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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Weekly meditation

 May 1, 2016 - Sixth Sunday of Easter
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Make Me Your Holy Temple
May 1, 2016 - Sixth Sunday of Easter


John 14:23-29


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 that the Father will send in my name -- he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, as I begin this prayer I offer you my whole self: my thoughts, desires, decisions, actions, hopes, fears, weaknesses, failures and petty successes. I open my entire being to you, aware that you know everything already. I’m certain of your mercy and of the purifying power of your penetrating, loving gaze.

Petition: May the Blessed Trinity dwell in me.


  1. How Can God Dwell in My Stony Heart? We have no writings of Our Lord. The only time we see Our Lord writing, he was bent over writing something in the sand with his finger. However, as his finger traced in the sand, it was also etching into the hardened hearts of the surrounding crowd. They dropped the stones with which they intended to kill the adulterous woman. It is curious how these stones also symbolized the hardness of their hearts. They dropped them because their hearts had also softened. In the Old Testament we see Moses coming down from the mountain with a stone tablet that contained the written law of God, the Ten Commandants. Christ came to crush our stony hearts and to write his law of love there. Christ wants us to give him a blank slate so that he can write whatever he wants in our hearts.



  1. Christ Knows We Need Reassurance: It is scary when we learn that a loved one will be leaving us for an undetermined amount of time. We can think of the soldiers who go off to war and how hard it must be for their spouses and children to deal with the loneliness and uncertainties that naturally arise. Yet the good soldier assures them he will return, and he is confident that they will be strong and live upright lives. How hard it must have been for the apostles when Christ told them he would be leaving them. They had left everything to follow him, and now it seemed as if they would be alone. Christ knew how heavy their hearts were, so he assured the apostles that he needed to leave in order that he and the Father could send the Holy Spirit into their hearts. The Holy Spirit enlightens our hearts too, as he enlightened the hearts of the apostles.



  1. We Should Rejoice Because Christ Is Going Home: Christ is the Prince of Peace. He sought to uplift the apostles, who were dragged down by sadness and fear at being left alone in the world. Christ tells them, and he tells us, that they should rejoice because he is going home. Christ wants us to rejoice not only because he is going home to the Father, but also because if we keep his word, he and the Father will make their dwelling in us. Their abode will be in our hearts. He wants us to trust the Holy Spirit who will give us the clarity of thought and the strength to live Christ’s teachings coherently. How open am I to the promptings of the Holy Spirit within my soul? What keeps me from perceiving Him within me? Do I need to be more detached from the goods of this life so my friendship with my Lord and Creator can grow?


Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, I want to trust in your word -- in the working of the Holy Spirit in my heart. Help me to let go of the anxieties that at times paralyze my thoughts and actions. I open my heart so that you, the Blessed Trinity, can dwell within me. This gives me supernatural joy, a joy that the world cannot give or take away.

Resolution: I will look to comfort someone who is lonely, helping him or her to know that you are always with us.

 
FECHA DE PUBLICACIÓN: 2016-05-01

The Spirit’s Witness
May 2, 2016 - Memorial of Saint Athanasius, bishop and doctor of the Church


Father John Doyle, LC


John 15:26-16:4a


Jesus said to his disciples: "When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning. I have told you this so that you may not fall away. They will expel you from the synagogues; in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God. They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me. I have told you this so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you."

Introductory Prayer: Lord, as I begin this prayer I offer you my whole self: my thoughts, desires, decisions, actions, hopes, fears, weaknesses, failures and petty successes. I open my entire being to you, aware that you know everything already. I’m certain of your mercy and of the purifying power of your penetrating, loving gaze.

Petition: Lord God, help me to live as a true witness to Christ.


