Wednesday, November 30, 2016

At once... let us follow...

   "Come after Me, and I will make you fishers of men." 
At once they (Simon Peter and Andrew) left their nets 
and followed Him.  ~ Matt 4: 19 (Today's Gospel)

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Jesus Calling Peter and Andrew, Basilica S. Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy

   Invite someone to Mass or Adoration this Advent Season.

Today's Liturgy: Preface II of the Apostles - Eucharistic Prayers

For You have built Your Church 
to stand firm on apostolic foundations,
to be a lasting sign of Your holiness on earth 
and offer all humanity Your heavenly teaching. 

Therefore, now and for ages unending,
with all the host of Angels,
we sing to You with all our hearts, 
crying out as we acclaim: Holy, Holy, Holy ...

St Andrew
Apostle, Priest, Martyr
Younger brother of St Peter
Patron:  Greece, Russia, Scotland, fishermen
 Name "Andrew" (Greek: manly, brave)
Feast day  - November 30

St Andrew, pray for us!


Christmas Anticipation Prayer

Beginning on St. Andrew's Feast Day, November 30, the following prayer is traditionally recited fifteen times a day until Christmas. This is a beautifully meditative prayer that helps us increase our awareness of the real focus of Christmas and helps us prepare ourselves spiritually for His coming

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, [here mention your request] through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother.  Amen.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Awesome the altar...

"Awesome is the altar on which the divine victim is immolated! 
From paradise there went forth a spring whose visible waters
spread out on every side.  From this Table, it is a spring
of spiritual waters that gushes forth." - St John Chrysostom

richard-l-anson-crosses-on-altar-in-st-peter-s-basilica.jpg (473×355) everything will live where the river flows. - Ezekiel 47:9

flows from the altar -

 Bishop Paul V Dudley
Ordained to Holy Priesthood: June 1951
Ordained as Bishop: January 1977
11-29-1926 ~ 11-20-2006
Remembering the good Bishop on the anniversary of his birth

"The Body of Christ (Eucharist) will unite the
Body of Christ (Believers)"~ Bishop Paul V Dudley

Requiescit in pace

Monday, November 28, 2016

Resting a while in Him...

"Let me seek you in desiring you and desire you in seeking you,
find you in loving you and love you in finding you." - St Anselm
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"Escape from your everyday business for a short while,
hide for a moment from your restless thoughts. 
Break off from your cares and troubles
and be less concerned about your tasks and labors. 
Make a little time for God and rest a while in Him."
St Anselm
From the Proslogion
Commit to a short visit to the Blessed Sacrament 
each day during Advent!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

First Sunday of Advent: Renewing the HOPE

 First Sunday of Advent
Renewing the HOPE

In Advent, Christians relive a dual impulse of the spirit:  on the one hand, they raise their eyes towards the final destination of their pilgrimage through history, which is the glorious return of the Lord Jesus; on the other, remembering with emotion His birth in Bethlehem, they kneel before the Crib. The hope of Christians is turned to the future but remains firmly rooted in an event of the past. In the fullness of time, the Son of God was born of the Virgin Mary:  "Born of a woman, born under the law", as the Apostle Paul writes (Gal 4: 4). - Pope Benedict XVI, 27 November 2005

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So, too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, 
the Son of Man will come. Matthew 24:44 (Today's Gospel) 

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The Last Supper Mosaic. c1880.  Photo credit: Moorina, Melbourne trip 2009

"Jesus, … the Eucharist is the sacramental testimony of Your first coming, with which the words of the prophets were reconfirmed and expectations were fulfilled.  You have left us, O Lord, Your Body and Blood under the species of bread and wine that they may bear witness to the fact that the world has been redeemed  - that through them Your paschal mystery may reach all men as the Sacrament of life and salvation.  

The Eucharist is at the same time  a constant announcement of Your second coming and the sign of the definitive Advent and also of the expectation of the whole Church. 

When we eat this bread and drink this cup,
we proclaim Your death, Lord Jesus, until You come in glory. 

Every day and every hour we wish to adore You, stripped under the species of bread and wine, to renew the hope of the call to glory.  Amen."

