Thursday, April 30, 2015

Liturgy: above all, adoration

Praise be to the LORD... the LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.  My heart leaps for joy,
and I will give thanks to him in song. - Psalm 28:7

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"The liturgy is, above all, adoration. 
The Church is the work of God, God's action; 
it is recognition of what God does for men.
And the adoration that the liturgy expresses, especially the Eucharist, 
is the acknowledgment of God, 
that everything comes from Him,
that everything that belongs to us must find Him."

Cardinal Antonio Cañizares

Pope Pius V tirelessly worked to promote the true faith
and Divine Worship.  He standardized the Holy Mass
by promulgating the 1570 edition of the Roman Missal, 
revised the Breviary and published a Catechism.
He also named St Thomas Aquinas a Doctor of the Church.

Pope St. Pius V
Italy  ~ 1504-1572
Dominican*, Church Reformer
"Pope of the Rosary"
*His decision to keep wearing his Dominican habit
led to the custom of the pope wearing a white cassock.
Feast Day - April 30


"All the evils in the world are due to
lukewarm Catholics." ~ St Pius V

St Pius V, pray for us!
More on St Pius V:

Probably the act for which Pius V will be longest remembered is his exemplary and unparalleled leadership at the time of the Battle of Lepanto.

In 1565, the Knights of Saint John defended Malta against a tremendous attack by the Turkish fleet and lost nearly every fighting man in the fortress. It was Pope Pius V who sent encouragement and money with which to rebuild their battered city. The pope called for a crusade among the Christian nations and appointed a leader who would be acceptable to all. He ordered the Forty Hours Devotion to be held in Rome, and he encouraged all to say the Rosary.

When the Christian fleet sailed out to meet the enemy, every man on board had received the sacraments, and all were praying the Rosary. The fleet was small, and numerically it was no match for the Turkish fleet, which so far had never met defeat. They met in the Bay of Lepanto on Sunday morning, October 7, 1565. After a day of bitter fighting, and, on the part of the Christians, miraculous help, the Turkish fleet - what was left of it - fled in disgrace, broken and defeated, its power crushed forever.

Before the victorious fleet returned to Rome, Pope Pius V had knowledge of the victory through miraculous means. He proclaimed a period of thanksgiving, placed the invocation, "Mary, Help of Christians" in the Litany of Loreto and established the feast of Our Lady of Victory (later changed to Our Lady of the Rosary) in commemoration of the victory.

ALSO worth noting ...

St Pius V inserted the Adoro Te Devote among the prayers of preparation and thanksgiving for the Mass into the Missal reformed by him in 1570.  (Prior to that, the text had remained unknown for two centuries since St Thomas Aquinas penned it.) From that date, the hymn was used in the universal Church as one of  the most loved Eucharistic prayers of the clergy and the Christian people.  Spend some time today meditating on its beauty and truth and express your gratitude for its preservation.  ***(This hymn is the inspiration of the TITLE of this blog - see verse two).

Words: St Thomas Aquinas, Translation: Gerard Manley Hopkins S.J.

Adoro te devote, latens Deitas,
Quæ sub his figuris vere latitas;
Tibi se cor meum totum subjicit,
Quia te contemplans totum deficit.

Visus, tactus, gustus in te fallitur,
Sed auditu solo tuto creditur.
Credo quidquid dixit Dei Filius;
Nil hoc verbo veritátis verius.

In cruce latebat sola Deitas,
At hic latet simul et Humanitas,
Ambo tamen credens atque confitens,
Peto quod petivit latro pœnitens.

Plagas, sicut Thomas, non intueor:
Deum tamen meum te confiteor.
Fac me tibi semper magis credere,
In te spem habere, te diligere. 

O memoriale mortis Domini!
Panis vivus, vitam præstans homini!
Præsta meæ menti de te vívere,
Et te illi semper dulce sapere.

Pie Pelicane, Jesu Domine,
Me immundum munda tuo sanguine:
Cujus una stilla salvum facere
Totum mundum quit ab omni scelere.

Jesu, quem velatum nunc aspicio,
Oro, fiat illud quod tam sitio:
Ut te revelata cernens facie,
Visu sim beátus tuæ gloriæ.

 Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore,
Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at Thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.

Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived:
How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
What God's Son has told me, take for truth I do;
Truth Himself speaks truly or there's nothing true.

