Thursday, May 7, 2015

I Have Told You

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Minute Meditations

Jesus Is Our Torch

God is a protective and loving father, with us always. In fact, at every moment and in every situation, He's reaching out to us to bring us home to His heart. He has given us the greatest book ever, the Bible, to guide us back to a relationship with Him, and He has given us a torch, the Light of the World, His only begotten Son, to light the way.
— from Created to Relate

St. Rose Venerini
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Rose was born at Viterbo in Italy, the daughter of a doctor. Following the death of her fiancé she entered a convent, but soon returned home to care for her newly widowed mother. Meanwhile, Rose invited the women of the neighborhood to recite the rosary in her home, forming a sort of sodality with them.

As she looked to her future, Rose, under the spiritual guidance of a Jesuit priest, became convinced that she was called to become a teacher in the world rather than a contemplative nun in a convent. Clearly, she made the right choice: She was a born teacher, and the free school for girls she opened in 1685 was well received.

Soon the cardinal invited her to oversee the training of teachers and the administration of schools in his Diocese of Montefiascone. As Rose's reputation grew, she was called upon to organize schools in many parts of Italy, including Rome. Her disposition was right for the task as well, for Rose often met considerable opposition but was never deterred.

She died in Rome in 1728, where a number of miracles were attributed to her. She was beatified in 1952 and canonized in 2006. The sodality, or group of women she had invited to prayer, was ultimately given the rank of a religious congregation. Today, the so-called Venerini Sisters can be found in the United States and elsewhere, working among Italian immigrants.


Whatever state of life God calls us to, we bring with us an assortment of experiences, interests and gifts—however small they seem to us. Rose's life stands as a reminder that all we are is meant to be put to service wherever we find ourselves.


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


Daily Prayer - 2015-05-07


At any time of the day or night we can call on Jesus.

He is always waiting, listening for our call.

What a wonderful blessing.

No phone needed, no e-mails, just a whisper.


Lord, you created me to live in freedom.
May your Holy Spirit guide me to follow you freely.
Instil in my heart a desire
To know and love you more each day.


In God's loving presence I unwind the past day,

starting from now and looking back, moment by moment.

I gather in all the goodness and light, in gratitude.

I attend to the shadows and what they say to me,

seeking healing, courage, forgiveness.

The Word of God


Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Reading 1 Acts 15:7-21

After much debate had taken place,
Peter got up and said to the Apostles and the presbyters,
"My brothers, you are well aware that from early days
God made his choice among you that through my mouth
the Gentiles would hear the word of the Gospel and believe.
And God, who knows the heart,
bore witness by granting them the Holy Spirit
just as he did us.
He made no distinction between us and them,
for by faith he purified their hearts.
Why, then, are you now putting God to the test
by placing on the shoulders of the disciples
a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear?
On the contrary, we believe that we are saved
through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they."
The whole assembly fell silent,
and they listened
while Paul and Barnabas described the signs and wonders
God had worked among the Gentiles through them.

After they had fallen silent, James responded,
"My brothers, listen to me.
Symeon has described how God first concerned himself
with acquiring from among the Gentiles a people for his name.
The words of the prophets agree with this, as is written:

After this I shall return
and rebuild the fallen hut of David;
from its ruins I shall rebuild it
and raise it up again,
so that the rest of humanity may seek out the Lord,
even all the Gentiles on whom my name is invoked.
Thus says the Lord who accomplishes these things,
known from of old.

It is my judgment, therefore,
that we ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God,
but tell them by letter to avoid pollution from idols,
unlawful marriage, the meat of strangled animals, and blood.
For Moses, for generations now,
has had those who proclaim him in every town,
as he has been read in the synagogues every sabbath."

Responsorial Psalm PS 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 10

R. (3) Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.
R. Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.
R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.
R. Alleluia.
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.
R. Alleluia.
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.
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 15:9-11

Jesus said to his disciples:
"As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father's commandments
and remain in his love.

"I have told you this so that
my joy might be in you and
your joy might be complete."

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Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • There are times when I seem to understand what this love means. Paul spoke of the love of God which is poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who is given to us. Sometimes we can experience that love going through us, giving us joy in loving others. There is an energy in us which is not of our making. I think of one or two friends who radiate contentment; I think they are abiding in God's love, and feeling joy from it. Lord, maybe you will one day surprise me with this joy.


