Monday, March 31, 2014

Ardent love compels

 "I will go anywhere and do anything in order to communicate 
the love of Jesus to those who do not know Him 
or have forgotten Him."- St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

"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

Sunday, March 30, 2014


Fourth Sunday of Lent

The fourth Sunday of Lent is called " Lætare Sunday", taking its name from the opening words of the Mass, the Introit's "Lætare, Jerusalem"— "Rejoice, O Jerusalem".  In celebration, the priests wear rose-colored vestments.  The point is to provide us encouragement as we progress toward the end of the penitential season.  The day is a day of relaxation from normal Lenten rigors; a day of hope with Easter being at last within sight. Instrumental music is permitted, and the altar may be decorated with flowers.

Lætare Jerusalem: et conventum facite omnes qui diligitis eam: gaudete cum laetitia, qui in tristitia fuistis: ut exsultetis, et satiemini ab uberibus consolationis vestrae. (Psalm) Laetatus sum in his, quae dicta sunt mihi: in domum Domini ibimus. Gloria Patri.
Rejoice, O Jerusalem: and come together all you that love her: rejoice with joy, you that have been in sorrow: that you may exult, and be filled from the breasts of your consolation. (Psalm) I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: we shall go into the house of the Lord. Glory be to the Father.


  Prayer over the Offerings (Today's Liturgy)

 We place before You with joy these offerings,
which bring eternal remedy, O Lord,
praying that we may both faithfully revere them
and present them to You, as is fitting,
for the salvation of all the world.
Through Christ our Lord.


A bit more on Lætare Sunday:

Lætare Sunday is also called Mothering Sunday in Europe, which is similar to the celebration of Mother's Day in the United States. The name Mothering Sunday came about after the Epistle of the day from Galatians 4:26, which states, "But Jerusalem which is above, is free, which is the mother of us all." The Epistle calls Jerusalem the mother of us all and this Sunday all mothers, the Blessed Virgin Mary and especially “mother church” are honored. People frequently try to attend Mass at the nearest cathedral, their mother church. 

Tradition also holds that on Lætare Sunday, English children who lived away from home returned to visit the church in which they were baptized or raised. Children also visited their mothers, bringing flowers or a type of fruit cake. The occasion led to the old saying, "He who goes a-mothering finds violets in the lane."

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The visit

“Each day I will … visit the Blessed Sacrament,
especially where it is exposed.” – St Alphonsus Ligouri
"The Eucharistic visit for the apostle is like an audience, or a school, where the disciple engages in conversation with the Divine Master. Many methods are proposed for obtaining the maximum fruit from this practice. But especially suitable is the one which honors Jesus Master, Way, Truth and Life.

First of all, the visit is not a complex of prayers. It is precisely a 'visit,' something you'd make to a dear person, your mother, for example. There is an exchange of greetings, an exchange of news, of gifts, promises, etc. The visit has the scope of establishing our lives in Jesus Christ, that is, to live in Jesus, for Jesus, with Jesus."

Bl. James Alberione, SSP (1884-1971)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Rightly ordered love

 We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee, 
Because by Thy holy cross, Thou has redeemed the world.**
St Francis of Assisi

Father Frank Baumert, pastor at Holy Name Parish in Omaha, prepares March 22 to record the weekly Mass for Shut-Ins. Behind Father Baumert is the new crucifix for the Mass, which was purchased by the Serra Club of Omaha, sponsors of the Mass that can be seen Sundays at 10:30 a.m. on WOWT Channel 6 in Omaha. The Mass has been airing since 1964.
Fr Frank Baumert, Omaha, celebrates Mass and records weekly for Shut-Ins.

