Thursday, June 30, 2011


 Ring out your joy to the Lord, O you just;
for praise is fitting for loyal hearts.  Psalm 33:1

"Jesus, for You I live.  Jesus, for You I die. 
Jesus, I am Yours in life and death."
 From Reflections and Prayers
for Visits with our Eucharistic Lord,
by John J. Cardinal Carberry
FEAST of the First Roman Martyrs ~ JUNE 30
 The First Martyrs of the Church of Rome were Christians martyred 
in Rome during Nero's persecution in the year 64.
“This dreadful conflagration continued nine days; when Nero, finding that his conduct was greatly blamed, and a severe odium cast upon him, determined to lay the whole upon the Christians, at once to excuse himself and have an opportunity of glutting his sight with new cruelties. This was the occasion of the first persecution ...
Nero even refined upon cruelty, and contrived all manner of punishments for them that the most infernal imagination could design.  In particular, he had some sowed up in the skins of wild beasts, and then worried by dogs till they expired; and others dressed in shirts made stiff with wax, fixed to axle-trees, and set on fire in his gardens in order to illuminate them.  This persecution was general throughout the whole Roman empire; but it rather increased than diminished the spirit of Christianity."

A. Wright
A History of the Principal
and Most Distinguished Martyrs

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

This day made holy by their blood

June 29

St. Augustine (Sermon 295):  "Both apostles share the same feast day, for these two were one; and even though they suffered on different days, they were as one. Peter went first,
and Paul followed. And so we celebrate this day made holy for us by the apostles' blood.
Let us embrace what they believed, their life, their labors, their sufferings,
their preaching, and their confession of faith."

"Keep close to the Catholic Church
at all times, for the Church alone can give you true peace, since she alone possesses Jesus, the true Prince of Peace, in the Blessed Sacrament."

St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina

Stes Peter and Paul, ora pro nobis!

*Sts Peter and Paul are the principle pillars of the Church founded by Christ.
St Peter was chosen by Christ to be his first Vicar on earth; he was endowed with powers of the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Mt 16:13-19) and charged with the role of Shepherd of Christ's flock (Jn 21:15-17). In St. Peter and his successors, we have a visible sign of unity and communion in faith and charity. Divine grace led St. Peter to profess Christ's divinity.  St. Peter suffered martyrdom by crucifixion under Nero, in about the year 64 AD. He was buried at the hill of the Vatican; recent excavations have revealed his tomb on the very site of St. Peter's Basilica.

St Paul was chosen to form part of the apostolic college by Christ himself on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-16). Selected to bring Christ's name to all peoples (Acts 9:15), he is the greatest missionary of all time, the advocate of pagans, the Apostle of the Gentiles. St. Paul was beheaded in the Tre Fontane along the Via Ostiense and buried nearby, on the site where the basilica bearing his name now stands.

Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James SocĂ­as, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Christ has declared... and established

Stained glass: St. John Church ~ Fryburg, Ohio
Photo credit:  Russ Martin

(Christ) has declared the cup, a part of creation,
to be His own Blood, from which He causes our
blood to flow; and the bread, a part of creation,
He has established as His own Body,
from which He gives increase to our bodies.”

Source:  St Irenaeus of Lyons,
Against Heresies, 180 AD

St. Irenaeus
125-202 AD
Disciple of Polycarp (disciple of St John the Apostle)
Bishop of Lyons, Father of the Church
Masterpiece - Adversus Haereses (Against Heresies)
FEAST DAY - June 28

The womb of Our Immaculate Mother Mary is "wholly untouched,
not dug nor sown, from heaven's dew alone, it brings forth
a Savior and provides mortal men with the Bread of angels 
and the food of eternal life." - St Irenaeus

Ste Irenaeus, ora pro nobis!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Partakers of the divine nature


“By partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ
you become one body and one blood with Him.  
In such a way you become bearers of Christ,
His body and blood spread through your limbs. 
In this way you become, in the words of St Peter,
‘partakers of the divine nature’.”
St Cyril of Alexandria
Bishop, Doctor of the Church
Preeminent role at Council of Ephesus
FEAST DAY - June 27

In Cana of Galilee Christ changed water into wine,
and shall we think Him less worthy of credit
when He changes wine into His Blood?” - St Cyril of Alexandria

St Cyril of Alexandria, ora pro nobis!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Corpus Christi - Proclaim Him!

