Monday, July 13, 2015

To Bring Peace

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Minute Meditations

Centering Prayer

Quiet reminds us that not all knowledge can be packaged into words, sentences, and speeches. Certainly, centering needs to be anchored in a spiritual life that includes many different types of prayer, but centering prayer is a uniquely deeper dive into our relationship with Jesus.
— from St. Anthony Messenger

St. Henry
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As German king and Holy Roman Emperor, Henry was a practical man of affairs. He was energetic in consolidating his rule. He crushed rebellions and feuds. On all sides he had to deal with drawn-out disputes so as to protect his frontiers. This involved him in a number of battles, especially in the south in Italy; he also helped Pope Benedict VIII quell disturbances in Rome. Always his ultimate purpose was to establish a stable peace in Europe.

According to eleventh-century custom, Henry took advantage of his position and appointed as bishops men loyal to him. In his case, however, he avoided the pitfalls of this practice and actually fostered the reform of ecclesiastical and monastic life. He was canonized in 1146.


All in all, this saint was a man of his times. From our standpoint, he may have been too quick to do battle and too ready to use power to accomplish reforms. But, granted such limitations, he shows that holiness is possible in a busy secular life. It is in doing our job that we become saints.


"We deem it opportune to remind our children of their duty to take an active part in public life and to contribute toward the attainment of the common good of the entire human family as well as to that of their own political community. They should endeavor, therefore, in the light of their Christian faith and led by love, to insure that the various institutions—whether economic, social, cultural or political in purpose—should be such as not to create obstacles, but rather to facilitate or render less arduous man's perfecting of himself in both the natural order and the supernatural.... Every believer in this world of ours must be a spark of light, a center of love, a vivifying leaven amidst his fellow men. And he will be this all the more perfectly, the more closely he lives in communion with God in the intimacy of his own soul" (Saint Pope John XXIII, Peace on Earth, 146, 164).

Daily Prayer - 2015-07-13


"Be still and know that I am God" Lord, may your spirit guide me to seek Your Loving presence more and more. For it is there I find rest and refreshment from
this busy world.


Lord, grant me the grace to be free from the excesses of this life.
Let me not get caught up with the desire for wealth.
Keep my heart and mind free to love and serve you.


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 Ex 1:8-14, 22

A new king, who knew nothing of Joseph, came to power in Egypt.
He said to his subjects, "Look how numerous and powerful
the people of the children of Israel are growing, more so than we ourselves!
Come, let us deal shrewdly with them to stop their increase;
otherwise, in time of war they too may join our enemies
to fight against us, and so leave our country."

Accordingly, taskmasters were set over the children of Israel
to oppress them with forced labor.
Thus they had to build for Pharaoh
the supply cities of Pithom and Raamses.
Yet the more they were oppressed,
the more they multiplied and spread.
The Egyptians, then, dreaded the children of Israel
and reduced them to cruel slavery,
making life bitter for them with hard work in mortar and brick
and all kinds of field work—the whole cruel fate of slaves.

Pharaoh then commanded all his subjects,
"Throw into the river every boy that is born to the Hebrews,
but you may let all the girls live."

Responsorial Psalm PS 124:1b-3, 4-6, 7-8

R. (8a) Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Had not the LORD been with us--
let Israel say, had not the LORD been with us--
When men rose up against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive,
When their fury was inflamed against us.
R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Then would the waters have overwhelmed us;
The torrent would have swept over us;
over us then would have swept
the raging waters.
Blessed be the LORD, who did not leave us
a prey to their teeth.
R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
We were rescued like a bird
from the fowlers' snare;
Broken was the snare,
and we were freed.
Our help is in the name of the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.

Alleluia Mt 5:10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 10:34—11:1

Jesus said to his Apostles:
"Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth.
I have come to bring not peace but the sword.
For I have come to set
a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
and one's enemies will be those of his household.

"Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,
and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
and whoever does not take up his cross
and follow after me is not worthy of me.
Whoever finds his life will lose it,
and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

"Whoever receives you receives me,
and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet
will receive a prophet's reward,
and whoever receives a righteous man
because he is righteous
will receive a righteous man's reward.
And whoever gives only a cup of cold water
to one of these little ones to drink
because he is a disciple--
amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward."

When Jesus finished giving these commands to his Twelve disciples,
he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their towns.


Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • Jesus is speaking about the cost of discipleship and puts before the twelve the challenge of taking up the Cross as a condition of following him. The litany of references to welcoming suggests that it is often through the small things we do -- such as giving a cup of water to somebody in need of it, that we can build the kingdom of God.
  • Perhaps I sometimes consider the cross as something that weighs me down or as an symbol for the difficulties of modern day life which I can experience. Lord, help me to remember that you carry the cross with me during all of my struggles.
  • Lord, I pray for the grace to go forward in faith with you by recognising your face in the poor, the suffering, the needy and reaching out to them with the same unconditional love that you love me.


Jesus you speak to me through the words of the gospels.
May I respond to your call today.
Teach me to recognise your hand at work in my daily living.


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: Psalm 124:1-8

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Saint Henry (Optional Memorial)

Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:8)

My help is in the name of the Lord. Yes, God, I need you today! I know that if you aren't with me, I will be swallowed alive by jealousy or anxiety or something else that will weaken, or weary, or immobilize me. Pessimism or resentment or anxiety or arrogance will rush over me. But blessed are you, Lord, for you will not abandon me to these predators.

Father, it's not only wolfish sin that threatens me. Without your help, the slow, steady drip-drip-drip of minor mishaps, petty annoyances, and nagging doubts will surely wear away the faith I started out with. Slow traffic. Red lights. Questions asked for the hundredth—or millionth—time. Tantrums. Dirty dishes left in the sink, again! Self-condemnation. White lies and subtle compromises. Boredom. Little things that so capture my attention and irritate my soul that by nighttime, I am tied up in them, heart and mind.

