Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Extending invitation

Apostle and Martyr
Brother of St Peter
Patron:  Russia, Scotland, fishermen
 Name "Andrew" (Greek: manly, brave, from ἀνδρεία,
Andreia, "manhood, valour")
November 30

  Come after Me and I will make you fishers of men. —Matthew 4:19

St. Andrew seems to have been a transparent disciple. Andrew has no identity in the Gospels apart from Jesus. He is always portrayed as either following Jesus or bringing others to Jesus.

The top group of apostles in the gospel are always Peter, James, John, and Andrew. Peter, James, and John are portrayed in the Gospels with lofty ambition or grandiose goals (e.g. Mark 10:35ff; Luke 22:33), but never Andrew. Although he was a privileged apostle with special access to Jesus (see e.g. Mark 13:3), he was apparently content to humbly and transparently bring others to Jesus without drawing attention to himself (see John 1:40-42).

Once the Apostle Philip was approached by a group of Greeks who wanted to see Jesus. Instead of bringing them directly to Jesus, Philip brought them to Andrew (John 12:20-22). Philip apparently was certain that if he could just get the Greeks to Andrew, then Andrew would be able to bring them straight to Jesus.

The upcoming season of Advent is a time of preparing to meet Jesus. Many people don't know Jesus, but they do know us. We can be another Andrew for them. Like Andrew, we have been given special access to the Lord (see Ephesians 2:18; 3:12; Romans 5:2). Bring people to Jesus this Advent.

Reflection: John Hughes, Arizona

Following the model of St Andrew, 
INVITE someone to Mass or to an Adoration Chapel during this Advent season!


Ste Andrew, ora pro nobis!

Christmas Anticipation Prayer

Beginning on St. Andrew the Apostle's feast day, November 30, the following beautiful prayer is traditionally recited fifteen times a day until Christmas. This is a very meditative prayer that helps us increase our awareness of the real focus of Christmas and helps us prepare ourselves spiritually for His coming.
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment In which the Son of God was born Of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, [here mention your request] through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother.  Amen.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Remembering the good Bishop...


"The Body of Christ (Eucharist)
will unite the
Body of Christ (Church)."

Bishop Paul V Dudley
11-29-1926 ~ 11-20-2006

Yes - it is truth that you have spoken, good Bishop!
Let us together pray for its fruition!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

First Sunday of Advent

When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year,
     she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah,
     for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior’s first
     coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for His second
     coming. By celebrating the precursor’s [St. John the Baptist's
     birth and martyrdom, the Church unites herself to his desire:
     “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).

--Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 524

First Sunday of Advent
It is the hour now for you to awake from sleep.  For our salvation
is nearer now than when we first believed.  Rom 13:11

"Jesus, ... the Eucharist is the sacramental testimony of Your first
coming, with which the words of the prophets were reconfirmed
and expectations were fulfilled.  You have left us, O Lord, Your Body
and Blood under the species of bread and wine that they may bear
witness to the fact that the world has been redeemed  - that through
them Your paschal mystery may reach all men as the Sacrament
of life and salvation.  The Eucharist is at the same time a constant
announcement of Your second coming and the sign of the definitive
Advent and also of the expectation of the whole Church.

When we eat this bread and drink this cup,
we proclaim Your death, Lord Jesus,
until You come in glory. 

Every day and every hour we wish to adore You, stripped under the
species of bread and wine, to renew the hope of the call to glory. Amen."

Ven Pope John Paul II
Quoted in Jesus, We Adore You
Paul Thigpen


Seconda Venuta di Christo
Prepare yourself for the coming of the Lord.
Hat tip to Greg Smisek

Advent season resources

Vatican Advent page (forthcoming)

U.S. Bishops’ Advent/Christmas Seasons (with daily family activities)

Saints.SQPN.com: Learn more about the saints of Advent,
including the Blessed Virgin Mary (Dec. 8 and 12),
St. John the
Nicholas (Dec. 6), St. Juan Diego (Dec. 9), and
St. Lucy (Dec. 13).

Doxaweb 2010 Advent Calendar (starting Dec. 1 — it’s not just for kids)

A Catholic approach to holiday gift-giving
(Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Come to the altar - and ask!