  Solemnity of the
Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
Jesu, of your love befriend us,
You refresh us, you defend us,
Your eternal goodness, send us
In the land of life to see.
Sequence for Corpus Christi - Laud, O Zion
St Vincent Ferrer - New York City
"Be the apostle of the divine Eucharist,
like a flame which enlightens and warms,
like the Angel of His heart who will
go to proclaim Him to those who
don’t know Him and will encourage
those who love Him and are suffering."
St. Peter Julian Eymard
to Mme Antoinette de Grandville
July 4, 1859

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Source of deeper adoration

Sta Maria Maggiore, Roma
"The closer we understand
the living bread, the more fervent
will be our adoration."
Bl. Teresa of Calcutta

Friday, June 24, 2011

Ecce Agnus Dei

 “Behold the Lamb of God
who takes away the sins of the world.”
(St John the Baptist is quoted at every Mass)


June 24
Solemnity of the Birth
of St John the Baptist

"And you, child, will be called prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare His ways" (Lk 1,76)

Rightly, then, did the birth of this child make many rejoice then and does make many rejoice today: born in the old age of his parents he was to preach the grace of rebirth to an aging world. Rightly does the Church solemnly venerate this birth, which is wonderfully brought about by grace and at which nature wonders. To me certainly the birth of the world's Lamp (Jn 5,35) brings fresh joy, for it enabled me to recognize the true Light shining in the darkness but not mastered by the darkness, (Jn1,5.9). His birth brings me a joy utterly unspeakable, for so many outstanding benefits accrue to the world through it. He is the first to give the Church instruction, to initiate it by penance, to prepare it by baptism. When it is prepared he delivers it to Christ and unites it with Him, (Jn 3,29). He both trains it to live temperately and, by his own death, gives it the strength to die with fortitude. In all these ways he prepares for the Lord a perfect people, (Lk 1,17).

~Blessed Guerric of Igny (c.1080-1157), Cistercian abbot, Sermon 1 for Saint John the Baptist, §4 (©Cistercian publications)
* From  Jean Heimann - Catholic Fire blogspot

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Jesus, what made You so small?

Jesus, what made You so small?

St Bernard of Clairvaux


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Holy Courage

"When Thomas More was Chancellor of England some of his friends reproached him for going to Communion so often.  With all his duties and responsibilities they thought that this piety took up too much of his time. 

    He answered their objections with these words: 'Your reasons for wanting me to stay away from Holy Communion are exactly the ones which cause me to go so often.  My distractions are great, but it is in Communion that I recollect myself.  I have temptations many times a day; by daily Communion I get the strength to overcome them.  I have much very important business to handle and I need light and wisdom; it is for this very reason that I go to Holy Communion every day to consult Jesus about them.' " 

From John M Haffert
The World's Greatest Saints

St Thomas More
Husband, Father, Patron of Lawyers
Author, Martyr
England ~ 1478-1535
FEAST DAY - June 22

St Thomas More
Portrait by Hans Holbein (1520)

Ste Thomas More, ora pro nobis!


St. John Fisher
Bishop, Martyr
England ~ 1469-1535
FEAST DAY - June 22

Ste John Fisher, ora pro nobis!
Of all the English bishops, only Bishop John Fisher of Rochester publicly opposed Henry VIII's mandatory Oath of Allegiance, which unlawfully declared King Henry the head of the Church of England. The bishop's stand ultimately cost him his life. May his example inspire all Catholics today, especially the bishops on whose courageous leadership the Church depends.

On the scaffold he said to the people assembled:
"Christian people, I am come hither to die for the faith of Christ's Holy Catholic Church, and I thank God hitherto my stomach hath served me very well thereunto, so that yet I have not feared death. Wherefore I do desire you all to help and assist me with your prayers, that at the very point and instant of death's stroke, I may in that very moment stand steadfast without fainting in any one point of the Catholic faith free from any fear; and I beseech Almighty God of His infinite goodness to save the king and this Realm, and that it may please Him to hold His holy hand over it, and send the king good Counsel."

He then knelt, said the Te Deum, In te domine speravi, and submitted to the axe.

Erasmus said of John Fisher: "He is the one man at this time who is incomparable for uprightness of life, for learning and for greatness
of soul."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Patron of youth

"It is said of St Aloysius Gonzaga that he used to receive Communion once a week and that he was accustomed to spend three days in preparation before it and three days in thanksgiving after it.  ... By this means, the angelic youth was enabled to walk continually with God; one Communion was the preparation for another; thus, he constantly advanced in purity of heart and in love for Jesus Christ."