"Love for the Eucharist,
love for the cross,
love for souls
must be our ideal."
Bl. Pina Suriano

 **This prayerful refrain (above photo) is used during Stations of the Cross,  Click here: Stations of the Cross with Reflections written by Mother Angelica a pious devotion for many Christians on Fridays, especially during Lent. This is an opportunity to gain a plenary indulgence, so too is devoutly reciting Prayer Before a Crucifix before an image of Jesus Christ crucified on any Friday during Lent after receiving Holy Communion. (Source: Handbook of Indulgences)

Click here: Myths about Indulgences | Catholic Answers

Prayer Before a Crucifix
Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus,
while before Your face I humbly kneel and,
with burning soul,
pray and beseech You
to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments
of faith, hope and charity;
true contrition for my sins,
and a firm purpose of amendment.
While I contemplate,
with great love and tender pity,
Your five most precious wounds,
pondering over them within me
and calling to mind the words which David,
Your prophet, said of You, my Jesus:
"They have pierced My hands and My feet,
they have numbered all My bones."

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Love has no sunset

"Love is never finished."- Pope Benedict XVI

"The presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is proof that his love for us has no sunset. He is the Desired of the everlasting hills, and he puts into our hearts the desire to live close to him.
The stresses and hurts and partings of life often bear down on us, and we may tend to feel alone as when the sun has gone down. The words of St. Augustine can lift us "He neither rises nor sets because he abides always." So our lives do not have to go down into the shadows.
It was at evening time that the risen Lord restored the desolate spirits of two disciples by revealing his presence to them "in the breaking of the bread." They pleaded with him "Stay with us, for it is towards evening." (Lk 24,29). We too can plead with him, "Lord, be with us, both at sunrise and at sunset..."
In the Holy Eucharist the only Son of God, Jesus Christ, fulfills his promise to be with us always. What consolation, how could we be lonely? From all the sunsets to all the sunrises "He neither rises nor sets because he abides always." (St. Augustine)."

- from the writings of Msgr. John Moloney, P.P. Dublin, Ireland
Requiescat in pace
1916 -March 8, 2014
Ordained to the holy priesthood of Jesus Christ - July 1941
Close friend of Bl Pope John Paul II

“Every day has been a great day as a priest."
As quoted on the celebration of his
70th Anniversary of priesthood Ordination

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

For love of priests, and holy Mass...

 "We are born to love, we live to love, 
and we will die to love still more." - St. Joseph Cafasso


"March 26th is one of two days the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church honors a Pearl of Our Lady's Dowry. The Church chose this day, as it was the first available. In reality, she was put to death on quite a momentous day. Not only was it March 25th - the date that the Feast of the Annunication is normally celebrated, but in the year that she died, 1586, this date was also Good Friday. She followed in her dear Saviour's footsteps so closely that she died in a cruciform position, her hands and arms outstretched and bound to the floor on which she would be crushed. After having been secured in the cruciform position mentioned before, in imitation of Christ, the martyr was crushed to death by several hundred pounds of weights that were laid on top of her. She was not the only victim of the execution. She had been four months pregnant.

This "Pearl" is St. Margaret Clitherow. She died in defense of the Catholic faith. More specifically,
she died in defense of the priesthood, the Mass, and the Blessed Sacrament. 

St. Margaret opened her home to the most reviled class of people in Elizabethan England - Catholic priests. "This is a war and a trial in God's Church," she wrote of the persecution in her country. "Therefore, if I cannot do my duty without peril and dangers, yet by God's grace I will not be slacker for them. If God's priests dare venture themselves to my house, I will never refuse them."

One biographer wrote,
"The heart and center of [St. Margaret's] life was the Mass." One priest that she harbored, Father John Mush, wrote, "Her most delight was to kneel where she might continually behold the Blessed Sacrament."
St Margaret Clitherow
England ~ 1556-1586
Convert, Wife, Mother, Martyr
aka "Pearl of York"
FEAST DAY - March 26

"I die for the love of my Lord Jesu."- St Margaret Clitherow 
Moved by her saintly life, all her children entered the religious life. 
Anne became a nun. Henry and William both became priests.

