Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Planted in the Garden

Love and Be Loved This is the great passage: to see deep into our own nature by meeting its reflection in everything around us. To swim with somethin

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Love and Be Loved

This is the great passage: to see deep into our own nature by meeting its reflection in everything around us. To swim with something very big. To allow the Universe to love us and to love deeply in return.
from Stars At Night


† "Many live like angels in the midst of the world. Why not you?"
— St. Josemaria Escriva


"Many beginners, delighting in the sweetness and joy of their spiritual occupations, strive after spiritual sweetness rather than after purity and discretion, which is that which God regards and accepts in the whole course of the spiritual way. For this reason, over and above their imperfection in seeking after sweetness in devotion, that spirit of gluttony, which has taken possession of them, forces them to overstep the limits of moderation, within which virtue is acquired and consists. . . Inasmuch then as all extremes are vicious, and as in this course of conduct men follow their own will, the consequences are that they grow in vice and not in virtue; at least they minister to their spiritual gluttony and pride, for they do not walk in the way of obedience."
— St. John of the Cross, p. 26
Dark Night of the Soul


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Saint Antônio de Sant'Anna Galvão

Saint Antônio de Sant'Anna Galvão's Story

God's plan in a person's life often takes unexpected turns which become life-giving through cooperation with God's grace.

Born in Guarantingueta near São Paulo, Antônio attended the Jesuit seminary in Belem, but later decided to become a Franciscan friar. Invested in 1760, he made final profession the following year and was ordained in 1762.

In São Paulo, he served as preacher, confessor, and porter. Within a few years, he was appointed confessor to the Recollects of Saint Teresa, a group of nuns in that city. He and Sister Helena Maria of the Holy Spirit founded a new community of sisters under the patronage of Our Lady of the Conception of Divine Providence. Sister Helena Maria's premature death the next year left Father Antônio responsible for the new congregation, especially for building a convent and church adequate for their growing numbers.

He served as novice master for the friars in Macacu and as guardian of St. Francis Friary in São Paulo. He founded St. Clare Friary in Sorocaba. With the permission of his provincial and the bishop, he spent his last days at the Recolhimento de Nossa Senhora da Luz, the convent of the sisters' congregation he had helped establish.

He was beatified in Rome on October 25, 1998, and canonized in 2007.

Holy women and men cannot help calling our attention to God, to God's creation and to all the people whom God loves. The lives of holy people are so oriented toward God that this has become their definition of "normal." Do people see my life or yours as a living sign of God's steadfast love? What might have to change for that to happen?


Sacred Space
Daily Prayer - 2016-10-25


"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.


What most often stops me achieving freedom is my tendency
to be caught up in fears and expectations
about what I 'ought' or 'should' be.
My usual automatic responses tie me down
and inhibit me from exploring new areas of growth.
I ask and pray for a greater sense of inner freedom and
that I might reach the fresh and challenging possibilities
that God wishes me to realise.


There is a time and place for everything, as the saying goes.
Lord, grant that I may always desire
to spend time in your presence.
To hear your call.

The Word of God

Tuesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
readings audio

Reading 1 Eph 5:21-33

Brothers and sisters:
Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord.
For the husband is head of his wife
just as Christ is head of the Church,
he himself the savior of the Body.
As the Church is subordinate to Christ,
so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives,
even as Christ loved the Church
and handed himself over for her to sanctify her,
cleansing her by the bath of water with the word,
that he might present to himself the Church in splendor,
without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,
that she might be holy and without blemish.
So also husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.
He who loves his wife loves himself.
For no one hates his own flesh
but rather nourishes and cherishes it,
even as Christ does the Church,
because we are members of his Body.

For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.

This is a great mystery,
but I speak in reference to Christ and the Church.
In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself,
and the wife should respect her husband.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
R. (1a) Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.

R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
Your children like olive plants
around your table.

R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.

R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

Alleluia See Mt 11:25
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 13:18-21

Jesus said, "What is the Kingdom of God like?
To what can I compare it?
It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden.
When it was fully grown, it became a large bush
and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches."

Again he said, "To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God?
It is like yeast that a woman took
and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour
until the whole batch of dough was leavened."

Some thoughts on today's scripture

Jesus was so optimistic when he spoke of the Kingdom! For him even a small beginning was sufficient, for he was convinced that it is the Kingdom of God, so that it shares his power and dynamism. As I look around my world, I ask myself whether I share this conviction, or whether I find myself acting like a prophet of doom and gloom.
The yeast can only change the dough if it is one with it. Even if the separation is minimal, it will be ineffective. Engagement and presence rather than size seems to be what matters for Jesus. I pray for a Church and a Christian community that is totally engaged with and in the world, like the yeast in the dough.