Fr Michael Muller, CSSR
The Blessed Eucharist, Our Greatest Treasure
 St Aloysius Gonzaga
Italy ~ 1568-1591
Jesuit seminarian, Patron of Youth
FEAST DAY - June 21 

St. Aloysius spent a lot of time in prayer especially before the
Blessed Sacrament.  So much so that when it came time to make a
painting of him it was decided to make it of him kneeling in adoration before of our Lord Jesus since this reflected best of who he was.
Ste Aloysius Gonzaga, ora pro nobis!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Offerings of the heart...

St James Catholic Church - Catawissa, Missouri

"O my Jesus,
I want that each pain I feel,
each beat of my heart,
each breath I take in,
each second of each passing hour
may be acts of love for your Tabernacles."

Bl. Alexandrina Maria da Costa

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

 "All three in a great dynamic of love,
are so close that they are One God." ~ Fr. John Foley, S. J.


Trinity Sunday, officially "The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity," is one of the few feasts
of the Christian Year that celebrates a reality and doctrine rather than an event or person.
On Trinity Sunday we remember and honor the eternal God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Trinity Sunday is celebrated the Sunday after Pentecost, and lasts only one day, which is
symbolic of the unity of the Trinity. The Eastern Churches have no tradition of
Trinity Sunday, arguing that they celebrate the Trinity every Sunday.
Westerners do as well, although they set aside a special feast day for the purpose.


 "Jesus Christ, who ‘through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God’ (Heb 9:14), makes us, in the gift of the Eucharist, sharers in God’s own life. This is an absolutely free gift, the superabundant fulfillment of God’s promises. The Church receives, celebrates and adores this gift in faithful obedience.

The ‘mystery of faith’ is thus a mystery of Trinitarian love,
a mystery in which we are called by grace to participate.
We too should therefore exclaim with St Augustine:
‘If you see love, you see the Trinity.’

Pope Benedict XVI
Sacramentum Caritatis, 8


“The veil of mystery has been torn asunder.
He is there, my God, infinite Unity, adorable Trinity,
under the appearance of a small piece of bread.

Bl. Dina Belanger

Blessed Father's Day to all Fathers!
"The most important thing a father can do
for his children is to love their mother."

Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, CSC, 
President Emeritus, Notre Dame


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Who needs the Mass?

St. Joseph Catholic Church Dayton, Ohio  - by D'Ascenzo Studios

“Ultimately, those love the Mass who recognize
their need of the Mass … Who needs the Mass?

Those need the Mass who know how to love.  These are the people who have a big heart, because they have rid themselves of the shackles of self-interest, have lost the fear of suffering for others, and have taken upon themselves the pain of others, sharing their burdens.

Those need the Mass who are painfully aware that they do not know how to love. This category includes those who are distressed by their coldness, their self-centeredness, their repugnance toward having to deal with other people’s problems. Those who desperately want a heart of flesh and recognize all too well that they are never going to get one on their own.”

Fr Edward Maristany
Loving the Mass

Friday, June 17, 2011



“Imagine, the Word made flesh
has come to us as our food!...
Inside us, inside our littleness,
lies the Creator of heaven and earth!"

St Josemaria Escriva

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Holy posture

O Lord, I love the habitation of thy house,
and the place where thy glory dwells. ~ Psalm 26:8
"When you are before the altar where Christ reposes,
you ought no longer to think that you are amongst
men; but believe that there are troops of angels
and archangels standing by you, and trembling
with respect before the sovereign Master of Heaven
and earth. Therefore, when you are in church,
be there in silence, fear, and veneration." 
Saint John Chrysostom

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

At home in us

Artist:  Tom Smith
            Some years ago, on my annual retreat, I found myself under terrible temptations and discouragement.  Every temptation you can think of, I had that night.  On my way to Mass the next morning, I felt very battered and discouraged because of the attacks and temptations of the preceding night.
As I walked up to Communion, I made an act of faith.  I said, ‘Jesus, I know I am receiving You, but I feel so discouraged, so downhearted, and so unworthy to receive You.’
This was the way I felt as I received Communion.  As I received the Sacred Host and turned to go back to my place, I received a clear image of a tent.  I remember looking at the tent and thinking, ‘Well, that poor tent is really battered.’  I remember examining it and saying, ‘It must have gone through a terrible storm.’
As I got to my pew and knelt down, I saw a man coming to go into the tent.  I saw myself in the image and I was telling the man, ‘Oh, you can't go in there, it’s a mess.  It’s all battered.  There are big holes in it.’
The man looked at me and smiled and said, ‘What do you mean?  I live in here.’
At that moment, I realized that I was the battered tent, that I had been battered with the temptations to sin and discouragement and all those things that had harassed me during the night.  Now, Jesus was showing me that, battered and all, He still made His home in me – and that He had just come to me again under the appearance of the sacred Host.”

