Thursday, March 31, 2016

Our ready Help... (Easter Thursday)

I have waited, waited for the Lord, and He stooped toward me and heard my cry.  He drew me out of the pit of destruction, out of the mud of the swamp; He set my feet upon a crag; He made firm my steps,
and He put a new song into my mouth, a hymn to our God. - Psalm 40:2-3
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"Communion with Christ
gives us
our strength,
our joy,
and our love.”

Bl Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Paradox of love... (Easter Wednesday)

"We know that God makes all things work together
for the good of those who love him, who have been called
according to his decree." - Romans 8:28

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"By a beautiful paradox of Divine love,
God makes His Cross the very means of our salvation and our life.

We have slain Him; we have nailed Him there and crucified Him;
but the Love in His eternal heart could not be extinguished.

He willed to give us the very life we slew;
to give us the very Food we destroyed;
to nourish us with the very Bread we buried,
and the very Blood we poured forth.

He made our very crime into a happy fault;
He turned a Crucifixion into a Redemption;
a Consecration into a Communion;
a death into Life Everlasting."

Archbishop Fulton J Sheen

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Our companion ... (Easter Tuesday)

All who are thirsty, come to the waters, says the Lord.
Though you have no money, come and drink with joy. 
- Cf Is 55:1 (Today's Entrance Antiphon)

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"We have Him so near in the Blessed Sacrament,
where He is already glorified
and where we don't have to gaze upon Him
as being so tired and worn out,
bleeding, wearied by His journeys,
persecuted by those for whom He did so much good,
and not believed in by the Apostles. …

Behold Him here without suffering, 
full of glory, before ascending into heaven, 
strengthening some, encouraging others,
our companion in the Most Blessed Sacrament."

St Teresa of Avila

Monday, March 28, 2016

Allelujah is our song... (Easter Monday)

The first eight days of the Easter season ("Bright Week") make up the Octave of Easter and celebrated as Solemnities of the Lord.  Singing the Easter sequence, Victimae Paschali Laudes, at Mass throughout the Octave is recommended, though not required.  At the end of Masses during the Easter Octave, the dismissal, as at Easter, is sung by the deacon or priest; to which the people respond in song, “Thanks be to God, Alleluia! Alleluia!”

"The Christian should be an Alleluia
from head to foot!"~ St Augustine

 “Let us keep the holy feast of Pascha and then, adding day by day
the holy Pentecost, which we regard as feast upon feast,
we shall keep the festival of the Spirit." ~ St Athanasius (4th c)

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"We are an Easter people
and 'Allelujah' is our song."

St Augustine  

"...  we are given two liturgical seasons, one before Easter and the other after. The season before Easter signifies the troubles in which we live here and now, while the time after Easter which we are celebrating at present signifies the happiness that will be ours in the future. What we commemorate before Easter is what we experience in this life; what we celebrate after Easter points to something we do not yet possess. This is why we keep the first season with fasting and prayer; but now the fast is over and we devote the present season to praise. Such is the meaning of the Alleluia we sing. ...

Now therefore, brethren, we urge you to praise God. That is what we are all telling each other when we say Alleluia. You say to your neighbor, “Praise the Lord!” and he says the same to you. We are all urging one another to praise the Lord, and all thereby doing what each of us urges the other to do. But see that your praise comes from your whole being; in other words, see that you praise God not with your lips and voices alone, but with your minds, your lives and all your actions."

Excerpt from St. Augustine's discourse 
on the Psalms (Ps. 148, 1-2: CCL 40, 2165-2166)   

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Death where is thy sting? Christ is risen!! ... (Easter Sunday)

"This is the night of which it is written:  The night shall be as bright as day, dazzling is the night for me, and full of gladness. The sanctifying power of this night dispels all wickedness, washes faults away, restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to the mourners, drives out hatred, fosters concord, and brings down the mighty." ~ From Exultet, intoned during Easter Vigil  

(beautiful full text linked below)

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"Poor death, where is your sting?
Poor hell, where is your triumph?
Christ steps out of the tomb and you are
reduced to nothing!

