Tuesday, September 1, 2015

They Were Astonished

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Minute Meditations

Becoming Holy
During this month of September, as we celebrate four feasts of Our Lady, let us learn from her: humility, purity, sharing, and thoughtfulness. We will then, like Mary, become holy people, being able to look up and see only Jesus; our light and example will be only Jesus; and we will be able to spread his fragrance everywhere we go. We will flood our souls with his Spirit and so in us, through us, and with us glorify the Father.
— from Thirsting for God

St. Giles
(d. 710?)

Despite the fact that much about St. Giles is shrouded in mystery, we can say that he was one of the most popular saints in the Middle Ages. Likely, he was born in the first half of the seventh century in southeastern France. That is where he built a monastery that became a popular stopping-off point for pilgrims making their way to Compostela in Spain and the Holy Land.

In England, many ancient churches and hospitals were dedicated to Giles. One of the sections of the city of Brussels is named after him. In Germany, Giles was included among the so-called 14 Holy Helpers, a popular group of saints to whom people prayed, especially for recovery from disease and for strength at the hour of death. Also among the 14 were Sts. Christopher, Barbara and Blaise. Interestingly, Giles was the only non-martyr among them. Devotion to the "Holy Helpers" was especially strong in parts of Germany and in Hungary and Sweden. Such devotion made his popularity spread. Giles was soon invoked as the patron of the poor and the disabled.

The pilgrimage center that once drew so many fell into disrepair some centuries after Giles' death.

Patron Saint of:



Daily Prayer - 2015-09-01


The world is charged with the grandeur of God. (Gerard Manley Hopkins)
I dwell for a moment on the Presence of God around me,
in every part of my body,
and deep within my being.


Your death on the cross has set me free.
I can live joyously and freely
without fear of death.
Your mercy knows no bounds.


To be conscious about something is to be aware of it.
Dear Lord help me to remember that You gave me life.
Thank you for the gift of life. Teach me to slow down, to be still and enjoy the pleasures created for me. To be aware of the beauty that surrounds me. The marvel of mountains, the calmness of lakes, the fragility of a flower petal. I need to remember that all these things come from you.

The Word of God


Reading 1 1 Thes 5:1-6, 9-11

Concerning times and seasons, brothers and sisters,
you have no need for anything to be written to you.
For you yourselves know very well
that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night.
When people are saying, "Peace and security,"
then sudden disaster comes upon them,
like labor pains upon a pregnant woman,
and they will not escape.

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness,
for that day to overtake you like a thief.
For all of you are children of the light
and children of the day.
We are not of the night or of darkness.
Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do,
but let us stay alert and sober.
For God did not destine us for wrath,
but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep
we may live together with him.
Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up,
as indeed you do.

Responsorial Psalm PS 27:1, 4, 13-14

R. (13) I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life's refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
R. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
One thing I ask of the LORD;
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple.
R. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.

Alleluia Lk 7:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A great prophet has arisen in our midst
and God has visited his people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 4:31-37

Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee.
He taught them on the sabbath,
and they were astonished at his teaching
because he spoke with authority.
In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon,
and he cried out in a loud voice,
"What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are--the Holy One of God!"
Jesus rebuked him and said, "Be quiet! Come out of him!"
Then the demon threw the man down in front of them
and came out of him without doing him any harm.
They were all amazed and said to one another,
"What is there about his word?
For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits,
and they come out."
And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.

- - -


Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • Lord, the people were astounded at hearing you. Let me too be amazed by your words, especially when you reveal the goodness of your Father towards me. Jolt me from my dullness. Let me experience your disturbing freshness, your vision of how we should live. May your promises of eternal life give me energy and joy, no matter how difficult my life may be right now.
  • The demons of the possessed man were screaming, 'Let us alone!' but I beg you not to let me alone! Stay with me so that I may live out my life in love before you.


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?


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 27:1, 4, 13-14

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22nd Week in Ordinary Time

The Lord is my light and my salvation. (Psalm 27:1)

From times tables to song lyrics to addresses and phone numbers, we learn so many things by rote. In fact, if you say or think something often enough, it will become ingrained in your memory—even statements about who you are and what life is about. So consider what might happen if you made the decision to repeat godly truths over and over again. Try it today, starting with "The Lord is my light" and "The Lord is my refuge."

The Lord is my light. He shows me what to do. He gives me direction and lights the path when the way seems dark. His light can shine in my heart, offering wisdom when I'm not sure what to do. He gives me understanding and a heavenly perspective. When I feel too confused or afraid to move ahead, he can show me how to proceed.

The Lord is my refuge. I can run to him for safekeeping and strength. He is my strength when I feel too weak to keep on caring or when I don't want to get out of bed in the morning. He will help me when the call of raising godly children or persevering in prayer seems too demanding. He keeps me safe amid hostility and opposition.