On the cross Thy godhead made no sign to men,
Here Thy very manhood steals from human ken:
 Both are my confession, both are my belief,
And I pray the prayer of the dying thief.

I am not like Thomas, wounds I cannot see,
But can plainly call thee Lord and God as he;
Let me to a deeper faith daily nearer move,
Daily make me harder hope and dearer love.

O thou our reminder of Christ crucified,
Living Bread, the life of us for whom he died,
Lend this life to me then: feed and feast my mind,
There be thou the sweetness man was meant to find.

Bring the tender tale true of the Pelican;
Bathe me, Jesu Lord, in what Thy bosom ran
Blood whereof a single drop has power to win
All the world forgiveness of its world of sin.

Jesu, whom I look at shrouded here below,
I beseech thee send me what I thirst for so,
Some day to gaze on thee face to face in light
And be blest for ever with Thy glory's sight. Amen.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Each drop, precious!

  "Love does not stay idle."
- St Catherine of Siena, Letter T82
Precious Blood,
Ocean of Divine Mercy:
Flow upon us! 

Precious Blood,
Most pure Offering:
Procure us every Grace! 

Precious Blood,
Hope and Refuge of sinners:
Atone for us! 

Precious Blood,
Delight of holy souls:
Draw us! Amen.

Prayer of
St Catherine of Siena
Italy  ~ 1347 -1380
Doctor of the Church
Reformer, mystic, writer
Third Order Dominican
FEAST DAY - April 29
“Be who God meant you to be and
you will set the world on fire.”  ~ St. Catherine of Siena

St Catherine of Siena, pray for us!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

This is the way - walk in it!

“When we work hard, we must eat well.
What a joy, that you can receive Holy Communion often!
It’s our life and support in this life.  Receive Communion often,
and Jesus will change you into Himself.” - St Peter Julian Eymard

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Eucharistic thoughts from three
'family members' on their FEAST DAY today...

St Louis de Montfort used to remain after Holy Mass for thanksgiving
at least a half hour, and he would not permit any need or assignment
to serve as a reason for omitting it.  He said, 
 "I would not give up this hour of thanksgiving
even for an hour of Paradise." 

St Louis de Montfort
France ~ 1673-1716
Priest, Marian devotee
Author: Secret of Mary, True Devotion to Mary
Founder ~ Sisters of Divine Wisdom
FEAST DAY - April 28


'She (Mother Mary) is an echo of God, speaking and repeating only God.
If you say "Mary" she says 'God'." ~ St Louis de Montfort

St Louis de Montfort, pray for us!   

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"Our body is a cenacle,
a monstrance:
through its crystal the world should see God."

St Gianna Beretta Molla
Wife, Mother, Doctor, Martyr
Italy (1922-1962)
FEAST DAY - April 28


“The life of Mamma was an act and a perennial action of faith and charity; it was a non-stop search for the will of God for every decision and for every work, with prayer and meditation, Holy Mass and the Eucharist,” explained St. Gianna’s husband to their children after her death.

St Gianna, pray for us!

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 When called upon to justify his conversion,
one of Chanel's catechumens had said of him,
"He loves us. He does what he teaches.
He forgives his enemies. His teaching is good."

St Peter Chanel
Nee France ~ 1803-1841
Priest, Missionary, Protomartyr of Oceania
  Within two years after his death,
the whole island became Catholic and has remained so.
FEAST DAY - April 28

"No one is a martyr for a conclusion, no one is a martyr for an opinion;
it is faith that makes martyrs."  Bl John Cardinal Newman

St Peter Chanel, pray for us!

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Satanism and the Eucharist

These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, 
because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him 
are the called and chosen and faithful. – Rev 17:14

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Satanism & the Eucharist
Andrew Trapp, Catholic seminarian  4/24/2004 (Now serving as a priest)
During my parish work last summer in France, one of my responsibilities was participating in a weekly prayer group for young adults who had fallen away from the Church. The last meeting of the summer, one of the guys made a surprising revelation to us all: before his conversion, he had been a full-fledged Satanist. This reflection is the true story of that conversion and what I learned from it.

"One of the most chilling moments in The Passion was during the Lord’s scourging, when Satan appears cradling a baby who slowly turns to reveal a hideous face. Here Satan is mocking Jesus and Mary by presenting himself as a twisted sort of “anti” Madonna and Child, as if to proclaim that he and his offspring have won, and not the woman and her offspring as foretold in Genesis 3:15. This is how the Evil One loves to work—Satan loves to mock God by imitating the holy and twisting it in a sick way. This past summer I was struck with this truth in a totally new way.

