Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Shine Before Others

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A Meditation on Saint Anthony

After you died, Saint Anthony, God chose to make your holiness known to the world and to draw people by working miracles in answer to prayers made in your name. Since then, people have asked God to continue to honor you by working wonders through your intercession. Those who have experienced the power of prayers offered in your name have told how God has answered them. God has healed the sick, restored peace of mind, relieved poverty, and granted favors of all kinds. Now in this time of need I ask you, Saint Anthony, to pray with me for the things I desire. I pray that God may again give us a sign of loving care and providence and that, through you, God may draw us all to the fullness of life and love in eternity.

–from the book Saint Anthony of Padua: His Life, Legends and Devotions


✞ "Prayer is the best armor we have, it is the key which opens the heart of God."
— St. Padre Pio

"If it was, as we have said, a high honor to Joseph to be chosen as the spouse of Mary and accepted by her, what must we say of the dignity conferred on him in being chosen by the Son of God Himself to be His father?"
— Edward Healy Thompson, p. 201
Life & Glories of St. Joseph

"But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 6:22-23


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Saint Anthony of Padua

Saint of the Day for June 13

(1195 – June 13,1231)

The gospel call to leave everything and follow Christ was the rule of Anthony's life. Over and over again, God called him to something new in his plan. Every time Anthony responded with renewed zeal and self-sacrificing to serve his Lord Jesus more completely.

His journey as the servant of God began as a very young man when he decided to join the Augustinians in Lisbon, giving up a future of wealth and power to be a servant of God. Later when the bodies of the first Franciscan martyrs went through the Portuguese city where he was stationed, he was again filled with an intense longing to be one of those closest to Jesus himself: those who die for the Good News.

So Anthony entered the Franciscan Order and set out to preach to the Moors. But an illness prevented him from achieving that goal. He went to Italy and was stationed in a small hermitage where he spent most of his time praying, reading the Scriptures and doing menial tasks.

The call of God came again at an ordination where no one was prepared to speak. The humble and obedient Anthony hesitantly accepted the task. The years of searching for Jesus in prayer, of reading sacred Scripture and of serving him in poverty, chastity, and obedience had prepared Anthony to allow the Spirit to use his talents. Anthony's sermon was astounding to those who expected an unprepared speech and knew not the Spirit's power to give people words.

Recognized as a great man of prayer and a great Scripture and theology scholar, Anthony became the first friar to teach theology to the other friars. Soon he was called from that post to preach to the Albigensians in France, using his profound knowledge of Scripture and theology to convert and reassure those who had been misled by their denial of Christ's divinity and of the sacraments..

After he led the friars in northern Italy for three years, he made his headquarters in the city of Padua. He resumed his preaching and began writing sermon notes to help other preachers. In the spring of 1231 Anthony withdrew to a friary at Camposampiero where he had a sort of treehouse built as a hermitage. There he prayed and prepared for death.

On June 13, he became very ill and asked to be taken back to Padua, where he died after receiving the last sacraments. Anthony was canonized less than a year later and named a Doctor of the Church in 1946.


Anthony should be the patron of those who find their lives completely uprooted and set in a new and unexpected direction. Like all saints, he is a perfect example of turning one's life completely over to Christ. God did with Anthony as God pleased—and what God pleased was a life of spiritual power and brilliance that still attracts admiration today. He whom popular devotion has nominated as finder of lost objects found himself by losing himself totally to the providence of God.

Saint Anthony of Padua is the Patron Saint of:

Lost items




Memorial of Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 360

Reading 1 2 Cor 1:18-22

Brothers and sisters:
As God is faithful, our word to you is not "yes" and "no."
For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was proclaimed to you by us,
Silvanus and Timothy and me,
was not "yes" and "no," but "yes" has been in him.
For however many are the promises of God, their Yes is in him;
therefore, the Amen from us also goes through him to God for glory.
But the one who gives us security with you in Christ
and who anointed us is God;
he has also put his seal upon us
and given the Spirit in our hearts as a first installment.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 119:129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 135
R. (135a) Lord, let your face shine on me.
Wonderful are your decrees;
therefore I observe them.
R. Lord, let your face shine on me.
The revelation of your words sheds light,
gives understanding to the simple.
R. Lord, let your face shine on me.
I gasp with open mouth
in my yearning for your commands.
R. Lord, let your face shine on me.
Turn to me in pity
as you turn to those who love your name.
R. Lord, let your face shine on me.
Steady my footsteps according to your promise,
and let no iniquity rule over me.
R. Lord, let your face shine on me.
Let your countenance shine upon your servant,
and teach me your statutes.
R. Lord, let your face shine on me.

Alleluia Mt 5:16
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Let your light shine before others
that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 5:13-16

Jesus said to his disciples:
"You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father."


Meditation: Matthew 5:13-16
Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Memorial)

You are the salt of the earth. (Matthew 5:13)

The late Pentecostal preacher David du Plessis was once approached by a Christian who complained that people don't seem thirsty for the Lord these days. Without missing a beat, du Plessis replied, "It's not that they are not thirsty enough. It's that we are not salty enough!" This reply might make us feel somewhat defensive, but let's look at it from a different angle. Instead of thinking about how "unsalty" we may be, let's ask how we can increase our saltiness.