St John Paul II
 Quoted in Jesus, We Adore You
Paul Thigpen

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Advent season resources
"Prepare your hearts to receive Jesus the Savior." - Pope Francis Learn more about the saints of Advent, 
including the Blessed Virgin Mary (Dec. 8, 10 and 12), St. 
John the 
St Francis Xavier (Dec 3), St. Nicholas (Dec. 6),
St Ambrose (Dec 7), St. Juan Diego (Dec. 9), St. Lucy (Dec. 13),
St John of the Cross (Dec 14), St Peter Canisius (Dec 21),
and St John Cantius (Dec 23)

Saturday, November 26, 2016

O blessed Mass! ...

"O blessed Mass! Expand yet more and more your heart, and
ask great things of Him... " - St Leonard of Port Maurice
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"Take my advice, and in every Mass ask God
to make you a great saint. 
Does this seem too much?  It is not too much. 
Is it not our good Master Who protests in the holy Gospel that,
for a cup of cold water given out of love of Him,
He will, in return, give paradise?
How, then , while offering to God the blood of His most blessed Son,
should He not give you a hundred heavens, were there so many?
How can you doubt but that He wishes to give you
all the virtues and all the perfections
which are required to make you a saint, and a great saint, in heaven?
St Leonard of Port Maurice

Friday, November 25, 2016

Friend of silence...

"Souls of prayer are souls of great silence." - St Teresa of Calcutta
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"I always begin my prayer in silence,
for it is in the silence of the heart that God speaks.
God is the friend of silence  -
we need to listen to God
because it's not what we say,
but what He says to us and through us
that matters."
St Teresa of Calcutta

Painting: Women in Prayer ~ Alphonse Legros

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Renewed by the one Bread ...

Blessed are those who suffer persecution for the sake of justice;
the kingdom of heaven is theirs. - Matthew 5:10


Today’s Liturgy:  Prayer after Communion

Renewed by the one Bread
as we commemorate the holy Martyrs,
we humbly beseech you, O Lord,
that abiding as one in Your love,
we may merit by endurance an eternal prize.
Through Christ our Lord.

St Andrew Dũng-Lạc (priest) and Companions
117 Martyrs (btwn 1820-1862)* ~ Vietnam
The group consisted of 96 Vietnamese, 11 Spaniards, and 10 French:
8 Bishops, 50 priests, 59 lay Catholics, incl a 9 y/o
Feast Day – November 24


"In the midst of these torments, which usually terrify others, I am, by the grace of God, full of joy and gladness, because I am not alone - Christ is with me.  Our Master bears the whole weight of the cross, leaving me only the tiniest, last bit." St Paul Le-Bao-Tinh, Martyr, 1843

St Andrew Dung-Lac and companions, pray for us!

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Blessed Thanksgiving Day!
I will thank you, Lord, with all my heart ... Psalm 138:1a

Gratitude ... goes beyond the "mine" and "thine" and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy. ~ Henri J. M. Nouwen

As Catholics, our Eucharistic life 
(Eucharistia means thanksgiving) 
is literally one of Thanks-living!
  Consider a gift of gratitude to our Lord through a
daily HOLY HOUR and/or HOLY MASS
during the upcoming season of ADVENT!

"God has two dwelling places:
One in heaven and the other
in a grateful heart."  ~ Izaak Walton

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

"¡Viva Cristo Rey!"...

They will live with Christ in heaven, who lived on earth
according to the words and ways of Christ." - St Nicetas of Remesiana

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"I believe, O Lord, but strengthen my faith…
Heart of Jesus, I love Thee; but increase my love. 
Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee;
but give greater vigor to my confidence. 
Heart of Jesus, I give my heart to Thee; but enclose it
in Thee that it may never be separated from Thee.
Heart of Jesus, I am all Thine; but take care of
my promise so that I may be able to put it in practice
even unto the complete sacrifice of my life."

Bl Miguel Agustin Pro
Jesuit priest, Martyr
Mexico ~ 1891-1927
FEAST DAY – November 23

Image above: Triumph of Christianity ~ Gustave Dore


"How can I explain to you the sweet grace of the Holy Spirit, which invades my poor miner's soul with such heavenly joys? I could not keep back tears on the day of my ordination, above all at the moment when I pronounced, together with the bishop, the words of the consecration. After the ceremony the new priests gave their first blessing to their parents. I went to my room, laid out all the photographs of my family on the table, and then blessed them from the bottom of my heart." Bl Miguel Pro

