Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Asking To Speak

Untitled document

Minute Meditations

The Fortunate Soul Minute Meditations
From the moment at which the soul knows God, it is naturally led to love him. If the soul follows this natural impulse, which is caused by the Holy Spirit, it is already loving the Supreme Good. This fortunate soul possesses the beautiful virtue of love.
— from The Joyful Spirit of Padre Pio

St. Lawrence of Brindisi
Listen to Audio

At first glance perhaps the most remarkable quality of Lawrence of Brindisi is his outstanding gift of languages. In addition to a thorough knowledge of his native Italian, he had complete reading and speaking ability in Latin, Hebrew, Greek, German, Bohemian, Spanish and French.

He was born on July 22, 1559, and died exactly 60 years later on his birthday in 1619. His parents William and Elizabeth Russo gave him the name of Julius Caesar, Caesare in Italian. After the early death of his parents, he was educated by his uncle at the College of St. Mark in Venice.

When he was just 16 he entered the Capuchin Franciscan Order in Venice and received the name of Lawrence. He completed his studies of philosophy and theology at the University of Padua and was ordained a priest at 23.

With his facility for languages he was able to study the Bible in its original texts. At the request of Pope Clement VIII, he spent much time preaching to the Jews in Italy. So excellent was his knowledge of Hebrew, the rabbis felt sure he was a Jew who had become a Christian.

In 1956 the Capuchins completed a 15-volume edition of his writings. Eleven of these 15 contain his sermons, each of which relies chiefly on scriptural quotations to illustrate his teaching.

Lawrence's sensitivity to the needs of people—a character trait perhaps unexpected in such a talented scholar—began to surface. He was elected major superior of the Capuchin Franciscan province of Tuscany at the age of 31. He had the combination of brilliance, human compassion and administrative skill needed to carry out his duties. In rapid succession he was promoted by his fellow Capuchins and was elected minister general of the Capuchins in 1602. In this position he was responsible for great growth and geographical expansion of the Order.

Lawrence was appointed papal emissary and peacemaker, a job which took him to a number of foreign countries. An effort to achieve peace in his native kingdom of Naples took him on a journey to Lisbon to visit the king of Spain. Serious illness in Lisbon took his life in 1619.


His constant devotion to Scripture, coupled with great sensitivity to the needs of people, present a lifestyle which appeals to Christians today. Lawrence had a balance in his life that blended self-discipline with a keen appreciation for the needs of those whom he was called to serve.


"God is love, and all his operations proceed from love. Once he wills to manifest that goodness by sharing his love outside himself, then the Incarnation becomes the supreme manifestation of his goodness and love and glory. So, Christ was intended before all other creatures and for his own sake. For him all things were created and to him all things must be subject, and God loves all creatures in and because of Christ. Christ is the first-born of every creature, and the whole of humanity as well as the created world finds its foundation and meaning in him. Moreover, this would have been the case even if Adam had not sinned" (St. Lawrence of Brindisi, Doctor of the Universal Church, Capuchin Educational Conference, Washington, D.C.).

Daily Prayer - 2015-07-21


What is present to me is what has a hold on my becoming.
I reflect on the Presence of God always there in love,
amidst the many things that have a hold on me.
I pause and pray that I may let God
affect my becoming in this precise moment.


"Leave me here freely all alone
In cell where never sunlight shone
should no one ever speak to me
This golden silence makes me free."
Part of a poem written by a prisoner at Dachau concentration camp


At this moment Lord I turn my thoughts to You.
I will leave aside my chores and preoccupations.
I will take rest and refreshment in your presence Lord.

The Word of God

Reading 1EX 14:21—15:1

Moses stretched out his hand over the sea,
and the LORD swept the sea
with a strong east wind throughout the night
and so turned it into dry land.
When the water was thus divided,
the children of Israel marched into the midst of the sea on dry land,
with the water like a wall to their right and to their left.

The Egyptians followed in pursuit;
all Pharaoh's horses and chariots and charioteers went after them
right into the midst of the sea.
In the night watch just before dawn
the LORD cast through the column of the fiery cloud
upon the Egyptian force a glance that threw it into a panic;
and he so clogged their chariot wheels
that they could hardly drive.
With that the Egyptians sounded the retreat before Israel,
because the LORD was fighting for them against the Egyptians.

