Thursday, February 28, 2013

"Love is never finished"

"In the Eucharist you find the source of all your commitments in the following of Christ and in His adoration you purify your look on the life of the world. ...

A genuinely Eucharistic life is a missionary life.
In a world frequently disoriented and in search of new reasons to live,
the light of Christ must be taken to everyone. In the midst of the
men and women of today, be ardent missionaries of the Gospel,
supported by a life radically anchored in Christ!"

Pope Benedict XVI
Vatican City, 3 Feb 2011
Address to Emmanuel Community

Closing remarks: final General Audience of Pope Benedict XVI (2.27.13)

"I thank each and everyone for the respect and understanding with which you have accepted this important decision. I will continue to accompany the journey of the Church through prayer and reflection, with the dedication to the Lord and to His Spouse, with which I have tried to live every day until now and with which I want to live forever. I ask you to remember me before God, and above all to pray for the Cardinals, who are called to so important a task, and for the new Successor of Peter: may the Lord accompany him with the light and the power of his Spirit.

Let us invoke the maternal intercession of Mary, Mother of God and of the Church, that she accompany each of us and the whole ecclesial community; we entrust ourselves to Her, with deep confidence.

Dear friends! God guides His Church, he sustains her always, and especially in difficult times. Let us never lose this vision of faith, which is the only true vision of the Church and the world. In our heart, in the heart of each of you, may there always be the joyous certainty that the Lord is near us, He does not abandon us, He is near us and surrounds us with His love. Thank you!"

You have the pledge of our continued love and prayers!
"Love is never finished."  ~ Pope Benedict XVI

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Basking in the Son

"As regards prayer, you should try to follow the attraction of the Holy Spirit, for all souls are not led by the same path.  It would not be well to spend all the time in vocal prayer, there should be some meditation, thought or contemplation. 

Try 'basking in the sun of God’s love,' that is, quietly kneeling before the Tabernacle, as you would sit enjoying the warm sunshine, not trying to do anything, except love Him; but realizing that, during all the time you are at His feet, more especially when dry and cold, grace is dropping down upon your soul and you are growing fast in holiness."

Fr William Doyle
Saintly Irish priest (+1917)
If time and desire coincide, visit this excellent blog...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ardent love compels

Rembrandt ~ Face of Christ
"The more ardent the love for the Eucharist in the hearts of the
Christian people, the more clearly will they recognize
the goal of all mission:  to bring Christ to others.
Not just a theory or a way of life inspired by Christ, but the gift
of His very Person.  Anyone who has not shared the Truth of love
with his brothers and sisters has not yet given enough."
~ Pope Benedict XVI

Monday, February 25, 2013

For you - Blood flows

"Now consider which is more excellent, the bread of angels (i.e., the manna) or the Flesh of Christ which is indeed the Body of life.
That manna was from heaven; this is from above the heavens. The former was from heaven, the latter from the Lord of the heavens; the former was subject to corruption if it was preserved for a second day, the latter foreign to all corruption so that whoever shall have piously tasted it will not be able to experience corruption. For the people of Israel water flowed from the rock; for you Blood flows from Christ. The water satisfied them for a while; Blood washes you for eternity."

St. Ambrose, Epistola

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Real power!

Second Sunday of Lent

Excerpt below from:  Letters To A Brother Priest (pg 9) Co-authored by Rev Fr Vincent Martin Lucia  and Rev Msgr Josefino Ramirez

"Peter, James and John witnessed the Transfiguration of Christ on Mount Tabor. The whole world will witness the glorious transfiguration of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. It will have the exact opposite effect of the bombing of Nagasaki. At the transfiguration of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, there will be an explosion of divine energy which will release the power of His love and renew the face of the earth. Then the world will see Real Power! All will be made well. All will belong to His Heart. All will be made one.
In the meantime, there are five graces we receive each time we visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. By His glorious wounds we are the ones who are transfigured and changed through His healing love.
Restoration, sanctification, transformation, reparation and salvation are the graces being poured out graciously upon us with each holy hour we make.
Like Peter... this is why we should exclaim in His Divine Presence, 'Lord, how good it is for us to be here!'"

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sharing in the chalice...


Collect  (Today's Liturgy)

God of all creation,
who were pleased to give the Bishop Saint Polycarp
a place in the company of the Martyrs,
grant, through his intercession,
that, sharing with him in the chalice of Christ,
we may rise through the Holy Spirit to eternal life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity
of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

St Polycarp of Smyrna
Disciple of apostle St John
Friend of Ignatius of Antioch
Bishop of Smyrna, Martyr
Exemplary in catechesis
69-155 AD
FEAST DAY - February 23

Polycarp was denounced to the government, arrested, and tried on the charge of being a Christian. When the proconsul urged him to save his life by cursing Christ, he replied: “Eighty-six years I have served Him, and He never did me any wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?” 
Earlier, in a Letter to the Philippians...
“Stand fast, therefore, in this conduct and follow the example of the Lord, ‘firm and unchangeable in faith, lovers of the brotherhood, loving each other, united in truth,’ helping each other with the mildness of the Lord, despising no man.”