  1. Witness of Christ: Some people try to invoke the Holy Spirit as justification for ideas contrary to Christ’s teaching. A careful look at today’s Gospel illustrates how this can never be according to God’s plan. The Holy Spirit is not at odds with Christ’s message, nor is he working out a plan of salvation distinct from Christ’s Church. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of Christ and of the Father; his very purpose in coming is to testify to Christ. Every true inspiration of the Holy Spirit moves us to a greater fidelity to the truth. Am I attentive to the Spirit’s urging me to a greater fidelity to my Christian commitments?



  1. Witnesses in the Spirit: Our faith is by no means a static reality. Just as the first disciples experienced Christ’s preaching, miracles and personal love, all Christians serious about their faith discover Christ’s presence throughout their daily experience. This is especially true in the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist. Jesus is always with us, and his forgiveness and closeness are the source of our joy. The Holy Spirit empowers us through the grace of our baptism to give witness to what we have freely received. Do I take seriously my Christian vocation to give testimony to Christ’s love? Do I realize that my first act of testimony needs to be the witness of a truly Christian life? Do I remember that in this seemingly daunting task I should rely heavily on the Holy Spirit as my business partner?



  1. Fidelity Amidst Opposition: Christ shares with the apostles gathered in the Upper Room that being witnesses to him will not always be met with acceptance. Opposition seems to be an integral part of being a Christian. Deep-seated and unflinching adherence to Christ and the voice of conscience has never been compatible with the popular mindset. In fact, many times Christians are not called to “fit in” but to “stand out”, and this has inevitable consequences as it did in the life of Our Lord. The wonderful part is that we have been promised the final victory. Christ goes before us and the Holy Spirit is at our side.


Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, it has always been demanding to be an authentic witness to you. Teach me not to rely on my own capabilities, but to grow in strength and coherence through fidelity to the inspirations of your Holy Spirit.

Resolution: I will make some public sign of witness to my faith today.

 
FECHA DE PUBLICACIÓN: 2016-05-02

Seeing God Face to Face


Father John Bullock, LC


John 14: 6-14


Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him." Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ´Show us the Father´? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.

Introductory Prayer: Christ, I thank you for the gift of faith. You know that I believe, but I want my faith to grow. In knowing you I find meaning, rest and strength. I need you, Lord. I trust in your loving mercy. You know what I need the most today. All I ask is that you remain at my side throughout this day. That is enough for me. I want to spend this day making you happy, pleasing you with my every thought, word and action.

Petition: Christ, help me to know you and love you more each day.


  1. I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life: “I am the way, the truth and the life.” Christ is the answer to our problems. Since he is fully God and fully man, his very reality unites humanity to God in a way never before hoped. It is in following Christ that we find our way. It is in believing in Christ that we discover truth. It is in accepting Christ that we gain life. Christians don’t simply follow a set of rules or believe in some doctrines, we follow a person: Christ. As Archbishop Fulton Sheen wrote, Christ’s “doctrine was himself” (Life of Christ, p. 153).



  1. Show Us the Father: “Seeing is believing”, the saying goes. Yet this seems to go contrary to the faith. Didn’t Christ tell “doubting” Thomas, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe” (John 20:29)? Here again, Christ seems to be chiding Philip for wanting to see. However, Christ isn’t correcting Philip for wanting to see; rather, he didn’t see in Christ what he was supposed to: “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” At the core of the doctrine of the Incarnation is that now the “face” of God is made visible in the person of Christ. Answering the man born blind whom he had just healed when asked who the Son of Man is, Christ said, “You have seen him” (John 9:37). The Second Council of Nicaea, in the year 787, reaffirmed against the iconoclasts the validity of using sacred images, linking religious pictures and art to the Incarnation (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 476). Man has a need to see God, and the Incarnation was God’s response.



  1. Believe Because of the Works: Christ helps Philip’s faith by pointing to the works he has done. The faith cannot be proven in an empirical sense, but there can be many signs which assist our reason in that act of faith. Christ’s miracles, his moral stature, his words and ultimately his resurrection are strong arguments in favor of the faith. Nevertheless we must still decide to believe. Once we decide, then even greater works than Christ performed in his earthly life can be worked through us. Don’t wait to understand everything to believe, rather believe and you will begin to understand.