St Margaret Clitherow, pray for us!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

That generous word...


  "The Virgin Mary utters that generous word, "be it done"
...Immediately the Heart of Jesus, ever to be adored,
has begun to pulsate with love, divine and human."
Pius XII, On Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 63

"The Wisdom of God creates poets. How evidently this is so can be seen by considering Mary of Nazareth. When she had given to the Lord of Hosts the Flesh that would become our Bread, Wisdom caused her to break into a poem of praise, a song repeated by more people than probably any other ever composed. The Presence within stirred her to exult and proclaim the One 'who has filled the hungry with good things'. And the praise owed to the Presence of embodied Wisdom among us has never ceased in the Church from that day until this."
James T. O'Connor
The Hidden Manna

Mystical Rose - Artist: Sr. Marie Pierre Semler, M.M. 

When the Divine Child was conceived, Mary’s humanity gave Him hands and feet, eyes and ears, and a body with which to suffer. Just as the petals of a rose after a dew close on the dew as if to absorb its energies, so too Mary as the Mystical Rose closed upon Him Whom the Old Testament had described as a dew descending upon the earth. When finally she did give Him birth, it was as if a great ciborium had opened, and she was holding in her fingers the Guest Who was also the Host of the world, as if to say, ‘Look, this is the Lamb of God; look, this is He Who takes away the sins of the world.’”

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
Life of Christ

More on the ANNUNCIATION, incl liturgical readings, history and family activities

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, 
that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Truth worth repeating! his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; 
I will sing and make music to the LORD. 
... Your face, LORD, will I seek - Psalm 27: 6b, 8b

“Dear brothers and sisters,
Now let us remember the 2 phrases: every encounter with Jesus changes our life and every encounter with Jesus fills us with joy. Should we say them together? Every encounter with Jesus changes our life; every encounter with Jesus fills us with joy. This is true.” 

Pope Francis
Excerpt: 03/23/14, Angelus 
St Peter’s Square, Roma

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Tasteless... or sweetness?

Third Sunday of Lent
The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water."  - John 4:15 

"Hence the loftier were the words of the Son of God, the more tasteless they were to the impure, as happened when he preached the sovereign and loving doctrine of the Holy Eucharist; for many turned away (Jn 6:60-61, 67).

Those who do not relish this language God speaks within them must not think on this account that others do not taste it; St Peter tasted it in his soul when he said to Christ:  Lord, where shall we go; You have the words of eternal life (Jn 6:68).  And the Samaritan woman forgot the water pot because of the sweetness of God's words (Jn 4:28)."
St John of the Cross (+1591)

Prayer After Communion (Today’s Liturgy)

As we receive the pledge of things yet hidden in heaven and are nourished while still on earth with the Bread that comes from on high, we humbly entreat you, O Lord, that what is being brought about in us in mystery may come about in true completion. Through Christ our Lord.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

One friend who dies not

 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble. - Psalm 46:1
Beams of light illuminating the sanctuary of St. Peters Basilica, taken on my trip through Rome. 
St Peter's Basilica ~ Roma

"Dearest Lord!  Make us remember, when the world is cold and dreary and we know not where to turn for comfort, that there is always one spot bright and cheerful - the Sanctuary. 

When we are in desolation of spirit; when all who are dear to us have passed away, like summer flowers, and none are left to love us and care for us, whisper to our troubled souls that there is one friend who dies not - one whose loves never changes - Jesus on the altar."  ~ Fr. Augustine

Quoted in Moments Divine Before the Blessed Sacrament,
Fr. Frederick A. Reuter, K.C.B.S.

