Friday, April 17, 2015

Come Into

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Minute Meditations

Meek and Humble
Let us beg Our Lady to make our hearts as meek and humble as her Son's. From her and within her the heart of Jesus was formed. We can learn much from Our Lady, who was so humble because she was all for God.
— from Thirsting for God

St. Benedict Joseph Labre
(d. 1783)


Benedict Joseph Labre was truly eccentric, one of God's special little ones. Born in France and the eldest of 18 children, he studied under his uncle, a parish priest. Because of poor health and a lack of suitable academic preparation he was unsuccessful in his attempts to enter the religious life. Then, at 16 years of age, a profound change took place. Benedict lost his desire to study and gave up all thoughts of the priesthood, much to the consternation of his relatives.

He became a pilgrim, traveling from one great shrine to another, living off alms. He wore the rags of a beggar and shared his food with the poor. Filled with the love of God and neighbor, Benedict had special devotion to the Blessed Mother and to the Blessed Sacrament. In Rome, where he lived in the Colosseum for a time, he was called "the poor man of the Forty Hours Devotion" and "the beggar of Rome." The people accepted his ragged appearance better than he did. His excuse to himself was that "our comfort is not in this world."

On the last day of his life, April 16, 1783, Benedict Joseph dragged himself to a church in Rome and prayed there for two hours before he collapsed, dying peacefully in a nearby house. Immediately after his death the people proclaimed him a saint.

He was officially proclaimed a saint by Pope Leo XIII at canonization ceremonies in 1881.


In a modern inner city, one local character kneels for hours on the sidewalk and prays. Swathed in his entire wardrobe winter and summer, he greets passersby with a blessing. Where he sleeps no one knows, but he is surely a direct spiritual descendant of Benedict, the ragged man who slept in the ruins of Rome's Colosseum. These days we ascribe such behavior to mental illness; Benedict's contemporaries called him holy. Holiness is always a bit mad by earthly standards.

Patron Saint of:


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


To be present is to arrive as one is and open up to the other.

At this instant, as I arrive here, God is present waiting for me.

God always arrives before me, desiring to connect with me

even more than my most intimate friend.

I take a moment and greet my loving God.


Lord, you created me to live in freedom.
Mostly I take this gift for granted.
Inspire me to live in the freedom you intended,
with a heart untroubled and with complete trust in You.


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


Friday of the Second Week of Easter

Reading 1 Acts 5:34-42

A Pharisee in the Sanhedrin named Gamaliel,
a teacher of the law, respected by all the people,
stood up, ordered the Apostles to be put outside for a short time,
and said to the Sanhedrin, "Fellow children of Israel,
be careful what you are about to do to these men.
Some time ago, Theudas appeared, claiming to be someone important,
and about four hundred men joined him, but he was killed,
and all those who were loyal to him
were disbanded and came to nothing.
After him came Judas the Galilean at the time of the census.
He also drew people after him,
but he too perished and all who were loyal to him were scattered.
So now I tell you,
have nothing to do with these men, and let them go.
For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin,
it will destroy itself.
But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them;
you may even find yourselves fighting against God."
They were persuaded by him.
After recalling the Apostles, they had them flogged,
ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus,
and dismissed them.
So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin,
rejoicing that they had been found worthy
to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.
And all day long, both at the temple and in their homes,
they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Christ, Jesus.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14

R. (see 4abc) One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life's refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
R. One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
One thing I ask of the LORD
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple.
R. One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R. One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Mt 4:4

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 6:1-15

Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee.
A large crowd followed him,
because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.
Jesus went up on the mountain,
and there he sat down with his disciples.
The Jewish feast of Passover was near.
When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him,
he said to Philip, "Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?"
He said this to test him,
because he himself knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered him,
"Two hundred days' wages worth of food would not be enough
for each of them to have a little."
One of his disciples,
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him,
"There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish;
but what good are these for so many?"
Jesus said, "Have the people recline."
Now there was a great deal of grass in that place.
So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks,
and distributed them to those who were reclining,
and also as much of the fish as they wanted.
When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples,
"Gather the fragments left over,
so that nothing will be wasted."
So they collected them,
and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments
from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.
When the people saw the sign he had done, they said,
"This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world."
Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off
to make him king,
he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

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What is stirring in me as I pray? Am I consoled, troubled, left cold? I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting at my side 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: John 6:1-15

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2nd Week of Easter

Where can we buy enough food for them to eat? (John 6:5)

With these words, Jesus launched Philip and the other disciples on a path of discovering more clearly who he was and what he had come to accomplish. Of course he was concerned about feeding the crowd of people who had come out to listen to him. But he already "knew what he was going to do" about that (John 6:6). He asked this question to help his disciples become more confident in their ability to build his kingdom on earth. Jesus didn't want this miracle of loaves to be the last time God miraculously took care of his people. He wanted the Twelve to become familiar and even comfortable with the idea of performing miracles themselves.

