Wednesday, April 29, 2015

You May Believe

Untitled document

Minute Meditations

Serving the Poor

There is nothing better that you can do in this world than to totally give yourself to God in the person of the poor and our needy brother. --Blessed Dulce Lopes Pontes
— from Sisterhood of Saints

April 30
St. Pius V
Listen to Audio


This is the pope whose job was to implement the historic Council of Trent. If we think popes had difficulties in implementing Vatican Council II, Pius V had even greater problems after Trent than four centuries earlier.

During his papacy (1566-1572), Pius V was faced with the almost overwhelming responsibility of getting a shattered and scattered Church back on its feet. The family of God had been shaken by corruption, by the Reformation, by the constant threat of Turkish invasion and by the bloody bickering of the young nation-states. In 1545 a previous pope convened the Council of Trent in an attempt to deal with all these pressing problems. Off and on over 18 years, the Church Fathers discussed, condemned, affirmed and decided upon a course of action. The Council closed in 1563.

Pius V was elected in 1566 and was charged with the task of implementing the sweeping reforms called for by the Council. He ordered the founding of seminaries for the proper training of priests. He published a new missal, a new breviary, a new catechism and established the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) classes for the young. Pius zealously enforced legislation against abuses in the Church. He patiently served the sick and the poor by building hospitals, providing food for the hungry and giving money customarily used for the papal banquets to poor Roman converts. His decision to keep wearing his Dominican habit led to the custom of the pope wearing a white cassock.

In striving to reform both Church and state, Pius encountered vehement opposition from England's Queen Elizabeth and the Roman Emperor Maximilian II. Problems in France and in the Netherlands also hindered Pius's hopes for a Europe united against the Turks. Only at the last minute was he able to organize a fleet which won a decisive victory in the Gulf of Lepanto, off Greece, on October 7, 1571.

Pius's ceaseless papal quest for a renewal of the Church was grounded in his personal life as a Dominican friar. He spent long hours with his God in prayer, fasted rigorously, deprived himself of many customary papal luxuries and faithfully observed the spirit of the Dominican Rule that he had professed.


In their personal lives and in their actions as popes, Pius V and Blessed Paul VI (d. 1978) both led the family of God in the process of interiorizing and implementing the new birth called for by the Spirit in major Councils. With zeal and patience, Pius and Paul pursued the changes urged by the Council Fathers. Like Pius and Paul, we too are called to constant change of heart and life.


"In this universal assembly, in this privileged point of time and space, there converge together the past, the present, and the future. The past: for here, gathered in this spot, we have the Church of Christ with her tradition, her history, her councils, her doctors, her saints; the present: we are taking leave of one another to go out toward the world of today with its miseries, its sufferings, its sins, but also with its prodigious accomplishments, values, and virtues; and the future is here in the urgent appeal of the peoples of the world for more justice, in their will for peace, in their conscious or unconscious thirst for a higher life, that life precisely which the Church of Christ can give and wishes to give to them" (from Pope Paul's closing message at Vatican II).


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


Daily Prayer - 2015-04-30


Dear Lord as I come to you today
Fill my heart and my whole being
with the wonder 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.


I exist in a web of relationships - links to nature, people, God.

I trace out these links, giving thanks for the life that flows through them.

Some links are twisted or broken: I may feel regret, anger, disappointment.

I pray for the gift of acceptance and forgiveness.

The Word of God

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 282

Reading 1 Acts 13:13-25

From Paphos, Paul and his companions
set sail and arrived at Perga in Pamphylia.
But John left them and returned to Jerusalem.
They continued on from Perga and reached Antioch in Pisidia.
On the sabbath they entered into the synagogue and took their seats.
After the reading of the law and the prophets,
the synagogue officials sent word to them,
"My brothers, if one of you has a word of exhortation
for the people, please speak."

So Paul got up, motioned with his hand, and said,
"Fellow children of Israel and you others who are God-fearing, listen.
The God of this people Israel chose our ancestors
and exalted the people during their sojourn in the land of Egypt.
With uplifted arm he led them out,
and for about forty years he put up with them in the desert.
When he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan,
he gave them their land as an inheritance
at the end of about four hundred and fifty years.
After these things he provided judges up to Samuel the prophet.
Then they asked for a king.
God gave them Saul, son of Kish,
a man from the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.
Then he removed him and raised up David as their king;
of him he testified,
I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart;
he will carry out my every wish.

