Thursday, January 28, 2016

Be Made Visible

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Minute Meditations

Fire of Love
Dear Lord, let the fire of your love burn in me! Let it be an inextinguishable flame that lights my life, purifies my heart, and directs my actions. —Debra Herbeck
— from Woman of Strength

St. Thomas Aquinas


By universal consent, Thomas Aquinas is the preeminent spokesman of the Catholic tradition of reason and of divine revelation. He is one of the great teachers of the medieval Catholic Church, honored with the titles Doctor of the Church and Angelic Doctor.

At five he was given to the Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino in his parents' hopes that he would choose that way of life and eventually became abbot. In 1239 he was sent to Naples to complete his studies. It was here that he was first attracted to Aristotle's philosophy.

By 1243, Thomas abandoned his family's plans for him and joined the Dominicans, much to his mother's dismay. On her order, Thomas was captured by his brother and kept at home for over a year.

Once free, he went to Paris and then to Cologne, where he finished his studies with Albert the Great. He held two professorships at Paris, lived at the court of Pope Urban IV, directed the Dominican schools at Rome and Viterbo, combated adversaries of the mendicants, as well as the Averroists, and argued with some Franciscans about Aristotelianism.

His greatest contribution to the Catholic Church is his writings. The unity, harmony and continuity of faith and reason, of revealed and natural human knowledge, pervades his writings. One might expect Thomas, as a man of the gospel, to be an ardent defender of revealed truth. But he was broad enough, deep enough, to see the whole natural order as coming from God the Creator, and to see reason as a divine gift to be highly cherished.

The Summa Theologiae, his last and, unfortunately, uncompleted work, deals with the whole of Catholic theology. He stopped work on it after celebrating Mass on December 6, 1273. When asked why he stopped writing, he replied, "I cannot go on.... All that I have written seems to me like so much straw compared to what I have seen and what has been revealed to me." He died March 7, 1274.


We can look to Thomas Aquinas as a towering example of Catholicism in the sense of broadness, universality and inclusiveness. We should be determined anew to exercise the divine gift of reason in us, our power to know, learn and understand. At the same time we should thank God for the gift of his revelation, especially in Jesus Christ.


"Hence we must say that for the knowledge of any truth whatsoever man needs divine help, that the intellect may be moved by God to its act. But he does not need a new light added to his natural light, in order to know the truth in all things, but only in some that surpasses his natural knowledge" (Summa Theologiae, I-II, 109, 1).

Patron Saint of:

Catholic schools

Daily Prayer - 2016-01-28


"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.


It is so easy to get caught up
with the trappings of wealth in this life.
Grant, O Lord, that I may be free
from greed and selfishness.
Remind me that the best things in life are free.
Love, laughter, caring and sharing.


How am I really feeling? Lighthearted? Heavy-hearted?
I may be very much at peace, happy to be here.
Equally, I may be frustrated, worried or angry.
I acknowledge how I really am. It is the real me that the Lord loves.

The Word of God

Memorial of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church

Reading 1 2 Sm 7:18-19, 24-29

After Nathan had spoken to King David,
the king went in and sat before the LORD and said,
"Who am I, Lord GOD, and who are the members of my house,
that you have brought me to this point?
Yet even this you see as too little, Lord GOD;
you have also spoken of the house of your servant
for a long time to come:
this too you have shown to man, Lord GOD!

"You have established for yourself your people Israel as yours forever,
and you, LORD, have become their God.
And now, LORD God, confirm for all time the prophecy you have made
concerning your servant and his house,
and do as you have promised.
Your name will be forever great, when men say,
'The LORD of hosts is God of Israel,'
and the house of your servant David stands firm before you.
It is you, LORD of hosts, God of Israel,
who said in a revelation to your servant,
'I will build a house for you.'
Therefore your servant now finds the courage to make this prayer to you.
And now, Lord GOD, you are God and your words are truth;
you have made this generous promise to your servant.
Do, then, bless the house of your servant
that it may be before you forever;
for you, Lord GOD, have promised,
and by your blessing the house of your servant
shall be blessed forever."