And wrote on another occasion...

“If we pray to the Lord to forgive us, we ourselves must be forgiving; we are all under the eyes of our Lord and God, and every one of us must stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, where each of us will have to give an account.”
St Polycarp, ora pro nobis!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Fully alive!

St Margaret of Cortona wrote of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist:

“This morning
my soul is greater than the world
since it possesses You,
You whom heaven and earth
do not contain.”

St Margaret of Cortona
Third Order of St. Francis
1247-1297 ~ Italy
Devoted to Eucharist anf Passion of Christ
FEAST DAY – February 22

St Margaret of Cortona ~ Giovanni Battista
In 1277, while in prayer, she heard the words:
"What is your wish, poverella (little poor one)?" and she replied:
"I neither seek nor wish for anything but You, my Lord Jesus."

St Margaret of Cortona, ora pro nobis!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Powerful, protective, precious Blood

Bernini ~ Crocifissione

On one occasion St Peter Damian wrote to a young nephew:

“If I may speak figuratively, drive out the roaring beasts from your domain; do not cease from protecting yourself daily by receiving the Flesh and Blood of the Lord.  Let your secret foe see your lips reddened with the Blood of Christ.  He will shudder, cower back, and flee to his dark, dank retreat."

St Peter Damian
Reformer, Cardinal
Doctor of the Church
Italy ~ 1007-1072
 MOTTO:  “Do not prefer anything to the love of Christ.”
FEAST DAY - February 21

“Do not be depressed. Do not let your weakness make you impatient, Instead, let the serenity of your spirit shine through your face. Let the joy of your mind burst forth. Let words of thanks break from your lips.” ~ St Peter Damian

St Peter Damian, ora pro nobis!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Partake and see!

"...I have come that they may have life,
and have it to the full."
Jesus, as recorded in the Gospel of St John 10:10b
First Communion, Easter Vigil ~ St Mary Church, Norwalk, CT 
"This most high and most excellent Sacrament
is the health of soul and body,
the remedy of all spiritual diseases,
by which
my vices are cured,
my passions are restrained,
temptations are overcome or lessened,
a greater grace is infused,
virtue receives an increase,
faith is confirmed,
hope strengthened,
and charity inflamed and extended."
Imitation of Christ, Thomas à Kempis
Book 4, Chapter 4

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bring souls

"My Heart overflows with grace for souls!
Bring souls to My Eucharistic Heart."
Jesus (to Bl. Dina Belanger)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Spiritual Communion

St Bernadette eventually begged a fellow Sister
to wake her up during the night hours
when normally she would sleep.  - Why?

"Because I would like
to make a Spiritual Communion." 

St Bernadette Soubirous
1844-1879 ~ France
Visionary - Lourdes
FEAST DAY - February 18*
*In some places Feast celebrated on April 16


A spiritual communion, according to St Thomas Aquinas, consists in an "ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament, and in lovingly embracing Him as if we had actually received Him." 

St. John Vianney, once said “when we feel the love of God growing cold, let us instantly make a Spiritual Communion. When we cannot go to the church, let us turn towards the tabernacle; no wall can shut us out from the good God.” 

 Act of Spiritual Communion

"My Jesus, I believe that You are truly present in the Most Blessed Sacrament.   I love You above all things, and I desire to possess You within my soul.  Since I am unable now to receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.  I embrace You as if You were already there, and I unite myself wholly to You; never permit me to be separated from You.  Amen."  ~ St Alphonsus Liguori
St Bernadette, ora pro nobis!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Denying satan

First Sunday of Lent 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Fruit of fasting

Ultimately all fasting and abstinence
have a Eucharistic finality.

“He who comes to Me shall not hunger,
and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (Jn 6:35),
says the Lord. 

Fasting is doing what it is supposed to do
when it sends us hungering and thirsting
to the Word of God and to the Holy Mysteries of the Altar.

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby
Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory
in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland

Friday, February 15, 2013

Wise counsel


"If you are sinful, repent
so that you can Communicate often.
If you are imperfect, go often to Communion
that you may amend your faults."