From this man's descendants God, according to his promise,
has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus.
John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance
to all the people of Israel;
and as John was completing his course, he would say,
'What do you suppose that I am? I am not he.
Behold, one is coming after me;
I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.'"

Responsorial Psalm PS 89:2-3, 21-22, 25 and 27

R. (2) For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
The favors of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, "My kindness is established forever";
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
"I have found David, my servant;
with my holy oil I have anointed him,
That my hand may be always with him,
and that my arm may make him strong."
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
"My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him,
and through my name shall his horn be exalted.
He shall say of me, 'You are my father,
my God, the Rock, my savior.'"
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia See Rv 1:5ab

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus Christ, you are the faithful witness,
the firstborn of the dead,
you have loved us and freed us from our sins by your Blood.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 13:16-20

When Jesus had washed the disciples' feet, he said to them:
"Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master
nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him.
If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it.
I am not speaking of all of you.
I know those whom I have chosen.
But so that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me.
From now on I am telling you before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe that I AM.
Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send
receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me."


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 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 13:16-20

View NAB Reading at | Wrong date? Set your time zone.

Saint Pius V, Pope

I am. (John 13:19)


Jesus probably startled his disciples when he identified himself as "I am" and then delivered what seems to be a word problem: "Whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me" (John 13:20).

Jesus wanted the disciples to be clear. They were to give the One he would send—that is, the Holy Spirit—the same fidelity and loyalty they were giving to him and his words. He also wanted them to know that having received him meant they had received the Father, too.

In this context, "to receive" is a very active thing. It means to lay hold of, to seize, to accept, to try out. It's not passive at all. "Go ahead and take it" rather than "Close your eyes and hold out your hands."

This is important! Jesus wants all of us to lay hold of the Holy Spirit, to pursue him and try him out. This is the only way we will be able to do his work on earth—and it's the only way we'll develop a personal relationship with God. Developing both an interior spiritual life and a more outward, practical experience of the Spirit are both essential to living the life Jesus offers us. Actively receiving is the key to experiencing a life that is creative, nurturing, exciting, and full of love.

You can live like that! You can, because you have received the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Is someone you know far from the Lord? Ask the Father to give you the words and love that will draw that person to him. Is a friend or family member sick or anxious? Pray with that person, and ask for Jesus' healing. Do problems loom at work? Ask the Spirit to inspire you with creative solutions. Your life with God is meant to overflow, touching everyone around you!

So go ahead and actively receive the Holy Spirit. Receive the Father, the One who sent Jesus. Seek to know his heart and thoughts. Spend time in his presence. Ask him questions. Ask him to make you look like him. You will be surprised and delighted by what he will do for you!

"Jesus, I want to go for it today! Holy Spirit, work in me and through me. Father, foster in me more of your character."



