Saturday, October 31, 2015

More and more...

Q. 150.  Why did God make you?
A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world,
and to be happy with Him forever in the next. - Baltimore Catechism

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Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All 
Fredrick W. Faber (1814-1863)

Tune: Sweet Sacrament

Jesus, my Lord, my God, my All,
How can I love Thee as I ought?
And how revere this wondrous gift,
So far surpassing hope or thought?

Sweet Sacrament, we Thee adore!
O make us love Thee more and more!
O make us love Thee more and more.

Had I but Mary's sinless heart,
To love Thee with, my dearest King
O! with what bursts of fervent praise,
Thy goodness, Jesus would I sing!

Sweet Sacrament, we Thee adore!
O make us love Thee more and more!
O make us love Thee more and more!
O make us love Thee more and more! 

Image: Medjugorje monstrance

Friday, October 30, 2015

Liberty's secret...

Freely you have received, freely give. - Matt 10:8


The secret lies in a total offering of self, withholding nothing.  Jesus was a total oblation on the Cross.  There wasn't a cell of His body or sentiment of His heart that He didn't offer to the Father.  Anything we withhold for ourselves is lost, because we only possess what we give. 

St Francis of Assisi who, because of the elevated fervor of his devotion to the Eucharist can be considered a special guide on the topic, ends his wonderful discourse on the Eucharist with this exhortation:  "Look at God's humility, my brothers, and pour out your hearts before Him.  Humble yourselves, so that He who has given Himself wholly to you may receive you wholly."

In the Imitation of Christ, Jesus says:  "Look, I offered Myself wholly to the Father for you; I also gave My whole body and blood for food, that I might be wholly yours, and you should remain mine.  But if you stand upon yourself and do not offer yourself freely to My will, the offering is not fully made, nor will union between us be complete."

What we hold back for ourselves to keep a margin of freedom from God pollutes all the rest.  It is the little silk thread St John of the Cross speaks of, which prevents the bird from flying.

Fr Raniero Cantalamessa
The Eucharist, Our Sanctification

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The best prayer...

"The best prayer is the one in which there is the most love." 
- Bl Charles de Foucauld
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 Prayer of Abandonment Bl Charles de Foucauld

I abandon myself into your hands; 
do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me, 
and in all your creatures.
I wish no more than this, O Lord. 

Into your hands I commend my soul;
I offer it to you
with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord,
and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands,
without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father. 

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Excerpt from the writings of Fr Rene Voillaumeon on the Blessed Sacrament and Charles de Foucauld:
"You will always be right in imitating the attitude of soul—which is so simple, so logical, so full of love—of Frere Charles of Jesus towards the Blessed Sacrament. Our devotion to the Eucharist must be profound, honest, totally embraced as essential. When one has acquired the disposition of receiving this gift of God with the soul of a child, one is upset by the reasoning of certain people... who dispute the devotion towards the Eucharist and sometimes question its legitimacy on liturgical or historical grounds... Why not, in the simple logic of faith, love the Eucharist with all the love with which we love Jesus himself? That is what filled Father de Foucauld with the spontaneity of a child."

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Fidelity to the mission...

After the Last Supper it was Jude who asked Our Lord why He chose 
to reveal Himself only to the disciples and not the world. He received the reply:

 Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord; and my Father 
will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him.
- John 14: 23 (Today's Communion Antiphon)

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Missionaries of Charity ~Home for the dying - Khaligat ~ Calcutta, India

"The more lively the Eucharistic
faith of the people of God,
the deeper is its sharing in ecclesial life
in steadfast commitment to the mission
entrusted by Christ to His disciples."

Sacramentum Caritatis, 6

Sts Simon and Jude
Apostles, Martyrs (approx 65 AD)
St. Jude: patron saint of hospital workers,
desperate situations, and impossible causes.
St. Simon: patron saint of sawyers and tanners.
FEAST DAY - October 28

"Just as Christ was sent by the Father, so also He sent the apostles, filled with the Holy Spirit. This He did so that, by preaching the gospel to every creature (cf. Mark 16:15), they might proclaim that the Son of God, by His death and resurrection, had freed us from the power of Satan (cf. Acts 26:18) and from death, and brought us into the kingdom of His Father" ~Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy

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Almighty God, You chose Your servants Simon and Jude to be numbered 
 among the glorious company of the Apostles. As they were faithful
and zealous in their mission, so may we with ardent devotion 
make known the love and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who lives
and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Sts. Simon and Jude, pray for us!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Longing fulfilled...

