Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Into His home

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Minute Meditations

Hear God's Voice Minute Meditations
God speaks to us in many ways, some conventional and some unconventional. If we are truly seeking His will for our lives, it behooves us to make the effort to hear His voice. While it may require turning off the noise that surrounds us, the reward will be great. We will be able to know His will and experience His peace.
— from Faith, Hope & Clarity

Our Lady of Sorrows

For a while there were two feasts in honor of the Sorrowful Mother: one going back to the 15th century, the other to the 17th century. For a while both were celebrated by the universal Church: one on the Friday before Palm Sunday, the other in September.

The principal biblical references to Mary's sorrows are in Luke 2:35 and John 19:26-27. The Lucan passage is Simeon's prediction about a sword piercing Mary's soul; the Johannine passage relates Jesus' words to Mary and to the beloved disciple.

Many early Church writers interpret the sword as Mary's sorrows, especially as she saw Jesus die on the cross. Thus, the two passages are brought together as prediction and fulfillment.

St. Ambrose (December7) in particular sees Mary as a sorrowful yet powerful figure at the cross. Mary stood fearlessly at the cross while others fled. Mary looked on her Son's wounds with pity, but saw in them the salvation of the world. As Jesus hung on the cross, Mary did not fear to be killed but offered herself to her persecutors.


John's account of Jesus' death is highly symbolic. When Jesus gives the beloved disciple to Mary, we are invited to appreciate Mary's role in the Church: She symbolizes the Church; the beloved disciple represents all believers. As Mary mothered Jesus, she is now mother to all his followers. Furthermore, as Jesus died, he handed over his Spirit. Mary and the Spirit cooperate in begetting new children of God—almost an echo of Luke's account of Jesus' conception. Christians can trust that they will continue to experience the caring presence of Mary and Jesus' Spirit throughout their lives and throughout history.


"At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.
Through her heart, his sorrow sharing,
All his bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword has passed."
(Stabat Mater)

Daily Prayer - 2015-09-15


"Be still and know that I am God"
Lord, may your spirit guide me to seek
Your Loving presence more and more.
For it is there I find rest and refreshment from this busy world.<


There are very few people
who realise what God would make of them
if they abandoned themselves into his hands,
and let themselves be formed by his grace. (Saint Ignatius)
I ask for the grace to trust myself totally to God's love.


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 Our Lady of Sorrows

Reading 1 1 Tm 3:1-13

Beloved, this saying is trustworthy:
whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task.
Therefore, a bishop must be irreproachable,
married only once, temperate, self-controlled,
decent, hospitable, able to teach,
not a drunkard, not aggressive, but gentle,
not contentious, not a lover of money.
He must manage his own household well,
keeping his children under control with perfect dignity;
for if a man does not know how to manage his own household,
how can he take care of the Church of God?
He should not be a recent convert,
so that he may not become conceited
and thus incur the Devil's punishment.
He must also have a good reputation among outsiders,
so that he may not fall into disgrace, the Devil's trap.

Similarly, deacons must be dignified, not deceitful,
not addicted to drink, not greedy for sordid gain,
holding fast to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.
Moreover, they should be tested first;
then, if there is nothing against them,
let them serve as deacons.
Women, similarly, should be dignified, not slanderers,
but temperate and faithful in everything.
Deacons may be married only once
and must manage their children and their households well.
Thus those who serve well as deacons gain good standing
and much confidence in their faith in Christ Jesus.

Responsorial Psalm PS 101:1b-2ab, 2cd-3ab, 5, 6

R. (2) I will walk with blameless heart.
Of mercy and judgment I will sing;
to you, O LORD, I will sing praise.
I will persevere in the way of integrity;
when will you come to me?
R. I will walk with blameless heart.
I will walk with blameless heart,
within my house;
I will not set before my eyes
any base thing.
R. I will walk with blameless heart.
Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret,
him will I destroy.
The man of haughty eyes and puffed up heart
I will not endure.
R. I will walk with blameless heart.
My eyes are upon the faithful of the land,
that they may dwell with me.
He who walks in the way of integrity
shall be in my service.
R. I will walk with blameless heart.

Sequence (Optional) - Stabat Mater

At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.

Through her heart, his sorrow sharing,
All his bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword had passed.

Oh, how sad and sore distressed
Was that Mother highly blessed
Of the sole begotten One!

