Monday, July 6, 2015

News Of This

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Minute Meditations

Intercession of Saints

Lord, may the medals we wear be constant reminders of the lives they depict. While wearing them, may we be blessed through the saints' intercession and protected from harm. Help us to continue to spread the messages of Jesus and Mary and the saints and angels.
— from Amazing Graces

St. Maria Goretti
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One of the largest crowds ever assembled for a canonization—250,000—symbolized the reaction of millions touched by the simple story of Maria Goretti.

She was the daughter of a poor Italian tenant farmer, had no chance to go to school, never learned to read or write. When she made her First Communion not long before her death at age 12, she was one of the larger and somewhat backward members of the class.

On a hot afternoon in July, Maria was sitting at the top of the stairs of her house, mending a shirt. She was not quite 12 years old, but physically mature. A cart stopped outside, and a neighbor, Alessandro, 18 years old, ran up the stairs. He seized her and pulled her into a bedroom. She struggled and tried to call for help. "No, God does not wish it," she cried out. "It is a sin. You would go to hell for it." Alessandro began striking at her blindly with a long dagger.

She was taken to a hospital. Her last hours were marked by the usual simple compassion of the good—concern about where her mother would sleep, forgiveness of her murderer (she had been in fear of him, but did not say anything lest she cause trouble to his family) and her devout welcoming of Viaticum, her last Holy Communion. She died about 24 hours after the attack.

Her murderer was sentenced to 30 years in prison. For a long time he was unrepentant and surly. One night he had a dream or vision of Maria, gathering flowers and offering them to him. His life changed. When he was released after 27 years, his first act was to go to beg the forgiveness of Maria's mother.

Devotion to the young martyr grew, miracles were worked, and in less than half a century she was canonized. At her beatification in 1947, her mother (then 82), two sisters and a brother appeared with Pope Pius XII on the balcony of St. Peter's. Three years later, at her canonization, a 66-year-old Alessandro Serenelli knelt among the quarter-million people and cried tears of joy.


Maria may have had trouble with catechism, but she had no trouble with faith. God's will was holiness, decency, respect for one's body, absolute obedience, total trust. In a complex world, her faith was simple: It is a privilege to be loved by God, and to love him—at any cost.


"Even if she had not been a martyr, she would still have been a saint, so holy was her everyday life" (Cardinal Salotti).

Patron Saint of:

Catholic youth


Daily Prayer - 2015-07-06


As I sit here, the beating of my heart,

the ebb and flow of my breathing, the movements of my mind

are all signs of God's ongoing creation of me.

I pause for a moment, and become aware

of this presence of God within me. 


Everything has the potential to draw forth from me a fuller love and life.

Yet my desires are often fixed, caught, on illusions of fulfillment.

I ask that God, through my freedom

may orchestrate

my desires in a vibrant loving melody rich in harmony.


Knowing that God loves me unconditionally, I look honestly over the last day, its events and my feelings. 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 Gn 28:10-22a

Jacob departed from Beer-sheba and proceeded toward Haran.
When he came upon a certain shrine, as the sun had already set,
he stopped there for the night.
Taking one of the stones at the shrine, he put it under his head
and lay down to sleep at that spot.
Then he had a dream: a stairway rested on the ground,
with its top reaching to the heavens;
and God's messengers were going up and down on it.
And there was the LORD standing beside him and saying:
"I, the LORD, am the God of your forefather Abraham
and the God of Isaac;
the land on which you are lying
I will give to you and your descendants.
These shall be as plentiful as the dust of the earth,
and through them you shall spread out east and west, north and south.
In you and your descendants
all the nations of the earth shall find blessing.
Know that I am with you;
I will protect you wherever you go,
and bring you back to this land.
I will never leave you until I have done what I promised you."

When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he exclaimed,
"Truly, the LORD is in this spot, although I did not know it!"
In solemn wonder he cried out: "How awesome is this shrine!
This is nothing else but an abode of God,
and that is the gateway to heaven!"
Early the next morning Jacob took the stone
that he had put under his head,
set it up as a memorial stone, and poured oil on top of it.
He called the site Bethel,
whereas the former name of the town had been Luz.

Jacob then made this vow: "If God remains with me,
to protect me on this journey I am making
and to give me enough bread to eat and clothing to wear,
and I come back safe to my father's house, the LORD shall be my God.
This stone that I have set up as a memorial stone shall be God's abode."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 91:1-2, 3-4, 14-15ab

R. (see 2b) In you, my God, I place my trust.
You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
Say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."
R. In you, my God, I place my trust.
For he will rescue you from the snare of the fowler,
from the destroying pestilence.
With his pinions he will cover you,
and under his wings you shall take refuge.
R. In you, my God, I place my trust.
Because he clings to me, I will deliver him;
I will set him on high because he acknowledges my name.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in distress.
R. In you, my God, I place my trust.

Alleluia See 2 Tm 1:10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death
and brought life to light through the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 9:18-26

While Jesus was speaking, an official came forward,
knelt down before him, and said,
"My daughter has just died.
But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live."
Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples.
A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him
and touched the tassel on his cloak.
She said to herself, "If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured."
Jesus turned around and saw her, and said,
"Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you."
And from that hour the woman was cured.

When Jesus arrived at the official's house
and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion,
he said, "Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping."
And they ridiculed him.
When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand,
and the little girl arose.
And news of this spread throughout all that land.

