Friday, May 29, 2015

What He Says

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Minute Meditations

An Understanding God Minute Meditations
When you go to Jesus, you're not going to a God who only knows heaven; instead, you're placing your hurting heart into pierced hands that understand both the pain of suffering and the glory of redemption.
— from Ask The Bible Geek

St. Madeleine Sophie Barat
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The legacy of Madeleine Sophie Barat can be found in the more than 100 schools operated by her Society of the Sacred Heart, institutions known for the quality of the education made available to the young.

Sophie herself received an extensive education, thanks to her brother, Louis, 11 years older and her godfather at Baptism. Himself a seminarian, he decided that his younger sister would likewise learn Latin, Greek, history, physics and mathematics—always without interruption and with a minimum of companionship. By age 15, she had received a thorough exposure to the Bible, the teachings of the Fathers of the Church and theology. Despite the oppressive regime Louis imposed, young Sophie thrived and developed a genuine love of learning.

Meanwhile, this was the time of the French Revolution and of the suppression of Christian schools. The education of the young, particularly young girls, was in a troubled state. At the same time, Sophie, who had concluded that she was called to the religious life, was persuaded to begin her life as a nun and as a teacher. She founded the Society of the Sacred Heart, which would focus on schools for the poor as well as boarding schools for young women of means; today, co-ed Sacred Heart schools can be found as well as schools exclusively for boys.

In 1826, her Society of the Sacred Heart received formal papal approval. By then she had served as superior at a number of convents. In 1865, she was stricken with paralysis; she died that year on the feast of the Ascension.

Madeleine Sophie Barat was canonized in 1925.


Madeleine Sophie Barat lived in turbulent times. She was only 10 when the Reign of Terror began. In the wake of the French Revolution, rich and poor both suffered before some semblance of normality returned to France. Born to some degree of privilege, she received a good education. It grieved her that the same opportunity was being denied to other young girls, and she devoted herself to educating them, whether poor or well-to-do. We who live in an affluent country can follow her example by helping to ensure to others the blessings we have enjoyed.


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


Daily Prayer - 2015-05-29


God is with me, but more, God is within me.

Let me dwell for a moment on God's life-giving presence

in my body, in my mind, in my heart,

as I sit here, right now.


If God were trying to tell me something, would I know?
If God were reassuring me or challenging me, would I notice?
I ask for the grace to be free of my own preoccupations
and open to what God may be saying to me.


I ask how I am within myself today? Am I particularly tired, stressed, or off-form? If any of these characteristics apply, can I try to let go of the concerns that disturb me?

The Word of God


Friday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Sir 44:1, 9-13

Now will I praise those godly men,
our ancestors, each in his own time.
But of others there is no memory,
for when they ceased, they ceased.
And they are as though they had not lived,
they and their children after them.
Yet these also were godly men
whose virtues have not been forgotten;
Their wealth remains in their families,
their heritage with their descendants;
Through God's covenant with them their family endures,
their posterity, for their sake.

And for all time their progeny will endure,
their glory will never be blotted out.

Responsorial Psalm PS 149:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6a and 9b

R. (see 4a) The Lord takes delight in his people.
R. Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song
of praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in their maker,
let the children of Zion rejoice in their king.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
R. Alleluia.
Let them praise his name in the festive dance,
let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the LORD loves his people,
and he adorns the lowly with victory.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
R. Alleluia.
Let the faithful exult in glory;
let them sing for joy upon their couches;
Let the high praises of God be in their throats.
This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia See Jn 15:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I chose you from the world,
to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 11:11-26

Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple area.
He looked around at everything and, since it was already late,
went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

The next day as they were leaving Bethany he was hungry.
Seeing from a distance a fig tree in leaf,
he went over to see if he could find anything on it.
When he reached it he found nothing but leaves;
it was not the time for figs.
And he said to it in reply, "May no one ever eat of your fruit again!"
And his disciples heard it.

They came to Jerusalem,
and on entering the temple area
he began to drive out those selling and buying there.
He overturned the tables of the money changers
and the seats of those who were selling doves.
He did not permit anyone to carry anything through the temple area.
Then he taught them saying, "Is it not written:

My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples?
But you have made it a den of thieves."

The chief priests and the scribes came to hear of it
and were seeking a way to put him to death,
yet they feared him
because the whole crowd was astonished at his teaching.
When evening came, they went out of the city.

Early in the morning, as they were walking along,
they saw the fig tree withered to its roots.
Peter remembered and said to him, "Rabbi, look!
The fig tree that you cursed has withered."
Jesus said to them in reply, "Have faith in God.
Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain,
'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,'
and does not doubt in his heart
but believes that what he says will happen,
it shall be done for him.
Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer,
believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours.
When you stand to pray,
forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance,
so that your heavenly Father may in turn
forgive you your transgressions."

    Listen to audio of this reading

    Watch a video reflection

Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • What aroused anger in Jesus was that commerce and caste had ousted reverence. The moneychangers and sellers of doves used their privilege and license to extort high prices from poor pilgrims. Men had created barriers and divisions between the courts, to exclude gentiles and women from some areas.
  • Do I always respect what a church should be? A house of prayer, not of commerce; and for all nations, without compartments; a place where all can seek God.