Christ above in torment hangs,
She beneath beholds the pangs
Of her dying, glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep,
'Whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ's dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain
From partaking in her pain,
In that mother's pain untold?

Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
She beheld her tender Child,
All with bloody scourges rent.

For the sins of his own nation
Saw him hang in desolation
Till his spirit forth he sent.

O sweet Mother! font of love,
Touch my spirit from above,
Make my heart with yours accord.

Make me feel as you have felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt
With the love of Christ, my Lord.

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Savior crucified.

Let me share with you his pain,
Who for all our sins was slain,
Who for me in torments died.

Let me mingle tears with you,
Mourning him who mourned for me,
All the days that I may live.

By the cross with you to stay,
There with you to weep and pray,
Is all I ask of you to give.

Virgin of all virgins blest!
Listen to my fond request:
Let me share your grief divine.

Let me to my latest breath,
In my body bear the death
Of that dying Son of yours.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary;
without dying you won the martyr's crown
beneath the Cross of the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 19:25-27

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved
he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son."
Then he said to the disciple,
"Behold, your mother."
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

Or Lk 2:33-35

Jesus' father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
"Behold, this child is destined
for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
and you yourself a sword will pierce
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."

Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • Mary made space in her heart and body for God to come into the world. Here she is asked to make space for me, and she gladly does so.
  • In the past, Mary was sometimes referred to as 'The Madonna of Scoundrels' -- an amusing title given her by sinners who took today's text at face value! The 'scoundrels' chose to believe that Mary's mantle covers everyone. After all, they reasoned, every person is a brother or sister for whom her Son died, so no matter how bad some sinners might be, they are members of her family. Perhaps these people knew God's heart better than the theologians did? A mother never rejects her children, even if they are wayward, so I too can find my place under her mantle.


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.


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: John 19:25-27

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Our Lady of Sorrows (Memorial)

From that hour the disciple took her into his home. (John 19:27)

We may have many symbolic reminders of Mary in our homes: icons, statues, and rosaries. But think what it must have been like for John to take the Mother of God into his home! No doubt, living with Mary was a very profound experience for the beloved disciple. Surely his relationship with her must have deepened his walk with the Lord and his ability to share Jesus with the world.

What a great opportunity John had to understand who Jesus is! Mary knew the Lord better than any human being. Even though she pretty much fades into the background after Jesus is born, we know she was always learning from him. As Luke tells us, she "kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart" (Luke 2:19).

Surely John and Mary must have prayed together and reflected on the life and death of her son. As John recounted some of his experiences in the company of Jesus, Mary must have helped him grasp their meaning, shedding new light on important events of Jesus' life: his birth, his life in Nazareth, his ministry, and even his passion. Instead of a rosary, John had the Blessed Mother herself present to explain the mysteries of our faith.

At the cross, Mary was Our Lady of Sorrows, but her sorrow was mixed with joy as she reflected on the redemption that her Son was winning for the whole human race. In this, she teaches us that even in our greatest sorrows, there is the hope of a Savior and the promise of eternal life for all who hold fast to their faith and place their trust in God's loving care.

How can we welcome Mary into our homes? We can reflect with her on the mysteries of her Son. We can bring our experiences, our confusions, and our half-formed judgments to her and ask for greater clarity. We can ask her to help us embrace those children of hers whom we sometimes find difficult to love. Mary is the mother of the whole Church, so let's make her our mother as well.

"Holy Mary, we invite you to come down from our walls to share our daily lives. Unite our joys and sorrows with yours, transforming them by the presence of the Son you always carry in your heart."


