Tuesday, February 16, 2016

This is how

Minute Meditations Being in Love Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also thi

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amen and women

Minute Meditations

Being in Love

Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling….
–C.S. Lewis
— from Men, Women, and the Mystery of Love


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St. Gilbert of Sempringham

(c. 1083-1189)

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Gilbert was born in Sempringham, England, into a wealthy family, but he followed a path quite different from that expected of him as the son of a Norman knight. Sent to France for his higher education, he decided to pursue seminary studies.

He returned to England not yet ordained a priest, and inherited several estates from his father. But Gilbert avoided the easy life he could have led under the circumstances. Instead he lived a simple life at a parish, sharing as much as possible with the poor. Following his ordination to the priesthood he served as parish priest at Sempringham.

Among the congregation were seven young women who had expressed to him their desire to live in religious life. In response, Gilbert had a house built for them adjacent to the Church. There they lived an austere life, but one which attracted ever more numbers; eventually lay sisters and lay brothers were added to work the land. The religious order formed eventually became known as the Gilbertines, though Gilbert had hoped the Cistercians or some other existing order would take on the responsibility of establishing a rule of life for the new order. The Gilbertines, the only religious order of English origin founded during the Middle Ages, continued to thrive. But the order came to an end when King Henry VIII suppressed all Catholic monasteries.

Over the years a special custom grew up in the houses of the order called "the plate of the Lord Jesus." The best portions of the dinner were put on a special plate and shared with the poor, reflecting Gilbert's lifelong concern for less fortunate people.

Throughout his life Gilbert lived simply, consumed little food and spent a good portion of many nights in prayer. Despite the rigors of such a life he died at well over age 100.


When he came into his father's wealth, Gilbert could have lived a life of luxury, as many of his fellow priests did at the time. Instead, he chose to share his wealth with the poor. The charming habit of filling "the plate of the Lord Jesus" in the monasteries he established reflected his concern. Today's Operation Rice Bowl echoes that habit: eating a simpler meal and letting the difference in the grocery bill help feed the hungry.


franciscan university

Sacred Space
Daily Prayer - 2016-02-16


Dear Lord as I come to you today
Fill my heart and my whole being
with the wonder of Your presence


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.


I remind myself that I am in the presence of the Lord.
I will take refuge in His loving heart.
He is my strength in times of weakness.
He is my comforter in times of sorrow.

The Word of God

Tuesday of the First Week of Lent

Reading 1 Is 55:10-11

Thus says the LORD:
Just as from the heavens
the rain and snow come down
And do not return there
till they have watered the earth,
making it fertile and fruitful,
Giving seed to the one who sows
and bread to the one who eats,
So shall my word be
that goes forth from my mouth;
It shall not return to me void,
but shall do my will,
achieving the end for which I sent it.

Responsorial Psalm PS 34:4-5, 6-7, 16-17, 18-19

R. (18b) From all their distress God rescues the just.

Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.

R. From all their distress God rescues the just.

Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.

R. From all their distress God rescues the just.

The LORD has eyes for the just,
and ears for their cry.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.

R. From all their distress God rescues the just.

When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.

R. From all their distress God rescues the just.

Verse Before the Gospel Mt 4:4b

One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.

Gospel Mt 6:7-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
"In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

"This is how you are to pray:

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

"If you forgive men their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions."

Some thoughts on today's scripture

You know one teacher's advice on learning to pray: 'Say the Lord's Prayer, and take an hour to say it'. There is no word or phrase in it which does not repay you if you mine it for meaning, and savour it: for instance Our – not just my father, for I share You with the human race. Is there anyone whom I feel uneasy to claim as a sister or brother? Take the prayer slowly, breathing slowly as you relish it and are led into its depths.

Father, as I turn to you in prayer, you already know what I need. I do not change you by asking; I change myself. I love to reflect on Jesus' words: that I may call God my father and work to make his name known and revered. I shall be forgiven as I forgive others. I beg for nourishment enough for the day, and for deliverance from evil.


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.


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Meditation: Matthew 6:7-15

1st Week of Lent

Our Father . . . (Matthew 6:9)

Perhaps you're having a conversation on your cell phone, and suddenly, the other person is just not there. Maybe something went wrong with their phone or with your phone. If it keeps happening, and you realize the problem's on your end, you know it's time to get a new phone or change your phone service. It's frustrating to have spotty connections with people—especially important people!

Sometimes we can feel that way about our prayer life. We want to have a life-giving connection to God, but it doesn't always seem as if he hears us—or as if we're hearing him. What can we do about this? Maybe the answer lies in the way Jesus tells us to pray: "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name" (Matthew 6:9).

If you're a father, you know how much you love your children. If you're not a father, think about the love your father had for you. And if he didn't model that kind of love, think of other fathers you knew who did. Think of how dedicated they were to their children, how affectionate they were, and how creative they were in their parenting. Now take this dedication, affection, and creativity and multiply it by one thousand. That doesn't even begin to describe the way God our Father deals with us!

