Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Let Your Hearts

Untitled document

Minute Meditations

Changing the World
You, you're the one! You're the one who does something nice for one person, and they turn around and do something nice for someone else. You're the one who changes the world!
— from Created to Relate

St. Hilary of Arles
Listen to Audio

It's been said that youth is wasted on the young. In some ways, that was true for today's saint.

Born in France in the early fifth century, Hilary came from an aristocratic family. In the course of his education he encountered his relative, Honoratus, who encouraged the young man to join him in the monastic life. Hilary did so. He continued to follow in the footsteps of Honoratus as bishop. Hilary was only 29 when he was chosen bishop of Arles.

The new, youthful bishop undertook the role with confidence. He did manual labor to earn money for the poor. He sold sacred vessels to ransom captives. He became a magnificent orator. He traveled everywhere on foot, always wearing simple clothing.

That was the bright side. Hilary encountered difficulty in his relationships with other bishops over whom he had some jurisdiction. He unilaterally deposed one bishop. He selected another bishop to replace one who was very ill--but, to complicate matters, did not die! Pope St. Leo the Great kept Hilary a bishop but stripped him of some of his powers.

Hilary died at 49. He was a man of talent and piety who, in due time, had learned how to be a bishop.

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



Daily Prayer - 2015-05-05


I pause for a moment and think of the love and the grace that God showers on me, creating me in his image and likeness, making me his temple....


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.


In the presence of my loving Creator, I look honestly at my feelings over the last day, the highs, the lows and the level ground.
Can I see where the Lord has been present?

The Word of God


Tuesday of Fifth Week of Easter

Reading 1 Acts 14:19-28

In those days, some Jews from Antioch and Iconium
arrived and won over the crowds.
They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city,
supposing that he was dead.
But when the disciples gathered around him,
he got up and entered the city.
On the following day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.

After they had proclaimed the good news to that city
and made a considerable number of disciples,
they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch.
They strengthened the spirits of the disciples
and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying,
"It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships
to enter the Kingdom of God."
They appointed presbyters for them in each Church and,
with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord
in whom they had put their faith.
Then they traveled through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia.
After proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia.
From there they sailed to Antioch,
where they had been commended to the grace of God
for the work they had now accomplished.
And when they arrived, they called the Church together
and reported what God had done with them
and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.
Then they spent no little time with the disciples.

Responsorial Psalm PS 145:10-11, 12-13ab, 21

R. (see 12) Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
R. Alleluia.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
R. Alleluia.
Making known to men your might
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is a kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
R. Alleluia.
May my mouth speak the praise of the LORD,
and may all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia See Lk 24:46, 26

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ had to suffer and to rise from the dead,
and so enter into his glory.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 14:27-31a

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
You heard me tell you,
'I am going away and I will come back to you.'
If you loved me,
you would rejoice that I am going to the Father;
for the Father is greater than I.
And now I have told you this before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe.
I will no longer speak much with you,
for the ruler of the world is coming.
He has no power over me,
but the world must know that I love the Father
and that I do just as the Father has commanded me."

    Listen to audio of this reading

    Watch a video reflection

quick thoughts on today's scripture

  • The peace that Jesus gives is available to me; I have to do nothing to receive it. But maybe that's the problem -- I want to do something to earn what Jesus offers as a free gift. Lord, help me to do nothing in this time of prayer but to be ready to receive what you offer.


I begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture I have just read.What part of it strikes a chord in me?Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story I have heard recently- will slowly rise to the surface in my consciousness. If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to me?


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 14:27-31

View NAB Reading at


5th Week of Easter

My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. (John 14:27)

In the late nineteenth century, French artists experimented with a new technique in painting called pointillism. They used small dots of color to create pictures. Up close, dots are all you can see. But step back, and the picture becomes clear! Sometimes, our lives can be like that. Daily joys and problems, ups and downs, can loom large before our eyes. We get distracted by the chaotic or colorful or tragic moments. We lose our peace or get swept up into an unwarranted sense of excitement. We forget to step back and see the big picture.

The peace that Jesus promises us in today's Gospel reading is not something we conjure up on our own. It doesn't come from manipulating our circumstances so that nothing ruffles our feathers. It's far more solid and reliable than that.

Look at Paul and Barnabas: they certainly had ups and downs! They were threatened with being stoned while in Iconium, so they moved to Lystra, where the people hailed them as gods. But these same people were easily swayed and attacked Paul, leaving him for dead. Then, escaping Lystra, Paul and Barnabas ended up making a "considerable number" of disciples elsewhere.

According to the world, these men should have felt anxious, not peaceful. But they didn't. Writing years later, Paul said, "I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance... . I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me" (Philippians 4:12, 13).

