Wednesday, September 2, 2015

For This Purpose

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Minute Meditations

Our Lord has a very special love for the chaste. His own mother and St. Joseph and St. John, the beloved disciple, were chaste. We desire to be chaste because we belong to Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God. We want to be chaste because of the work we do as coworkers of Christ. Our chastity must be so pure that it draws the most impure to the Sacred Heart of Christ.
— from Thirsting for God

Blessed John Francis Burté and Companions
(d. 1792; d. 1794)

These priests were victims of the French Revolution. Though their martyrdom spans a period of several years, they stand together in the Church's memory because they all gave their lives for the same principle. The Civil Constitution of the Clergy (1791) required all priests to take an oath which amounted to a denial of the faith. Each of these men refused and was executed.

John Francis Burté became a Franciscan at 16 and after ordination taught theology to the young friars. Later he was guardian of the large Conventual friary in Paris until he was arrested and held in the convent of the Carmelites.

Appolinaris of Posat was born in 1739 in Switzerland. He joined the Capuchins and acquired a reputation as an excellent preacher, confessor and instructor of clerics. Sent to the East as a missionary, he was in Paris studying Oriental languages when the French Revolution began. Refusing the oath, he was swiftly arrested and detained in the Carmelite convent.

Severin Girault, a member of the Third Order Regular, was a chaplain for a group of sisters in Paris. Imprisoned with the others, he was the first to die in the slaughter at the convent.

These three plus 182 others—including several bishops and many religious and diocesan priests—were massacred at the Carmelite house in Paris on September 2, 1792. They were beatified in 1926.

John Baptist Triquerie, born in 1737, entered the Conventual Franciscans. He was chaplain and confessor of Poor Clare monasteries in three cities before he was arrested for refusing to take the oath. He and 13 diocesan priests were guillotined in Laval on January 21, 1794. He was beatified in 1955.



"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" was the motto of the French Revolution. If individuals have "inalienable rights," as the Declaration of Independence states, these must come not from the agreement of society (which can be very fragile) but directly from God. Do we believe that? Do we act on it?


"The upheaval which occurred in France toward the close of the 18th century wrought havoc in all things sacred and profane and vented its fury against the Church and her ministers. Unscrupulous men came to power who concealed their hatred for the Church under the deceptive guise of philosophy.... It seemed that the times of the early persecutions had returned. The Church, spotless bride of Christ, became resplendent with bright new crowns of martyrdom" (Acts of Martyrdom).


Daily Prayer - 2015-09-02


Dear Lord, help me to be open to you
for this time as I put aside the cares of this world.
Fill my mind with your peace, Your Love.


It is so easy to get caught up
with the trappings of wealth in this life.
Grant, O Lord, that I may be free
from greed and selfishness.
Remind me that the best things in life are free.
Love, laughter, caring and sharing.


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

The Word of God


Reading 1 Col 1:1-8

Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
and Timothy our brother,
to the holy ones and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae:
grace to you and peace from God our Father.

We always give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
when we pray for you,
for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus
and the love that you have for all the holy ones
because of the hope reserved for you in heaven.
Of this you have already heard
through the word of truth, the Gospel, that has come to you.
Just as in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing,
so also among you,
from the day you heard it and came to know the grace of God in truth,
as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow slave,
who is a trustworthy minister of Christ on your behalf
and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.

Responsorial Psalm PS 52:10, 11

R. (10) I trust in the mercy of God for ever.
I, like a green olive tree
in the house of God,
Trust in the mercy of God
forever and ever.
R. I trust in the mercy of God for ever.
I will thank you always for what you have done,
and proclaim the goodness of your name
before your faithful ones.
R. I trust in the mercy of God for ever.

Alleluia Lk 4:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Lord sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor
and to proclaim liberty to captives.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 4:38-44

After Jesus left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon.
Simon's mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever,
and they interceded with him about her.
He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her.
She got up immediately and waited on them.

At sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases brought them to him.
He laid his hands on each of them and cured them.
And demons also came out from many, shouting, "You are the Son of God."
But he rebuked them and did not allow them to speak
because they knew that he was the Christ.

At daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place.
The crowds went looking for him, and when they came to him,
they tried to prevent him from leaving them.
But he said to them, "To the other towns also
I must proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God,
because for this purpose I have been sent."
And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

- - -


Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • 'They asked him about her' and immediately he healed her. I learn here the importance of interceding for others in their need. But I too am among the sick -- I need Jesus to visit me and liberate me, so that I may serve others as Simon's mother-in-law did.
  • I take some moments to let Jesus visit me where I am now. What do I ask of him? Do I allow him to lay his hands on me, and if I do, how does that feel? Does my encounter with him help me in any way?


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: Luke 4:38-44

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22nd Week in Ordinary Time

After Jesus left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon. (Luke 4:38)

The way Luke tells the story in today's Gospel reading, it's as if Jesus has stepped out of the synagogue door and immediately crossed the threshold of Simon's house. Refreshed as he was from worshipping his Father, he was ready to dive back into his mission of revealing the kingdom of God.