Nicolas had been a part of the prayer group all year long, but this was the first time that he had talked about his life before his conversion. He told us about how he became involved in Satanism while in his late teens. It enslaved him, bringing despair and utter loneliness to his life, to the point where he was tormented with thoughts of suicide. He felt trapped and helpless in its grasp. It was only through the constant prayers of his mother that he was finally freed from this slavery a couple of years ago, and he began to give his life back to Christ.

I had never met anyone like Nicolas, openly admitting a past involvement in Satanism. After the initial shock, I bombarded him with three questions, one after another. First, how did they ‘worship’ Satan? I had always heard that it was not anything like worshipping an image of Satan or singing hymns, but by having a so-called “Black Mass.” In other words, their entire service is a mockery of the Catholic Mass. Was this true, I asked him? Not a Protestant preaching service, not a Buddhist temple ritual, but an explicit mockery of our Mass? “Yes,” Nicolas told us, “that is true.”

I had also heard, I continued, that Satanists steal consecrated communion bread from their local Catholic churches which they desecrate at these black services. For example, I have heard of Catholic parishes where this is such a problem that the pastor is forced to post special attendants during Holy Communion who watch to make sure that no one receives the Eucharist and walks away without consuming the host. The Satanists take these consecrated hosts to their services—these wafers of “bread” that Catholics believe have been miraculously transformed by the Holy Spirit into the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ—and desecrate them with spit, bodily waste, and other such unimaginable blasphemies. Before your conversion, I asked Nicolas, did you and your fellow Satanists steal consecrated hosts for this purpose? “Yes,” Nicolas answered, “we did.”

The poor guy probably felt like he was being interrogated by the CIA by this point, but knowing that I might never have this opportunity again, I asked Nicolas one final question. I told him that I had also heard that those who were very deep in Satanism could actually tell whether a communion host had been consecrated or not. For example, they will not steal communion bread from Protestant communion meals, nor will they steal unblessed communion bread for desecration at these “Black Masses.” It would not work because some of the Satanists would immediately recognize that it was just ordinary bread. They would be able to tell that Jesus Christ was not sacramentally present there.

I asked Nicolas whether this also was true. He again replied that it is, and he told us that he could do this himself before his conversion from Satanism. A chill went down my spine. If someone were to put ten identical communion hosts in front of him, nine unconsecrated and one consecrated, he would have been able to point directly and immediately to the host that had been consecrated. I asked him in amazement, “But how were you able to know?!?” He looked at me and the words he spoke are forever burned in my memory: “Because of the hate,” he said. “Because of the burning hate I would feel toward that host, apart from all the others.”

His words hit me like a baseball bat. Some of the saints also had this mystical knowledge of the Lord’s Eucharistic presence, but this knowledge flowed from their deep union with Christ. Nicolas, on the other hand, knew Christ’s presence because his worship of Satan had worked the opposite mystical connection to the Eucharist
he knew Jesus was there not because of his love for Jesus, but because of his deep hate. It makes my skin crawl just to think about such hatred.

This is how Satan operates. He loves to mock whatever is holy and sacred, to imitate the truth and twist it in a perverse way. The Mass is the most sacred prayer on earth, the most awesome way for us Christians to offer worship to our Lord, so Satan has his followers worship him through a mockery of that prayer. Instead of lifting the Eucharist high with adoration and loving reverence, the Eucharist is thrown to the ground with loathing and derision. Rather than knowing Christ’s true presence in the sacrament through their love, they perversely recognize Christ’s presence through their hatred.

Let’s not pretend otherwise—it is scary to hear a story like Nicolas’. It is terrifying to realize that such evil exists in this world. But more than frighten us, his testimony should give us hope, comfort, and strength. Satan does exist and he is powerful, but Jesus Christ is infinitely more powerful. Even the most wicked sinner can be brought back to the love of the Lord, through Christ’s grace and through the prayers of believers (like Nicolas’ mother!)
If Satan so despises the Mass, then we should be moved to even greater devotion, preparation, and participation in Mass. If Satan so despises the Lord’s true presence in the Eucharist, then our hearts should burn with even greater love and thirst for worthily receiving Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

Lord, I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof,
but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Good Shepherd: nourishes, guards, guides


“For He hears the lamb’s innocent call,
And He hears the ewe’s tender reply.
He is watchful while they are in peace.
For they know when their Shepherd is nigh.”
- William Blake

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Good Shepherd (Detail) ~ Champaigne

"We adore You, Jesus,
eternal Shepherd of the human race. 
You are present in the Eucharist
to dwell continually
in the midst of Your people. 
You nourish us,
You guard us,
You guide us to the heavenly fold."

