Friday, November 30, 2012

At once ... let us follow

"Come after Me, and I will make you fishers of men." 
At once they (Simon Peter and Andrew)
left their nets and followed Him.  ~ Matthew 4: 19
Preface II - Eucharistic Prayers - Today's Liturgy
For You have built Your Church
to stand firm on apostolic foundations,
to be a lasting sign of Your holiness on earth
and offer all humanity Your heavenly teaching.
Therefore, now and for ages unending,
with all the host of Angels,
we sing to You with all our hearts,
crying out as we acclaim: Holy, holy, holy ...
St Andrew
Apostle, Priest, Martyr
Younger brother of St Peter
Patron:  Russia, Scotland, fishermen
 Name "Andrew" (Greek: manly, brave, from ἀνδρεία,
Andreia, "manhood, valour")
Feast day  - November 30
St Andrew, ora pro nobis!


Christmas Anticipation Prayer

Beginning on St. Andrew's Feast Day, November 30, the following prayer is traditionally recited fifteen times a day until Christmas. This is a beautifully meditative prayer that helps us increase our awareness of the real focus of Christmas and helps us prepare ourselves spiritually for His coming.
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, [here mention your request] through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother.  Amen.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Right intention...

"The Holy Eucharist is a great means through which
to aspire to perfection. But we must receive it
with the desire and intention of removing
from the heart all that is displeasing to Him
with whom we wish to dwell." 
~ St Padre Pio of Pietrelcina

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fortified !

“The day’s food for the day’s march…
that is what Holy Communion is meant to be.”

~ Msgr Ronald Knox

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Come to the altar - and ask !

Our Lady appeared to 24 year old Catherine Labouré in 1830 in Paris, France.  Preceding Our Lady’s apparition an angel awoke her and said, “Come to the Chapel.  The Blessed Virgin is waiting for you.”  The Lady spoke, “My child, the good God wishes to entrust to you a mission.”  The Lord would be with her and would guide her.  Our Lady spoke to her near the sanctuary, prophesying many sufferings her country would undergo, but encouraged her by saying:  “Do not be afraid.  Tell them not to be afraid.”

In her second apparition, on November 27, Our Lady revealed her desire for the Miraculous Medal.  Over the course of the apparitions, which always occurred near the Blessed Sacrament, Our Mother gave her this message, as if giving a remedy, for the world:  “Come to the foot of the altar.  Here graces will be showered on all, great and little, who ask for them.  Graces will especially be showered upon those who ask for them.”

Quote from St Catherine Labouré:  "God always speaks to you when you approach Him plainly and simply."' (Her Feast Day is celebrated on November 28. )

 St Catherine Labouré, ora pro nobis!

More about the Miraculous Medal -
and to obtain a FREE medal (USA and Canada only)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Holy gratitude for holy priests


"The life of a priest is an Advent
bringing forth the Incarnation of souls."

Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity


Let us generously remember our priests in daily prayer.
   Each day when I attend Mass, as the priest kisses the altar I pray in particular gratitude for that priest and that he will have a deeper, personal encounter with Christ at that Mass. Also - when the water is added to the wine before the Consecration, I offer particular prayer for seminarians discerning the priesthood and transitional Deacons approaching Ordination - I echo a prayer of Jesus,"Ephphatha" (Be opened). ~ Janette

When and how do you pray for our priests?
(I will include responses in an upcoming post during Advent.)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Solemnity of Christ the King

Solemnity of
Our Lord Jesus Christ the King

The Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King celebrates the all-embracing authority of Christ as King and Lord of the cosmos.  It is celebrated on the final Sunday of Ordinary Time, the Sunday before Advent. "O Lord our God, you are worthy to receive glory and honor and power" (Rev 4:11).

“The Lord will sit on His royal throne for ever;
the Lord will bless His people in peace.” ~ Psalm 10b,11b
Sacristy ~ Basilica of St Mary's, Minneapolis, Minnesota

 O king of Glory, though You hide Your beauty,
yet the eye of my soul rends the veil.” ~ St. Faustina


"I thank you, O holy faith; for you teach and assure me that in the divine Sacrament of the Altar, in that heavenly Bread, bread does not exist; but that my Lord Jesus Christ is all there, and that He is there for love of me.

My Lord and my all, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament; and though unknown to eyes of flesh, by the light of holy faith I discern You in the consecrated Host, as the Monarch of heaven and earth, and as the Savior of the world.