Remembering that I am still in God's presence,

I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting beside me,

and say whatever is on my mind, whatever is in my heart,

speaking as one friend to another.


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 15:7-21

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5th Week of Easter

We ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God. (Acts 15:19)

If you had been present at this meeting between Peter and the apostles, you might have been worried. This was no minor dispute! Some Jewish believers weren't ready to mix with Gentiles, who didn't share in their traditions. But Peter and James pointed out that God had poured his Spirit on the Gentiles, so they shouldn't place any obstacles before them. Who was going to win this debate?

The same Holy Spirit who started the debate in the first place, that's who! He helped the apostles and elders see that they had all been saved by grace, so there was no need to require the Gentiles to live up to standards that God did not expect. The Spirit also helped them compromise on a few issues that were important both to Jews and Christians. Because they came together with humble, open hearts, the Spirit was free to move in them and help preserve their unity in faith.

The Church has always had to deal with conflicts, but it has always relied on the Holy Spirit to work them out. In just a few months, we will hear from the Synod of Bishops on controversial marriage and family issues. Some imagine that the Church will compromise its doctrines. Others worry that the Church will be completely rigid and refuse to help families in any measurable way. But in the midst of all these concerns, we need to put our trust in the Holy Spirit. We need to trust that he will always guide and show us what the Lord wants. It may not happen overnight, and we may not like everything we will hear. But in the end, we can always trust that "the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail" against the Church (Matthew 16:18)!

Until Jesus comes again, we will all have differing viewpoints on topics. We may even get into arguments with each other. But that's okay, because the Spirit works through our discussions and debates and ultimately brings us all closer to the truth.

Keeping this in mind, let's pray for the Synod of Bishops. Let's ask the Holy Spirit to fill all of our leaders with an ever-deepening desire to discern his voice.

"Holy Spirit, guide our bishops. Help them discern how you want the Church to be your light to the world!"


Psalm 96:1-3, 10; John 15:9-11


Stop picking on one another, "we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus" and this is the sincerity of our Catholic faith.  Works and faith go hand in hand presented to our Father who's grace saves.  And there are 7 ways to obtain grace, and they were the living bible before it was written...the Holy Sacraments.  These dispose us to grace, the gifts of God.  What is Grace?  It is the saving power and life of God.  I would dare say, you will know when you are in a state of grace, it is very apparent, because even sins have no room in this state of being.
The Psalms pray "Say among the nations: The LORD is king. He has made the world firm, not to be moved; he governs the peoples with equity."  His equality would not be fair in your eyes, if your eyes are covered with muck.  Because the Lord gives to the one who asks.  I remember the story of a drug cartel leader's testimony I heard on a CD, that he was finally caught by military forces and was put in a helicopter and he was agonizing the moment, tore up inside pleading to God in prayer swearing to repent and never go back to this way of life.  Somehow he eventually was released, and he never went back and says he savors the pot of beans he shares with his family in their poor little home now.   Slum lords repent too.  I can only hope that the murderers that are taking lives of innocent people realize what this slum lord realized...we are nothing, without God.  The Lord is King, He does as He pleases and I am but a mere instrument of His faith...working to be disposed to His service...His grace.  As if I deserve for Him to look at me?  His glance of love would kill my old self in an instant, the body would die in a flash and go back to what it was...nothing.
Our Lord speaks of remaining in the Holy Gospel "Remain in my love."  The atrocities that happen are one thing, but how or with who they happen are another.  In other words, one can suffer alone, or with God, and there is a huge difference.  If you remain, He can turn the pain to joy.  I read a quote this morning by St. Clement, "The Lord has turned all our sunsets into sunrise".   If yesterday has passed, how can you live in it?  If tomorrow has not yet come, how can you live in it?  The past is for not, and tomorrow is to dream.  Today is "the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24.  Today the Lord sent you a message, an invitation that is a command, "remain in my love".  Remain or go the other way.  There is no in between.  Too many times we try to play it "safe" and not "choose sides".  But we have to remain or not.  Either you are surrendered totally to the Lord...or you are not.  Why should I choose any other love than His?  We laughed last night when a co-worker said in our bible study, when he recalled an older co-worker that never came back to our classes after asking "how can I abandon my wife and family for the Lord?", because he did not understand what the Lord said that day in Matthew 10:37 "Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."  And so it reflects the same question I am now asking you, 'in who's love will you remain'?  Who will be the center and focus of your entire life?  That is your love