Conversation requires talking and listening.
As I talk to Jesus may I also learn to be still and listen.
I picture the gentleness in His eyes
and the smile full of love as he gazes on me.
I can be totally honest with Jesus as I tell Him of my worries and my cares.
I will open up my heart to Him as I tell Him of my fears and my doubts.
I will ask Him to help me to place myself fully in His care,
to abandon myself to Him,
knowing that He always wants what is best for 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: Luke 13:18-21

30th Week in Ordinary Time

. . . a mustard seed . . . yeast. (Luke 13:18, 21)

Jesus chose his images carefully. Today, he compares the kingdom of God to a mustard seed and a pinch of yeast. Both are very small, but both are loaded with potential for growth and impact.

Like the seed and the yeast, our lives may seem very ordinary, but we can still have a great impact on the world around us. While there are many big things we can do, little gestures like a ready smile can brighten someone's day. A kind deed can lighten another's burden. Even the way we persevere through a difficulty or resolve a conflict peacefully can be a powerful witness to the power of the Holy Spirit.

Look at today's first reading for another example. The kind of marriage described here can be a light for the world and a place of refuge for many. In a marriage characterized by mutual submission, each partner puts the other's needs and preferences first. The husband and wife actively seek to grow in unity of heart and mind. They practice sacrificial love, and together they reach out generously to others.

Most of this loving may seem small and insignificant. There's nothing dramatic about picking up laundry, remembering an anniversary, cleaning up after a meal, coordinating calendars, or putting down the newspaper to listen. But myriad small moments like these knead kingdom love into our daily lives and create an environment where Jesus is welcome.

If you are married, reflect on the grace of the sacrament you have received. Perhaps at your wedding you were focused on details that have since faded from memory: the flowers, the music, the food. You were on an emotional pinnacle and perhaps not fully aware of the spiritual significance of the occasion. But when you made the promises that bound you and your spouse together, you received Christ in and through each other. Even if his presence was as imperceptible as a tiny seed, he is still powerfully present in your marriage. Rediscover him there, and give him room to grow. And don't forget to tell your spouse the three most important words in the world: "I love you."

"Lord Jesus, thank you for your presence in my life and my relationships. Let your life grow in me."

Ephesians 5:21-33
Psalm 128:1-5



The Word spoke today "As the Church is subordinate to Christ,
so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything." Most of the verses, it seemed, that it spoke mostly of the husband's fidelity, and the responsibility to sanctify his wife. And the one line, as a husband reads, only spoke of this "wives be subordinate to your husband in everything". And to top things off, what caught my eye was the end "In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself, and the wife should respect her husband." It seems the wife only has to be subordinate and respect her husband, while the husband has to sanctify her, protect her, and LOVE her. Strange wordage, no? Yes. It is an exact truth of the love of our husband, the groom, whom is JESUS: "This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the Church." And I absolutely love the verse that said "He who loves his wife loves himself." And if he wants Heaven for her, it means he wants heaven for himself. This is a revelation of God's love for the Holy Church, the bride. You are the church, I am the church, We are the Church. And this love is not like the loves we encounter on earth. This is TRUE LOVE.

We prayed today "Blessed are you who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; blessed shall you be, and favored." There is one issue here you fear the Lord? This is the same as asking "Do you love the Lord?". If you fear the Lord you fear to sin, but there is no fear to sin if you love the Lord more than sin because sin will have no hold on you, but God's love. That is to say, His love is more. Be subordinate, submissive, obedient, made less, so that He is made more. That is why our Blessed Mother's words are so powerful "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to thy will". And the power of light, of life came into her soul the size of a mustard seed and the rest is history, and history in the making with you and me.

The Lord said today about God's Kingdom: "It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches." A man planted a seed. Don't man plant seeds? But GOD planted this seed Himself. What seeds do I plant every day? Because little things can turn into big things. Let the little things be of God and God fearing, instead of darkness in thoughts and actions. Because "when fully grown" you can see the fruits. This tiny seed became a large bush, that many would mistake for a tree. And the birds dwell, they live there. A safe haven for angels, and God sees you as His angel. Yet, this mustard bush is still growing and wants to grow through you...your soil, and we are made of humus, or dirt, that is why we are called humans. Take into consideration then, when the Lord compares His Kingdom to such a small feat. It shows that what counts is what is overlooked. Most often, He is overlooked, in the poor, and your poor in spirit. And so He compares to a woman cooking with yeast, His Kingdom. Yeast is what makes bread grow. If we are the yeast, then the bread, His bread will grow, only if we avail ourselves to His grace. This world will be a different world if we avail ourselves to His grace. The sun will shine in a different light. The Lord who sees through the Son, He will make things grow that have never grown faith, and grace. Be ready.
This weekend we saw Doug Barry from EWTN in a men's conference. He had his backpack packed, as a man on flight for his life. He was speaking of prophecies of end times that many are overlooking. But if you listen to the Lord, the Lord was speaking: I Am coming. And it will be in our lifetime that we meet our end. Because "every head is a world" says my mom. So don't think of others' worlds ending, but yours. Think of what you have allowed to grow in your life. Is it sadness, anxiety, or disbelief? Or is it joy, peace, and faith?

With this email, I pray that your faith reaches for the skies like a mustard seed does when it is germinated, when conception reaches a soul. Find out what all this means by coming to the Lord with a heart ready, prepared, plowed through, and fertilized by Him.