Friday, April 20, 2018

I Have Life Because...

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The Poetry of Earth

Saint Francis recognized God's work in creation and loved it. He was foremost a follower of Jesus, but in him there was no tension between loving God and loving all creatures of God. Rather, Francis reveled in the sun, gazed upon the stars, danced with the air, was drawn to the fire, marveled at water and loved the earth. He recognized the beauty of God in creation and loved God all the more for the abundance of this gift. He celebrated the beauty and interdependence of creation through poetry and called it "good." And good it is.

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

franciscan media



"Those whose hearts are pure are the temples of the Holy Spirit."

— St. Lucy

Meditation of the Day

"True devotion to Our Lady is holy; that is to say, it leads the soul to avoid sin and to imitate the virtues of the Blessed Virgin, particularly her profound humility, her lively faith, her blind obedience, her continual prayer, her universal mortification, her divine purity, her ardent charity, her heroic patience, her angelic sweetness and her divine wisdom. These are the ten principal virtues of the most holy Virgin."

— St. Louis De Montfort

Verse of the Day

"Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart."

Hebrews 12:3


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Saint Conrad of Parzham

(December 22, 1818 – April 21, 1894)

Conrad spent most of his life as porter in Altoetting, Bavaria, letting people into the friary and indirectly encouraging them to let God into their lives.

His parents, Bartholomew and Gertrude Birndorfer, lived near Parzham, Bavaria. In those days, this region was recovering from the Napoleonic wars. A lover of solitary prayer and a peacemaker as a young man, Conrad joined the Capuchins as a brother. He made his profession in 1852 and was assigned to the friary in Altoetting. That city's shrine to Mary was very popular; at the nearby Capuchin friary there was a lot of work for the porter, a job Conrad held for 41 years.

At first, some of the other friars were jealous that such a young friar held this important job. Conrad's patience and holy life overcame their doubts. As porter, he dealt with many people, obtaining many of the friary supplies and generously providing for the poor who came to the door. He treated them all with the courtesy Francis expected of his followers.

Conrad's helpfulness was sometimes unnerving. Once Father Vincent, seeking quiet to prepare a sermon, went up the belltower of the church. Conrad tracked him down when someone wanting to go to confession specifically requested Father Vincent.

Conrad also developed a special rapport with the children of the area. He enthusiastically promoted the Seraphic Work of Charity, which aided neglected children.

Conrad spent hours in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. He regularly asked the Blessed Mother to intercede for him and for the many people he included in his prayers. The ever-patient Conrad was canonized in 1934. His Liturgical Feast Day is April 21.

As we can see from his life as well as his words, Conrad of Parzham lived a life that attracted others because of a special quality, something Chesterton alluded to when he wrote, "The moment we have a fixed heart we have a free hand." If we want to understand Conrad, we have to know where he fixed his heart. Because he was united to God in prayer, everyone felt at ease in Conrad's presence.

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Friday of the Third Week of Easter
Lectionary: 277

Reading 1 ACTS 9:1-20

Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord,
went to the high priest and asked him
for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that,
if he should find any men or women who belonged to the Way,
he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains.
On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus,
a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him.
He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him,
"Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?"
He said, "Who are you, sir?"
The reply came, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do."
The men who were traveling with him stood speechless,
for they heard the voice but could see no one.
Saul got up from the ground,
but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing;
so they led him by the hand and brought him to Damascus.
For three days he was unable to see, and he neither ate nor drank.

There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias,
and the Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias."
He answered, "Here I am, Lord."
The Lord said to him, "Get up and go to the street called Straight
and ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul.
He is there praying,
and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias
come in and lay his hands on him,
that he may regain his sight."
But Ananias replied,
"Lord, I have heard from many sources about this man,
what evil things he has done to your holy ones in Jerusalem.
And here he has authority from the chief priests
to imprison all who call upon your name."
But the Lord said to him,
"Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of mine
to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and children of Israel,
and I will show him what he will have to suffer for my name."
So Ananias went and entered the house;
laying his hands on him, he said,
"Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me,
Jesus who appeared to you on the way by which you came,
that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit."
Immediately things like scales fell from his eyes
and he regained his sight.
He got up and was baptized,
and when he had eaten, he recovered his strength.