Now, we don't know Jesus' itinerary for that evening. Maybe he planned to share a meal with Simon's family, or maybe he was going to spend extra time with the Twelve. But what we do know is that upon entering the house, Jesus learned that Simon's mother-in-law was bedridden with a high fever. An opportunity to demonstrate the love and power of God presented itself, and Jesus capitalized on it!

What about us? When we attend Mass, we encounter the person of Jesus. Of course, he's in the Eucharist. But he's also present in the Scriptures being proclaimed. He's present in the ministry of the priest. And he is in the midst of the believers gathered to worship him. As we lift our hearts to Christ, he comes to refresh us with his grace. Today's Psalm even speaks about how we grow "like a green olive tree" when we're in the house of the Lord (Psalm 52:10). Yet how often do we leave Mass rather anticlimactically, switching mental gears, and getting on with the rest of the day?

What if the next time you left Mass, you took advantage of this grace-filled state? Imagine yourself stepping out of your parish door and across the threshold to a new opportunity. Just as Jesus encountered Simon's mother-in-law, you, too, could expect to encounter a new opening to demonstrate God's love. It doesn't matter all that much where you're heading after Mass. If you are alert and open to the nudging of the Holy Spirit, you'll discover opportunities popping up all over the place.

There's a church in Florida that urges its members to do just that. Located on a cramped downtown street, the church offers a parking garage for its members. As the parishioners begin driving out of the garage, they pass under a large sign that reads, "You are now entering the mission field."

"Lord, for the sake of the world, fill me anew with your grace."


Colossians 1:1-8
Psalm 52:10, 11




From today's 1st Holy Scriptures, " the holy ones and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ ...grace to you and peace from God our Father."  It's almost as if we're being greeted by people in Heaven, right?  As if to say, "be faithful, don't worry, you can do it!".  Once again, encouragement.  And we need that don't we?  So much courage, to combat what debilitates us, weakens us.  What weakens the soul?  Sin.  It kills the soul.  So we have to be on guard, stay awake, because at any moment it can creep in, those demons of fear, despair, things that will rip the peace of your heart out.  Today's 5 minutos ended with "Lord, help me to participate in that great combat that is Yours.  In the depths of my life, like in the world that surrounds me, to push back evil and to progress the good!  That with You and like You did it, work to develop, the joy, the promotion of my brethren!  What healing, TODAY, can I contribute to advance in me?  In my brethren? in society?"
The Psalms pray today "I, like a green olive tree in the house of God, Trust in the mercy of God forever and ever." and "I will thank you always for what you have done, and proclaim the goodness of your name before your faithful ones."  Last night in RCIA, the question came up, "how do you honor someone special in your life?"  One person said "you can respect them".  The answer caught me off guard, "yes that's a very good answer" I said.  How do we honor God then?  Oh sure, we want everyone to respect you, but do you respect them and God?  At one point the 5minutos said today "To Him, all of them were important, there was no multitude, there were people."  Let's take this into our lives.  Even the previous reflection stated that Jesus is the man acting as a priest on the altar.  Jesus is in the people.  Jesus is in everyone.  Consider the importance of this.  Consider it because we live in a world that is trying very hard to persecute Christians, although it has never succeeded, it will continue until our Lord comes again, and by then, will you have been the peace in the world?  Will you have been...Christ to the world?
In today's Holy Gospel, our Lord is invited into Simon's home, St. Peter, our first pope.  His mom was sick, and a fever proved to be a deadly illness.  "And they interceded", they asked for help, just like we ask Mary and Saints and angels for help from Heaven, they interceded to Jesus (the one that gives the ultimate help).  Like the little girl, He stands by her, heals her, and she gets up, and it's time to serve and eat.  The little girl He heals was dead, Simon's mom was heading that way.  How many of us are heading towards death with sin in our lives?  It is weakening.  The only reason you may feel like you will keep reading what I say, is because I am in a constant battle against evil and sin.  It is so common, that it is life.  Life is a battle, a "combat" as the 5minutos said.  And it is the "good fight".  I tried to explain it to RCIA one time by saying "look at how Jesus was so strong, turning the cheek, not making a sound as He was getting beat takes a very strong Man to sit there and take the hits".  Hit me with your best shot, suddenly is taking on a new perspective.  And so sin and death are wiped away by Jesus, that is why we have communion with saints and angels...the Heavens, especially in Holy Mass.  We ought to take a cue from our Lord.  We ought not to stop even when others ask you to stay.  Never plateau, never flatline, never believe you are "good enough", because these are the things that flatline (kill) the soul.  Jesus did not heal Simon's mom so she could serve everyone dinner, LOL, but for one reason alone...He loved her, He loved Simon Peter, He loves everyone there, and He loves everyone here.  Can you love like that?  Yes.  Will we? 

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