Acts 13:13-25; Psalm 89:2-3, 21-22, 25, 27

"Behold, one is coming after me; I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.'"  The litany of humility we read earlier this week demonstrates this is the way to live, away from pride, accepting the poor.  But our minds are programmed backwards in the world as we grow up, thinking the poor folks are just those without money, maybe those homeless on the streets.  As if I am more than them for having so much more money than them.  Pride.  As if they are not better than me?  As if someone's ugly sin is worse than mine?  As if Jesus isn't living in them as much as He is trying in mine?  And so is the message of acceptance.  But hold on, there's much more!
The Psalms pray today "For you have said, "My kindness is established forever"; in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness."  God has chosen throughout history, who He wants.  I'm going to divulge a secret.  I've invited probably 5 people within the last 5 days to come to Jesus, in RCIA, or classes, or somehow.  And you know what I done before and or after?  I prayed to our Lord, asking for permission for them to come into His Kingdom.  It is not for an elite group, but for those who can discern Him calling you, the Shepherd making an outreach, an effort, through messengers called angels among our lives.  Because many said no by not responding, I am held by faith.  I read in the catechism that 10,000 difficulties do not cause a doubt, and we are speaking about that seed, that faith that we are to nurture and grow and become fruitful.
Jesus comes into our lives, and oh so amazingly.  He washes the feet of His chosen ones.  He is humble, the servant, the attendant.  Who do you serve?  Who do you attend?  Because your attendance makes a difference, that attention of the heart.  What He says afterwards is amazing "I know those whom I have chosen".  And later says "Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me."  Embrace His call.  Love it.  Perhaps my saying yes to the Lord has dragged me to the edge of an ocean of love.  I want you to become a "Yes Lord" person.  What other answer can you give to the Lord of all?  As a matter of fact, as you are reading this, I am travelling to Kansas from Texas, because I said yes to the Lord, to a spanish retreat called "Escuela De La Cruz" (School of the Cross).  Pray for us and our journey, for the Lord sent another person with me, a cousin, which I had asked the Lord to send someone with me on this 500 mile journey one way.  Crazy huh?  Leaving work? Leaving Family?  All the church plans?  First Friday Adoration?  Saturday Mass?  Spiritual Theology class on Sunday?  Why leave all if the Lord is already here?  
Because, the Lord wants us to receive Him in ways we don't even know!  Newness is of Heaven, goodness is the best newness.  I pray that you find yourself embracing His Word of humility and acceptance of HIM.  Because as I read the Holy Gospel, I felt as if the Lord was taking a child among the disciples and embracing the child and saying ""Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me."Mark 9:37.  And that embrace?  A person, a messenger, Christ.  When is the last time you embraced a priest like that?  Or someone who brought news of the Lord into your life?  Did you receive them with great joy or ignored them or shut the door in their face?  Because in them is the one who sent them...the Holy Spirit, the life of the world...
I Love You Oh My God!



What I Say

Untitled document

Minute Meditations

Love Alone

I propose to have no other purpose in all my activities, either interior or exterior, other than the motive of love alone, by constantly asking myself: "Now what am I doing in this action? Do I love God?" If I should notice any obstacle to pure love, I shall take myself in hand and recall that I must seek to return my love for his love. --St. Teresa Margaret
— from Sisterhood of Saints

St. Catherine of Siena

The value Catherine makes central in her short life and which sounds clearly and consistently through her experience is complete surrender to Christ. What is most impressive about her is that she learns to view her surrender to her Lord as a goal to be reached through time.

She was the 23rd child of Jacopo and Lapa Benincasa and grew up as an intelligent, cheerful and intensely religious person. Catherine disappointed her mother by cutting off her hair as a protest against being overly encouraged to improve her appearance in order to attract a husband. Her father ordered her to be left in peace, and she was given a room of her own for prayer and meditation.

She entered the Dominican Third Order at 18 and spent the next three years in seclusion, prayer and austerity. Gradually a group of followers gathered around her—men and women, priests and religious. An active public apostolate grew out of her contemplative life. Her letters, mostly for spiritual instruction and encouragement of her followers, began to take more and more note of public affairs. Opposition and slander resulted from her mixing fearlessly with the world and speaking with the candor and authority of one completely committed to Christ. She was cleared of all charges at the Dominican General Chapter of 1374.

Her public influence reached great heights because of her evident holiness, her membership in the Dominican Third Order, and the deep impression she made on the pope. She worked tirelessly for the crusade against the Turks and for peace between Florence and the pope

In 1378, the Great Schism began, splitting the allegiance of Christendom between two, then three, popes and putting even saints on opposing sides. Catherine spent the last two years of her life in Rome, in prayer and pleading on behalf of the cause of Urban VI and the unity of the Church. She offered herself as a victim for the Church in its agony. She died surrounded by her "children" and was canonized in 1461. 

Catherine ranks high among the mystics and spiritual writers of the Church. In 1939, she and Francis of Assisi were declared co-patrons of Italy. Paul VI named her and Teresa of Avila doctors of the Church in 1970. Her spiritual testament is found in The Dialogue.


Though she lived her life in a faith experience and spirituality far different from that of our own time, Catherine of Siena stands as a companion with us on the Christian journey in her undivided effort to invite the Lord to take flesh in her own life. Events which might make us wince or chuckle or even yawn fill her biographies: a mystical experience at six, childhood betrothal to Christ, stories of harsh asceticism, her frequent ecstatic visions. Still, Catherine lived in an age which did not know the rapid change of 21st-century mobile America. The value of her life for us today lies in her recognition of holiness as a goal to be sought over the course of a lifetime.


