Friday, September 11, 2015

Then You Will See

Untitled document

Minute Meditations

We Are All Sinners

Jesus tells us that He came " call the righteous...but sinners" (Luke 5:32). We do not have to be perfect to come to Christ; we come to Christ to be perfected.
— from A 40-Day Spiritual Workout for Catholics

St. Cyprian
(d. 258)
Listen to Audio

Cyprian is important in the development of Christian thought and practice in the third century, especially in northern Africa.

Highly educated, a famous orator, he became a Christian as an adult. He distributed his goods to the poor, and amazed his fellow citizens by making a vow of chastity before his baptism. Within two years he had been ordained a priest and was chosen, against his will, as Bishop of Carthage (near modern Tunis).

Cyprian complained that the peace the Church had enjoyed had weakened the spirit of many Christians and had opened the door to converts who did not have the true spirit of faith. When the Decian persecution began, many Christians easily abandoned the Church. It was their reinstatement that caused the great controversies of the third century, and helped the Church progress in its understanding of the Sacrament of Penance.

Novatus, a priest who had opposed Cyprian's election, set himself up in Cyprian's absence (he had fled to a hiding place from which to direct the Church—bringing criticism on himself) and received back all apostates without imposing any canonical penance. Ultimately he was condemned. Cyprian held a middle course, holding that those who had actually sacrificed to idols could receive Communion only at death, whereas those who had only bought certificates saying they had sacrificed could be admitted after a more or less lengthy period of penance. Even this was relaxed during a new persecution.

During a plague in Carthage, he urged Christians to help everyone, including their enemies and persecutors.

A friend of Pope Cornelius, Cyprian opposed the following pope, Stephen. He and the other African bishops would not recognize the validity of baptism conferred by heretics and schismatics. This was not the universal view of the Church, but Cyprian was not intimidated even by Stephen's threat of excommunication.

He was exiled by the emperor and then recalled for trial. He refused to leave the city, insisting that his people should have the witness of his martyrdom.

Cyprian was a mixture of kindness and courage, vigor and steadiness. He was cheerful and serious, so that people did not know whether to love or respect him more. He waxed warm during the baptismal controversy; his feelings must have concerned him, for it was at this time that he wrote his treatise on patience. St. Augustine remarks that Cyprian atoned for his anger by his glorious martyrdom.


The controversies about Baptism and Penance in the third century remind us that the early Church had no ready-made solutions from the Holy Spirit. The leaders and members of the Church of that day had to move painfully through the best series of judgments they could make in an attempt to follow the entire teaching of Christ and not be diverted by exaggerations to right or left.


"You cannot have God for your Father if you do not have the Church for your mother.... God is one and Christ is one, and his Church is one; one is the faith, and one is the people cemented together by harmony into the strong unity of a body.... If we are the heirs of Christ, let us abide in the peace of Christ; if we are the sons of God, let us be lovers of peace" (St. Cyprian, The Unity of the Catholic Church).

Patron Saint of:

North Africa


Daily Prayer - 2015-09-11


Dear Jesus, I come to you today
longing for your presence.
I desire to love you as You love me.
May nothing ever separate me from You.


I try to let go of concerns and worries
that may be dragging me down at this present moment.
I place any concerns I have in Gods hands
- at least for these few minutes of prayer.


Help me Lord to be more conscious of your presence.
Teach me to recognise your presence in others.
Fill my heart with gratitude for the times Your love has been shown to me through the care of others.

The Word of God


Reading 1 1 Tm 1:1-2, 12-14

Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our savior
and of Christ Jesus our hope,
to Timothy, my true child in faith:
grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father
and Christ Jesus our Lord.

I am grateful to him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because he considered me trustworthy
in appointing me to the ministry.
I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and an arrogant man,
but I have been mercifully treated
because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief.
Indeed, the grace of our Lord has been abundant,
along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

Responsorial Psalm PS 16:1b-2a and 5, 7-8, 11

R. (see 5) You are my inheritance, O Lord.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the LORD, "My Lord are you."
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.

Alleluia See Jn 17:17b, 17a

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your word, O Lord, is truth;
consecrate us in the truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 6:39-42

Jesus told his disciples a parable:
"Can a blind person guide a blind person?
Will not both fall into a pit?
No disciple is superior to the teacher;
but when fully trained,
every disciple will be like his teacher.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?
How can you say to your brother,
'Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,'
when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye?
You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly
to remove the splinter in your brother's eye."

Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • We like to guide and correct people. It gives us a bit of status. This means of course that we are quick to see the flaws in others. I wonder how much of our conversation is focussed on the failings of public figures and of those close to us.
  • Jesus doesn't deny that people have failings, but he invites me to look to my own blind spots first. If the just person falls seven times, how often do I fall? Jesus uses humour to make his point. He invites me to imagine how many people I would be hurting if I had a log attached to my eye!
  • Lord, make me more aware of my inadequacies, so that I may become gentle in dealing with others.


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 6:39-42

View NAB Reading at

Subscriber? Login to view archives.

23rd Week in Ordinary Time

Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother's eye. (Luke 6:42)

People love to judge other people and give advice, even when they don't have much to offer. It can be kind of cute to see children spouting off about topics they know nothing about, but it gets a little scarier when they grow up. Depending on how serious the topic is, it can become downright dangerous, as "the blind leading the blind."

