Friday, June 19, 2015

The Light in You

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Minute Meditations

The Narrow Path

Holiness is a steep, jagged, and narrow path. Worldliness is subtle, smooth, and wide. For which do I hope and seek each day?
— from Tweet Inspiration

St. Romuald


After a wasted youth, Romuald saw his father kill a relative in a duel over property. In horror he fled to a monastery near Ravenna in Italy. After three years some of the monks found him to be uncomfortably holy and eased him out.

He spent the next 30 years going about Italy, founding monasteries and hermitages. He longed to give his life to Christ in martyrdom, and got the pope's permission to preach the gospel in Hungary. But he was struck with illness as soon as he arrived, and the illness recurred as often as he tried to proceed.

During another period of his life, he suffered great spiritual dryness. One day as he was praying Psalm 31 ("I will give you understanding and I will instruct you"), he was given an extraordinary light and spirit which never left him.

At the next monastery where he stayed, he was accused of a scandalous crime by a young nobleman he had rebuked for a dissolute life. Amazingly, his fellow monks believed the accusation. He was given a severe penance, forbidden to offer Mass and excommunicated, an unjust sentence he endured in silence for six months.

The most famous of the monasteries he founded was that of the Camaldoli (Campus Maldoli, name of the owner) in Tuscany. Here he founded the Order of the Camaldolese Benedictines, uniting a monastic and hermit life.

His father later became a monk, wavered and was kept faithful by the encouragement of his son.


A Polish duke had a son in the monastery where Romuald was living. On behalf of his father, the son presented Romuald with a fine horse. Romuald exchanged it for a donkey, saying that he felt closer to Jesus Christ on such a mount.


Christ is a gentle leader, but he calls us to total holiness. Now and then men and women are raised up to challenge us by the absoluteness of their dedication, the vigor of their spirit, the depth of their conversion. The fact that we cannot duplicate their lives does not change the call to us to be totally open to God in our own particular circumstances.

Daily Prayer - 2015-06-19


Dear Lord as I come to you today
Fill my heart and my whole being
with the wonder of your presence


"In these days, God taught me
as a schoolteacher teaches a pupil" (Saint Ignatius).
I remind myself that there are things God has to teach me yet,
and ask for the grace to hear them and let them change me.


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


Reading 1 2 Cor 11:18, 21-30

Brothers and sisters:
Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast.
To my shame I say that we were too weak!

But what anyone dares to boast of
(I am speaking in foolishness)
I also dare.
Are they Hebrews? So am I.
Are they children of Israel? So am I.
Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I.
Are they ministers of Christ?
(I am talking like an insane person).
I am still more, with far greater labors,
far more imprisonments, far worse beatings,
and numerous brushes with death.
Five times at the hands of the Jews
I received forty lashes minus one.
Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned,
three times I was shipwrecked,
I passed a night and a day on the deep;
on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers,
dangers from robbers, dangers from my own race,
dangers from Gentiles, dangers in the city,
dangers in the wilderness, dangers at sea,
dangers among false brothers;
in toil and hardship, through many sleepless nights,
through hunger and thirst, through frequent fastings,
through cold and exposure.
And apart from these things, there is the daily pressure upon me
of my anxiety for all the churches.
Who is weak, and I am not weak?
Who is led to sin, and I am not indignant?

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.

Responsorial Psalm PS 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (see 18b) From all their distress God rescues the just.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. From all their distress God rescues the just.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R. From all their distress God rescues the just.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R. From all their distress God rescues the just.

Alleluia Mt 5:3

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are the poor in spirit;
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 6:19-23

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal.
But store up treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

"The lamp of the body is the eye.
If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light;
but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness.
And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be."


Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • The central teaching here is in the sentence: 'For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also'. Putting your heart into something suggests enthusiasm, energy, determination, and a valuing of whatever is occupying you. Jesus distinguishes between treasures (values) that are vulnerable to robbery or decay and treasures (values) that endure whatever happens. Such are the values of the spirit such as the virtues (above all, love) and our appreciation of all that is good, true, beautiful and noble.

Conversation requires talking and listening. As I talk to Jesus may I also learn to be still and listen. I picture the gentleness in his eyes and the smile full of love as he gazes on me. I can be totally honest with Jesus as I tell him of my worries and my cares. I will open up my heart to him as I tell him of my fears and my doubts. I will ask him to help me to place myself fully in his care, to abandon myself to him, knowing that he always wants what is best for 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: 2 Corinthians 11:18, 21-30

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Saint Romuald, Abbot

I too will boast. (2 Corinthians 11:18)

Don't you find it funny that Paul would condemn those who boast, but then turn around and spend a lot of time boasting himself? He goes to such great lengths to tell the Corinthians about his credentials as an apostle and about all the hardships he has endured; it's as if he were some sort of superhero whom they should admire! Later on, he admits that boasting is not "profitable," but then he dives right back in, telling them all about his extraordinary spiritual experiences (2 Corinthians 12:1-4).

