Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Whatever You Bind

Untitled document

Minute Meditations

The Sin of Pride
All our other sins can be from ourselves; for example, avarice, lust, anger, gluttony. But pride comes direct from hell. By that sin fell the angels. It destroys the very possibility of conversion. --Fulton Sheen
— from The Enduring Faith and Timeless Truths of Fulton Sheen

St. Jane Frances de Chantal

Jane Frances was wife, mother, nun and founder of a religious community. Her mother died when Jane was 18 months old, and her father, head of parliament at Dijon, France, became the main influence on her education. She developed into a woman of beauty and refinement, lively and cheerful in temperament. At 21 she married Baron de Chantal, by whom she had six children, three of whom died in infancy. At her castle she restored the custom of daily Mass, and was seriously engaged in various charitable works.

Jane's husband was killed after seven years of marriage, and she sank into deep dejection for four months at her family home. Her father-in-law threatened to disinherit her children if she did not return to his home. He was then 75, vain, fierce and extravagant. Jane Frances managed to remain cheerful in spite of him and his insolent housekeeper.

When she was 32, she met St. Francis de Sales who became her spiritual director, softening some of the severities imposed by her former director. She wanted to become a nun but he persuaded her to defer this decision. She took a vow to remain unmarried and to obey her director.

After three years Francis told her of his plan to found an institute of women which would be a haven for those whose health, age or other considerations barred them from entering the already established communities. There would be no cloister, and they would be free to undertake spiritual and corporal works of mercy. They were primarily intended to exemplify the virtues of Mary at the Visitation (hence their name, the Visitation nuns): humility and meekness.

The usual opposition to women in active ministry arose and Francis de Sales was obliged to make it a cloistered community following the Rule of St. Augustine. Francis wrote his famous Treatise on the Love of God for them. The congregation (three women) began when Jane Frances was 45. She underwent great sufferings: Francis de Sales died; her son was killed; a plague ravaged France; her daughter-in-law and son-in-law died. She encouraged the local authorities to make great efforts for the victims of the plague and she put all her convent's resources at the disposal of the sick.

During a part of her religious life, she had to undergo great trials of the spirit—interior anguish, darkness and spiritual dryness. She died while on a visitation of convents of the community.


It may strike some as unusual that a saint should be subject to spiritual dryness, darkness, interior anguish. We tend to think that such things are the usual condition of "ordinary" sinful people. Some of our lack of spiritual liveliness may indeed be our fault. But the life of faith is still one that is lived in trust, and sometimes the darkness is so great that trust is pressed to its limit.


St. Vincent de Paul said of Jane Frances: "She was full of faith, yet all her life had been tormented by thoughts against it. While apparently enjoying the peace and easiness of mind of souls who have reached a high state of virtue, she suffered such interior trials that she often told me her mind was so filled with all sorts of temptations and abominations that she had to strive not to look within herself...But for all that suffering her face never lost its serenity, nor did she once relax in the fidelity God asked of her. And so I regard her as one of the holiest souls I have ever met on this earth" (Butler's Lives of the Saints).


Daily Prayer - 2015-08-12


Lord, help me to be fully alive to your Holy presence.
Enfold me in your love.
Let my heart become one with yours.


Lord, you granted me the great gift of freedom.
In these times, O Lord, grant that I may be free
From any form of racism or intolerance.
Remind me, Lord, that we are all equal
in your Loving eyes.


Where do I sense hope, encouragement, and growth areas in my life? By looking back over the last few months, I may be able to see which activities and occasions have produced rich fruit.  If I do notice such areas, I will determine to give those areas both time and space in the future.

The Word of God


Reading 1 Dt 34:1-12

Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo,
the headland of Pisgah which faces Jericho,
and the LORD showed him all the land—
Gilead, and as far as Dan, all Naphtali,
the land of Ephraim and Manasseh,
all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea,
the Negeb, the circuit of the Jordan
with the lowlands at Jericho, city of palms,
and as far as Zoar.
The LORD then said to him,
"This is the land
which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
that I would give to their descendants.
I have let you feast your eyes upon it, but you shall not cross over."
So there, in the land of Moab, Moses, the servant of the LORD,
died as the LORD had said; and he was buried in the ravine
opposite Beth-peor in the land of Moab,
but to this day no one knows the place of his burial.
Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died,
yet his eyes were undimmed and his vigor unabated.
For thirty days the children of Israel wept for Moses
in the plains of Moab, till they had completed
the period of grief and mourning for Moses.

