Wednesday, October 14, 2015

You Are Insulting

Untitled document

Minute Meditations

Sympathetic Listening Image result for jesus broom
It takes conversion to be able to love another, it takes deep conversion to love that person deeply. If husbands and wives understood this and put it into practice, divorces would vanish. And so would domestic fights and bickering and pouting and shouting disappear. Sympathetic listening to each other in differences of opinion would blossom. Each spouse would desire to do what the other prefers in practical matters.... Yes, Christic love is a revolution.
—Thomas Dubay, S.M.
— from Love Never Fails

St. Callistus I
(d. 223?)

The most reliable information about this saint comes from his enemy St. Hippolytus, an early antipope, later a martyr for the Church. A negative principle is used: If some worse things had happened, Hippolytus would surely have mentioned them.

Callistus was a slave in the imperial Roman household. Put in charge of the bank by his master, he lost the money deposited, fled and was caught. After serving time for a while, he was released to make some attempt to recover the money. Apparently he carried his zeal too far, being arrested for brawling in a Jewish synagogue. This time he was condemned to work in the mines of Sardinia. He was released through the influence of the emperor's mistress and lived at Anzio (site of a famous World War II beachhead).

After winning his freedom, Callistus was made superintendent of the public Christian burial ground in Rome (still called the cemetery of St. Callistus), probably the first land owned by the Church. The pope ordained him a deacon and made him his friend and adviser.

He was elected pope by a majority vote of the clergy and laity of Rome, and thereafter was bitterly attacked by the losing candidate, St. Hippolytus, who let himself be set up as the first antipope in the history of the Church. The schism lasted about 18 years.

Hippolytus is venerated as a saint. He was banished during the persecution of 235 and was reconciled to the Church. He died from his sufferings in Sardinia. He attacked Callistus on two fronts—doctrine and discipline. Hippolytus seems to have exaggerated the distinction between Father and Son (almost making two gods) possibly because theological language had not yet been refined. He also accused Callistus of being too lenient, for reasons we may find surprising: 1) Callistus admitted to Holy Communion those who had already done public penance for murder, adultery, fornication; 2) he held marriages between free women and slaves to be valid—contrary to Roman law; 3) he authorized the ordination of men who had been married two or three times; 4) he held that mortal sin was not a sufficient reason to depose a bishop; 5) he held to a policy of leniency toward those who had temporarily denied their faith during persecution.

Callistus was martyred during a local disturbance in Trastevere, Rome, and is the first pope (except for Peter) to be commemorated as a martyr in the earliest martyrology of the Church.


The life of this man is another reminder that the course of Church history, like that of true love, never did run smooth. The Church had to (and still must) go through the agonizing struggle to state the mysteries of the faith in language that, at the very least, sets up definite barriers to error. On the disciplinary side, the Church had to preserve the mercy of Christ against rigorism while still upholding the gospel ideal of radical conversion and self-discipline. Every pope—indeed every Christian—must walk the difficult path between "reasonable" indulgence and "reasonable" rigorism.


His contemporaries, Jesus said, were "like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another, 'We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.' For John [the Baptist] came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, 'He is possessed by a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, 'Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners'" (Matthew 11:16b-19a).

Daily Prayer - 2015-10-14


"Come to me all you who are burdened
and I will give you rest"
Here I am, Lord.
I come to seek your presence.
I long for your healing power.


Lord grant me the grace
to have freedom of the spirit.
Cleanse my heart and soul
so I may live joyously in Your love.


How do I find myself today?
Where am I with God? With others?
Do I have something to be grateful for? Then I give thanks.
Is there something I am sorry for? Then I ask forgiveness.

The Word of God

Reading 1 Rom 2:1-11

You, O man, are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment.
For by the standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself,
since you, the judge, do the very same things.
We know that the judgment of God on those who do such things is true.
Do you suppose, then, you who judge those who engage in such things
and yet do them yourself,
that you will escape the judgment of God?
Or do you hold his priceless kindness, forbearance, and patience
in low esteem, unaware that the kindness of God
would lead you to repentance?
By your stubbornness and impenitent heart,
you are storing up wrath for yourself
for the day of wrath and revelation
of the just judgment of God,
who will repay everyone according to his works,
eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality
through perseverance in good works,
but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth
and obey wickedness.
Yes, affliction and distress will come upon everyone
who does evil, Jew first and then Greek.
But there will be glory, honor, and peace for everyone
who does good, Jew first and then Greek.
There is no partiality with God.

