Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Uniting voice with voice with voice...

 “The heavens shall praise Thy wonders, O Lord;
Thy faithfulness also 
in the congregation of the saints. - Psalm 89:5


“All the powers of the universe bow down
in (Eucharistic) adoration and praise, and with
a thousand voices exalt Thine infinite Majesty,
which fills both Heaven and earth. 
Christian people, 
let us unite our voices with theirs."

St Hilary of Poitiers
Doctor of the Church (+368) 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Really live! ...

"Live on Him that you 
may live for Him."- St John Vianney

And as they were eating, He took bread,
and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them, and said,
"Take; this is My Body."
And He took a chalice, and when He had given thanks
He gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 
And He said to them,
"This is My Blood of the covenant,
which is poured out for many."

Gospel of Mark 14:22-24

St Mark the Evangelist
Evangelist, Martyr (+68 AD)
Disciple of St Peter, Cousin of Barnabus
Symbol:  lion, often winged*
*The Gospel of St Mark begins with St John the Baptist,
"the voice of one crying in the wilderness,"
a voice that St Jerome compared to the roar of a lion.
FEAST DAY - April 25
Image above:  The Last Supper ~ Frans Pourbus
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 Go out into the whole world and 
proclaim the Gospel to every creature.  ~ Mark 16:15
Prayer over the Offerings (Today's Liturgy)

As we venerate the glory of Saint Mark,
we offer you, Lord, the sacrifice of praise
and humbly beseech you,
that your Church may always persevere
in the preaching of the Gospel.
Through Christ our Lord.

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Basilica San Marco ~ Venice, Italy
Contains the reliquary of St Mark's body

St Mark the Evangelist, pray for us!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Hoping all things! ...

"May your heart be an altar, from which the bright flame 
of unending thanksgiving ascends to heaven." ~ St Mary Euphrasia

“Draw near to our Lord,
thoroughly aware of your own nothingness,
and you may hope all things
from His Goodness and Mercy.
Never forget
that Jesus Christ is no less generous
in the Blessed Sacrament
than He was during His mortal life on earth.

St Mary Euphrasia Pelletier
France ~ 1796-1868
Her "three inseparable devotions":
Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Eucharist, Mary
Foundress ~ Sisters of the Good Shepherd
By time of death:  established 110 convents in 35 countries
Motto: "One person is of more value than a world." 
FEAST DAY - April 24


"Go after the lost sheep without other rest than the cross,
other consolation than work,
other thirst than for justice." ~ St Mary Euphrasia

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Jesus, I trust in You! ...

“Let your heart ever belong to God through purity of intention,
attachment to His love, and confidence in His divine mercy. 
… You must reach the point where Jesus is sufficient to you.”
 - St. Peter Julian Eymard


"Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again; 
for forgiveness has risen from the grave." - St John Chrysostom

Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (#10):

"Especially from the Eucharist,
grace is poured forth upon us
as from a fountain."

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First Mass of St John of Malta

 "O what awesome mysteries take place during Mass! ... One day we will know what God is doing for us in each Mass, and what sort of gift He is preparing in it for us.  Only His divine love could permit that such a gift be provided for us ... this fountain of life gushing forth with such sweetness and power (914) ...

"O living Host, my one and only strength, fountain of  love and mercy, embrace the whole world, fortify faint souls.  Oh, blessed be the instant and the moment when Jesus left us His most merciful Heart!" (223).

St Maria Faustina Kowalska
Diary: Divine Mercy in my Soul

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Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am faint;
O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony. - Psalm 6:2

   "No traveling soul can worthily love its God, but when this soul
does everything it possibly can, and trusts in divine mercy, why
should Jesus reject it?  Didn't He command us to love God in
accordance with our strength?  When you have given and
consecrated everything to God, why do you fear?" - St Pio (1916) 

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“Trust the past to the mercy of God, the present to His Love
and the future to His Providence. ”- St. Augustine

 "Pray with great confidence, with confidence based upon the
goodness and infinite generosity of God and upon the promises of
Jesus Christ. God is a spring of living water which flows unceasingly 
into the hearts of those who pray."- St. Louis de Montfort
Jesus, I trust in You!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

A truth worth echoing ... (Easter Saturday)

 "Him whom the heavens cannot contain, the womb of one woman bore. 
She ruled our Ruler.  She carried Him in whom we all are. 
She gave milk to our Bread." - St Augustine, Sermon 184

"When we go before Jesus on the altar,
we always find Him with Mary His Mother,
as the magi did at Bethlehem (Mt 2:11). 

And Jesus in the sacred Host,
from the altar of our hearts,
can repeat to each one of us what He said to
St John the Evangelist from the altar of Calvary,
Behold thy Mother (Jn 19:27). "

Fr Stefano Manelli, O.F.M.

