Friday, December 31, 2010

Islands of PEACE arise


"The infinite distance between God and man
is overcome. ... He has truly 'come down',
He has come into the world, He has become one of us,
in order to draw all of us to Himself. ...

He has truly built islands of peace
in the world-encompassing breadth of the Holy Eucharist.  
Wherever it is celebrated, an island of peace arises,
of God's own peace. This Child has ignited the light
of goodness in men and has given them strength to
overcome the tyranny of might. This Child builds
His kingdom in every generation from within,
from the heart."

Pope Benedict XVI
Midnight Mass

Both stained glass windows:  Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Wyandotte, MI 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Living Bread

massgroegoty.jpg picture by kking_8888
"In order to penetrate a whole human life
with the divine life it is not enough to kneel
once a year before the crib and let ourselves
be captivated by the charm of the holy night. 
To achieve this,
we must be in daily contact with God. ...
Just as our earthly body needs its daily bread,
so the divine life must be constantly fed.
'This is the living bread
that came down from heaven.'"
~ St. Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

To warn, to lead, to bring them back


   A martyr, a saint, is always made by
the design of God, for His love of men,
to warn them and to lead them ,
to bring them back to His ways.”

~ St. Thomas Becket, speaking Christmas morning,
four days before he was martyred

St. Thomas Becket
Archbishop and Martyr*
England (1118-1170)
FEAST DAY - December 29
*On December 29th, 1170, four knights from the court of King Henry II burst into Canterbury Cathedral as the Archbishop was on his way to Vespers. Just inside
the cloister door, they murdered Thomas Becket, whose defense of the rights
of the Church had angered the King.
His last words were: 'I accept death for the name of Jesus and for the Church.'

The murder shocked the conscience of all Europe; miracles were announced immediately; the archbishop was canonized as a martyr by Alexander III in 1173;
the king did public penance at his tomb, and much of what St Thomas had
worked for all his life was accomplished by his death.
 "Many are needed to plant and water what has been planted
now that the faith has spread so far and there are so many people...
No matter who plants or waters, God gives no harvest unless
what is planted is the faith of Peter and unless he agrees to his teachings."
St Thomas Becket
Ste Thomas Becket, ora pro nobis!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Human love without fear

"It's a thirst of the heart of every creature that
desires to be loved, and the love which can alone
satisfy that craving is the Divine Love. 
Let your heart delight in the love your God has
for you, personally, individually.  No soul ever
in ardent fervor desires to unite herself
to our Lord in Holy Communion,
as our Lord desires to unite Himself to her. 

So Holy Communion is a delight to your Infant
Savior; because He loves you, oh, how immeasurably!
He tells you in His heart to heart interview that
He has become a little Infant so that you may
love Him with a human love without fear." 

- St Katherine Drexel


Feast of the Holy Innocents
FEAST DAY - December 28

 As recorded in the gospel of Matthew after the visit of the Magi, Herod,
in fear, rage and jealousy, “ordered the massacre of all the boys in
Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under” in an attempt to destroy
his perceived rival, the infant Messiah.  The horror of the massacre and
the devastation of the mothers and fathers led Matthew to quote Jeremiah:
“A voice was heard in Ramah,/sobbing and loud lamentation;/Rachel weeping
for her children...” (Matthew 2:18).

Since the sixth century, on December 28, the Church has celebrated the
memory of those children killed because of Herod's rage against Christ
(cf. Mt 2:16-17). These innocent lives bear witness to Christ who was
persecuted from the time of His birth by a world which would not receive
Him.   Liturgical tradition refers to them as the "Holy Innocents"
and regards them as martyrs.  