Conversation with Christ: Lord, let me see your face in prayer, in the Eucharist and in my neighbor. Be my way, my truth and my life. Be my model, my point of reference and my strength. Without you I can do nothing; with you I can do all things.

Resolution: I will do a conscious act of charity for my neighbor, making an effort to see Christ in others.

 
FECHA DE PUBLICACIÓN: 2016-05-03

Nothing But the Truth
May 4, 2016 - Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Easter


Father John Doyle, LC


John 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."

Introductory Prayer: Lord, as I begin this prayer I offer you my whole self: my thoughts, desires, decisions, actions, hopes, fears, weaknesses, failures and petty successes. I open my entire being to you, aware that you know everything already. I’m certain of your mercy and of the purifying power of your penetrating, loving gaze.

Petition: Lord, allow me to be sincerely and truthfully yours.


  1. My Truth Before God: Jesus tells his apostles he has many more things to tell them, but it seems that they are not yet ready to accept the truth. They were not ready, for one thing, to acknowledge the fact that in a few short hours all of them would flee before the prospect of the Cross, leaving Christ quite alone. I, too, may find it hard to see, or to accept, a realistic picture of my relationship with Christ or my state of soul. I may justify myself or my indifference with any number of psychological consolations. I might convince myself that I am not quite as bad off as so-and-so. Perhaps I put up an excellent external show, living all the motions, but with little true conviction and sincerity.



  1. Cheap Deceptions: In our consumer-oriented world, first impressions often seem to count more than the goodness or evil of a thing. Opinion polls appear to set the standard for right and wrong, and a false idea of tolerance is a highly held ideal. Truth can be seen as bluntly offensive, and so it is repackaged in a more appealing way. However, none of these attempts by the “spirit of the world” can ever succeed in the end, just as no amount of darkness can ever stop the smallest beam of light. The Holy Spirit is at work in the world declaring the truth loud and clear in the depths of the human soul. Only the truth -- which comes from Christ -- has the power to bring true peace and joy to the human heart when all illusions are shown up as such.



  1. Living in the Truth: As Christians we must be on guard against the spirit of insincerity. No one who lives outside the truth can claim to be a disciple of Christ. Little falsehoods in our lives are utterly destructive to the action of the “Spirit of Truth” in our souls. Our Savior never spoke out so strongly against anything as he did against the pretended righteousness of the leaders of his time. How many things have I done recently just to be praised by others? How many good things have I done which are known to God alone? Am I capable of standing firm to my convictions in the face of misunderstanding or ridicule?


Conversation with Christ: Jesus, the example of your life and death is one of complete honesty. Empower me through the “Spirit of Truth” to be sincere in all that I do before God and others.

Resolution: I will ask forgiveness in the sacrament of reconciliation at the first available opportunity for any insincerity in my life.

 
FECHA DE PUBLICACIÓN: 2016-05-04

I Am a Witness to You
May 5, 2016 -Ascension Thursday


Luke 24:46-53

vx|xz|x|And Jesus said to them, "Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold I am sending the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high." Then he led them out as far as Bethany, raised his hands, and blessed them. As he blessed them he parted from them and was taken up to heaven. They did him homage and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and they were continually in the Temple praising God.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, as I begin this prayer I offer you my whole self: my thoughts, desires, decisions, actions, hopes, fears, weaknesses, failures and petty successes. I open my entire being to you, aware that you know everything already. I’m certain of your mercy and of the purifying power of your penetrating, loving gaze.

Petition: Lord, help me to praise you and spread your message everywhere.


