Sunday, June 30, 2013

Renewing strength and grace

 "At the blessing, we should think that Jesus Christ
is at that moment giving us His own blessing." ~ St Francis de Sales
sel 0011 Church of  St John of St Paul .JPG
Fr George Welzbacher ~ Final blessing after holy Mass, St John of St Paul Catholic Church (East side - St Paul , MN - USA)

"The Cross is where the Church finds her mission.  ... At the beginning of Mass, we make the Sign of the Cross as a way of showing our solidarity with the suffering of Christ, into Whose death we were baptized, taking up our crosses and following Him.  At the end of Mass, we reaffirm that solidarity and once more take up our crosses, with renewed strength and grace because of our devout participation in the Sacrifice of the Mass."
Jeffrey Pinyan
Excerpt: Praying the Mass, 2nd Ed (2010)

"The last blessing over the people represents the sending of the Holy Spirit, whom our Lord sent among the apostles after He had ascended into heaven, according to His promise, You shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you.  It also recalls the last blessing that will be given when Christ says, Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

Durandus, Bishop of Mende (France)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Friends of God

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."


Entrance Antiphon (Today’s Liturgy)
These are the ones who, living in the flesh, planted the Church with their blood; they drank the chalice of the Lord and became friends of God.
Prayer After Communion (Today’s Liturgy)

Grant us, O Lord, who have been renewed by this Sacrament, so to live in the Church, that, persevering in the breaking of the Bread and in the teaching of the Apostles, we may be one heart and one soul, made steadfast in your love. 
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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 Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003

 Sts Peter and Paul, pray for us!

ORDAINED to the Holy Priesthood of Jesus Christ TODAY
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Oh, day of Love Divine, all loves excelling! 
An Old German saying:
It is worth wearing out a pair of shoes to walk
to receive a priest's First Blessing!

Rev Mr David Esquiliano-Diaz ~ Diocese of Sioux City (Iowa)
Cathedral of the Epiphany ~ 10:30 AM Mass

Rev Mr Brian Buettner ~ Diocese of Oklahoma City (Oklahoma)
Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help ~ 10 AM Mass

Rev Mr Christopher Gray ~ Diocese of Salt Lake City (Utah)
  Cathedral of the Madeleine ~ 11 AM Mass

Rev Mr Joseph Gates ~ Diocese of Venice (Florida)
Rev Mr Zenon Kurzyna ~ Diocese of Venice
Rev Mr Eric Scanlan ~ Diocese of Venice
Epiphany Cathedral ~ 11 AM Mass

Rev Mr Dwayne Davis ~ Diocese of Brooklyn (New York)
Rev Mr Ray Flores ~ Diocese of Brooklyn
Rev Mr Stephen Giulietti ~ Diocese of Brooklyn
Rev Mr Paul Kim ~ Diocese of Brooklyn
Rev Mr Jun Hee Peter Lee ~ Diocese of Brooklyn
Rev Mr Michael Pierre Louis ~ Diocese of Brooklyn
Rev Mr Lucon Rigaud~ Diocese of Brooklyn
St James Cathedral ~ 11 AM Mass

Rev Mr Jason Doke ~ Diocese of Jefferson City (Missouri)
Cathedral of St Joseph ~ 11 AM Mass
Rev Mr Benjamin Huynh ~ Diocese of Kalamazoo (Michigan)
Rev Mr Thomas McNally ~ Diocese of Kalamazoo
Rev Mr Evelio Ramirez ~ Diocese of Kalamazoo
St Augustine Cathedral ~ 10 AM Mass

Rev Mr Dario Acevedo ~ Diocese of Worcester (Massachusetts)
Rev Mr John Hamm ~ Diocese of Worcester
Rev Mr Mark Rainville ~ Diocese of Worcester
Cathedral of St Paul ~ 10 AM Mass

Let us hold them in prayer and offer thanksgiving for their 'YES'!

"Your thumb and your forefinger have received the unction of the Holy Chrism. 
It is between the thumb and the forefinger very delicately
that you must take the wounded souls."  ~ Pere Lamy

Friday, June 28, 2013

Christ declared ... Christ established

St Martha Church, Nuremberg (c. 1390) 

"(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.”

St. Irenaeus
Nee Smyrna ~ 125-202 AD
Disciple of Polycarp (disciple of St John the Apostle)
Bishop of Lyons, Father of the Church
Theologian, prolific writer
Masterpiece - Adversus Haereses (Against Heresies)*
*(Detailed refute on teachings of Gnosticism)
Against Heresies is source of the quote above
FEAST DAY - June 28

"That in which we have faith is a firm system directed to the salvation of men; and, since it has been received by the Church, we guard it.……..In the Church, God has placed apostles, prophets, and doctors, and all the other means through which the Spirit works; in all of which none have any part who do not conform to the Church.  On the contrary, they defraud themselves of life by their wicked opinion and most wretched behavior. ~ St Irenaeus

St Irenaeus, pray for us!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Catechism 101

...grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. - John 1:17b

"Since Christ Himself said in reference to the bread: "This is My Body," who will dare remain hesitant? And since with equal clarity He asserted: "This is My Blood," who will dare entertain any doubt and say that this is not His Blood?...
You have been taught these truths. Imbued with the certainty of faith, you know that what seems to be bread is not bread but the Body of Christ, although it seems to be bread when tasted. You also know that what seems to be wine is not wine but the Blood of Christ although it does taste like wine."
- From a catechetical instruction given by Saint Cyril of Alexandria

St Cyril of Alexandria
Bishop, Doctor of the Church
Preeminent role at Council of Ephesus
This Council defined the inseparable unity
of the divine and human natures of Christ,
and thus the appropriateness of invoking the Blessed Virgin Mary
under the title of "Theotokos" or Mother of God.
FEAST DAY - June 27


Prayer in Honor of Mary, Mother of God (by St Cyril of Alexandria)

Hail, Mary, Mother of God, venerable treasure of the whole universe, lamp that is never extinguished, crown of virginity, support of the true faith, indestructible temple, dwelling of him whom no place can contain, O Mother and Virgin! Through you all the holy Gospels call blessed the one whom comes in the name of the Lord.