As a deer pants for streams of water, so my soul
pants for You, O God.  My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God. ... Deep calls to deep. Psalm 42:1,2,7a (640×417)
"The house of my soul is narrow.
O let it be enlarged by You!
It is very ruinous;
be pleased to repair it."
St Augustine

Image: Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, The Triumph of the Eucharist

Monday, October 26, 2015

Purity of soul...

"Never fear that your past faults and infidelities will prevent 
you reaching the degree of union that God intends for you; 
in an instant He can repair all that." - Dom Marmion

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The saints  applied to perfection the directive of the Holy Spirit, “Let everyone first examine himself and then eat of that bread and drink of that Chalice; because he who eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks unto his own condemnation” (I Cor 11:28-29).

To examine themselves, to repent, to accuse themselves in Confession and to ask pardon of God, and in this way even every day profit from the Sacrament of Confession, was something natural for the saints.  How fortunate they were to be capable of so much!  The fruits of sanctification were constant and abundant because the purity of soul with which each saint welcomed into himself Jesus, "the Wheat of the elect." (Zach 9:17) was like the good ground "... which brings forth fruit in patience" (Luke 8:15).

St Anthony Mary Claret illustrates this fact very well:  "When we go to Holy Communion, all of us receive the same Lord Jesus, but not all receive the same grace nor are the same effects produced in all. This comes from our greater or lesser disposition.  To explain this fact, I will take an example from nature. Consider the process of grafting.  The more similar the one plant is to the other, the better the graft will succeed.  Likewise, the more resemblance there is between the one that goes to Communion and Jesus, so much the better will the fruits of Holy Communion be."  The Sacrament of Confession is in fact the excellent means whereby the similarity between the soul and Jesus is restored.

For this reason St Francis de Sales taught his spiritual children "Go to Confession with humility and devotion... "

Fr Stefano Manelli, O.F.M. Conv., S.T.D.

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"...when the door starts closing a bit because of our weakness and sins, 
confession reopens it." - Pope Francis

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Bread of the Strong!

 "May the Lord give us all light and courage:
light to know what's happening within us,
and courage to convert, to draw closer to the Lord.
It is beautiful to be close to the Lord."- Pope Francis
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"This bread of the Strong
gives me all the strength I need
to carry on my mission
and the courage to do whatever the Lord asks of me. 
The courage and strength that are in me
are not of me, but of Him who lives in me -
it is the Eucharist."
St. Maria Faustina of the Blessed Sacrament

Painting: Elijah Fed by an Angel1660-1663, Ferdinand Bol

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Hearts at rest... in His presence

This then is how we know that we belong to the truth,
and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence. - I John 3:19

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"St Anthony of Claret had always been especially attracted by devotions honoring the Blessed Sacrament.  During his school days he had been so captivated by a book his father gave him, The Goodness of  Our Sacramental Lord, that he had committed it to memory!

Kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament, he would pray:  "Oh, my God, grant me a place by the gates of hell, that I may stop those who enter there, saying:  'Where are you going, unhappy one?  Back, go back!  Make a good confession.  Save your soul!  Don't come back here to be lost forever.' "

From Hidden Treasure: The Riches of the Eucharist
Louis Kaczmarek

St Anthony Mary Claret 
Spain ~ 1807-1870
Missionary, Religious founder (Claretians),
Social reformer, Queen's (Spain) chaplain,
Writer and publisher, Excellent/renowned preacher
Survived 15 assassination attempts
Great devotion to Eucharist and Immaculate Heart of Mary
Said of him... "never without a rosary in his hands"
Archbishop of Cuba 1850-57
"The spiritual father of Cuba"
FEAST DAY - October 24

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"When I see the need for Divine teaching and how hungry people
are to hear it, I am atremble to be off and running throughout the world,
preaching the word of God. I have no rest, my soul finds no other relief,
than to rush about and preach." ~ St. Anthony Mary Claret

St Anthony Mary Claret, pray for us!

More on St Anthony Mary Claret:
Click here: A Very Special Patron: Saint Anthony Mary Claret |
 Click here: St. Anthony Mary Claret - YouTube (2 mins)
Click here: Saint Anthony Mary Claret 10-24 - YouTube (1:20 mins)

Friday, October 23, 2015

SALT and LIGHT to others...

 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world
to be holy and blameless in his sight. - Eph 1:4

From the treatise Mirror of the Clergy by St John of Capistrano, 
but can also be fittingly applied to the priesthood of believers...

  "Those who are called to the table of the Lord must glow with the brightness that comes from the good example of a praiseworthy and blameless life. They must completely remove from their lives the filth and uncleanness of vice.

    Their upright lives must make them like the salt of the earth for themselves and for the rest of mankind. The brightness of their wisdom must make them like the light of the world that brings light to others. ...

