Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Oh, how foolish....

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One Family

Within Franciscan spirituality is the kinship of creation, the theological insight that we (all of God's creation) are all fellow creatures, each uniquely loved and valued by God. This means, of course, that we cannot treat any of our fellow creatures as if they exist without value. In spite of all the distinctions between us, we are family. The heart of ecological conversion is the invitation to see, feel, and act in this kinship of creation.

—from Care for Creation: A Franciscan Spirituality of the Earth
franciscan media


"O Holy Mary! My Mother; into thy blessed trust and special custody, and into the bosom of thy mercy, I this day, and every day, and in the hour of my death, commend my soul and body. To thee I commit all my anxieties and sorrows, my life and the end of my life, that by thy most holy intercession, and by thy merits, all my actions may be directed and governed by thy will and that of thy Son."
— St. Aloysius Gonzaga

"There is good reason to be astonished that men should sin so boldly in the sight of Heaven and earth and show so little fear of the most high God. Yet it is a much greater cause of astonishment that while we multiply our iniquities beyond the sands of the sea and have so great a need for God to be kind and indulgent, we are nevertheless so demanding ourselves. Such indignity and such injustice! We want God to suffer everything from us, and we are not able to suffer anything from anyone. We exaggerate beyond measure the faults committed against us; worms that we are, we take the slightest pressure exerted on us to be an enormous attack. Meanwhile, we count as nothing what we undertake proudly against the sovereign majesty of God and the rights of his empire! Blind and wretched mortals: will we always be so sensitive and delicate? Will we never open our eyes to the truth? Will we never understand that the one who does injury to us is always much more to be pitied than are we who receive the injury? . . . Since those who do evil to us are unhealthy in mind, why do we embitter them by our cruel vengeance? Why do we not rather seek to bring them back to reason by our patience and mildness? Yet we are far removed from these charitable dispositions. Far from making the effort at self-command that would enable us to endure an injury, we think that we are lowering ourselves if we do not take pride in being delicate in points of honor. We even think well of ourselves for our extreme sensitivity. And we carry our resentment beyond all measure . . . All of this must stop . . . We must take care of what we say and bridle our malicious anger and unruly tongues. For there is a God in Heaven who has told us that he will demand a reckoning of our 'careless words' (Matt. 12:36): what recompense shall he exact for those which are harmful and malicious? We ought, therefore, to revere his eyes and his presence. Let us ponder the fact that he will judge us as we have judged our neighbor."
— Bishop Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, p. 49-51
Meditations for Lent

"God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, and makes me tread upon the heights."
Habakkuk 3:19


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Saint Isidore of Seville

(c. 560 – April 4, 636)

The 76 years of Isidore's life were a time of conflict and growth for the Church in Spain. The Visigoths had invaded the land a century and a half earlier, and shortly before Isidore's birth they set up their own capital. They were Arians—Christians who said Christ was not God. Thus, Spain was split in two: One people (Catholic Romans) struggled with another (Arian Goths).

Isidore reunited Spain, making it a center of culture and learning. The country served as a teacher and guide for other European countries whose culture was also threatened by barbarian invaders.

Born in Cartagena of a family that included three other sibling saints—Leander, Fulgentius and Florentina—he was educated by his elder brother, whom he succeeded as bishop of Seville.

An amazingly learned man, he was sometimes called "The Schoolmaster of the Middle Ages" because the encyclopedia he wrote was used as a textbook for nine centuries. He required seminaries to be built in every diocese, wrote a Rule for religious orders, and founded schools that taught every branch of learning. Isidore wrote numerous books, including a dictionary, an encyclopedia, a history of Goths, and a history of the world—beginning with creation! He completed the Mozarabic liturgy, which is still in use in Toledo, Spain. For all these reasons, Isidore has been suggested as patron of the Internet. Several others—including Anthony of Padua—also have been suggested.

He continued his austerities even as he approached age 80. During the last six months of his life, he increased his charities so much that his house was crowded from morning till night with the poor of the countryside.

Our society can well use Isidore's spirit of combining learning and holiness. Loving, understanding and knowledge can heal and bring a broken people back together. We are not barbarians like the invaders of Isidore's Spain. But people who are swamped by riches and overwhelmed by scientific and technological advances can lose much of their understanding love for one another.

Saint Isidore of Seville is the Patron Saint of:


Wednesday in the Octave of Easter

Reading 1 Acts 3:1-10

Peter and John were going up to the temple area
for the three o'clock hour of prayer.
And a man crippled from birth was carried
and placed at the gate of the temple called "the Beautiful Gate" every day
to beg for alms from the people who entered the temple.
When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple,
he asked for alms.
But Peter looked intently at him, as did John,
and said, "Look at us."
He paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them.
Peter said, "I have neither silver nor gold,
but what I do have I give you:
in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk."
Then Peter took him by the right hand and raised him up,
and immediately his feet and ankles grew strong.
He leaped up, stood, and walked around,
and went into the temple with them,
walking and jumping and praising God.
When all the people saw him walking and praising God,
they recognized him as the one
who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple,
and they were filled with amazement and astonishment
at what had happened to him.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9
R. (3b) Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name;
make known among the nations his deeds.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Glory in his holy name;
rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generations—
Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Ps 118:24
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 24:13-35

