Sunday, March 31, 2013

Full of gladness! (EASTER SUNDAY)

"This is the night of which it is written:  The night shall be as bright as day, dazzling is the night for me, and full of gladness. The sanctifying power of this night dispels all wickedness, washes faults away, restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to the mourners, drives out hatred, fosters concord, and brings down the mighty." ~ From the Exultet, intoned during the Easter Vigil  (full text linked below)

The Resurrected Christ ~ Bartelome Murillo

  "Let the risen Jesus enter your life,
welcome Him as a friend, with trust:
He is life!"

 Pope Francis
Easter Vigil homily
St Peter's Basilica, Roma

Christ is risen to go before us:
our Brother to the Father,
our Priest to the Altar.
our Saviour to the world!

Christ is risen!
Christ is risen!
Christ is risen!


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Waiting made holy (HOLY SATURDAY)

Holy Saturday
Holy Saturday is sacred as the day of the Lord's rest;
it has been called the "Second Sabbath" after creation.
The day is and should be the most calm and quiet day
of the entire Church year, a day broken by no liturgical function
and is chiefly a day of solemn vigil for the Lord’s resurrection.
"The last day of Holy Week: a fruitful stillness before the breathtaking action of the night. Perhaps only the greatest Russian writers have succeeded in painting it as it is, a pause, a last moment of waiting, made holy by the Lord's rest in the tomb.
The Church is waiting at the tomb and weeps.  She sees where the Lord has been laid, where the woman had buried Adam, where man is buried where he had come to grief through her evil counsel. She sees it and weeps. She weeps at the Lord's tomb, as the Lord wept for Lazarus: for sin which killed the giver of all life. But her tears are soft, and she is at peace. . . .
The death of Adam has lost its terrors in the tomb of Christ. The death for obedience' sake has snuffed out sin. No longer does a massa damnata blunder on from sin to sin and death to death, but the body of the obedient Christ rests in hope. A foreboding of the happy chance of fault which merited such and so great a redeemer. It is a foreboding of the blessedness of suffering earning 'the name which is above all names', and the 'glory of God the Father', which makes the seers — men and the Church — at peace and full of hope."
~D. Aemiliana Löhr, The Great Week

“Today a great silence reigns on earth, a great silence and a great stillness. A great silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. . . He has gone to search for Adam, our first father, as for a lost sheep.”  (From ancient homily, Liturgy of the Hours, Holy Saturday)

Death by love (GOOD FRIDAY)

Good Friday
O crux, ave spes unica!
(Hail, O cross, our only hope!)

On the Cross, Jesus "loved me and gave Himself for me" (Gal 2:20).
Each of us can say, "He loved me and gave Himself for me."
Everyone can say that "for me"

~ Pope Francis, First Wednesday Audience, 27 March 2013
 Christ Crucified ~ Viktor Vasnetsov

"Nature is in mourning covered with darkness during the Holy Hour of the first Good Friday.  The chants of the heavenly Jerusalem are interrupted.  The entire court of Heaven waits in order to receive the last throb of the Heart of the Man-God, the victim of Golgotha.

    Fervant loving souls, we are truly at the summit of Calvary: it is the Holy Hour! 

A loud voice resounds in the heights, a voice that says: "Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit.'  And bending His lacerated Head, Jesus Crucified dies of love.  It is His Heart which out of love for us has brought Him to death.  All glory to His loving Heart which gave us life and which now is stilled in death!" ~ Fr. Mateo Crawley-Boevey

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

~ Blessed Charles de Foucauld

 “We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee -
because by Thy Holy Cross Thou has Redeemed the World.”
"Your love is my only martyrdom.
The more I feel it burning in me,
The more my soul desires you…
Jesus, make me die of love for you." 
~  St Thérèse of Lisieux

"For us, to us, with us" (HOLY THURSDAY)

The Paschal Triduum begins with the Evening Mass In Cena Domini on Holy Thursday, continues through the Friday of the Lord's Passion, reaches its summit in the Solemn Paschal Vigil, and comes to a close with Sunday Vespers of the Lord's Resurrection - a full three days - Thursday early evening through Sunday early evening.