Responsorial Psalm PS 132:1-2, 3-5, 11, 12, 13-14

R. (Lk 1:32b) The Lord God will give him the throne of David, his father.
LORD, remember David
and all his anxious care;
How he swore an oath to the LORD,
vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob.
R. The Lord God will give him the throne of David, his father.
"I will not enter the house where I live,
nor lie on the couch where I sleep;
I will give my eyes no sleep,
my eyelids no rest,
Till I find a home for the LORD,
a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob."
R. The Lord God will give him the throne of David, his father.
The LORD swore an oath to David
a firm promise from which he will not withdraw:
"Your own offspring
I will set upon your throne."
R. The Lord God will give him the throne of David, his father.
"If your sons keep my covenant,
and the decrees which I shall teach them,
Their sons, too, forever
shall sit upon your throne."
R. The Lord God will give him the throne of David, his father.
For the LORD has chosen Zion,
he prefers her for his dwelling:
"Zion is my resting place forever;
in her I will dwell, for I prefer her."
R. The Lord God will give him the throne of David, his father.

Alleluia Ps 119:105

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A lamp to my feet is your word,
a light to my path.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 4:21-25

Jesus said to his disciples,
"Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket
or under a bed,
and not to be placed on a lampstand?
For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible;
nothing is secret except to come to light.
Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear."
He also told them, "Take care what you hear.
The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you,
and still more will be given to you.
To the one who has, more will be given;
from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away."

- - -

Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • When Jesus begins revealing the earth-changing coming of his kingdom, he doesn't want the teaching twisted to their own ends by political agitators or by sensationalists; so he sometimes makes his points in a veiled way -- fully explaining them later to a circle of trusted followers.
  • Once these preachers of his message have mastered its true sense, then everything will come out into the light - just as the householder positions the lamp to fill the whole space. Then, too, will be the time for the true follower to let the example of her or his life shine before the eyes of all -- the time for that light to shine far and wide like the light from a city illuminated at night.
  • In the everyday encounters and situations of my life are there areas where I can witness to the light of faith and the joy of knowing Jesus?


How has God's Word moved me?
Has it left me cold?
Has it consoled me or moved me to act in a new way?
I imagine Jesus standing or sitting beside me,
I turn and share my feelings with him.


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: 2 Samuel 7:18-19, 24-29

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Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Memorial)

Who am I, Lord God ... that you have brought me to this point? Yet even this you see as too little. (2 Samuel 7:18-19)

Self-help programs have been popular for decades, and it's no wonder. First, you identify an area of your life that you want to change or a good habit you want to foster. Then, you find a book outlining steps that are supposed to bring about the desired result. But often, the outcome is a change in outward behavior, not an inner shift. So the old ways return easily, and you look for yet another program or book to help you.

David had just received a word from the Lord through Nathan. Not only would God continue to bless David, but he had also promised that "your house and your kingdom are firm forever before me" (2 Samuel 7:16). David had seen God's power and authority many times in his life before this. Yet in this moment, he knew that God wanted to show him more. He saw God's complete generosity. And that revelation overwhelmed the mighty king.

David sat before the Lord in total awe. Almost speechless, he finally found his voice to praise and worship God. He no longer wanted his ways, he wanted God's ways; he only wanted to lay his life before God and allow God to do the work that he had promised to do.

It may be hard to imagine, but asking God to reveal who he is really can change our lives—and far more powerfully than a self-help book ever could. He wants to plant his revelation deep in our hearts. He wants to show us newer and newer facets of his love, his justice, his mercy, and his compassion. Revelations like these can break through any barriers we may have set up between ourselves and him—or between ourselves and the people around us. They can fill us with joy and change our perspective on any circumstance.

We have a very generous God. No matter what he has already shown us, he still considers it "too little" (2 Samuel 7:19). Isn't it wonderful to have a God like this?

"Father, come and open my heart to know you more. Because you are fathomless, there is no end to what you want to show me. Lord, let me see your face!"

