Friday, May 26, 2017

Fragrance of Paradise...

"God makes all His own the soul 
that is wholly given to Him." St Philip Neri

“Can you feel the
fragrance of Paradise 
which diffuses Itself
from the Tabernacle?"

St Philip Neri
Italy ~ 1515 - 1595
Priest, bears title "Second Apostle of Rome"
Founder - Congregation of the Oratory (Oratorians)
Known for his great JOY
Advice regarding prayer:  "Be humble and obedient
and the Holy Spirit will teach you."
FEAST DAY - May 26

"The true servant of God acknowledges
no other country but heaven." - St Philip Neri

"Cheerfulness strengthens the heart and makes us 
persevere in a good life.  Therefore the servant of God 
ought always to be in good spirits." - St Philip Neri

 St Philip Neri, pray for us!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

He ascended into heaven...

Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord*

*All worldwide and ecclesiastical U.S. provinces of BostonHartfordNew YorkNewarkPhiladelphia and the state of Nebraska have retained this celebration
on Thursday, while all other US provinces have transferred
the Solemnity to the Seventh Sunday of Easter, May 28.

...the fortieth day after Easter Sunday, commemorating the Ascension of Christ
into heaven, according to Mark 16:19, Luke 24:51, and Acts 1:2. 

"Let our hearts ascend with Christ."  ~ St Augustine

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“Ascending once again to the Inaccessible Light…
You remain still in the ‘valley of tears,’
hidden beneath the appearances of a white host.” 

St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Fr Antoine Thomas, CSJ, celebrating Holy Mass

"...Christ's Ascension is our uplifting, and the hope of the Body is raised, whither the glory of the Head has gone before, let us exult, dearly-beloved, with worthy joy and delight in the loyal paying of thanks.For today not only are we confirmed as possessors of paradise, but have also in Christ penetrated the heights of heaven, and have gained still greater things through Christ's unspeakable grace than we had lost through the devil's malice."- Pope St Gregory the Great - Sermon LXXIII 

The Feast of the Ascension marks the beginning of the first novena, 
or nine days of prayer.  Today, Catholics recall that first novena
by praying the Novena to the Holy Ghost between Ascension and Pentecost,
asking for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. BEGIN the NOVENA FRIDAY!

Click here: Pentecost Novena PRAYERS (prayers to your email daily)

OR simply pray each day ... 

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful,
and enkindle in them the fire of Your love.

V. Send forth Your Spirit, and they shall be created,
R. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray.

O God, Who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of Your faithful, grant that by that same Holy Spirit, we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolation, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Click here:  On the Ascension of the Lord - A Homily of St. Leo 

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O my priest, how can you dare to make an offering of Me 
truly and totally complete, if you haven't first made
the offering of yourself, totally complete. - Msgr Vladimir Ghika

Joyously remembering the Ordination of

Fr Spencer J Howe - 25 May 2013
and in gratitude for all men Our Lord has called to the altar as priests.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Day by day....

 Your faith is growing more and more, and the love 
every one of you has for each other is increasing. - II Thes 1: 3b

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"The day's food
for the day's march...
that is 
what Holy Communion
is meant to be."

Msgr Ronald Knox

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Prayer after Holy Communion ...

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Dear Jesus,
help me to spread Your fragrance wherever I go.
Flood my soul with Your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly,
that my life may only be a radiance of Yours.
Shine through me and be so in me 

that every soul I come in contact with 
may feel Your presence in my soul.

Let them look up and see no longer me, but only Jesus!
Stay with me and then I will begin to shine as You shine,
so to shine as to be a light to others.

The light, O Jesus, will be all from You; none of it will be mine.
It will be You, shining on others through me.
Let me thus praise You in the way which You love best,
by shining on those around me.
Let me preach You without preaching,

not by words but by example, by the catching force,
the sympathetic influence of what I do, 
the evident fullness of the love my heart bears for You.  Amen.

Prayer of Bl John Henry Cardinal Newman (+1890)

Monday, May 22, 2017

He made her heart His...