Holy Thursday
Institution of the Sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Holy Orders
The Last Supper ~ Daniele Crespi

"Jesus enters Jerusalem to take the final step, in which His whole existence is summarized: He gives Himself totally, He keeps nothing for Himself, not even His life.

At the Last Supper, with His friends, He shares the bread and distributes the chalice "for us." The Son of God is offered to us, He consigns His Body and His Blood into our hands to be with us always, to dwell among us."

Pope Francis
First Wednesday Audience
27 March 2013, Roma

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

"O, how great is the priest!...
If he realized what he is, he would die."

St John Vianney


Pray, pray, pray for our priests!
They rely on our prayers!

As Father John Hardon, S.J., once said, “praying and offering God sacrifices for the priesthood are indispensably important,” because “there is no Catholic Church without the priesthood.”

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Grant me five graces...

"If you can not soar up as high as Christ sitting on His throne,
behold Him hanging on His cross. Rest in Christ's Passion
and live willingly in His holy wounds." ~ Thomas à Kempis, Imitation of Christ

Angels Bearing Instruments of the Passion (detail from altarpiece)
Rogier van der Weyden (+1464)

"Oh, my God, through the precious Blood of Jesus
and His five wounds,
grant me today five graces:  the conversion of a sinner,
the conversion of an unbeliever, the salvation of someone
dying in peril of everlasting death; a vocation to the priesthood
or to the religious life; and, for some new soul, the grace
of entering into and savoring the mystery of the Eucharist."

Prayer of Elisabeth Leseur (+1914)


 Let us especially be mindful of and in prayer for the hundreds of
Catechumens and Candidates who will fully enter the
Catholic Church and her sacramental life during the Easter Vigil.
John 10:10

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The humility of Jesus

 I offered my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;
I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. ~ Isaiah 50:6

The Flagellation of Christ ~ Guercino

"The humility of Jesus can be seen in the crib, in the exile to Egypt, in the hidden life, in the inability to make people understand Him, in the desertion of His apostles, in the hatred of His persecutors, in all the terrible suffering and death of His Passion, and now in His permanent state of humility in the tabernacle, where He has reduced Himself to such a small particle of bread that the priest can hold Him with two fingers. The more we empty ourselves, the more room we give God to fill us."

Bl Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Monday, March 25, 2013

Come to the altar, surrender

Niccolo Frangipane ~ Ecce Homo (Behold the man), 1574
"Holy Week is the time of our great Passover:
the passage from darkness to light, from sadness to joy, from time
to eternity, from death to life.  And so we are drawn to the Cross
and the Cross is offered to us, in this and in every Eucharist.
The Eucharist is the place and the means and the price of our Passover
for the Eucharist is the Church held in the embrace of the Cross.
If you are weary, come to the altar, surrender to the embrace of the Cross. If you are fearful and isolated, come to the altar, surrender to the embrace of the Cross. If you are bitter, or bruised, or fragmented, come to the altar, surrender to the embrace of the Cross. If you hunger and thirst for holiness, come to the altar, surrender to the embrace of the Cross. If you would ascend with Christ to the Father, if you would make of your life a fragrant offering, come to the altar, surrender to the embrace of the Cross. If you would leave behind the darkness of the cold tomb, if you would know the joy of resurrection, come to the altar, surrender to the embrace of the Cross.

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

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby
Prior Silverstream Priory, Ireland 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Palm Sunday

 Holy Week, the most solemn and intense period of worship in the Christian faith, begins with Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion (the full name), the Sunday before Easter. In spite of the spiritual gravity of Holy Week, it begins with joy.  The Church celebrates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the Church begins her commemorative pilgrimage with her Lord on His way to Calvary.

"(Jesus) comes to all cultures and to all parts of the world, everywhere, to the miserable huts and poor peoples, as well as to the splendor of cathedrals.  Everywhere, He is the same, the Only One, and in this way, all those gathered in prayer, in communion with Him, are also united among themselves in one body....

