Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Testify To Me

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Minute Meditations

Looking for Jesus

Here is an often overlooked piece of advice: When trying to determine what God wants us to do, we should seek Him out and remain close to Him. Makes perfect sense doesn't it? If we are concerned about following the Lord's will, having a close relationship with Him makes the process much simpler.
— from Faith, Hope & Clarity

St. Peter Chanel


Anyone who has worked in loneliness, with great adaptation required and with little apparent success, will find a kindred spirit in Peter Chanel.
As a young priest he revived a parish in a "bad" district by the simple method of showing great devotion to the sick. Wanting to be a missionary, he joined the Society of Mary (Marists) at 28. Obediently, he taught in the seminary for five years. Then, as superior of seven Marists, he traveled to Western Oceania where he was entrusted with an apostolic vicariate (term for a region that may later become a diocese). The bishop accompanying the missionaries left Peter and a brother on Futuna Island in the New Hebrides, promising to return in six months. He was gone five years.

Meanwhile, Pedro struggled with this new language and mastered it, making the difficult adjustment to life with whalers, traders and warring natives. Despite little apparent success and severe want, he maintained a serene and gentle spirit and endless patience and courage. A few natives had been baptized, a few more were being instructed. When the chieftain's son asked to be baptized, persecution by the chieftain reached a climax. Father Chanel was clubbed to death, his body cut to pieces.

Within two years after his death, the whole island became Catholic and has remained so. Peter Chanel is the first martyr of Oceania and its patron.


Suffering for Christ means suffering because we are like Christ. Very often the opposition we meet is the result of our own selfishness or imprudence. We are not martyrs when we are "persecuted" by those who merely treat us as we treat them. A Christian martyr is one who, like Christ, is simply a witness to God's love, and brings out of human hearts the good or evil that is already there.


"No one is a martyr for a conclusion, no one is a martyr for an opinion; it is faith that makes martyrs" (Cardinal Newman, Discourses to Mixed Congregations).

Patron Saint of:



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

Daily Prayer - 2015-04-28


"Be still and know that I am God."
Lord, Your words lead us to the
calmness and greatness of Your Presence.


Your death on the cross has set me free.
I can live joyously and freely
without fear of death.
Your mercy knows no bounds.


To be conscious about something is to be aware of it. Dear Lord help me to remember that You gave me life. Thank you for the gift of life. Teach me to slow down, to be still and enjoy the pleasures created for me.
To be aware of the beauty that surrounds me. The marvel of mountains, the calmness of lakes, the fragility of a flower petal. I need to remember that all these things come from you.

The Word of God


Reading 1 Acts 11:19-26

Those who had been scattered by the persecution
that arose because of Stephen
went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch,
preaching the word to no one but Jews.
There were some Cypriots and Cyrenians among them, however,
who came to Antioch and began to speak to the Greeks as well,
proclaiming the Lord Jesus.
The hand of the Lord was with them
and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.
The news about them reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem,
and they sent Barnabas to go to Antioch.
When he arrived and saw the grace of God,
he rejoiced and encouraged them all
to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart,
for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.
And a large number of people was added to the Lord.
Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul,
and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch.
For a whole year they met with the Church
and taught a large number of people,
and it was in Antioch that the disciples
were first called Christians.

Responsorial Psalm PS 87:1b-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (117:1a) All you nations, praise the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
His foundation upon the holy mountains
the LORD loves:
The gates of Zion,
more than any dwelling of Jacob.
Glorious things are said of you,
O city of God!
R. All you nations, praise the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
I tell of Egypt and Babylon
among those who know the LORD;
Of Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia:
"This man was born there."
And of Zion they shall say:
"One and all were born in her;
And he who has established her
is the Most High LORD."
R. All you nations, praise the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
They shall note, when the peoples are enrolled:
"This man was born there."
And all shall sing, in their festive dance:
"My home is within you."
R. All you nations, praise the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 10:22-30

The feast of the Dedication was taking place in Jerusalem.
It was winter.
And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon.
So the Jews gathered around him and said to him,
"How long are you going to keep us in suspense?
If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
Jesus answered them, "I told you and you do not believe.
The works I do in my Father's name testify to me.
But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep.
My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,
and no one can take them out of the Father's hand.
The Father and I are one."

    Listen to audio of this reading

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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


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: Acts 11:19-26

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Saint Peter Chanel, Priest and Martyr

The hand of the Lord was with them. (Acts 11:21)

History is filled with unlikely pairings that work amazingly well. Think, for instance, about food pairings: bacon and chocolate, caramel and salt, or bananas on pizza. Or think about how opposites often attract in marriage: the slob and the neat freak, for example.

Well, in ancient Antioch, another kind of pairing, but no less unique, appeared: Jews and Greeks sharing the same religious convictions. Historically, there was a great enmity between these two groups, and in a city as big as Antioch, they could have easily kept to themselves. There were plenty of synagogues to go around, as well as more than enough Greek temples. Yet in the midst of this divided city, the Holy Spirit touched the hearts of Jews and Gentiles alike, making them into "Christians" (Acts 11:26).

When word reached the apostles and elders in Jerusalem, they were intrigued and perhaps a bit skeptical. Would the Gentiles dilute the purity of the Jews' faith? Would the Jews look down on their Gentile brothers and sisters? Such a potentially volatile and delicate situation needed some attention. So they sent Barnabas to study the situation. Though this was clearly a unique pairing, Barnabas could see that it was God's doing, so he "rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord" (Acts 11:23).