Reign, reign, my Lord, over my whole soul; I give it all to You; may You ever possess it.  May my will, my senses, and my faculties be all servants of Your love, and may they never in this world serve for anything else than to give You satisfaction and glory."

St. Alphonsus Liguori

Excerpt: Quas Primas, Encyclical of Pope Pius XI 
Promulgated on December 11, 1925, Quas Primas introduced the Feast of Christ the King. The encyclical summarizes both the Old Testament and the New Testament teaching on the kingship of Christ. Invoking an earlier encyclical Annum Sacrum of Pope Leo XIII, Pius XI connotes that the kingdom of Christ embraces the whole mankind. He connected the denial of Christ as king to the rise of secularism. At the time of Quas Primas, secularism was on the rise, and many Christians, even Catholics, were doubting Christ’s authority, as well as the Church’s, and even doubting Christ’s very existence.  Click here: QUAS PRIMAS
Hail King Jesus, our King of Peace!

20. If the kingdom of Christ, then, receives, as it should, all nations under its way, there seems no reason why we should despair of seeing that peace which the King of Peace came to bring on earth -- he who came to reconcile all things, who came not to be ministered unto but to minister, who, though Lord of all, gave himself to us as a model of humility, and with his principal law united the precept of charity; who said also: "My yoke is sweet and my burden light." Oh, what happiness would be Ours if all men, individuals, families, and nations, would but let themselves be governed by Christ! "Then at length," to use the words addressed by our predecessor, Pope Leo XIII, twenty-five years ago to the bishops of the Universal Church, "then at length will many evils be cured; then will the law regain its former authority; peace with all its blessings be restored. Men will sheathe their swords and lay down their arms when all freely acknowledge and obey the authority of Christ, and every tongue confesses that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father."

21. That these blessings may be abundant and lasting in Christian society
, it is necessary that the kingship of our Savior should be as widely as possible recognized and understood, and to the end nothing would serve better than the institution of a special feast in honor of the Kingship of Christ. For people are instructed in the truths of faith, and brought to appreciate the inner joys of religion far more effectually by the annual celebration of our sacred mysteries than by any official pronouncement of the teaching of the Church. Such pronouncements usually reach only a few and the more learned among the faithful; feasts reach them all; the former speak but once, the latter speak every year -- in fact, forever. The church's teaching affects the mind primarily; her feasts affect both mind and heart, and have a salutary effect upon the whole of man's nature. Man is composed of body and soul, and he needs these external festivities so that the sacred rites, in all their beauty and variety, may stimulate him to drink more deeply of the fountain of God's teaching, that he may make it a part of himself, and use it with profit for his spiritual life.

To Jesus Christ, our Sov'reign King,
Who is the world's salvation,
All praise and homage do we bring,
And thanks and adoration.

Christ Jesus Victor, Christ Jesus Ruler!
Christ Jesus, Lord and Redeemer!

The way to "enter" into God's Kingdom "does not permit shortcuts"; rather, "every person must freely welcome the truth of the love of God. He is Love and Truth and both love and truth never impose themselves: they knock at the door of the heart and mind and, wherever they may enter, they bring peace and joy. This is God's way of reigning; this is his project of salvation, a 'mystery' in the biblical sense of the word, which is a plan that is revealed little by little throughout history."

Pope Benedict XVI

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Renewed by the one Bread

Blessed are those who suffer persecution for the sake of justice;
the kingdom of heaven is theirs.  Matthew 5:10


Today’s Liturgy:  Prayer after Communion

Renewed by the one Bread
as we commemorate the holy Martyrs,
we humbly beseech you, O Lord,
that abiding as one in Your love,
we may merit by endurance an eternal prize.
Through Christ our Lord.

St Andrew Dung-Lac (priest) and Companions
Martyrs (btwn 1820-1862)* ~ Vietnam
*Incl bishops, priests, religious men/women, lay persons
Feast Day – November 24


"In the midst of these torments, which usually terrify others, I am, by the grace of God, full of joy and gladness, because I am not alone - Christ is with me.  Our Master bears the whole weight of the cross, leaving me only the tiniest, last bit." ~ St Paul Le-Bao-Tinh, Martyr, 1843

St Andrew Dung-Lac and companions, ora pro nobis!

Friday, November 23, 2012

"¡Viva Cristo Rey!"

