Friday, August 14, 2015

Must Not Separate

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Minute Meditations

Atmosphere of Love
Parents are the ones who must create a family atmosphere animated by love and respect for God and man, in which the well-rounded personal and social education of children is fostered. Hence the family is the first school of the social virtues that every society needs.
— from The Enduring Faith and Timeless Truths of Fulton Sheen

St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe

"I don't know what's going to become of you!" How many parents have said that? Maximilian Mary Kolbe's reaction was, "I prayed very hard to Our Lady to tell me what would happen to me. She appeared, holding in her hands two crowns, one white, one red. She asked if I would like to have them—one was for purity, the other for martyrdom. I said, 'I choose both.' She smiled and disappeared." After that he was not the same.

He entered the minor seminary of the Conventual Franciscans in Lvív (then Poland, now Ukraine), near his birthplace, and at 16 became a novice. Though he later achieved doctorates in philosophy and theology, he was deeply interested in science, even drawing plans for rocket ships.

Ordained at 24, he saw religious indifference as the deadliest poison of the day. His mission was to combat it. He had already founded the Militia of the Immaculata, whose aim was to fight evil with the witness of the good life, prayer, work and suffering. He dreamed of and then founded Knight of the Immaculata, a religious magazine under Mary's protection to preach the Good News to all nations. For the work of publication he established a "City of the Immaculata"—Niepokalanow—which housed 700 of his Franciscan brothers. He later founded one in Nagasaki, Japan. Both the Militia and the magazine ultimately reached the one-million mark in members and subscribers. His love of God was daily filtered through devotion to Mary.

In 1939 the Nazi panzers overran Poland with deadly speed. Niepokalanow was severely bombed. Kolbe and his friars were arrested, then released in less than three months, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

In 1941 he was arrested again. The Nazis' purpose was to liquidate the select ones, the leaders. The end came quickly, in Auschwitz three months later, after terrible beatings and humiliations.

A prisoner had escaped. The commandant announced that 10 men would die. He relished walking along the ranks. "This one. That one." As they were being marched away to the starvation bunkers, Number 16670 dared to step from the line. "I would like to take that man's place. He has a wife and children." "Who are you?" "A priest." No name, no mention of fame. Silence. The commandant, dumbfounded, perhaps with a fleeting thought of history, kicked Sergeant Francis Gajowniczek out of line and ordered Father Kolbe to go with the nine. In the "block of death" they were ordered to strip naked, and their slow starvation began in darkness. But there was no screaming—the prisoners sang. By the eve of the Assumption four were left alive. The jailer came to finish Kolbe off as he sat in a corner praying. He lifted his fleshless arm to receive the bite of the hypodermic needle. It was filled with carbolic acid. They burned his body with all the others. He was beatified in 1971 and canonized in 1982.


Father Kolbe's death was not a sudden, last-minute act of heroism. His whole life had been a preparation. His holiness was a limitless, passionate desire to convert the whole world to God. And his beloved Immaculata was his inspiration.


"Courage, my sons. Don't you see that we are leaving on a mission? They pay our fare in the bargain. What a piece of good luck! The thing to do now is to pray well in order to win as many souls as possible. Let us, then, tell the Blessed Virgin that we are content, and that she can do with us anything she wishes" (Maximilian Mary Kolbe, when first arrested).

Patron Saint of:

Drug addiction


Daily Prayer - 2015-08-14


The more we call on God
the more we can feel God's presence.
Day by day we are drawn closer
to the loving heart of God.


By God's grace I was born to live in freedom.
Free to enjoy the pleasures He created for me.
Dear Lord, grant that I may live as You intended,
with complete confidence in Your Loving care.


In the presence of my loving Creator, I look honestly at my feelings over the last day, the highs, the lows and the level ground. Can I see where the Lord has been present?

The Word of God


Memorial of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr

Reading 1 Jos 24:1-13

Joshua gathered together all the tribes of Israel at Shechem,
summoning their elders, their leaders,
their judges and their officers.
When they stood in ranks before God, Joshua addressed all the people:
"Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel:
In times past your fathers, down to Terah,
father of Abraham and Nahor,
dwelt beyond the River and served other gods.
But I brought your father Abraham from the region beyond the River
and led him through the entire land of Canaan.
I made his descendants numerous, and gave him Isaac.
To Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau.
To Esau I assigned the mountain region of Seir in which to settle,
while Jacob and his children went down to Egypt.

"Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and smote Egypt with the prodigies
which I wrought in her midst.
Afterward I led you out of Egypt, and when you reached the sea,
the Egyptians pursued your fathers to the Red Sea
with chariots and horsemen.
Because they cried out to the LORD,
he put darkness between your people and the Egyptians,
upon whom he brought the sea so that it engulfed them.
After you witnessed what I did to Egypt,
and dwelt a long time in the desert,
I brought you into the land of the Amorites
who lived east of the Jordan.
They fought against you, but I delivered them into your power.
You took possession of their land, and I destroyed them,
the two kings of the Amorites, before you.
Then Balak, son of Zippor, king of Moab,
prepared to war against Israel.
He summoned Balaam, son of Beor, to curse you;
but I would not listen to Balaam.
On the contrary, he had to bless you, and I saved you from him.
Once you crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho,
the men of Jericho fought against you,
but I delivered them also into your power.
And I sent the hornets ahead of you that drove them
(the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites,
Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites and Jebusites)
out of your way; it was not your sword or your bow.

"I gave you a land that you had not tilled
and cities that you had not built, to dwell in;
you have eaten of vineyards and olive groves
which you did not plant."

Responsorial Psalm PS 136:1-3, 16-18, 21-22 and 24

R. His mercy endures forever.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever;
Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his mercy endures forever;
Give thanks to the LORD of lords,
for his mercy endures forever.
R. His mercy endures forever.
Who led his people through the wilderness,
for his mercy endures forever;
Who smote great kings,
for his mercy endures forever;
And slew powerful kings,
for his mercy endures forever.
R. His mercy endures forever.
And made their land a heritage,
for his mercy endures forever;
The heritage of Israel his servant,
for his mercy endures forever;
And freed us from our foes,
for his mercy endures forever.
R. His mercy endures forever.

Alleluia See 1 Thess 2:13

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Receive the word of God, not as the word of men,
but, as it truly is, the word of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 19:3-12

Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying,
"Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?"
He said in reply, "Have you not read that from the beginning
the Creator made them male and female and said,
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh
So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate."
They said to him, "Then why did Moses command
that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss her?"
He said to them, "Because of the hardness of your hearts
Moses allowed you to divorce your wives,
but from the beginning it was not so.
I say to you, whoever divorces his wife
(unless the marriage is unlawful)
and marries another commits adultery."
His disciples said to him,
"If that is the case of a man with his wife,
it is better not to marry."
He answered, "Not all can accept this word,
but only those to whom that is granted.
Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so;
some, because they were made so by others;
some, because they have renounced marriage
for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever can accept this ought to accept it."

- - -


Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • Jesus sets the standard high. He calls us to share in his aspirations and understanding. Whether we marry or remain single, we are called to live wholeheartedly.
  • I pray with thanks for all the people I know who have been able to live out their desires and dreams. I pray with compassion for all who have been disappointed by the changing circumstances of their lives.


Sometimes I wonder what I might say if I were to meet you in person Lord.
I think I might say "Thank You Lord" for always being there for me.
I know with certainty there were times when you carried me, Lord.
When it was through your strength I got through the dark times in my life.


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 136:1-3, 16-18, 21-22, 24

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Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr (Memorial)

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever. (Psalm 136:1)

Yes, Lord, I give you thanks for your mercy and your faithfulness toward me. I know that you love me, and I want to love you. I know that you are loyal to me, and I strive to be just as loyal to you. But even more, you are all these things to me and more (merciful, faithful, loving, loyal, generous) when I prove to be unfaithful or unreliable in my relationship with you. Thank you, faithful One, for your friendship with me, which endures forever!

Lord, your love for me is constant and unwavering, even when I turn from you—when I don't talk to you or spend time listening to you, even when I go for days without thinking about you! Your love neither wavers nor falters as you wait for me to turn back to you, even if you have to wait for years. Thank you, Lord, for being constant in love and for always being good to me. Your mercy endures forever!

Father, nothing I do causes your love to fade, for you are love, and you are unchanging. You are relentless in your pursuit of me, and you never grow tired of waiting for my return. Your love never stumbles at my offense but, rather, paves the way for me to come back to you. You never hesitate to embrace me when I do approach you once again. Thank you, mighty God, you who are faithful and tireless, for your mercy endures forever!

