Tuesday, November 14, 2017

One of These Little ones...


The Sign of the Cross

Pope Francis makes the Sign of the Cross as he visits a sculpture of Mary and the crucified Jesus before celebrating vespers with priests, men and women religious in St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York Sept. 24. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)What a wonderful habit it is to make the Sign of the Cross, to bring Christ to our minds and to our hearts as we carry the crosses of life on our shoulders.
With this sign, we participate in the mystery of the Trinity and are reminded that from the Father came the Son, and from them, the Holy Spirit, who gives us the strength and the knowledge to bear witness to the truth.
—from the book Amazing Graces: The Blessings of Sacramentals
by Julie Dortch Cragon


✞ "You never go away from us, yet we have difficulty in returning to You. Come, Lord, stir us up and call us back. Kindle and seize us. Be our fire and our sweetness. Let us love. Let us run."
— St. Augustine

"Much that is true of human relationships is also true of our relationship with God. Human relationships of friendship or marriage need time, attention, and care for them to continue and to grow. The same is true of our relationship with God. We have been called to union but we need to respond. As we turn to God in conversion or in a deeper awakening, besides turning away from deliberate sin—which deforms the soul, blocks the relationship and offends the Person who has sacrificed His life for us—we need to positively build the relationship by paying attention to the One who loves us. Prayer is at root simply paying attention to God."
— Ralph Martin, p. 121
Fulfillment of all Desire

"And this is the boldness we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of him."
1 John 5:14-15


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Saint Gertrude the Great

(January 6, 1256 – November 17, 1302)

Gertrude, a Benedictine nun in Helfta, Saxony, was one of the great mystics of the 13th century. Together with her friend and teacher Saint Mechtild, she practiced a spirituality called "nuptial mysticism," that is, she came to see herself as the bride of Christ. Her spiritual life was a deeply personal union with Jesus and his Sacred Heart, leading her into the very life of the Trinity.

But this was no individualistic piety. Gertrude lived the rhythm of the liturgy, where she found Christ. In the liturgy and in Scripture she found the themes and images to enrich and express her piety. There was no clash between her personal prayer life and the liturgy.


Saint Gertrude's life is another reminder that the heart of the Christian life is prayer: private and liturgical, ordinary or mystical, but always personal.

The Liturgical Feast of Saint Gertrude the Great is November 16. She is the Patron Saint of:

West Indies


Tuesday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Wis 2:23–3:9

God formed man to be imperishable;
the image of his own nature he made them.
But by the envy of the Devil, death entered the world,
and they who are in his possession experience it.

But the souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
They shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the Lord shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 34:2-3, 16-17, 18-19
R. (2a) I will bless the Lord at all times.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. I will bless the Lord at all times.
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. I will bless the Lord at all times.
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. I will bless the Lord at all times.

Alleluia Jn 14:23
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 17:7-10

Jesus said to the Apostles:
"Who among you would say to your servant
who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field,
'Come here immediately and take your place at table'?
Would he not rather say to him,
'Prepare something for me to eat.
Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink.
You may eat and drink when I am finished'?
Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?
So should it be with you.
When you have done all you have been commanded, say,
'We are unprofitable servants;
we have done what we were obliged to do.'"


Catholic Meditations
Meditation: Wisdom 2:23–3:9

God formed man to be imperishable. (Wisdom 2:23)

Did you know that our first reading today is one that you're most likely to hear at a Catholic funeral? And for good reason! At times of loss, we all need a comforting reminder of God's care for us, and the reading does just that. It acknowledges that there is suffering in the world, but it reminds us of a greater truth. We are "the image of God's own nature," and we are made for immortality (Wisdom 2:23). That's an expansive reality to hold onto that is not just for funerals!

There is no denying that death has entered the world. But we also believe that death is not the end of the story. God made us to be imperishable. He wants us to be with him forever in heaven—so much so that even though the devil's envy brought sin into the world, it could not overthrow God's intention for us. Not even our own personal sin can change his desire to share eternity with us.

Just think: God has put eternity in your heart (Ecclesiastes 3:11). The fact that you long for happiness is proof that he made you with immortality in mind. Your appreciation of beauty and goodness reveals the divine beauty and goodness he has placed in you. Even pain or disappointment shows that you haven't quite reached the fullness of that "something more" that you are longing for. St. Augustine said that our hearts remain restless until we finally find our rest in him. Your heavenly calling can't be denied. It is part of your DNA.

