Friday, September 18, 2015

Accompanying Him

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Minute Meditations

Relying on Jesus
If the Lord is calling us to do something, He won't abandon us. It's extremely important to rely on Him not only when we are coming to a decision but also as we are carrying out our plan of action. When Jesus said, "I am with you always", He wasn't kidding!
— from Faith, Hope & Clarity

St. Joseph of Cupertino

Joseph is most famous for levitating at prayer.

Already as a child, Joseph showed a fondness for prayer. After a short career with the Capuchins, he joined the Conventuals. Following a brief assignment caring for the friary mule, Joseph began his studies for the priesthood. Though studies were very difficult for him, Joseph gained a great deal of knowledge from prayer. He was ordained in 1628.

Joseph's tendency to levitate during prayer was sometimes a cross; some people came to see this much as they might have gone to a circus sideshow. Joseph's gift led him to be humble, patient and obedient, even though at times he was greatly tempted and felt forsaken by God. He fasted and wore iron chains for much of his life.

The friars transferred Joseph several times for his own good and for the good of the rest of the community. He was reported to and investigated by the Inquisition; the examiners exonerated him.

Joseph was canonized in 1767. In the investigation preceding the canonization, 70 incidents of levitation are recorded.


While levitation is an extraordinary sign of holiness, Joseph is also remembered for the ordinary signs he showed. He prayed even in times of inner darkness, and he lived out the Sermon on the Mount. He used his "unique possession" (his free will) to praise God and to serve God's creation.


"Clearly, what God wants above all is our will which we received as a free gift from God in creation and possess as though our own. When a man trains himself to acts of virtue, it is with the help of grace from God from whom all good things come that he does this. The will is what man has as his unique possession" (St. Joseph of Cupertino, from the reading for his feast in the Franciscan breviary).

Patron Saint of:

Air travelers

 Daily Prayer - 2015-09-18


I remind myself that, as I sit here now,
God is gazing on me with love and holding me in being.
I pause for a moment and think of this.


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.


Where do I sense hope, encouragement, and growth areas in my life? By looking back over the last few months, I may be able to see which activities and occasions have produced rich fruit.  If I do notice such areas, I will determine to give those areas both time and space in the future.

The Word of God


Reading 1 1 Tm 6:2c-12

Teach and urge these things.
Whoever teaches something different
and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ
and the religious teaching
is conceited, understanding nothing,
and has a morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes.
From these come envy, rivalry, insults, evil suspicions,
and mutual friction among people with corrupted minds,
who are deprived of the truth,
supposing religion to be a means of gain.
Indeed, religion with contentment is a great gain.
For we brought nothing into the world,
just as we shall not be able to take anything out of it.
If we have food and clothing, we shall be content with that.
Those who want to be rich are falling into temptation and into a trap
and into many foolish and harmful desires,
which plunge them into ruin and destruction.
For the love of money is the root of all evils,
and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the faith
and have pierced themselves with many pains.

But you, man of God, avoid all this.
Instead, pursue righteousness, devotion,
faith, love, patience, and gentleness.
Compete well for the faith.
Lay hold of eternal life,
to which you were called when you made the noble confession
in the presence of many witnesses.

Responsorial Psalm PS 49:6-7, 8-10, 17-18, 19-20

R. Blessed the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!
Why should I fear in evil days
when my wicked ensnarers ring me round?
They trust in their wealth;
the abundance of their riches is their boast.
R. Blessed the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!
Yet in no way can a man redeem himself,
or pay his own ransom to God;
Too high is the price to redeem one's life; he would never have enough
to remain alive always and not see destruction.
R. Blessed the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!
Fear not when a man grows rich,
when the wealth of his house becomes great,
For when he dies, he shall take none of it;
his wealth shall not follow him down.
R. Blessed the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!
Though in his lifetime he counted himself blessed,
"They will praise you for doing well for yourself,"
He shall join the circle of his forebears
who shall never more see light.
R. Blessed the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!

Alleluia See Mt 11:25

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 8:1-3

Jesus journeyed from one town and village to another,
preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God.
Accompanying him were the Twelve
and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities,
Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,
Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza,
Susanna, and many others
who provided for them out of their resources.

Some thoughts on today's scripture
  • Saint Luke always speaks favourably of women, and highlights their positive response to Jesus. He is the only evangelist who gives us this detail of the women who travelled with Jesus.
  • The scene gives an image of the infant church. It is on the move, and is made up of ordinary women and men who are centred on Jesus. This meant they had to give up their previous settled ways of life. They were bringing with them 'the good news of the kingdom of God' not only by words but by being a close-knit community in which each shared whatever resources they had. How fragile a start for the Church!
  • In these times I may experience the Church as fragile and ill-equipped for its great task of spreading the Good News. I pray that God may bless my efforts to bring good news to those I meet.