Now Joshua, son of Nun, was filled with the spirit of wisdom,
since Moses had laid his hands upon him;
and so the children of Israel gave him their obedience,
thus carrying out the LORD's command to Moses.

Since then no prophet has arisen in Israel like Moses,
whom the LORD knew face to face.
He had no equal in all the signs and wonders
the LORD sent him to perform in the land of Egypt
against Pharaoh and all his servants and against all his land,
and for the might and the terrifying power
that Moses exhibited in the sight of all Israel.

Responsorial Psalm PS 66:1-3a, 5 and 8, 16-17

R. (see 20a and 10b) Blessed be God who filled my soul with fire!
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth;
sing praise to the glory of his name;
proclaim his glorious praise.
Say to God: "How tremendous are your deeds!"
R. Blessed be God who filled my soul with fire!
Come and see the works of God,
his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.
Bless our God, you peoples;
loudly sound his praise.
R. Blessed be God who filled my soul with fire!
Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare
what he has done for me.
When I appealed to him in words,
praise was on the tip of my tongue.
R. Blessed be God who filled my soul with fire!

Alleluia 2 Cor 5:19

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ,
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 18:15-20

Jesus said to his disciples:
"If your brother sins against you,
go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.
If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.
If he does not listen,
take one or two others along with you,
so that every fact may be established
on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
If he refuses to listen to them, tell the Church.
If he refuses to listen even to the Church,
then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.
Amen, I say to you,
whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven,
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Again, amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth
about anything for which they are to pray,
it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them."

- - -

Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • Jesus is Emmanuel, "God is with us". He is with us in our Church community. His message is one of reconciliation, not retribution. We are asked to "regain" our brother or sister. "Regaining" is more than stopping someone's offensive behaviour, it is converting that person -- bringing about a true change in attitude. Jesus' openness to sinners depends on a change of heart and a change in behaviour: "Go, and sin no more".
  • When we approach God in community, even a community of two or three, he is already there with us.



Begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture you have just read.
What part of it strikes a chord in you? Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story you have heard recently - will slowly rise to the surface of your consciousness. If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to you?


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: Deuteronomy 34:1-12

View NAB Reading at

Subscriber? Login to view archives.

Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, Religious (Optional Memorial)

The Lord showed him all the land. (Deuteronomy 34:1)

For forty years, Moses had been bogged down in the nitty-gritty of leading God's people. Every day he had to decide whether to stay put or pick up stakes and move on. When they entered new territory, he had to find out whether its inhabitants were friendly or hostile and take appropriate action. He had to punish wrongdoers and settle disputes. By the end of his life, Moses was understandably weary.

God knew that a long struggle lay ahead before his people would be able to take full possession of the Promised Land. So he chose Moses' faithful lieutenant, Joshua, to be their leader in that struggle. He also decreed that Moses would not be permitted to enter that land. It's not clear from Scripture whether this was a punishment or an act of mercy. Most commentators see it as a punishment for Moses' one act of disobedience at Kadesh (Numbers 20:6-12). But perhaps it was an act of mercy: Moses had seen enough battles and struggles, and now it was time for him to rest and receive his reward.

Whatever the case, out of love for the friend he knew "face to face," God gave Moses a wonderful gift (Exodus 33:11). From the top of Mount Nebo, he showed Moses the whole spread of the land that his chosen people would eventually inhabit. Moses delighted in its mountains and valleys, rivers and deserts, lush vegetation and wilderness. Then, like Simeon in the New Testament, he died in peace (Luke 2:25-32).

We can easily get bogged down in the details of daily living. Today's tasks, relationships, and challenges can weary us. That's why it's a good idea to ask God to help us see the big picture every now and then. From the very beginning, he has been at work in the world, caring for his people, offering us salvation, and building a Church that reflects his kingdom. With such a big picture, how can we help but marvel at what the future holds? God will be with us always; he is determined to bring us all into his promised land!

"Father, thank you for the glimpses you give me into your grand plan for the world. I trust that you have a perfect plan for me as well!"