1 Timothy 3:1-13
Psalm 101:1-3, 5-6




Today's 1st Holy Scripture said at one point "Women, similarly, should be dignified, not slanderers, but temperate and faithful in everything."  It goes for men too.  Be faithful.  Temperate, showing self-restraint and moderation.  Be faithful in everything, which goes for seen and unseen, heard and unheard.  We have to come to the realization of the important, God is with us and calls us to be with Him forever.  The same applies to the mother of our Lord, Mary.  She was faithful, temperate, and was dignified.  She was in love with God, her only child that was given to her by God.  The super fact is that this God is Love.  She had a double whammy, she loved her only child, and He was Love.  We love our children, but they are not God.  Mary loved her child and it was Love.  A parent can not imagine having to endure watching their only child be slaughtered to death.  A parent would rather die for the child, a true loving, faithful, temperate and dignified parent would.  The faithful then, are called to this death.
I've often pondered upon the time I was taken from time and space to that point where the Lord was crucified.  As I reflect, I can look at it and see that perhaps I was looking at it through one of the Marys eyes, because 3 Marys stood there and all the other disciples had run away to hide except for the beloved disciple.  As I was lost in space and time, witnessing what I saw, I was being shaken by someone next to me, before I opened my eyes I had looked around to see who was around in the darkness, and what should've been the people in the pews, they were lights, some big, some small, some not there at all.  Could this be the love of Christ?  Your light?  Could that light reflect your love of Christ?  Was the cross the reason for the light? 
The Psalms pray on "I will walk with a blameless heart".  I will, wherever I go, walk blameless, talk blameless, see blameless.  To the world, you may seem like a prude, like someone who knows nothing.  But the opposite is true, you know Christ, and that is to know everything you will need forever.  Some say "ignorance is bliss" and it can only be true if all you know is Christ, all you love is Christ, and the rest you are ignorant of.  "Well didn't you hear about what happened?"  No.  No I didn't hear the rumors.  "Well didn't you hear what they said about so and so?".  No, I didn't hear.  "Didn't you hear about the horror they are doing to so and so?".  No, thanks.  Then it's my turn to ask "Did you hear about the story Jesus told about the prodigal son?".  Some young teens, "No, we never have".  "Did you know that Jesus is made real in the Eucharist?"  and some say "No, I didn't know".  And I asked some in RCIA "Do you know what Our Lady of Guadalupe did?".  "No".  "She helped convert millions of Indians into Christianity, where all the efforts of the Spaniards and missionaries had failed".  Or, perhaps, answered prayers.  Because those "savages" were going crazy, sacrificing innocents, and children to the gods, the false gods.'s even worse today.  At least they had a reason to sacrifice, nowadays, there's no real good reason to kill children or each other with our slander, and we do. 
And so the Simeon prophecy said a sword would pierce the mother of God so the thoughts of many hearts would be revealed.  When that guy next to me "woke me up" and I came back to "reality", I realized I was soaked in tears, I didn't know I had been crying while singing/praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  I kept my head low to wipe my face...apparently it was time to go.  Sparatically, you'll hear of a statue of the Virgin Mary crying.
Why do you weep Mother?  Is it because people are ungrateful?  Is it because I am ungrateful?  Ungrateful, meaning failing to realize God's love in our lives?
Why do you weep Mother?  Is it because the love of your life died for a reason, and that reason is me, and I don't even care?
I think it was last year.  A young man, used to be an altar boy when he was younger, was the only blood son of a couple, he took his life.  They say the mother was devastated.  On a cold night they found her wondering the streets, walking towards the house where her son had died.  I am recalling the audio book I heard about Sister Anne Emmerich and the Dolorous Passion of our Lord.  I was as if walking the steps of our Mother Mary through the Passion of our Lord.  Sister Anne said that Mary too was devastated, walking in the middle of the night to where her Son had died, whereas everyone else was asleep...she remained awake. 
And in a devastation we say "this is isn't really happening".  And it is. 
Why do you weep still Mother?  A loving mother cries for her children.  When me and my wife leave the kids for a weekend, I often ask her in our silence "what are you thinking about?" and the answer is usually "the kids".  Always on her mind and the household.  Me, I'm usually thinking about the world, LOL, the business, the business of saving the world even, the economy is a false word nowadays, because it comes from the word oi'kono which oi means management and kono means house, I think it's Hebrew.  The management of the house.  Your house.  Your whatever is in your heart. 
Why do you weep Mother?  Is it because some so called "christians' are saying you are the devil? Or the Holy Church Jesus set, the Catholic is demonic? 
Why do you weep Mother?  Is it because people take the Body of Christ and desecrate it in their homes?
Why do you weep Mother?  Is it because you are alone?  Some of the most heart breaking stories I hear is of those who are elderly and abandoned and the old mother says "I want to see my children, they don't come see me".   And so "christians' have abandoned the mother of God.  This is why Jesus said as He was dying on the cross for His disciple to take her into his home.  I am a disciple.  I am to take her into my home and take care this way...of the home.
Can a sword pierce your heart so bad that it makes you cry forever? 
What if, and take it from one tasting death at the cross with Christ, what if these tears I feel like crying right now as I write to you, what if they are because my heart is burning.  I don't know what kind of pain it is, but it is love.  The cross of the heart is love.  Sheer love.  Those who love cry.  Those who don't...die

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