Catherine's book Dialogue contains four treatises—her testament of faith to the spiritual world. She wrote: "No one should judge that he has greater perfection because he performs great penances and gives himself in excess to the staying of the body than he who does less, inasmuch as neither virtue nor merit consists therein; for otherwise he would be an evil case, who for some legitimate reason was unable to do actual penance. Merit consists in the virtue of love alone, flavored with the light of true discretion without which the soul is worth nothing."

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 - 2015-04-29


"I stand at the door and knock," says the Lord.
What a wonderful privilege
that the Lord of all creation desires to come to me.
I welcome His presence.


Lord, grant me the grace to be free from the excesses of this life.
Let me not get caught up with the desire for wealth.
Keep my heart and mind free to love and serve you.


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


Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

Reading 1 Acts 12:24—13:5a

The word of God continued to spread and grow.

After Barnabas and Saul completed their relief mission,
they returned to Jerusalem,
taking with them John, who is called Mark.

Now there were in the Church at Antioch prophets and teachers:
Barnabas, Symeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene,
Manaen who was a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said,
"Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul
for the work to which I have called them."
Then, completing their fasting and prayer,
they laid hands on them and sent them off.

So they, sent forth by the Holy Spirit,
went down to Seleucia
and from there sailed to Cyprus.
When they arrived in Salamis,
they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6 and 8

R. (4) O God, let all the nations praise you!
R. Alleluia.
May God have pity on us and bless us;
may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth;
among all nations, your salvation.
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
R. Alleluia.
May the nations be glad and exult
because you rule the peoples in equity;
the nations on the earth you guide.
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
R. Alleluia.
May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you!
May God bless us,
and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
R. Alleluia.

Gospel Jn 8:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 12:44-50

Jesus cried out and said,
"Whoever believes in me believes not only in me
but also in the one who sent me,
and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me.
I came into the world as light,
so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness.
And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them,
I do not condemn him,
for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.
Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words
has something to judge him: the word that I spoke,
it will condemn him on the last day,
because I did not speak on my own,
but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak.
And I know that his commandment is eternal life.
So what I say, I say as the Father told me."

    Listen to audio of this reading

    Watch a video reflection



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 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 12:44-50

View NAB Reading at

Subscriber? Login to view archives.

Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world. (John 12:47)

When you think of someone being condemned, what image comes to mind? A courtroom with a judge hammering his gavel? A stern jury? A pointing finger?

How about a flashlight? If you were trying to hide something, a flashlight would be very good for exposing whatever you were doing. You'd shrink back from it because it condemns you. If you were lost in the woods in the darkness, the flashlight would light the way back to the path, and you'd see its shining beam as your freedom.

Jesus said he came into the world as light. He came to shine his word and his truth into our hearts. But just like the flashlight, Jesus' light can elicit different reactions, depending on our disposition. If we are open to him and trying to follow him, his light can bring us warmth and insight. It can illuminate our path, correct our missteps, and bring us closer to the salvation we are longing for. But if we are opposed to him, that very same light can feel cold and embarrassing. We might scramble to stay hidden from the light, only showing by our actions that we are rejecting Jesus. In both cases, it's our own relationship to the Lord and his truth that either saves us or condemns us.

What is one of the best ways to experience the warmth of Jesus' light? In the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Far from being a means of condemning us, Reconciliation is the perfect way to let the light of Christ probe and illuminate our hearts. Will there be areas that you don't want to bring into the light? Probably. But remember, he didn't come to condemn—only to save. So even when he brings your sin to light, remember that his light shines only to heal and restore, not to judge and dismiss.

So let the light shine on you today! Let Jesus' word pierce your heart and illuminate every corner of your life. Trust that he's not out to get you. He wants to help you. He wants to save you and reunite you to himself. Let him draw you home.

"Lord Jesus, help me not to shrink from your light. I believe you came not to condemn me, but to save me!"


