Monday, April 16, 2018

The One He sent

Like   Tweet   Pin   +1  

Christ Within Us

It is Christ in us who drives us through darkness to a light of which we have no conception and which can only be found by passing through apparent despair. Everything has to be tested. All relationships have to be tried. All loyalties have to pass through fire. Much has to be lost. Much in us has to be killed, even much that is best in us. But victory is certain. The Resurrection is the only light and with that light there is no error.

—from The Art of Thomas Merton: A Divine Passion in Word and Vision
franciscan media


"The spirit of humility is sweeter than honey, and those who nourish themselves with this honey produce sweet fruit."
— St. Anthony of Padua

"Let anger be guarded against. But if it cannot be averted, let it be kept within bounds. For indignation is a terrible incentive to sin. It disorders the mind to such an extent as to leave no room for reason. The first thing, therefore, to aim at, if possible, is to make tranquility of character our natural disposition by constant practice, by desire for better things, by fixed determination."
— St. Ambrose, p.279


click to read more


Saint Bernadette Soubirous

(January 7, 1844 – April 16, 1879)

Saint Bernadette Soubirous's Story
Bernadette Soubirous was born in 1844, the first child of an extremely poor miller in the town of Lourdes in southern France. The family was living in the basement of a dilapidated building when on February 11, 1858, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette in a cave above the banks of the Gave River near Lourdes. Bernadette, 14 years old, was known as a virtuous girl though a dull student who had not even made her first Holy Communion. In poor health, she had suffered from asthma from an early age.

There were 18 appearances in all, the final one occurring on the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, July 16. Although Bernadette's initial reports provoked skepticism, her daily visions of "the Lady" brought great crowds of the curious. The Lady, Bernadette explained, had instructed her to have a chapel built on the spot of the visions. There, the people were to come to wash in and drink of the water of the spring that had welled up from the very spot where Bernadette had been instructed to dig.

According to Bernadette, the Lady of her visions was a girl of 16 or 17 who wore a white robe with a blue sash. Yellow roses covered her feet, a large rosary was on her right arm. In the vision on March 25 she told Bernadette, "I am the Immaculate Conception." It was only when the words were explained to her that Bernadette came to realize who the Lady was.

Few visions have ever undergone the scrutiny that these appearances of the Immaculate Virgin were subject to. Lourdes became one of the most popular Marian shrines in the world, attracting millions of visitors. Miracles were reported at the shrine and in the waters of the spring. After thorough investigation, Church authorities confirmed the authenticity of the apparitions in 1862.

During her life, Bernadette suffered much. She was hounded by the public as well as by civic officials until at last she was protected in a convent of nuns. Five years later, she petitioned to enter the Sisters of Notre Dame. After a period of illness she was able to make the journey from Lourdes and enter the novitiate. But within four months of her arrival she was given the last rites of the Church and allowed to profess her vows. She recovered enough to become infirmarian and then sacristan, but chronic health problems persisted. She died on April 16, 1879, at the age of 35.

Bernadette Soubirous was canonized in 1933.

Millions of people have come to the spring Bernadette uncovered for healing of body and spirit, but she found no relief from ill health there. Bernadette moved through life, guided only by blind faith in things she did not understand—as we all must do from time to time.


Monday of the Third Week of Easter
Lectionary: 273

Reading 1 ACTS 6:8-15

Stephen, filled with grace and power,
was working great wonders and signs among the people.
Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen,
Cyreneans, and Alexandrians,
and people from Cilicia and Asia,
came forward and debated with Stephen,
but they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke.
Then they instigated some men to say,
"We have heard him speaking blasphemous words
against Moses and God."27
They stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes,
accosted him, seized him,
and brought him before the Sanhedrin.
They presented false witnesses who testified,
"This man never stops saying things against this holy place and the law.
For we have heard him claim
that this Jesus the Nazorean will destroy this place
and change the customs that Moses handed down to us."
All those who sat in the Sanhedrin looked intently at him
and saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

Responsorial Psalm PS 119:23-24, 26-27, 29-30
R. (1ab) Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
R. Alleluia.
Though princes meet and talk against me,
your servant meditates on your statutes.
Yes, your decrees are my delight;
they are my counselors.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
R. Alleluia.
I declared my ways, and you answered me;
teach me your statutes.
Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous deeds.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
R. Alleluia.
Remove from me the way of falsehood,
and favor me with your law.
The way of truth I have chosen;
I have set your ordinances before me.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia MT 4:4B
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
One does not live on bread alone
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel JN 6:22-29

[After Jesus had fed the five thousand men, his disciples saw him walking on the sea.]
The next day, the crowd that remained across the sea
saw that there had been only one boat there,
and that Jesus had not gone along with his disciples in the boat,
but only his disciples had left.
Other boats came from Tiberias
near the place where they had eaten the bread
when the Lord gave thanks.
When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there,
they themselves got into boats
and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
And when they found him across the sea they said to him,
"Rabbi, when did you get here?"
Jesus answered them and said,
"Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me
not because you saw signs
but because you ate the loaves and were filled.
Do not work for food that perishes
but for the food that endures for eternal life,
which the Son of Man will give you.
For on him the Father, God, has set his seal."
So they said to him,
"What can we do to accomplish the works of God?"
Jesus answered and said to them,
"This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent."