Friday, March 21, 2014

The blessing of fellowship

 You will seek me and find me
when you seek me with all your heart. - Jeremiah 29:13
"The purpose of the Holy Hour is to encourage
deep personal encounter with Christ.
The holy and glorious God is constantly inviting us
to come to Him, to hold converse with Him,
to ask for such things as we need
and to experience what a blessing
there is in fellowship with Him."
Archbishop Fulton J Sheen 
Treasure in Clay: the Autobiography of Fulton J Sheen

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bringing our hearts to His

Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light. - Micah 7:8b

“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
Convert, 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!

Fifteen years ago today I joyfully reconciled with the Catholic Church and in so 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 +JMJ+

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Let us go to Joseph!

Grant, we pray, almighty God, that by Saint 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) 

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

"Saint Joseph believed unhesitatingly in the mystery of the Incarnation, in the fruitful virginity and in the divine maternity of Mary. He believed without seeing the miracles that were to fill Judea with his glory and renown of his holy name.
We too should recognize Jesus in the frail Host that is offered to us at the altar. Here He is even smaller than at Bethlehem, more hidden than in Saint Joseph's workshop. Still it is He, 'I believe all the Son of God has spoken, than Truth's own word there is no truer token.'"
  Bishop Pierre-Anastase Pichenot

“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  
 St. Joseph joined with Mary in adoration and united himself to Christ, Whose heart surged with sentiments of adoration, love and praise for the Father and of charity for men. St. Joseph’s adoration kept pace with every stage of our Lord’s life, drawing upon the grace, the spirit, and the virtue of each mystery. In the Incarnation he adored the self-annihilation of the Son of God; at Bethlehem, the poverty; at Nazareth, the silence, the apparent weakness, the obedience, and all the other virtues of Christ.…

Because his faith was so strong, Joseph’s mind and heart bowed in perfect adoration. Imitate his faith as you kneel before the humble Christ annihilated in the Eucharist. Pierce the veil which covers this furnace of love and adore the hidden God. ”
St. Peter Julian Eymard
"To other Saints our Lord has given power to help in one sort
of need , but this glorious saint, as I know by experience,
helps us in every need." - St Teresa of Avila
 St Joseph, pray for us!
"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

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Truth Himself speaks truly

“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 Jerusalem

Wedding at Cana in Galilee stained glass image

"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 Jerusalem for his successor John in the 4th century

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, pray for us!

Monday, March 17, 2014

I arise today...through Christ!

St. Patrick is said to have written this prayer to strengthen himself with God's protection as he prepared to confront and convert Loegaire, pagan high king of Ireland and his druid priests. Through the prayers and pleas of St Patrick, the power and might of God came upon this druid land and that day a broken king knelt before God.
This confrontation between Patrick's God and demonic forces marked the beginning of a thirty-year mission to Ireland. Danger and hardship remained Patrick's constant companions. Many sought his life. Twice he was imprisoned by his enemies--once for two full months. Intimidated? Not Patrick. "Daily I expect murder, fraud, or captivity," he wrote, "but I fear none of these things because of the promises of heaven. I have cast myself into the hands of God Almighty who rules everywhere."
St Patrick's Breastplate
I  arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the threeness,
Through the confession of the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation.
I  arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth with his baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,
Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,
Through the strength of his descent for the Judgment Day.
I  arise today
Through the strength of the love of Cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs,
In predictions of prophets,
In preaching of apostles,
In faith of confessors,
In innocence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.
I  arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.
I  arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me:
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's host to save me
From snares of demons,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.

Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me abundance of reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
I  arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness,
Of the Creator of Creation.  AMEN.

St Patrick
Nee, England - 381-461
Bishop, Patron of Ireland
FEAST DAY - March 17

St. Patrick “had no illusions about how difficult the task was that lay in front of him. He went to France to prepare for the priesthood so that he would be able to bring the greatest gift of all, the presence of the Lord in the sacraments, to his missionary land. In France, he prayed, fasted and readied himself for 20 years. Then, at the age of 43 . . . [he was] consecrated bishop so that he could found churches and ordain priests.”  - Fr. Roger J. Landry

 St Patrick, pray for us!