Acts 12:24--13:5; Psalm 67:2-3, 5-6, 8


Someone lay their hands on me a while back, and the Holy Spirit was infused in me.  Was it at confirmation?  The baptism with fire?  I think so.  Was it at the retreats I've grown up in?  Yeah, them too.  And so it is with Jesus.  He put His hands on His apostles and made them bishops, presbyters who were priests, and I ask you too have them lay their hands on you.  They lay their hands on the gifts at the altar, and the Holy Spirit descends and we consume the Holy Spirit.  They lay their hands on us in confession, and the Holy Spirit comes.  I told the confirmation students, "you don't go to confession to just dump your sins!  you go to receive grace!".  And it is sanctifying, it is saving, and it is powerful in the most meek way I can explain.  Because we want to think of power as the world thinks, with force, with armies, with brute strength, but Jesus came with no armies, and even answered, "My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here."  Notice He said "My attendants", He did not say "my warriors" or "soldiers".  Meekness.  Opposite of pride.  This power overcomes the world.
The Psalms pray "May God bless us, and may all the ends of the earth fear him!".  I'm currently at a loss, on how much fear we lack as a nation, or world, a fear of God.  Not even the announcement of the end of the world would wake up the zombies walking this earth today.  And the end is in your lifetime, when your life ends!  So it is indeed near!  REPENT!  "Let all the nations praise you!".
When someone insinuates that I am going to Heaven "Adrian , I just know you're going to Heaven", this is how I crying.  Out of joy?  No.  This is how I respond "what about you?  I don't want to go without you!"  I'm not leaving without you.  Yet, I can't force nobody, but I can P.U.S.H, Pray Until Something Happens.  And trust me, I push, with words, with more prayer than words, and the message is for none other than salvation. 
I'm in need of faith.  Because I feel sometimes I doubt what I say.  Yet much of the time that I speak, I learn of God.  So am I doubting God?  It is the Holy Spirit.  Have faith.  Is your faith being challenged?  Have faith.  Are you in need of peace?  Have faith.  So easy to say right?  I want your faith to grow.  I want you to go ahead and show the way.  Jesus will not condemn us.  His Word has been set.  The evidence of self condemnation reveals itself, many times on earth.  I want you to wake up from sleep mode.  I want the Holy Spirit to be infused into your soul.  I wrote a letter to a couple of men, in hopes they'd join us in RCIA class we started last night, and I'll leave you with it now, as I was inspired by the Spirit, I will not doubt again:
Good Men:

I know a lot of "good men".

And I worry about their soul.


Too many believe in God that are dead,

Too many that won't do what He said.


Too many that say they live the life,

But not Christ, rather, are living the lies.


Can I say I believe and not want to hear?

Or is it that you don't, and live locked in fear.


Because choosing Christ means to choose His life.

It means I will carry a cross, and follow the light.


It means at every moment that I breathe,

It means that at every moment my heart beats,


I will not say NO to the Lord ever again.

I will not give into the sin.


Because to be dead means not to have life

To be dead, is to not have Christ.


To be dead means we chose this instead.

To be dead means not doing what He said.


If someone asks you to come to the Lord, will it be a yes or a no?

Because if your answer rhymes with no, like "I don't know"

Because if you're answer is anything other than a yes,

It means you choose to doubt, and choose to guess.

It means I choose something else, more of death.


They say it takes evil this to succeed:  for good men to do nothing, and it is happening in deed.

I live among so many "good men", good for what?  And what of their seed?


Because God created man to work the land with the seed to grow,

And today, is man working the land? Yes, and the seed?  Do you know?


What you are sowing, will say where you're going

right now, God is working and showing.


This is a call to give up your life, the life you love and try to save

It is call to you my brother, Jesus through me, so what do you say?

The men did not show up.  Will you too turn away?  Because it is Jesus coming to us and inviting us to follow Him in a most intimate way.  Today's 5 minutos ended with the priest's words:  "...To the 'Fox', my dog, it does not care to be in the best of places that I prepare for him.  My dog only cares about being next to me...independent of where we may be.   Heaven never interested us when they told us it was a "place"...Heaven is an intimate participation in the infinite love of God.  And the way to get there is love.  After knowing Jesus, let us not run the risk of being left in dark exteriors...where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Mt.8:12"