Thursday, June 2, 2016

To Love Him

"Suffering overwhelms you because you take it like a coward. Meet it bravely, with a Christian spirit: and you will regard it as a treasure." — St. J

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"Suffering overwhelms you because you take it like a coward. Meet it bravely, with a Christian spirit: and you will regard it as a treasure."
— St. Josemaria Escriva

"Of all the divine attributes, only God's omnipotence is named in the Creed: to confess this power has great bearing on our lives. We believe that his might is universal, for God who created everything also rules everything and can do everything. God's power is loving, for he is our Father, and mysterious, for only faith can discern it when it 'is made perfect in weakness.' The Holy Scriptures repeatedly confess the universal power of God. He is called the 'Mighty One of Jacob,' the 'Lord of hosts,' the 'strong and mighty' one. If God is almighty 'in heaven and on earth,' it is because he made them. Nothing is impossible with God, who disposes his works according to his will. He is the Lord of the universe, whose order he established and which remains wholly subject to him and at his disposal. He is master of history, governing hearts and events in keeping with his will: 'It is always in your power to show great strength, and who can withstand the strength of your arm?'"
— (CCC, 268-9)
Catechism of the Catholic Church


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Sts. Marcellinus & Peter


Feast: June 2

Feast Day: June 2
Died: 304 AD, Rome
Major Shrine: Santi Marcellino e Pietro

Marcellinus was a priest, and Peter an exorcist, both of the clergy of Rome, and eminent for their zeal and piety. In the persecution of Dioclesian, about the year 304, they were condemned to die for their faith: and by a secret order of the judge, the executioner led them into a forest, that the holy men being executed privately, no Christians might be acquainted with the place of their sepulchre. When he had brought them into a thicket overgrown with thorns and briers, three; miles from Rome, he declared to them his sanguinary commission. The saints cheerfully fell to work themselves, grubbed up the brambles, and cleared a spot fit for their sepulchre. After they were beheaded, their bodies were buried in the same place. Some time after, Lucilla, a pious lady, being informed by revelation, and assisted by another devout lady named Firmina, took up their bodies and honorably interred them near that of St. Tiburtius on the Lavican road in the Catacombs. Pope Damasus assures us, that, when a child, he learned all these particulars from the mouth of the executioner himself, and he has inserted them in a Latin epitaph with which he adorned their tomb. Anastasius the librarian testifies from ancient registers, that Constantine the Great built here a church in honor of these martyrs, in which he caused his mother St. Helena to be buried under a porphyry tomb, on the Lavican road, three miles from Rome, and that he gave to this church a paten, weighing thirty-five pounds, of pure gold, with many other rich presents; which is also mentioned by Bede, Ado, and Sigebert. The porphyry mausoleum of St. Helena is still shown among other antiquities near the Lateran basilica. Honorius I. and Adrian I. repaired this church and cemetery of St. Tiburtius, and SS. Marcellinus and Peter, as Anastasius mentions. Not long after, the bodies of SS. Marcellinus and Peter were translated into Germany on the following occasion. Eginhard, a German, the favorite secretary of Charlemagne, and his wife Emma, by mutual consent, made a vow of perpetual continency; and becoming a monk, was chosen abbot of Fontenelle, and, in 819, abbot of Ghent. Emma died in 836, to his great affliction, as appears from the letters of Lupus, abbot of Ferrieres, to him. This great man, in 827, sent his secretary to Rome, to procure from pope Gregory IV. some relies of martyrs to enrich the monasteries which he had founded or repaired. The pope sent him the bodies of SS. Marcellinus and Peter, which Eginhard translated to Strasburg. But soon after he deposited them first at Michlenstad; and afterwards at Malinheim, since called Selgenstad, three leagues from Frankfort, and two from Achaffenburg; where, in 829, he built to their honor a church and monastery, of which he died the first abbot. Besides the life of Charlemagne, and the annals of France, during the reigns of Pepin, Charlemagne, and Louis Debonnaire, he wrote four books in prose, and one in verse, on the translation of SS. Marcellinus and Peter. This translation is also mentioned by Sigebert, Aymoinus, Rabanus Maurus, &c. Pope Gregory the Great preached his twenty homilies on the gospels in the church of SS. Marcellinus and Peter at Rome; as appears from some of them, and from the testimony of John the Deacon.4 See their acts and the history of their translation in Papebroke, t. 1, Junij, p. 170, and Laderchius, Diss. de Basilicis, SS. Marcellini and Petri; Romae, 1705

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Sacred Space
Daily Prayer - 2016-06-02

"Be still and know that I am God".
Lord, may your spirit guide me to seek
Your Loving presence more and more.
For it is there I find rest and refreshment from this busy world.

