Friday, July 21, 2017

A privilege indeed! ...

"The privilege of receiving the Holy Eucharist from the Hands of Jesus Himself was experienced by a number of saints, including St Laurence of Brindisi, a Capuchian, whose unusual talents and rare virtue were called upon by Pope Clement VIII for several unusual missions.  One of these was his chaplaincy to the Imperial army of Prague. ...

 With the Turks still menacing nearby Christian countries, the Imperial army of 18,000 men assembled to do battle with the Turks, who numbered 80,000.  Vastly outnumbered, the Christians appealed to St Laurence for advice and encouragement.  After delivering a rousing discourse, the saint, despite his mature years, mounted a horse and with the cross held high in his hands led the troops against the infidels.  The crushing defeat of the Turks was attributed by all to the prayers and inspiration of the saint. 

    It is told that on his return from the campaign he joined his brethren at Gorizia, where Our Lord appeared to them and gave them all Holy Communion with His own Hand."  

From Eucharistic Miracles
Joan Carroll Cruz

St Laurence of Brindisi
1559-1619 ~ Italy
Capuchin priest
Preached in 8 languages fluently
Doctor of the Church
FEAST DAY - July 21

"The Word of the Lord is light for the intellect and fire for the will, so that man can know and love God. For the interior man, who through grace lives from the Spirit of God, it is bread and water, but bread that is sweeter than honey and water that is better than wine and milk. ... It is a hammer against a hard heart obstinate in vices. It is a sword against the flesh, the world and the devil, to destroy every sin." ~ St Laurence of Brindisi

St Laurence of Brindisi, pray for us!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Visit...

"The [Eucharistic] Visit is the practice which guides and influences our whole life... It draws together the fruits of all other practices and brings them to fruition. 
It is the great means for living Jesus Christ.  It is the great means for putting adolescence aside and forming a personality in Christ It is the secret for our transformation in Christ. 
It is experiencing the relationship of Jesus with His Father and with humanity. 
It is the guarantee of perseverance." - Bl James Alberione

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The Eucharistic Visit

The Visit is a meeting of our soul
and of our whole being with Jesus.

It is the creature meeting the Creator;
the disciple before the Divine Master;
the patient with the Doctor of souls;
the poor one appealing to the Rich One;
the thirsty one drinking at the Font;
the weak before the Almighty;
the tempted seeking a sure Refuge;
the blind person searching for the Light;
the friend who goes to the True Friend;
the lost sheep sought by the Divine Shepherd;
the wayward heart who finds the Way;
the unenlightened one who finds Wisdom;
the bride
 who finds the Spouse of the soul;
the “nothing” who finds the All;
the afflicted who finds the Consoler;
the seeker who finds life’s meaning.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The pelican and Christ...

"Jesus Lord, kind Pelican,
Cleanse my filth with Thy Blood.
One drop of which can save
The whole world from all its sin."
St Thomas Aquinas

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"The symbolism of the mother pelican feeding her little baby pelicans is rooted in an ancient legend which preceded Christianity. The legend was that in time of famine, the mother pelican wounded herself, striking her breast with the beak to feed her young with her blood to prevent starvation. Another version of the legend was that the mother fed her dying young with her blood to revive them from death, but in turn lost her own life.

Given this tradition, one can easily see why the early Christians adapted it to symbolize our Lord, Jesus Christ. The pelican symbolizes Jesus our Redeemer who gave His life for our redemption and the atonement He made through His passion and death. We were dead to sin and have found new life through the Blood of Christ.  Moreover, Jesus continues to feed us with His body and blood in the holy Eucharist. ...

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Therefore, the image of the pelican is a strong reminder of our Lord, who suffered and died for us to give us eternal life and who nourishes us on our pilgrim way with the Holy Eucharist. May that image move us to show the same charity and self-giving love toward all."

Fr. William Saunders
"The Symbolism of the Pelican"
Arlington Catholic Herald

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Render sacrifice to God; a sacrifice of gratitude,
O you wealthy ones; according to God's mercy!
Who is wealthy and with what; with that let him barter,
Everyone with his gift; let him, the Kingdom acquire.
Whoever is wealthy with money; let him money, offer,
Whoever is rich with wheat; wheat let him distribute,
To whom wisdom is given; others, let him teach,
To him whose hands are strong; let him perform service.
Whoever knows a trade; let him honorably uphold it,
Let him conscientiously consider himself as a debtor of God.
Let him, who knows how to sing; praise God,
Only he is small, who does not know God.
Whoever received what; with that let him serve,
With mercy toward men; let him repay God,
Not all are the same, nor do all possess the same,
But a pure heart, everyone could give to God.
O pureness of heart, a sacrifice most miraculous,
For salvation, you are the crucial virtue,
And on your sacrificial altar, your incense ascends,
Arrives before the Lord, faster than anything. "

St Nicolai Vilimirovich

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Godhead Here in Hiding /Adoro Te Devote
6th stanza - Text: St Thomas Aquinas,
Translation: Gerard Manley Hopkins S.J. 