St. Claude de la Colombiere
Jesuit priest ~ France ~ 1641-1682
Spiritual Dir of St Margaret Mary Alacoque
Motto:  "Trust in God"
Feast Day - Feb 15

"The happiness of the person whose will is entirely submitted to God's
is constant, unchangeable and endless. No fear comes to disturb it
for no accident can destroy it."~ St. Claude de la Colombiere

including BEAUTIFUL prayer.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. ~ I John 1:9

  St Claude, ora pro nobis!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Change of HEART

 "Therefore, it is well with me: truly I have but one Heart with Jesus 
and what wonder that there should be but
one heart with the multitude of believers." ~ St John Eudes
  "Pray that just as Jesus changes the lower
earthly nature of bread and wine
into His body and blood
He might change and transform also
the sluggish, coldness and dryness
of our earthly and arid heart ...
into the fire, tenderness and agility
of the holy divine affections and dispositions
of His divine and heavenly Heart."
Excerpt from St John Eudes ~
What We Must Do to Assist Worthily
at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ash Wednesday

  Lent is a sacred time to "free the longing that dwells in the heart
of every human being so that it can reach its true height."


“O how unspeakable is this Sacrament which sets the affections ablaze with the fire of charity and sprinkles our home’s lintel, on both doorposts [lips], with the immaculate Lamb’s blood! What wholesome provision for our dangerous journey we receive in this food!

What strengthening manna enriches the traveler! It invigorates the weak, brings back health to the sick; it increases virtue, makes grace abound, purges away vices, refreshes the soul, renews life in the languid, binds together all the faithful in the union of charity! This Sacrament of Faith also inspires hope and increases charity. It is the central pillar of the Church, the consolation of the dead, and the fulfillment of Christ’s Mystical Body.”     ~  St. Thomas Aquinas

Ash Wednesday in Iraq. DoD Photo (Spc Daniel Schneider)

*ASH WEDNESDAY is solemnly observed by the Church to mark the beginning of the forty days of penance in the Lenten season. The faithful who attends the Mass on this day will be marked on the forehead with a CROSS of ASHES as a sign of conversion, penance, fasting and human mortality.
The marking of the forehead with a cross made of ashes reminds each that (1) God made the first human being by breathing life into dust, and without God, human beings are nothing more than dust and ashes, (2) the phrases often used when the ashes are administered remind Christians of the doctrine of original sin and (3) the cross of ashes may symbolize the way Christ's sacrifice on the cross as atonement for sin replaces the Old Testament tradition of making burnt offerings to atone for sin.
As ashes are being administered, the priest utters one of the following phrases:
    "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel."
    "Remember (O man) that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return."
    "Repent, and hear the good news."

And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him;
and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:12
During Lent, we are called to prayer, fasting and almsgiving. They are the "three-fold cord" spoken of in Ecclesiastes 4:12. Satan will not prevail against us if we follow Christ's call to use this three-fold cord as a basis for our Christian walk.

Let us pray - one for the other - for perseverance and fidelity!
If possible, receive our Eucharistic Lord daily
through this Lenten Season. 
He is our Strengthing Manna for the journey. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Imitating a generous and holy example

"Do you leave space to hear God’s whisper, calling you forth into goodness?  Friends, do not be afraid of silence or stillness, listen to God, adore Him in the Eucharist.  Let His word shape your journey as an unfolding of holiness."

 ~ Pope Benedict XVI

"Pause for a moment and think of the long hours which St. John Vianney spent in the beginning of his pastoral life, alone in his church before the Blessed Sacrament; think of the outpourings of faith and love of this great soul at the feet of his Master, and of the marvelous fruits of sanctity which he and so many others received as a result of these ardent Eucharistic prayers. There is no doubt that a flood of graces would descend on your families and on your country if more and more souls, enlightened and supported by the example of their shepherds, would become docile pupils in the school of the holy Cure of Ars."  

 Pope Bl John XXIII


Consider offering a HOLY HOUR every day during LENT 
in thanksgiving for the generous and holy example
of dearest Pope Benedict XVI and in anticipation
of the generous and holy example of his successor.
Expect a flood of graces!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Above all: Eucharistic devotion

FEAST of Our Lady of Lourdes*
February 11
21st WORLD DAY of the SICK

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us,
and especially the sick and suffering.

 Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, France
“All the shrines of Mary,
scattered throughout the world,
have become above all
centers of devotion to the Eucharist,
as if the Mother of Jesus had appeared,
here or there,
in order to lead the faithful to the
adoration and love of her blessed Son.”
Pope Bl. John XXIII

*Lourdes, France, has become a place of pilgrimage and healing, but even more of faith.  It is a continuation of Jesus’ healing miracles. Many who visit Lourdes return home with renewed faith and a readiness to more generously serve God. There still may be people who doubt the apparitions of Lourdes. Perhaps the best that can be said are the words that introduce the film, Song of Bernadette:

“For those who believe in God, no explanation is necessary.
For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible.”

Click here: Catholic Fire: Our Lady of Lourdes,
incl summary of message of Lourdes and YouTube (2 mins)

Only known picture of St. Bernadette at the Grotto
(taken after the apparitions of 1858):