Sunday, September 24, 2017

All things, made new...

He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!"  
Then he said, "Write this down, for these words
are trustworthy and true." - Rev 21:5
 
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During a visit to the Philippines, Sister Gertrude from the Sacred Hearts Community
in Hawaii relayed this story (when she was over seventy) to Msgr Josefino (Pepe)
 Ramirez.  He passes it on in a Chapter of his book, Letters to a Brother Priest:
 
"When (Sr Gertrude) was a young nun, one of the old nuns was dying. The custom at that time was for the community to gather in prayer around the one dying.  ... the nun was breathing her last breaths.  Suddenly, she opened her eyes, stretched forth her arms and exclaimed: "O my Beloved." 

Then she sat up and gazed lovingly at the Blessed Sacrament,which she had permission to have in her room since she had been too weak to go to the chapel. What happened next had never been told, until Sister Gertrude shared it with me.  The old, wrinkled nun changed to a strikingly attractive young woman, radiantly aglow with a countenance that put the rest of the nuns into ecstasy just looking at her. After what seemed like a minute or two, the transformed nun went back against her pillow, turning old again and died.  When the Sisters came out of their ecstasy, they were stunned to discover that this extraordinary event lasted for more than one or two minutes. The Sisters were in ecstasy for over thirteen hours!  
... If only we could see the change that takes place in us at each Holy Hour we make.  We are made new in the Eternal Youth of Christ.  We are made innocent, without blemish, as we are cleansed in His Precious Blood, in the folly of His surpassing love. "
 

Photo: University of Steubenville, Ohio

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Perfumes of strength....

  "Protected, covered and defended by the Presence of this dear Lord,
let us stand before Him in the Holy Eucharist
and pray with the humility of the creature
and the confidence and freedom of the child." - St Padre Pio


"We must always have courage,
and if some spiritual languor comes upon us,
let us run to the feet of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament,
and let us place ourselves
in the midst of the heavenly perfumes,
and we will undoubtedly regain our strength."


St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina
Priest, Stigmatist, Mystic
Italy  ~ 1887-1968
Patron of Eucharistic Adorers
Feast Day - Sept. 23

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When I am close to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, 
I feel as if my heart is bursting out of my chest.” ~ St Padre Pio

Friday, September 22, 2017

Go...listen...love...

"If we are to know the Lord, we must go to Him. 
Listen to Him in silence before the Tabernacle
and approach Him in the Sacraments." - Pope Francis

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"Adore and visit Jesus, abandoned and 
forsaken by men in His Sacrament of Love.
Man has time for everything
except for visits to His Lord and God, Who is waiting
and longing for us in the Blessed Sacrament.
The streets and places of entertainment
are filled with people;
the House of God is deserted.  Ah!  Poor Jesus..."

St Peter Julian Eymard

Painting: Morning News ~ Francis Luis Mora

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Sharing in that saving joy...

For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners, says the Lord. - Matt 9:13

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Prayer after Communion (Today’s Liturgy)

Sharing in that saving joy, O Lord,
with which Saint Matthew welcomed the Savior
as a guest in his home, we pray: grant that we may always
be renewed by the food we receive from Christ,
who came to call not the just, but sinners to salvation.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

St Matthew
Nee - Capernaum
"And he got up and followed Him" (Mt 9:9b) ...
"leaving everything behind" (Lk 5:28)
Apostle and Evangelist
"the son of Alphaeus" (Mk 2:14)
Symbols associated w/St Matthew:
 Gospel, human/angel, sword (in re: martyrdom)
Feast Day - September 21
Painting above: The Calling of Matthew - Caravaggio

 

Imitate St Matthew - get up and follow Jesus.
Then invite sinners to meet Him.
"What reason can the Teacher have for eating with tax collectors
and those who disregard the law?" —Matthew 9:11
Cause heaven to rejoice (Luke 15:7).

 


His life is somewhat shrouded, and  ... There are not many facts ... But Matthew was a publican ... Who gathered in the tax ... Until that wondrous moment in ... His native Galilee ... When Jesus came upon him, and ... He told him, "Follow me" ... And Matthew followed Jesus then  ... Wherever Jesus went ... Ignoring Pharisees and all ... The Roman government ... With eloquent sincerity ... This good apostle preached ... In distant lands wherever there ... Were souls that could be reached ... And he composed the gospel that ... Inspires us today ... To follow Jesus Christ and live ... According to His way.
From Poem Portraits of the Saints - James J Metcalfe (1956), pg 6

(see Calling of St Matthew - Caravaggio)
 St Matthew, pray for us! 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

In His light we see light...

For with you is the fountain of life; in your light
we see light. - Psalm 36:9

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“If the Blessed Sacrament is Jesus all for us,
is it not the most legitimate of conclusions that we should be all for Him?
We should be all for Jesus, if Jesus is our all.
And what does this mean?

Surely, among other things, 
that the Blessed Sacrament should be to us just
the single overpowering fact of the world.