Just as the Holy Spirit created an unlikely pairing in Antioch, he is doing something similar today. He is encouraging Christians from different faith traditions to come together and pray for greater unity. For example, in a video he recorded on a Protestant pastor's iPhone, Pope Francis addressed a gathering of Pentecostal leaders. "Let's move forward," he urged them. "We are brothers; let us give each other that spiritual embrace and allow the Lord to complete the work he has begun."

Whenever Christians from different traditions, whether in ancient Antioch or in the cyberspace of today, come together, it's a sign that "the hand of the Lord" is at work (Acts 11:21). Today, let's all pray for Christian unity. May we become witnesses of our own unique pairings with our brothers and sisters in Christ!

"Holy Spirit, thank you for my brothers and sisters of all faith traditions. Come and make us one!"


Psalm 87:1-7; John 10:22-30


I'm kind of an oddball I guess.  I am not in tune with the worldly news.  A young new worker came in asking for something and asked "did you hear about the wal-marts shutting down and the military coming in and setting up base in them?"  I said "no, I guess we're going to war!?"  I think I took him by surprise.  I could feel his anxiety and fear, the kind that wants to sink under your skin.  But I took the news like I do when people are striking at the Church.  Proceed with caution.  Please care.  And so is the message.  They sent Barnabas to check out the growing numbers of Christians.  Only to his surprise they were filled with the Holy Spirit, just like he was.  And so he encouraged them.  I encourage you too.  Have faith. 
  This weekend I was a caller on EWTN radio to comment on a question about the late Cardinal George, I think from Chicago, that before he died had said "I suspect that I will die in my bed, and my successor will be put in jail, and his successor will die a martyr". 
The radio host proposed the "signs of the times" with so many natural disasters ocurring, is the end coming?  I called to say to remember the message of the prophet Jonah to Niniveh.  Repent!  And what did they do?  They repented.   Nothing happened to them, which means they were spared, saved.  God loves obedience and a heart turned to him.
Later Cardinal George explained" I expected to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. What is omitted from the reports is a final phrase I added about the bishop who follows a possibly martyred bishop: 'His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.' What I said is not 'prophetic' but a way to force people to think outside of the usual categories that limit and sometimes poison both private and public discourse."
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Sounds like the kind of message I say at times.  Pretty harsh, or is it not harsh enough?  Because, I don't see people freaking out for Jesus.  I see the opposite, they freak out for death.  Police shoot innocent people, the protectors killing out of fear.  That's the kind of thing that should be an eye opener.  Not wars, but those that are called to serve and protect.  Keep with me, I'm speaking about the body of Christ, those "Christians" as they were began to be called in today's 1st reading.
The Psalms pray "All You Nations, Praise the Lord".  What are nations?  Geographical places?  No.  They are groups of people.  Jesus, before ascending into Heaven said to His beloved people, his flock and shepherds "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit".  His call is to all.  Everytime I evangelize to someone, I tell them bluntly, "The Holy Spirit is calling you".  If it were not, the good news would not be introduced to them, an invitation, a call, to a closer more intimate relationship with Him.  Repent.  Convert.  That's the whole point of me reaching out to you.  That's the whole point I am engulfed with Him.  People talk about "ministries" as if they were some type of a separate entity, a separate part of the body, but it is not.  Serving the Lord is simply loving the Lord, and I tell people that are serving "what are you serving?"  Because if it is not love for Love (God),  what are you doing?  Repent! CONVERT!  And never stop serving, for we are a work in progress, in a process to Heaven.
Jesus is asked "Just tell us if you are the Christ!!".  And He tells them AGAIN He is, but they do not believe, that's why they have to keep asking.  Can Jesus be so humble?  So natural?  So in your face?  Yes He can.  Hardened hearts can not see Him.  I've only begun a few pages of the book "Introduction To Devout Life" with St. Francis de Sales, and I've already begun to see more clearly, what it means to be devout, and more clearly said, a devout follower of Jesus.  Because we have too many "believers" in God and not enough followers, not enough people to say "Yes Lord".  Then, do you truly believe?  Jesus says today "My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me."  Have you heard Him calling?  Sometimes when I pray, as I've prayed lately for many of my loved ones and god-children, I pray calling their names for the Lord, like a shepherd making a call.  The things I do, I say so that you will do. Pray for one another, call.  Be with one another, such were the first Christians.  "No one can take them out of my hand" says our Father, Jesus, our King.  Once His, Always His. 
I Am His.  Say that.  I Am His.  I Am His child.
I told the confirmation class, that each one is special.  Who cares what anyone says.  At the end, I culminated my prophecy and announced it to them, demanding a response.  I said, "I've got a message from the Lord! He says "I Love you!".  And I asked how to respond.  They didn't answer, until I kept at it, one said "amen", and I said "is that how you respond when someone says "I love you"?  So I yelled it louder "I LOVE YOU"...finally they got it and responded "I LOVE YOU TOO!"  I said doesn't it feel good to love?  Because we were designed to love, made in His image.
Now, you that are listening and reading this, the Lord is calling you.  This message isn't for someone else, never deflect a message you are reading.  You are doing this for your sake, your soul and thus sharing it from here on out.  How do you respond?  Do you just say the words "I love you" or do you actually mean them?  Such is the leading of a devout life
to Jesus