Responsorial Psalm PS 62:2-3, 6-7, 9

R. (13b) Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.
Only in God is my soul at rest;
from him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed at all.
Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.
Only in God be at rest, my soul,
for from him comes my hope.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed.
Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.
Trust in him at all times, O my people!
Pour out your hearts before him;
God is our refuge!
Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.

Alleluia Jn 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 11:42-46

The Lord said:
"Woe to you Pharisees!
You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb,
but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God.
These you should have done, without overlooking the others.
Woe to you Pharisees!
You love the seat of honor in synagogues
and greetings in marketplaces.
Woe to you!
You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk."

Then one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply,
"Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too."
And he said, "Woe also to you scholars of the law!
You impose on people burdens hard to carry,
but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them."

Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • Often people in authority use their position to demand conformity in detail and recognition by others of their status. This can often be at the expense of neglecting to realise that justice and proper care for others are the essential elements of service by those in authority. We are all called to act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with our God.


Conversation requires talking and listening.
As I talk to Jesus may I also learn to be still and listen.
I picture the gentleness in His eyes
and the smile full of love as he gazes on me.
I can be totally honest with Jesus as I tell Him of my worries and my cares.
I will open up my heart to Him as I tell Him of my fears and my doubts.
I will ask Him to help me to place myself fully in His care,
to abandon myself to Him,
knowing that He always wants what is best for me.


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: Romans 2:1-11

View NAB Reading at

Subscriber? Login to view archives.

Saint Callistus I, Pope and Martyr (Optional Memorial)

By the standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the very same things. (Romans 2:1)

Psychologists have long recognized the sort of behavior that Paul is describing here. They call it "projection," and it's a defense mechanism we use to try and gloss over our own faults. Instead of looking at—and dealing with—our faults, we tend to project them onto other people. For example, when we spend a lot of time considering someone greedy, lazy, or impatient, it may be that we carry those same faults and are trying to deflect attention from them. What we most dislike about someone else is often a sign of what we dislike about ourselves.

However, this is where Paul and modern psychology differ. Paul was more interested in urging people to look upward to God rather than just inward to their minds. He wanted to teach them that no one is good enough to judge another because everyone is guilty. He could speak from experience. He had once thought himself righteous for observing the Law, but he learned that indeed, "all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).

What can we take from Paul's "reality therapy"? That we are all hopeless sinners destined for perdition? Not at all! Paul's whole rationale for exposing our condition is to move us to Christ. The bad news is that we are all equally sinful. But the really good news is that we don't have to fix the problem ourselves. We have a Savior who is powerful enough to lead us out of the mire of sin and into a new life of grace.

The next time you are tempted to judge someone, go straight to Jesus, and see what he's telling you about yourself. Is he pointing out some area of darkness in your heart? Good! Because now you can run into his light and be embraced by his mercy. That mercy is strong enough not only to heal you, but to soften your heart toward everyone else as well. So turn to him, and let the judgmental thoughts fall away!

"Lord, help me to see everyone with your gentleness and love. May I always be ready to admit my weakness and to come to you for mercy."

