Sunday, October 31, 2010

Grace upon grace


Men on board a Coast Guard manned LCI(L) attend Mass
while en route to the invasion beaches (June 1944).
"This truly hidden God has withdrawn
into the obscurity of His tabernacle
to console the afflicted,
sustain the tempted,
enrich the impoverished,
protect the unfortunate,
heal the sick,
and load with benefits
all those who visit Him."
François Fénelon

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Peace Plan

"Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration
is our Lady’s ‘Peace Plan.
I am absolutely certain that through
Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, peace will come
to our country and to the whole world.

When we do on earth what is done in heaven,
adore God perpetually,
then there will be a ‘new heaven and a new earth.’
The only name, the only power, the only love
that will bring an everlasting peace on the face
of the earth, is The Name, The Power, and The Love
of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.”

Rev Msgr Josefino S Ramirez

Friday, October 29, 2010

Become what you receive

Do this in memory of Me.

The following post, written by Susan Stabile,
was published on Creo en Dios!

Become What You Receive

Last night I attended a talk in my parish by Archbishop Harry Flynn, retired archbishop of the St. Paul and Minneapolis Diocese. He spoke on the Eucharist and on the centrality of social justice in the lives of Christians. There are many things I could share, many things that I want to reflect on from his talk. But I share here one that seems to me central.

The Archbishop observed that when he ate a piece of the lemon square that was served for dessert at the dinner preceding his talk, he changed the food into himself. In contrast, when we receive Eucharist, we don't change the Body of Christ into ourselves. Rather we are changed into the Body of Christ. We become what we receive. The Body of Christ doesn't become Harry Flynn; rather, Harry Flynn becomes the Body of Christ.

I think he is right in observing that we don't always receive the Eucharist with a consciousness of what it means, of what it does for us and to us. The Eucharist doesn't just nourish us; it transforms us. We become Christ. So there is nothing figurative about saying we are the hands and feet of Christ in the world.

Similarly, as I become Christ in the receipt of the Eucharist, so too does everyone else in the assembly. And I don't become one Christ and you a different Christ. Rather, we all become part of the same Christ. Thus, when we say that we are many parts but one body, we are not speaking figuratively, but quite literally.

To me this gives a much fuller picture of the meaning of Christ’s words at the Last Supper - Do this in memory of Me. If we take seriously this understanding of the Eucharist, the invitation to do this in memory of Me is not just an invitation to eat bread and drink wine.
Instead, it is an invitation to eat the Body of Christ so that we can be the Body of Christ in the world. The “this” in “do this” is not just the eating and drinking, but the being in the world what Christ was when He walked in the world. That’s a much more demanding invitation - an invitation to become what we receive. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Mission fueled by Eucharistic faith


"The more lively the Eucharistic faith
of the people of God,
the deeper is its sharing in ecclesial life
in steadfast commitment to the mission
entrusted by Christ to His disciples."

Sacramentum Caritatis, 6


FEAST DAY - Sts Simon and Jude, Apostles
October 28
Sts. Simon and Jude were martyred about 65 AD in the Persian Empire.

O God, we thank you for the glorious company of the apostles,
and especially on this day for Simon and Jude; and we pray that,
as they were faithful and zealous in their mission,
so may we with ardent devotion make known the love and mercy
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Stes. Simon and Jude, ora pro nobis!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Blessings await

“St. Paul tells us that when he was in Athens
he found written on an altar: To the unknown God.
But I, alas! might say the contrary to you.  I preach to you a God
whom you do not adore, and whom you know to be your God.

Alas! how many Christians are pressed for time,
and only condescend to come for a few short moments
to visit their Saviour who burns with the desire
to see them near Him and to tell them that He loves them,
and who wants to load them with blessings.”

St. John Vianney

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Eucharistic Miracle of Santarém

The story of the miracle centers on an early-13th-century woman in Santarém, Portugal, with an unfaithful husband. Desperate to regain his faithfulness and save her marriage, she consulted a sorceress. The sorceress said she would cure the husband's infidelity for the price of a consecrated host.  After much deliberation, the woman decided to commit the sacrilege.

The next time she attended Mass at the 12th-century Church of St. Stephen, she took the consecrated host from her mouth, wrapped it in a veil and headed quickly for the door. Before she had taken more than a few steps, the host began to bleed. It bled so much that concerned parishioners thought she had cut her hand and attempted to help, but she ran out of the church toward her home.