He stayed some days with the disciples in Damascus,
and he began at once to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues,
that he is the Son of God.

Responsorial Psalm PS 117:1BC, 2
R. (Mark 16:15) Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
R. Alleluia.
Praise the LORD, all you nations;
glorify him, all you peoples!
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
R. Alleluia.
For steadfast is his kindness toward us,
and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever.
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia JN 6:56
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood,
remains in me and I in him, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel JN 6:52-59

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
"How can this man give us his Flesh to eat?"
Jesus said to them,
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood,
you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.
For my Flesh is true food,
and my Blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood
remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven.
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever."
These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.


Meditation: Acts 9:1-20

"Saul, my brother . . ." (Acts 9:17)

Most of us are familiar with the story in today's first reading: how Saul is blinded by an encounter with Christ, how he is sent to Ananias, and how this onetime persecutor is baptized. It's a moving story of conversion. But let's look at another story within Paul's story: Ananias' own "conversion" from seeing Paul as an enemy to seeing him as his brother.

Ananias' willingness to forgive did more than just heal his relationship with Paul. It also opened Paul to the power of divine mercy. Hearing the word "brother" was key to forming Paul as a believer: if he, a feared persecutor, could become a brother, anyone could—even the Gentiles. It was experiences like this that convinced Paul that nothing can separate people "from the love of Christ" and that Jesus can break down every "dividing wall of enmity" (Romans 8:39, Ephesians 2:14).

Here are some other examples of how forgiveness can change hearts:

• St. Maria Gorretti forgave Alessandro Serenelli, the man who murdered her. That act of mercy stayed with him and prompted his conversion in prison. Upon his release, he spent the rest of his life as a Capuchin brother happily serving at a Catholic school.

• Pope St. John Paul II forgave Mehmet Ali Ağca, the man who shot him in St. Peter's Square. When he was released, Ağca brought two-dozen white roses to John Paul II's tomb.

• Immaculée Ilibagiza forgave the people who murdered her family during the Rwandan genocide. Her powerful story has touched the lives thousands of people around the world and has led many to forgive those who have deeply hurt them.

Every time we show mercy to our spouse or child, our Father sees it. Every time we reconcile with an old friend, God rejoices. Every time we choose mercy instead of vengeance, the angels celebrate. What a message of hope! In a world riven by hatred, division, and enmity, we can make a world of difference. Just as Ananias did.

"Father, help me to forgive. Come and bring your mercy to my relationships that need to be healed."

Psalm 117:1-2
John 6:52-59



A spanish lectio divina ends today [translated] "It is a good time to ask myself to what extent, I am food for others. God gives me strength not to be invincible, but to put my life at the service of others and to transform it into a Eucharist, into living and real thanksgiving.

With the desire that God transform my life in the light of his word, I am about to read the reading again, letting my heart be touched by his love.

There is no greater proof of love than the one who gives his life for those he loves. God loves humanity and continues to bless us with his presence. This relationship is built on the basis of dialogue. I comment with the Lord the desire that I have to be bread of life for others. As he has been to me. I let myself be transformed by this undeserved but radical love. And I respond with the utmost radicality of which I am capable."

Jesus appeared to Saul "why are you persecuting Me?"

These first Christians were what they ate...Christ.

We are Christ.

We want to see Christ.

We want to see Christ in you.

So we pray "Go out to all the world and tell the Good News. Praise the LORD, all you nations; glorify him, all you peoples!"
People care what we say.
For good we await the truth of His Love.

The Truth speaks harsh words, hard to understand, hard to swallow.
"...unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood,
you do not have life within you. "

To this day these words have caused division among believers. Why?
Because many do not believe.
The Holy Catholic altars, with the Holy hands of the priest consecrated to consecrate the Body of Christ, hold up the Body of Christ. Christ fell 3 times in His Passion and He is elevated 3 times on the Altar. Here He elevates us to Heaven.
His flesh is for real just as Heaven as for real.
His blood is for real and it redeems the world.
Most just take this as a symbol. This is false.
This Flesh offering is a real intimacy of souls.
Yours and His.
I asked the class who is the bride and groom in Heaven.
It is Jesus and the Holy Church.
Become one Body.
Eucharist is the moment of giving everything to one another

What are you giving


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