"I believe, O Lord, but strengthen my faith…
Heart of Jesus, I love Thee; but increase my love. 
Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee;
but give greater vigor to my confidence. 
Heart of Jesus, I give my heart to Thee; but enclose it
in Thee that it may never be separated from Thee.
Heart of Jesus, I am all Thine; but take care of
my promise so that I may be able to put it in practice
even unto the complete sacrifice of my life."

Bl Miguel Agustin Pro
Jesuit priest, Martyr
Mexico ~ 1891-1927
FEAST DAY – November 23


 "How can I explain to you the sweet grace of the Holy Spirit, which invades my poor miner's soul with such heavenly joys? I could not keep back tears on the day of my ordination, above all at the moment when I pronounced, together with the bishop, the words of the consecration. After the ceremony the new priests gave their first blessing to their parents. I went to my room, laid out all the photographs of my family on the table, and then blessed them from the bottom of my heart." ~ Bl Miguel Pro

Bl Miguel Pro, ora pro nobis!

MORE on Bl Miguel Pro...
In the 1920s the churches in Mexico were closed and priests went into hiding. Fr Pro spent the rest of his life in a secret ministry to the sturdy Mexican Catholics. In addition to fulfilling their spiritual needs, he also carried out the works of mercy by assisting the poor in Mexico City with their temporal needs. He adopted many interesting disguises in carrying out his secret ministry. He would come in the middle of the night dressed as a beggar to baptize infants, bless marriages and celebrate Mass. He would appear in jail dressed as a police officer to bring Holy Viaticum to condemned Catholics. When going to fashionable neighborhoods to procure for the poor, he would show up at the doorstep dressed as a fashionable businessman with a fresh flower on his lapel. His many exploits could rival those of the most daring spies. In all that he did, however, Fr. Pro remained obedient to his superiors and was filled with the joy of serving Christ, his King.
Falsely accused in the bombing attempt on a former Mexican president, Miguel became a wanted man. Betrayed to the police, he was sentenced to death without the benefit of any legal process.
At the time of the killing, Mexico was under the rule of the fiercely anti-clerical and anti-Catholic President Plutarco Elías Calles who had begun what writer Graham Greene called the "fiercest persecution of religion anywhere since the reign of Elizabeth."
On the day of his execution, as Fr. Pro walked from his cell to the courtyard and the firing squad, he blessed the soldiers, knelt and briefly prayed quietly. Declining a blindfold, he faced his executioners with a crucifix in one hand and a rosary in the other and held his arms out in imitation of the crucified Christ and shouted out, "May God have mercy on you! May God bless you! Lord, Thou knowest that I am innocent! With all my heart I forgive my enemies!" Before the firing squad were ordered to shoot, Pro raised his arms in imitation of Christ and shouted the defiant cry of the Cristeros, "Viva Cristo Rey!" -"Long live Christ the King!" When the initial shots of the firing squad failed to kill him, a soldier shot him point blank.
Calles had the execution meticulously photographed, and the newspapers throughout the country carried them on the front page the following day. Presumably, Calles thought that the sight of the pictures would frighten the Cristero rebels who were fighting against his troops, particularly in the state of Jalisco. However, they had the opposite effect. The Cristeros became more animated and fought with renewed enthusiasm, many of them carrying the newspaper photo of Pro before the firing squad.

Miguel Pro's last request prior to execution was to be allowed to kneel and pray.

Pro himself refused a blindfold.  A Crucifix in the right hand,
a rosary in the other.

He blessed and forgave the firing squad.

November 24, 1927, at the front of the Jesuit church of the Holy Family, a multitude accompanied the remains of Father Pro.  Father Mendez Medina cried out, "Make way for the martyrs of Christ the King!" 
Although Calles had forbidden any public demonstration, the people acted in open defiance. Never had the city seen such an enormous turnout for a funeral. As the martyrs' caskets left the house, a great and unanimous cry soared from the hearts and mouths of thousands:.. "¡Viva Cristo Rey!" Thousands thronged the streets and balconies, throwing flowers, praying the rosary and singing. It was a triumph - a glorious witness to the heroism of martyrs for Christ the King.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more - a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse
may be Thy praise.  ~ George Herbert

Be filled with the Holy Spirit...
singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart,
always and for everything giving thanks in the name
of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.  ~ Eph 5:18b-20

"We give You thanks, O Lord our God,
for the Communion of Your
holy, pure, and heavenly Mysteries,
which You have given
for the good, the hallowing
and the healing of souls and bodies."