Remember, God has placed his own life in your heart. Even now, he is preparing a place just for you—and preparing you for your true home. He wants to point your eyes heavenward, to give you "hope full of immortality" (Wisdom 3:4). So every time you feel a little tug to pray, recognize it as God's imperishable life stirring in you. When you are amazed by a beautiful sunset, see in it a reflection of your eternal dwelling place. When you want to see justice done and the needy cared for, see in that longing God's own life in you, pulling you heavenward.

"Father, thank you for making me for heaven!"

Psalm 34:2-3, 16-19
Luke 17:7-10


The Words said "...But the souls of the just are in the hand of God...". You know, I am involved in dozens and dozens of funerals, throughout the years. This past week, we did two in our little city. A wife passed, and 4 days later the husband passed. I sat there in my choir seat looking to the family and thought, "this is strange, not even a week ago this same family was sitting there, just in different seats". These scriptures I read over and over. It talks about chastisement. It talks about the love of God, and those facing a torment. Our Lord knows. He knows and so does our Blessed Mother. At another funeral vigil last night, a vigil for a wife that died and her husband that died 4 months ago, this is another pair, a couple, I said many things, but above all the Love of God must come first.
We prayed today "I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall be ever in my mouth. Let my soul glory in the LORD; the lowly will hear me and be glad.". If someone is born, it is to give glory to God. If someone dies, it is to give glory to God. The first death must come to self, selfishness, the selfies in the world must turn their eyes from the mirror and see who is really there. We are the Body of Christ and Christ is not self-absorbed but the opposite, out-giving.
In comes our Lord and Savior "...wait on me..." and wait is not to wait in time for time does not exist in the next life. I told them last night that on earth "time is a precious commodity, what are we investing it in?". Your family? How about our Lord? Too many spend too much on their family, and little or nothing on the Lord. Love comes first right? And the bible says God is Love. Therefore, God comes first, amen? AMEN? How can you put your family through a day or a night without prayer? Why would you send them through life without a prayer? In the mornings pray, bless them, pray yourself, bless yourself for the world, let yourself be what God created you to be...Totally His! Earth is not just a proving ground but a training ground. Do what your body does NOT want to do...pray, pray, and pray. What else is there to do in life than to pray? If you don't have physical lungs in the next life, how and what will you breathe? If there is no time in the next life, then how will life be precious? ANSWER: GOD
Answer His beckoning daily call. The song I wrote Sunday begins from Genesis, when we left God. He never leaves.

I goofed reading a scripture last night at the funeral vigil and it says rightly:

"It is a trustworthy statement:

For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;

12If we endure, we will also reign with Him;

If we deny Him, He also will deny us;

13If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself."

I said if we are faithless he will be faithless but I caught myself and started that line over, because God is not faithless as we are, it didn't jive when I said it, and so I over-emphasized the correction and the people laughed acknowledging the truth. If God is faithful this means one thing: we can be too.
The first lines from 2Tim2 says:

"You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 3 Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier."

This is what our Lord says today "We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'" Bishop Barren said of this today: "The point is this: God owes us precisely nothing. Everything we have, including our very existence, is a sheer gift. We are in absolutely no position ever to demand anything of God. To move into this space is to move out of the stance of faith. And so no matter what God asks, the proper response is, "I am an unprofitable servant; I have done what I was obliged to do."
You may recall I said that the Lord spoke to me after receiving the Holy Eucharist the day I had my new rosary blessed. You will never forget when the Lord speaks to you. Not when the love of your life speaks one word. I was praying deep inside with my eyes closed having just received our Lord into my body and soul, "Lord, I am nothing, a worthless nothing" and the train of thought was that I was really nothing I was being honest, I came here but I will not be here. But the Lord said "Who told you, you are nothing?". And the tears began to roll from my heart and they became one with a river flowing in the image of a glittering waterfall inside. The waters of Divine Mercy.
You are something, and guess what? You GET TO BE A SERVANT. WOW! Really!? Get on your hands and knees now. Worship the Lord. We are not God, but HIS. This is the problem, that we get ourselves "too involved" when it should only be Jesus involved. AMEN?
I am leaving now to help sing at another funeral today. As I was writing they texted me asking for prayers for a friend/worker's wife that passed away this morning.
Life is precious no? It's like this. Jesus says I AM the truth/way/Life. If life is precious it should mean JESUS is Precious. AMEN



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