Meditation: John 6:22-29

The food that endures for eternal life. (John 6:27)

In J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, a group of characters sets out on a dangerous quest. At one point, they are given a special kind of bread called lembas, one bite of which had the power to sustain someone for an entire day. Now that's "food that endures" (John 6:27)!

In today's Gospel, Jesus speaks of another "food that endures"—his own Body and Blood in the Eucharist. Like the lembas, it's a gift freely given to us. But unlike lembas, it's not a magical food. It's Jesus himself. That's why we call it "Communion." When we receive Communion, we are receiving a Person, not a thing, and this Person longs to have a relationship with us.

This is the "enduring" marvel of the Eucharist. Every time we receive Communion, Jesus invites us to join our hearts with his. Every time, we can tell him how much we love him—and let him say the same to us. Every Communion contains the grace to deepen our bond with Jesus so that we can experience even more of his presence, his love, and his mercy.

How can we tell that our union with Jesus is deepening? How can we tell that it's making a difference in our lives? We can tell by the way our lives are changing. When we find it easier to be patient or compassionate—even just a bit—that's Jesus enduring in us. When we feel a prompting to help an annoying co-worker or to reach out to a lonely neighbor, that's Jesus. When we ask our spouse for forgiveness or find it easier to forgive them, it's because of our communion with the Lord. It's a sign that our relationship with him continues to deepen.

But Communion is not only a matter of our becoming better people. Every time we feel joyful, that's Jesus rejoicing with us. When we find ourselves thanking God for answering a prayer or for the beauty of a new day, that's Jesus. When we find ourselves reflecting his love to someone, that's Jesus reaching out.

The Eucharist is far more than magic bread. It's the Bread of Life. It's the food that endures to eternal life. And Jesus loves to share it with you!

"Lord, give us this day our daily bread. Give us more of you, the Bread of Life."

Acts 6:8-15
Psalm 119:23-24, 26-27, 29-30



"All those who sat in the Sanhedrin looked intently at him and saw that his face was like the face of an angel." Saint Stephen, was going against their "laws", and they couldn't beat him with scripture. So they resort to silence him the best way they knew how...crucifying him as a criminal, but not with a cross, but with rocks. Rocks hurt. How many rocks do we hurl at people with our mouths to silence them? Rocks cause wounds, and bruises, and even death. Just because they won't be silent and we can't handle what they say. Pro-choice people want pro-life people to be silent. They don't wan't you to voice your opinion, they don't want you to have a "choice". Theirs is a stance of lies. And lies are rocks, that hurt, and some are even killed through abortions. For sure, many women and men suffer life-long pains for going through it. So how can we remain silent when the truth is alive?

"Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord! Though princes meet and talk against me, your servant meditates on your statutes. Yes, your decrees are my delight; they are my counselors." Follow the good counselor, our Lord. He sends His Holy Spirit among us to counsel and guide us, if we take to being with Him in bible study and at home study of scripture, which is rare. I mean, who does that nowadays? What family is there in our culture that actually sits down daily and reads scripture together and has a discussion on it? Not that many, if any at all. In my family, the only way we have gotten close to this in our home is by homeschooling. And even then distractions come and is not accomplished daily. This after removing all extracurricular activities and school activities and sports and competitions and so forth. How hard it is to be a Christian in our Christian nation where we are free, supposedly. Lord, help us to be faithful, help us to make time with you, as you would have us in Heaven, you as our center of Life, the source of life.

In the Holy Gospel, our Lord is found by those seeking Him, looking for Him until they find Him for words of eternal life. And He says: "Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you." What do you work for? What kind of food? "well I gotta work to put food on the table". True, but what if one hears something crazy like "there is one thing more important than food" ? Now that is crazy talk, like things Saint Stephen would say before getting stoned to death with Saul (Paul) as a witness, even an accomplice. Here are some words that are more crazy talk, when they ask our Lord "what can we do to accomplish the works of God?" And He says "BELIEVE", ""This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent." That's what He asks. Believe in His bread, His Words, His Sacrifice, just believe. How hard is it to believe? I know it can be sometimes. I need you. You may say you need me, but I need you more than you need me. I do. I need to see you believe. You like to see me believe. Today's saint had to believe amidst adversity and people calling her crazy, because some young woman was appearing to her and telling her to pray and for people to turn from their sins and to turn to God. And waters came from where she appeared, and they heal, not the millions but a few here and there, constantly, like the water constantly flows. Because a few BELIEVE. Am I Saying if you don't believe you won't receive? No. Faith is more than that. Faith is believing, and more than hope. In hope, you hold onto hope, but in faith, you just have faith, no matter what happens. So what is faith like? If hope is something to hold out for, and faith is something to endure, then this means one thing, faith is like love. 1Cor13:13 "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." Love sees through.
Love sees us through.
"When I became a man, I set aside childish ways".

I set aside what is not of God, and put Him at the center of it is in Heaven.
And there is no greater love than Jesus.
Taste and see...



Powered by
GoDaddy Email Marketing ®