Tuesday, January 22, 2019

May kindness and truth meet...

Day of Prayer* for the Legal Protection 
of Unborn Children

*In all the dioceses of the United States of America, January 22
(or January 23, when the 22nd falls on a Sunday) shall be
observed as a particular day of penance for violations to the
dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion,
and of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the
right to life. 
--- General Instruction of the Roman Missal (U.S.), 2003n. 373

Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven. - Ps 85:10,11

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 “Devotion to the Eucharist leads one to a devotion to life
and devotion to life leads one to the Eucharist….

We receive our strength for our labors for life from the 

Good News of Jesus Christ and from the Holy Eucharist.

This is the food that nourishes us for the tasks at hand….
The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith
and respect for life is our faith's first precept.”

Justin Cardinal Rigali
Painting above: Ultima Cena - The Last Supper - Federico Barocci 

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"If people spent one hour per week in Eucharistic Adoration,
abortion would be ended."~ St Teresa of Calcutta

"In the Bread which came down from heaven, the family will 
be able to find the support that will keep it united in the face 
of today's threats and will preserve it as a bastion of life, 
steadfast against the culture of death." - St John Paul II 

"Our own belief is that the renovation of the world will be
brought about only by the Holy Eucharist." - Pope Leo XIII


        Lord Jesus, I firmly believe that the Blessed Sacrament is Your very Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. Senses cannot grasp this marvel. Faith, however, reaches beyond what the eyes can see and assures us that You are present.
        Grant, O Lord, that our faith in the Eucharist may also strengthen our ability to recognize the dignity of every human life. We know that the senses can fool us there as well. Some may not be attractive, others may seem too small, some may appear as less than human.  But we, who can see You in the Sacred Host, can certainly see you in our brothers and sisters. We can also see You, O Lordin the children in the womb. In a day when so many have forgotten these children, and dismiss them as less valuable than those who are born, grant that we may grow all the more convinced of their dignity and worth. Then grant, O Lord, that we may act accordingly. Amen. (Priests for Life)

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Monday, January 21, 2019

Fruit of friendship...

The martyrdoms of the saints have taught us and do teach us 
how to conquer the world,
with all of its fallacies, fervors, and fears." - St Augustine

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"In martyrdom, Agnes also seals the other 
crucial element of her life, virginity for Christ and for the Church. The total gift of martyrdom is prepared, in fact, by the conscious, free and mature choice of virginity, a witness 
to the will to belong totally to Christ
If martyrdom is a final heroic act, 
virginity is the result of a long friendship 
with Jesus that has matured in the constant 
hearing of His Word, in the dialogue of prayer, 
in the Eucharistic encounter."

Pope Benedict XVI
Address at the Almo Collegio Capranica, Roma,
for the Feast of St. Agnes ~ Jan 20, 2012

St Agnes
Rome ~ 291-304 AD 
Virgin, Martyr
Patron: young girls, chastity, engaged couples
Feast Day - January 21

Whenever a man wished to marry Agnes,
she would always say, "Jesus Christ is my only Spouse."

"This is a virgin's birthday; let us follow the example of her chastity. It is a martyr's birthday; let us offer sacrifices; it is the birthday of holy Agnes: let men be filled with wonder, little ones with hope, married woman with awe, and the unmarried with emulation. It seems to me that this child, holy beyond her years and courageous beyond human nature, received the name of Agnes (Greek: pure) not as an earthly designation but as a revelation from God of what she was to be."St. Augustine

A Roman maid of tender years … St Agnes died for Christ … Steadfast in faith, and ever chaste … She could not be enticed … Although the pagans tortured her … Their efforts were in vain … As piously and patiently … She gloried in her pain … Not even all their insults and … Humiliating acts … Could cause her vigil of the soul … To lessen or relax … When she was only thirteen years … She died beneath the sword … True to her vow to be a spouse … And virgin of our Lord … And now her soul is honored as … The little lamb of Christ … This Roman maid who kept the faith … And nobly sacrificed. Excerpt from: Poem Portraits of the Saints, James Metcalfe (pg 28)

The lamb, as a symbol of purity, is one of the symbols of St. Agnes. In Rome on this day, the Holy Father will bless two crowned lambs, brought to the Church of St. Agnes in two baskets, decorated in red (martyrdom) and white (purity), by Trappists of the Tre Fontane Monastery. The lambs are blessed and then taken to the Convent of St. Cecilia, where the Sisters care for them and use their wool to weave the palliums worn by the Pope and his Archbishops. The palliums are conferred on new archbishops -- those appointed as archbishops during the preceding year -- on the Feast of SS. Peter and Paul on 29 June. Because of St. Agnes's association with lambs, a lamb-shaped cake would be nice today. Think of using coconut for the wool...

St. Agnes, like St. Valentine, St. Catherine of Alexandria, and St. Anthony of Padua, is invoked by single women in search of a husband -- and today is a good day to pray such a prayer.  In fact, Medieval folklore says that on St. Agnes Eve, girls are often granted visions of their future husbands. Scottish girls would meet in a crop field at midnight, throw grain onto the soil, and pray:

Agnes sweet and Agnes fair, 
Hither, hither, now repair;
Bonny Agnes, let me see, 

The lad who is to marry me.

Source:  www.fisheaters.com
St Agnes sweet and fair, pray for us!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Doors to abundant life...

  So Jesus again said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you,
I am the door of the sheep.  ... I came that you may have life,
and have it abundantly."  - John 10:7,10b 
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"The doors 
we open and close each day
decide the lives we live." - Flora Whittmore

"Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament 
is the Living Heart 
of each of our parishes." - St Pope Paul VI

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. 
If anyone hears my voice and opens the door
I will come in and eat with that person
and they with Me. - Revelation 3:20

Church door image:  Catholic Church ~ Rugby, England
Tabernacle image:  St Anthony of Padua Catholic Church ~ St Louis, Missouri ~ USA