  1. We Too Are Witnesses to the Work of Jesus Christ: What a beautiful scene. Our Lord suffered, died, rose on the third day and then spent 40 days with the apostles and the disciples. Now, just before he ascends into heaven, he leaves his Church with this message of love — mercy and forgiveness. The apostles experienced Our Lord’s mercy. Now he gives them the commission to go out into the whole world and preach forgiveness of sins in the power of the most holy of names: “Jesus.” Because the apostles preached as Christ had told them, we are all beneficiaries of Our Lord’s mercy. We have experienced this in our hearts. We, too, must bear witness to the work of Jesus Christ.



  1. Clothe Me with Your Holy Power, Lord Jesus: We know that an apple seed, if given proper nourishment, will become an apple tree and produce many apples through many seasons. We know this through experience. God made the apple seed, and he gave it power to become an apple tree. Now Christ tells the apostles he will clothe them with power from on high so that they will be blessed with something that is well beyond their own human nature and power. They will be givegggggggggzzzn the power to bear abundant fruit for the kingdom of Christ. Two thousand years later, Christ is still clothing people with this power from on high: with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which we received when we were baptized and in greater proportion when we were confirmed. Through prayer we begin to see with supernatural vision the person we can be and the fruit we can produce.



  1. May I Give You Only Praise and Adoration: The apostles were sad and dejected when Our Lord told them he would be leaving. Now, they are filled with awe and praise. The scales have fallen from their eyes. The shadow of the cross no longer strikes the same fear in their hearts. Christ has conquered sin and death, and they are witnesses to this, for they have experienced it in their own lives. This past Lent we accompanied Our Lord during his passion and death. We then witnessed his resurrection. Now we see him ascending into heaven. Like the apostles, we, too, are so moved to stand in awe of so great a God that we are compelled to sing his praises day and night. This attitude goes hand-in-hand with being messengers of his love to all peoples.


Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, I want to be a holy dwelling place for the Holy Spirit. Your gift to me is your Spirit of truth and love. You nourish me with the things of heaven. May I decrease so that you may increase.

Resolution: I will speak well of others today and shun all tendency to judge others or speak badly of them.

 
FECHA DE PUBLICACIÓN: 2016-05-05

On Grieving and Rejoicing
May 6, 2016 - Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter


Father John Doyle, LC


John 16:20-23a


Jesus said to his disciples: "Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you."

Introductory Prayer: Lord, as I begin this prayer I offer you my whole self: my thoughts, desires, decisions, actions, hopes, fears, weaknesses, failures and petty successes. I open my entire being to you, aware that you know everything already. I’m certain of your mercy and of the purifying power of your penetrating, loving gaze.

Petition: Lord, give me great peace and interior joy in the midst of life’s trials.


  1. “You Will Weep” Grief is not an agreeable experience in itself. Jesus doesn’t promise his disciples that by following him they will be shielded from the sorrow characteristic of any exile in a foreign land. A Christian’s value system is diametrically opposed to the worldly view. Be honest and the common opinion will consider you backward or naive. Be kind and you will be seen as gullible. Be faithful to the love of your spouse and you will be seen as having repressive tendencies. The list could go on and on. An authentic Christian stands out among the fingers of the world as truly the sorest thumb. Have I accepted this unpleasant and challenging element of Christianity?



  1. “I Will See You Again” “Your grief will become joy.” The disciples were surprised and discouraged by Jesus’ crucifixion, but Jesus’ death would not be the final scene in the play. After the dramatic events of Calvary came the joy of the Resurrection, a new and glorious life. How happy the disciples must have been to see Our Lord again! But even then Jesus seems to play “peek-a-boo” with his disciples. He walks through walls bringing them joy and then he just disappears again. We can have a similar experience in prayer. The alternation of dryness and consolation is an essential part of God’s pedagogy with us. Sometimes it seems that the Lord is right beside us and other times that he is on foreign business. Am I able to exercise my faith in the presence of the Lord beyond the state of my feelings at the moment?