Some thoughts on today's scripture
  • Jesus heals the woman with the haemorrhages because her action in reaching out and touching the hem of his garment was the supreme act of faith in his eyes.
  • There is no limit to the healing and renewal which Jesus can accomplish in my life. Do I have the same faith as the woman with the haemorrhages when approaching him? Do I believe that he can heal me?


Jesus, you always welcomed little children when you walked on this earth. Teach me to have a childlike trust in you. To live in the knowledge that you will never abandon me.


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: Matthew 9:18-26

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Saint Maria Goretti, Virgin and Martyr (Optional Memorial)

Jacob took the stone and poured oil on top of it. (Genesis 28:18)

Many figures of the Old Testament were holy men and women, sturdy examples of integrity. But many others were, at times, dishonest cheats and thieves who relied heavily on God's mercy to pull through in the end. That's one way to describe Jacob. He plotted and lied in order to receive a blessing from his father, Isaac. The blessing he tricked Isaac into giving him was hard-won, and once it had been given, it could not be taken back. But if a blessing was such a valuable thing, why on earth do we read about him blessing a stone?

Isn't it so in keeping with the kingdom of God that the greatest gifts get lavished on the most ordinary things? Think about it: what's the most mundane object you can imagine? Can you think of anything more ordinary than a rock? Now compare that with oil. In recent years, wars have been fought, and entire national economies have hung in the balance over this precious substance. It was no less important in ancient times. Not only was it expensive, but it had political and spiritual significance; oil was used to ordain priests and crown kings. Even the highest name of all, "Christ," means "anointed." That's how important oil was. And Jacob poured it out on a stone!

For all its lowliness, stone has a special place in our churches. Where it is available, it is incorporated in the construction of an altar—as a way of linking the altar to the tradition of a "memorial stone" that today's first reading represents

(Genesis 28:22). Just like the stone that Jacob rested on and then consecrated with oil, in Mass, the altar is revealed to be a "gateway to heaven," an earthly place where God makes his presence known (28:17).

So the next time you're in a church, remember that the altar helps mark out this place as "an abode of God" (Genesis 28:17). It's not your fervent prayer that sanctifies the church; it's the anointing of God's own presence. He is just as fully present whether you're praying fervently or fast asleep like Jacob! And remember: more likely than not, at the center of it all is something as simple as a stone.

"Lord, thank you for revealing yourself to humble people in humble ways."


Genesis 28:10-22
Psalm 91:1-4, 14-15


Sometimes I sing a song that says in spanish that angels are ascending and descending on the altar bringing and taking blessings, and on the altar of the Holy Mass is Jesus, breaking bread, sharing His body, blood, soul and divinity.  And so we have where the song came from in today, Jacob has a dream and our Lord speaks to Him there.  And there is something very significant.  I am not using apostrophes or quotation marks because my computer has gone haywire, but stay with me.  He went to Haran, and slept at Luz, which he called it Bethel after his vision.  This is significant too.  Luz means light, and Bethel. leads to Bethlehem meaning house of bread.  Father Dwight said There is something solid here. Through the sacraments we have connecting points with the vast ocean of the spiritual  realm. Through the ordinary rites of the church we have bridges into the unknown, and little portals to the other world.. Here the ladder of Jacob stretches from earth to heaven. Here angels ascend and descend. Here is Bethel--the doorstep--the threshold of heaven at Bethlehem--which means House of Bread.
The Psalms pray In You My God I Place My Trust.  And then say You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High.  Bethel means house of God.  We are the dwelling place of God.  St. Maria Goretti knew it.  Just a 12 year old girl attacked by a possessed young man, and she was yelling during the attempted rape It IS A SIN!  You will go to hell for it!   She prayed for the killer, and her loved ones and dies.  We can all be like that.  Saints, victims.  But we do no like to be the victim unless it is for convenience.  I say this so you re evaluate your position on the sacrifice.  Someone has to give to the Lord.  Jacob finally did, and so can we.
Jesus comes in the Holy Gospel, on his way to raise a girl from the dead, and a lady bleeding and suffering at the hands of many doctors and advise from so many people, she was spent financially and physically and almost spiritually, but she had hope, she had faith.  How many times have you reached out in faith to Jesus our Lord.  Many times what we hate is an interior picture.  Notice of the hundreds pressing on Jesus though...She is the only one that really TOUCHES HIM.  And He goes on to bring light to darkness, life to death, because He is from Bethlehem, the doorstep of Bethel, the House of God.  When He goes inside the house of the people that called him to raise her from the dead, He throws out all the commotion.  Is that not how we are, getting full of commotion in our lives, full of feelings, desperation, anxiety, stress, and Jesus throws them all out, all the faithless, all those laughing at Him for saying the little girl was just sleeping.  Jesus throws all that out.  I want you to invite Jesus.  I told everyone at the funeral vigil I was leading last night after a lady had said how hard it would be for the family that lost their mother, I said it is hard but it is easier with Jesus.  Suffer for Him and offer to Him.  Sacrifice.  His yoke will make your end lighter, and rightly so, for He is the light.  The point of death then, becomes a place of intersection.  Where we will go has already been chosen by the life we live, and yours is the choice for reading this today.  People do not want to be saints, not even a Jesus freak.

I leave you with a quote from a saint, St. Theodore Guerin¨
Let us never forget, that if we wish to die like saints, we must live like saints.

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