Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Come After Me

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Minute Meditations

Shun All Sin Image result for love Jesus

Grant me, Holy Father, the fortitude I need to shun all sin and imperfection, and do not let me fall into the traps or give in to the temptations that the evil spirit sets for me today.

— from Answers

St. Charles Borromeo

The name of St. Charles Borromeo is associated with reform. He lived during the time of the Protestant Reformation, and had a hand in the reform of the whole Church during the final years of the Council of Trent (1545-63).

Although he belonged to Milanese nobility and was related to the powerful Medici family, he desired to devote himself to the Church. When his uncle, Cardinal de Medici, was elected pope in 1559 as Pius IV, he made Charles cardinal-deacon and administrator of the Archdiocese of Milan while he was still a layman and a young student. Because of his intellectual qualities he was entrusted with several important offices connected with the Vatican and later appointed secretary of state with responsibility for the papal states. The untimely death of his elder brother brought Charles to a definite decision to be ordained a priest, despite relatives' insistence that he marry. Soon after he was ordained a priest at the age of 25, he was consecrated bishop of Milan.

Because of his work at the Council of Trent, he was not allowed to take up residence in Milan until the Council was over. Charles had encouraged the pope to renew the Council in 1562 after it had been suspended for 10 years. Working behind the scenes, St. Charles deserves the credit for keeping the Council in session when at several points it was on the verge of breaking up. He took upon himself the task of the entire correspondence during the final phase.

Eventually Charles was allowed to devote his time to the Archdiocese of Milan, where the religious and moral picture was far from bright. The reform needed in every phase of Catholic life among both clergy and laity was initiated at a provincial council of all the bishops under him. Specific regulations were drawn up for bishops and other clergy: If the people were to be converted to a better life, he had to be the first to give a good example and renew their apostolic spirit.

Charles took the initiative in giving good example. He allotted most of his income to charity, forbade himself all luxury and imposed severe penances upon himself. He sacrificed wealth, high honors, esteem and influence to become poor. During the plague and famine of 1576, he tried to feed 60,000 to 70,000 people daily. To do this he borrowed large sums of money that required years to repay. Whereas the civil authorities fled at the height of the plague, he stayed in the city, where he ministered to the sick and the dying, helping those in want.

Work and the heavy burdens of his high office began to affect his health. He died at the age of 46.


St. Charles made his own the words of Christ: "...I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me" (Matthew 25:35-36). Charles saw Christ in his neighbor and knew that charity done for the least of his flock was charity done for Christ.


"Christ summons the Church, as she goes her pilgrim way, to that continual reformation of which she always has need, insofar as she is an institution of men here on earth. Consequently, if, in various times and circumstances, there have been deficiencies in moral conduct or in Church discipline, or even in the way that Church teaching has been formulated—to be carefully distinguished from the deposit of faith itself—these should be set right at the opportune moment and in the proper way" (Vatican II, Decree on Ecumenism, 6, Austin Flannery translation).

Patron Saint of:


Daily Prayer - 2015-11-04


Dear Lord, you have called me by my name.
You have carved me in the palm of your hand.
May I grow in trust and never give in to despair.


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.


In God's loving presence I unwind the past day,
starting from now and looking back, moment by moment.
I gather in all the goodness and light, in gratitude.
I attend to the shadows and what they say to me,
seeking healing, courage, forgiveness.

The Word of God

Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo, Bishop

Reading 1 Rom 13:8-10

Brothers and sisters:
Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another;
for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
The commandments,
You shall not commit adultery;
you shall not kill;
you shall not steal;
you shall not covet
and whatever other commandment there may be,
are summed up in this saying, namely,
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Love does no evil to the neighbor;
hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.

Responsorial Psalm PS 112:1b-2, 4-5, 9

R. ( 5a) Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
He dawns through the darkness, a light for the upright;
he is gracious and merciful and just.
Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice.
Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
Lavishly he gives to the poor;
his generosity shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory.
Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.

Alleluia 1 Pt 4:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you,
for the Spirit of God rests upon you.
Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 14:25-33

Great crowds were traveling with Jesus,
and he turned and addressed them,
"If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother,
wife and children, brothers and sisters,
and even his own life,
he cannot be my disciple.
Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me
cannot be my disciple.
Which of you wishing to construct a tower
does not first sit down and calculate the cost
to see if there is enough for its completion?
Otherwise, after laying the foundation
and finding himself unable to finish the work
the onlookers should laugh at him and say,
'This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.'
Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down
and decide whether with ten thousand troops
he can successfully oppose another king
advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops?
But if not, while he is still far away,
he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms.
In the same way,
everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions
cannot be my disciple."

- - -

Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • Jesus here teaches about the cost of discipleship. That there is a cost is illustrated by the stories of the builder and the king. A true disciple does not simply drift unreflectively through life but is aware of the seriousness of the commitment.
  • Some people baulk at Jesus' use of the word "hate" (v.26). He is using a rhetorical device (deliberate exaggeration) to emphasise a point. In Matthew 10:37 he explains his meaning: "Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me". It is a matter of priorities.
  • What cross are you asked to bear as you follow Jesus?