Mission Chapel - San Juan Capistrano, 1945

Our Lady appeared to 24 year old Catherine Laboure in 1830 in Paris, France.  Preceding Our Lady’s apparition an angel awoke her and said, “Come to the Chapel.  The Blessed Virgin is waiting for you.”  The Lady spoke, “My child, the good God wishes to entrust to you a mission.”  The Lord would be with her and would guide her.  Our Lady spoke to her near the sanctuary, prophesying many sufferings her country would undergo, but encouraged her by saying:  “Do not be afraid.  Tell them not to be afraid.”

In her second apparition, on November 27, Our Lady revealed her desire
for the Miraculous Medal.  Over the course of the apparitions, which always occurred near the Blessed Sacrament, Our Mother gave her this message,
as if giving a remedy, for the world:  “Come to the foot of the altar. 
Here graces will be showered on all, great and little,
who ask for them.  Graces will especially be showered
upon those who ask for them.”

More about the Miraculous Medal -
and to obtain a free medal (USA and Canada only )

Friday, November 26, 2010

In union with Christ


The holy hour in our modern rat race is necessary for authentic prayer. Our world is one of speed in which intensity of movement is a substitute for lack of purpose; where noise is invoked to drown out the whisperings of conscience; where talk, talk, talk gives the impression that we are doing something when really we are not; where activity kills self-knowledge won by contemplation…
There seems to be so little in common between our involvement with the news of the world and the Stranger in whose Presence we find ourselves. The hour means giving up a golf game or a cocktail party, or a nap…

Sometimes it is hard, especially during vacation when we have nothing to do. I remember once having two hours between trains in Paris. I went to the Church of Saint Roch to make my holy hour. There are not ten days a year I can sleep in the daytime This was one. I was so tired, I sat down at 2:00p.m.--too tired to kneel--and went to sleep. I slept perfectly until 3:00p.m. I said to the Good Lord: "Did I make a holy hour?" The answer came back: "Yes! That's the way the Apostles made their first one."


The best time to make a holy hour is in the morning, early, before the day sets traps for us. By being faithful to it, and letting nothing interfere with it, we use it as the sign and symbol of our victimhood. We are not called to great penances, and many would interfere with our duty, but the hour is our daily sacrifice in union with Christ.” 

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Consider offering a HOLY HOUR
in union with Christ -

every day during Advent!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy and Holy Thanksgiving to all!

Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more - a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse
may be Thy praise.  ~ George Herbert


Be filled with the Holy Spirit...
singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart,
always and for everything giving thanks in the name
of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.  Eph 5:18b-20

"We give You thanks, O Lord our God,
for the Communion of Your
holy, pure, and heavenly Mysteries,
which You have given
for the good, the hallowing
and the healing of souls and bodies."

St. Basil the Great

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Veil matters

  "Our Lord veils Himself for our good and
our advantage, to force us to study His soul,
His intentions, and His virtues in Himself.
If we saw Him, we would be satisfied to admire
His appearance, we would have for Him
only a sentimental love; our Lord wants us
to love Him with a love of sacrifice.
    It is hard for our Lord thus to veil Himself.
He would prefer to show His divine countenance,
which drew so many hearts to Him in His mortal life;
but He veils it for our good. Our mind is thus forced
to study the Eucharist; our faith is spurred on;
we acquire a deeper understanding of our Lord."
St. Peter Julian Eymard

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"¡Viva Cristo Rey!"



“I believe, O Lord, but strengthen my faith…
Heart of Jesus, I love Thee; but increase my love.
Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee;
    but give greater vigor to my confidence.
Heart of Jesus, I give my heart to Thee;
    but so enclose it in Thee that it may never be
    separated from Thee.
Heart of Jesus, I am all Thine;
    but take care of my promise
so that I may be able to put it in practice
even unto the complete sacrifice of my life."

Bl Miguel Agustin Pro
Jesuit priest, Martyr
Mexico ~ 1891-1927
FEAST DAY – November 23


 "How can I explain to you the sweet grace of the Holy Spirit, which invades my poor miner's soul with such heavenly joys? I could not keep back tears on the day of my ordination, above all at the moment when I pronounced, together with the bishop, the words of the consecration. After the ceremony the new priests gave their first blessing to their parents. I went to my room, laid out all the photographs of my family on the table, and then blessed them from the bottom of my heart."

Bl Miguel Pro, ora pro nobis!

MORE on Bl Miguel Pro...