Back at home, she threw the bloody host in a trunk in her bedroom. Her husband did not come home until late, as usual. In the middle of the night, they were both awoken by a mysterious, brilliant light emanating from the trunk. The light illuminated the entire room.  The woman confessed to her husband what she had done and they both knelt in repentance and adoration before the miracle.

The next morning, the couple told the parish priest what had happened. The priest returned the Host to the Church of St. Stephen in a solemn procession.  The host continued to bleed for three days. Finally it was decided to place the holy Host (still bleeding) in a reliquary made of melted beeswax. It was then placed in a Tabernacle.

Nineteen years passed and in 1266  when a canonical investigation was called to study the miracle, it was discovered that a second miracle had occurred!  The wax container was found broken into pieces, and the host was found enclosed in a crystal ampoule (pyx). This pyx was placed in a gold monstrance, where it can be seen and contemplated today.  The Blood is still in liquid form, these 750 years after the Miracle occurred. 

After the investigation, the Catholic Church approved the recognition of the miracle. The Church of St. Stephen was renamed the Church of the Holy Miracle, and it is one of Portugal's most-visited pilgrimage sites. St. Francis Xavier visited the Church of the Holy Miracle before setting off for missionary work in India.
'My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You!'
is fittingly posted at the site of the church. 



Monday, October 25, 2010

Strength and Zeal

“From the Eucharist comes
strength to live the Christian life
and zeal to share that life
with others."

 Pope Ven John Paul II

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Entrusting an understanding of Himself

PHOTO:  Kindergartners - St Theresa Catholic School, Palm Springs, CA
  "Our Lord gives to souls of prayer
a deep understanding of Himself;
He never deceives them.
He varies His grace of light. He directs it
now to one point of His life, now to another.
And since the Eucharist is
the glorification of all the mysteries,
Jesus Christ becomes Himself the object of our meditation, no matter what its topic may be."
St. Peter Julian Eymard

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Salt and Light for others

From the treatise Mirror of the Clergy by St John of Capistrano,
but can also be fittingly applied to the royal priesthood of believers...

"Those who are called to the table of the Lord must
glow with the brightness that comes from the good example
of a praiseworthy and blameless life. They must completely remove
from their lives the filth and uncleanness of vice.
    Their upright lives must make them like the salt of the earth for themselves and for the rest of mankind. The brightness of their wisdom must make them like the light of the world that brings light to others. ...
     They have been placed here to care for others. Their own lives
should be an example to others, showing how they must live in the
house of the Lord.  ~  Saint John of Capistrano


 St John of Capistrano
Franciscan priest, the "Soldier Saint"
Patron of jurists
Italy ~ 1385-1456
FEAST DAY - October 23

On St John's tomb in the Austrian town of Villach,
the governor had this message inscribed:

"This tomb holds John, by birth of Capistrano,
a man worthy of all praise, defender and promoter of the faith,
guardian of the Church, zealous protector of his Order,
an ornament to all the world, lover of truth and religious justice,
mirror of life, surest guide in doctrine;
praised by countless tongues, he reigns blessed in heaven."

Ste John of Capistrano, ora pro nobis!


Comments of Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira: One could try to make a classification of the saints. Some were founders of nations, others were organizers of nations, still others were founders of religious orders. Then, there is a category of saints who were the defensive walls of the House of God. They constitute a kind of saint whose principal goal is to fight, to destroy the enemies of God. They have the capacity to put fire in souls to stimulate them to the defense of God, to lead them to combat. And in the combat they know how to sustain the courage of the good as well as how to attack the enemies. Doing this, they defend the walls of the House of God. Such is the mission of this category of saints. St. John of Capistrano was one of these saints.

Friday, October 22, 2010

For us God is not simply Word

"For us God is not simply Word. In the sacraments
He gives Himself to us in person, through physical realities.  At the heart of our relationship with God
and our way of life is the Eucharist. Celebrating it devoutly, and thus encountering Christ personally, should be the centre of all our days. In Saint Cyprian’s interpretation of the Gospel prayer, 'Give us this day
our daily bread,' he says among other things that 'our' bread – the bread which we receive as Christians
in the Church – is the Eucharistic Lord Himself. In this petition of the Our Father, then, we pray that He may daily give us 'our' bread; and that it may always
nourish our lives; that the Risen Christ, who gives Himself to us in the Eucharist, may truly shape the
whole of our lives by the radiance of His divine love."
Pope Benedict XVI
Letter to Seminarians, dated Oct. 18, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Come and see

“If anyone comes to me,
I want to lead them to Him.”

St Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Your heart, a living tabernacle

In a letter to a spiritual daughter, St Paul of the Cross writes:

"I exhort you, though you live in the world, to receive Communion often, but with piety. Holy Communion is
the most efficacious means of uniting one's self to God.
Always prepare yourself well for this sacred banquet.
Have a very pure heart, and watch over your tongue,
for it is on the tongue that the Sacred Host is laid.
Carry Our Lord home with you after your thanksgiving,
and let your heart be a living tabernacle for Jesus.
Visit Him often in this interior tabernacle, offering
Him your homage, and the sentiments of gratitude
with which divine love will inspire you. Preserve
carefully the sentiments of love with which you are
filled after Communion."
St Paul of the Cross
Mystic, Founder - Passionist Order
Italy ~ 1694-1775
FEAST DAY - October 20

"It is an excellent and holy practice to call to mind and meditate on our Lord's Passion,
since it is by this path that we shall arrive at union with God.  In this, the holiest of all schools,
true wisdom is learned, for it was there that all the saints became wise."

Taken from a letter written by St. Paul of the Cross

Ste Paul of the Cross, ora pro nobis!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Let us join the angels!

 One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to seek Him in His temple.  Psalm 27:4
"Our churches are called the "House of God,"
and this in very deed they are,
since God Himself dwells in them
and is always to be found in them. 
He is surrounded continually
by a countless host of Angels,
who serve Him, who adore Him, who worship Him,
who praise Him, who offer our prayers to Him." 
Fr Martin von Cochem
"The Incredible Catholic Mass" pg 25

Monday, October 18, 2010

Continue praising!


"Then [Jesus] 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."
Luke 24:50-53

St Luke
Apostle, Evangelist, Martyr
Feast Day – October 18
Painting: Andrea Mantegna

Ste Luke, ora pro nobis!

Luke wrote as a Gentile for Gentile Christians. This Gospel reveals Luke's expertise in classic Greek style as well as his knowledge of Jewish sources.
The character of Luke may best be seen by the emphases of his Gospel, which has been given a number of subtitles: (1) The Gospel of Mercy: Luke emphasizes Jesus' compassion and patience with the sinners and the suffering. He has a broadminded openness to all, showing concern for Samaritans, lepers, publicans, soldiers, public sinners, unlettered shepherds, the poor. Luke alone records the stories of the sinful woman, the lost sheep and coin, the prodigal son, the good thief. (2) The Gospel of Universal Salvation: Jesus died for all. He is the son of Adam, not just of David, and Gentiles are his friends too. (3) The Gospel of the Poor: "Little people" are prominent—Zechariah and Elizabeth, Mary and Joseph, shepherds, Simeon and the elderly widow, Anna. He is also concerned with what we now call "evangelical poverty." (4) The Gospel of Absolute Renunciation: He stresses the need for total dedication to Christ. (5) The Gospel of Prayer and the Holy Spirit: He shows Jesus at prayer before every important step of his ministry. The Spirit is bringing the Church to its final perfection. (6) The Gospel of Joy: Luke succeeds in portraying the joy of salvation that permeated the primitive Church.
Source:  Saint of the Day

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wheat of the Lord

The Chritian Martyrs Last prayer - Saints  
Born in Syria, Ignatius converted to Christianity and eventually became bishop of Antioch. In the year 107, Emperor Trajan visited Antioch and forced the Christians there to choose between death and apostasy. Ignatius would not deny Christ and thus was condemned to be put to death in Rome.

Ignatius is well known for the seven letters he wrote on the long journey from Antioch to Rome. Five of these letters are to Churches in Asia Minor; they urge the Christians there to remain faithful to God and to obey their superiors. He warns them against heretical doctrines, providing them with the solid truths of the Christian faith.
The sixth letter was to Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, who was later martyred for the faith. The final letter begs the Christians in Rome not to try to stop his martyrdom. Ignatius bravely met the lions in the Circus Maximus.
"The only thing I ask of you
is to allow me to offer the libation
of my blood to God.
I am the wheat of the Lord;
may I be ground by the teeth
of the beasts to become
the immaculate bread of Christ."
St. Ignatius of Antioch, Romans 4

St Ignatius of Antioch
Bishop and Martyr
First Century
Disciple of St John the Evangelist
FEAST DAY - October 17
Ste Ignatius of Antioch, ora pro nobis!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Supremely humbled

"Let every knee bend before Thee,
O greatness of my God,
so supremely humbled in the Sacred Host.