Lord, I pray for your gift of freedom.
May your Holy Spirit
guide those in power to work for
equality for all your people.

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

Thursday in the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time

Reading 1 2 Tm 2:8-15

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David:
such is my Gospel, for which I am suffering,
even to the point of chains, like a criminal.
But the word of God is not chained.
Therefore, I bear with everything for the sake of those who are chosen,
so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus,
together with eternal glory.
This saying is trustworthy:

If we have died with him
we shall also live with him;
if we persevere
we shall also reign with him.
But if we deny him
he will deny us.
If we are unfaithful
he remains faithful,
for he cannot deny himself.

Remind people of these things
and charge them before God to stop disputing about words.
This serves no useful purpose since it harms those who listen.
Be eager to present yourself as acceptable to God,
a workman who causes no disgrace,
imparting the word of truth without deviation.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 25:4-5ab, 8-9, 10 and 14
R. (4) Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.

R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
he teaches the humble his way.

R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.
All the paths of the LORD are kindness and constancy
toward those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
The friendship of the LORD is with those who fear him,
and his covenant, for their instruction.

R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.

Alleluia See 2 Tm 1:10
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death
and brought life to light through the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 12:28-34

One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
"Which is the first of all the commandments?"
Jesus replied, "The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these."
The scribe said to him, "Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
He is One and there is no other than he.
And to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding,
with all your strength,
and to love your neighbor as yourself
is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."
And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
he said to him, "You are not far from the Kingdom of God."
And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Some thoughts on today's scripture

I too often ask myself what is the first commandment of all, which is the most important of my many obligations. Today, like the scribe, I ask Jesus to enlighten me to find the answer to this vital question. I let myself be impressed by the fact that Jesus has a very clear answer: love. It is the most important thing I can ever do, it includes all my duties, all the commandments.
Jesus tells me to love others as I love myself. Do I feel called to love myself, as I am? Or do I feel guilty when I try to do so, feeling I am being selfish? Jesus seems to imply the contrary: I will not be able to love others unless I love myself.


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.

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: Mark 12:28-34

Saints Marcellinus and Peter, Martyrs (Optional Memorial)

You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:31)

Have you ever been so angry that it consumes your every thought? You may walk around seething and muttering about an injustice done to you or a loved one. You may get distracted by an urgent matter, but your brain seems eager to return to that anger again. Other things may go wrong that day, things completely unrelated to what has made you angry, but somehow you still connect them to the one who has upset you. The anger festers throughout the day, threatening to feed your pride and damage your relationships.

Now imagine that you could love with that same all-encompassing passion. Imagine what it would be like if your love for people, not romantic love, but the love of a friend and brother or sister, were to dictate all of your thoughts and actions throughout the day. This is the kind of love—a peaceful, openhearted welcome of all people—that Jesus is talking about in today's Gospel reading.

This kind of love has the power to diminish your pride and selfishness and build up your humility and desire to help other people. It has the power to change not only you but also the people around you as they experience your love.

This sounds wonderful, doesn't it? But it can also seem out of reach. How can our hearts be consumed by love—especially when we face so many challenges in our lives?

Through practice.

Try repeating the great commandment to yourself during the day, maybe at mealtimes and in the quiet moments between activities. Place reminders of the call to love on your dresser or in your car or on your mirror. Make it a point to do one extra loving thing each day, and see how people respond. And most important, take time in prayer to open yourself to the One who is love himself: your heavenly Father. Let his unconditional, merciful, and joyful love settle in your heart so that you can find the grace you need to live in that love.

