Monday, January 4, 2016

Brought To Him

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Minute Meditations

Victory is Forever
Pain is temporary, but victory is forever. Suffering lasts a short time, but the joy of Christ is eternal. Suffering brings life to life in a newer, more profound way. Like life, suffering is a mystery, designed to point us back to our Creator.
— from The Bible Geek

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton


Feast: January 4


Feast Day: January 4

28 August 1774 in New York City, New York, USA

Died: 4 January 1821 in Emmitsburg, Maryland


14 September 1975 by Pope Paul VI
Patron of: Catholic Schools; State of Maryland


This first American-born saint accomplished more in twelve years than most people do in a whole lifetime. From 1809 to 1821, the year she died, she laid the foundation for the Catholic parochial system in the United States, founded her Sisters of Charity, and ran her school and lived with her community at her headquarters in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Elizabeth Ann Bayley was the daughter of a distinguished colonial family in New York City, her father a physician and professor at what later became Columbia University. Her grandfather was rector of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church on Staten Island.

Born in 1774 she married William Magee Seton, a wealthy young businessman, in 1794. They had five children. Mr. Seton had reversals in business and lost his fortune, and a sea voyage was recommended to recover his health. The couple, along with their eldest daughter, embarked for Italy in 1803 and were given hospitality by the Filicchi family of Leghorn. William Seton died in Pisa less than three months later.

Influenced by her stay in Italy, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton became a Catholic upon her return to the United States, against the opposition of her family. In August 1807, she was invited by the superior of the Baltimore Sulpicians to found a school for girls near the Sulpician seminary in Baltimore. With the help of Archbishop Carroll, she organized a group of young women to assist her in her work, received a religious rule and habit from him, and took the vows of religion.

In 1809, she moved her headquarters to Emmitsburg, adopted a modified version of the rule of St. Vincent de Paul for the French Sisters of Charity, and laid the foundation for the Catholic parochial school system in the United States. She trained her sisters for teaching, wrote textbooks for classrooms, worked among the poor, the sick, and the black people of the region, and directed the work of her congregation. In 1814, she sent her nuns to open an orphanage in Philadelphia and another in New York City in 1817.

She died at Emmitsburg on January 4, 1821, and was canonized by Pope Paul VI on September 14, 1975. Her body is enshrined at the motherhouse of the American Sisters of Charity in Emmitsburg.

Thought for the Day: Mother Seton seems almost like a neighbor down the street. But she is St. Elizabeth Seton, who found God through very difficult times. She was loving wife, devoted mother, foundress, and saint.

From 'The Catholic One Year Bible': . . . "Come along with me and I will show you how to fish for the souls of men!" And they left their nets at once and went with him.-Matthew 4:19-20

Daily Prayer - 2016-01-04


At any time of the day or night we can call on Jesus.
He is always waiting, listening for our call.
What a wonderful blessing.
No phone needed, no e-mails, just a whisper.


Lord, you created me to live in freedom.
May your Holy Spirit guide me to follow you freely.
Instil in my heart a desire
To know and love you more each day.


To be conscious about something is to be aware of it. Dear Lord help me to remember that You gave me life. Thank you for the gift of life. Teach me to slow down, to be still and enjoy the pleasures created for me. To be aware of the beauty that surrounds me. The marvel of mountains, the calmness of lakes, the fragility of a flower petal. I need to remember that all these things come from you.

The Word of God

Memorial of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Religious

Reading 1 1 Jn 3:22--4:6

We receive from him whatever we ask,
because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.
And his commandment is this:
we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ,
and love one another just as he commanded us.
Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them,
and the way we know that he remains in us
is from the Spirit whom he gave us.

Beloved, do not trust every spirit
but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God,
because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
This is how you can know the Spirit of God:
every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh
belongs to God,
and every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus
does not belong to God.
This is the spirit of the antichrist
who, as you heard, is to come,
but in fact is already in the world.
You belong to God, children, and you have conquered them,
for the one who is in you
is greater than the one who is in the world.
They belong to the world;
accordingly, their teaching belongs to the world,
and the world listens to them.
We belong to God, and anyone who knows God listens to us,
while anyone who does not belong to God refuses to hear us.
This is how we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 2:7bc-8, 10-12a

R. (8ab) I will give you all the nations for an inheritance.
The LORD said to me, "You are my Son;
this day I have begotten you.
Ask of me and I will give you
the nations for an inheritance
and the ends of the earth for your possession."
R. I will give you all the nations for an inheritance.
And now, O kings, give heed;
take warning, you rulers of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice before him;
with trembling rejoice.
R. I will give you all the nations for an inheritance.