Christ rises and the angels are wild with delight.
Christ rises and life is set free.
Christ rises and graves are emptied of dead.

Oh yes, for He broke from the tomb like a flower,
a beautiful fruit: the first fruit of those already gone.
All glory be His, all success and power . . .
forever and ever."

St John Chrysosotom
Excerpt from Easter homily
387 AD

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"Let us feel the joy of being Christian! We believe in the Risen One who conquered evil and death! Let us have the courage to 'come out of ourselves,' to take this joy and this light to all the places of our life! 

The Resurrection of Christ is our greatest certainty; He is our most precious treasure! How can we not share this treasure, this certainty with others? It is not only for us, it is to be passed on, to be shared with others. Our testimony is precisely this."

~ Pope Francis


Christ is risen to go before us:
our Brother to the Father,
our Priest to the Altar.
our Saviour to the world!

Christ is risen!
Christ is risen!
Christ is risen!

 Alleluia!     Alleluia!     Alleluia!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Keeping silence...full of trust... (Holy Saturday)

Holy Saturday is sacred as the day of the Lord's rest; it has been called 
the "Second Sabbath" after creation. The day is and should be the most calm 
and quiet day of the entire Church year, a day broken by no liturgical function 
and is chiefly a day of solemn vigil for the Lord’s resurrection. 


"And, finally, Holy Saturday is the day of God’s silence. It must be a day of silence. We must do everything possible so that it is a day of silence, as that Day, which was the day of God’s silence. Jesus placed in the sepulcher shares with the whole of humanity the tragedy of death is a silence that speaks and expresses love as solidarity with all those ever abandoned, which the Son of God reaches filling the emptiness that only the infinite mercy of God the Father can fill. God is silent, but out of love. In this day love, that silent love, becomes expectation of life in the resurrection. We think of Holy Saturday: it will do us good to think of the silence of Our Lady, “the Believer,” who in silence awaited the Resurrection. Our Lady must be the icon for us of that Holy Saturday. To think much of how Our Lady lived that Holy Saturday, in expectation. It is a love that does not doubt, but that hopes in the Lord’s word, and which becomes manifest and splendid on Easter day." - Pope Francis, Wednesday Audience, 23 March 2016

"The last day of the Holy Week:  a fruitful stillness before the breathtaking action of the night. Perhaps only the greatest Russian writers have succeeded in painting it as it is, a pause, a last moment of waiting, made holy by the Lord's rest in the tomb.
The Church is waiting at the tomb and weeps She sees where the Lord has been laid, where the woman had buried Adam, where man is buried where he had come to grief through her evil counsel. She sees it and weeps. She weeps at the Lord's tomb, as the Lord wept for Lazarus: for sin which killed the giver of all life. But her tears are soft, and she is at peace. . . .

The death of Adam has lost its terrors in the tomb of Christ. The death for obedience' sake has snuffed out sin. No longer does a massa damnata blunder on from sin to sin and death to death, but the body of the obedient Christ rests in hope.  A foreboding of the happy chance of fault which merited such and so great a redeemer. It is a foreboding of the blessedness of suffering earning 'the name which is above all names', and the 'glory of God the Father', which makes the seers — men and the Church — at peace and full of hope."
~ D. Aemiliana Löhr, The Great Week

“Today a great silence reigns on earth, 
a great silence and a great stillness. A great silence because the King is asleep. 
The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and 
he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. . . 
He has gone to search for Adam, our first father, as for a lost sheep." 

From ancient homily, Liturgy of the Hours, Holy Saturday

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"... Holy Saturday...the more I reflect on it, 
the more this seems to be fitting for the nature of our human life:  
we are still awaiting Easter; we are not yet standing in the full light 
but walking toward it full of trust." 

- Pope Benedict XVI, Milestones: Memoirs, 1927-1977 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Death by love... (Good Friday)

O crux, ave spes unica! 
(Hail, O cross, our only hope!)