As Jesus points out in today's Gospel reading, we can be particularly prone to offering unnecessary, as well as ill-conceived, advice in the spiritual or moral realm. It can seem so clear to us what needs to happen in other people's lives that it's hard to hold back. But then, when it comes to our own lives, we are more cautious because we see the big picture, and we know there is no quick and easy fix.

Only God sees the true "big picture," and it's because he sees our hearts so completely that he treats us with such patience, grace, and mercy. What a comforting truth! You can rest peacefully, secure in the faith that your heavenly Father has you in the palm of his hand. And here exactly is where the challenge lies: God sees everyone's "big picture," and he has each person in the palm of his hand. So that means we can leave everyone else to his care as well. If God is just as patient and merciful with everyone as he is with us, we don't need to worry about changing them!

Of course, we should love the people around us and be involved in their lives. But perhaps we should try to do this by imitating our Father and treating them with the same merciful, loving approach that God has—an approach that seeks to understand and empathize, not condemn and overadvise.

Think of one person whom you are most tempted to judge or give advice to. Now try to isolate one conversation you have had in the last day or two when you gave in to the temptation to try to fix him or her. How could you have offered grace and love instead? Finally, watch for the next conversation, and lead with love rather than correction.

"Lord, help me to reflect your grace and love to the people around me."


1 Timothy 1:1-2, 12-14
Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 11





A testimony at the Ultreya last night came from a married woman.  She recalled how brutal she'd been with her husband and children with how she treated them, with insults and humiliations.  She wouldn't dare go to a cursillo nor an ultreya (a gathering of cursillistas) because she called it a gathering of hypocrites.  It's pretty easy to see a splinter in everyone's eyes when you have a log in yours.  The 5 minutos spanish reflection recalled a group of women gathered at a social benefit. 
"There the elegant women were gathered, some frustrated and proud of "their good deeds".  When suddenly a woman from the street comes in with a bruised eye, the women launch a discourse before the woman can open her mouth.   They said she should be embarrassed by the life she lived, "you can make a living without losing your dignity".  The woman tried to get a word here and there to say why she was there.  The "specialists" in giving advice using maternal tones.  Finally the woman grew impatient and said "Listen for a moment, please be quiet.  I came here just to ask for a piece of ice to put on my eye, do you have any or not?", they said "truth is we do not have any, but if you'll listen to us...", and the poor woman interrupts "Excuse me, when I need sermons I will know who to go to.  For now, I only need ice.  Since you don't have any, it is better that I go...".  Why do we judge?  Because our faith is dead, without works, pure little "advices/suggestions" seemingly pious, without seeing one's own errors.  And charity dies the moment it pretends to give works with words.  Or like the message goes "talk about my life when yours is the example".
Let's apply this to "real life".
The Psalm's pray on "I bless the LORD who counsels me; even in the night my heart exhorts me. I set the LORD ever before me" and the response is "You are my inheritance o Lord".  I love that.  You have an inheritance...and it is the Lord!  There are children that will not want anything to do with inheritance, and others, they want all the riches and will kill anyone that gets in their way, thus in the end...losing it all.  I heard a glimpse, a radio theatrical play a couple weeks ago.  They used to do cool stuff on radio back in the day LOL.  The story was of a man who lived with his elderly aunt.  He took care of her, and got insurance on her.  One day he got tempted to kill her so he could have an easy life.  And he did.  At the end, the police investigations find him guilty.  And he finds out that his poor aunt loved her nephew and wanted to surprise him that week about her plans to give him all her inheritance which was worthy 1,000 times more than the insurance he had planned on getting from her death as he was the beneficiary.  Let yourself be a child of God, He is your inheritance.  He is everything...right?
The Lord speaks "Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit?"  It's like having mud on your eyes and noticing the world is a dirty place.  Nowadays people say "the world is such a horrible place".  That's what's coming out from within.  A young new worker came in to my office and caught himself using cuss words, he sort of apologized, and I said "you just say what's in your heart".  If filth is coming out, there must be filth in there.  And the Lord speaks about eyes yet it is about hearts.  Oh how I know what's wrong with people, and I don't know what's wrong with me!  This is what God wants you to know.  We need Him. 
Last night, I sat in a little group with a charismatic cursillista, a powerhouse of an older man in spirit, Deacon Jesse Guajardo.  He asked us in the group "what's better, to receive healing, or to receive conversion".  One brother said "to receive conversion" and I said "to receive healing".  Deacon Jesse said "it's better to receive conversion and healing will come".  It is right, because conversion is the beginning of a reconciliation.  I thought he meant spiritual healing, but he meant physical, cuz he said "once people get healed...they leave".  It's true.  How many of us get what we want and leave?  Blind.  We are blind to see the reality of the unseen, the forces at hand, and most especially, the Kingdom.  When the Deacon gave his talk to all, he was encouraging all to bring more to cursillos and he said "the Lord deserves more".  That kinda got to me.  The Lord DOES deserve more doesn't he?  More than we care.  More souls than we care about.  I think about exercising, and I don't.  I think about praying, and I don't.  I don't even care about me, how can I care about others?  Most Friday's I go to Mass, I lead a blind man from his room to Mass at the nursing home.  I can take his body there, but I can't open his soul to God.  With all you've read, I may have pointed you towards Christ. 
God wants you to see so you can lead others to be with Him forever.
Apprently our Lord wants us to help one another...the right way, with a truly caring heart, I don't need all your harsh criticisms, I need a hug that welcomes me into the love of Christ


Subscribe to the Going4th mailing list.