Saturday, April 19, 2014

His love could not be extinguished!

Holy Saturday is sacred as the day of the Lord's rest; it has been called the "Second Sabbath" after creation. The day is and should be the most calm and quiet day of the entire Church year, a day broken by no liturgical function and is chiefly a day of solemn vigil for the Lord’s resurrection.

“By a beautiful paradox of Divine love, God makes His Cross the very means of our salvation and our life. We have slain Him; we have nailed Him there and crucified Him; but the Love in His eternal heart could not be extinguished. He willed to give us the very life we slew; to give us the very Food we destroyed; to nourish us with the very Bread we buried, and the very Blood we poured forth. He made our very crime into a happy fault; He turned a Crucifixion into a Redemption; a Consecration into a Communion; a death into Life Everlasting."
Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, This is the Mass

Friday, April 18, 2014

His love binds !

Good Friday 
The royal banners forward go,
The cross shines forth in mystic glow;
Where He in flesh, our flesh Who made,
Our sentence bore, our ransom paid.

First verse from the hymn for Evening Prayer that is assigned in the Roman Breviary from Passion (Palm) Sunday to Wednesday of Holy Week—Vexilla RegisThe Royal Banners forward Go—whose text has served the Latin Church in its Liturgy of the Hours for well over 1,000 years.

“‘And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to Myself.’ It was from the height of His Cross that our Lord first drew all the souls to Himself by redeeming them.  But when our Lord uttered these words, He certainly also had in mind His Eucharistic throne, to the foot of which He means to draw all souls so as to bind them there with the chains of His love.”

St. Peter Julian Eymard

Souls have all the same price,
which is that of the Precious Blood of Jesus."

~ Blessed Charles de Foucauld

Where deep for us the spear was dyed,
Life’s torrent rushing from His side,
To wash us in that precious flood,
Where mingled water flowed, and blood.
Second verse - Vexilla RegisThe Royal Banners forward Go

("The Face of Christ, the Face of Man"- MEDITATIONS by H.E. Msgr. Giancarlo Maria Bregantini, Archbishop of Campobasso-Boiano -
Stations will be led by the Holy Father on Good Friday, April 18, 2014)

O cross, our one reliance, hail!
Still may thy power with us avail
To give new virtue to the saint,
And pardon to the penitent.

To Thee, eternal Three in One,
Let homage meet by all be done:
As by the cross Thou dost restore, 
So rule and guide us evermore.  Amen.
Sixth and seventh verses - Vexilla Regis—The Royal Banners forward Go—

Thursday, April 17, 2014

His incredible love made VISIBLE !

The Paschal Triduum begins with the Evening Mass In Cena Domini on Holy Thursday, continues through the Friday of the Lord's Passion, reaches its summit in the Solemn Paschal Vigil, and comes to a close with Sunday Vespers of the Lord's Resurrection - a full three days - evening Thursday through evening Sunday. (According to the General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar)
Institution of the Sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Holy Orders
The Last Supper, Nesterenko, Vasily Igorevich  

“Consider, on your knees, the mystery of God’s love for us, that He didn't want to leave us orphans. … For Christ knew our hunger for Himself.  He knew that we would be walking around in the darkness of a thousand wars and miseries throughout this life. …

This is Holy Thursday.  This is when the Christ we are talking about took an ordinary piece of bread and a little wine and changed it into His Body and His Blood. … Remember this day always, year after year:  the day of Christ’s infinite love, when He went away and yet He remained, in Bread and Wine, and in the priest. …

In His immense love, Christ chose men who would have His hands and His feet, in whom He could walk, in whom He could forgive sins, who could lift Him up, who could give us the sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist – the Bread and Wine, which He said makes for everlasting life!  The incredible love of God is visible to us! ..."

Catherine de Hueck Doherty

"Without the priest, the passion and death of our Lord
would be of no avail.  It is the priest who continues
the work of redemption here on earth... 
Leave a parish for twenty years without a priest and
they will end by worshipping the beasts there...
The priest is not a priest  for himself,
he is a priest for you."
"O, how great is the priest!...
If he realized what he is, he would die."
St John Vianney

Pray, pray, pray for our priests!
They rely on our Prayers!
As Father John Hardon, S.J., once said, “praying and offering God sacrifices for the priesthood are indispensably important,” because “there is no Catholic Church without the priesthood.”

