Wednesday, May 9, 2018

I Have Much More...

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Mary's Children

I love that saying because it is true. We should be of good heart no matter what happens because we know—or we should know—that we are Mary's very own children and that she loves us beyond what words can adequately describe. We have, not only the right, but the obligation to call out to her when we are in trouble. Like all good mothers, her ears are tuned to the voices of her children. She knows each one individually and is constantly listening.

—from Forgiving Mother: A Marian Novena of Healing and Peace
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"The Eucharist is the bread that gives strength... It is at once the most eloquent proof of His love and the most powerful means of fostering His love in us. He gives Himself every day so that our hearts as burning coals may set afire the hearts of the faithful."
— St. Damien of Molokai

"But you, 'a chosen generation', weak things of the world, who have forsaken all things, so that you may follow the Lord, go after him, and confound the strong; go after him, you beautiful feet, and shine in the firmament so that the heavens may declare his glory . . . Shine over the whole earth, and let the day, brightened by the sun, utter unto day speech of wisdom, and let the night, shining with the moon, declare to the night the word of knowledge . . . Run into every place, O you holy fires, you beautiful fires! You are the light of the world, and you are not put under a measure. He to whom you have held fast has been exalted, and he has exalted you. Run forth, and make it known to all nations."
— Saint Augustine, p.318-19
The Confessions of Saint Augustine

"I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect."
Romans 12:1-2


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Saint John of Avila

(c. 1500 – May 10, 1569)

Born in the Castile region of Spain, John was sent at the age of 14 to the University of Salamanca to study law. He later moved to Alcala, where he studied philosophy and theology before his ordination as a diocesan priest.

After John's parents died and left him as their sole heir to a considerable fortune, he distributed his money to the poor. In 1527, he traveled to Seville, hoping to become a missionary in Mexico. The archbishop of that city persuaded him to stay and spread the faith in Andalusia. During nine years of work there, he developed a reputation as an engaging preacher, a perceptive spiritual director, and a wise confessor.

Because John was not afraid to denounce vice in high places, he was investigated by the Inquisition but was cleared in 1533. He later worked in Cordoba and then in Granada, where he organized the University of Baeza, the first of several colleges run by diocesan priests who dedicated themselves to teaching and giving spiritual direction to young people.

He was friends with Saints Francis Borgia, Ignatius of Loyola, John of God, John of the Cross, Peter of Alcantara, and Teresa of Avila. John of Avila worked closely with members of the Society of Jesus and helped their growth within Spain and its colonies. John's mystical writings have been translated into several languages.

He was beatified in 1894, canonized in 1970, and declared a doctor of the Church on October 7, 2012.

Saint John of Avila knew that the lives of Christians can contradict the Good News of Jesus Christ—for example thinking racism is OK—implicitly encouraging Christians to live their faith-halfheartedly, and causing obstacles to non-Christians who might accept Baptism. In 16th-century Spain, those who advocated reforming the Church were often suspected of heresy. Saint John of Avila held his ground and was eventually recognized as a very reliable teacher of the Christian faith.


Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 293

Reading 1 ACTS 17:15, 22—18:1

After Paul's escorts had taken him to Athens,
they came away with instructions for Silas and Timothy
to join him as soon as possible.

Then Paul stood up at the Areopagus and said:
"You Athenians, I see that in every respect
you are very religious.
For as I walked around looking carefully at your shrines,
I even discovered an altar inscribed, 'To an Unknown God.'
What therefore you unknowingly worship, I proclaim to you.
The God who made the world and all that is in it,
the Lord of heaven and earth,
does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands,
nor is he served by human hands because he needs anything.
Rather it is he who gives to everyone life and breath and everything.
He made from one the whole human race
to dwell on the entire surface of the earth,
and he fixed the ordered seasons and the boundaries of their regions,
so that people might seek God,
even perhaps grope for him and find him,
though indeed he is not far from any one of us.
For 'In him we live and move and have our being,'
as even some of your poets have said,
'For we too are his offspring.'
Since therefore we are the offspring of God,
we ought not to think that the divinity is like an image
fashioned from gold, silver, or stone by human art and imagination.
God has overlooked the times of ignorance,
but now he demands that all people everywhere repent
because he has established a day on which he will 'judge the world
with justice' through a man he has appointed,
and he has provided confirmation for all
by raising him from the dead."

When they heard about resurrection of the dead,
some began to scoff, but others said,
"We should like to hear you on this some other time."
And so Paul left them.
But some did join him, and became believers.
Among them were Dionysius,
a member of the Court of the Areopagus,
a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

After this he left Athens and went to Corinth.

