Thursday, April 23, 2015

Life Of The World

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Minute Meditations

Invitation to Grow
Do not grieve over the temptations you suffer. When the Lord intends to bestow a particular virtue on us, He often permits us first to be tempted by the opposite vice. Therefore, look upon every temptation as an invitation to grow in a particular virtue and a promise by God that you will be successful, if only you stand fast. —St. Philip Neri
— from A 40-Day Spiritual Workout for Catholics

St. George
d. c. 303
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If Mary Magdalene was the victim of misunderstanding, George is the object of a vast amount of imagination. There is every reason to believe that he was a real martyr who suffered at Lydda in Palestine, probably before the time of Constantine. The Church adheres to his memory, but not to the legends surrounding his life.

That he was willing to pay the supreme price to follow Christ is what the Church believes. And it is enough.

 The story of George's slaying the dragon, rescuing the king's daughter and converting Libya is a 12th-century Italian fable. George was a favorite patron saint of crusaders, as well as of Eastern soldiers in earlier times. He is a patron saint of England, Portugal, Germany, Aragon, Catalonia, Genoa and Venice.


Human nature seems to crave more than cold historical data. Americans have Washington and Lincoln, but we somehow need Paul Bunyan, too. The life of St. Francis of Assisi is inspiring enough, but for centuries the Italians have found his spirit in the legends of the Fioretti, too. Santa Claus is the popular extension of the spirit of St. Nicholas. The legends about St. George are part of this yearning. Both fact and legend are human ways of illumining the mysterious truth about the One who alone is holy.


"When we look at the lives of those who have faithfully followed Christ, we are inspired with a new reason for seeking the city which is to come" (Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 50).

Patron Saint of:

Boy Scouts


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


Dear Jesus, today I call on you in a special way.
Mostly I come asking for favours.
Today I'd like just to be in Your presence.
Let my heart respond to Your Love.


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 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 of the Third Week of Easter

Reading 1 Acts 8:26-40

The angel of the Lord spoke to Philip,
"Get up and head south on the road
that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, the desert route."
So he got up and set out.
Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch,
a court official of the Candace,
that is, the queen of the Ethiopians,
in charge of her entire treasury,
who had come to Jerusalem to worship, and was returning home.
Seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah.
The Spirit said to Philip,
"Go and join up with that chariot."
Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and said,
"Do you understand what you are reading?"
He replied,
"How can I, unless someone instructs me?"
So he invited Philip to get in and sit with him.
This was the Scripture passage he was reading:

Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who will tell of his posterity?
For his life is taken from the earth.

Then the eunuch said to Philip in reply,
"I beg you, about whom is the prophet saying this?
About himself, or about someone else?"
Then Philip opened his mouth and, beginning with this Scripture passage,
he proclaimed Jesus to him.
As they traveled along the road
they came to some water,
and the eunuch said, "Look, there is water.
What is to prevent my being baptized?"
Then he ordered the chariot to stop,
and Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water,
and he baptized him.
When they came out of the water,
the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away,
and the eunuch saw him no more,
but continued on his way rejoicing.
Philip came to Azotus, and went about proclaiming the good news
to all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

Responsorial Psalm PS 66:8-9, 16-17, 20

R. (1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
Bless our God, you peoples,
loudly sound his praise;
He has given life to our souls,
and has not let our feet slip.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare
what he has done for me.
When I appealed to him in words,
praise was on the tip of my tongue.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
Blessed be God who refused me not
my prayer or his kindness!
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 6:51

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven, says the Lord;
whoever eats this bread will live forever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 6:44-51

Jesus said to the crowds:
"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him,
and I will raise him on the last day.
It is written in the prophets:

They shall all be taught by God.

Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.
Not that anyone has seen the Father
except the one who is from God;
he has seen the Father.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes has eternal life.
I am the bread of life.
Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
this is the bread that comes down from heaven
so that one may eat it and not die.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my Flesh for the life of the world."