Remember: it's Jesus who calls you to love. And he never asks you to do something without promising to help you every step of the way.

"Teach me, Lord, how to love people as you love me. Remind me throughout the day to look for opportunities to share your love with the people around me."

2 Timothy 2:8-15
Psalm 25:4-5, 8-10, 14




The Word said today "If we are unfaithful he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself." And why the talk on denial? Because just before we read " if we deny him he will deny us." And it works out very simple, He can not deny us, but we deny Him and our denial is His denial, like a would-be groom left standing there when she walks away and says no, instead of yes. This is the Lord in a love life. And this love is not about romance, but a love of hearts like no other, strong, beautiful, and eternal. Hence, "If we have died with him
we shall also live with him; if we persevere we shall also reign with him."

We prayed the Holy Psalms today "Teach me your ways, O Lord...The friendship of the LORD is with those who fear him, and his covenant, for their instruction." Want to be friends with the Lord? Fear Him. Keep the promise with Him. For if there is a great act of disgrace, it is an act against love. Fear Love, Fear God. Be very afraid to fail love. Have I failed you yet? Have I failed you? Then let me make amends, reconcile, confess and be whole again with you. This is a covenant, a Sacrament. God's love is a promise, and our faith is our love of God. Let's talk about that.

In comes the Lord of our lives and is asked "Which is the first of all the commandments?" And our Lord points to love, to God our Father. Everything becomes about "the Father" with Him, isn't it? He's always talking about "the Father" and always says "my Father" and teaches us to pray "our Father". He always points up. Isn't this amazing? Makes our focus turn away from our rivalries. Tell me, dare to think of the person you don't get along with in life...or the very many you can't talk to very well, and I'll be able to tell you how much you love "the Father". Because loving God "with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength" as our Lord said today is culminated into doing as He says, and He goes on to say "You shall love your neighbor as yourself". Love then can not be empty. Because God says love HIM above all. You know, as I got ready for work this morning, I thought of my physical body, how I may not take care of it as I ought and have been trying to, but we have a tendency of not taking care of it well, but God loves your body, so much so, that one day He will raise it up. Isn't that crazy love? This is all to say, loving God above all makes you love yourself and take care of yourself. This is why loving God is so good even for you. And once you can "take care", then you can care for those around you. Otherwise, you don't...and you won't. The words of the Lord are deep, and very spiritual. He is concerned for you in every aspect, body, mind, and soul, because He says "love with all your soul" and when the scribe repeats how to love God, he leaves out "love with all your soul". I love that song 10,000 reasons which sings "Bless the Lord O My Soul". If your body will raise your arms to Him it is the soul reaching to Heaven for Daddy's embrace. Love fills all emptiness. God fills your life and we will want to fill others' lives with this love we come to fill ourselves with.
And so, sin is an act against love of God and love of neighbor (those around us). Let us become direct reflections of God. Let these reflections become who you are. Throughout the day, focus on loving your Father with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength." It is strange, isn't it? We went to graduations, my van full with our 7 kids and mother in law and visiting family followed. The parking lot was full, but we found a good spot. We walk in the stadium, it was full, but we found a spot right in the middle and front. "Strange" I said as I told my wife, and she thanked God, knowing it was him. A few days later, on memorial day, my dad talked about how a bird landed on his shoulder and was playing with him, even pecking at his head. "Strange" I said, and he said "the bird was saying Happy Birthday, because this day years ago I died (electrocuted) and came back to life!". I thanked God. A couple days later, a little girl named Hannah, needs prayers. I asked a certain few to help me pray as I lay my hands on her. Some were 40 miles away, some 150 miles away, and I prayed with her with my wife and kids in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I explained to the little curly haired girl with big eyes girl on her wheelchair "we are in front of Jesus, He is inside this tabernacle in the form of bread". She silently bowed her head as we prayed and I lay my hands on her to pray for a tumor, a mass found in her head to go away (I wanted this because she has suffered all her life, her 6 years or so of life of surgeries and operations because of cystic fibrosis). They left, and the next morning we get a call "The doctors are stunned, the MRI shows nothing of a tumor or mass which they were about to operate on". Strange. Now, how do we thank God ?