The Lord is my strength. I can exercise, finish rehab, or endure chemotherapy. When I need to repent, forgive, or simply bide my time, he is there with his own courage and power to help me.

When the shadow of fear or defeat threatens to spread itself over you, shout it out, "The Lord is my light!" When fear grips you or weakness overtakes you, declare it, "The Lord is my strength!" Whenever you hear yourself say or think, "I can't," "I don't know how," or "I give up," just repeat this glorious verse: "The Lord is my light and my salvation... . The Lord is my life's refuge (Psalm 27:1, 2)."

"Lord, you are my light and the strength of my life. With your help today, I will live in your light and strength."


1 Thessalonians 5:1-6, 9-11
Luke 4:31-37




Listen to how today's 1st Holy Scripture ends today "Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do."  That is the focus, and watch what you say about one another, because you are either building up...or tearing down.  That is to say, you are either binding or loosening for the Kingdom of God.  This is the purpose of a prayer gathering: to build one another up.  To pray, to build up the Church of God.  I hold, and am part of various prayer gatherings throughout the week.  Mondays, rosary, and often friendship reunion with Cursillistas.  Tuesdays, help teach RCIA, we pray together at the beginning and the end.  Wednesday, co-worker bible studies and pray.  Thursdays Ultreya gathering of Cursillistas or charismatic prayer gathering of songs, praise and worship.  Fridays usually spent with family and we pray together daily and First Friday devotion with Holy hour, gathering with community to adore Christ.  Saturday, Holy Mass or other church related.  Sundays Holy Mass, the ultimate gathering and encouragement with the Body of Christ.  And throughout, daily Mass at times and prayers with people and for people with visits to the Blessed Sacrament.  You've gotten a taste of my daily life, when it comes to prayer gatherings.  With so much encouragement, I may have a glimpse of things of the Kingdom, and so, I am boosted and moved to reach out to this prayer gathering.  Here, we pray together, through the words and the Word of Christ.  We are united here, the Holy Spirit is here as the glue of our souls to bind us for the betterment of our souls...building up one another and ultimately, the Lord is the one building.
  Today's Psalms are an option at funeral vigils, "I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD."    You will see good things in the land of the living.  Can you imagine the Lord saying "you are seeing good things...and you will see better".  We can see better, question is, will we see better?  Do you will to see better?  Then wait.  Hope in the Lord, and trust in Him and His ways.  This means having courage, be courageous.  We were made to be courageous.  We live among scared people.  People that have demons entered, those of fear.  It is a very common demon.  I knew of a man that said he saw the devil last year outside his home he was renting.  He was so paralyzed with fear that they came rushing to my house in the middle of the night, trembling, shaking, and he couldn't speak.  He made jestures on what the devil looked like.  I tried to calm him down and we began a prayer.  We held hands, we prayed under the stars outside my home.  I told him that God is greater.  I don't remember what all we said, but an expulsion of sorts was accomplished because there was at least, a little peace rendered as they surrendered into God's hands.  It took him about 2 or 3 weeks to be able to speak without stuttering, and definitely alot of prayer...alot of encouragement.
The Lord comes in today, in the synagogue, and astonishes everyone when he tells a man with an unclean spirit something that makes him drop to the ground and an evil spirit comes out of him.  Did they actually see a spirit like in the movies or cartoons?  Probably not, you can not see spirits, but they exist.  Just like so many things that we can not see, but know exist.  And the devil was simply exposing Christ to the world ""What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?". Pretty interesting choice of words from the devil's angels.  "Have you come to destroy us?" and "what do you want to do with us?".  They were taunting, sly remarking, and was this the voice of the sentiment of the ones taking over the synagogue?  Pretty interesting, as eventually, they would kick Jesus out and try to kill him by throwing Him off a cliff, yet He passed through them...those spirits.  Let's pay attention in our daily lives as we live today and another day to come, pay attention to the hissing sounds of evil trying to put you down by simply exposing who you are...a child of God.  Take heart.  Be stouthearted.  And let's learn from our Lord what He did with the person trying to expose Him and put Him down.  Jesus saved the man.  Ain't that something?  He rebuked the evil and saved the man, the child of God.  Truly His ways are best and we are called to this type of holiness.  Too often we do the wrong by saying "oh that person is possessed" and you stay away from them instead of helping them.  This is our daily lives.  Who are you trying to avoid today?  And why?  You don't believe the Lord wants to save them?  Perhaps through you?  Perhaps all they need is mercy?  Perhaps you keep running into them because they need Christ?  There have been people that have come into my life and only go away until after I pray for them and love them.  LOL, I'm not teaching you how to make people go away, but to bring about salvation...Jesus.  Afterall JESUS means "He Saves" and we are called to be Jesus to the world.  Be courageous, because our strength is from the Lord and He is above the world and in the world, with us, and among us.  I hope one day you see good things in the land of the living...because this means you would have seen Christ!

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