  1. “Your Hearts Will Rejoice” Sometimes the charge is leveled against Christianity that its moral prohibitions are a source of sorrow and frustration. A closer look shows a different picture entirely. The closeness of the Lord, along with the recognition that the goods of this world are fundamentally good gifts lavished by the Father upon his children, brings profound joy. When we are able to distinguish the presence and action of the Lord in every created thing and through every circumstance, we experience a joy unknown to the world. “I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.” Do I have this joy founded on my faith and the awareness of God’s immense personal love? Does my obedience to the moral law stem from a complete trust in God who desires my happiness?


Conversation with Christ: My Jesus, when you are near me I experience great joy. I know that you are always with me. Help me to exercise my faith and to be able to strengthen the faith of those of my brothers and sisters who need me to show them your love.

Resolution: I will offer up any difficulty that the Lord sends me today for those who do not yet have the joy of his friendship.

 
FECHA DE PUBLICACIÓN: 2016-05-06

Confidence in the Father´s Love
May 7, 2016 - Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter


Father John Doyle, LC


John 16:23b-28


Jesus said to his disciples: "Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. I have told you this in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures but I will tell you clearly about the Father. On that day you will ask in my name, and I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you. For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have come to believe that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world. Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father."

Introductory Prayer: Lord, as I begin this prayer I offer you my whole self: my thoughts, desires, decisions, actions, hopes, fears, weaknesses, failures and petty successes. I open my entire being to you, aware that you know everything already. I’m certain of your mercy and of the purifying power of your penetrating, loving gaze.

Petition: Father, help me to confide in you.


  1. Ask and You Shall Receive: As a child I was often bashful to the extreme when dealing with strangers. I remember once my dad asked me to leave a food package at the rectory office as a contribution to the parish food drive for the poor. I was scared stiff. Finally after I got up the courage, I rang the doorbell, dropped the box and ran. At times we can feel the same apprehension and uncertainty before prayer. We are not sure if God will take kindly to “being disturbed” in his care for the universe to listen to our request. Ultimately, we need to remember how much God likes to be asked and to trust that, if what we are asking for is for our good or that of another, God will certainly grant it.



  1. God’s Self-Revelation: Language is a vehicle of communication, and like every means of expressing ideas, it is limited. Speech, however, is really pushed to its limits when it tries to express realities about which humans have no clear conceptualizations. God’s power, his awesome majesty and his very being are far beyond our limited scope of comprehension. Jesus, as true God and true man, becomes the bridge between our human language and God, whom he knows intimately. Jesus uses the most adequate expressions possible for God –– such as Father ––, but he also reminds us that he is speaking in figures. One day he promises to tell us clearly and even introduce us to him. Is this my greatest hope? Would I be ready right now to be introduced to God the Father?



  1. “The Father Himself Loves You” - Our Holy Father, Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI, reminds us of the Father’s love: “True, no one has ever seen God as he is. And yet God is not totally invisible to us; he does not remain completely inaccessible. God loved us first, says the Letter of St John, and this love of God has appeared in our midst. He has become visible in as much as he ‘has sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him’ (1 John 4:9). God has made himself visible: in Jesus we are able to see the Father (cf. John 14:9). Indeed, God is visible in a number of ways. In the love-story recounted by the Bible, he comes towards us, he seeks to win our hearts, all the way to the Last Supper, to the piercing of his heart on the cross, to his appearances after the Resurrection and to the great deeds by which, through the activity of the apostles, he guided the nascent Church along its path” (Encyclical Letter Deus Caritas Est [God Is Love], December 25, 2005).


Conversation with Christ: Jesus, you have revealed the immense love the Father has for all people by the ultimate self-giving of your life. Help me never to doubt your love for me. Help me to respond to your love though fidelity to your will and the practice of exquisite charity.

Resolution: I will say a decade of the rosary for missionaries who are preaching God’s love to others.

 
FECHA DE PUBLICACIÓN: 2016-05-07

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