Psalm 62:2-3, 6-7, 9
Luke 11:42-46


The first Holy Scripture said "the standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the very same things."  I remember a line that Dr. Phil said on TV "...I don't like in you, what I see in me".  We need to remember that.  Last night they mentioned in a meeting someone that complained about what the church does with the money.  I told him "let's not worry too much about them, because it seems as though they are projecting, they themselves are are not trustworthy with their money".  Yes, we have to have transparency, yes we could have long explanations of where every last penny goes, but do you do that at home?  Not everyone does.  And we are like that with sin.  "So and so is so negative", yet, it is us being negative with them!  Where is your heart?  Surely not with the Lord because God is love.  And that will eventually be our own prize or demise.  How we treasure God's love will make a difference for eternity.
The Psalms pray "Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works. Only in God is my soul at rest; from him comes my salvation." Before that meeting I just spoke of, I was teaching an adult formation class, RCIA.  I noticed the homework wasn't done in  a previous lesson, so I said "let's do that part called 4U2Do".  We went and identified places in the church, many of which they struggled to find even though we had discussed it.  It's one thing to read, and it's quite another to do.  I taught them where the Holy of Holies is located in the Sanctuary, and taught them to kneel facing the Holy of Holies, the Blessed Sacrament, and bow to the altar in reverance to the sacrifice and the saints that stand there ready for Jesus.  When we walked outside, I asked what they felt as we knelt before the Lord, "Peace" said one, and the other agreed.  I said "that is the presence of God."  Only in God is my soul at rest, said the Psalm today. 
  The Lord speaks today "You pay tithes ... but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God."  Many don't even pay tithes! LOL.  They think and say that what they do for the Lord is enough, no tithing necessary.  He doesn't dismiss tithing "These you should have done, without overlooking the others."  It is a giving.  Give of your money.  Give of your time.  Give of your talents.  But most importantly...give of your love.  Why would I want to throw my father in the nursing home, paying for others to nurse him, while I am so busy I can not tend to him, much less visit him?  It is the same with the Lord.  We pay our tithes, and forget to visit Him.  We don't pay tithes and don't visit Him.  Yet, I see people serving away in their "ministries", and the question then is, "what are you really serving?" Surely it isn't the Lord.  Surely you are not serving the love of God!  And I am guilty of it at some meetings, just join, not even pray before nor after.  Just go over what needs to be done and bye bye!  And what's worse?  Taking this home.  At home prayer is not the focus of the family.  Suddenly, this is all hitting home, isn't it?  Is your family devoted to a daily prayer together? Is your family dedicated?  Surely we do outward signs but what about the inward signs?  Like a Sacrament, it takes faith and love and dedication...and the final most important ingredient?  The grace of God!!!  Don't be surprised your family isn't involved with God so much, because as they grew up...neither where you.  Now, we have a funny conundrum; families go to other parishes (other Local Catholic Churches) but want to serve at the church they don't go to on Sundays.  All their money and efforts mostly go to another parish, but want to serve as leaders in the one they don't pay/tithe/give.  Truly where is the devotion?  Yeah, we could say it is the same church but this is a local family in need!  The parish I go to needs help with good leaders for youth, CCD, and a sacristan has been begged for, for nearly a year.  What is happening?  There are many loves in the world, but God is not one of them.  We like God.  We like Him to be in our lives, but not at the center of our lives.  Other things, fads, fashions, sports, works, loves are taking center place.  This shows clearly what you are living for.  What am I saying?  You should know by now, it isn't rocket science.  The question being asked is "where is the love of God?" our Father?  You do everything but be like Him.  People want to be recognized.  People want honor.  People want self esteem.  People want respect.  But all we need is dignity and deity, the love of God.  That's why the Scholar (Canon laywer, or priest, or theologian) said to the Lord "You are insulting us!".  This is why I asked you to re-evaluate your opinion of God yesterday.  What if He does and say something that you wouldn't expect!   What if it is the truth you don't want to hear or live?  It's like that bumper sticker "Jesus loves you, and I'm trying".  LOL.  How hard are you really trying to love "them"?  And you know who they are, because they weigh in on your heart.  You've invested yourself this far in this reflection, now the question is on you.  How far are you willing to go on this giving...this sacrifice? 
A poem came by, maybe a future song and I'll leave you with it, because it is something that hit me at a retreat I went to in Kansas earlier this year "Escuela de la Cruz" (school of the cross), a retreat not for the faint of heart, where you're pride and knowings of the Church are really tested, but I left afflicted in the way of humility I hope. 

The Broom


Pick me up when you are ready.

I don't need to know where you'll go.

Just tell me what to do,

That's all I need to know.


It's my job.  It's what I was made to do.  I'm not here to question why.  I'm not here to get mad or cry.

It's my job, it's what I do, and that's why, they call me the broom.


It's dirty work, stuff that most won't do.

It's back breaking work, and the bristles get weak.

Just use me and put me up when you're through.

I'm not after vain glory, I want to be meek.


It's my job.  It's what I was made to do.  I'm not here to question why.  I'm not here to get mad or cry.

It's my job, it's what I do, and that's why, they call me the broom.


What's great is being in the hands of the maker.

To see how He uses me, my God how good.

At the most unexpected moment, He picks me up.

When we are done, everything is in it's place, all made anew.


It's my job.  It's what I was made to do.  I'm not here to question why.  I'm not here to get mad or cry.

It's my job, it's what I do, and that's why, they call me the broom.


Many won't see what we have done,

It was for a moment we were put to work,

But I know I was with the Son,

I know we were working with the dirt.


Just put me up behind the door,

Put me where no one can see me in the room,

The only one that touches me I adore,

I have been one with Jesus, I'm the bride and He's the groom.

Image result for jesus broomadrian
Subscribe to the Going4th mailing list.