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: Mark 11:11-26

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8th Week in Ordinary Time

My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. (Mark 11:17)

We sometimes read this incident as Jesus' lashing out at greed and commercialism. This line of thinking may prompt us to make minor adjustments in our lives or spending habits. But really, this would be equivalent to these money changers merely lowering their prices or setting up shop just outside the Temple courts.

However, Jesus' action is more symbolic and more sweeping. The people who were buying and selling in the Temple may not have been doing anything wrong—especially since the commodities sold there were directly related to the Temple worship. No, the problem wasn't what they were doing as much as what they weren't doing. They failed to recognize Jesus as God's Messiah, the Holy One who had come to make their worship space sacred in a whole new way.

Jesus' dramatic action certainly intrigued the common people, who came to see what he had to say. It also aroused the anger of those religious leaders who were bent on preserving the status quo and their own position. It drew the attention of both groups to Jesus himself, the answer to their deepest longings.

In the same way, we can become focused on relatively external things in our church—our statues or our sound system, perhaps—and miss what makes each church God's dwelling place: Jesus present in the Eucharist. We debate over where the tabernacle should be placed and how it should be adorned, but we risk forgetting how we should place ourselves in the presence of the Lord who has chosen to dwell among us.

Next time you walk through the doors of your church, make a conscious effort to recognize Jesus. Once you focus on him both in the tabernacle and in the Eucharistic sacrifice, you will find it easier to enter into heartfelt prayer with all his people. You'll hear him in the music, however good or bad you think it is. You'll see him in the stained glass windows. And you'll touch him in the people around you.

Jesus is waiting for you at every Mass. Come and bow down to him.

"Jesus, you are the way to the Father. Let me enter more fully into your presence."


Sirach 44:1, 9-13; Psalm 149:1-6, 9



We heard today in the first Holy Scripture "for all time their progeny will endure, their glory will never be blotted out." and the Psalms pray the life of Christ "The Lord takes delight in His people".  Today's 5 minutos said a priest finally found an opening through a thick forest while riding on horseback and decided to rest.  He saw suddenly some sunburnt mean, in ragged clothes, he approached them and eventually asked if they were Catholic.  They said yes they were baptized and the priest spoke to them about Jesus and the Blessed Mother Mary and about baptism and recommended they confess and receive Holy Communion next time a priest comes by.  He asked them, "how do you pray?" and he said "every day when I get up, I say "here I am Lord, your charcoal maker has awakened.  I love you very much and I'd like to take you alive in my heart." and then I go to work.  During the day I repeat that I love Him and I don't want to lose Him.  I don't know to say anything else, it is to hope in God, not in of ourselves, or our works:  faith is free and that is why it is expressed in prayer.  Faith is to hope in God that what He wants to give to us; we should not strive to want ourselves to be the measure of the project of God." 
In today's Holy Gospel, our Lord approaches the fig tree, fruitless at the coming of the Lord.  We should not be found fruitless.  Your marriage should produce children, unless naturally barren, but we should not be making ourselves infertile, and our marriages should not just produce children, but children of God, godly.  Sometimes in the liturgy of the hours, the night time prayer says that we are to tell our children to love God with all their heart, mind, all their soul.  One thing I don't know if I've mentioned here, is that I want the absolute best for my children, my deepest desire is for their happiness, but not as the world offers, but the faith.  My biggest failure as a father is feeling the next day "I didn't pray with my children".  As I hold one child at times I wonder what they will grow up to be, and truly, I don't care, so long as they love God with all their heart, mind, and soul.  And so, as the Psalms say "the high praise of God is in our throat", the glory of His faithful.  Jesus loves His faithful children.  He truly does, and the faithful know it.  I say all of this, so that you will bear fruit, fruit of the Spirit, Jesus, the vine of which we are the branches.  God's children are waiting.  Some waiting to be baptized.  Some waiting for you to talk to them about Jesus.  Some are waiting just for a smile, or a hug (for starters).  And how can we do this?  Tap into the Grace of God!  This gives strength, because it is going to take alot to first.  Let me give you a silly example:  So I've been helping the choir with my poor guitar skills lately right?  Every week is an absolute challenge.  This is an easy week compared to last.  Last week, there must've been 20-25 songs we had to do, many of which I am not familiar with.  This week, just 4 songs I have to learn.  Sometimes, at first, I hear a song to learn and I'm like "what the? How am I going to learn that??!"  Some have strange notes and guitar chords I don't even know.  So what do I do?  I apply myself.   You just have to step out onto the water.  The Lord helps you, and wants you to have courage.  Yeah, I goof up...alot!  On daily emails, on daily dealings with people, and playing the guitar in front of hundreds, totally botching up the songs.  What do I do? Give up in embarrasment?  Blame everyone else and live mad?  No.  You just keep going, perfecting little by little.  I want you to be brave, a super child of God.  I want you to do what I do but so much more, and better.  And please, listen to what I've learned...don't complain, especially about doing the Lord's work.  It is an absolute priveledge to work for God.  If you are involved in a ministry, helping the Church in any way, love it...and love God. 
  I put myself in His hands so that He may go through me and bear fruit.  If God decides to accept my goofy self into Heaven, that is His choice, all I know is that . .  .