Bl Miguel Pro, pray for us!
MORE on Bl Miguel Pro...
In the 1920s the churches in Mexico were closed and priests went into hiding. Fr Pro spent the rest of his life in a secret ministry to the sturdy Mexican Catholics. In addition to fulfilling their spiritual needs, he also carried out the works of mercy by assisting the poor in Mexico City with their temporal needs. He adopted many interesting disguises in carrying out his secret ministry. He would come in the middle of the night dressed as a beggar to baptize infants, bless marriages and celebrate Mass. He would appear in jail dressed as a police officer to bring Holy Viaticum to condemned Catholics. When going to fashionable neighborhoods to procure for the poor, he would show up at the doorstep dressed as a fashionable businessman with a fresh flower on his lapel. His many exploits could rival those of the most daring spies. In all that he did, however, Fr. Pro remained obedient to his superiors and was filled with the joy of serving Christ, his King.
Falsely accused in the bombing attempt on a former Mexican president, Miguel became a wanted man. Betrayed to the police, he was sentenced to death without the benefit of any legal process.
At the time of the killing, Mexico was under the rule of the fiercely anti-clerical and anti-Catholic President Plutarco Elías Calles who had begun what writer Graham Greene called the "fiercest persecution of religion anywhere since the reign of Elizabeth."
On the day of his execution, as Fr. Pro walked from his cell to the courtyard and the firing squad, he blessed the soldiers, knelt and briefly prayed quietly. Declining a blindfold, he faced his executioners with a crucifix in one hand and a rosary in the other and held his arms out in imitation of the crucified Christ and shouted out, "May God have mercy on you! May God bless you! Lord, Thou knowest that I am innocent! With all my heart I forgive my enemies!" Before the firing squad were ordered to shoot, Pro raised his arms in imitation of Christ and shouted the defiant cry of the Cristeros, "Viva Cristo Rey!" -"Long live Christ the King!" When the initial shots of the firing squad failed to kill him, a soldier shot him point blank.
Calles had the execution meticulously photographed, and the newspapers throughout the country carried them on the front page the following day. Presumably, Calles thought that the sight of the pictures would frighten the Cristero rebels who were fighting against his troops, particularly in the state of Jalisco. However, they had the opposite effect. The Cristeros became more animated and fought with renewed enthusiasm, many of them carrying the newspaper photo of Pro before the firing squad.
Miguel Pro's last request prior to execution was to be allowed to kneel and pray.

Pro himself refused a blindfold.  A Crucifix in the right hand, a rosary in the other.
He blessed and forgave the firing squad.

November 24, 1927, at the front of the Jesuit church of the Holy Family, a multitude accompanied the remains of Father Pro.  Father Mendez Medina cried out, "Make way for the martyrs of Christ the King!" Although Calles had forbidden any public demonstration, the people acted in open defiance. Never had the city seen such an enormous turnout for a funeral. As the martyrs' caskets left the house, a great and unanimous cry soared from the hearts and mouths of thousands:.. "¡Viva Cristo Rey!" Thousands thronged the streets and balconies, throwing flowers, praying the rosary and singing. It was a triumph - a glorious witness to the heroism of martyrs for Christ the King.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Voices - singing out, ringing out! ...

Therefore, we, too, extol you with all the Angels,
as in joyful celebration we acclaim:  Holy, holy, holy....

Choir of Angels ~ Hans Memling (c. 1433-1494, Netherlands)

“Liturgical action is given a more noble form when sacred rites are solemnized in song, with the assistance of sacred ministers and the active participation of the people.... Choirs must be diligently promoted, but bishops and other pastors must ensure that, whenever the sacred action is to be celebrated with song, the whole body of the faithful may be able to contribute that active participation which is rightfully theirs.... Gregorian chant, other things being equal, should be given pride of place in liturgical services. But other kinds of sacred music, especially polyphony, are by no means excluded.... Religious singing by the people is to be skillfully fostered, so that in devotions and sacred exercises, as also during liturgical services, the voices of the faithful may ring out” (Constitution on the Liturgy, 112-118)

St Cecilia
Martyr ~ Rome
Approx  90-117 AD
Patron of Musicians, Sacred Music
Feast Day – Nov 22

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 St Cecilia ~ Guido Reni

"Words cannot express the things
that are sung by the heart ... And if so happy that words
can no longer express what they feel, 
people discard the restricting syllables. 
They burst out into a simple sound of joy, of jubilation.'"

Well said, St Augustine!

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A Village Choir ~ Thomas George Webster (1847)

  Sing praises to the LORD, O you His saints,
and give thanks to His holy Name.  ~ Psalm 30:4

St Cecilia, pray for us!