Hail, Mother of God. You enclosed under your heart the infinite God whom no space can contain. Through you the Most Holy Trinity is adored and glorified, the priceless cross is venerated throughout the universe. Through you the heavens rejoice, and the angels and archangels are filled with gladness. Through you the demons are banished, and the tempter fell from heaven. Through you the fallen human race is admitted to heaven.

Hail, Mother of God. Through you kings rule, and the only-begotten Son of God has become a star of light to those who were sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death.

St Cyril of Alexandria, pray for us!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

To become one...

I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may
be one as we are one:  I in them and you in me.  May they be
brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me
and have loved them even as you loved me. - John 17:22, 23

"... Jesus hides in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar because He wants us to dare to approach Him. He wants to nourish us so we become one single thing with Him.

When He said, Apart from me you can do nothing, He was not condemning Christians to ineffectiveness or obliging them to seek Him by a difficult and arduous route. On the contrary... He has stayed here with us, He is totally available to us."

St Josemaría Escrivá
Spain ~ 1902-1975
Priest, Founder of Opus Dei
 FEAST DAY - June 26
St Josemaria Escriva describes this experience
about himself as a young seminarian...
"Why am I becoming a priest? Our Lord wants something: what is it?  And in Latin — not very elegant Latin — … I kept repeating Domine, ut videam! Ut sit! Ut sit!  - The thing that you want, and that I don’t know — make it happen!”

St Josemaría Escrivá, pray for us!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Open wide the door...

 For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world
to be holy and blameless in His sight. ~ Ephesians 1:4
Artist:  William Holden Hunt
    "When He became man, Jesus bridged the gulf between heaven and earth, between the Father and us once and for all.  Henceforth He is with us in the sense that He belongs to us, is on our side.  'Emmanuel,' the God-who-has-come.

    Yet in the special manner of the mystery, the Lord spans that gulf anew every time His memorial is celebrated.  First, in the readings of the day, we receive word of Him.  Then the offerings are prepared and there is a pause.  Through the Consecration, He comes to us, the subject of an incomprehensibly dynamic memorial, and gives us His grace-abounding attention.  In Communion, He approaches each of us individually and says:  'Behold, I stand at the door and knock' (Rev 3:20). Insofar as the 'door' swings open in genuine faith and love, He enters and gives Himself to the believer for his own."

Romano Guardini
Preparing Yourself for the Mass (pg 176-7)

Monday, June 24, 2013

But where is the Lamb?

Solemnity of the Birth of St John the Baptist
June 24

A man was sent from God, whose name was John.  He came to testify
to the light, to prepare a people fit for the Lord.
(Today's Entrance Antiphon - Jn 1:6-7; Lk 1:17)

"Happy birthday of John the Baptist. His birth is the culmination of an age, an era, a Covenant. He is the last of the Old Testament Prophets. His birth signals an end and a beginning. The Book of Hebrews says By calling this covenant “new,” [God] has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear (Hebrews 8:13). Hence John would later say, “The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must increase; I must decrease. (Jn 3:29-30).  Today John the Baptist is born who will usher in the new by answering the most significant question ever posed:  "But where is the Lamb?'" 
~ Msgr Charles Pope
Pastor ~ Holy Comforter - St Cyprian ~ Washington, DC

St John the Baptist as child ~ Pierre Mignard (1600s)

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

Prayer after Communion (Today's Mass)

Having feasted at the banquet of the heavenly Lamb,
we pray, O Lord,
that, finding joy in the nativity of Saint John the Baptist,
your Church may know as the author of her rebirth
the Christ whose coming John foretold.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Fr Orr - St John Neumann Catholic Church - Knoxville, TN ~ USA   (Photo Credit - Roy Ehman)

“I want to show you a sun that shone more brightly than all these, a soul that was truly free and detached, cleaving only to the will of God. I have often wondered who is the most mortified of the saints I know, and after some reflection I have come to the conclusion that it was Saint John the Baptist. He went into the desert when he was five years old and knew that our Savior and his came on earth in a place quite close by, one or two days' journey perhaps. How his heart, touched with love of his Savior from the time he was in his Mother's womb, must have longed to enjoy his presence! Yet he spends twenty-five years in the desert without coming to see our Lord even once; and leaving the desert he stays to catechize without visiting him but waiting till our Lord comes to seek him out. Then when he has baptized him he does not follow him but stays behind to do his appointed task. How truly mortified was his spirit! To be so near his Savior and not see him, to have him so close and not enjoy his presence! Is this not a completely detached spirit, detached even from God himself so as to do his will and serve him, to leave God for God, and not to love God in order to love him better? The example of this great saint overwhelms me with its grandeur.”  ~  St Francis de Sales

St John the Baptist, pray for us!