Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Give Us This

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Minute Meditations

There is one more important person you must forgive: yourself. Many times we think we've sinned so badly that God can't let us off the hook so simply. But His mercy is simple, and it is open to all hearts that turn to Him.
— from A 40-Day Spiritual Workout for Catholics

St. Anselm

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Indifferent toward religion as a young man, Anselm became one of the Church's greatest theologians and leaders. He received the title "Father of Scholasticism" for his attempt to analyze and illumine the truths of faith through the aid of reason.

At 15, Anselm wanted to enter a monastery, but was refused acceptance because of his father's opposition. Twelve years later, after careless disinterest in religion and years of worldly living, he finally fulfilled his desire to be a monk. He entered the monastery of Bec in Normandy, three years later was elected prior and 15 years later was unanimously chosen abbot.

Considered an original and independent thinker, Anselm was admired for his patience, gentleness and teaching skill. Under his leadership, the abbey of Bec became a monastic school, influential in philosophical and theological studies.

During these years, at the community's request, Anselm began publishing his theological works, comparable to those of St. Augustine (August 28). His best-known work is the book Cur Deus Homo ("Why God Became Man").

At 60, against his will, Anselm was appointed archbishop of Canterbury in 1093. His appointment was opposed at first by England's King William Rufus and later accepted. Rufus persistently refused to cooperate with efforts to reform the Church.

Anselm finally went into voluntary exile until Rufus died in 1100. He was then recalled to England by Rufus's brother and successor, Henry I. Disagreeing fearlessly with Henry over the king's insistence on investing England's bishops, Anselm spent another three years in exile in Rome.

His care and concern extended to the very poorest people; he opposed the slave trade. Anselm obtained from the national council at Westminster the passage of a resolution prohibiting the sale of human beings.


Anselm, like every true follower of Christ, had to carry his cross, especially in the form of opposition and conflict with those in political control. Though personally a mild and gentle man and a lover of peace, he would not back off from conflict and persecution when principles were at stake.


"No one will have any other desire in heaven than what God wills; and the desire of one will be the desire of all; and the desire of all and of each one will also be the desire of God" (St. Anselm, Letter 112).


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


Dear Jesus, as I call on you today I realise that I often come asking for favours.
Today I'd like just to be in your presence.
Let my heart respond to Your Love.


Saint Ignatius thought that a thick and shapeless tree-trunk would never
believe that it could become a statue, admired as a miracle of sculpture, and would never submit itself to the chisel of the sculptor, who sees by her genius what she can make of it. 

I ask for the grace to let myself be shaped by my loving Creator. 


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


Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter

Reading 1 Acts 7:51—8:1a

Stephen said to the people, the elders, and the scribes:
"You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears,
you always oppose the Holy Spirit;
you are just like your ancestors.
Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute?
They put to death those who foretold the coming of the righteous one,
whose betrayers and murderers you have now become.
You received the law as transmitted by angels,
but you did not observe it."

When they heard this, they were infuriated,
and they ground their teeth at him.
But Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit,
looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God
and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
and Stephen said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened
and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."
But they cried out in a loud voice,
covered their ears, and rushed upon him together.
They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him.
The witnesses laid down their cloaks
at the feet of a young man named Saul.
As they were stoning Stephen, he called out,
"Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice,
"Lord, do not hold this sin against them";
and when he said this, he fell asleep.

Now Saul was consenting to his execution.

Responsorial Psalm PS 31:3cd-4, 6 and 7b and 8a, 17 and 21ab

R. (6a) Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
R. Alleluia.
Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety.
You are my rock and my fortress;
for your name's sake you will lead and guide me.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
R. Alleluia.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
My trust is in the LORD;
I will rejoice and be glad of your mercy.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
R. Alleluia.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your kindness.
You hide them in the shelter of your presence
from the plottings of men.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 6:35ab

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the bread of life, says the Lord;
whoever comes to me will never hunger.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 6:30-35

The crowd said to Jesus:
"What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you?
What can you do?
Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written:

He gave them bread from heaven to eat."

So Jesus said to them,
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven;
my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world."

So they said to Jesus,
"Sir, give us this bread always."
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst."

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Jesus, You always welcomed little children when you walked on this earth. Teach me to have a childlike trust in you. To live in the knowledge that You will never abandon me.


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: John 6:30-35

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Saint Anselm, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. (John 6:32)

Have you ever seen a horse wearing blinders? Drivers use them so that the horse looks straight ahead and is not distracted by what's going on around it. But if the blinders were never removed, the horse would have a very narrow view of life. In some ways, this is what Jesus was trying to do with the people seeking bread: he wanted to remove their blinders.

We shouldn't think badly of the people who were following Jesus looking for bread. They were relying on their past experience: Jesus had fed them when they were hungry in the past; they were hungry now, so they assumed he would feed them once again. They believed he could provide for them. They even compared this miracle to the way God miraculously fed the Israelites in the desert.