"Blessed are you, Bethlehem in the land of Judah! You suffered the inhumanity of King Herod in the murder of your babes and thereby have become worthy to offer to the Lord a pure host of infants. In full right do we celebrate the heavenly birthday of these children whom the world caused to be born unto an eternally blessed life rather than that from their mothers' womb, for they attained the grace of everlasting life before the enjoyment of the present. The precious death of any martyr deserves high praise because of his heroic confession; the death of these children is precious in the sight of God because of the beatitude they gained so quickly. For already at the beginning of their lives they pass on. The end of the present life is for them the beginning of glory. These then, whom Herod's cruelty tore as sucklings from their mothers' bosom, are justly hailed as "infant martyr flowers"; they were the Church's first blossoms, matured by the frost of persecution during the cold winter of unbelief."  — St. Augustine

Monday, December 27, 2010

This is what is proclaimed

“This is what we proclaim to you: 
what was from the beginning, what we have heard,what we have seen with
our eyes, what we have looked upon
and our hands have touched
we speak of the word of life.” - I John 1:1

St John
Apostle and Evangelist
Son of Zebedee, brother of St James the Great
Known as the Apostle of Charity
Feast Day - December 27

John the Apostle; Artist: Guido Reni

 It is a long way from being eager to sit on a throne of power
or to call down fire from heaven to becoming the man who could write:
“The way we came to know love was that He laid down His life for us;
so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers” (1 John 3:16).

   "Through John we know how we are to participate

as our destiny in the life of Christ."~ St Teresa Benedicta - Edith Stein
Ste John, ora pro nobis!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Feast of the HOLY FAMILY

Jesus, Mary and Joseph

*The Sunday between Christmas and New Year's Day;
If both are Sundays, the feast is celebrated on December 30

“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph had only one life, one purpose:
To glorify the Heavenly Father.  That is what we also
must want.  To achieve it, we have to enter into union
with Mary and Joseph, share their life--family life,
the intimate interior life of which God alone is secret. 
What happiness to be called to this life.  Our love
will consist in living with Mary and Joseph
on the love of Jesus Eucharistic.”

St. Peter Julian Eymard


The vocation of the Family
is to support one another
on the Highway of Holiness -

A highway will be there, a roadway,
And it will be called the Highway of Holiness.
The unclean will not travel on it,
But it will be for him who walks that way,
And fools will not wander on it. - Isaiah 35:8

As Herod tried to destroy the Holy Family (see Mt 2:13), so new Herods
are trying to destroy your family and its holiness. Protect your family
by sacrificially and unconditionally loving both your parents and children. 
Let us be holy.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

O Come Let Us Adore Him, Our Eucharistic Savior!!!

"Raise Your tiny hand, divine Child,
and bless these young friends of Yours,
bless the children of all the earth."

Ven Pope John Paul II


"Christmas is the day on which God
gave Himself to humanity,
and in the Eucharist this gift of His
becomes, so to speak, perfect."

Pope Benedict XVI
Dec. 14, 2006

May our Eucharistic Lord bless you abundantly!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Bread from heaven

The Nativity - Brian Jekel

In the Son of the Virgin, 'wrapped in swaddling clothes
and lying in a manger,' we acknowledge and adore
'the Bread which came down from heaven, ' the Redeemer who came
among us in order to bring life to the world.

At Bethlehem, 'house of bread,' the One, who under
the sign of broken bread, would leave us the memorial
of His Pasch.  On this Holy Night, adoration of the
Child Jesus becomes Eucharistic adoration." 

Ven Pope John Paul II

Thursday, December 23, 2010

He is journeying toward us...

Artist: James Tissot 

"The nine months draw to a close, and our Lord's
last act is to journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem.
It is toward us, as well as toward Bethlehem,
that He is journeying. He is about to leave His home
a second time for the love of us. As He had left
His uncreated home in the Bosom of the Father,
so is He now going to leave His created home
that He may come to us and be still more ours."

Fr. Frederick W. Faber

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

His places of rest

"Let each of us leave his house empty
so that we may see our Master
wrapped in swaddling clothes
and lying in a manger...
The table of this altar takes the
place of the manger.  And surely
the Master's body
will be lying on this altar."
St John Chrysostom
Photo image from St Louis Review:  Fr Jason Schumer, 9/18/10, St. Joseph Parish,
Farmington, Missouri.  Altar built by the priest's father, Bob Schumer. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Perfect, personal union

"A wonderful example of perfect union
He offers us, heaven knows!
He united Himself with our human nature
from the first, engrafting it on to His, so that
to some extent it might share His life....

Then, so that all men individually might be
intimately united to His goodness--not merely
human nature as such--He instituted the sacrament
of the Holy Eucharist, which each can share
and so achieve personal union with the Savior."
St. Francis de Sales

Stained glass:  Cathedral, Edinburgh,Scotland

Monday, December 20, 2010

The HEART of life

"Gathered around the Eucharist
we more easily feel that the mission
of every Christian community is
that of bringing the message
of God's love to all men.
This is why it is important that
the Eucharist always be at the heart
of the life of the faithful."
Pope Benedict XVI
Homily, 12.12.10

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fourth Sunday of ADVENT

Restore us, O LORD God of hosts; let your face shine,
that we may be saved. ~ Psalm 80:19
"As we anticipate the celebration of Christmas,
we want to be with our Lord in the Holy Mass
each day, if possible, offering ourselves to Him
and with Him in the Eucharistic Sacrifice.
We want to spend time with Him in prayer
before the Blessed Sacrament, either reposed
in the tabernacle or exposed for adoration.

We also desire to meet our Lord in the Sacrament of Penance, confessing our sins to Him, with sorrow, and receiving from Him, through the ministry of the priest, the absolution of our sins.

There is no better way to make our final preparation for Christmas than to spend time with our Eucharistic Lord and to meet Him in the Sacrament of Penance."

His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke,
"The Last Days of Advent"
Hat tip: Greg Smisek

 "That our heart, close to God, may be purified
more and more until the day we are granted eternal repose."

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Divine Paradox

'Mary With Child'. oil on linen panel . kay eneim 2007
                “The modern world’s feverish struggle
             for unbridled, often unlicensed, freedom
             is answered by the bound, enclosed
             helplessness and dependence of Christ:

                             Christ in the womb,
                             Christ in the Host,
                             Christ in the tomb.”

Caryll Houselander
The Reed of God

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Rhythm of Liturgy


On December 17th, the Church’s Advent liturgy begins to focus in
a particular way on the Nativity of the Lord.  The prayers, readings,
and preface at Mass as well as the readings, antiphons for the Gospel canticles, intercessions, and prayers at the Liturgy of the Hours concentrate more resolutely than during the preceding days of Advent on the coming
feast of the Nativity of the Lord.

The seven great “O Antiphons” have a particular role in these days
as they have been used for centuries as the antiphons for the Magnificat. Each antiphon, always sung in a very similar melody, begins with 'O'
and addresses Christ with a unique title from the prophecies of Isaiah
and Micah.  Each is followed by the petition that Jesus come to us (veni)
and act on our behalf: 
  • December 17: O Sapientia (O Wisdom)
  • December 18: O Adonai (O Lord)
  • December 19: O Radix Iesse (O Root of Jesse)
  • December 20: O Clavis David (O Key of David)
  • December 21: O Oriens (O Daystar) [after this date, the days get longer)
  • December 22: O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations)
  • December 23: O Emmanuel (O God-with-Us)
When taken together from the last title to the first,
the first letters of each title form a wonderful Latin acrostic:
This is the Lord’s response
to the Church’s ardent petition that He come (veni):

Ero cras (I will be there tomorrow)!


 NOTE:  Some have used the O Antiphons as the basis of a Novena
up to and including Christmas Day.
Perhaps this "last lap" of Advent could also include
daily Mass and/or daily Adoration.

O come, O come, Emmanuel!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rivers of grace, virtue and merit

"All the good things of grace and of glory
come to us through the divine Eucharist.
Their fountainhead is at Bethlehem,
which became a heaven of love; they gathered
 volume all through the life of the Saviour;
and all these rivers of grace, virtue, and merit
empty into the ocean of this adorable Sacrament,
in which we possess them in all their fullness."
St. Peter Julian Eymard

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Love to pray

"God is close, ... but we are often far away. Let us,
then draw close, let us come into the presence
of His light, let us pray to the Lord and, in the contact
of prayer, let us become a light for others". 
Pope Benedict XVI
St Maximilian Kolbe Church, Roma
Excerpt from homily - 12.12.10


"Love to pray. Feel often during the day the need for prayer. Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God's gift of Himself. Ask and seek and your heart will grow big enough to receive Him."

