Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Blessed is the one

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Minute Meditations

Lord, Make Me Humble Minute Meditations
Lord, these are my sins, they aren't this man's or that woman's.... They're mine. You take them. This way I'll be saved. When we are able to do this, we will be that beautiful people the humble and poor people who trust in the name of the Lord. --Pope Francis
— from The Joy of Advent

Blessed Honoratus Kozminski

He was born in Biala Podlaska (Siedlce, Poland) and studied architecture at the School of Fine Arts in Warsaw. When Wenceslaus was almost 16, his father died. Suspected of participating in a rebellious conspiracy, the young man was imprisoned from April 1846 until the following March. In 1848 he received the Capuchin habit and a new name. Four years later he was ordained. In 1855 he helped Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska establish the Felician Sisters.

In 180 Honoratus served as guardian in a Warsaw friary. He dedicated his energies to preaching, to giving spiritual direction, and to hearing confessions. He worked tirelessly with the Secular Franciscan Order.

The failed 1864 revolt against Czar Alexander III led to the suppression of all religious orders in Poland. The Capuchins were expelled from Warsaw and forced to live in Zakroczym, where Honoratus continued his ministry, and began founding 26 male and female religious congregations, whose members took vows but wore no religious habit and did not live in community. They operated much as today's secular institutes do. Seventeen of these groups still exist as religious congregations.

The writings of Father Honoratus are extensive: 42 volumes of sermons, 21 volumes of letters as well as 52 printed works on ascetical theology, Marian devotion, historical writings, pastoral writings--not counting his many writings for the religious congregations he founded.

In 1906, various bishops sought the reorganization of these groups under their authority; Honoratus defended their independence but was removed from their direction in 1908. He promptly urged the members of these congregations to obey the Church's decisions regarding their future.

He "always walked with God," said a contemporary. In 1895 he was appointed Commissary General of the Capuchins in Poland. Three years earlier, he had come to Nowe Miasto, where he died and was buried. He was beatified in 1988.


The story is told that Francis and Brother Leo, his secretary, were once on a journey and Francis volunteered to tell Leo what perfect joy is. Francis began by saying what it was not: news that the kings of France, England, as well as all the world's bishops and many university professors had decided to become friars, news that the friars had received the gift of tongues and miracles, or news that the friars had converted all the non-Christians in the world. No, perfect joy for them would be to arrive cold and hungry at St. Mary of the Angels, Francis' headquarters outside Assisi, and be mistaken by the porter for thieves and beaten by the same porter and driven back into the cold and rain. Francis said that if, for the love of God, he and Leo could endure such treatment without losing their patience and charity, that would be perfect joy (cited in Francis and Clare: The Complete Works, by Regis Armstrong, O.F.M. Cap., and Ignatius Brady, O.F.M., pages 165-166).

Honoratus worked very zealously to serve the Church, partly by establishing a great variety of religious congregations adapted to the special circumstances of Poland in those years. He could have retreated into bitterness and self-pity when the direction of those congregations was taken away from him; that was certainly a "perfect joy" experience. He urged the members of these groups to obey willingly and gladly, placing their gifts at the service of the Good News of Jesus Christ.


When the Church removed Honoratus from the direction of his religious congregations and changed their character, he wrote: "Christ's Vicar himself has revealed God's will to us, and I carry out this order with greatest faith.... Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that you are being given the opportunity to show heroic obedience to the holy Church."

Daily Prayer - 2015-12-16


Dear Lord help me to be open to you
for this time as I put aside the cares of this world.
Fill my thoughts with your peace, your love.


Lord, may I never take the gift of freedom for granted.
You gave me the great blessing of freedom of spirit.
Fill my spirit with Your peace and Your joy.


My soul longs for your presence, Lord.
When I turn my thoughts to you,
I find peace and contentment.

The Word of God

Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent

Reading 1 Is 45:6c-8, 18, 21c-25

I am the LORD, there is no other;
I form the light, and create the darkness,
I make well-being and create woe;
I, the LORD, do all these things.
Let justice descend, O heavens, like dew from above,
like gentle rain let the skies drop it down.
Let the earth open and salvation bud forth;
let justice also spring up!
I, the LORD, have created this.

For thus says the LORD,
The creator of the heavens,
who is God,
The designer and maker of the earth
who established it,
Not creating it to be a waste,
but designing it be lived in:
I am the LORD, and there is no other.

Who announced this from the beginning
and foretold it from of old?
Was it not I, the LORD,
besides whom there is no other God?
There is no just and saving God but me.

Turn to me and be safe,
all you ends of the earth,
for I am God; there is no other!
By myself I swear,
uttering my just decree
and my unalterable word:
To me every knee shall bend;
by me every tongue shall swear,
Saying, "Only in the LORD
are just deeds and power.
Before him in shame shall come
all who vent their anger against him.
In the LORD shall be the vindication and the glory
of all the descendants of Israel."

Responsorial Psalm PS 85:9ab and 10, 11-12, 13-14

R. (Isaiah 45:8) Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD --for he proclaims peace to his people.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
R. Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
R. Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his steps.
R. Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.

Alleluia See Is 40:9-10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Raise your voice and tell the Good News:
Behold, the Lord GOD comes with power.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 7:18b-23

At that time,
John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask,
"Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?"
When the men came to the Lord, they said,
"John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask,
'Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?'"
At that time Jesus cured many of their diseases, sufferings, and evil spirits;
he also granted sight to many who were blind.
And Jesus said to them in reply,
"Go and tell John what you have seen and heard:
the blind regain their sight,
the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear, the dead are raised,
the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me."

