Monday, April 30, 2018

He Will Teach You

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Seeds of Hope

I am beginning to think that in our time we will correct almost nothing, and get almost nowhere: but if we can just prepare a compassionate and receptive soil for the future, we will have done a great work. Every minute life begins all over again. Eternity is in the present. Eternity is in the palm of the hand. Eternity is a seed of fire, whose sudden roots break barriers that keep my heart from being an abyss.

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

The Art of Thomas Merton
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"Commitment is doing what you said you would do, after the feeling you said it in has passed."
— St. Camillus

"The soul, who is lifted by a very great and yearning desire for the honor of God and the salvation of souls, begins by exercising herself, for a certain space of time, in the ordinary virtues, remaining in the cell of self-knowledge, in order to know better the goodness of God towards her. This she does because knowledge must precede love, and only when she has attained love, can she strive to follow and to clothe herself with the truth. But, in no way, does the creature receive such a taste of the truth, or so brilliant a light therefrom, as by means of humble and continuous prayer, founded on knowledge of herself and of God; because prayer, exercising her in the above way, unites with God the soul that follows the footprints of Christ Crucified, and thus, by desire and affection, and union of love, makes her another Himself."
— St. Catherine of Siena, p.1
Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena

"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
Matthew 6:14-15


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Pope St. Pius V (1504–1572) was born as Antonio Ghislieri to a poor yet noble family in Bosco, Italy. He worked as a shepherd until the age of 14, after which he joined the Dominican Order and was ordained a priest at the age of 24. He taught theology and philosophy, spent long hours in prayer, and fasted regularly. Due to his great intelligence and reputation for holiness he rose to a number of prominent positions in the Church, including Inquisitor and Bishop. In 1565 he was elected Pope and took the name Pope Pius V. As Supreme Pontiff he was a great reformer and worked to implement the decisions of the Council of Trent following the Protestant revolt. He reformed the clergy, supported the foreign missions, published a catechism, revised the breviary and missal, and named St. Thomas Aquinas a Doctor of the Church. In his alliance with Venice and Spain, and with the aid of a rosary crusade among the faithful, he defeated the Ottoman Turks in the famous and decisive Battle of Lepanto in the Mediterranean sea on October 7, 1571. This miraculous victory saved Europe from being ruled by the Ottoman Empire. The Holy Father afterwards instituted the feast of Our Lady of Victory (now Our Lady of the Rosary) in thanksgiving to Our Lady for leading the Christian forces to victory, and to encourage a greater devotion to the Holy Rosary throughout the universal Church. For this he is known as the "Pope of the Rosary." His feast day is April 30th.


Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Reading 1 Acts 14:5-18

There was an attempt in Iconium
by both the Gentiles and the Jews,
together with their leaders,
to attack and stone Paul and Barnabas.
They realized it,
and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe
and to the surrounding countryside,
where they continued to proclaim the Good News.

At Lystra there was a crippled man, lame from birth,
who had never walked.
He listened to Paul speaking, who looked intently at him,
saw that he had the faith to be healed,
and called out in a loud voice, "Stand up straight on your feet."
He jumped up and began to walk about.
When the crowds saw what Paul had done,
they cried out in Lycaonian,
"The gods have come down to us in human form."
They called Barnabas "Zeus" and Paul "Hermes,"
because he was the chief speaker.
And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city,
brought oxen and garlands to the gates,
for he together with the people intended to offer sacrifice.

The Apostles Barnabas and Paul tore their garments
when they heard this and rushed out into the crowd, shouting,
"Men, why are you doing this?
We are of the same nature as you, human beings.
We proclaim to you good news
that you should turn from these idols to the living God,
who made heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them.
In past generations he allowed all Gentiles to go their own ways;
yet, in bestowing his goodness,
he did not leave himself without witness,
for he gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons,
and filled you with nourishment and gladness for your hearts."
Even with these words, they scarcely restrained the crowds
from offering sacrifice to them.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 115:1-2, 3-4, 15-16
R. (1ab) Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
R. Alleluia.
Not to us, O LORD, not to us
but to your name give glory
because of your mercy, because of your truth.
Why should the pagans say,
"Where is their God?"
R. Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
R. Alleluia.
Our God is in heaven;
whatever he wills, he does.
Their idols are silver and gold,
the handiwork of men.
R. Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
R. Alleluia.
May you be blessed by the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
Heaven is the heaven of the LORD,
but the earth he has given to the children of men.
R. Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 14:26
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Holy Spirit will teach you everything
and remind you of all I told you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 14:21-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him."
Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him,
"Master, then what happened that you will reveal yourself to us
and not to the world?"
Jesus answered and said to him,
"Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words;
yet the word you hear is not mine
but that of the Father who sent me.