You are my help, Lord, all day long, as you break those snares and free me! Your name is a strong tower in which I find shelter from the sin and wavering doubt that seem to be all around me. In your name, I can call a halt to the slow erosion of my faith. You fill my heart with your life—with joy, comfort, and a sense of security. You heal me. You shower my sin and failures with mercy, and you strengthen my frailty and vulnerability with grace. You inspire me to turn from sin, and draw me to yourself.

Father, who or what could possibly be stronger than you? Nothing in all of creation! Not the rulers of this world nor the powers of hell, not even death itself. When I turn to you for help, when I call on your name, I place myself in the refuge you have carved out for all those who are humble and lowly. You who made heaven and earth are wiser and stronger than any created thing. You give me the strength to live for you, and help me to tell people all about your goodness and your salvation.

"Yes, indeed, my help is in the name of the Lord, 'who made heaven and earth' (Psalm 124:8)!"


Exodus 1:8-14, 22
Matthew 10:34--11:1


The 5 minutos ends today with:
  "Whoever loses his life for me, will find it". Mt.10:38  Nothing will be left without recompense that you have "lost", that is to say, offered generously, in benefit to his brethren.   This way for example, how much need for patience, comprehension, forgiveness, sincere love between members of family; to put into practice these virtues  implies a real war, to defeat my pride, my offering of time, give new opportunity...but you'll obtain the LIFE!  Are you ready to give war? "
  Of course being a God lover brings a sword.  Just look at today's 1st Holy Scripture.  The Pharoah king brought it on, ordering infanticide, very close to where we have been leading  to with abortions.  And those with the sword blame the God followers.  The people were growing too strong and so the government had to look for ways to shut them down.  The story is no different today.  The people of God have been growing strong in the truth, and they  (the government) are looking for ways to shut them down.  Now, am I talking about democracy in shambles?  NOPE.  I'm talking about how evil works.  From your level in life to world encompassing levels in life, and I'm talking about the spirit.  You see, for the last 40 years, a whole generation has been slaughtered through abortions, but how did it come?  Overnight?  Not necessarily.  The sword was introduced little by little.  A little contraceptive there, another one here, until being the way of life that brings on the sword.  The same has been happening with marriage.  Pretty soon and along with contraception, the erosion of marriage is introduced, because life itself has been devalued.  The opinion of Holy Matrimony is so eroded that it is now being turned into whatever people want it to be....anything but what it was designed to be.  And so your "opinion" somehow matters.  Because if you speak your mind now for truth, a sword comes your way, a stab in the back many times.  And all you have to be is faithful. 
LOL, so what kind of hope brings the sword?  Let us read the Psalm first:  "Our help is in the name of the Lord".  Need help?  Then ask for it.  If we are wicked and still offer something good, then all the more will the Good God offer His own children of the light.  Consider how critical this is in our day in age, to give when others do not, to lead when others do not, to sacrifice when others do not.  How can I become a feeder of a seemingly bottomless pit?  EXACTLY, ask Jesus!
In comes the Lord our God in the Holy Gospel. 
 "Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me" wait, aren't we supposed to love our parents and obey them?  YES!  But God first.  Such has been the case of many a saints where the parents try to drag them away from God but the saints hold on to the altar with all their lives until the parents let them be with the Father.  Love God above all.
"and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me" I have seen many tattoos with their children's birthdays on them, their footprints, their faces, and I have seen many worship their families and not God.  Instead of eating with the Lord on Sunday mornings, they go feed themselves at restaurants.  Do you think ignoring God will bring you salvation?  For you?  And your family?  Suddenly, things should be getting more into perspective.  Love God above all.
"and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me."  Way too often, people dump their cross.  When church becomes a "burden" and "when I can no longer enjoy it" then "I am  going to give up".  Just say it like it is "I am not taking up my cross".  What is your cross?  It is the WAY.  It is the LIFE.  It is the truth, the way of life, being a Christ follower...and not just a named one, but a real one.  Now please be careful, being a Christian is not just about doing Christian things!  How will you fill a bottomless pit?  You can run circles and circles, but without Christ in your soul?  How far can you get?  You will end up dropping the cross because we are limited human beings.  Remember what Phil.4:13 says? "I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me."  Only THROUGH Him can we carry the cross.  This means being united to Him, the branch to the vine, the heart to the soul, the spirit to the Holy Spirit. 
I invite you to the hardest challenge of life.  Loving Jesus above everything.  Where it is not always dancing, laughing, and fun.  Where it is not always booming, where very few have put in all their heart.  Where very many have lost husbands or wives or children or houses, and this is how you get paid for following the way?  No.  That is the sword.  Our Mother in Heaven, Mary was prophecied that a sword would pierce her.  And this while holding the baby Jesus in her arms.  Ouch!  What do you think went through her heart at that moment?  I bet I know what went through her faithful heart, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me".  Because in her arms was the love of her life, Love itself.  She didn't love her child more than God, she loved God more than her child.  She had to allow Him to suffer and die.  She had to let a sword pierce her heart.  Why did Jesus have to be pierced?  Why did Mary have to be pierced?  So we could drink from an inexhuastible fountain to quench any bottomless pit we encounter.  Because in the end, it is not bottomless to Him, He knows the extremities, He knows our limits.  If He is pushing your limits right now, it is not a time to give up.  It is a time to ask for strength.  It is a time to be strong through Him.  Let Him live through you.  Let Him do what He is asking of you...the impossible, the point of giving everything and more...your true Love of Him