  They have been placed here to care for others. Their own lives should be an example to others, showing how they must live in the house of the Lord. "

 St John of Capistrano
Italy ~ 1385-1456
Lawyer, governor
Franciscan priest, preacher, theologian
Taught theology by St. Bernardine of Siena -
 together the two worked to reform the Franciscan order
Nickname - "soldier priest"*
*"When Mohammed II was threatening Vienna and Rome, St John, age 70, was commissioned by Pope Callistus II to preach and lead a crusade against the invading Turks. Marching at the head of 70,000 Christians, he gained victory in the great battle of Blegrade against the Turks in 1456.
FEAST DAY - October 23


On St John's tomb in the Austrian town of Villach,
the governor had this message inscribed:

"This tomb holds John, by birth of Capistrano,
a man worthy of all praise, defender and promoter of the faith,
guardian of the Church, zealous protector of his Order,
an ornament to all the world, lover of truth and religious justice,
mirror of life, surest guide in doctrine; 
praised by countless tongues, he reigns blessed in heaven."

St John of Capistrano, pray for us!


Comments of Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira:

"One could try to make a classification of the saints. Some were founders of nations, others were organizers of nations, still others were founders of religious orders. Then, there is a category of saints who were the defensive walls of the House of God. They constitute a kind of saint whose principal goal is to fight, to destroy the enemies of God. They have the capacity to put fire in souls to stimulate them to the defense of God, to lead them to combat. And in the combat they know how to sustain the courage of the good as well as how to attack the enemies. Doing this, they defend the walls of the House of God. Such is the mission of this category of saints. St. John of Capistrano was one of these saints."

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Eucharistic response...

"When confronted with the abyss of evil,
the only response is the abyss of love." - St John Paul II

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 "From the Eucharist
comes strength
to live the Christian life
and zeal
to share that life with others." 

St John Paul II
nee: Karol J Wojtyla (Poland)
Pope: 1978 - 2005
Apostle of the Eucharist
Prolific writer
Inaugurated (and now Patron of) World Youth Day
and World Meeting of Families
Feast Day - October 22

Photo Image above: Le Mont St Michel, France 

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“If He asks much of you, it is because
He knows you can give much.” St John Paul II

St John Paul II, pray for us!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Light for the Way...

 For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light. - Psalm 36:9 (448×598)
"There are two things I want you to do -
keep close to Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist
... (and) stay close to His Mother.
With those two loves, you will always have the light
to see what is right and what is wrong."
Mother Angelica
Poor Clare Nun
Founder of EWTN
(Eternal Word Television Network)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Heavenly food of the soaring eagles...

 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 
rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, 
and overflowing with thankfulness. - Colossians 2:6,7

"Be special adorers of the Divine and Blessed
Sacrament of the Altar, which is the heavenly food
of the soaring eagles, that is, of the souls advanced
in holiness… and thank Him unceasingly 
for having left us such an infinite Treasure."

St Paul of the Cross
Priest, Mystic, powerful teacher/preacher
Founder - Passionist Order
To the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience they added a fourth: 
to spread devotion to Christ’s passion among the faithful.
Italy ~ 1694-1775
FEAST DAY - October 20


"It is an excellent and holy practice to call to mind and meditate on our
Lord's Passion, since it is by this path that we shall arrive at union with God. 
In this, the holiest of all schools, true wisdom is learned, for it was there
that all the saints became wise." -  From a letter written by St. Paul of the Cross
St Paul of the Cross, pray for us,
that we may embrace our crosses with courage!

Monday, October 19, 2015

They have drunk His cup...

"Who are the martyrs? They are Christians won by Christ,
disciples who learned well the meaning of “loving to the end” that took
Jesus to the Cross. There is no such thing as love in parts, in portions. 
Love is total: and when one loves, one loves to the end." - Pope Francis

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“Let us honor the martyrs of the Lord
chosen out of every class, as soldiers of Christ
who have drunk His cup and were then baptized
with the baptism of His life-bringing death,
to be partakers of His passion and glory…”

St John Damascus
Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, 4, 15

Sts. John de Brebeuf,  Isaac Jogues
and Companions
North American Martyrs ~ +1642-1649*
Six Jesuit priests and two laypersons
FEAST DAY - Oct. 19

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Fr Isaac Jogues gave the original European name to New York's Lake George, calling it Lac du Saint SacrementLake of the Blessed Sacrament.

