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Make Me Your Holy Temple
May 1, 2016 - Sixth Sunday of Easter
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
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
The Spirit’s Witness
May 2, 2016 - Memorial of Saint Athanasius, bishop and doctor of the Church
Father John Doyle, LC
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
Petition: Lord God, help me to live as a true
witness to Christ.
- 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?
- 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?
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:
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.
- 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).
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.
- 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.
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:
Nothing But the Truth
May 4, 2016 - Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Father John Doyle, LC
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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?
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:
I Am a Witness to You
May 5, 2016 -Ascension Thursday
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.
Lord, help me to praise you and spread your message
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Resolution: I will speak well of others today and shun
all tendency to judge others or speak badly of them.
|FECHA DE PUBLICACIÓN:
On Grieving and Rejoicing
May 6, 2016 - Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Father John Doyle, LC
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.
- “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?
“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?
“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:
Confidence in the Father´s Love
May 7, 2016 - Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Father John Doyle, LC
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."
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,
Petition: Father, help me to confide in you.
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.
- 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
- “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).
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.
will say a decade of the rosary for missionaries who
are preaching God’s love to others.
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