Then the LORD told Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea,
that the water may flow back upon the Egyptians,
upon their chariots and their charioteers."
So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, 
and at dawn the sea flowed back to its normal depth.
The Egyptians were fleeing head on toward the sea,
when the LORD hurled them into its midst.
As the water flowed back,
it covered the chariots and the charioteers of Pharaoh's whole army
that had followed the children of Israel into the sea.
Not a single one of them escaped.
But the children of Israel had marched on dry land
through the midst of the sea,
with the water like a wall to their right and to their left.
Thus the LORD saved Israel on that day
from the power of the Egyptians.
When Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the seashore
and beheld the great power that the LORD
had shown against the Egyptians,
they feared the LORD and believed in him and in his servant Moses.

Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the LORD:

I will sing to the LORD, for he is gloriously triumphant;
horse and chariot he has cast into the sea.

Responsorial PsalmEXODUS 15:8-9, 10 AND 12, 17

R. (1b) Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.
At the breath of your anger the waters piled up,
the flowing waters stood like a mound,
the flood waters congealed in the midst of the sea.
The enemy boasted, "I will pursue and overtake them;
I will divide the spoils and have my fill of them;
I will draw my sword; my hand shall despoil them!" 
R. Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.
When your wind blew, the sea covered them;
like lead they sank in the mighty waters.
When you stretched out your right hand, the earth swallowed them!
R. Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.
And you brought them in and planted them on the mountain of your inheritance—
the place where you made your seat, O LORD,
the sanctuary, O LORD, which your hands established. 
R. Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.

AlleluiaJN 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him
and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 12:46-50

While Jesus was speaking to the crowds,
his mother and his brothers appeared outside,
wishing to speak with him.
Someone told him, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside,
asking to speak with you."
But he said in reply to the one who told him,
"Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?"
And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said,
"Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father
is my brother, and sister, and mother."

Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • Jesus identifies his sisters and brothers as those who do the will of God the Father. We are all God's children, whom he desires to shape and mould into disciples of his love. His loving presence is reaching out to us in our lives even in the most unlikely situations. When we encounter God and walk the journey of faith with him we can illuminate the world we live in with the light of his love.
  • Being brothers and sisters in the Lord implies a call to witness to our faith. Can I bring God's love and compassion to others, especially the poor, marginalised and vulnerable?


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: Matthew 12:46-50

Subscriber? Login to view archives.

Saint Lawrence of Brindisi, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Optional Memorial)

Whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother. (Matthew 12:50)

What would you think if someone told you that you were related to Pope Francis? That's the point Jesus made when his kinfolk came to hear him preach. We are all equal brothers and sisters living under the care of our heavenly Father.

In the Judaic tradition, family is the stronghold of life. In fact, all of Jewish culture is based on the people's ties to Abraham and his children. This family bloodline was essentially their path to salvation. As you can imagine, to say something "antifamily" was appalling to the Jewish people.

But this is what Jesus did. Try to imagine the shock of this moment when Jesus appeared to shun Mary and his brethren. To make them wait outside while he tended to the crowd of hurting souls in the house must have been hard for him to do. But Jesus did it to make a point: anyone who is trying to follow God is part of his family, even the lepers, the prostitutes, the tax gatherers, and the pagans. Everyone can inherit his kingdom. Even you!

Not only does this stunning declaration make Jesus our brother and Mary our mother, but it makes us all relatives to each other—including the pope! It redefines our concept of family and opens our eyes to the depth of our spiritual relationships with each other and with Christ.

It makes sense, doesn't it? We who seek the kingdom speak the same language—the language of Scripture and our common liturgy. We take on the family likeness as we seek to obey our Father and be forgiving toward one another. We even have our own family traditions, like fasting during Lent and making the sign of the cross! At the same time, God treats us like family. He watches over us and protects us. He teaches us. He even has written us into his will, promising us a heavenly inheritance.

Take this notion of spiritual family to heart today. Remember that we are all one big family—even the ones we don't like. Since we will all experience the joy of heaven together, we may as well start on earth.

"Father, thank you for making me part of this big, glorious, messy family."