Prayer of Bl Mother Teresa of Calcutta for priests
Mary, Mother of Jesus, throw your mantle of purity over our priests. Protect them, guide them, and keep them in your heart. Be a Mother to them, especially in times of discouragement and loneliness. Love them and keep them belonging completely to Jesus. Like Jesus, they, too, are your sons, so keep their hearts pure and virginal. Keep their minds filled with Jesus, and put Jesus always on their lips, so that he is the one they offer to sinner and to all they meet. Mary, Mother of Jesus, be their Mother, loving them and bring them joy. Take special care of sick and dying priests, and the ones most tempted. Remember how they spent their youth and old age, their entire lives serving and giving all to Jesus. Mary, bless them and keep a special place for them in your heart. Give them a piece of your heart, so beautiful and pure and immaculate, so full of love and humility, so that they, too, can grow in the likeness of Christ. Dear Mary, make them humble like you, and holy like Jesus. Amen. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Come to the altar, surrender...

"We are on pilgrimage with the Lord to the heights. We are striving for pure hearts and clean hands, we are seeking truth, we are seeking the face of God.  Let us show the Lord that we desire to be righteous, and let us ask Him: Draw us upwards! Make us pure! Grant that the words which we sang in the processional psalm may also hold true for us; grant that we may be part of the generation which seeks God, “which seeks your face, O God of Jacob” (cf. Ps 24:6). Amen." 

Ending of Pope Benedict XVI's Palm Sunday Homily 2011

"Holy Week is the time of our great Passover: the passage from darkness to light, from sadness to joy, from time to eternity, from death to lifeAnd so we are drawn to the Cross and the Cross is offered to us, in this and in every Eucharist. The Eucharist is the place and the means and the price of our Passover for the Eucharist is the Church held in the embrace of the Cross.

If you are weary, come to the altar, surrender to the embrace of the Cross. If you are fearful and isolated, come to the altar, surrender to the embrace of the Cross. If you are bitter, or bruised, or fragmented, come to the altar, surrender to the embrace of the Cross. If you hunger and thirst for holiness, come to the altar, surrender to the embrace of the Cross. If you would ascend with Christ to the Father, if you would make of your life a fragrant offering, come to the altar, surrender to the embrace of the Cross. If you would leave behind the darkness of the cold tomb, if you would know the joy of resurrection, come to the altar, surrender to the embrace of the Cross.

Together let us surrender to the mystery of the Cross.  Together let us receive from the altar the mystery of the Cross, and so enter into the silence and into the song of the great and glorious Pasch of the Lord.  In a week's time, having passed over from death to life, from the seven days of measured time into the mystic Eighth day, we will hail the festival day of Him who triumphs over hell and holds the stars of heaven in His hand (cf. Salve, Festa Dies, Easter Processional Hymn)."

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby
Prior - Silverstream Priory, Meath County, Ireland 
IMAGE: Ecce Homo (Behold, the man) ~ Artist: Joan de Joanes

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

O, my God, grant me five graces!

"If you can not soar up as high as Christ sitting on His throne,
behold Him hanging on His cross. Rest in Christ's Passion and live
willingly in His holy wounds." ~ Thomas à Kempis, Imitation of Christ
Angels Bearing Instruments of the Passion (detail from altarpiece) ~ Rogier van der Weyden (+1464)
"Oh, my God, through the precious Blood of Jesus
and His five wounds, 
grant me today five graces:  
the conversion of a sinner, 
the conversion of an unbeliever, 
the salvation of someone 
dying in peril of everlasting death; 
a vocation to the priesthood 
or to the religious life; 
 and, for some new soul, the grace 
of entering into 
and savoring the mystery of the Eucharist."

Prayer of Elisabeth Leseur (+1914)
Let us especially be mindful of and in prayer for the thousands of
Catechumens and Candidates who will fully enter the
Catholic Church and her sacramental life during the Easter Vigil.
John 10:10