"I have told you this while I am with you.
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit
whom the Father will send in my name --
he will teach you everything
and remind you of all that I told you."


Meditation: Acts 14:5-18

Saint Pius V, Pope (Optional Memorial)

When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they cried out. (Acts 14:11)

Picture today's scene. A man who had never walked before in his life had jumped up and was standing right in front of the crowd. It was an amazing miracle! No wonder the people couldn't contain their excitement. So Barnabas and Paul seized this opportunity to tell them about the One who had healed this man.

In the midst of our own uncertainties and unresolved questions, today should be a day of rejoicing as well. Why? Because God is at work. Because we are surrounded by miracles all day, every day. Our heavenly Father is reaching out to us this very moment. We may not know it all the time, but that doesn't mean that God is passive. Miracles come in many different forms, and God wants to open our eyes to see them. He wants to help us recognize that he is with us, reaching out to us and offering us his grace.

What kinds of miracles does God want to help us see? Well, think of the times when you have received some kind of inner healing or strength. Or think of a time when you knew for sure that God had forgiven you, or when you were able to forgive someone else. Think of those moments, perhaps at Mass, when you were convinced that God was with you in a special way. Or maybe you have prayed for a loved one with a serious illness, and then seen him recover without any medical explanation. Each of these is a miracle just as awe inspiring as the miracle Paul and Barnabas performed in today's first reading.

Behind all these miracles is the promise in today's Gospel: "Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him" (John 14:23). No matter what you are facing today, or any day, you can hold on to this truth. God himself has chosen to live in your heart. He is with you in every circumstance, offering you his grace, peace, and hope. Your Father is always walking ahead of you, beside you, and behind you. What could possibly be more miraculous than that?

"Father, thank you for living in my heart. I can't wait to see what miracles you will work in my life today!"

Psalm 115:1-4, 15-16
John 14:21-26



About Paul and Barnabas, "...they continued to proclaim the Good News." People were hunting for them to kill them. They fled. At this point, you would think they may be tempted to water down the message, or even quit. But no, that's not how the Holy Spirit works! Instead, they went to the next cities and healed a crippled man and the people thought they were the highest gods! What is the Holy Spirit telling you now? For sure...persevere.

"Our God is in heaven; whatever he wills, he does. Their idols are silver and gold, the handiwork of men. Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory." Some protestants declare that Catholics worship handiwork, idols, things fashioned by man, but as the Psalm proclaims the truth, "not to us Lord, but to your name give the GLORY!"

In comes the Lord "Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him."
Dissect this quickly:
† Whoever loves me will keep my word.
Peter, do you love Me? Keep my word.

Do you love our Lord? What has He not done to prove His love? This is the greatest deficiency in the world...a father's love. Not the Father from Heaven's love but our love. We abandon things for our own whims, selfish gains, which are actually a loss. If there is no love shown, there is no love seen.
† And my Father will love him.

And this is a Father's love. It feels good to be loved, but surely, love is not a mere feeling. It is a decision, a commitment and to our Father in Heaven, it is even more than that. It is something hard to see for sure, because we can not fathom His kind of love...self sacrificing.
† And we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Jesus said He is going ahead of us to prepare a dwelling place for us, but are we preparing a place for Him at all? How can He prepare a room for us if we can not prepare a room for Him? What's more, Jesus said He'd prepare a dwelling place or mansion, not just rooms. This is what it means: Jesus says "I give you my whole heart" and you?

And the Holy Spirit wants to dwell here and now in us. How? Be open. Be praying. Be looking for Him to connect with. Be ever vigilant and watchful and staying away from sin. Be Holy. Be found with your lights on. Be pure and purely His. Be then...faithful

We can be faithful together.



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