Saturday, December 31, 2016

From Heaven to the heaven of heart...

“Jesus, when You come to me in Holy Communion, You Who together
with the Father and the Holy Spirit have deigned to dwell in the
little heaven of my heart, I try to keep You company throughout the day…
my heart is always united…  St Faustina (Diary 486)

massgroegoty.jpg picture by kking_8888

"In order to penetrate a whole human life
with the divine life
it is not enough to kneel once a year before the crib
and let ourselves be captivated by the charm of the holy night. 

To achieve this,
we must be in daily contact with God. ...
Just as our earthly body needs its daily bread,
so the divine life must be constantly fed.

'This is the living bread
that came down from heaven.'"

~ St. Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein)

Friday, December 30, 2016

Feast of the Holy Family...

Feast* of the HOLY FAMILY of 
Jesus, Mary and Joseph

*The Sunday between Christmas and New Year's Day.
If both are Sundays, the feast is celebrated on December 30.

May the example of the Holy Family,
with the aid of the Holy Spirit,
guide all families, especially those most troubled,
to be homes of communion and prayer
and to always seek your truth and live in your love.
Through Christ our Lord.  Amen
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us!
 World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015

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“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph had only one life,
one purpose: To glorify the Heavenly Father. 
That is what we also must want. 

To achieve it,
we have to enter into union with Mary and Joseph,
share their life - family life, the intimate interior life
of which God alone is secret.

What happiness to be called to this life.  
Our love will consist in living with Mary and Joseph
on the love of Jesus Eucharistic.”

St. Peter Julian Eymard

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 "The family has the mission to 
guard, reveal and communicate love,
and this is a living reflection of and a real sharing in God’s love for humanity
and the love of Christ the Lord for the Church, His bride. 
Every particular task of the family is an expression
and concrete actuation of that fundamental mission.” - St John Paul II

533 The hidden life at Nazareth allows everyone to enter into fellowship with Jesus by the most ordinary events of daily life:

The home of Nazareth is the school where we begin to understand the life of Jesus - the school of the Gospel. First, then, a lesson of silence. May esteem for silence, that admirable and indispensable condition of mind, revive in us. . . A lesson on family life. May Nazareth teach us what family life is, its communion of love, its austere and simple beauty, and its sacred and inviolable character... A lesson of work. Nazareth, home of the "Carpenter's Son", in you I would choose to understand and proclaim the severe and redeeming law of human work. . . To conclude, I want to greet all the workers of the world, holding up to them their great pattern their brother who is God. (Pope Paul VI at Nazareth, January 5, 1964)

534 The finding of Jesus in the temple is the only event that breaks the silence of the Gospels about the hidden years of Jesus (Lk 2: 41-52). Here Jesus lets us catch a glimpse of the mystery of his total consecration to a mission that flows from His divine Sonship: "Did you not know that I must be about my Father's work?" (Lk 2:49) Mary and Joseph did not understand these words, but they accepted them in faith. Mary "kept all these things in her heart" during the years Jesus remained hidden in the silence of an ordinary life.

Holy Family of Nazareth, help us to willingly enter the hidden life of Nazareth, the school of Nazareth, that allows us to enter into 
 fellowship with Jesus by the most ordinary events of daily life. 
Holy Family of Nazareth, pray for us. Amen.

Holy Family of Nazareth, pray for us! 

Perhaps a 2017 resolution might include resuming or beginning
the practice of writing/typing JMJ (Jesus, Mary, Joseph) atop
or at the close of your papers (emails) of correspondence.  
It symbolically illustrates a worldview,
a mindset that reminds that we follow an example, 
a way that is sanctified and greater than ourselves. 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

To warn, to lead, to bring them back...

“Remember then how our fathers worked out their salvation;
remember the sufferings through which the Church has grown, and 
the storms the ship of Peter has weathered because it has Christ on board.  
Remember how the crown was attained by those whose sufferings gave 
new radiance to their faith.  The whole company of saints bear witness
to the unfailing truth that without real effort no one wins the crown.” 
– St Thomas Becket

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"A martyr, a saint, is always made by
the design of God, for His love of men,
to warn them and to lead them ,
to bring them back to His ways.”

~ St. Thomas Becket, homily excerpt, Christmas morning Mass (1170),
four days before he was martyred

St. Thomas Becket
Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr*
England  ~ 1118-1170
FEAST DAY - December 29


*On December 29th, 1170, four knights from the court of King Henry II burst into Canterbury Cathedral as the Archbishop was on his way to Vespers. Just inside the cloister door, they murdered Thomas Becket, whose defense of the rights of the Church had angered the King. His last words were: 'I accept death for the name of Jesus and for the Church.'

The murder shocked the conscience of all Europe; miracles were announced immediately; the archbishop was canonized as a martyr by Alexander III in 1173; the king did public penance at his tomb, and much of what St Thomas had worked for all his life was accomplished by his death.


Thomas said this to a friend on his way to Ordination: "Hereafter, I want you to tell me, candidly and in secret, what people are saying about me. And if you see anything in me that you regard as a fault, feel free to tell me in private. For from now on, people will talk about me, but not to me. It is dangerous for men in power if no one dares to tell them when they go wrong." 

St Thomas Becket, pray for us!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Communion: delight of your Infant Savior...

I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with loving kindness. – Jeremiah 31:3

"It's a thirst of the heart of every creature that desires to be loved, and the love which can alone satisfy that craving is the Divine Love.  

Let your heart delight in the love your God has for you, personally, individually. No soul ever in ardent fervor desires to unite herself to our Lord in Holy Communion, as our Lord desires to unite Himself to her. 

So Holy Communion is a delight to your Infant Savior; because He loves you, oh, how immeasurably! He tells you in His heart-to-heart interview that He has become a little Infant so that you may love Him with a human love without fear."

St Katherine Drexel


Feast of the Holy Innocents (Childermas)
FEAST DAY - December 28

As recorded in the gospel of Matthew after the visit of the Magi, Herod, in fear, rage and jealousy, “ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under” in an attempt to destroy his perceived rival, the infant Messiah.  The horror of the massacre and the devastation of the mothers and fathers led Matthew to quote Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation;Rachel weeping for her children...”(Mt 2:18).

Since the sixth century, on December 28, the Church has celebrated the memory of those children killed because of Herod's rage against Christ (cf. Mt 2:16-17). These innocent lives bear witness to Christ who was persecuted from the time of His birth by a world which would not receive Him. Liturgical tradition refers to them as the "Holy Innocents" and regards them as martyrs.  

"Blessed are you, Bethlehem in the land of Judah! You suffered the inhumanity of King Herod in the murder of your babes and thereby have become worthy to offer to the Lord a pure host of infants. In full right do we celebrate the heavenly birthday of these children whom the world caused to be born unto an eternally blessed life rather than that from their mothers' womb, for they attained the grace of everlasting life before the enjoyment of the present. The precious death of any martyr deserves high praise because of his heroic confession; the death of these children is precious in the sight of God because of the beatitude they gained so quickly. For already at the beginning of their lives they pass on. The end of the present life is for them the beginning of glory. These then, whom Herod's cruelty tore as sucklings from their mothers' bosom, are justly hailed as "infant martyr flowers"; they were the Church's first blossoms, matured by the frost of persecution during the cold winter of unbelief."  St. Augustine

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Triumph of the Innocents ~ William Holman Hunt (1883)
Holy Innocents, Infant Martyr Flowers,pray for us!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Following the Apostle of Charity...

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, 
and from his fullness we have all received - Jn 1:14,16

(Today's Communion Antiphon)

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"The presence of Jesus in the tabernacle 
must be a kind of magnetic pole attracting
an ever greater number of souls enamoured of Him,
ready to wait patiently to hear His voice
and, as it were, to sense the beating of His heart.
“O taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Ps 34:8)."  

Mane Nobiscum Domine (Stay With Us Lord)
Apostolic Letter, 10/07/04, Pope St John Paul II

St John the Beloved Disciple
who sensed the beating of His Heart...
Apostle and Evangelist
Son of Zebedee, brother of James
Asia Minor, Galilee (6-115 AD)
Apostle of Charity
Patron of Asia Minor, Theologians
Feast Day - December 27

Valentin de boulogne

"It is a long way from being eager to sit on a throne of power
or to call down fire from heaven to becoming the man who could write: 
“The way we came to know love was that He laid down His life for us;
so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers” (1 John 3:16). 
Through John we know how we are to participate
as our destiny in the life of Christ."~ St Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein)

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O most Sacred, most loving Heart of Jesus, 
Thou art concealed in the Holy Eucharist, and Thou
beatest for us still… I worship Thee with all my best love and awe, 
with my fervent affection, with my most subdued, most resolved will.
O my God, when Thou dost condescend
to suffer me to receive Thee, to eat and drink Thee, and Thou for
a while takest up Thy abode within me, O make my heart beat with Thy Heart. 
Purify it of all that is earthly, all that is proud and sensual, all that is 
hard and cruel, of all perversity, of all disorder, of all deadness. 
So fill it with Thee, that neither the events of the day
nor the circumstances of the time may have power to ruffle it,
but that in Thy love and Thy fear it may have peace. Amen.

Bl John Henry Newman, Meditations and Devotions 
Part III [XVI] para. 3

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The eagle, believed to look directly into the light of the sun, is the symbol of St. John.  This bird was used because in his Gospel St. John dwells particularly upon the Divinity of the Redeemer and contemplates with the unflinching eye of an eagle the highest truths.

St John, pray for us!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Blood of the martyrs, seed of the Church ...

The gates of heaven were opened for blessed Stephen, who was found
to be first among the number of the Martyrs and therefore is
crowned triumphant in heaven.  ~ Today's Entrance Antiphon

"Thursday the 26th, St Stephen's Day.  I (St Paul of the Cross) was in particular uplifting of soul, especially at Holy Communion;  I wanted to go and die a martyr's death in a place where the adorable mystery of the Most Blessed Sacrament is denied.  This wish has been given to me for some time past by the Infinite Goodness, but today I had it in a special manner; I had the desire for the conversion of heretics, especially in England and the neighboring kingdoms, and I offered a special prayer for that at Holy Communion...." 
Fr Edmund, CP
Excerpt from: Hunter of Souls:
A Study of the Life and Spirit
of St Paul of the Cross
St Stephen
Jerusalem ~  + 35 AD
Protomartyr and Archdeacon
FEAST DAY – Dec 26

“Yesterday we celebrated the birth in time of our eternal King.  Today we celebrate the triumphant suffering of His soldier.  Yesterday our king, clothed in the robe of flesh, left His place in the virgin’s womb and graciously visited the world.  Today His soldier leaves the tabernacle of His body and goes triumphantly to heaven. … And so the love that brought Christ from heaven to earth raised Stephen from earth to heaven; shown first in the king, it later shone forth in His soldier.”  

St Fulgentius of Ruspe, bishop

The first of all the martyrs in... Our Christian history ... St Stephen looked upon his foes... With love and sympathy ... Before the twelve apostles died ... He gave his life for Christ ... And in whatever way he could  ... He always sacrificed ... To those in high authority ... He pointed out that they  ... Enforced the laws which they had no ... Intention to obey ... He showed them their hypocrisy ... And did not fear his end ... As every pauper he had helped ... Became his special friend ... And as he loved the children of  ... His boundless charity ... The final prayer before his death ... Was for his enemy.   

From Poem Portraits of the Saints, James J. Metcalfe 

St Stephen, pray for us! 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Beloved of our souls, You are here! ...

