Monday, May 18, 2015

I Am Not Alone

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Minute Meditations

Endless Love
Love between people, when given by God, is stronger than death. When you have loved deeply, that love can grow even stronger after the death of the person you love.... You have to trust that every true friendship has no end, that a communion of saints exists among all those, living and dead, who have truly loved God and one another. —Henri J.M. Nouwen
— from Love Never Fails

St. John I
(d. 526)
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Pope John I inherited the Arian heresy, which denied the divinity of Christ. Italy had been ruled for 30 years by an emperor who espoused the heresy, though he treated the empire's Catholics with toleration. His policy changed at about the time the young John was elected pope.

When the eastern emperor began imposing severe measures on the Arians of his area, the western emperor forced John to head a delegation to the East to soften the measures against the heretics. Little is known of the manner or outcome of the negotiations—designed to secure continued toleration of Catholics in the West.

When John returned to Rome, he found that the emperor had begun to suspect his friendship with his eastern rival.

On his way home, John was imprisoned when he reached Ravenna because the emperor suspected a conspiracy against his throne. Shortly after his imprisonment, John died, apparently from the treatment he had received.


We cannot choose the issues for which we have to suffer and perhaps die. John I suffered because of a power-conscious emperor. Jesus suffered because of the suspicions of those who were threatened by his freedom, openness and powerlessness. "If you find that the world hates you, know it has hated me before you" (John 15:18).


"Martyrdom makes disciples like their Master, who willingly accepted death for the salvation of the world, and through it they are made like him by the shedding of blood. Therefore, the Church considers it the highest gift and supreme test of love. And while it is given to few, all however must be prepared to confess Christ before humanity and to follow him along the way of the cross amid the persecutions which the Church never lacks" (Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 42, Austin Flannery translation).

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

Daily Prayer - 2015-05-18


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 you gave me life and the gift of freedom.
Through Your love I exist in this world.
May I never take the gift of life for granted.
May I always respect the right to life of others.


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


Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter

Reading 1 Acts 19:1-8

While Apollos was in Corinth,
Paul traveled through the interior of the country
and down to Ephesus where he found some disciples.
He said to them,
"Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?"
They answered him,
"We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit."
He said, "How were you baptized?"
They replied, "With the baptism of John."
Paul then said, "John baptized with a baptism of repentance,
telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him,
that is, in Jesus."
When they heard this,
they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
And when Paul laid his hands on them,
the Holy Spirit came upon them,
and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
Altogether there were about twelve men.

He entered the synagogue, and for three months debated boldly
with persuasive arguments about the Kingdom of God.

Responsorial Psalm PS 68:2-3ab, 4-5acd, 6-7ab

R. (33a) Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
R. Alleluia.
God arises; his enemies are scattered,
and those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so are they driven;
as wax melts before the fire.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
R. Alleluia.
But the just rejoice and exult before God;
they are glad and rejoice.
Sing to God, chant praise to his name;
whose name is the LORD.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
R. Alleluia.
The father of orphans and the defender of widows
is God in his holy dwelling.
God gives a home to the forsaken;
he leads forth prisoners to prosperity.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Col 3:1

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If then you were raised with Christ,
seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of the God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 16:29-33

The disciples said to Jesus,
"Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech.
Now we realize that you know everything
and that you do not need to have anyone question you.
Because of this we believe that you came from God."
Jesus answered them, "Do you believe now?
Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived
when each of you will be scattered to his own home
and you will leave me alone.
But I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble,
but take courage, I have conquered the world."

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He entered the synagogue and for three months spoke out boldly, and argued persuasively about the kingdom of God.

Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • This week we look for the forgotten Paraclete. To focus on the Paraclete is like focussing on our breathing or our metabolism, so intimate is the Holy Spirit to our existence: not a separate God, but rather that by which we -- and Jesus -- are wrapped into the Godhead.


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.


I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.

Catholic Meditations

Meditation: John 16:29-33

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Saint John I, Pope and Martyr

Do you believe now? (John 16:31)

Toddlers and teenagers seem to "know" everything, don't they? "I know how to swim," declares the three-year-old. "Be careful." "I know, Mom," spouts the new teen driver as she rolls her eyes in exasperation. Almost any explanation offered is cut short with "I know." And so often, you know they don't really know.

That's how Jesus must have felt when the disciples told him, "We believe that you came from God" (John 16:30). He knew they didn't really know—he even warned that they would scatter and abandon him. 