May every heart love Thee,
every spirit adore Thee and
every will be subject to Thee."

St Margaret Mary Alacoque
Saint of the Sacred Heart
Visitation Sister
France ~ 1647-1690
FEAST DAY - October 16

Sta Margaret Mary Alacoque, ora pro nobis!

Friday, October 15, 2010



"Without the Holy Mass what would
become of us?  All here below would perish,
because that alone can hold back God's arm."
St Teresa of Avila
Doctor of the Church, Carmelite nun
Spain ~ 1515-1582
FEAST DAY - October 15

"Anyone who truly loves God travels securely." ~ St Teresa of Avila

St Teresa of Avila, ora pro nobis!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Living Eucharistically

"We must live our commitment to society
steeped in the Eucharist."

Archbishop Nicolas Cotugno

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Love compels

Lord Jesus, what has made You so small?
St Bernard of Clairvaux

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It will prosper the whole day

"Hear Mass daily; it will prosper the whole day.
All your duties will be performed the better for it,
and your soul will be stronger to bear its daily cross.
The Mass is the most holy act of religion;
you can do nothing that can give greater glory to God
or be more profitable for your soul
than to hear Mass both frequently and devoutly.
It is the favorite devotion of the saints."
St. Peter Julian Eymard

Monday, October 11, 2010

Divine Victory

"Receive the Body and Blood of Christ
very frequently. The sight of a Christian's lips
red with the Blood of Christ terrifies the enemy.
He immediately recognizes the sign of his own ruin.
He cannot stand the instrument of divine victory
by which he was taken captive and cast down."
St. Peter Damian

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Concerted prayer

"Throughout the long hours I adore You,
O living Bread,
amidst the great drought in my soul....

Jesus, when I myself cannot sing You the hymn of love,
I admire the singing of the Seraphim,
they who are so dearly loved by You.
I desire to drown myself in You as they do."

St. Maria Faustina of the Blessed Sacrament
Divine Mercy in My Soul, 195

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Universal antidote

"If the poison of pride is swelling up in you,
turn to the Eucharist; and that Bread,
which is your God humbling and disguising Himself,
will teach you humility.
If the fever of selfish greed rages in you,
feed on this Bread; and you will learn generosity.
If the cold wind of coveting withers you,
hasten to the Bread of Angels;
and charity will come to blossom in your heart.
If you feel the itch of intemperance,
nourish yourself with the Flesh and Blood of Christ,
Who practiced self-control during His earthly life;
and you will become temperate.
If you are lazy and sluggish about spiritual things,
strengthen yourself with this heavenly Food;
and you will grow fervent.
Lastly, if you feel scorched by the fever of impurity,
go to the banquet of the Angels;
and the spotless Flesh of Christ will make you pure and chaste."

St. Cyril of Alexandria

Friday, October 8, 2010

Holy lingering

"It is most becoming that, when the Mass is finished,
the person who has received the Eucharist
should recollect himself,
and in intimate union with the Divine Master
hold loving and fruitful converse with Him."
Ven. Pius XII

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary

“All the supreme teachers, the popes, have been unanimous in proclaiming that the devotion to
the Most Blessed Sacrament and the Holy Rosary
are the hope and salvation of the world in
our evil and dangerous era.
They have endeavored, by word and example,
to bring the faithful more closely to Jesus Christ
in the Most Blessed Sacrament
and to Our Lady’s Rosary.”

From The Eucharist and the Rosary:
The Power to Change the World
Louis Kaczmarek

More on...the FEAST of Our Lady of Victory (the Rosary)

To commemorate the victory of the Christian Armada over the Turks on Oct 7, 1571, Pope Pius V introduced the Feast of Our Lady of Victory. Christian Europe had been at risk of being conquered by the Ottoman Empire (Muslim). The year leading up to the battle had been declared the Year of the Rosary.  At the beginning of that year, each mariner of the Holy League was given a rosary and instructed to pray it daily.  The rosary also served to unite the contentious factions of the Holy League during the year of its formation and proved equally important for getting the Holy League to the battle as winning the battle. When faced with unfavorable wind at the onset of the battle, the men picked up their rosaries and began praying.  Miraculously the winds shifted and served to be a key factor in the ensuing victory. 
The Feast's name was changed in 1969 to “Our Lady of the Rosary” and it is now a mandatory memorial.  It is now attached to and starts Respect For Life Month.