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.

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Up for a treasure hunt?  
Check your Parish or Chapel for a pelican. 
Teach someone the meaning!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Dusting off the soul...

... I was sick and you looked after me ... Matthew 25:36c

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"St Camillus de Lellis never celebrated Holy Mass without first going to Confession, because he wanted at least "to dust off" his soul.  Once at sundown in a public square in Livorno, before taking leave of a priest of the same religious order, foreseeing that he would not have a priest to confess to on the following morning before his Mass, the Saint paused, took off his hat, made the sign of the Cross and went to Confession right there in the square to his confrere."

From Jesus Our Eucharistic Love (pg 32)
by Fr Stefano M Manelli, FFI

St Camillus de Lellis
Italy ~ 1550-1614
Encouraged to priesthood by St Philip Neri
Founder of Order: Fathers of Good Death
Patron of hospitals, nurses and the sick
FEAST DAY - July 18

The Camellians took the vow to "devote themselves to material and spiritual care of the sick and needy". St. Camillus honored the poor and sick as living images of Christ. His reverence in their presence was as great as if he were really and truly in the presence of his Lord.

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 “The poor and the sick are the heart of God. In serving them,
we serve Jesus the Christ. ...We want to assist the sick
with the same love that a mother has for her only sick child."
 -  Saint Camillus de Lellis

The figure on this crucifix, which is venerated in the Church of Mary Magdalene in Rome, is the one which in 1582 detached its arm and comforted St.Camillus de Lellis with these words "Take Courage, faint-hearted one. Continue the work you have begun. I will be with you because it is my work." Camillus was very discouraged at the time because of opposition to his health care reforms. Our Lord's words were instrumental in the Saint pushing ahead and founding the Order of the Ministers of the Sick.

Crucifix image above from Miraculous Images of Our Lord, by Joan Carroll Cruz, TAN Books (1993)

St Camillus, pray for us!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Chalice of life and light!...

Oh, Blood and Water which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus
as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You. - St Maria Faustina

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"O Lord, we cannot go to the pool of Siloe
to which you sent the blind man.
But we have the chalice of Your Precious Blood,
filled with life and light.
The purer we are, the more we receive."

St Ephrem the Syrian

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Quote in honor of
Feast of the Blessed Carmelite Martyrs of Compiègne 
Historical Feast - July 17 

"The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church." - Tertullian

"On July 17, 1794, the sixteen Carmelite nuns of Compiègne were guillotined in Paris, convicted of crimes against the state by the tribunal of the French Revolution. On this day they were born to eternal life. 

Mother Henriette de Jesus, renowned for her great beauty and strong personality, stood up to represent the other Carmelite sisters before the revolutionary tribunal and was remarkable for her heroic resolution. Since the prosecutor accused the Carmelites of being fanatics and counter-revolutionaries, she asked him to explain the meaning of those words. The irritated judge vomited a torrent of offenses against her, and then said: “It is your attachment to your Religion and the King.” 

Hearing these words, she replied, “I thank you for the explanation.” Then, addressing her companion Carmelites, she said: “My dear Mother and my Sisters, we must rejoice and give thanks to God for we die for our Religion, our Faith, and for being members of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.”

Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

Blessed Martyrs of Compiègne, pray for us! 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The frenzy of Love...

 And so we know and rely on the love
God has for us.  God is love. - I John 4:16

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"Consider what is most beautiful
and most noble on earth,
what pleases the mind and the other faculties,
and what delights the flesh and the senses. 
Consider the world, and the other worlds that shine
in the night - the whole universe.

Well, this, along with all the satisfied follies of the heart,
is worth nothing, is nothing and less than nothing.,
compared with this God of mine! --- of yours!

Infinite treasure, most beautiful pearl;
humbled, become a slave, reduced to the form of a servant
in the stable where He willed to be born,
in Joseph's workshop, in His passion and in His ignominious death;
and in the frenzy of Love --- the blessed Eucharist.