Responsorial Psalm PS 148:1-2, 11-12, 13, 14
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
R. Alleluia.
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you his angels;
praise him, all you his hosts.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
R. Alleluia.
Let the kings of the earth and all peoples,
the princes and all the judges of the earth,
Young men too, and maidens,
old men and boys.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
R. Alleluia.
Praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
His majesty is above earth and heaven.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
R. Alleluia.
He has lifted up the horn of his people;
Be this his praise from all his faithful ones,
from the children of Israel, the people close to him.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia JN 14:16
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I will ask the Father
and he will give you another Advocate
to be with you always.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel JN 16:12-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
"I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.
But when he comes, the Spirit of truth,
he will guide you to all truth.
He will not speak on his own,
but he will speak what he hears,
and will declare to you the things that are coming.
He will glorify me,
because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.
Everything that the Father has is mine;
for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine
and declare it to you."


Meditation: Acts 17:15, 22–18:1

We should like to hear you on this some other time. (Acts 17:32)

Some other time. How often do you say it? "Care to join us?" Some other time, thanks. You mean, of course, that you might like to, sometime in the future, maybe, but possibly not. You just don't want to commit yourself at the moment.

Neither did the Athenians. What Paul preached to them was interesting, apparently, but possibly nothing more. Maybe it was so different from their long-held beliefs that it bore more consideration—later, maybe. Regardless of the reason, they missed what God was doing at that moment.

For many things, "some other time" is a perfectly reasonable response. But it's not a good way to respond to God. As the saying goes, "If you're too busy for God, you're too busy." When God speaks, you don't want to miss it. It's important to listen and take hold of what he says. He has good things to say to you, to teach you, to encourage and guide you, to shower you with grace. He knows what you need, and it is his greatest desire that you hear and respond to his voice today, not some other time.

This is why prayer is so important: so that we don't miss what the Spirit is trying to tell us. Setting aside time in the morning for prayer allows us to hear God's voice and to let it shape our hearts.

Hearing God's voice, though—what on earth does that mean? Well, you might not "hear" it like you hear a human voice; you might not even hear it expressed in words. But you might experience hearing God's voice through a thought that comes to mind as you pray, through a conviction in your conscience, or as you recall a comment someone made. Maybe a verse from Scripture or something you heard in a homily or a hymn at church strikes you in a new way. God speaks in all these ways.

So listen for the voice of the Lord today. And when you sense what God is saying, try not to just give it a nod and tell yourself that you'll come back to it later, as the Athenians seem to have done. Treasure it. Try to respond to it. Now is the acceptable time.

"Holy Spirit, help me to make time to hear you today."

Psalm 148:1-2, 11-14
John 16:12-15



"...indeed he is not far from any one of us. For 'In him we live and move and have our being," said St. Paul to those with various gods. There is an inescapable being in the world. Wherever you go, the being is there. Whatever your thoughts, they are inescapable, they are not only your own thoughts. There are triggers that seem to connect us all. Somehow we are all interconnected. How? It is God. It is Christ. It is the Holy Spirit. One then, one can spark something wonderful.

Let us pray: "Praise the LORD from the heavens; praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you his angels; praise him, all you his hosts. Heaven and earth are full of your glory." Hosanna in the highest. Praise be to God in the highest. Praise be to Him who wrought our salvation. Praise be to His holy Name. Praise Him! And Bring the world to His feet.

In comes our Heavenly Lord: "He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine". If God chose to give the world to the Son, it is the Father and the Son's. And the Son chose to go with the Father so they could reside in the Holy Spirit they would change the world with. What then does it mean to be 3 in one? In my marriage there is me and my wife, but we have now become one, through Him and in Him. We are no longer our own, but one another's. This trinitarian love then becomes infused into the children. But if there is no God? There is not life eternal. It is hard to bear the few things Christ said to us in the world, it is true, we could not bear one more thing He were to say. Can you understand when He says "He will glorify Me?" We can, if we allow ourselves to glorify God, by letting the Holy Spirit manifest itself in our lives. We are leading to Pentecost. We are leading to a time where God is calling us to unite and ignite the fire to bust out of our safety zone and venture where God wills. Either you will be found adoring God, worshiping Him, or you will be found wanting, void. Either you will be found on fire, with the light burning with oil, or you will be found not, lost in the dark. It is nothing easy to be a true follower of Christ. The world vies for your flesh and your spirit fights to see Heaven.
From The Imitation of Christ (Kempis):

" But You, O Eternal Truth, have plainly told us: "Where your treasure is, there will your heart also be" (Mt 6:21). So, if I love heaven, I love to think of heavenly things; but if I love the world, I rejoice at its prosperity and grieve over its adversity...

Blessed are those who abandon all things for love of You, O Lord, who overcome their nature and, through fervor of spirit, crucify the lusts of the flesh. Then with serene conscience they may offer pure prayer to You, and at last become worthy to join the choirs of the holy Angels, having shut out all the internal and external things of this world".
"Everything is MINE!" says our Lord.
He says to you today "may I have your heart?"
Yes Lord please take this heart and guide it through this vale of tears...
Mother of God, pray for us...



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