Psalm 132:1-5, 11-14
Mark 4:21-25

Be Made Visible

King David says today "Who am I, Lord GOD, and who are the members of my house, that you have brought me to this point?"  He was being grateful, thankful and like "I don't deserve this", because the Lord was promising amazing things and King David said at one point "Do, then, bless the house of your servant that it may be before you forever".  King David would eventually fail the Lord by taking another's wife and setting up that man to die in battle, Uriah.  Funny how we think we got it made in the shade, relax, King David would not go into battle but hang out at his house and that's how he got in trouble.  I read a quote today that said, "idleness is the enemy of the soul" -St. Benedict.  Shall you live in the light or hide the light?  Shall you be faithful, or shall you be unfaithful?  There is no in between, and the difference is how you handle the temptation. 
Let us pray the Psalms again "The LORD swore an oath to David a firm promise from which he will not withdraw: "Your own offspring
I will set upon your throne." R. The Lord God will give him the throne of David, his father."  King David would bear a son, King Solomon, who no other man has matched his wisdom.  King Solomon would eventually goof up like his father King David.  Eventually this blood line leads to Jesus who makes all things right and new.  It goes to show that the Lord has the last word.  You keep talking in your prayers.  You keep gossiping. You keep making ideas.  You keep doing in your life what is suiting you, but He Has the Last word in everything.  His promise doesn't end when we don't fulfill our end.  His end endures and is evident by His Salvific history and future.  Throughout all of the past, He saves.  When Jesus is named, His name means "He Saves" and for the rest of the bible and future, He will save, that is why we pray "is now and ever shall be."  The Lord would tell King Solomon "...if then my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and heal their land. 15Now, therefore, my eyes shall be open and my ears attentive to the prayer of this place; 16now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever; my eyes and my heart shall be there always. " 2Chronicles 7.
In comes the light of the world, the light for all peoples, Lumen Gentium.  In that "Lumen Gentium", a dogmatic constitution, the Holy Catholic Church made many affirmations of the faith, and at the center was a call to holiness.  Jesus proclaims "For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light."  Why would you hide the light?  As we were travelling on the road to school this morning, I was playing the scriptures of the day on the radio via bluetooth.  When the Gospel ended, I asked our kids, "what does the light mean?" and my oldest said "Jesus" and I said ,"yes it is Jesus and our love of Jesus and we can never hide it".  And we tend to hide it when temptations lure don't we?  Temptations to make you hide your love of Jesus.  If you recall, I've brought up in the past the time I believe I was zipped out of this world in a cursillo that I was helping at while praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet with the men in the temple near the Holy of Holies, the Blessed Sacrament.  I saw what was the still living Christ on the cross breathing His last, and my heart was throbbing but not my physical but my spirit and coming to a hault, it was dark, as if I was in outer space in the universe, and as a forced turning away, I wanted to see if anyone else was with me, of the men that I was praying with, but I could only see their lights...some small lights, some big lights some not there.  What those lights mean are still a mystery my soul inquires on everytime I look back at that moment.  When the person next to me shook me to snap out of it, I didn't know I was drenched in tears.  And so I wonder, how do we cover the light?  Because if Christ was on the cross and some were lighted up, how was it that some of the others were not?  I have a godson that I could tell if He'd taken Christ into His soul in Holy Communion, on Monday after Sunday, I could see him glowing.  This would be verified by brothers in my cursillo friendship group.  If my godson would miss Mass I could tell, his lights were turned out.  So it is rather not so much a mystery if we have Christ within us or not.  Your lights are on or not.  And some lights are really bright. 
I want you to be a bright light.
I want you to have the Son burning bright in your heart.
I want this King of Kings to shine, so the world knows you are head over heels for Him with no return.
Because it is possible lights to turn off or flicker.  Remain in Him and remain alive.
I write to you so you will yearn and burn.
If you do hide the light under the bed, the linens will glow and still show, and bother you if you want darkness.
It will never turn out inside so let it burn all around.
When people leave a cursillo, they say many times in their testimony "I see everything in a new light" and it is true, because we live under false lights and hopes.  Turn your heart inside out.  He died for you to have life and have life more abundant and eternal with Him. There is eternity
and it is in the light with HIM alone.

Let us take one another there
the more the better

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