|Genuine Love |
|Where love is genuine, it has got to be shown, not with words, but with the reality and daily acts of our life.... When love is based on gratitude at knowing oneself loved and forgiven, the soul will never be at a loss as to how to express such love, through every word, thought, and deed, but especially through a habitual silence that just wants to admire and adore. —Erasmo Leiva-Merikakas|
St. Isidore the Farmer
Isidore has become the patron of farmers and rural communities. In particular he is the patron of Madrid, Spain, and of the United States National Rural Life Conference.
When he was barely old enough to wield a hoe, Isidore entered the service of John de Vergas, a wealthy landowner from Madrid, and worked faithfully on his estate outside the city for the rest of his life. He married a young woman as simple and upright as himself who also became a saint—Maria de la Cabeza. They had one son, who died as a child.
Isidore had deep religious instincts. He rose early in the morning to go to church and spent many a holiday devoutly visiting the churches of Madrid and surrounding areas. All day long, as he walked behind the plow, he communed with God. His devotion, one might say, became a problem, for his fellow workers sometimes complained that he often showed up late because of lingering in church too long.
He was known for his love of the poor, and there are accounts of Isidore's supplying them miraculously with food. He had a great concern for the proper treatment of animals.
He died May 15, 1130, and was declared a saint in 1622 with Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, Teresa of Avila and Philip Neri. Together, the group is known in Spain as "the five saints."
"God blessed them, saying: 'Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.... See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food; and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground, I give all the green plants for food'" (Genesis 1:28a, 29--30a).
Saint of the DayLives, Lessons and FeastBy Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
Daily Prayer - 2015-05-15
"Be still and know that I am God."
Lord, Your words lead us to the
calmness and greatness of Your Presence.
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
Knowing that God loves me unconditionally, I can afford to be honest about how I am. How has the last day been, and how do I feel now? I share my feelings openly with the Lord.
The Word of God
Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter
One night while Paul was in Corinth, the Lord said to him in a vision,
"Do not be afraid.
Go on speaking, and do not be silent, for I am with you.
No one will attack and harm you,
for I have many people in this city."
He settled there for a year and a half
and taught the word of God among them.
But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia,
the Jews rose up together against Paul
and brought him to the tribunal, saying,
"This man is inducing people to worship God contrary to the law."
When Paul was about to reply, Gallio spoke to the Jews,
"If it were a matter of some crime or malicious fraud,
I should with reason hear the complaint of you Jews;
but since it is a question of arguments over doctrine and titles
and your own law, see to it yourselves.
I do not wish to be a judge of such matters."
And he drove them away from the tribunal.
They all seized Sosthenes, the synagogue official,
and beat him in full view of the tribunal.
But none of this was of concern to Gallio.
Paul remained for quite some time,
and after saying farewell to the brothers he sailed for Syria,
together with Priscilla and Aquila.
At Cenchreae he had shaved his head because he had taken a vow.
R. (8a) God is king of all the earth.
All you peoples, clap your hands,
shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
is the great king over all the earth.
R. God is king of all the earth.
He brings people under us;
nations under our feet.
He chooses for us our inheritance,
the glory of Jacob, whom he loves.
R. God is king of all the earth.
God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
sing praise to our king, sing praise.
R. God is king of all the earth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ had to suffer and to rise from the dead,
and so enter into his glory.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn,
while the world rejoices;
you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.
When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived;
but when she has given birth to a child,
she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy
that a child has been born into the world.
So you also are now in anguish.
But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice,
and no one will take your joy away from you.
On that day you will not question me about anything.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you."
Listen to audio of this reading
Watch a video reflection
Some thoughts on today's scripture
- 'When a woman is in labour she has pain'. Jesus reminds us today of the price that mothers pay for their children: a fruitful line of prayer. There was a time when I was a helpless embryo in my mother's womb, feeding from her through the placenta. For those heavy months, mother was not merely carrying my growing weight, but concerned about how her life and behaviour would affect my health. Then she faced the acute pain, which males can hardly imagine, of bringing me into the world; and she continued to feed me, and stay on 24-hour duty to watch for my breathing and well-being. Let me never take for granted all the price that has been paid for my existence.
Begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture you have just read. What part of it strikes a chord in you? Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story you have heard recently - will slowly rise to the surface of your consciousness. If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to you?
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.
They all seized Sosthenes, the synagogue official, and beat him in full view of the tribunal. (Acts 18:17)
Were the Jews in this story looking for a scapegoat for their troubles? It certainly seems that way. First, they tried to have Paul punished by the Corinthian tribunal for simply preaching a message that seemed to go against their cherished traditions. Once among the most zealous of their brethren, Paul's conversion and subsequent preaching were seriously challenging the status quo, and they couldn't bear to have him around.
But then something unexpected happened. When the tribunal dismissed the case, the people turned on one of their own spiritual leaders, Sosthenes, and began beating him. Presumably, he had done nothing wrong, but that didn't matter. Someone had to suffer their wrath.
Can you see the parallel with our modern world? We are upset, and someone must take the blame—publicly—to satisfy our discontent, even if it isn't that person's fault! Traditionalists blame progressives. Progressives blame traditionalists. Blacks blame whites. Whites blame blacks. Different groups of people, different religions, different countries are at fault—never us!