Sr Breige McKenna, OSC
Miracles Do Happen
St Martin's Paperbacks - 1987


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The richest participation

Artist:  Romanino
“The Eucharist
is the richest participation
in the very being of God
Who is nothing but love.”

Fr Robert Barron
Founder:  Word on Fire

Monday, June 13, 2011

Satiation for all!


“The Bread of Heaven
every taste and hunger.”

 St Anthony of Padua
Italy ~ 1195-1231
nee Portugal
Priest, Wonder worker, Patron of the Poor
"Hammer of the Heretics"
FEAST DAY - June 13

"The spirit of humility is sweeter than honey,
and those who nourish themselves
with this honey produce sweet fruit." ~ St Anthony

Ste Anthony, ora pro nobis!
Pope Pius XII named St. Anthony a Doctor of the Universal Church, that is, one of the great Christian teachers of all time—and a renowned preacher of God’s word. In fact, Anthony was such a famous preacher that in 1228—at age 33—he was invited to preach before Pope Gregory IX. Afterwards, the pope called Anthony the “Ark of the Testament.” Anthony revealed such a grasp of God’s word that, in the eyes of the pope, he seemed to “contain” within himself the whole of Sacred Scripture.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Solemnity of PENTECOST

In honor of the Holy Spirit - wear RED to holy Mass today!

Today is Pentecost. It is not merely a reminder of a past event, but a continuation
of the Spirit renewing the face of the earth (Psalm 104:30). Today's Pentecost
will not be a shadow of the first Pentecost, rather the first Pentecost is a shadow
of today's Pentecost. God's grace is abounding all the more (Romans 5:20).
The Spirit is not diminishing His work in our world, but increasing it.
It will not be only thousands who come to Jesus today (Acts 2:41), but millions.
The waters of the Spirit become deeper as they flow further around the world
and into history (Ezekiel 47:5).  Come, Holy Spirit, Come!

St Cyril of Jerusalem, in his Catecheses, states that we
"call upon God in His mercy
to send His Holy Spirit
upon the offerings before us,
to transform the bread into the Body of Christ
and the wine into the Blood of Christ.

Whatever the Holy Spirit touches is
sanctified and completely transformed."

Come, Holy Spirit, Come -
touch and renew our hearts!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Let her lead...

...He stores up riches who reveres his mother.  Sirach 3:4  

Madonna of the Grapes, Pierre Mignard

  "Oh! if anyone should honour, love and serve Mary,
it is he whose profession it is to live for the Eucharist. 
He has need of Mary in order to adore rightly;
he must be one with her in adoration.

    Ah! let the Blessed Virgin, then govern your life;
let her lead you to Jesus! 

She desires but one thing--
the glory of her Divine Son and your happiness!"

St. Peter Julian Eymard

Friday, June 10, 2011

Love envelops the soul

A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul... Proverbs 13:19a

"When we have been to Holy Communion,
the balm of love envelops the soul
as the flower envelops the bee."

St John Vianney

Thursday, June 9, 2011

And be you also a partaker...


"Go with Him, as His inseparable companion, to the wedding feast of Cana, and drink of the wine of His blessing. Let you have ever before you the Face of the Lord, and look upon His beauty, and let your earnest gaze turn nowhere away from His most sweet countenance. Go before Him into a desert place and see the wonder of His works, where He multiplied in His own Holy Hands the bread that sufficed to feed a great multitude.
Go, my brother, go forward, and with all the love of your soul follow Christ wherever He may go... And lovingly behold Him as taking bread into His hands, He blesses it, and breaks it, as the outward form of His own Immaculate Body; and the chalice which He blessed as the outward form of His Precious Blood, and gave to His Disciples; and be you also a partaker of His sacraments."