St Josemaría Escrivá

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Painting above: Starry Night ~ Van Gogh
Photo above:  Bishop Luis Zarama

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Refreshment of holy souls...

 "Holy Mass is an achievement of God, wherein He places before
our view all the love He has borne us.  It is, in a certain way, 
a combination of all the benefits bestowed upon us." - St Bonaventure
“Grant that my soul may hunger for You, the Bread of Angels, the Refreshment of holy souls, our daily and ever-satisfying Bread, which contains all possible sweetness. Let my heart ever hunger after You and feed upon You, upon whom the angels desire to gaze, and may my whole soul be filled with Your sweetness. 

May it ever thirst for You, the Fountain of eternal light, the Torrent of pleasure, the Richness of the House of God. May it ever yearn for You, seek You, find You, stretch towards You, reach You, meditate upon You, speak of You, and do all things for the praise and glory of Your holy Name, with humility and prudence, with love and delight, with willingness, affection and perseverance.

St Bonaventure
Italy ~ 1221 - 1274
"Second Founder" of the Franciscans
Brilliant teacher, powerful preacher
Bishop, Cardinal
Doctor of the Church
University of Paris co-ed/close friend of Thomas Aquinas
FEAST DAY - July 15

Painting: (Detail) The Infant Jesus Distributing Bread to Pilgrims ~ Esteban Murillo

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"If you learn everything except Christ, 
you learn nothing.
If you learn nothing except Christ, 
you learn everything."

St Bonaventure

St Bonaventure, pray for us! 

Friday, July 14, 2017

"I am not my own..."...

To the upright I will show
the saving power of God. - Psalm 50: 23b

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"... Kateri Tekakwitha was devoted 
to the Eucharist and to Jesus Crucified.  
At 4 am she could be seen kneeling outside 
the chapel in the snow waiting for it to open. 

She attended three Masses daily and always managed
two hours in preparation for Holy Communion
and two hours in thanksgiving; and she 
made frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament.  
Her motto: 'Who can teach me
what is most agreeable to God so that I may do it?'" 

Louis Kaczmarek 
Excerpt from: Hidden Treasure, 
The Riches of the Eucharist


 St Kateri Tekakwitha
Daughter of Christian Algonquin mother
and non-Christian Mohawk Chief
Consecrated Virgin
"Lily of the Mohawks"
Patroness of ecology and the environment
FEAST DAY - July 14

"I am not my own; 
I have given myself to Jesus 
He must be my only love. The state of helpless poverty that may befall me if I do not 
marry does not frighten me.  All I need is a little food and a few pieces of clothing. 
With the work of my hands I shall always earn what is necessary 
and what is left over I'll give to my relatives and to the poor.  If I should become 
sick and unable to work, then I shall be like the Lord on the cross.  
He will have mercy on me and help me, I am sure."- St Kateri Tekakwitha

St Kateri Tekakwitha, pray for us!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Graces flying forth...

"He remains still in the tabernacle, it is true,
but graces are flying forth from His Heart
in inconceivable abundance." - Fr Francis Aloysius Spencer

"Before the tabernacle
great saints have communed with God upon the heights
which we may never reach; there, too, sinners have come,
and touched by the grace that goes out from Him,
found the contrite and humbled heart which He will never despise.

Think of the millions of the faithful
who day by day come into the house of God to pray.

Think of the religious to whom this very presence
is as the air they breathe,
the very life and sustenance of their souls.

No one shall every know all that this adorable sacrament
is for human souls, raising all our hearts to that one Heart
which is the center and source of grace and love."

Fr Francis Aloysius Spencer

Painting: Monks in a Cave - Francois-Marius Granet

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Divine mingling...

 And my God will supply every need of yours according
to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. - Phil 4:19

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What a thing it is
for Christ's mind to be mingled with ours,
our will to be blended with His,
our body with His Body
and our blood with His Blood!
The consequence is that the
higher prevails over the lower,
the divine over the human."  

Nicholas Cabasilas (+1392)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Let the wise listen...

 Let the wise listen and add to their learning, 
and let the discerning get guidance." - Proverbs 1:5

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"Listen and attend
with the ear of your heart."

St Benedict
Italy ~ 480-547
Priest, twin brother to St Scholastica
Patriarch of Western Monasticism
Motto of Benedictines: Ora et Labora Pray and Work
Co-Patron of Europe
FEAST DAY - July 11

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St Benedict, pray for us!