    Listen to audio of this reading

    Watch a video reflection


Conversation requires talking and listening. As I talk to Jesus may I also learn to be still and listen. I picture the gentleness in his eyes and the smile full of love as he gazes on me. I can be totally honest with Jesus as I tell him of my worries and my cares. I will open up my heart to him as I tell him of my fears and my doubts. I will ask him to help me to place myself fully in his care, to abandon myself to him, knowing that he always wants what is best for 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: Acts 8:26-40

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Saint George, Martyr

Do you understand what you are reading? (Acts 8:30)

"Well, gee, let me think. I'm not familiar with that passage." Can you imagine Philip saying this to the Ethiopian he met on the road? Philip was ready for this fellow's questions about a puzzling passage from the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 53:7-8). He knew the Scriptures, he knew Jesus, and he was filled with the Holy Spirit. What else could he do but jump at the opportunity to share the gospel and introduce someone to Christ? And with God's Spirit working through Philip, the Ethiopian experienced a dramatic conversion.

This story underlines the importance of knowing Scripture. We don't need to have it all memorized—though that's not a bad idea. If we want to do more than give a cursory explanation for our faith, there's no substitute for steeping ourselves in God's word and asking the Holy Spirit to bring it to life in us every day. As we do, we'll find ourselves, like Philip, able to speak from personal experience in a way that imparts life and hope. Our words will touch people's hearts not because we have become gifted speakers, but because the Holy Spirit is speaking through us.

Wouldn't it be great to have many encounters like the one Philip had with this fellow? It's possible! People today are no less hungry for the Lord than this fellow was. We meet them every day: at work, in our neighborhoods, at school, in the grocery store. If we've opened ourselves to Scripture and to the Spirit's leading, we'll be in a position to help every searching person God places on our path.

Do you believe that the Holy Spirit wants to help people understand Scripture? While we may be given the joy of speaking words of life to those we meet, it's the Spirit who opens their hearts to embrace the message and place their faith in Jesus. So what are you waiting for? Ask the Spirit to help you increase your love and understanding of Scripture, and trust him to back you up whenever you bring its good news to others.

"Holy Spirit, open the eyes and hearts of everyone who reads Scripture. Give me wisdom and discernment to hear you and to lead people to Jesus through your word."