    ...the LORD is my portion ...He is good to those 
 whose hope is in Him... Lamentations 3:24, 25

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"Christ Jesus had stolen the heart of Rita –
He alone possessed it. He made her heart His heart;
and under the white veils of the Eucharist He was for her soul,
as He is for all loving hearts, heaven upon earth.

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 How sweet is the moment
in which poor humanity, wearied and afflicted,
may remain alone, with Jesus alone, in the Sacrament of Love;
for there the Lord, with His flaming heart open, calls unto all,
'You that are burdened and heavy laden, 
come unto Me and I will refresh you.' "

Fr M.J. Corcoran, OSA
Our Own St Rita:  A Life of the Saint of the Impossible

St Rita of Cascia
Italy ~ 1381-1457
Wife, Mother, Augustinian Nun
Stigmatist, Incorrupt
Patron of Impossible Cases* 
*especially matrimonial difficulties
FEAST DAY - May 22

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The saint of Cascia belongs to the great host of Christian women who "have had a significant impact on the life of the Church as well as of society" (Apostolic Letter Mulieris dignitatem, n. 27).  Rita well interpreted the "feminine genius" by living it intensely in both physical and spiritual motherhood. " ~ Saint John Paul II


From an early age Rita desired to become a nun, but her parents thought it best for her to marry. She suffered through a difficult marriage for 18 years, with an abusive, ill tempered husband. He converted shortly before his political murder. Their twin sons wanted to avenge his death.  When St. Rita learned that her sons planned to avenge their father's murder, she prayed to God to save them from committing such a grievous sin.  Almost immediately, both boys fell ill. She nursed them lovingly, and they both died, reconciled with God.

Now a widow and childless, St. Rita applied for admission to the Augustinian convent in Cascia, but was refused because its rule only permitted virgins. After much prayer and entreaty, an exception was finally granted to her and she was allowed to enter in 1413. The story is told that St. Rita was miraculously transported into the monastery itself, despite its locked doors; when the nuns found her there in the morning, they allowed her to stay, taking it as the will of God.

St Rita had a deep devotion to the passion of Christ and the Holy Eucharist. She spent many hours in Eucharistic Adoration daily. Confined to her bed the last four years of her life, she consumed little more than the Eucharist.  Near the end of her life, she had a visitor from her home town who asked if she'd like anything.  Rita's only request was a rose from her family's estate. The visitor went to the home, but it being January, knew there was no hope of finding a flower; but there, sprouted on an otherwise bare bush, was a single rose blossom.

St Rita was a stigmatist who suffered a wound of Christ on her forehead.  When St. Rita died her face became beautifully radiant and her cell was aglow with heavenly light, while the great bell of the monastery rang of itself. Her incorrupt body, which for  several centuries gave off a sweet fragrance, is preserved in a shrine in Italy.  It is said that at her beatification, the body of the saint raised itself up and opened its eyes. St. Rita is called "The Saint of the Impossible" and is particularly invoked in cases of matrimonial difficulties.

St. Rita of Cascia was the first woman to be canonized in the Great Jubilee at the beginning of the 20th century, on May 24, 1900.
St Rita of Cascia, pray for us!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Widen yourself in love...

"The soul must grow and expand, so as to be capable of God.
And its largeness is its love, as the Apostle says,
Widen yourselves in love (2 Cor 6:13)."  - St Bernard of Clairvaux

"You do not encounter Jesus
placed on an inaccessibly high throne,
but in the bread and wine of the Eucharist. 
His word does not shake the doorposts,
but rather caresses the strings of the heart."

Pope Francis

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Prayer: best preparation...

"The name of Jesus is the glory of preachers, because the shining 
splendor of that name causes His Word to be proclaimed
and heard.  And how do you think such an immense,
sudden and dazzling light of faith came into the world, 
if not because Jesus was preached?" - St Bernardine of Siena

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"Prayer is the best preparation 
for Holy Communion. 
Prayer is the raising of the mind to God.
When we pray we go to meet Christ Who is coming to us.

If our Creator and Savior comes from heaven with such great love, 
it is only fitting that we should go to meet Him.
And this is what we do when we spend some time in prayer."