Make merry therefore on this beautiful day, 
on which the sun of the Eucharist is rising.  Let your gratitude
never separate the Crib from the Altar, the Word made Flesh from 
the God-Man made Bread of Life in the Most Blessed Sacrament."
- St Peter Julian Eymard

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 “In this midnight Mass . . . I shall see a crib on
the altar, and the sweet Babe with his two eyes
filling with tears more precious than pearls,
I will offer him to God his Father
with his Mother’s approval,
and will ask him for you,
that he may ever be heart of your heart
and the sole Beloved of your soul.”

St. Francis de Sales

"Celebrate the feast of Christmas every day,
even every moment,
in the interior temple of your spirit."- St Paul of the Cross

(very rich, recommended by Fr Spencer Howe for today)

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 Adoration of the Shepherds ~ Guido Reni

Each of us must sink to child-level before the Crib. 
Each of us, at the same time,
must rise to the Incarnation-level - Msgr Ronald Knox

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Today is the dawn of the new redemption,
of the old restoration, of eternal happiness:
today, the heavens have distilled honey
throughout the whole world." - St Bonaventure

"Raise Your tiny hand, divine Child,
and bless these young friends of Yours,
bless the children of all the earth." Pope St John Paul II


"Dearly beloved, today our Savior is born;
let us rejoice. 
Sadness should have no place on the birthday of life. 
The fear of death has been swallowed up; 
life brings us joy with the promise of eternal happiness. 
No one is shut out from this joy;
all share the same reason for rejoicing.”

From a sermon of St Leo the Great, Pope

Felix dies Nativitatis

May God, who by the Incarnation brought together the earthly 
and heavenly realm, fill you with the gift of His peace and favor 
and make you sharers with the Church in heaven.  - Missale Romanum

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 Adoration of the shepherd - Ribera

Felix dies Nativitatis
Merry Christmas - Glædelig Jul - Veselé Vánoce - Vrolijk Kerstfeest - Häid Jõule - Hyvää Joulua - Joyeux Noël - Fröhliche Weihnachten - Boldog Karácsonyt - Gleðileg Jól - Nollaig Shona - Buon Natale - Il-milied It-tajjeb - God Jul - Wesołych Świąt - Feliz Natal - Un Crăciun Fericit - C Pождеством Xристовом - Nollaig Chridheil - Vesele Vanoce - Feliz Navidad - Noeliniz Kutlu Olsun
...and a HAPPY NEW YEAR of the LORD!!

Let us continue in earnest and zeal
to know, love and serve our Eucharistic Lord
day by day, more and more -
and invite all that we meet to embrace the same!
Please pray a MEMORARE every day for this intention
when you open each daily Eucharistic reflection.
Let us together see what God will do!
United in prayer and mission  ~ Janette

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Our abiding Bethlehem...

Behold, when the fullness of time had come,
God sent his Son into the world. – Gal 4:4

“Above all else, 
this is what Christmas bids us to do: 
give glory to God, for He is good, He is faithful, He is merciful. 

...Let us allow ourselves to be warmed by the tenderness of God; 
we need His caress. God’s caresses do not harm us. 
They give us peace and strength. We need His caresses. 
God is full of love: to Him be praise and glory forever! - Pope Francis

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"The Bethlehem of that night … 
has never passed away.  

…It lives a real, unbroken, unsuspended life, not in history only, 
or in art, or in poetry, or even in the energetic 
fertile worship and fleshly hearts of the faithful, 
but in the worshipful reality of the Blessed Sacrament. 

Round the Tabernacle, which is our abiding Bethlehem
goes on the same world of beautiful devotion 
 which surrounded the new-born Babe, real, out of real hearts, 
and realized by God’s acceptance. "

Fr Frederick W Faber


"The mystery of Bethlehem is renewed upon the altar,
and the cry goes forth:
'Christ is born to us.  Come, let us adore!' "

Fr Karl Adam