Alleluia See Mt 4:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus proclaimed the Gospel of the kingdom
and cured every disease among the people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 4:12-17, 23-25

When Jesus heard that John had been arrested,
he withdrew to Galilee.
He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea,
in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali,
that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet
might be fulfilled:

Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles,
the people who sit in darkness
have seen a great light,
on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death
light has arisen.

From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say,
"Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand."

He went around all of Galilee,
teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness among the people.
His fame spread to all of Syria,
and they brought to him all who were sick with various diseases
and racked with pain,
those who were possessed, lunatics, and paralytics,
and he cured them.
And great crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, and Judea,
and from beyond the Jordan followed him.

- - -

Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • Andrew and his companion set aside their day to be in Jesus' company. Impressed, they decided to be followers of his.
  • When we meet a new person, we must first give ourselves a chance to get to know them. Then, if we like what we see, we are attracted by everything they stand for. Do we give Jesus a chance in our busy lives so that the attraction of his person can work on us?


Dear Lord, stay by my side always.
Gain for me a trusting heart.
Thank you for loving 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: Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25

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Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Religious (Memorial)

Teaching ... proclaiming ... curing ... (Matthew 4:23)

Are you a basketball fan? If so, you have probably heard of the "triple threat." This is when the offensive player has three choices of what to do with the ball: dribble, pass, or shoot. In today's Gospel reading, Jesus' fame is spreading like wildfire, and he, too, has a triple threat. But instead of making a choice, he does all three: he teaches, proclaims, and cures. Perhaps his approach holds some insights for us.

By using a three-pronged approach, Jesus made sure that he reached as many people as possible. While teaching, he explained passages, answered questions, and challenged the traditional ways of thinking. By proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, he encouraged, blessed, comforted, and restored people, telling them about the freedom that could be theirs. By curing diseases, he made the kingdom of God a tangible reality that could meet the needs of the people he encountered.

You might be thinking: "Okay, this is true for Jesus, but I can't do these things." Well, maybe you can, and maybe you already have. Have you ever answered a question about your faith? Or maybe a comment from a friend challenged you to dig deeper and understand something. You are learning how to teach! Have you ever shared about anything that God has done for you? You have proclaimed the gospel! Have you ever reached out to someone in need or prayed for someone who is sick? You are a healing presence in a hurting world!

The rapid spread of the gospel that Matthew describes here is not limited to Jesus' day and age. He wants to work through each of us to reach as many people as possible. He wants to use you.

So the next time someone asks you a question, answer it with kindness and love. The Lord will help you if you stay close to him. When someone needs an encouraging word, ask Jesus to bless the words you speak. You may not realize how comforting your witness can be. If someone is in need, look for ways you can help. It may be small, but it can make all the difference. It may not seem like much, but you can spread the gospel everywhere you go!

"Lord, use me to share the good news of your kingdom with everyone I meet today."