The people cried out before Jesus, in whom they saw He who comes in the name of the Lord.  In fact, the expression: 'He who comes in the name of the Lord,' had become the way to designate the Messiah.  In Jesus they recognize Him who truly  comes in the name of the Lord and brings God's presence among them.  This cry of hope of Israel, this acclamation to Jesus during His entry into Jerusalem, has with reason become in the Church the acclamation of Him, in the Eucharist, who always comes among us in the name of the Lord, uniting the ends of the earth in the peace of God. ...Christ reigns by becoming our bread and giving Himself to us.  This is the way in which He builds His kingdom."

Pope Benedict XVI, Palm Sunday Mass
2006 homily, 21st World Youth Day

Saturday, March 23, 2013

To be content always...

Holy Redeemer Adoration Chapel ~ Madison, WI - USA
"The only One necessary to have
to be content always
is to have our Lord."
 St Turibius de Mogovejo
Nee Spain ~ 1538 - 1606
Layman to ordained Archbishop of Lima! (see YouTube below)
Patron: Peru, Latin Am. Bishops, Native Rights
Feast Day - March 23
When Turibius undertook the reform of the clergy as well as unjust officials, he naturally suffered opposition. Some tried, in human fashion, to explain God's law in such a way as to sanction their accustomed way of life.  He answered them in the words of Tertullian, "Christ said, 'I am the truth'; he did not say, 'I am the custom.'"
St Turibius, ora pro nobis!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Bearing Christ - fully!


 "Bear Christ in heart, mind, and will.
Bear Him in your mind by His teaching.
Bear Him in your will by your observance of the Law.
Bear Him in your heart by the Holy Eucharist."

Pope Pius XII

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The clinic is OPEN !

Dom Pius Parsch in The Church's Year of Grace invites us to look courageously into the Lord's Face and say: "Thou art my Physician. Cut away, cauterize, work Thy healing art on me . . . only make me well for everlasting life." He presents the Church as a sanatorium for sin-sick souls.
"Before leaving the world our Saviour established a clinic, the Church, whose main task was to heal sick souls. The Church is a great spiritual sanatorium. All the practices and ordinances of the Church have as their ultimate purpose to heal men and keep them healthy. Think of the sacraments: baptism, penance, extreme unction. Think in particular of the medicinal power of the Holy Eucharist. Yes, the twofold purpose of the Eucharist is to nourish and to heal. Nourishment to build divine life, medicine to overcome the diseases ravaging the soul.

To our great detriment we have practically forgotten the latter significance of the Eucharist. We keep believing that Communion is only for saints, a reward for virtue. The time of Mass is the heavenly Physician's normal office hours. . .

We have a Healer who wishes to heal our infirmities; we have a clinic providing all the means needed to restore our health; we have a medicine which infallibly produces its effect if we use it as prescribed."

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Bringing our hearts to His

The Perfect Sacrifice ~ Tommy Canning

“Our lives must be woven around the Eucharist...
fix your eyes on Him Who is the light;
bring your hearts close to His Divine Heart;
ask Him to grant you the grace of knowing Him,
the love of loving Him, the courage to serve Him.
Seek Him fervently.”

Bl Mother Teresa of Calcutta
(Quote chosen to honor St Photina)

St Photina
Samaritan Woman at the Well
Evangelizer of the Faith, Martyr
Name meaning: “resplendent” or “shining with light”
Historical FEAST DAY - March 20


By the well of Jacob, O holy one, /
thou didst find the Water /
of eternal and blessed life; /
and having partaken /
thereof, O wise Photina, /
thou wentest forth proclaiming Christ, the Anointed One.
(Megalynarion for St. Photina, according to the Byzantine usage)

 St Photina, pray for us - that we may have zeal for the faith!

Fourteen years ago today I joyfully reconciled with the Catholic Church and inso doing enabled to fully partake of the Holy Eucharist, the Sacrament of Charity and Unity. Let us join in the holy endeavor of praying and living lives that speak of the power and love of our Eucharistic Lord - to come to know, love and serve him more and more - and to draw many to the inexhaustible riches of His Sacred Heart. “I will not rest until I find the whole world devoted to the Blessed Sacrament!” Bl. Didacus Joseph of Cadiz.  Amen. ~ Janette

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Let us go to Joseph!