Our hands hold Him; 
our words make Him;
our tongue rests Him;
our body compasses Him;
our souls feel Him;
our flesh feeds upon Him,
Him, the Infinite, the Incomprehensible,
the Immense, the Eternal.

Must not all life be looked at in this light,
just as the whole Church lies in this light and has no other?"

 
Fr Frederick W Faber

Photo image credit Michael McGlothlen - Ireland

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Holy places...

 I rejoiced with those who said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD."
Our feet are standing in your gates, O Jerusalem. - Ps 122:1-2
  
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Non enim pro locis res, sed pro bonis rebus loca amanda sunt –
"Things are not to be loved for the sake of a place,
but places are to be loved
for the sake of their good things."


Pope St Gregory the Great

Monday, September 18, 2017

Living center of the universe...

What sublime humility and humble sublimeness that
the Lord of the Universe, the Divine Son of God,
should stoop as to hide Himself under the appearance of bread
for our salvation! - St Francis of Assisi
 
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"It is in the Eucharist
that all that has been created 
finds its greatest exaltation. 

It is the living center of the universe,
the overflowing core of love and of inexhaustible life.
Joined to the incarnate Son present in the Eucharist
is itself an act of cosmic love. ...

The Eucharist joins heaven and earth;
it embraces and penetrates all creation.
 
Pope Francis
Laudato Si, 236
 

Painting: Alegoria Eucaristica con los 7 arcangeles ~ Miguel Cabrera

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Barefoot thru fire... with JOY...

"Who we love shapes what we become." - St Clare of Assisi

 

When St Margaret Mary Alacoque left the world and consecrated herself
to God in the cloister, she made a private vow and wrote in her blood,

"All for the Eucharist,
nothing for me."

It is useless to attempt to describe the Saint's burning love for the Eucharist.
When she was not able to receive Holy Communion, she broke out
in ardent expressions of love like these:

"I have such a desire for Holy Communion that if
I had to walk barefoot along a path of fire to obtain It,
I would do so with unspeakable joy."

Excerpt from Jesus, Our Eucharistic Love (Fr Stefano Manelli)

Saturday, September 16, 2017

In a word...

  "Our Redeemer ever present in the most Blessed Sacrament, 
 extends His hands to everyone. He opens His heart and says,
'Come to Me, all of you.'"- St. Raphael Kalinowski, O.C.D. 
 
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EUCHARIST
 
E ternal life
U nion with Jesus Christ
C hrist truly present
H ealing
A bandonment
R econciliation
I ntimacy
S acrifice
T ransformation
 

Fr Robert De Grandis

Painting above: First Holy Communion ~ Herz Gottleib

Friday, September 15, 2017

Gift of the Queen...

When I said, "My foot is slipping," your love, O Lord, supported me. 
When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought joy to my soul. - Psalm 94:18,19

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“Eucharistic Heart of Jesus,
reign over the afflicted;
become their consolation
through this consecrated Bread,
the gift of the Queen of Sorrows.”

Fr. Mateo Crawley-Boevey 

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Remembering...
Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows
September 15

 "In martyrs, the intensity of their love mitigated their sufferings,
but with Mary it was different; the more she loved, the more she suffered,
and the greater was her martyrdom." Richard of Saint Victor (+1173)

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The Seven Sorrows of Mary:

* at the prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:35);
* at the flight into Egypt (Matt 2:13);
* having lost the Holy Child at Jerusalem (Luke 2:48);
* meeting Jesus on His way to Calvary;
* standing at the foot of the Cross (John 19:25);
* Jesus being taken from the Cross;
* at the burial of Christ.
 





O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above;

Make my heart with thine accord.


Make me feel as thou hast felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt
With the love of Christ our Lord.

(Excerpt: Sabat Mater sequence)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

How splendid the cross of Christ!...

"Blest is the wood through which 
justice comes about." - Wisdom 14:7


Exquisite mosaic ~ Tree of Life, Holy Cross (detail) ~ San Clemente - Roma

 

“The event of the Cross and Resurrection
abides and draws everything toward life.” (CCC 1085)

Feast of the
Exaltation of the Cross
September 14
"How splendid the cross of Christ! It brings life, not death; light, not darkness; Paradise, not its loss. It is the wood on which the Lord, like a great warrior, was wounded in hands and feet and side, but healed thereby our wounds. A tree has destroyed us, a tree now brought us life." ~ St Theodorus the Estudite
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Painting (detail) The Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Luigi Gregori
Spes Unica: (Our) only Hope

"Recognize in this bread what hung on the cross, and in this chalice what flowed from His side... whatever was in many and varied ways announced beforehand in the sacrifices of the Old Testament pertains to this one sacrifice which is revealed in the New Testament.

Receive in this bread that which was hanged on the cross; receive in this cup that which was poured from Christ's side. For he will gain death, not life, who thinks Christ is a liar." ~ St Augustine


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"On the Cross human misery and divine mercy meet. ...The Cross is planted in the earth and would seem to extend its roots in human malice, but it reaches up, pointing as it were to the heavens, pointing to the goodness of God.