St. Basil the Great

  Consider a gift of gratitude to our Lord through a
during the season of ADVENT!
"God has two dwelling places:
One in heaven and the other
in a grateful heart."  ~ Izaak Walton

As so we join...

And so, with the Angels and all the Saints we declare Your glory,
as with one voice we acclaim:
Choir of Angels, Hans Memling (c. 1433-1494, Netherlands)
“Liturgical action is given a more noble form when sacred rites are solemnized in song, with the assistance of sacred ministers and the active participation of the people.... Choirs must be diligently promoted, but bishops and other pastors must ensure that, whenever the sacred action is to be celebrated with song, the whole body of the faithful may be able to contribute that active participation which is rightfully theirs.... Gregorian chant, other things being equal, should be given pride of place in liturgical services. But other kinds of sacred music, especially polyphony, are by no means excluded.... Religious singing by the people is to be skillfully fostered, so that in devotions and sacred exercises, as also during liturgical services, the voices of the faithful may ring out” (Constitution on the Liturgy, 112-118).

St Cecilia
Martyr ~ Rome
Approx  90-117 AD
Patron of Musicians, Sacred Music
Feast Day – Nov 22

Carlo Saraceni ~ St Cecilia

 "Words cannot express the things that are sung by the heart ... And if so happy that words can no longer express what they feel, people discard the restricting syllables. They burst out into a simple sound of joy, of jubilation.'" ~ Well said, St. Augustine!

Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School Schola Cantorum ~ England

  Sing praises to the LORD, O you His saints,
and give thanks to His holy Name.  ~ Psalm 30:4

St Cecilia, ora pro nobis! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Behold the heavenly tabernacle !

 The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Feast Day -November 21*
*The Feast celebrates Mary as a temple,
where God dwelt in a special way through her role as Mother of Jesus.

Giotto ~ Presentation of the Virgin Mary in the Temple

From the Byzantine liturgy:

The most pure temple of the Savior, His most precious bridal chamber, the Virgin, sacred treasury of God's glory, enters today into the house of the Lord, bringing with her the grace of the divine Spirit.  Wherefore the angels of God are singing: "Behold the heavenly tabernacle!" ... Wherefore let us cry out to her with all our strength: "Joy to you, fulfillment of the Creator's plan!" At the moment when the young girl Mary was presented in the glorious Temple, "everything that humans build was already diminished by the praise in her heart."

Prayer after Communion (today's Liturgy)

As we receive this heavenly Sacrament,
we beseech, O Lord, your mercy,
that we, who rejoice in commemorating
        the Blessed Virgin Mary,
may by imitating her
serve worthily the mystery of our redemption.
Through Christ our Lord.


"Hail, holy throne of God, divine sanctuary, house of glory, jewel most fair, chosen treasure house, and mercy seat for the whole world, heaven showing forth the glory of God. Purest Virgin ... sanctuary dedicated to God and raised above all human condition, virgin soil, unplowed field, flourishing vine, fountain pouring out waters, virgin bearing a child, mother without knowing man, hidden treasure of innocence, ornament of sanctity, by your most acceptable prayers, strong with the authority of motherhood, to our Lord and God, Creator of all, your Son who was born of you without a father, steer the ship of the Church and bring it to a quiet harbor." ~ Adapted from a homily of St. Germanus ~ Feast of the Presentation

"Hers was the happiness of first bearing in her womb Him
whom she would obey as her master." ~ St Augustine

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Unity !

"The Body of Christ (Eucharist)
will unite the
Body of Christ (Believers)."
Bishop Paul V Dudley
11-29-1926 ~ 11-20-2006
What truth you have spoken, good Bishop!
Let us together pray for its fruition!

Monday, November 19, 2012

When we know how to find Him...

"How happy we are when
we live in intimacy with God,
when we make of our life a heart-to-heart relationship,
an exchange of love with the divine Master,
when we know how to find Him
in the innermost depths of our soul.
Then we are no longer alone, and we need solitude
to enjoy the presence of the adored Host."
Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday's way...