Do I notice myself reacting as I pray with the Word of God?
Do I feel challenged, comforted, angry?
Imagining Jesus sitting or standing by me,
I speak out my feelings, as one trusted friend to another.


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: 1 Timothy 6:2-12

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24th Week in Ordinary Time

Compete well for the faith. (1 Timothy 6:12)

Is it good to be competitive? 

Early in this passage, Paul warns Timothy against those who are always spoiling for a fight. Insisting on fine points of doctrine, such people have "a morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes" (1 Timothy 6:4). They believe that they are the only ones who have all the answers. They ignore and suppress any evidence to the contrary, and paint those who disagree as "dissenters" or even "heretics." Zealous to criticize other people, they are alert for every misstep, but are often blind to their own needs or deficits.

People who think this way are like the proverbial blind men, each describing the whole elephant according to the part he has touched. ("It's like a wall." "No, it's like a rope.") The more argumentative among them may "win" whatever dispute they are caught up in, but at the price of narrowing his vision, missing the big glorious picture that comes to those who consider more than one perspective.

Those who engage in such arguments are competing against each other as if only one person could win. However, in the kingdom of God, we are all on the same team; we are all in the same family. One of us can never win at the expense of another. Rather, we become more like God when we value each other and help each other along.

Paul urges Timothy to change his focus. Rather than competing against people, he should compete for something. "Compete well for the faith," he writes (1 Timothy 6:12). Throw in all you have to advance God's kingdom in God's way. It's wonderful to pursue personal righteousness and devotion to God, but your brother and sister's growth is essential to your well-being. So try to develop the qualities that will enable you to live in fellowship: love, patience, generosity, and gentleness.

We can't cultivate these qualities in isolation. Patience comes as you wait for someone to make up his or her mind. Awed by another person's kindness, you can be motivated to set aside your own toughness. Only by being committed to other people's best interests can you grow in love. 

"Jesus, thank you for the brothers and sisters you have given me. Help us to encourage each other."


Psalm 49:6-10, 17-20
Luke 8:1-3




Wow, how can we be competitive when it comes to the Christian life and working in God's Kingdom?  In competition there are losers aren't there?  The competition is not against one another.  We have been raised wrong.  The competition is for holiness, and in such, we are to help one another attain and reach that goal.  Focusing on other things like money will prove as an obstacle to many.  St. Paul says "Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called when you made the noble confession in the presence of many witnesses."  Now, there are different ways to make a "noble confession".  And it boils down to your life with Christ.  You can confess by witnessing your love for Christ.  You can confess before the world by confessing to a priest. 
The Psalms pray today "Blessed the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!"  Scriptures keep saying that.  "Poor in spirit".  We should want to be poor in spirit then?  We should not want to be rich?  Sounds all backwards to the way we are raised in the world where it is "dog eat dog" and a "rat race" out there.  Unfortunately, humility is hard to find.  Yet, it is a requirement, possibly the biggest requirement to go to Heaven.  Why?  Perhaps because humility allows for grace to come into your soul.  This allows God into your life.  Maybe this whole poverty thing is actually a good thing when it comes to life in the spirit and salvation.
The Gospel introduces more women of grace.  What were their names again?  Mary, Joanna, Susanna.  Mary had evil spirits, Joanna was connected to evil King Herod, and Susanna, which not more is mentioned, but these women proved to be followers of Christ, therefore being close to Him, grace filled, as they served Him.  More women are found at the foot of the cross, waiting to serve Christ.  They took Him down from the cross and wrapped Him.  Mary had wrapped Jesus as a baby, and now wrapped Him to bury Him.  What we have are instances of poverty.  They emptied themselves of who they were to be what Christ had called them to be...fully God's.   
These are all beautiful words.  Who knows which part of today's Word you will take to heart.  As for me, it is a constant call to conversion.  Will I be converted today?  Will I let God into me today?  Will I empty myself and let Him be?  Will I confess?  Will I witness?  Will I follow and serve the Lord?  Will I be competitive and see how many lives we can help take to Heaven?  Will I forget what the world has to offer and accept what the Lord has to offer?  Because in the end, we will be clothed in burial clothes and what then?  Will the ego live on?  Not in God's Kingdom.  The egocentric will cease to exist in eternal life, for even the world will pass.  What we have then, are angels among us.  We have angels looking to us to lead them back to Heaven.  The task is daunting, yet we have Grace abounding waiting to help us.  Will we confess?  Will we meet Jesus?  Will we reach out to Jesus? 

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