Will we face ups and downs? Fickle responses from people? Happiness interspersed with hardship? Yes. But we can still find peace in Christ.

How? By stepping back and looking at the big picture. Lean into the arms of the divine Artist who is painting the masterpiece of your life. The chaos and beauty will become clearer, and God's vision will make more sense as you look beyond your changing circumstances and remember his love and provision. So today and every day, take a deep breath, and ask the Lord for his gift of peace.

"Jesus, you are my Prince of Peace!"


Acts 14:19-28; Psalm 145:10-13, 21


Something told me I was going in for a beating at this retreat we went to this weekend.  Even driving back was stressful, getting stuck in a flooded town, trying to get around stopped traffic, going through little alleys, I finally wound up getting my 4 wheel drive stuck in the mud in about 2 feet of water cold with hail that was all around.  In the cold water we go.  Analyzing the situation, the owner of the little trailer park I wound up at started scolding me from his little porch, using bad words to bring misery upon my miserable situation.  They had taught us this weekend, that Christ is in everybody.  I approached the man slowly trodding through the cold mud apologizing, hoping he wouldn't get more mad for coming closer to him.  The closer I got, the more we could talk, and he even let me borrow a shovel that I asked for to "dig myself out of a hole".  A farm tractor didn't see us as he went to help others.  The fire department didn't see me and my cousin as I prayed and shoveled away.  The doubts pour into the gloom "how can this happen after living a retreat for the Lord?".  I pray for a savior.  I called friends/coworkers from home, I was almost home from the 500 mile journey, only 50 miles away.  It was the representation of the hard things we endure, tests of faith, because the storm embodied what I had endured the previous 4 days.  This is my first day back.
And so we reflect on the time they stoned St. Paul and left him for dead in the first Holy Scripture.  The same people perhaps that had hailed him as "Zeus" earlier, made them gods, now made them trash, the worst of the worst.  True tests of faith, because put yourself in his comes the stones, at your face, your body, and they turn their back and leave you for dead, kicking you out of the their circle, the circle you had tried to invade to save for Jesus Christ our Lord.  How perplexing are God's ways?  And how can you trust in the cold darkness?  I know I had to trust as I kept digging and praying, and swaying my big heavy truck in the mud, back and forth.  But the savior came finally.  The fire department came and pulled me out, unlike the first rescuer that got stuck attempting pull me out with his little truck and he got stuck.  Sometimes there are little helpers, but sometimes we need more.  The moral of the story is...PERSEVER!
The Psalms pray "Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD, and let your faithful ones bless you."  Faithful!? Huh!?  Are you going to be faithful?  To what?  Doubt and darkness? That stuff of death?  Or stuff of true love of God?  "Your friends make known, O Lord, the Glorious splendor of your Kingdom".  The "School of the Cross" was the name of the retreat, a cursillo style retreat, with at attitude to knock down any "macho" out there.  Guess our Lord was teaching me a lesson.  Stop being macho, and start being Christ.  But How was I macho before?  "Soberbia" became revealed, pride and arrogance in my life, and mine was that of the so called faith I supposed to proclaim.  True tests of faith, supposing I was the strongest of all in that group, I was the only one that was asking to leave after the first 24 hours.  As if the message came "Wimp.  Come off your high horse and handle your cross!!!!"
The Holy Gospel brings our Lord to our life..."Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard me tell you, 'I am going away and I will come back to you.'"  As if to say "wait here, trust me" and we start crying in fear in the doom and gloom the world throws at us with its ruler.  So what kind of peace is this?  He says "not as the world gives it to you".  You see, in the world peace is offered in trade for something.  Many times, in trade for your soul.  The Lord in contrast, offers peace in trade for nothing, because we are nothing, He is all glorious even without us.  My personal emails come with a signature line when I respond to people that says:
 "A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." 
C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
And so His peace is out of this world.  The kind of peace that brings St. Paul back to preaching after being stoned almost to death.  The same with me and you, the peace is there for us for the taking in trade for nothing.  To get back up and preach again. Because this is the difference between a saint and a sinner...the saint always gets back up.   Jesus is the peace.  His life was not of this world.  He did not save the way we want to save.  He didn't beat anybody down or kill anybody.  He wouldn't hurt a fly, because He loves His creation.  You see, Jesus loves in a way we can only try to imagine.  More than a friend, more than a brother, even more than a mother for things to culminate to His will, to that of which we must conform.  If there is one thing I realized, it is that faith was there, busted loose of its arrogance, so that ultimately, a peace unknown could possess it, and in the end of the darkness, Jesus opened a new world of faith, staunch and stronger even?  If the Lord allows the gift of the cross, it is because He allows us to grow closer to His bosom...