Many complain that the Mass and Rosary are repetitious.  However, the “repetition” of the Mass and Rosary alike can work a slow but deep transformation of one's heart. One could also point out that repetition is not necessarily a sign of a lack of imagination. It may be sheer exuberant pleasure that makes us repeat an activity.  G. K. Chesterton argued that repetition is a characteristic of the vitality of children.  They like the same stories, the same words, time and time again, not because they are bored and unimaginative but because they delight in life.
Chesterton wrote:
“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead, for grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony.  It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes each daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore. Heaven may encore the bird who laid an egg."
Pray the Rosary.  Pray the Mass. 
Exult in the monotony. Transform your heart.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Eucharist compels us


The Eucharist compels us
to move outward: into our neighborhood,
into our country, and into the world.

The Eucharist draws us together
only to send us out –
again and again, like breathing." 

Fr. Joe R. Veneroso


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Vital Source

"I would like the young people
to gather around the Eucharist
as the vital source which nourishes
their faith and enthusiasm. 
Please, let's not just think about it,
but let's do this with our children without delay
and Jesus will bless your family."


Pope Bl John Paul II

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Real, not symbol

"The Eucharist was also the center for me. And I kept wondering why
belief in the Real Presence was not omnipresent among Christians.
After all, if people were willing to embrace the miracle of God
humbling Himself to become a human being, and a tiny baby at that,
then why couldn't they see echoes of that same miracle in
bread and wine mysteriously becoming Christ's Body and Blood?
A symbol did not die on the Cross
but a real Person,
and that Person had left a real sacrament,
not a symbol,
to show His love."

From Confessions of an Ex-Feminist 
~ Lorraine V. Murray (Ignatius Press)
Stained Glass: The Risen Christ. Church of the Blessed Sacrament, La Crosse, WI.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Feast of the Guardian Angels

"See, I am sending an angel before you, to guard you on the way
and bring you to a place I have prepared."  - Exodus 23:20


    "It was during the Mass at 6:30 in the morning, at the moment of Consecration.  A dazzling light suddenly shone forth...I had the feeling that this adorable splendor was that of the Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.  Struck to the heart I could only repeat, 'My Lord and My God!'
       At the same moment there appeared the outline of the angels in prayer before the shining Host.  They were kneeling all around the altar in a semi-circle, their backs toward us.  There were eight of them… They did not have wings, but their bodies were enveloped in sort of a mysterious luminescence which clearly distinguished them from humans. 
        Amazed, not believing my eyes, I opened and closed them, rubbed them, but nothing changed.  All eight were there to adore the Most Blessed Sacrament in an attitude of great devotion. ...
         At the moment of Communion, my guardian angel approached me to invite me to advance to the altar.  At that moment, I clearly distinguished the guardian angels of each member of the community close to their left shoulders, and of the height a little smaller than each.  Like my guardian angel they gave truly the impression of guiding and watching over them with sweetness and affection.  This scene in itself opened my eyes to the profound meaning of the guardian angel, better than any theological explanation, even the most detailed.  After dinner I gave a complete account of this vision to the Bishop…
    Had they not chosen the Feast of the Guardian Angels to show the example of adoration and to reveal their readiness to lead us to the Lord? ~Sr Agnes Sasagawa

 Excerpt from:
Akita, The Tears and Message of Mary
John M Haffert

                      Angel of God, My Guardian Dear           
to whom God's love commits me here.
        Ever this day be at my side
            to light and guard and rule and guide. 


Friday, October 1, 2010

First Kiss

Of her First Holy Communion Day...St Therese reflects...

"How sweet it was, the first kiss of Jesus to my soul! Yes, it was a kiss of Love. I felt I was loved, and I too said: 'I love Thee, I give myself to Thee forever!' Jesus asked nothing of me, demanded no sacrifice. Already for a long time past, He and the little Therese had watched and understood one another... That day our meeting was no longer a simple look but a fusion. No longer were we two: Therese had disappeared as the drop of water which loses itself in the depths of the ocean, Jesus alone remained; the Master, the King! Had not Therese begged Him to take away from her, her liberty? That liberty made her afraid; so weak, so fragile did she feel herself that she longed to be united forever to Divine Strength."

~From Story of A Soul, Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux

St Thérèse of Lisieux
Doctor of the Church
Carmelite Nun
aka The Little Flower of Jesus
and St Therese of the Child Jesus
France ~ 1873-1897
FEAST DAY - October 1

“The only thing I really wish for to love until I die of love.”
St. Thérèse

Ste Thérèse of Lisieux, ora pro nobis!