Ven. James Alberione
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52nd WORLD DAY of
Theme: "Exodus, a fundamental experience of vocation."

Pope Francis' Message for 52nd World Day of Prayer for the Vocations:

TODAY (Roma)
Let us hold them in prayer
and offer thanksgiving for their 'YES' -
that they may nourish, guard and guide us!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Really live!

"Live on Him
that you may live for Him."
St John Vianney
THE LAST SUPPER by Pascal-Adolphe-Jean Dagnan-Bouveret (oil on canvas)
And as they were eating, He took bread,
and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them, and said,
"Take; this is My Body."
And He took a chalice, and when He had given thanks
He gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 
And He said to them,
"This is My Blood of the covenant,
which is poured out for many."
Gospel of Mark 14:22-24
St Mark
Evangelist, Martyr (+68 AD)
Disciple of St Peter, Cousin of Barnabus
Symbol:  lion, often winged*
*The Gospel of St Mark begins with St John the Baptist,
"the voice of one crying in the wilderness,"
a voice that St Jerome compared to the roar of a lion.
FEAST DAY - April 25
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 Go out into the whole world and 
proclaim the Gospel to every creature.  ~ Mark 16:15
St Mark, pray for us!
Prayer over the Offerings (Today's Liturgy)
As we venerate the glory of Saint Mark,
we offer you, Lord, the sacrifice of praise
and humbly beseech you,
that your Church may always persevere
in the preaching of the Gospel.
Through Christ our Lord.
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Friday, April 24, 2015

Hoping all things!

"May your heart be an altar, from which the bright flame
of unending thanksgiving ascends to heaven." ~ St Mary Euphrasia

“Draw near to our Lord,
thoroughly aware of your own nothingness,
and you may hope all things
from His Goodness and Mercy.
Never forget
that Jesus Christ is no less generous
in the Blessed Sacrament
than He was during His mortal life on earth.

St Mary Euphrasia Pelletier
France ~ 1796-1868
Foundress ~ Sisters of the Good Shepherd
Motto: "One person is of more value than a world." 
FEAST DAY - April 24

"Go after the lost sheep without other rest than the cross,
other consolation than work,
other thirst than for justice." ~ St Mary Euphrasia
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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Life, heart-whole

Jesus said to him:  Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, 
and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.  - Matt 22:37

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"There is something to be done on our side.  The wheat must be ground into bread, the wine must be pressed out of the grape, before we can give our Lord the opportunity to work His miracle of Transubstantiation.  

The offertory first, man stretching out his hands to God; 
then the consecration, God accepting and transforming man's gift. 

We must come to meet Him, come to meet Him early in the morning, when sleep has smoothed away for us the memories of yesterday, and no cares have yet assailed us to disturb the equilibrium of our lives.  We must hand over the direction of our lives to Him, if we are to know what it means to live an ordered life, heart-whole and mind-whole in a world like ours.  

Then we can go to Communion."

From The Window in the Wall, Reflections on the Holy Eucharist
by Ronald Knox (Sheed & Ward: 1956) - pg 51-52.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Who needs the Mass?

"There is nothing so great as the Eucharist. If God had something 
more precious, He would have given it to us." - St John Vianney

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“Ultimately, those love the Mass who recognize their need of the Mass. … Who needs the Mass?

Those need the Mass who know how to love.  These are the people who have a big heart, because they have rid themselves of the shackles of self-interest, have lost the fear of suffering for others, and have taken upon themselves the pain of others, sharing their burdens.

Those need the Mass who are painfully aware that they do not know how to love. This category includes those who are distressed by their coldness, their self-centeredness, their repugnance toward having to deal with other people’s problems. Those who desperately want a heart of flesh and recognize all too well that they are never going to get one on their own.”

Fr Edward Maristany
Loving the Mass

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