 "Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb."
"Holy Mass is like the sun of this earth.
Sunday is the Lord's Day, and it is a blessed day.
Rise from the earth and
enter into communion with God."
St. Luigi Guanella

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Close to the hidden Jesus

St Elizabeth of Hungary, when as a little girl used to play about the palace with her companions, would always pick a spot near the chapel so that every now and then, without being noticed, she might stop by the chapel door, kiss the lock, and say to Jesus,

"My Jesus, I am playing, but I am not forgetting You. Bless me and my companions. Goodbye."

St Elizabeth of Hungary
Secular Franciscan Order
FEAST DAY - November 17
The Charity of St. Elizabeth of Hungary
by Edmund Blair Leighton (1895)
"How could I bear a crown of gold when the Lord bears a crown of thorns? And bears it for me!"  - St Elizabeth of Hungary
From a letter of Conrad of Marburg, St Elizabeth's spiritual director:

"Elizabeth recognised and loved Christ in the poor.  ... She was a lifelong friend of the poor and gave herself entirely to relieving the hungry. She ordered that one of her castles should be converted into a hospital in which she gathered many of the weak and feeble. She generously gave alms to all who were in need, not only in that place but in all the territories of her husband’s empire. ...
Twice a day, in the morning and in the evening, Elizabeth went to visit the sick. She personally cared for those who were particularly repulsive; to some she gave food, to others clothing; some she carried on her own shoulders, and performed many other kindly services. Her husband, of happy memory, gladly approved of these charitable works. ...
Apart from those active good works, I declare before God that I have seldom seen a more contemplative woman. When she was coming from private prayer, some religious men and women often saw her face shining marvellously and light coming from her eyes like the rays of the sun. ...

Before her death I heard her confession. When I asked what should be done about her goods and possessions, she replied that anything which seemed to be hers belonged to the poor. She asked me to distribute everything except one worn out dress in which she wished to be buried. When all this had been decided, she received the Body of our Lord. Afterward, until vespers, she spoke often of the holiest things she had heard in sermons. Then, she devoutly commended to God all who were sitting near her, and as if falling into a gentle sleep, she died."

Continuing in a series of descriptions of the great female figures of the Middle Ages, Pope Benedict XVI (October 21, 2010) spoke of this princess who shows how a life of "faith and friendship with Christ creates a sense of justice, equality of all, of the rights of others... which creates love, charity ... and from this comes the hope and certainty that we are loved by Christ and the love of Christ awaits us, and so enables us to imitate Christ, to see Christ in others. Saint Elizabeth invites us to find Christ, love Christ, have faith and so find true justice, love and joy that one day we will be immersed in God's love."

St Elizabeth of Hungary, ora pro nobis! 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sts G and G, pray for us!


"O God of love, my Savior,
eternally sweet and tender,
heart and soul I thirst for You! 
You fill my soul;
and yet the more I taste of You, the more I hunger. 
The deeper I drink of You, the more I thirst. 
Come, Jesus!  Come, Lord!" 

St Gertrude
Germany ~ 1256 – 1302
Benedictine nun, mystic
Patroness of the West Indies
Advocate of devotion to the Sacred Heart
FEAST DAY – November 16


Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus  

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, fountain of eternal life, Your Heart is a glowing furnace of Love. You are my refuge and my sanctuary. O my adorable and loving Savior, consume my heart with the burning fire with which Yours is aflamed. Pour down on my soul those graces which flow from Your love. Let my heart be united with Yours. Let my will be conformed to Yours in all things. May Your Will be the rule of all my desires and actions. Amen.  ~ Saint Gertrude the Great

St Gertrude, ora pro nobis!

“I feel a great sweetness
when I receive Holy Communion
at the Virgin Mary’s feet;
it seems like I get younger and I tell her
the facts like they really are.”

St Giuseppe Moscati
Italy ~ 1880-1927
Physician, Medical Professor, Miracle -worker
Must see film: St. Giuseppe Moscati: Doctor to the Poor (2007)
FEAST DAY - November 16

The Jesuit Giovanni Aromatisi had been Prof. Moscati’s friend for several years. Therefore, he had a good knowledge of his habits and was his spiritual counsellor. ... “He was used to visiting our Gesù Nuovo Church. He heard and served my Mass many times. The cult of the Holy Sacrament was at the centre of his life. Each time he served my Mass, when he looked at the Eucharist, he had such a light in his glance, that my eyes could hardly bear it. At the moment of Holy Communion, I had to lower my eyes. He has often prescribed a ‘Eucharist cure’ to young boys suffering from physical weakness, as a source of every strength.”

St Giuseppe, ora pro nobis!