In the 1920s the churches in Mexico were closed and priests went into hiding. Fr Pro spent the rest of his life in a secret ministry to the sturdy Mexican Catholics. In addition to fulfilling their spiritual needs, he also carried out the works of mercy by assisting the poor in Mexico City with their temporal needs. He adopted many interesting disguises in carrying out his secret ministry. He would come in the middle of the night dressed as a beggar to baptize infants, bless marriages and celebrate Mass. He would appear in jail dressed as a police officer to bring Holy Viaticum to condemned Catholics. When going to fashionable neighborhoods to procure for the poor, he would show up at the doorstep dressed as a fashionable businessman with a fresh flower on his lapel. His many exploits could rival those of the most daring spies. In all that he did, however, Fr. Pro remained obedient to his superiors and was filled with the joy of serving Christ, his King.
Falsely accused in the bombing attempt on a former Mexican president, Miguel became a wanted man. Betrayed to the police, he was sentenced to death without the benefit of any legal process.

At the time of the killing, Mexico was under the rule of the fiercely anti-clerical and anti-Catholic President Plutarco Elías Calles who had begun what writer Graham Greene called the "fiercest persecution of religion anywhere since the reign of Elizabeth."
On the day of his execution, as Fr. Pro walked from his cell to the courtyard and the firing squad, he blessed the soldiers, knelt and briefly prayed quietly. Declining a blindfold, he faced his executioners with a crucifix in one hand and a rosary in the other and held his arms out in imitation of the crucified Christ and shouted out, "May God have mercy on you! May God bless you! Lord, Thou knowest that I am innocent! With all my heart I forgive my enemies!" Before the firing squad were ordered to shoot, Pro raised his arms in imitation of Christ and shouted the defiant cry of the Cristeros, "Viva Cristo Rey!" -"Long live Christ the King!" . When the initial shots of the firing squad failed to kill him, a soldier shot him point blank.

Calles had the execution meticulously photographed, and the newspapers throughout the country carried them on the front page the following day. Presumably, Calles thought that the sight of the pictures would frighten the Cristero rebels who were fighting against his troops, particularly in the state of Jalisco. However, they had the opposite effect. The Cristeros became more animated and fought with renewed enthusiasm, many of them carrying the newspaper photo of Pro before the firing squad.

Miguel Pro's last request prior to execution was to be allowed to kneel and pray.

Pro himself refused a blindfold.  A Crucifix in the right hand, a rosary in the other.

He blessed and forgave the firing squad.

November 24, 1927, at the front of the Jesuit church of the Holy Family, a multitude accompanied the remains of Father Pro.  Father Mendez Medina cried out, "Make way for the martyrs of Christ the King!" 
Although Calles had forbidden any public demonstration, the people acted in open defiance. Never had the city seen such an enormous turnout for a funeral. As the martyrs' caskets left the house, a great and unanimous cry soared from the hearts and mouths of thousands:.. "¡Viva Cristo Rey!" Thousands thronged the streets and balconies, throwing flowers, praying the rosary and singing. It was a triumph - a glorious witness to the heroism of martyrs for Christ the King.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sacred paths

     “When there are two roads which bring me to some place,  I take the one with more churches
so as to be nearer the Blessed Sacrament.

When I see a place where my Jesus is,
I could not be happier, and I say,
‘You are here, my God and my All.
 Venerable Jean-Jacques Olier 

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Pilate therefore said to Him: Art thou a king then? Jesus answered:
Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this
came I into the world, that I should give testimony to the truth.
Every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice. ~ John 13:37 

Christ the King Sunday celebrates the all-embracing authority of Christ as King and Lord of the cosmos. Officially called the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King, it is celebrated on the final Sunday of Ordinary Time, the Sunday before Advent.

"Man is composed of body and soul, and he needs these external festivities so that the sacred rites, in all their beauty and variety, may stimulate him to drink more deeply of the fountain of God's teaching, that he may make it a part of himself, and use it with profit for his spiritual life." ~ excerpt: Quas Primas, Pope Pius XI

 “O king of Glory, though You hide Your beauty,
yet the eye of my soul rends the veil.” St. Faustina

“There He is:
King of Kings and Lord of Lords,
hidden in the bread.
To this extreme
has He humbled Himself
for love of you.”

St. Josemaria Escriva

"There was an inscription over His head: 'THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.' " Luke 23:38

On this last Sunday of the Church Year, we totally commit our lives to Jesus and acknowledge Him as our King and the King of kings. Like the good thief, we may have ignored Jesus' Kingship for years or even for our entire lives, but we can repent today. When we say "Jesus, remember me when You enter upon Your reign" (Luke 23:42), Jesus will also reply to us: "I assure you: this day you will be with Me in paradise" (Luke 23:43).