But their sights were set too low; their horizon was too narrow. It was as if they had blinders on. Jesus had so much more in store for them than ordinary bread! He didn't just want to solve their immediate problem of hunger; he wanted them never to be hungry again. He wanted to give them his very self so that they would be profoundly nourished.

Let's remove our blinders today! Let's not succumb to narrow vision. Yes, we trust Jesus and know that he has worked in our lives, but sometimes we don't expect anything deeper.

Maybe you are struggling today and just want to see Jesus smooth things out for you. But what if he wants to do more? Maybe he wants to lift your spirit above your struggles or show you how to deal with them once and for all. Maybe you're planning on going to Confession but just want to "get it over with." What if Jesus wants this to be the best confession of your life? Maybe he wants to give you deep freedom over a sin pattern or confidence in his unfailing love.

When you read the Scriptures or pray today, expect something great. Don't shy away from the ways he may be trying to give you awesome gifts from his Spirit. Give him the freedom to go deeper than you asked!

"Lord Jesus, I want more than mere bread. I want never to be hungry again! Lift my eyes to expect from you the life you want to give me!"


Acts 7:51--8:1; Psalm 31:3-4, 6-8, 17, 21; John 6:35-40




There was a particular song that we sung last Thursday in our praise and worship night called "Hungry" by Kathryn Scott I believe.  In the song it says "I wait for you" and then proclaims "I'm falling on my knees".  One woman was on her knees as I sung that was my wife.  She was filled with the Holy Spirit.  "Broken I run to you for your arms are open wide, I am weary but I know your touch restores my life, so I wait for you".  St. Stephen fell on his knees proclaiming the next lyrics with his life "Jesus your all this heart is living for" and then said the words of our Lord from the cross "Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit" but before he had prayed for those that were stoning him to death, "forgive them Father!". 
Who loves like that nowadays?  I'm sorry to have to say, but not very many.  Pride, one of the roots of evil, a capital sin that leads to grave sins, it gets in the way of true worship and adoration.  Its arrogance defies our Lord and what is truly due to Him, all our lives, our honor, and our glory and worship and adoration.  "My Trust Is In The Lord" says the Psalms, from the lips of our Lord. death for what is to come.
Jesus tells the people that want a sign that no man gave them bread from Heaven, it was our Father.  It is Jesus.  He says "I AM the bread of life".  He who eats this shall not hunger and will have eternal life.  I don't know that i'd want to live forever on earth.  But in Heaven with Jesus?  Yes.  Would I lay down my life for Jesus?  Do I love Him that much?  Because this is the severity of rejecting the bread of life: choosing the alternative, which in the end is sin no matter how soft you try to paint it with the lies of the world.  Let me give you an example of this rejection:
Jesus asks:  "Will you come take the bread I offer in the Eucharist?"
The People answer: with their lives: 
- 'I can't, I have to be at work'.  (Thus Choosing your condemnation and your god Mammon, the god of money, you rather lose Jesus' bread than your life)
- 'I can't, I have a game to be at'.  (Thus choosing your condemnation and your idol, your god you worship and chose over the bread the Body of Christ.)
- 'I can't, I don't have to go because I don't believe you have to go to church.' (Thus choosing your condemnation, breaking the 3rd commandment, a mortal grave sin that kills the soul the spirit. Notice we kill ourselves, God did not.)

And I could go on and on of the things we choose over laying down our lives and falling on our knees and committing our Spirit to Jesus.  And then, the devil comes with attacks "you are not worthy".  Jesus made you, blesses you, loves you, pours out Mercy and you fall for that damning lie from Satan saying "you are not worthy?".  Because there is a remedy so long as you live, and it is called Mercy.  You sin?  Mercy is available.  Sadly, the devil sends out another lie "you don't have to confess" or "you don't deserve mercy".  And people fall for that and live as subjects of darkness, never really falling on their knees. 
So what do I suggest?  If you need a sign, come to my parish, or to any Catholic Church.  Most often, a huge crucifix hangs the Lord.  Why?  Because He offers Himself.  The bread, it is alive, He is not dead, God's not dead.  That sign hanging on that tree, it says " I  LOVE  YOU  THIS MUCH" that He would commit His Spirit, commend to the Father.  And us? 
We are called to follow His way.
What's more, that sign hanging is an offering for the life of the world, the destruction of sin and death.  Do you want to be free?  Free from sin?
Free from death?  Eternal life awaits, and He is the bread from Heaven. 
"Take This" says a doctor, but Jesus says "Take This" so we have eternal life with Him.  And Take This to the ends of the world...A love that will never end

from my parish to yours, we are one in Him, let us be strong in our faith and Holy, wholly His
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