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Friday, April 21, 2017

The wealth of His love... (Easter Friday)

In Christ who is the source of my strength 
I have strength for everything.  - Phil 4:13

"Love makes the heart leap and dance.
Love makes it exult and be festive.
Love makes it sing and be silent as it pleases.
Love grants it rest and enables it to act.
Love possesses it and gives it everything.
Love takes it over completely and dwells in it.
And Holy Communion is the mansion of love."

St. Veronica Giuliani

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Lose yourself in His immensity... (Easter Thursday)

You have made known to me the path of life;  
you will fill me with joy in your presence, 
with eternal pleasures at your right hand. - Psalm 16:11

"Oh, I love to reflect on the presence of God in a soul! To think that we are immersed in God, that we are in Him, that we live and move in Him, that it is He who sustains us and gives us life, and who gives us the being that we have! Without Him we would not be. What effect do such thoughts not produce is one’s soul?
I compare this presence of God to the atmosphere: at certain times the sky is covered with cirrus clouds, but if the weather is windy, these clouds are blown away and not a single one remains. Then the sky becomes splendid with brightness and beauty. You will notice the same thing when the sun appears in multiple rays.
So it is in the soul. If your interior is filled with a thousand things that worry you, that afflict you, that trouble you and paralyse your spirit, apply yourself to the presence of God. Surrender yourself to Him. Look at Him, and think only of Him. Recall His goodness and His mercies. Occupy yourself with His  greatnesses and His infinite perfections. 
Lose yourself in His adorable, divine immensity, and you will come to realise that all that was troubling you has been dispelled. And you will feel your soul in a surprising calmness and peace."

Mother Mectilde de Bar 
18 April 1694
Hat tip: Click here: Vultus Christi


Stained glass above:  St Bridget of Sweden Catholic Church ~ Van Nuys, California ~ USA.   Artist: Gerald Fecht 2010

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

That we may recognize Him... (Easter Wednesday)

“People today want Christ without His Church. 
They want the King without His Kingdom."

Timothy Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York

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“The disciples on the road to Emmaus so wanted to see Jesus, the One they came to know and love, the One who died on the cross.  And, yet, they did not even recognize Him as He approached and walked along with them.  It was only as He explained the Scriptures (Liturgy of the Word) and broke the Bread (Liturgy of the Eucharist) that their eyes were opened to recognize the Risen Christ. 
My dear friends, the same two elements remain with us today – and they do so because of the Church!  Would we still have the Scriptures proclaimed to us today, or the Eucharist celebrated today, if it were not for the Church?  Just as Christ opened the eyes of his disciples, He comes to open our eyes to His living presence in our midst today.
So again, I say to you: Stay close to Christ.  Ask the Lord to strengthen your faith that you may recognize Him in the Sacred Scriptures and in the Eucharist. 
I read a quote offered recently by Fr. Tom Rosica, an American, Basilian priest who is the founder of the Salt and Light Catholic Television network in Canada.  The quote is from the French writer, Francois Mauriac.  I believe it is quite relevant for us ...If you are friends with Christ, many others will warm themselves at your fire… On the day you no longer burn with love, many will die of the cold.’

Bishop Paul D Etienne
Diocese of Cheyenne

Painting above: Friend of the Humble (Supper at Emmaus), Leon-Augustin Lhermitte (1892)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

It is up to us... to tell... (Easter Tuesday)

So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those
entrusted with the secret things of God.  Now it is required that those
who have been given a trust must prove faithful.  ...
You are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! - I Cor 4: 1,2,10

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"Our people are becoming like Mary of Magdela
when she came to the tomb. 
'They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don't know where they put Him' (Jn 20:2).  
It is up to us... 
to tell our people where our Risen Savior is. 

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    The Blessed Sacrament is our Risen Savior
with all the power of His love and mercy flowing
out to those who come into His presence! 
This is where we must run, like Peter and John. 
This is where we must bring everyone. 

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For each hour will advance the day
when the light of His love and mercy will shine out,
and then like Him, His people will be resurrected."

Excerpt from Letters to a Brother Priest
 Rev. Fr. Vincent Martin Lucia and Rev. Msgr. Josefino Ramirez 

Top image: The Three Marys at the Tomb, by William-Adolphe Bouguereau
Bottom image: The Disciples Peter and John Running to the Sepulchre, by Dan Burr

Monday, April 17, 2017

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, April 16, 2017

Death, where is thy sting? Christ is risen! ...

"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  

"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

Painting above: Jacopa Robusti Tintoretto, The Resurrection of Christ (1565)

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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!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! 
By His great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

Saturday, April 15, 2017

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 as 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