Bl Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

MORE on: Adoratio 2011: Rome Conference

Adoratio 2011: Rome Conference

Toulon, France, 11th December 2010:
The Bishop of Fréjus-Toulon, France, Msgr Dominique Rey, today announced a major international conference on Eucharistic Adoration to take place in Rome from June 20-23, 2011.

The Primacy of Adoration
Organised by the Missionaries of the Most Holy Eucharist, a new community founded by Bishop Rey in 2007, the conference brings together a wide range of international speakers, including seven prominent Cardinals. "The first condition for the new evangelisation is adoration", Bishop Rey said. "We must regain the ability to adore Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist if we are to bring the men and women of the twenty-first century to faith in Jesus Christ. This is one of the key themes of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI", he emphasised, "which is why we are taking this initiative".

Adoratio 2011 will include fourteen conferences, workshops, the celebration of Mass in the new and older forms, all-night adoration and the divine office. Approximately 300 resident participants are expected, with more due to attend on a daily basis. Simultaneous translation services will be provided in the main languages.
Corpus Christi in Rome

The Conference will conclude by joining with Pope Benedict in his celebration of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi at the Basilica of Saint John Lateran and the Eucharistic procession to the Basilica of St Mary Major that follows.

Père Florian Racine.jpgSpringtime of Eucharistic Adoration
Fr Florian Racine, founder of the Missionaries of the Most Holy Eucharist and the principal organiser, stated: "We are confident that this conference will make an important contribution to the new springtime of Eucharistic adoration that is so dear to the heart of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict. We are humbled by the many people who have already given so much to make this conference something far better than we ever dared to hope it could be. Adoratio 2011 already promises to be an important international event in the life of the Church in 2011."


Fr Florian Racine; Founder and Superior of the Missionaries of the Most Holy Eucharist: +33 (0)4 94 74 15 67 +33 (0)6 73 36 51 02

Quenching one's thirst...

            "That eternal Spring is hidden
            yet I know well where it flows...
            I know that there can be
            nothing else so beautiful
            and that the heavens and the earth drink there...
            I know well that its bottom cannot be found
            and that no one can penetrate its depths...
            Its clarity is never muddied,
            and I know that every light has come from it...
            Well do I know how vast , how mighty is the flow
            of the stream born in this Fount...
            This eternal Spring is hidden
            in this living Bread to give us life...
            It is here calling to creatures
            and from its water they quench their thirst...
            This living Fount that I long for
            I see in this Bread of Life..."
St John of the Cross
Doctor (mystical theology) of the Church
1542 — 1591 ~ Spain
Carmelite friar and priest
Co-founder Discalced Carmelites
w/St Teresa of Ávila
FEAST DAY - Dec 14
"Where there is no love, put love --
and you will find love." ~ St John of the Cross
Ste John of the Cross, ora pro nobis!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Temples of the Holy Spirit

"Those whose hearts are pure
are temples of the Holy Spirit."

St Lucy (Santa Lucia)
In Italian, Lucia means "light"
Sicily ~ 283-304
Patron of blindness and eye problems
Feast Day - December 13
 Sta Lucia, ora pro nobis!
St. Lucy (Santa Lucia) was a young Sicilian girl who vowed to live as a virgin in devotion to Christ. Her mother, however, arranged a marriage for her to a pagan suitor. To dissuade her mom by proof of a miracle, Lucy prayed at the tomb of St. Agatha that her mother's hemorrhage would stop. When the miracle happened, her mother agreed to leave aside the topic of marriage.

Lucy's suitor, however, had other plans, and revealed Lucy as a Christian. Authorities went to collect her, planning on forcing her into prostitution -- but they were unable to budge her, even after tying her to a team of oxen. She was then tortured by having her eyes torn out. They'd planned on torturing her by fire, too, but the fires kept going out. She was then killed by being stabbed in the throat with a dagger. The date of Lucy's martyrdom was December 13, 304.

Because of the above, St. Lucy is the patron of those with eye problems, and is often depicted carrying her eyes (often on a plate), being tied to a team of oxen, with St. Agatha, or before her judges.
Excerpt from Fisheaters -
Saint Lucy is one of seven women, aside from the Blessed Virgin Mary, commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass in Eucharistic Prayer I.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Adoratio 2011: International Conference in Rome

Adoratio 2011: International Conference in Rome
Post by Father Mark (Kirby)
 on December 11, 2010 9:34 AM

The First International Conference on Eucharistic Adoration will be held in Rome (Italy) from June 20 to June 23, 2011, with the intention of promoting the desire of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church to see Perpetual Adoration spread to Parishes and Dioceses around the world.
The faithful must seek to receive and to venerate the Most Holy Sacrament with piety and devotion, eager to welcome the Lord Jesus with faith (Pope Benedict XVI May 11, 2007)
Holy Mass is in itself the Church's greatest act of adoration: "No one eats of this flesh", as St Augustine writes, "without having first adored it". Adoration outside Holy Mass prolongs and intensifies what has taken place in the liturgical celebration and makes a true and profound reception of Christ possible.
I would like to take the opportunity to warmly recommend, to Pastors and to all the faithful, the practice of Eucharistic adoration. I express my appreciation to the Institutes of Consecrated Life as well as to the associations and confraternities that are especially dedicated to this practice; they offer to everyone a reminder of Christ's centrality in our personal and ecclesial life.
In life today, often noisy and dispersive, it is more important than ever to recover the capacity for inner silence and recollection. Eucharistic adoration permits this not only centred on the "I" but more so in the company of that "You" full of love who is Jesus Christ, "the God who is near to us". (Pope Benedict XVI Angelus 06.10.2007)

Speakers Include
* Cardinal Francis ARINZE, Emeritus Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship
* Cardinal Raymond BURKE, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, Vatican City
* Cardinal Antonio CAÑIZARES LLOVERA, Prefect for the Congregation of Divine Worship
* Cardinal Malcolm RANJITH, Archbishop of Colombo, Sri Lanka, former Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship
* Cardinal Mauro PIACENZA, President of the Congregation for the Clergy, Vatican City
* Cardinal Peter TURKSON, President of the Pontifical Council Justice and Peace, Vatican City
* Bishop Giovanni D'ERCOLE, Auxiliary Bishop of L'Aquila, Italy
* Bishop D. José Ignacio MUNILLA - Bishop of San Sebastian, Spain
* Bishop Dominique REY, Bishop of the Diocese of Frejus-Toulon, France
* Bishop Athanasius SCHNEIDER, Auxiliary Bishop of Karaganda, Kazakhstan
* Fr Nicolas BUTTET, Founder of the Eucharistein Community, St-Maurice, Switzerland
* Fr Mark Daniel KIRBY, Prior of the Diocesan Benedictine Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle in Tulsa, Oklahoma
* Fr Florian RACINE , Founder of the Missionaries of the Most Holy Eucharist, Sanary, France
* Mother Adela GALINDO, Foundress of the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary, USA
* Sr. Joseph, Missionaries of Charity, Calcutta, India

Third Sunday of ADVENT


The third Sunday of Advent is traditionally known as Gaudete Sunday. 
This name derives from the first word of that Sunday’s Introit
in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass:
Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico gaudete.    
Rejoice in the Lord always: again I say,

And the ransomed of the LORD shall return,
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain joy and gladness,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.  ~ Isaiah 35:10

"Draw near to Christ, present among us
in His Word and in the Eucharist, and...
in the knowledge that He remains with us
at every moment of our lives
and throughout history."

Pope Benedict XVI
Dec. 9, 2009, General Audience