There Jesus was, on the eve of his death, exhorting his disciples to take courage. He was the One about to face gruesome trials, and yet he was peaceful enough to offer comfort to his friends. All because he knew—he really knew—that the Father was with him. The disciples assented to the truth and value of what Jesus had told them, but Jesus' "knowing" went beyond logical assent. It was rooted in a deep, personal, ongoing connection with the Father. Because of that connection, he was able to hold fast when the others couldn't.

That same "knowing" that Jesus had is for you, too. You are created for it! You are fearfully, wonderfully, and exactly made so that you can know, as Jesus did on earth, God's presence in you. Not in theory alone, but in actual practice. You can know it because Jesus died and rose, ascended to the Father, and sent his Holy Spirit to live in your heart. He did all this so that you could live in peace and live courageously every day, knowing that he has overcome death for you.

Take a few minutes right now to tell Jesus that you want these truths to take root inside you. Ask him to make it even more personal to you. And then hold on to that connection as you go about your day. When situations arise that shake your confidence or threaten your peace, turn to the Lord, and ask, "What are you thinking right now? What do you want to tell me here?" Listen for his answer. He may surprise you, but he will always reassure you and comfort you.

"Jesus, take me into a deeper relationship with you. I want to know you better today than yesterday."


Acts 19:1-8; Psalm 68:2-7



Today's 5 minutos said:
  "Jesus would be turned in and wants to give encouragement to His disciples from today, before it happens.  He wants to fortify their faith, that is going to suffer very soon grave oppositions...After winning various archery competitions, the young man and boastful champion challenged a master of Zen that was recognized for his skill in archery.  The young man demonstrated a notable technique when he hit the bull's-eye in the center on the first attempt, and then he split that arrow on the second shot..."There you go" he said to the old man, "Let's see if you can do the same!".  Immutable, the master did not unsheath his bow, but invited the young archer to follow him to the mountain.  Curious about the intentions of the old man, the champion followed him to the top of the mountain until they got to a profound abyss crossing by a shaky trunk.  Standing calmly in the middle of the unstable and certainly dangerous bridge, the old man chose as a target, a distant tree, he took out his bow, and shot clean and direct.  "Now it is your turn" he said while he stood graciously on firm ground.  Contemplating with terror the abysm apparently bottomless, the young man could not make himself get on the trunk, much less make the shot.  "You have much ability with the bow" said the master, "But you have little ability with the mind, the fear dominates you and makes you miss the shot".  Let us ask in our prayer to go out fortified in our faith, able to conquer our fears".
  Today St. Paul baptizes with fire, the Holy Spirit.  The Psalms pray "God arises; his enemies are scattered, and those who hate him flee before him."  And "Sing to God O Kingdoms of the earth".   What kind of power are we talking about here?  Because surely it is not of this earth.  Prayers transcend death, people say they love beyond death, and God does this first.  This power is not what you would expect, because it is subtle and overpowering.  This is my in the Spirit. 
Our Lord says today "TAKE COURAGE, I HAVE CONQUERED THE WORLD".  What else could we fret?  If then we hold true to Him, dying with Him is a walk of faith.  At many moments in my life, I have to wonder, why am I dying to all my likings?  Why have I given up so many things to do what very few do?  I do it so that you will have courage.  I do and say things so that you will have courage my beloved.  And I've done it for years so that you will not see that it is a lie, but the truth that is prevailing in me...the power of the Holy Spirit, relentless as is His Divine Mercy.  Such power that gives into His will.  Ultimately, that is my vision of Heaven, my beloved, that my soul becomes one with other words...I stop being me.
I have an aunt that speaks in tongues in prayer meetings in another state, where I was born.  A year or two ago, a report by fellow parishioners had her ousted, and almost excommunicated, for speaking in tongues, to which the priest said "we're not sure if what you're doing is demonic in nature".  And so without further investigation, she was threatened.  Yet her joy continues to this day.  I told her a few weeks ago "be patient, be obedient".  Just because things don't go our way doesn't mean we have to lose our head.  This is the kind of power i'm talking about.  The kind that only knows humility, obedience, all things opposite of the worldly way.  The world has lost the rosary.  The world has lost the hope.  The world lost its weapon.  The world lost a way to a grace lived life.  I say this, soyou will find the rosary.  I say this so you will find your hope.  I say this so you will pick up your weapon.  I say this so you will find the way to the grace filled life of being Christ to the's on you now