Grant, we pray, almighty God, that by St Joseph's intercession
your Church may constantly watch over the unfolding of the mysteries
of human salvation, whose beginnings you entrusted to his faithful care.
 (Collect ~ today's Liturgy) 

Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Protector of the Divine Infant and Mary
Patron of the Universal Church
March 19

"Words cannot express the perfection of his adoration. If Saint John leaped in the womb at the approach of Mary, what feelings must have coursed through Joseph during those six months when he had at his side and under his very eyes the hidden God! If the father of Origen used to kiss his child during the night and adore the Holy Spirit living within Him, can we doubt that Joseph must often have adored Jesus hidden in the pure tabernacle of Mary?
How fervent that adoration must have been: My Lord and my God, behold your servant! No one can describe the adoration of this noble soul. He saw nothing, yet he believed; his faith had to pierce the virginal veil of Mary.

So likewise with you! Under the veil of the Sacred Species your faith must see our Lord. Ask St. Joseph for his Lively, constant faith." ~ St. Peter Julian Eymard


“He [St. Joseph] nourished with the greatest solicitude
Him whom the faithful were one day to receive
as the Bread of Life on their homeward journey.”   ~ Pope Pius IX

"We have close to us as much as Joseph had at Nazareth; we have our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, but our poor eyes fail to see Him. Let us once become interior souls and we shall immediately see. In no better way can we enter into the Heart of our Lord than through Saint Joseph. Jesus and Mary are eager to pay the debts which they owe him for his devoted care of them, and their greatest pleasure is to fulfill his least desire. Let him, then, lead you by hand into the interior sanctuary of Jesus Eucharistic." ~ St. Peter Julian Eymard

"St Joseph, your life and office were of a priestly function and are especially connected with the Blessed Sacrament.  To some extent you were the means of bringing the Redeemer to us -- as it is the priest's function to bring Him to us in the Mass -- for you reared Jesus, supported, nourished, protected and sheltered Him. 

You were prefigured by the patriarch Joseph, who kept supplies of wheat for his people.  But how much greater than he were you!  Joseph of old gave the Egyptians mere bread for their bodies.  You nourished, and with the most tender care, preserved for the Church Him who is the Bread of Heaven and who gives eternal life in Holy Communion."  From Fifth Day of Novena to St Joseph;


"When Egypt was laid waste by the great famine, Pharaoh told his people,
Ite ad Joseph! - Go to Joseph! (Genesis 41:55)
So if we are in trouble, let us listen to the word of the Lord
and take Pharaoh's advice; let us go to Joseph if we wish to be consoled." 
 ~ St Alphonsus de Ligouri


St Joseph, ora pro nobis!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Bring JOY to the face of your soul!

   Excerpt: The Bread of Heaven and the Cup of Salvation,
St Cyril of Jerusalem, Early Church Father

"Do not, then, regard the Eucharistic elements as ordinary bread and wine:  they are in fact that Body and Blood of the Lord, as He Himself has declared.  Whatever your senses may tell you, be strong in faith.

You have been taught and you are firmly convinced that what looks and tastes like bread and wine is not bread and wine but the Body and Blood of Christ.  You know also how David referred to this long ago, when he sang:  Bread gives strength to man's heart and makes his face shine with the oil of gladness. 

Strengthen your heart, then, by receiving this bread as spiritual bread, and bring joy to the face of your soul.

May purity of conscience remove the veil from the face of your soul so that by contemplating the glory of the Lord, as in a mirror, you may transformed from glory to glory in Christ Jesus our Lord.  To Him be glory for ever and ever.  Amen."
St Cyril of Jerusalem
Bishop of Jerusalem
Doctor of the Church
FEAST DAY - March 18
St Cyril admonished catechumens surrounded by heresy:
 "Make your fold with the sheep;
flee from the wolves:
depart not from the Church."
St Cyril of Jerusalem, ora pro nobis!