That very day, the first day of the week,
two of Jesus' disciples were going
to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus,
and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred.
And it happened that while they were conversing and debating,
Jesus himself drew near and walked with them,
but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.
He asked them,
"What are you discussing as you walk along?"
They stopped, looking downcast.
One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply,
"Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem
who does not know of the things
that have taken place there in these days?"
And he replied to them, "What sort of things?"
They said to him,
"The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene,
who was a prophet mighty in deed and word
before God and all the people,
how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over
to a sentence of death and crucified him.
But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel;
and besides all this,
it is now the third day since this took place.
Some women from our group, however, have astounded us:
they were at the tomb early in the morning
and did not find his Body;
they came back and reported
that they had indeed seen a vision of angels
who announced that he was alive.
Then some of those with us went to the tomb
and found things just as the women had described,
but him they did not see."
And he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are!
How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things
and enter into his glory?"
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets,
he interpreted to them what referred to him
in all the Scriptures.
As they approached the village to which they were going,
he gave the impression that he was going on farther.
But they urged him, "Stay with us,
for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over."
So he went in to stay with them.
And it happened that, while he was with them at table,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them.
With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him,
but he vanished from their sight.
Then they said to each other,
"Were not our hearts burning within us
while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?"
So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem
where they found gathered together
the Eleven and those with them who were saying,
"The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!"
Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way
and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.


Meditation: Luke 24:13-35

Jesus himself drew near and walked with them. (Luke 24:15)

Evangelization. The very word can make us feel apprehensive. I don't know how to share the gospel. What if I get it wrong? What if the other person rejects me? But evangelizing doesn't mean we have to explain the entire gospel in one sitting. In the end, it's really a matter of sharing good news with someone else. It's something you can do as you take a walk with a friend.

That's exactly what Jesus did with the disciples on the road to Emmaus. He walked with them. He joined them on their journey and entered into a friendly conversation with them. This innocent, unthreatening act helped them feel comfortable enough to share part of their story with him. It also helped them receive his own words as if they were coming from a friend. By becoming their traveling companion, he helped them trust him so that they could receive his words and let them burn in their hearts.

Most of us don't walk to too many places anymore, but we can find other ways to connect with people in a friendly, openhearted way. Especially in a world that is becoming increasingly isolated, a little companionship can go a long way. Perhaps by just checking in on an elderly or lonely neighbor, you can establish a relationship that allows your neighbor to open up. Who knows? You could even suggest taking a walk around the neighborhood!

Over time, you may find that you have more in common with this neighbor than you thought. Maybe you have experienced something similar to what they're going through, and you can offer comfort. Maybe you can share an encouraging word. Or you may end up offering to help with a project around the house. As time goes on, opportunities for sharing your faith will open up—and you'll feel free to share about your faith. That's all there is to it—you're evangelizing!

Is there someone you can reach out to this week? Keep your eyes open for opportunities to accompany them. Because the point with evangelization is not to tell people something they don't know about God. It's to listen to them and share your experiences with them. Anyone can do that.

"Lord, help me take that first step. Teach me how to connect with someone and share my faith."

Acts 3:1-10
Psalm 105:1-4, 6-9


Listen to these words from our first Pope, Saint Peter as he reaches to grab a crippled man's right hand: "...what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk." These words are meant to strike at the heart of faith. It is a command straight out of the body of Christ. Do This.
Get up. Then you will jump and praise God in complete joy....because you are now...made complete. I liked this story I saw about some Franciscan Friars on youtube last week, view here, one of them was told by God in prayer what to do, and for a moment, he hesitated, but did it anyway, found a guy on a street, and God had told him what his name would be, this guy wearing a red hat. And it all came true. The guy in the red hat was also amazed. 2 for 1 ! Two amazing souls touched. Suddenly "get up and walk" means more...trusting in God and going out to do His Holy Will !

Let us Pray:
"Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name; make known among the nations his deeds." And Saint Peter did. And then, made whole, we can "Sing to him, sing his praise, proclaim all his wondrous deeds. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord." The Holy Church would be useless without the poor. Without the poor, needing a hand, we would have no one to serve miracles to. We would have no one to give to. We wouldn't even have the ability to forgive. Imagine God. He needs us to reach out to Him. This my AMAZING.

In the Holy Gospel, we are once more amazed by the love of God. In the whole of it, God proves He is with us...especially in the breaking of the bread. Something unexplained happens when in Holy Mass this happens. His Holy Hands proclaim His Holy Words, and then He feeds us from His Holy Hands. We can even live off of this without anything else. But we listen to our bodies, desires, passions, and so fill it with other things.
But God can make us live on Him alone. Think Heaven.
What do you really think we will eat in the next life? Earthly Food? Of course not. What do you think God has been trying to feed us all, all of our lives?

But our desires think other things. Lead us to strange desires, and idols.

He wants to raise us up. Not only from crippling life disorders, but to raise us up from the dead!

I see souls around, like zombies. They seem alive, but inside? They are dead! WHAT? Are you crazy Adrian? Yes, a little bit.

So I go around, trying to breathe life into these souls. I pray for them, and I can't seem to get the life of Christ in them. But God can. His persistence is great. His Mercy persists. "Receive Me" He says. "Come".

"... they said to each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us
while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?"
Spiritual Heart Burn is good. It means God is working. He is speaking.
And He gives commands. Go. Get Up. Eat. Feed. Baptize.

Bring Souls To Me because I love them



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