St Ephrem
Syria ~ 306-373
Poet, composer of hymns, orator, defender of the faith
Doctor of the Church
His works: described as "a storehouse of treasures"
He was called:  "Harp of the Holy Spirit," "Doctor of the World,"
and "Pillar of the Church."
FEAST DAY – June 9

Ste Ephrem, Harp of the Holy Spirit, ora pro nobis!

Lay me not with sweet spices,
For this honor avails me not,
Nor yet use incense and perfumes,
For the honor befits me not.
Burn yet the incense in the holy place;
As for me, escort me only with your prayers,
Give ye your incense to God,
And over me send up hymns.
Instead of perfumes and spices,
Be mindful of me in your intercessions.

From The Testament of St. Ephrem

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

At home with our littleness


“Ah, let us stay quite far from all that shines;
let us love our littleness.”

Saint Therese of Lisieux

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Does Mass stretch you?

“Our full participation in the Mass
should always be a stretch for us,
to understand more deeply,
to believe more humbly, to become more fully conformed to Christ.  The more faithfully we give ourselves to these sacred words and actions,
in union with Christ, the more He makes us fit
to live with Him forever with all our sins forgiven.”

Archbishop George J Lucas
Archbishop (current)– Omaha, NE

Monday, June 6, 2011

St Norbert, Defender of the Eucharist

The Defenders of the Eucharist, Peter Paul Rubens
"In the sixteenth century, the denial of the Real Presence occurred again, along with a repudiation of the Mass as making present the redemptive sacrifice of Jesus. The Church’s response through the Council of Trent strongly reaffirmed these Eucharistic truths and sponsored the revival of Eucharistic devotions initiated in the Middle Ages.
Perhaps the greatest eucharistic artwork from this period is Peter Paul Rubens’s oil painting entitled The Defenders of the Eucharist, created in 1625. Rubens reached back to the golden age of the Church Fathers as well as to outstanding saints of the Middle Ages and assembled seven of them in one scene, united in the one faith of the Church witnessing their unity through the centuries of faith in the eucharistic presence of Christ.  Today that painting is on display in the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida.
Beginning on the right side of the canvass, Rubens pictures St. Jerome, dressed as a cardinal receiving Communion. Next to him stands St. Norbert, clothed in his white habit and carrying the Eucharist beneath his robes. St. Thomas Aquinas stands in the center holding a book and extending his other hand to heaven, a gesture proclaiming his defense of the Eucharist. Beside him is St. Clare of Assisi, holding a monstrance that displays the sacred eucharistic host. To her left is St. Gregory the Great, the pope who wrote so many works contained in the Mass. Then comes St. Ambrose, who wrote about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Rubens finishes his gathering of defenders of the Eucharist with St. Augustine, who included his reflections on this sacrament in his famous treatise on the Holy Trinity.
Rubens produced this painting during the Church’s Counter-Reformation efforts to defend and reclaim the authentic teachings about the Eucharist and the devotions that assisted believers to deepen their commitment to this mystery of faith.
The seven saints represented in this painting summarize our belief in the Eucharist. It is a sacrifice, the sacrifice of Jesus made present in a sacramental way. It is a sacrament of the abiding presence of Christ in the transformed bread and wine become his Body and Blood. It is a sacramental meal begun on Holy Thursday and available to us in Holy Communion.
This sacrament is available to members of the Catholic Church who are in the state of grace. It is a transforming sacrament. The term “transubstantiation” means that the substance of bread and wine is changed into the substance of Christ’s Body and Blood. In receiving Communion, we too undergo a gradual transformation into Christ and are called to spread His love given to us throughout the world."
(Excerpt of Text from article: The Saints and Eucharistic Devotion
by Norbertine priest - Fr. Alfred McBride)

St Norbert
Germany ~ 1080 - 1134
Bishop, Founder of the Norbertine Order
Unswerving loyalty to the Church
Fervent devotion to the Eucharist
Feast Day - June 6
On the occasion of his ordination to the priesthood, Norbert said,
"O Priest! You are not of yourself because you are the servant and minister
of Christ. You are not your own because you are the spouse of the Church.
You are not yourself because you are the mediator between God and man.
You are not from yourself because you are nothing. What then are you?
Nothing and everything. O Priest! Take care lest what was said to Christ
on the cross be said to you: 'He saved others, himself he cannot save!'"
  St Norbert, ora pro nobis!