- - -

Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • John has been tossed into prison. As he languishes there the oil of John's lamp is flickering. He wonders did he get it right? Was his ministry a waste? Is Jesus the one he believed him to be?
  • Lord, I can identify with John. I too find the wick of my lamp can quiver, splutter when things don't go my way. My desire for a world of peace and justice is met by a world of violence and injustice. This Advent day refill my inner lamp and let me walk in faith and trust.


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: Psalm 85:9-14

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3rd Week of Advent

Justice and peace shall kiss. (Psalm 85:11)

From a Hollywood romance to a casual greeting, the meaning of a kiss is anything but clear-cut. So much depends on culture and context. It might indicate romance, friendly affection, stiff formality, or reconciliation. In today's psalm, the kiss between justice and peace foreshadows the grand and joyous reunion of heaven and earth that will take place with the birth of Christ. Through Jesus, humanity will find unity with God—justice—as well as unity with each other—peace.

Think of how awesome the coming of Christ is! In him, all of the goodness of heaven and earth meet and embrace: faithfulness, justice, righteousness, kindness, and truth all intersect perfectly in one person. It would be wonderful if he had come just to bring healing, restoration, and good news to everyone (Luke 7:22). But he did more than that: through his cross, he brought unity between God and humanity. But even that wasn't enough. He also offered a way for our wounded relationships to be healed. He came to remove walls of prejudice and unforgiveness so that we can lovingly embrace the people around us.

Every time we celebrate Mass, we celebrate this unity during Communion: we all eat the same bread and drink from the same cup. But we also express it during the Sign of Peace. Whether we kiss, shake hands, hug, or simply nod to each other, we are announcing that we are brothers and sisters in Christ. We are celebrating that we can have peace in him. We are confessing that we are united with each other as we go to participate at the Lord's table. We are also praying that God will continue to strengthen our bonds and unite us more closely.

The next time you attend Mass, remember that there is more to your sign of peace than a simple greeting. You are participating in the joyous reunion that the psalmist described thousands of years ago. You are part of the celebration of heaven and earth!

"Father, thank you for the gift of peace through your Son. Thank you for allowing me to participate in the reunion of heaven and earth!"

Isaiah 45:6-8, 18, 21-25
Luke 7:18-23

Blessed is the one

The First Holy Scripture, the Lord our Father, said today "To me every knee shall bend; by me every tongue shall swear, Saying, "Only in the LORD are just deeds and power."  Only then to say the words today, "truly you are the Messiah, the one that is to come" the savior of the world.  A revelation of the prophetic proclamation of centuries, perhaps the perfect number of centuries before Christ.  St. Paul reminds us of the scripture today when in Romans 14:11 says "10But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11For it is written, "AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD." 12So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God."  The reason Isaiah proclaims is so that we may know who is God and who we are before Him...humble lovers of the Divine Creator.  The words cover the universe, much more than our own little world.  God will reign and always be triumphant, and we can be with Him...forever.
The Psalms pray on " Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior."  The clouds appear often when God is speaking, and we are shadowed by them, and in the heat of the day, it means protection, and it means to be covered.  This is what transpires in the holy body of our Blessed Mother.  She was overshadowed, and what rains down on to her soul created a being in her body...the Savior.  God Himself.  Can God do this? Is it fair?  He can do as He pleases.  There is something very moving about a truly loving child.  My boy gave me a little gift last week that said "My Dad, the Superhero".  And I don't feel like a hero, I feel I haven't done enough for him.  Yet, that touched me.  So what if God, you say, gave you a heavy cross?  Would you hate him or love Him for it?  The reaction makes all the difference.  And we are speaking about the faith.
In comes St. John the Baptist and Jesus into our lives.  St. John's death is eminent.  St. John reaches to Jesus and the messengers come back with the good news to St. John.  The words must have fortified his soul, because he led the way as the last prophet to pave the way to Christ with his blood.  This is the threat of the devil to you, what's it going to take for your faith?  I'm going to ask you something that the bible says time after time "do not be afraid".  This takes great faith.  And I'm going to say, the appreciation will make the difference in love.  God says today,  "I am the LORD, and there is no other."  He created light and dark, He created the earth and for there to be no waste.  And it is true, nothing goes to waste.  Somehow the earth regenerates and so does your body after an injury, and much more the soul.  We can be healed.  If we would only turn to the Lord!  Jesus fulfills all the prophecies and says to St. John's messengers "...the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised,
the poor have the good news proclaimed to them."  All meaning salvation, all meaning hope.  Pope Francis ended his daily meditation yesterday with ""In this waiting of the coming of the Lord, this Christmas - Francisco concluded his homily -"let us ask Him to give us a humble heart, to give us a poor heart and above all, a heart trusted in the Lord, because the Lord never disappoints".  Today's 5minutos ended with "It is hope that is ready to receive humbly the Lord and take it into their lives.  There is no need to hope for another.  The hope of Jesus is born in the poverty of whom know their humility and let themselves be filled by His love and His grace. And so, the Master responds "the poor are evangelized".  There is no need to hope for another, but yes, to hope and wait for Him.  It is the hope that does not dissapoint."
The message in a dark world, is the light that is shining strong.  The light of the truth.  The light that shadows with light.  The light that is before your very eyes and proposes itself before your very heart at this very moment.  Are you willing to accept the truth that is being offered?  St. John the Baptist did, and Jesus died and rose again for the love...of the Father!  You can Love Him like no other and it starts right where you are and leads to one another....

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