And so Jesus involved his disciples in every step of this miracle. He asked Philip to assess the situation: the size of the crowd and the inadequacy of their own resources. When Andrew brought him a bit of food and a lot of skepticism, he accepted the gift and told the disciples to make the people sit down, to pass out the loaves, and to collect the fragments. From beginning to end, the Twelve were an integral part of the miracle.

What did the disciples learn that day? They learned to look at needs through the lens of God's compassion. They learned to put their own meager offerings into Jesus' hands, and to do so unselfishly. They learned to give thanks to God before and after each request. And they learned to rely on the power of God as they built the kingdom.

Jesus wants to do the same thing for us. He wants us to become vessels of his grace in the world. So whenever he brings a need to your attention, pay attention. He is not just asking you what you think. As he did with Philip, he's inviting you to join him in doing something wonderful about it. If you're alert for his direction and willing to take a step of faith, you'll see wonders!

"Jesus, make me a co-worker with you. Teach me how to cooperate with your Spirit."


Acts 5:34-42; Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14





When you come to this side, you will realize the flogging is a blessing.  I said at the prayer gathering last night "God gives tests to those He loves" that is to say, find worthy of even being given a test to come into His Kingdom of Heaven, and I asked another question (we were on fire for the Lord) "what do ya'll think we'll do in Heaven?".  Today's Psalms says the answer, and some answered "we will worship", one said "we will praise".  But the answer I really wanted to hear is today's Psalm: "One thing I ask of the LORD this I seek: To dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple."  And God wants this.  The last Psalm today said "I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD."  The response is "One thing I seek, to dwell in the house of the Lord".  And this is where we were praying, in His House, the Father's house, because Jesus is the Father and the Holy Spirit, meaning the Father was with us, joined us, and will always be with us, is this the Eucharist?  The bread that was with us, joined us, and will always be with us?  
Because in my life two things I've been pondering in the depths of my heart: one is the sensation of kneeling before Him in the Blessed Sacrament, the tabernacle.  The other, the sensation of the Spirit when He is exposed in the monstrance.  One is a hidden power that is listening, the other is a light transfusing the soul.
Jesus tested the followers, leading them to hunger.  I meant to tell everyone to not eat dinner before coming to pray.  I know when I fast, I pray better, accept better and enjoy better.  "Should we send them home?" was the question.  The Father of the children said basically "NO, I will feed them, together we will feed them".  It's like He is saying, "you aren't missing anything when you have Me with you".  And so a little boy shows up with all the food in a basket for 5,000 men (plus women and children!?).  Jesus takes from the boy "Let the children come to me, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven" He says in the Bible.  They have what it takes.  They have humility, indeed, the meek shall inherit the earth.  It is not those blood thirsty power hoggers that rule, but the poor.  A jobless man showed up last night.  I invited him to come to the prayer gathering.  He's the only one of 3 with serious illnesses that showed up.  Actually, he walked in the middle of Mass, and I was kind of shocked when I saw him, I totally forgot I invited him!  I must've invited 20-30 more, but only he and a faithful few showed up to praise God.  I said during songs and praise that "God loves the poor" and "He takes care of the birds in the air, and we are worth much more".  Before He left we all laid hands on Him and prayed and some gave him all the money they had.  A little girl was there offering hugs to everyone that had got prayed over.  I said "That's the Holy Spirit".  Giving all they had.  All the little girl had was hugs and smiles of an angel.  All the others (children) what they had, they gave.  That's what I love about this all.  I said at another point "we have to be the example we want to see!".  The poor man will have open heart surgery Tuesday and every time a song said "change my heart" or the word "heart" I would look to him.  He knew.   He knows the Lord is after one thing...your heart.  Jesus leaves them after He breaks bread with them, giving of Himself.  He disappears.  He leaves them hungry...for more.