But this isn't the way Jesus wants us to react. Rather than battling our way through an unstable culture of blame, he urges us to practice mercy. Compassion should trump condemnation, a humble acceptance of our own shortcomings instead of demanding others change to suit us. When something that irks you appears, can you show that Christ lives in you by your Christlike reaction to it?
How can we foster these gentler reactions? Instead of reacting immediately, we can take a moment to turn to Jesus with our frustrations and ask him to take the sting out of them. His eternal perspective can make annoying things seem less important. A quick prayer for the good of those you dislike can give you a glimpse of them as God sees them. Bring them to the Lord with an open heart, and let him smooth the rough places in your heart. Let him touch your heart first; then the annoyances that can be so upsetting will shrink in importance.
"Here I am, Lord. I bring my anger and frustration to you. Change my heart to be more like yours. Lord, teach me compassion."
Psalm 47:2-7; John 16:20-23
The 5 minutos said today recalling the verse of Holy Scripture from the Holy Gospel today "...no one will take your joy away from you.": (allow me to translate it for you):
"It could be that we pass through difficult situations and desperate, but, the interior joy is converted into an internal river that pacifies, comforts and gives harmony to all our life, making us capable to confront and resolve any problem or difficulty, no matter how difficult or grave it may be, it is the joy of the heart...A little 7 yr. old boy went walking into the woods to that side and got lost. The cold and rainy night came, and he would not return. The men went in search of him. They too returned without him. The following day, right in the morning, I prayed a prayer and I went to attempt anew. I went confident in that passage in the Gospel "who asks will receive". The cold and drizzle continued, but I continued firmly, getting my clothes wet by the drizzle at morning break. It seemed that God was guiding me. In a clearing, there in front, I made out a little bulk lying down and huddled up on the ground. It was the boy. Was he alive? Would he be dead? I got close. A huge spider web was extended over him as it were a fabric covering; his little body was dry, without humidity, even though cold. I heard a little whimper: he was alive. I removed that improvised covering, made through the night by that pious spider (or the hand of God). I took him in my arms and returned. The people in town awaited anxiously. A hot bath revived him. This day, he is a strong young man. The Divine Providence had protected him while help arrived. "
Today's 1st Holy Scripture is encouraging, because the Lord says "Do not be afraid. Go on speaking, and do not be silent, for I am with you." Speak in the name of the Truth, Jesus. Silence is only good when meditating on the Lord and when charity must win. But it is not charitable to let your family drift into an oblivion, your family of God. In my life of serving the Lord, I grow very close to brothers that eventually drift away. I have no blood brothers, and so I consider them more than friends...and they drift away in a style of abandonment, and not that I am cutting them off, but that they cut themselves off. I wait for their return as they wander away. This life then becomes the life of Christ in us. I suffer their abandonment. When they leave, I have to do what they were doing...be strong. So then, are they the wondering boy in the woods, or am I left alone in the woods? If I suffer, it must mean Christ suffers, because Christ is in all of us.
The Psalms pray "He chooses for us our inheritance, the glory of Jacob, whom he loves" and "God is King over all the earth". I live subject to the King. Many times with more questions than answers. I'm sure you've gone through the same. And so if we can't understand where we've come from and why, then how can you understand where you are going...and why? In comes faith:
In today's Holy Gospel, our Lord speaks "...your grief will become joy." and "...On that day you will not question me about anything. Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you." And He is giving what is GOOD. So many times we believe what we ask for is good, like "don't let my loved one pass away" or "I really need that job" and so forth. But God works for the greater Good. And so many times the answer is according to our faith and the good. How many times do I say "take my life and what whatever you want to do with it, God" ? Not very many will say this...fewer yet will mean it. That is why I love today's saint. Yesterday I passed by a little bitty church in a little bitty town with only a little store with no gas station, and the church's name was "St. Isidore Catholic Church". I told my uncle (we work together) "hey tomorrow is St. Isidore's day!". We were working, travelling, and most of the time talking about God. This is what St. Isidore did, prayed while working, often getting in trouble, for the "others" said he wasn't doing his job, but the owner saw the fruits of the fields and Isidore's brought greater yields. I can identify with Isidore, with people telling the boss "Adrian spends too much time on church stuff when he could be growing your business (being more fruitful)", and so the world throws lies about fruits, as if you can quantify the fruit of the Spirit. Isidore lost his only son. Our Father lost his only beloved Son from Heaven, but God being greater than anything, brought His suffering Son back to life. That is why we heard today "Your grief will become joy". The whole of the matter then, becomes our soul in faith.
I keep hearing about problems and I want to hear solutions. I think that is my programmed DNA from Jesus. We are positives in a world of negatives and the charge is absolutely explosive and propelling us forever. The cross is positive in a negative world.
I am declaring that you in your life will be joyful if you remain.
I am making a promise from the Father because His Word is true.
Your joy will be complete with Him encompassing our every beating pulse.
I am praying for you that read this, and I appreciate your prayers. Together we are strong.
Be silent no more about sin, confess. Be silent no more about Jesus in your life. Be silent no more for the Father is in search of you and me, and all it takes is a whimper of prayer in its solemnity to find you, pick you up...and return home where we belong in His love and safety...forever