Lord, I can love you because you first loved me. Because of your constant mercy toward me, I am learning what love really looks like. By letting your mercy soften and melt my heart, I can love you in return. And when I am filled and enlivened by that love and mercy, I can share it with the people around me. Your love for me and my love for you can spill over into the lives of my family, my neighbors, my co-workers—even my enemies. Thank you, Father, for you love endures forever!

"This is my heritage, Lord. I am your child, walking in your light and being filled with your life. Thank you, generous, loving Father, for your kindness endures forever!"


Joshua 24:1-13
Matthew 19:3-12




"There is a God" I told a young marine last night at our cursillista gathering, the Ultreya.  My little boy asked me as we walked  earlier from Mass "what does ultreya mean?", and I tried to explain "it means don't stop, don't give up, and keep going forward".  I believe the marine was somewhat struggling in the faith.  I had seen him just a couple days ago in Monday morning daily Mass with his faithful father, and I sensed trouble, and it was verified when he said "there is a God" after we went over a few things and things started clicking in his head as he wore a bracelet of a fallen soldier friend of his, a young black man that was just saying how he was looking forward to being home with his family in his neighborhood (then was killed).  And somehow through it all, we have to keep on trusting.  God said to the people ""I gave you a land that you had not tilled and cities that you had not built, to dwell in; you have eaten of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant." Being the owner of all, He can do what He pleases, change His mind even, and all we can do is follow orders, lest we "choose" something else.  Unfortunately, the devil has fooled people through movies and attitudes to "break away from the mold" away from being "followers" and instead "do your own thing".   Yeah, do your own thing instead of His thing...sounds dangerous to me, like being in the kind of waters that will drown you instead of following the path of salvation, like that of Moses and the Egyptians.

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever" Was the Lord merciful to the Egyptians?  Think about it.  Were they His people?  Because what is being applied to here, is everyone applying their lives to God's laws of love.  And so, we are dealing with people that want this God of gods to be their Lord and savior.  And so He is merciful to anyone that lives and seeks Him and seeks and desires His mercy, He is eternally merciful, but how can it be applied to one that does not want to have anything to do with it?  They say the Lord is a gentleman that does not force Himself on anyone.  If you desire riches more, you can have all you want.  If you desire your familiy more, you can stick with them until they die and you die, and what about after everyone dies?  This is the salvation we are talking about!  NOW Mercy takes on a whole new perspective!
Jesus comes and they approach Him with a very important question about marriage.  He said today "a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife", He did not say "a man shall leave and marry a man" or woman with a woman.  He said they shall be joined and be one.  I remember I told my wife one time that we were being stressed out with me doing so many activities in the Church, "when you see me out there serving, we are one, so you are serving by letting me serve".  But I know very well we have to do as much together as one as possible, because the nucleus of the world is the family.  And we are the family of God.  I told a group this week in a meeting for the festival in our parish, "you are a family, and so are you, but together we are one family with God".  The nucleusof the world, is the family.  When you were baptized, you became family.  When you were baptized, you were baptized with the death of Christ, with the promise of Christ, the promise of the resurrection, the promise of life after death, and believe me, there is a life like no other.  If Moses allowed divorce it wasn't because God wanted it that way...but man did.  And so what we have to realize is what God wants, and has wanted all along from the be one forever, because the power of marriage is the power of the bride and groom in salvation history, Jesus and the bride.  Jesus the King, the Lord of life, and that which brings life...the woman, the women giving birth to children and the priests giving baptism bringing children into the fold.  Mercy is taking on a whole new perspective.  Yesterday I kept singing a tune "Mercy came running, like a prisoner set free" by I think Phillips, Craig, & Dean.  But when I sing songs I usually only remember one line, LOL so that's what I kept singing over and over.  Mercy wanted to come into your life, and you had it imprisoned, locked away.  St. Max Kolbe was locked up.  Where was mercy then?  By now, He had already experienced and loved it was His turn to give mercy...and died for a stranger with a wife and kids.  Sounds Like Jesus turning into Jesus.  And this is exactly what Jesus aims to do with a faithful Catholic consuming His Body from the Altar.  For you to become love and mercy...all things which become the light and the life of the world