By means of the Cross of Christ, the Evil One has been defeated, death is overcome, life is given to us, hope is restored, light is imparted. O Crux, ave spes unica!…" ~ St John Paul II, homily 09.14.03

Click here: Crucifixes and Crosses

"He who runs away from one cross,
will meet a bigger one on his road."- St Philip Neri


O Jesus, Jesus, I no longer feel my cross 
when I think of yours!"- St Bernadette Soubirous

Crucifixes on rosaries, worn around one's neck and in one's home
serve as enduring and endearing reminders of the magnitude
of Christ's love and serve as focal points for private prayer.

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Archbishop Fulton Sheen summarized the reason
for using a crucifix instead of an empty cross when he said,
“Keep your eyes on the crucifix,
for Jesus without the cross is a man without a mission,
and the cross without Jesus is a burden without a reliever.”


We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee
because by Thy holy Cross 
Thou hast redeemed the world!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Being made terrible to the devil...

"The Eucharist is a fire that inflames us, that, 
like lions breathing fire, we may retire from the altar 
being made terrible to the devil."- St John Chrysostom

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"Consider at whose table thou eatest!
For we are fed with that which the angels view with trepidation
and which they cannot contemplate without fear because of Its splendor.

We become one with Him:
we become one Body and one Flesh with Christ."


St John Chrysostom
Chrysostomos 'golden-mouthed'
Syria ~ 347- 407
Archbishop of Constantinople
Doctor of the Church
Patron of orators
FEAST DAY ~ September 13

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"The bee is honored more than other animals, 
not because she labors, but because 
she labors for others.”  ~ St John Chrysostom


St John Chrysostom, pray for us!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

O name of Mary! Joy in the heart...

"O name of Mary! Joy in the heart, honey in the mouth, 
melody to the ear of Her devout clients!" - St Anthony of Padua

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 Feast of the Most Holy Name 
of the Blessed Virgin Mary
September 12

O amor mei nomen matris Dei ~ St. Anselm
"Oh name of the mother of God, thou art my love."

We venerate that name of Mary because it belongs to her who is the Mother of God, the holiest of creatures, Queen of heaven and earth, the Mother of Mercy.

In accordance with Jewish custom our Lady's parents named her eight days after her birth, and were inspired to call her Mary. The feast of the Holy Name of Mary follows that of her Birthday, as the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus follows Christmas. Our salvation begins when an archangel speaks the name of Mary.  To be Christian is to carry on that Annunciation unceasingly.  

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Annunciation ~ Benedetto Bonfigli

"I want what is good for myself; I beg the same for you. Now there is no other way to bring this about than to ask the Virgin Mary constantly to come to you with her glorious Son. Be bold! Ask her to give you her Son, who in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar is truly food of your  soul.  ...  

Readily will she give Him to you, still more readily will He come to you, giving you strength to make your way fearlessly through this dark wood.  In it large numbers of our enemies lie in wait, but they cannot reach us if they see us relying on such powerful help. "  

 St. Cajetan (+1547)

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"God the Father gathered all the waters together and called them the seas or maria [Latin, seas]. He gathered all His grace together and called it Mary or Maria . . .This immense treasury is none other than Mary whom the Saints call the 'treasury of the Lord.' From Her fullness all men are made rich." ~ St. Louis de Montfort (+1716)

"This most holy, sweet and worthy name was 'eminently fitted to so holy, sweet and worthy a virgin.  For Mary means a bitter sea, star of the sea, the illuminated or illuminatrix. Mary is interpreted Lady. Mary is a bitter sea to the demons; to men She is the Star of the sea; to the Angels She is illuminatrix, and to all creatures She is Lady ." ~ St. Bonaventure (+1274)

 “Well may all, shepherds and flock alike, fly with fullest confidence to the protection of the Blessed Virgin.  Let them not fail to call upon her name with one voice,  beseeching her as God’s mother, publicly and in private by praise, by prayer, by the ardour of their desire: ‘Show thyself our Mother.’ ~ Pope Leo XIII - Adiutricem populi, Sept. 5 1895

"Saint Bernard says, and we say with him:  Look to the star of the sea, call upon Mary ...  in danger, in distress, in doubt, think of Mary, call upon Mary.  May her name never be far from your lips, or far from your heart ...  If you follow her, you will not stray; if you pray to her, you will not despair; if you turn your thoughts to her, you will not err.  If she holds you, you will not fall; if she protects you, you need not fear; if she is your guide, you will not tire; if she is gracious to you, you will surely reach your destination." ~ Benedict XVI, address at Heiligenkreuz Abbey, 9 September 2007

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Jesus - Mary - Jesus - Mary - Jesus - Mary

"The invocation of the sacred names of Jesus and Mary is a short prayer 
which is as sweet to the mind, and as powerful to protect those
who use it against the enemies of their salvation, as it is easy to remember." 

St. Thomas a Kempis

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Mary ~ Sassofarate