Psalm 66:1-3, 5, 8, 16-17
Matthew 18:15-20




I am pretty mesmerized by the works of God.  Yesterday, after reading the first Holy Scriptures, I didn't receive a message as many times it happens, they open up and speak to me loud and clear.  Yesterday, no.  I even told the Lord, "I don't have anything to share" but, I open myself and allow Him to speak, and yesterday was one of the longest reflections I've written in a while.  Now, I speak about myself, so that you may learn from a dummy.  "Oh I can do better than Adrian", well GOOD!!! LOL, that's the whole point of me sharing with you!  It's been my experience that I can do well in something, but teach others to do better, and this time...the focus is on holiness.  On this mount, God let Moses feast his eyes on what was promised and would be theirs.  Moses trusted, gave thanks, and died.  Moses appeared with Jesus when Jesus our King was transfigured, along with Elijah.  These men proved to have a faith like no other, basically a connection with God like no other.  And the focus of this reflection as most, is to aim this connection, this faith, to grow, to have a better connection. 
The Psalms pray on "Blessed be God who filled my soul with fire!" and "Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare what he has done for me. When I appealed to him in words, praise was on the tip of my tongue."  Do I believe I'm "on fire"?  Because God can fill it with fire, I believe so.  But let me say this, how can I light your fire if all you offer me is a bucket of water?  Now, to God, it is not impossible, but wouldn't you rather make it easier for yourself by offering Him a combustible material, fuel for the fire?  When we sin, that combustible fuel turns into non-combustible material.  The more we are disposed to holiness, the more combustible our souls can become for Him!  And this leads to the Gospel, but remember when we appeal to Him in words, He is very likely to's about that connection with Him.  I want your connection to be clear. 
Jesus comes and says today ""If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone."  How hard is this to do!?  Like for me, (once again, learn from a test dummy), I helped this relative last few weeks, he got his car stolen, and I searched really hard for a good used car for them, and I told him to raise half the money and I'd help with the rest.  Like a miracle I found them a van for his family, for cheap.  He raised the money, like a miracle, in a week.  We worked hard on it to fix the air conditioner for a couple weeks, I took him for parts, bought him parts and let him use my tools at home.  They leave our house and the next day I needed the tools, and the ones we used together were gone "ahhh man! he took them!".  It was a gut wrenching feeling "after all I done for that guy, this is how he pays me?" keep in mind, to this day he hasn't paid me back for anything, which he promised and to top it off, now he had taken my only tools.  I was so upset there for a while that I had to pray about it.  Remember "appeal to Him in words".  I was praying because I knew I had to forgive.  What was going on here?  You see, when we forgive, we give for something "For GIVE".  Give to God for Him to rectify.  Strangely enough, after prayer, I gave the guy my tools (in my head and heart) and I was given peace.  I talked to him for some reason the next day on the phone and asked him if he had taken my tools "oh yeah, I got them in the van", and I said "just keep them".  I had to go buy another set, not much money, but the point was my point, what is "righteous" was my point, and who was right in this case?  God is.  When He asks you to approach someone who has sinned against you, you first have to pray for them.  Sometimes it is SUPER awkward, like when they get offended and you didn't mean to offend, therefore you are in the "right", supposedly, so you shouldn't be the one apologizing.  Well, test dummy here again, I offended an older man one time without even meaning to.  I prayed a rosary for him to get over it, and I prayed at Mass, and I prayed alone and I approached someone else about the situation and they said "remember to leave your sacrifice before the altar and make amends".  Which I did.  About a week later, something happened.  No, that man wasn't any less angry or resentful even hating towards me, but after all this prayer, something happened to ME.  I began to feel love for the man.  Somehow there had been a disconnect throughout the whole situation.  His hatred was barring me from loving him, rendering him unlovable in my book.  Suddenly there was peace in my heart.  All that praying, even confessing in confession about it, suddenly, bringing this man's supposed sin up for healing, had healed me.  Today, before writing (that's why I'm writing later than usual), I was helping this man at work, for about an hour to fix his phone and truck to communicate and there was peace, no more resentments on either party.  Did he realize his sin against me?  Pshh, I don't know, but that's not important right now, what's important is my sin was brought up, the worst in the world...pride, straight out of the depths of hell, that kind of pride that says "I don't have to say sorry, THEY are the ones who messed up!".  The kind of pride that bars you from praying.  The kind of pride that says I'm right and you are wrong and there is nothing more to be said".  This pride bars you from alot of things...especially Heaven.  I don't like going through these ordeals, but I learn tremendously from them.  I didn't ask for this, but it is for a reason.  Moses had to trust again right before he died.  Today, I'm asking you to trust...and die.  Die to self, let that prideful self die.  Once that happens, you'll suddenly find yourself on your knees before God.  Maybe quietly in your room at first, and then with the whole community, the Holy Church, on your knees praising God, with no more fear, no more shame, no more guilt to hold you back.  The greatest of sinners have the greatest of conversions.  Souls can turn on fire, and fire gives light into the world of darkness.  Suddenly, we find ourselves reading and learning about soul, your soul, and all souls.  Time is flying by.  Life is too precious to keep ignoring...
and Jesus is the LIFE

Subscribe to the Going4th mailing list.