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Lake George, New York

*The North American Martyrs and their entrance into eternal life:

St Rene Goupil - Sept 29, 1642
St Isaac Jogues - Oct 18, 1646
St John de Lalande - October 19, 1646
St Anthony Daniel - July 4, 1648
St John de Brebeuf - March 16, 1649
St Gabriel Lalemant - March 17, 1649
St Charles Garnier - December 7, 1649
St Noel Chabanel - December 8, 1649

Prayer to the Eight North American Martyrs
Let us Pray

Protect our land, O heavenly patrons, which you have bedewed with the rich treasure of your blood. Watch over our Catholic Faith which you helped to establish in this new land. Bring all our fellow citizens to a knowledge and love of the truth. Make us zealous in spreading abroad a knowledge of Catholic teachings, so that we may continue and perfect the work which you have begun  with so much labor and suffering. Pray for our homes, our schools, our missions; for vocations, for the conversion of sinners, the return of those who have wandered from the fold, and the perseverance of all the faithful. Amen.

More on the North American Martyrs... ( a must read!)
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Sts. John de Brebeuf, Isaac Jogues
and Companions, pray for us!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Louis and Zelie: solid Eucharistic piety

“Remain in Him now, little ones, so that, when He reveals Himself,
we may be fully confident and not retreat in shame at His coming.
If you consider the holiness that is His, you can be sure that everyone who
acts in holiness has been begotten by Him.” -1 Jn. 3:28-29

"Holiness is a disposition of the heart that makes us humble and little
in the arms of God, aware of our weakness, and confident -- in the most
audacious way -- in His Fatherly goodness."- St. Thérèse of Lisieux

PHOTO: Fresco painted by St. Therese around the tabernacle of the Carmel in Lisieux

Today: the Canonization of the parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux:
Louis (1823-1894) and Zelie (1831-1877) Martin

Under the loving example of her parents, little Therese was brought close to the altar and Heart of God in our midst. 
“The Martin spouses maintained a solid Eucharistic piety.  Every morning, they rose at 5 o’clock to attend early Mass.  As a member of the Blessed Sacrament Society, Monsieur Martin took part in monthly nocturnal adorations during the night of Thursday to the first Friday of the month.” 
Although Zelie died when Therese was only four years old, the Little Saint was richly blessed by her mother’s love for Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.  Even when Zelie was too sick and weak to open the door of the Church, she would go to Mass, waiting outside of the doors to be close to Jesus come down from Heaven.
The Little Flower also visited Jesus, and spent time before His Real Presence each day, throughout her life.  Of her childhood Therese writes “Every afternoon I went for a little walk with papa.  Together we would visit the Blessed Sacrament, each day visiting a new church.”
Excerpts: Therese and Lisieux, Pierre Descouvemont and Helmuth Nils Loose

In his homily today, Pope Francis said:   "The holy spouses Louis Martin 
and Marie-Zelie Guerin practiced Christian service in the family, creating day by day 
an environment of faith and love which nurtured the vocations of their daughters, 
among whom was Saint Therese of the Child Jesus.
The radiant witness of these new saints inspires us to persevere in joyful service 
to our brothers and sisters, trusting in the help of God and the 
 maternal protection of Mary. From heaven may they now watch over us 
and sustain us by their powerful intercession."

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Sts Louis and Zelie, pray for us!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Wheat of God

"The death of martyrs blossoms in the FAITH of the living."
~ Pope St Gregory the Great

Born in Syria, Ignatius converted to Christianity and eventually became bishop of Antioch. In the year 107, Emperor Trajan visited Antioch and forced the Christians there to choose between death and apostasy. Ignatius would not deny Christ and thus was condemned to be put to death in Rome.

Ignatius is well known for the seven letters he wrote on the long journey from Antioch to Rome. Five of these letters are to Churches in Asia Minor; they urge the Christians there to remain faithful to God and to obey their superiors. He warns them against heretical doctrines, providing them with the solid truths of the Christian faith.

The sixth letter was to Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, who was later martyred for the faith. The final letter begs the Christians in Rome not to try to stop his martyrdom. Ignatius bravely met the lions in the Circus Maximus.

"I am writing to all the Churches and I enjoin all, that I am dying willingly for God's sake, if only you do not prevent it. I beg you, do not do me an untimely kindness.   
The only thing I ask of you is to allow me to offer the libation of my blood to God.
I am the wheat of the Lord; may I be ground by the teeth of the beasts to become the immaculate bread of Christ."~ St Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Romans

St Ignatius of Antioch
Bishop and Martyr
Church Father
First Century - d. 107
Disciple of St John the Evangelist
First to use term "Catholic" Church
FEAST DAY - October 17

Image- painting:  The Christian Martyrs Last Prayer - Jean Leon Gerome (+1904) 


"My desire is to belong to God." ~ St Ignatius of Antioch

St Ignatius of Antioch, pray for us!