Dear Jesus, I can open up my heart to you.
I can tell you everything that troubles me.
I know you care about all the concerns in my life.
Teach me to live in the knowledge
that you who care for me today,
will care for me tomorrow and all the days of 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: Romans 13:8-10

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Saint Charles Borromeo, Bishop (Memorial)

You shall love. (Romans 13:9)

Imagine trying to reach a destination with directions that state only "Don't take this road" or "Avoid that highway." You'd probably never get to where you want to go! Instructions like "Don't" and "You shall not" tend to stop us in our tracks. Of course, they are useful and beneficial because God knows, we need to be stopped from time to time! But the commandments "You shall not commit adultery, kill, steal, or covet" don't move us to love more; they just keep us from failing to love.

On the other hand, "You shall love" propels us forward. It spurs us on to treat the people around us the way God treats us: with patience and kindness, with compassion and understanding. It urges us to forgive over and over, even seventy times seven times. It teaches us to let go of our grudges and to treat people with honor and consideration far beyond what they deserve—all because this is exactly how our heavenly Father deals with us. He doesn't just not hate us. He doesn't just not mistreat us. He lifts us up and fills us with every grace and blessing!

Think of the times you have known or experienced the love of God especially deeply. That is the love God wants us to show the people around us today. It's a love that is patient with someone who is slow to "get it," whether "it" is grasping an explanation, accelerating when the traffic light turns green, or placing a fortieth item on the ten-item express lane at the grocery store. It's a love that is kind, even in little things like holding a door for a stroller-pushing shopper or paying a compliment when it is least expected. It's a love that extends consideration and honor to everyone, regardless of his or her social position.

"You shall love" (Romans 13:9). This command is for each of us, no matter how we are feeling. Our acts of love, however small or seemingly inconsequential, open the door for the Holy Spirit to come in more fully and change the atmosphere, both in our hearts and in whatever place we find ourselves.

So get out there, and change the world, simply by loving!

"Holy Spirit, give me a fresh outpouring of your love so that I can share it with everyone I meet today!"

Psalm 112:1-2, 4-5, 9
Luke 14:25-33

This is what the spanish 5minutos from Mexico said today:
"Love, and do what you want.  If you silence, silence with love.  If you yell, yell with love.  If you correct, correct with love.  If you forgive, forgive with love.  If it is deep in your root of love, no other thing but good will come out from such root"-St. Augustine.   One calm afternoon in that desert region, the monasteries of the monks populated society.  In this moment they are in their cells, dedicated to studying, the prayer or the work.  A friend brings a gift to the abbot a cluster of grapes.  The superior of the monks receives the gift and gives thanks.  But he remembers his neighbor in his cell, weak and sickly.  Without doubt it would do him good.  And he takes the cluster of grapes.  This one receives it and gives thanks.  They were some grapes that made your mouth water.  But he remembered that in the neighboring room lived an elderly monk, almost at the end of his life "i'm going to give him this small joy, perhaps it may be his last".  And he took the cluster to the companion.  But this elderly man also thought that the brother next to him had just come from the field with a great thirst of a camel.  Poor guy.  I'm going to give him the cluster so he can mitigate a little his thirst.  To sum up the story, the cluster passed from cell to cell, a complete circle until it came back to the abbot.  This one thought inside "These monks of mine...praise be to God.  How detached they are!. How Generous and good brothers.  Do you love like that?"

Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.  These are the words of the Lord.  We've been discussing the Lord's prayer these last two RCIA weeks.  "It is a matter of giving" I keep telling them.  Last night I was asked "why does God forgive".  The only answer that came to me was "Because God is Love".  And because He is love then it is a matter of giving, and forgiving is for giving.  And it is a one way street when you give, you expect nothing in return, not even an apology...lest your pride be satiated.  In other words, if you don't understand, don't wait for an apology ever, you give forgiveness and it is better than getting an apology, for giving is blessed by the Love of God.  And I can not emphasize the importance of living a life of grace to obtain this strength to be truly free and joyful.

The Lord our Heavenly King speaks to us today, thank you Lord "Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple."  I sit week after week with a group of co-workers, some come and go, but the core group knows well the commandments.  I am perplexed at how they sound like they know God yet do not do as He says, and primarily my concern is with their attendance on the Sabbath, attending Holy Mass.  LOL, one time a worker was dumbfounded and baulked at today's words of the Lord "How can I hate my wife?  I love my wife, I can not hate her" and we tried to explain to him to love God more...and the worker never returned to bible study.  He is a smart man, in mechanics, pretty logical, but completely oblivious to what God is asking....Love of God.  How can you love anything or anyone more?  Easy, just make it more important, just make more time for other things or people, even your own family and boom! Wahlahh!  There you have it, the love of the Father is gone, in an instant, in a heartbeat, He is gone, the very source of your heart beating.  It is an absolute miracle our hearts even beat!  It is God that is this source of love.  I am simply asking you to come to the source.  I know you are trying, but it isn't that hard.  I got my cell phone out during RCIA to make a pretend call to God and I said the things they said they do in prayer and it went something like this "Hello?  Thanks Lord for this and that.  I want to ask for this and that, and I also ask for this, this and that, bye."   Then, I asked them what was missing in the conversation, because I simply did alot of talking and hung up.  Finally they realized that they had not let God speak, we don't listen in prayer.  We don't let Him give to us.  All we have to do is stop what we're doing, let go for a moment and that's all He needs...the more...the better.  Talk with Him about ANYTHING.  Love Him more than ANYTHING.  Love HIM more than ANYONE.  Is it a bad thing He is asking?  The Lord, the Creator of the world to be asking you to love Him back?  Afterall, He did first what He taught, He gave up everything, His life even, His body even, and before He died, He even gave His mother, so what are we giving for the love of God and doing what He asks?  Do you love like that?

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