1 John 3:22--4:6
Psalm 2:7-8, 10-12

Brought To Him

Let's make this year, a year to live in "God's Favor".  And how can we do this?  Buy the latest books on reading about "favor"?  LOL.  Just read the Good Book, the Holy Bible, and realize when the Lord our God in Heaven says today "We receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him."  Too many times and too many of us want the goods without sweating or lifting a finger.  You don't want to live a life with God but you want salvation.  It's like the case of those in need of an exorcism, so many times they approach for healing, but, when asked to follow through and purify themselves and surrender to God...well, they just can't, and so they don't and won't.  We had a visiting priest "Fr. John of the Holy Spirit" and as usual and charismatic asked "why can't we build beautiful churches of marble like they used to?"  And we can begin listing the excuses, even though it is easier to build with modern tools.  And He meant the temple of the our souls, our bodies.  We decorate and build up our temples to invite who or what into your life?  It took decades to build a church, and building a house, the shell, is easy, what takes precious time and resources is all the details.  That's where me and you come in, because the details hold everything, and the details is the little things most people don't think about.  Be thoughtful.  You're not the only one going through hard times.  Be caring.  You're not the only one that needs love and attention.  Be considerate.  You're not the only one in need.  When you do these things, you can begin to get a glimpse of His Kingdom on earth.  We receive because we give, and we give because of God's grace.
The Psalms we prayed today said "Ask of me and I will give you the nations for an inheritance".  And what do we ask for?  Little things often, with little faith. They say the devil will pray along with you all the empty prayers, but a sincere and faithful prayer it flees from.  And so this year, with what sincerity will you not only pray, but also serve the Lord?  Because we are of His Kingdom, anyone hearing and accepting the Lord already belongs.  But we remain silent, and silence is deadly.  Because if we remain neutral, we remain silent.  Because if you fail to choose a side is already choosing a side.  Choosing a side of disbelief, that's a tough life to live.  Because forever you will have an aching and a longing to which we were designed to fill...a life with Christ, our Savior, our God.  And what will be our inheritance?  The Lord is offering way much more than we care to bite.  His truth and majesty is so great, so tremendous, that we fail to see it in the smallest act of love, so He does great ones beyond human comprehension, so that we might do a bit of same, giving one's life in surrender and obedience to His great love.
Our Lord appears into our lives through the Holy Gospel into our eyes, that lead to the mind, and in hopes to sink into our souls, so all of Scripture would be fulfilled when we read "the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light". i  We sang as a sending forth song yesterday "City of God" that said "awake from your slumber ... let us build the city of God!".  Hibernation mode must end.  This cocoon we build up for ourselves must bring forth new life.  They say that terrorists say they have death as an option, and here we stand by the side of Life, and Life wins and will end in triumph.  They say that atheists believe we are products of circumstance and that our end is all for not...because the earth is going to expire and die.  So theirs is another death, another darkness, another spirit of anti-life.  Yet, we as Christ followers are on the side of triumphant life.  For Christ came and died and rose again and lives forever and among us.  What more triumph do we need?  The need then is the desire of our hearts.  Because Jesus our King said something very important today "Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand."  What does this mean?  We are so used to earthly kingdoms, and castles and so forth that we don't truly understand the concept He was establishing, and not only the concept but the REALITY of what has been established in our world.  He came back to take what is His...everything.  A quick look at on the term "Kingdom" said "it should be noted that the word kingdom means ruling as well; thus it signifies not so much the actual kingdom as the sway of the king" and then "The kingdom of God means, then, the ruling of God in our hearts; it means those principles which separate us off from the kingdom of the world and the devil; it means the benign sway of grace; it means the Church as that Divine institution whereby we may make sure of attaining the spirit of Christ and so win that ultimate kingdom of God Where He reigns without end in "the holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God" (Revelation 21:2)."  If then, the Kingdom is in His Holy Church, we are serving divinity with purpose, and at the heart is what you are serving the Lord.  When you are done serving and tired, then it should reveal one thing: You've not served Love.  Because God is Love and serving Him is a reciprocating effect, to which if you serve right, you'll fall more and more and MORE in love with God to the point of sainthood, holiness, a reflection of what is within, upon consuming HIM! 
The King of Glory then does not ask for anything from you.  It is us then, who should be doing the asking..tapping into HIs Life Source.  WHen asked properly, all Nations are up for grabs for an inheritance, and this is an eternal rule, because suddenly, the world is susceptible to Him.  And the world is illuminated, when His tremendous love strikes at your heart with a gushing force.  You are not going to back away.  You are MINE!  Says the Lord our God.  I WILL NOT LET YOU FAIL.  What is failure to the world is a gain for the Kingdom of the Lord, because His children know how to love because they've known Love HIMSELF!  
With a smile, I say, dare to love Love itself more than yesterday, more than the year past, and keep propelling yourself up, up, and be carried away by the Holy Spirit, Because He is infinitely good...taste and see!