Maybe some context will help us figure out what Paul is doing here. It seems that other people, whom Paul labeled as false apostles, had come to Corinth preaching a different form of the gospel than the one he and the other apostles were preaching. These "superapostles" were impressing the Corinthians with their showy preaching, their easier message, and their impressive credentials. So Paul, fearing that the people were being led astray, leapt to his defense—and more important, to the defense of his message.

Paul was always a passionate man, so it shouldn't surprise us that he was so extreme in his argument. He was also being shrewd: he hoped that by speaking so abruptly, he could shock the Corinthians back to their senses. Remember, this is the same man who once wrote that he would do whatever it takes to bring people to Jesus (1 Corinthians 9:22).

Paul's words, not just in today's readings but throughout his writings, show us that sometimes we have to fight for the sake of the gospel. Sometimes we have to show a little passion to help shake people up a bit. And sometimes we need a good shaking up as well!

Of course, our Christian witness should not always be one of confrontation or spiritual boasting. Sometimes we need to be gentle and compassionate. Other times we need to be quiet and meek. God wants us to be flexible, resourceful, and creative as we respond to each situation with his wisdom. So let's go out and tell people about Jesus' love and salvation—even if it means boasting in our weaknesses!

"Lord, I want to share your good news. Teach me how to be as shrewd as a serpent and as gentle as a dove (Matthew 10:16)."


Psalm 34:2-7
Matthew 6:19-23


Today's 5 minutos said:
  "I have rage,
and You tell me to forgive.
  I am afraid,
and You tell me to take a risk.
  I have doubts,
and You tell me I am to believe.
  I am anxious,
and You tell me to be tranquil.
  I feel laziness,
and You tell me to go on.
  I have projects,
and You tell me to accept yours.
  I have properties,
and You tell me to be a beggar.
  I have security,
and You tell me nothing is promised.
  I want to be good,
and You tell me it is not enough.
  I want to give orders,
and You tell me I am to obey.
  I want to be the boss,
and You tell me I have to serve.
  I want clarity,
and You speak to me in parables.
  I want signs, and You go directly to the issue.  I want tranquility, ", and you tell me that you come to bring in-tranquility.  I want violence and You tell me You only know how to give peace.  I prepare to object and You tell me I am to offer the other cheek.  I want peace and You say You come to bring the sword.  I try to cool things and You say You come to bring fire for the earth.  I want to be greater, and You say I am to be the least.  I want to remain anonymous and You tell me that my light should stay on.  Many times I do not understand, but they are Your ways."
 Last night we had a prayer gathering, and prayed for healings.  It is a charismatic gathering.  When the Holy Spirit flows it is out of this world.  We prayed for those that were shot dead at their prayer meeting, bible study.  And the Spirit told me to sit down from the chapel pulpit and let everyone there (less than a handful LOL) speak their testimony.  Each story was different, of How our Lord was working through them, through love and miracles.  This I could see they were truly grateful for.  And it reminds me of St. Paul's hardships, although his were seemingly more extreme, or just enough?   And what do hardships bring?  Well, for sure, with faith, they bring you closer to our Lord in Heaven...and this is Good.
The Psalms pray "from all their distress, God rescues the just", and then the Psalms say "I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall be ever in my mouth. Let my soul glory in the LORD; the lowly will hear me and be glad."  So tell me, what is always on your mouth?  What thoughts are always on your mind?  Because that's where your heart seems to be...
In comes our Lord in the Holy Gospel, "For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be."  And He said "The lamp of the body is the eye."  The lamp?  Weird words right?  What is a lamp?  It is something that gives light.  So your eyes give light?  I remember a young man went to a cursillo and said he had gone because he had seen the light in the eyes of the children of a cursillista and the cursillista he had met.  What light did he see?  Is it a physical light?  LOL, I'm glad it is not physical, or else we would be blinding people by looking at them!  But you know when you see Christ in His eyes, that love of God in the soul.  You know, and if you don't know, well, you're probably just not looking for it.  The preoccupations in our life reflect our preoccupations with Heaven.  What we bind here is bound there.  I want then, if you don't get it, to be preoccupied with things of Heaven, so you bind things for the greater good.  I gave my 2 cents at the prayer gathering when they all spoke, before I began again on my guitar, " you know what I've found out from all this?  All you here are cheaters! LOL".  "You are cheating through life because you have a prayer life, especially those that are visiting the Blessed Sacrament!"  And so, this serves as a lesson for you; never give up on prayer. Those that don't have a prayer, are those that are not in prayer.  This continuous infatuation, this continuous preoccupation, this continuous consolation, this continuous conversation with Our Father.  And watch what you pray for...for it just might come to be.  You want that fancy car or house or job?  Perhaps it'd be the demise of your spiritual life.  You didn't get that fancy house, car, or job?  Perhaps it was for all this time to be brought closer to Him.  Either way, things are designed for the greater good...of our soul. I want you to know, from this moment on, the Spirit of sacrifice has been granted as gift.  And what greater gift than that of the Son of God sacrificed for you to be able to be with Him...Holy