace.

What love God has for us! Today let's thank him for his faithfulness and ask his Spirit to impress these truths more deeply in our hearts.

"Jesus, how comforting it is to know of your unfailing love! Let your word penetrate my heart, that I may see you as you truly are: the awesome, eternal Son of God."


Genesis 17:3-9
Psalm 105:4-9




3/26/15 Keep His Word


"To love God is something greater than to know Him." -St. Thomas Aquinas
An uncle said one time he heard the Lord speak to him these words too "'s not all in the knowing, but loving Me".
It's a truth that has been since our Lord made a covenant with us, a loving relationship. 
I had a hard time getting to write to you, because I had to focus for quite a while on what it means to keep His Word. 
In today's 1st Holy scriptures our Lord our God said:
""On your part, you and your descendants after you must keep my covenant throughout the ages."
Keep His word?  Keep His covenant?  What is it that we need to do?  Our Lord promised all these things to Abraham, which have all come true through hundreds and thousands of years.  I wonder if it would've taken that long if we didn't keep goofing up.  It seems to take a long time for the Lord to answer some prayers, or is it me that keeps putting Him on hold? 
The Psalms pray again on the same, the life of Christ our Lord: "The Lord remembers His covenant forever".  AGAIN?  Ok, Lord, what are you trying to say here?  The Psalms say "Look to the LORD in his strength; seek to serve him constantly. Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought, his portents, and the judgments he has uttered."  Whew!  I thought it was going to be hard to follow the Lord, so...He just needs me to serve Him?  Remember the great things He done? The warnings? The declarations of justice to be?  Ok...doable..right?
In comes Jesus our Lord on earth from Heaven, such a powerful mixture of divinity and blood.  Our Lord says today ""Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever keeps my word will never see death."  Again with the keeping His word deal!?  Keep my word means what?  Keep my promise.  We all like to be a man of our word right?  (Man all huMANs).  Otherwise, you are virtually a liar, of the father of lies...the devil.  You see, we either belong to one or the other, things are black and white, not grey, because that color is tainted with black, and black don't fit in the light.  And so Jesus tells the guys (Jews) "I would be like you a liar. But I do know him and I keep his word. "  Liars?  The supposed doers and followers of the law of Moses?  Oh, wait.
St. Thomas said "To love God is something greater than to know Him".  You see, we all think we know God, and that is sad, because only Jesus knows Him.  To say you know is to lie.  Stay with me.  We know OF God but we don't truly Know Him.  This is reserved for greater revelation in the hereafter.  Right now, all we can do is have faith, that is to say, love.  You see, the Jews had this whole Messiah thing figured out, and it killed the Messiah, the King of the Universe and beyond.  So what makes us want and need to know everything?  Do you really have to know everything?  God does, and that's all that matters.  Now, that's not to say we should never stop learning! LOL.  No need to turn into a pond full of algae!  No, we need to continue to know of Him, through scripture, but even so more, through His Holy Spirit that guides to the truth, and the truth is Jesus.  Do what Jesus says and we will be led to the Father.  Let the Holy Spirit lead you to Jesus, and Jesus to the Father.  That's why I've said you can read the bible until your face is blue and you know every verse and never really  know God, and worse, be a horrible so called Christian.  An old man yelled at my cursillo "si deveras amas a Dios, como le vas a fallar?!"  and this was back in March of 2004, how can I remember?  How can I not.  (in english "If you really Love God, how will you fail Him?") The words were engraved into my heart.  And so it is with the Word of God.  We are tattooed in Baptism with the words from our Lord> You Belong To Me> and so it goes to say, we are not of this world.  We ought not live like the world then.  We ought to live heaven on earth, because the Holy Spirit is among us, a Heaven veiled yet you know is there. 
I know my2cents have gone long, but I just have to share so you will grow.  And so some thoughts I leave you with that hit me yesterday after walking outside and praying the rosary with all our kids in tow:
"Heaven I've felt when Jesus is made present in the Eucharist"
"Heaven I've felt as I sit in front of Him in confession"
"Heaven I've felt when surrounded with others learning of Him and singing to Him"
"Heaven I've felt alone and I'm contemplating His Greatness"
"Heaven I've felt when a promise is fulfilled"
And the Lord wants to help us keep our promise.  I told the people at a funeral vigil days ago "...God keeps His is us that don't" and then said "just because we are unfaithul doesn't mean He is unfaithful".   And this is the message of the Holy Scriptures, God entered us into a covenant relationship.  The new covenant is Jesus.  The Word is Jesus.  I am in a covenant relationship with Jesus, a promise, a pact, but more than all that, a loving relationship with the almighty that presents Himself as what?  You tell me, because your relationship answers that by the life you live

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