Sweet the timber, sweet the iron,
Sweet the burden that they bear! (Hymn:  Faithful Cross)

"Holy Friday is the culminating moment of love. The death of Jesus, who
on the cross abandons Himself to the Father to offer salvation to the whole world, expresses the love given to the end, without end.  A love that intends
to embrace all, no one excluded. A love that extends to every time and place:
an inexhaustible source of salvation from which each one of us, sinners,
can draw. If God has shown His supreme love in Jesus’ death, then we also,
regenerated by the Holy Spirit, can and must love one another."

 - Pope Francis, Wednesday Audience, 23 March 2016

"Nature is in mourning covered with darkness during the Holy Hour of the first Good Friday.  The chants of the heavenly Jerusalem are interrupted.  The entire court of Heaven waits in order to receive the last throb of the Heart of the Man-God, the victim of Golgotha.

Fervent loving souls, 
we are truly at the summit of Calvary: 
it is the Holy Hour!

A loud voice resounds in the heights, a voice that says: "Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit.'  And bending His lacerated Head, Jesus Crucified dies of love.  It is His Heart which out of love for us has brought Him to death.  
All glory to His loving Heart which gave us life and which now is stilled in death!"- Fr Mateo Crawley-Boevey  

Image above:  Christ Crucified ~ Viktor Vasnetsov (1896)

Souls have all the same price,
which is that of the Precious Blood of Jesus."
Blessed Charles de Foucauld

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"Do grant, oh my God,
that when my lips approach Yours to kiss You, 
I may taste the gall that was given to You;
when my shoulders lean against Yours,
make me feel Your scourging; 
when my flesh is united with Yours, in the Holy Eucharist, 
make me feel Your passion;
when my head comes near Yours,
make me feel Your thorns;
when my heart is close to Yours,
make me feel Your spear."

St. Gemma Galgani

“We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee ...
because by Thy Holy Cross Thou has Redeemed the World.”

"Your love is my only martyrdom.
The more I feel it burning in me,
The more my soul desires you…
Jesus, make me die of love for you."
St Thérèse of Lisieux

Divine Mercy Novena begins today

Thursday, March 24, 2016

He went away, yet He remained... (Holy Thursday)

The Paschal Triduum begins with the Evening Mass In Cena Domini on Holy Thursday, continues through the Friday of the Lord's Passion, reaches its summit in the Solemn Paschal Vigil, and comes to a close with Sunday Vespers of the Lord's Resurrection - a full three days - evening Thursday through evening Sunday (According to the General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar).
Institution of the Sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Holy Orders

“Consider, on your knees, the mystery of God’s love for us, that He didn't want to leave us orphans. … For Christ knew our hunger for Himself.  He knew that we would be walking around in the darkness of a thousand wars and miseries throughout this life. …

This is Holy Thursday.  This is when the Christ we are talking about took an ordinary piece of bread and a little wine and changed it into His Body and His Blood. … Remember this day always, year after year:  the day of Christ’s infinite love, when He went away and yet He remained, in Bread and Wine, and in the priest. …

In His immense love, Christ chose men who would have His hands and His feet, in whom He could walk, in whom He could forgive sins, who could lift Him up, who could give us the sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist – the Bread and Wine, which He said makes for everlasting life!  The incredible love of God is visible to us! ..."

Catherine de Hueck Doherty

Image above: The Last Supper ~ Daniele Crespi


"Without the priest, the passion and death of our Lord 
would be of no avail.  It is the priest who continues
the work of redemption here on earth... 
Leave a parish for twenty years without a priest and
they will end by worshipping the beasts there...
The priest is not a priest  for himself,
he is a priest for you."

"O, how great is the priest!...
If he realized what he is, he would die."

St John Vianney

Pray, pray, pray for our priests!
They rely on our prayers!

As Father John Hardon, S.J., once said, “praying and offering God sacrifices for the priesthood are indispensably important,” because “there is no Catholic Church without the priesthood.”

Prayer for Priests
 (St Charles Borremeo)

O holy Mother of God, pray for the priests your Son has chosen to serve the Church. Help them, by your intercession, to be holy, zealous, and chaste. Make them models of virtue in the service of God’s people.

Help them be pious in meditation, efficacious in preaching, and zealous in the daily offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Help them administer the sacraments with joy. Amen
More on prayers for priests... Click here: Home - Seven Sisters Apostolate