St Bernardine of Siena
Italy ~ 1380-1444
Orphaned young
Franciscan friar, itinerant preacher, theological writer
Known as "Apostle of Italy"
for efforts to revive faith in 15th century 
FEAST DAY - May 20
Painting above: Women Praying at Kotel ~ Brocha Teichman

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Especially known for his devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus, 
Bernardine devised a symbol—IHS, the first three letters
of the name of Jesus in Greek, in Gothic letters on a blazing sun.


"Jesus, Name full of glory, grace, love and strength! You are the refuge of those who repent, our banner of warfare in this life, the medicine of souls, the comfort of those who mourn, the delight of those who believe, the light of those who preach the true faith, the wages of those who toil, the healing of the sick. To You our devotion aspires; by You our prayers are received; we delight in contemplating You. O Name of Jesus, You are the glory of all the saints for eternity. Amen." ~ St Bernardine

St Bernardine, pray for us!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Queen of all devotions...

"The eye wanders over the multitude of objects
restless and dissatisfied; but when it lights on God, it has found
its peace and the vision of its joy." - Fr Frederick Wm Faber

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Devotion to the Blessed Sacrament
is the queen of all devotions. 
It is the central devotion of the Church.  All others gather round it,
and group themselves there as satellites;
for others celebrate His mysteries; this is Himself.
It is the universal devotion. ...It is the devotion of all lands,
of all ages, of all classes.  ... not concerned with geography, or blood,
or the influence of government. ... It suits no one rank, or trade,
or profession, or sex, or individual temperament, more than another. ...

...if we count both sides of the earth at once,
 through the four-and-twenty hours there is uninterrupted Mass. 
And what with preparation for Mass and Communion, and what
with thanksgiving, if we could see the whole world at any given hour,
we should see multitudes deeply absorbed in the Blessed Sacrament."

Fr Frederick Wm Faber
Excerpts from The Blessed Sacrament 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Hear what I say without speaking...

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, 
for He will speak peace to His people, to His saints, 
to those who turn to Him in their hearts. - Psalm 85:8

"Hail, sacred tabernacles! … 
Oh, I love Your temple!  
It is an island of peace in the ocean of the world. ...

Is there a tongue equal to the ecstasy of the heart?   
Whatever my lips may say, this blood that circulates in me,
this breast that breathes in You, this heart that beats and swells,
these tear-bathed eyes, this still silence - all of these pray within me. 

Just as the waves swell at the rising of the King of day, 
the stars revolve, mute with reverence and love,
and You understand their silent hymn, so, Lord, in the same way,
understand me; hear what I say without speaking.  
Silence is the highest voice of a heart
that is overcome with Your glory!"

St Paul of the Cross

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A matter of sight...

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.
For what is seen is temporary, 
but what is unseen is eternal. - II Cor 4:18


"God is as really present
in the consecrated Host
as He is in the glory of Heaven."

St Pascal Baylon
Spain ~ Franciscan brother
1540 (Pentecost Sunday) - 1592 (Pentecost Sunday)
Exemplary devotion to the Eucharist
Patron of Eucharistic Congresses 
The "Seraph of the Eucharist"
Feast Day - May 17

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As St Pascal lay dead in his casket,
he opened and closed his eyes twice 
when the sacred species was elevated at the Consecration.

Click here: Youtube St Pascal Baylon (2 mins)
Click here: Youtube St Pascal   (1:25 mins)

St Pascal, pray for us!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The voice of the bell...

 The bells they sound on Bredon
And still the steeples hum -
'Come all to Church, good people',
Oh, noisy bells, be dumb;
I hear you, I will come. -  A.E. Housman

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"Ringing the bells also gave notice to those unable
to attend the Mass (the sick, slaves, outside guards, etc)
that something divine and miraculous
was taking place inside of the church building.

The voice of the bell would allow people
to stop what they were doing
to offer an act of adoration to God. 

Additionally, the bells provided the ancillary benefit
of focusing (or re-focusing) the attention of the faithful
inside the church to the miracle
that was taking place atop the altar of sacrifice."

Excerpt from Sanctus Bells by Matthew D Herrera

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The Last Mass of St Benedict, Fray Juan Rizi (Spain, 17th c)

"For bells are the voice of the church;
They have tones that touch and search
The heart of young and old."

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow