|Real Love |
|I am not a romantic, I am a realist, and yet I think about love all the time. Love is what gives my life direction and purpose. Love shapes my actions and guides my words; it gets me out of bed in the morning and helps me sleep at night. Love tells me who I am and helps me see others as they really are.|
Bonaventure, Franciscan, theologian, doctor of the Church, was both learned and holy. Because of the spirit that filled him and his writings, he was at first called the Devout Doctor; but in more recent centuries he has been known as the Seraphic Doctor after the "Seraphic Father" Francis because of the truly Franciscan spirit he possessed.
Born in Bagnoregio, a town in central Italy, he was cured of a serious illness as a boy through the prayers of Francis of Assisi. Later, he studied the liberal arts in Paris. Inspired by Francis and the example of the friars, especially of his master in theology, Alexander of Hales, he entered the Franciscan Order, and became in turn a teacher of theology in the university. Chosen as minister general of the Order in 1257, he was God's instrument in bringing it back to a deeper love of the way of St. Francis, both through the life of Francis which he wrote at the behest of the brothers and through other works which defended the Order or explained its ideals and way of life.
The morning of the fifteenth of July, 1274, in the midst of the Second Council of Lyons, Pope Gregory X and the Fathers of the Council were shocked to learn that toward dawn Brother Bonaventure, bishop of Albano, had sickened and died. An unknown chronicler provides his impression of the Franciscan cardinal: "A man of eminent learning and eloquence, and of outstanding holiness, he was known for his kindness, approachableness, gentleness and compassion. Full of virtue, he was beloved of God and man. At his funeral Mass that same day, many were in tears, for the Lord had granted him this grace, that whoever came to know him was forthwith drawn to a deep love of him."
Bonaventure so united holiness and theological knowledge that he rose to the heights of mysticism while yet remaining a very active preacher and teacher, one beloved by all who met him. To know him was to love him; to read him is still for us today to meet a true Franciscan and a gentleman.
Daily Prayer - 2015-07-15
Dear Jesus, I come to you today
longing for your presence.
I desire to love you as You love me.
May nothing ever separate me from You.
God is not foreign to my freedom.
Instead the Spirit breathes life into my most intimate desires,
gently nudging me towards all that is good.
I ask for the grace to let myself be enfolded by the Spirit.
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
Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian.
Leading the flock across the desert, he came to Horeb,
the mountain of God.
There an angel of the LORD appeared to him in fire
flaming out of a bush.
As he looked on, he was surprised to see that the bush,
though on fire, was not consumed.
So Moses decided,
"I must go over to look at this remarkable sight,
and see why the bush is not burned."
When the LORD saw him coming over to look at it more closely,
God called out to him from the bush, "Moses! Moses!"
He answered, "Here I am."
God said, "Come no nearer!
Remove the sandals from your feet,
for the place where you stand is holy ground.
I am the God of your father," he continued,
"the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.
The cry of the children of Israel has reached me,
and I have truly noted that the Egyptians are oppressing them.
Come, now! I will send you to Pharaoh to lead my people,
the children of Israel, out of Egypt."
But Moses said to God,
"Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh
and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt?"
He answered, "I will be with you;
and this shall be your proof that it is I who have sent you:
when you bring my people out of Egypt,
you will worship God on this very mountain."
R. (8a) The Lord is kind and merciful.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
The LORD secures justice
and the rights of all the oppressed.
He has made known his ways to Moses,
and his deeds to the children of Israel.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
At that time Jesus exclaimed:
"I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
- Jesus comes into the world to fulfill the plan of the Father, and he reveals the importance of the Father, drawing us into an interior relationship with him. In giving himself completely to the Father Jesus wants to show us the Father's love, and that it is through him that we are God's children.
- No matter what happens on life's journey Jesus is always present with us. He wants to bless us and reveal the Father's love as we draw closer to him. Can I open my heart more fully to receive the gift of God's love just like the simplicity of a little child longing for the loving embrace of a parent?
I begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture I have just read.
What part of it strikes a chord in me? Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story I have heard recently - will slowly rise to the surface in my consciousness. If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to 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.
Saint Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Memorial)
Although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. (Matthew 11:25)
Think about the incredible advancements in technology that have come about in the past century. Computers that once took up entire rooms now fit on your desktop. People once doomed to die from horrible diseases now go on to live for many happy and healthy years. Airplanes and high-speed trains have made the globe much smaller. And yet the same problems that have dogged us for centuries—poverty, war, crime, abuse—are still around. Why can't all this incredible knowledge help us tackle these issues?
The problem is that technology cannot reveal the most important truth of all: that we are children of God. Those whom Jesus calls "the wise and the learned"—the ones who rely only on brainpower—can't quite understand this (Matthew 11:25). They can surmise that there is a God, but only God can reveal himself to us. We just have to be "childlike" and ask him to show us!
What does it mean to be childlike? It means acknowledging that we were created to have an ongoing relationship with God—a relationship of love, trust, and dependence. It means believing that God is committed to us as a father is to his children. It means keeping ourselves open to the promptings that God sends to us.
Here is one way that you can work on being more childlike in your day—even as you go about your very grown-up life. Make it a point to take some time to slow down. It's easy to fill our days with activities, chores, and obligations and miss out on our relationship with God. Of course, there is much that we have to do each day, but it's also vital that we not become consumed by it.
So spend time just enjoying God's presence. Sit outside and absorb the sun, thanking your Father for the gift of its warmth. Or close your eyes, and imagine yourself taking a leisurely walk with Jesus. Put aside all the "grown-up" thoughts for just this time, and simply enjoy the Lord. Be like a child, and see what your Father reveals to you.
"Father, thank you for calling me your child! Help me to know you not just as the Almighty, but as Abba, my Dad."
Exodus 3:1-6, 9-12
Psalm 103:1-4, 6-7
Today's 5minutos said (allow me to attempt to translate from spanish for you):
"In the previous passages to the one we read in the Gospel today, we have seen that "weakness" or predilection of God towards the little ones, the discarded, the ignorant, the despised, the "impure", the sinners, in the end, those who aren't worth anything in the world. And not only has He attained them with His blessing, but has called them to be His disciples! God omnipotent and Lord of the world in Jesus, has offered "the secrets of God" who He is, His mercy and love and humanity, to the simple people, and the "poor". Preciscely because they have nothing, they are nothing before the "wise and powerful", because, it is supposed that "they don't understand" God, because they can not reach the understandment of the will of God. But the results have been so different throughout our salvation history and what continues to be today. However, the "divine secrets" remain hidden to the "rich and powerful", not for their intelligence, their reason does "not reach them" to learn and fulfill the commandments, but to be full of "wisdom" and of their "power" that, the "advise" of Jesus seems to them ridiculous and despisable, a craziness. In this manner they exclude "themselves" of the mercy and love of God. To what "group" do we belong? Are we so simple and humble as to accept His will whatever it may be? Or do we pretend to "suggest" to Him some different way to govern the world and our lives? What do you feel when they say: repent from your sins! forgive always, pray for your enemies, share what you have? How long has it been since you confessed? And the Mass? What does it mean to you?"
I really love the last question in the 5 minutos. What does the Mass mean to you? In today's first Holy Scripture, God spoke to Moses and told Him to watch what he was trampling on with his dirty shoes, the soles, or better yet...our souls. For with Him and what He touches is Holy. In Baptism our souls are made holy. Our shoe soles get dirty, and our body's souls get dirty. He is calling us back to how we were made in the beginning, without shoes, without add-ons, without blemish. Stop thinking of the next tattoo you want. Stop thinking of the next earthly possession you want. Stop thinking of how you can add on to improve. Stop thinking about adding more laws to break away from morals. Stop thinking of ways to be free and start thinking how we can be back to how we are made...pure, clean, Holy, and one with God again. This was God's call to Moses, and it is your call today. I want you back. I prayed with a guy that quit work and was divorcing yesterday. My prayer many times with him was "come back", the message I told him was perhaps a prophecy "come back, don't fade away...in this world, we can fade away to our family, and fade away to God's Kingdom very easy if we don't come back" and this is the meaning of seeking Him and repenting. If you think it is a rotten world, and I've just had someone tell me their leaving my parish because it is toxic, I responded with many messages saying basically it's not usually "the others" but ourselves. So take a look around? See a rotting world? It starts with you. You better make a U-turn, repent and believe in the Gospel.
The Psalms pray on today " The Lord is kind and merciful" and "He pardons all your iniquities, he heals all your ills. He redeems your life from destruction, he crowns you with kindness and compassion. " My mom said yesterday that people need to hear re-affirment, to be reaffirmed. There is a family that just lost a son and a father and she helped them with the funeral at both this year. After Holy Mass on Sunday she said she saw them after Mass and ran to catch them and to tell them "it is good that you came to Mass" and a surviving sibling said "you see, that's a message from God saying it is good that we be coming to Mass". Very bright! EXACTLY true. Just because you are doomed and gloomed doesn't mean that's how things out to be. The world has eroded life, through contraception/abortions and marriage erosion, but that doesn't mean it's over, for that is what the devil wants you to believe, so you give up and give in. NO. The world needs the truth to shine more than ever. Stay tuned with an open heart.
In comes Jesus. "...no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him." This is my perplexion; how come not everyone opens the invitation to Jesus? Does the Son not wish it? Yet? So I keep inviting all to come to the Lord. Even last night the cashier at the gas station asked me if I just got off work (it was about 9pm) and I said "no, I got off work and went straight to church meetings and I'm just now going home". He said "oh what church do you go to" looking down and tired and humbly I said "the Catholic Church", he said "oh that one Our Lady of Lourdes? I used to go when I was little", then I looked up to him "were you baptized?" he said no. I said "where are you going to church now"? He said a pentecostal church down the street. I said "well I lead prayers and bring the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues too over here" and he was amazed. I said "yeah, everything all the other churches have, we have, we've been around for over 2,000 years" and I invited him to come back. I sincerely want everyone back. Division is of the devil. And so I wonder often "how come these people I invite...never come". My only consolation is that it is all in God's timing. My plans of salvation, LOL, well, surely can't be His. I want everything right here and right now in my time, but His plan? Well, let's just say He's got the best bird's eye view, because He is the Holy Spirit! My job, plant seeds, don't look back, just keeping looking to the Son, and the past is behind me. Working in the Son of God gets hot and tiring, but it is so good for the soul. You may think you need a break but only get a cup of water. And if someone needs a cup, give it to them. I chased that worker that was leaving to ask him if we could pray together. It's a lesson I've learned yesterday, not to let another one get away. The one that got away passed away...two of them in the last month. Never again. I am learning to give more. Don't stop believing. God loves you. That's the message I told the disheartened soul yesterday "God loves you".
We learned in RCIA last night "who is your neigbor" and Jesus points to the abandoned and marginalized in our lives, those we discard as dumb sinners and unfaithful...isn't that all of us? Let's get back together and worship the Son of God. The light is powerful and it is good and it is shining and burning to this day, it's time to approach holiness, majesty, and awesomeness. Take off your shoes...God is Here!!!!!!