That's something to keep in mind when you are struggling with prayer. Try to focus on the reality of your Father's love and mercy rather than how hard you're trying to pray. Try to imagine him sitting next to you, with his arm around your shoulder, rather than seated on a courtroom bench.

When you pray today, don't forget who your Father is. Try to let go of your worries and fears. Quiet your mind and heart, and just sit with him. Before you tell him your needs, thank him for his love, and praise him for his grace—in your own words. And if you're at a loss for words, just read today's responsorial psalm out loud, slowly and carefully. Let your Father, who is "close to the brokenhearted," lift you up with his love (Psalm 34:19).

"Heavenly Father, thank you for the privilege of talking to you! Thank you for the great gift of prayer. Help me to grow in my knowledge and love of you."

Isaiah 55:10-11
Psalm 34:4-7, 16-19


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We read in today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void,but shall do my will"
In John 1:14 we read the first lines of this Gospel of the beloved disciple of God, Jesus " The Word Became Flesh". This means that Isaiah was proclaiming a prophecy to come like 700 years later. His Word would not be for nothing. Yesterday I heard Dr. Ray on EWTN satelite radio saying that a parent shouldn't have to have addendum words, like "I mean it!" after having already commanded. Your word should be it, just once, not over and over, giving your word an emptiness. Blabbering at best, and this is not what God intends to do, nor wants us to do. And our Lord teaches us to properly pray, combining several prayers into one easy one, what was 13 daily Jewish prayers is now one Christ prayer. Before continuing on His prayer which we Catholics pray every day, let me share some bits of reflections I've read today:

From 5minutos: "...Help me to say the truth before the strong and not say lies to win the applause of the weak. If You give me fortune, do not take away from me reasoning. If you give me success, do not take away humility. If you give me humility, do not take away dignity...Show me to love people like myself and not judge like the others. Do not let me fall into pride if I triumph, nor in desperation, if I fail remind me more that failure is the experience that precedes triumph. Show me that forgiving is a sign of greatness and that vengeance is a sign of lowliness. If you take success away, leave me the strength to learn from failure. If I offend the people, give me the courage to apologize, and if they offend me, give me the courage to forgive. Lord, if I forget you, please never forget me."

From a long text reflection today recounted the following "The only survivor from a shipwreck landed on a small abandoned island. He asked God fervently to be saved and every day he scrutinized the horizon looking for help, but it didn't seem to arrive.
Tired, finally he opted to build a little wooden cabin to protect himself and to protect a few of his belongings. Then, one day, as he was prowling the island for food, he came back only to find his cabin was consumed in flames with smoke reaching the sky.
The worst had happened, he had lost everything.
He remained dumbfounded in sadness and rage.
"My GOD! how could you do this to me?" he lamented.
Regardless, the following day, he was awakened by the sound of a boat that was approaching the island. They were there to rescue him.
"How did you know I was here?" asked the tired man to the rescuers. "We saw the smoke signal" they said.
It is easy to lose heart when things go wrong, but we shouldn't lose hope because God works in our lives even through the pain and suffering.
The smoke is not always a sign of disaster...God never comes late, He is always present. ""

And so the Word is God. The Word is made flesh. The Word dies like a seed and put into the earth. The seed flourishes and nourishes. It is the Holy Eucharist, it is Christ, it is Jesus our Lord in the Holy Mass. Today, the Lord teaches us to pray OUR Father, not "MY Jesus", but OUR FATHER. We are in this together. You are not alone, I am not a loner. Your sins affect me, and mine affect you. Your holiness affects me, and mine affects you. Yesterday I saw a choir member in practice holding her heart singing, and I said "that is how we should all sing, holding our hearts, singing with our hearts" and rightly so if we are going to be singing with Heaven's angels on earth as it is in Heaven as we are given our daily bread, the nourishment, the Manna from the Sky, the Heavens. Our prayers are our smoke signals. Today, the Lord takes our prayers, the sincere ones, not the ones blabbered, not the empty preachings, but the daily livings of the bread, the Word of God. The Lord today, He emphasizes in the end of the Holy Gospel MERCY "If you forgive men their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you." If not, then you will not be forgiven. You can paint God as the fluffiest nicest person, but He has commanded your love to grow, and it begins with Mercy. We are to listen. Fall down at His feet and obey. We are to get on our knees and pray. We are to wash the feet of the servants, and love our enemies to Heaven, for no one else on earth can afford you an opportunity like your enemies to forgive so as you can be forgiven. Bless then my loved ones, and bless also, my enemies. Your enemies are the ones who hurt you. Your enemies are the ones who are out to get you. Your enemies are the ones who the devil has phased with a false face. Be on your guard and be ready to meet them with mercy...with CHRIST OUR LORD!