First, consider the qualities you find most attractive in people. Kindness, cheerfulness, thoughtfulness, or helpfulness may come to mind. When you see people with these qualities, you are drawn to them; you want to get to know them and maybe even become more like them. Well, these same qualities can make you more attractive as well.

You see, it's not all about being pious or reverent. It's about reaching out to others in genuine concern and compassion. It's about offering to help someone with a problem. It's about accompanying someone through a difficult time without expecting any reward or any thanks. These "door openers" help place the love of Christ and the fruit of the Spirit front and center. At the same time, they show that we aren't trying to impose our religious views on anyone; we're just trying to love as Jesus loves.

There is an old saying that you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. This principle applies in a special way to our goal of "catching" people for Christ. It's much better to share his good news with a smile and a handshake than with a frown and a pointed finger.

So be salty today! In many cases, you won't even need to use words. Simply be Christ by the way you treat the people around you. As you do, people will be drawn to you. Then you can point them to Jesus, the only One who can satisfy the hunger and thirst in their lives.

"Thank you, Jesus, for calling me to be light to the world and salt of the earth. Help me to treat people with kindness, respect, and love today so that they may come to thirst for you, the living water."

2 Corinthians 1:18-22
Psalm 119:129-133, 135


"For the Son of God, Jesus Christ ...was not "yes" and "no," but "yes" has been in him". The life of Christ was a complete Yes to the Lord. Never a no. What does a yes mean? It means we accept truly what we are now through God's grace and choosing...a destined child to Him.

We pray today "Lord, let your face shine on me". If our Lord ever glanced your way, your life would change forever. This glance is what children look for. I notice it in my kids, all are looking to me, vying for my attention, all screaming "daddy" at the same time. And they settle once I look at them and acknowledge their pleas. I don't do what they please, but I acknowledge them with my eyes and love and that settles things as I see fit. It is the story of our faith in our Lord above, our Father.

And so our Lord speaks to us today "You are the salt of the earth...". A Spanish reflection said today that salt dissolves, disappears into the food, but you know something is missing when it is not there. It is the same with the Spirit of our Lord. To me, it is as if I were to go to a non Catholic church, and what is missing is the fullness and truth, the salt, that what is the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus in His precious Body in the Holy Eucharist. Sure there is food, but something is missing. That salt is Christ. When you look at salt piled up, it looks white, pure, and you want to taste it. Holiness. Your body wants that preservation, and eternity is our preservation for Him, not for ourselves. Salt disappears, melts into our bodies.
And so our Lord speaks to us today again "You are the light of the world". YOU! "who me?", yes YOU! Another Spanish reflection spoke of a blind man carrying a lamp at night and a neighbor asks "why in the world are you carrying a lighted lamp if you don't need it?" and He answered "it is not for me to see, but for others to see!" Such is faith, always lit up, always showing the way and letting others see.

But what catches my attention is that the light is like salt. In pure form it is white and it has all the colors in the rainbow. And light is like salt because it dissolves, it gives, it burning, and burning itself at it's fuel source, the lamp's oil. This is why the story Jesus says of the bride's maids that weren't ready with oil, they weren't seen by the groom, they had run out of oil and were not found burning bright in honor of the groom the Lord.

Many have said around my life "don't get too involved, you'll get burned out". False. The truth is, you'll only get burned out if you run out of oil. God provides. God sees the Yes. Let your Yes be a yes. In the book of revelation God says He wants to find you either hot or cold, because the lukewarm, the gray, the neutral will be spit out, and in some translations it says "vomited" out. Salt and light burn bright. Salt yourself with God. Let God's light burn inside of you.

Many who experience a cursillo, an encounter with the Lord, say in testimony, I see everything in a whole new light. I myself suddenly looked to the crowds in testimony and said "I look to you and I see brothers and sisters in Christ now! I see Christ" (truth is I had seen the Eucharist held up in Mass that day, as a piece of flesh with blood too), now fast forward 13 years later, last night I was speaking at a funeral vigil to the crowd "Jesus loves each and every one of you". The love of God burns forever with an ignition source. I want you to experience this light-up and food seasoning TASTE AND SEE
The Body of Christ is so good!
Another reflection, Bishop Barren ends with this line "The implication is that, without vibrant Christians, the world is a much worse place."
The problem is there aren't enough Christians. The problem is, there aren't real Christians, ready to give salt, flavor, joy, and light, truth and illumination of mind, hearts and souls. Too many closed doors, not enough open hearts.

God loves you, have no doubt. If this means anything, it should mean we too should dissolve into the world for His greater glory.
I wish I could speak of the tons of miracles I've experienced about today's saint. Over the weekend I was shooting clays with a coworker friend, and we lost a clamp off the clay launcher, and it was getting dark, and as we walked in circles everywhere, I began to pray to Saint Anthony again, and again, I found the lost item. I shouted to the friend to come, I had found what was lost. I explained how I found it, and his jaw dropped, saying he was just right there looking and looking. If it was right in front of him, why couldn't he see? I only saw through prayer.
This pierces the darkness.
This brings much joy.
It is the truth of light, and it is what preserves the faith, I pray you have now tools to liven your faith and feed your faith, as this coming Sunday we will celebrate Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ, and with Him and in Him we become the best salt and the brightest light in a world that needs it, Him, SOOO MUCH



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