Exodus 14:21--15:1
(Psalm) Exodus 15:8-10, 12, 17

Here is a fictitous story:
  "I was walking trying to find the golden glimmer on the road to lead the way.  Someone had told me to look for the signs and this was one of them many a time.  I would look as I walked to the east as the sun was setting behind me.  I thought, "Oh Lord, I'm lost and it is going to get dark soon.  Almost like a panic attack, an anxiety of what was to come in the problems in the dark and not having found the way, one more day...lost.  As I hung my head low, the top of my shadow, now that my head was lowered, allowed the light to shine a glimmer on the was a sign of hope that I was on the right way, and that would illuminate my life for that night!"
How did I just come up with that?  I prayed for the Holy Spirit to come inside my soul and then I look for the glimmer in my life.  Sometimes it is glitter, sometimes something more.  It is then, a story based on a true story, of the journey I am running.  Sometimes, the only way to see the "Way" is to get my big head out of the way, because it blocks the light. 
And so we have the story of the light fighting for the Israelites.  Hmm, Israel-lights.  It is then, now encompassed in the Messiah, our Lord, the one whom they had waited for all their lives, thousands of years of lives.  Now let me divulge a secret that has been abrew in my life;  It has come to my attention, perhaps a divine inspiration, to realize the true value of a human life.  How so?  A soul, once passed from this earth, becomes like an angel (for good or for bad).  Now realize, before it became an angel, it was in the human cocoon, the human body.  Where did the human body begin?  At conception.  So life here is producing angels in Heaven, or so we hope we all become an Angel of Our Lord our God.  We have angels fighting for us, protecting us, and what do we do?  Like dodo birds, we goof up, fall into traps constantly, some even risking our lives!  Realize, we are in a fight for our lives...eternal lives.  And God right here, right now, is fighting for us and there is a secret to life promised eternal with Him...OBEY.  All the dodo birds had to do was obey.  I'm sayin' dodo birds because we are dodo birds sometimes right?  (Or is it just me? LOL).  Boy, we have made some really, REALLY messed up mistakes in our lives right?  I can't believe some of the things I've done, who the heck was I?  Certainly not a brother of Jesus...was I?  AM I?
The Psalms pray on! "Let us sing to the Lord, He has covered Himself in Glory" and "And you brought them in and planted them on the mountain of your inheritance—the place where you made your seat, O LORD, the sanctuary, O LORD, which your hands established."  The Glory of God, the blood of martyrs, the blood of faithful that even died peacefully in His bosom.  The Glory of God sitting triumphant on a throne fashioned by the world by all they could afford in their meager attempts to satisfy a God that thirsts...Jesus on the cross, a few years ago, took the beating of a lifetime...for you and for me...just so we could be called His brothers and I His family?
Let us turn to the Lord for an answer.  In today's Holy Gospel, our Lord says ""Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother."  A spanish reflection I read today (5minutos) brought up another time or King said ""Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven,* but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.n " Mt. 7:21.  He said it once, and He said it again. OBEY. 
Obey because we are dodo birds!
Obey because our big heads get in the way!
Obey because HE knows the Way!
I'll give you one more life story (another selfie LOL), it is a testimony ok?  Yesterday, it's summer, it's hot, tired, so tempting just to stay home, and when the wife said "where are you going now?" I said "you know what? I'll just stay home" and I meant it, it was so comfy there, help with the kids, don't cause no trouble at home.  But, I can't explain the sensation, like I have this deal built inside my head, like a magnet, it tells me where to go.  It was pulling me to the Church for the weekly Monday meeting which nobody is going to anymore for rosary and friendship reunion.  (Nobody except my wife and a friend she invites, "la comadre") lately.  So I said to my wife "I'll be right back, just going to see if anybody shows up." She said OK and to bring some OJ.  I showed up, and to my surprise, my brother in law was waiting.  Hmm, Ok.  Let's go pray.  As we pray the rosary in the church with the lights off, with only the light of the Blessed Sacrament moving in front of us, we were almost to the 5th decade of the Joyful mysteries when a 3rd brother walks in.  Then we had friendship reunion, something that hasn't happened in a few weeks, I had been coming, but I'm used to being alone on the journey many times.  ANYWAYS, Pablo (my brother in law in RCIA to become Catholic) said a bible verse that I had just recorded an hour earlier as I was looking up scriptures on God calling to make as a ringtone.  It was Psalm 91:15, (click here to listen to the recording)hope it works) and as he finished saying it I played it for him so he could listen as proof.  My brain was like, how does this happen?  How many thousands of verses are there in the bible and how does it come to be that he says the very verse I just recorded?  Ehh, I just shrug my shoulders.  This kinda thing keeps happening over and over and over.  Signs from above of love?  A glimmer on the road?  Yeah.  Once I decide to get my big head out of the way. 
Help us Lord on the way...
Subscribe to the Going4th mailing list.