Psalm 66:8-9, 16-17, 20; John 6:44-51




Today's 5 minutos ended with:
  "Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse; for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened." Romans 1: 19-21 The true road/way to come to the knowledge of God and our relation with Him, is our faith; in which God Himself helps us and assists us. "
From today's 1st Holy Reading:  "Then Philip opened his mouth and, beginning with this Scripture passage,
he proclaimed Jesus to him." 
From today's psalms:  "Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare what he has done for me. When I appealed to him in words,
praise was on the tip of my tongue." and "Let all the earth cry out to God with Joy" not sadness!  Indeed, the Ethiopian left joyful after having the WORD explained and having been "saved" baptized through Jesus with a new hope forever.
Our Lord speaks in the Holy Gospel today, and is cause for tremendous joy "Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life."  So don't just read the part that says "whoever believes" or "whoever says Lord, Lord" will be "saved".  Read the next lines, "I AM the Bread of Life." and then "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my Flesh for the life of the world."  He gave His flesh right?  Wrong.  SAY WHAT?  It is better said like this:  "HE GIVES HIS FLESH".  His is in the now, not the past, not the future, but the forever now.  He IS giving.  Can one find God without explanation?  Yes, but it is extremely hard and extremely dangerous.  Such were the words of the 5minutos, because you can become lost in the ways and idolatery of the world.  So, can these 50,000 denominations and non-denominations of Christianity be saved?  Yes, but it is extremely dangerous.  Some have twisted the truth so far as to declare that Mary is of the devil.  Some have twisted the truth so far as to say that homosexuality is the way of the bible.  Some, well, many have twisted it to declare abortions as something that is OK.  Some have twisted, well, let's say nearly 100% of them have declared that marriage is not a sacrament, therefore, not truly holy, and so divorce is allowed, and families now hurt, and hurt, and hurt some more.  How come all this came to be?  Because of the devil itself, which hates marriage, hates sex, hates people.  We read and heard in last night's final class on Catholicism with Fr. Robert Barron about Dante's hell, where the devil is frozen, in the deepest recess of hell.  Once passing by the devil it doesn't even recognize your presence, such malice, to the utter extreme.
Yet, isn't that how the world treats our Lord? 
Pass by the church, don't even notice.
Pass by one in need, don't even notice.
Pass by the abortion clinic, don't even care.
Such is the hatred of the demonic powers that has blinded God's people to God the bread.  It is a formidable force to be reckoned with.  Such darkness that has veiled the very Catholics that are supposed to believe.  And so we have protestant brothers and sisters that say "if you really believed you would go on your knees to receive Him in you on the altar", such is their view of God and rightly so.  But no, we let people waltz up there with sin, (we know they live in sin) and thus we are guilty of that sin as well.  And we let people waltz up their, stretch out their dirty hands to receive the bread that crumbles and disperses on the ground and the devil rejoices at how our Lord is trampled in those microscopic pieces, such is the hatred of the people of our sins of "not noticing". 
It is a true sign of intelligence to notice, patterns and so forth.  Why do we not notice? Do we not care?  You see, that is the darkness I speak about, another dimension we don't see, or care to see. 
But you can.  You can see if you care. 
You will see if you ask.
You will receive if you ask.
Because God does not refuse one who asks of Himself.
I have been saying the name "Eucharist" lately in the emails.  What is it? 
It is Jesus.
It means thanksgiving.  Gracias.  And it compels me to ask, why does it mean that? Who is giving thanks here?  It is an offering that didn't happen once on earth but continues to happen through the hands that lay hands on the hands that serve the bread, the body of Christ this very day.  The priests have been bestowed from the hands of Jesus.  Hug your priest.  Help your priest.  Pray for your priest.  Love your priest.  They've given their lives to God and people sneer and scoff at them and turn their backs to them.  The molestors? Oh you mean the ones you can count on one or 2 hands for the year of 2014 versus the hundreds and thousands in other "careers" school teachers, and so forth?  Yeah, the devil knows what you're trying to say, that the Church is not Holy. 
And this is Holiness, a failure recognizing the unholiness.  And how can this unholy one recieve Christ?  There's another lie.  We are made holy in His image.  We are worthy.  The Catholic Church gave the Holy BIBLE to the whole world.  You need the Catholic Church to explain the scriptures like St. Philip did the one who was reading scripture because that's all they got "sola scriptura" solely the scripture.  We have the BODY, FLESH, BLOOD, SOUL and DIVINITY OF CHRIST.
Once I was blind.  I knew the Eucharist was special, ever since my First Communion teacher said "In the blessed Sacrament is the body of Christ, if there was a war and they were destroying the church, you are to come here and take it, consume it if you have to". 
And there is a war.  Lies are filling the souls with darkness.  Teenagers kill themselves and not just their bodies, but their spirits.  All while "adults" don't even notice that the children are dying.  Sad.  But we live how we want right?  I want you to want true joy and light for the world.  I want you to sacrifice yourself.  And speaking of which, I feel in tune with God.  This morning, I woke up singing the spanish song sung during Holy Communion in Mass sometimes "al partir el pan, te conocimos al partir el pan".  (we recognize you at the breaking of the bread).
I know I write much but it is culminating to one fact for my very life.  After going over half of the Spiritual Theology class and all of these things opening up in my life (being revealed), for the first time in my life I feel what may be a call to a vocation, something I've said no to for a long time at the request of many...the deaconate.  So what will happen to my life?  Truth is, it should bring us all closer to Christ.  Because that is what the Eucharist is, the Communion.  The Common Union is the flesh of God offered in the forever now.  It makes you holy especially if that's what you pray and cleanse yourself for before receiving the God of the Universe in your mouth.  This is Jesus.

You want to be a fanatic?  You want to be a lunatic?  You want to be crazy?  How about for Jesus?
Answer ME