Today we can make or renew a commitment to Jesus, which will have eternal significance. Some people think they don't need to commit their lives to Jesus. They are "good people" who go to church, pray, and have decent morals. Yet all this is only part of being a subject of King Jesus. He rightly demands not just good, prayerful, decent people but people begotten from above (Jn 3:3), new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17), children of God (John 1:12).

To be born again, be made new, and become children of our heavenly Father, we must be baptized into King Jesus (Romans 6:3) and live that new life by faith. This faith will be expressed in total commitment of our lives to King Jesus.   ~  Reflection:  John Hughes, Tucson, Arizona

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Dual discovery!


"Dear friends, if you learn to discover
Jesus in the Eucharist,
you will also know how to discover Him
in your brothers and sisters,
particularly in the very poor."

Ven. John Paul II
World Youth Day 2004

Friday, November 19, 2010

Eucharistic springtime

"I would like to affirm with joy that today in the
Church there is a 'Eucharistic springtime':
How many persons pause silently before the
Tabernacle to spend time in a conversation of love
with Jesus! It is consoling to know that not a
few groups of young people have rediscovered
the beauty of praying in adoration before
the Most Blessed Sacrament. ...
I pray so that this Eucharistic 'springtime'
will spread increasingly in every parish... "

Pope Benedict XVI
General Wednesday Audience
17 November 2010 
Students at Catholic University of America

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hold nothing back!

 “We cultivate a very small field
for Christ, but we love it, knowing
that God does not require great achievements but a heart that
holds back nothing for self. ...
He who has Jesus has everything."

St Rose Philippine Duchesne
France ~ 1769-1852
"Missionary of the American Frontier"
Foundress of the American Society of the Sacred Heart
FEAST DAY – November 18


St Rose spent hours in adoration of our Eucharistic Lord. 
Sometimes her prayer would go long into the nighttime, spending 6 to 8
hours before the Blessed Sacrament.   Her long hours of contemplation
impelled the Potawatomi Indians whom she served to name her,
Quah-kah-ka-num-ad, "Woman-Who-Prays-Always".  "Poverty and Christian heroism
are here," she wrote, "and trials are the riches of priests in this land."
At 71 years old, she successfully opened a school in Kansas for them.

Sta Rose Philippine Duchesne, ora pro nobis!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Close to the hidden Jesus

St Elizabeth of Hungary, when she was a little girl and used to play about the palace with her companions, 
would always pick a spot near the chapel
so that every now and then, without being noticed,
she might stop by the chapel door, kiss the lock,
and say to Jesus,
"My Jesus, I am playing, but I am not forgetting You.
Bless me and my companions. Goodbye."


St Elizabeth of Hungary
Secular Franciscan Order
FEAST DAY - November 17

 The Charity of St. Elizabeth of Hungary by Edmund Blair Leighton (1853-1922)
The Charity of St. Elizabeth of Hungary
by Edmund Blair Leighton (1895)

"How could I bear a crown of gold when the Lord bears a crown of thorns? And bears it for me!"  - St Elizabeth of Hungary
Sta Elizabeth of Hungary, ora pro nobis!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Eternally sweet and tender


"O God of love, my Savior,
eternally sweet and tender,
heart and soul
I thirst for You! 
You fill my soul;
and yet the more
I taste of You,
the more I hunger. 
The deeper I drink of You,
the more I thirst. 
Come, Jesus!  Come, Lord!" 

St Gertrude
Benedictine nun, mystic
Patroness of the West Indies
Germany ~ 1256 – 1302
FEAST DAY – November 16

"Lord, you have granted me your secret friendship by opening the sacred ark
of your divinity, your deified heart, to me in so many ways as to be the source
of all my happiness; sometimes imparting it freely, sometimes as a special mark of our
mutual friendship. You have so often melted my soul with your loving caresses..."
Adapted from The Life and Revelations of Saint Gertrude

Sta Gertrude, ora pro nobis!

Monday, November 15, 2010

O Blood of Jesus...irrigate the Church

"I adore You, O Precious Blood of Jesus, flower of creation, fruit of virginity, ineffable instrument of the Holy Spirit, and I rejoice at the thought that You came from the drop of virginal blood on which eternal Love impressed its movement; You were assumed by the Word and deified in His person. I am overcome with emotion when I think of Your passing from the Blessed Virgin's heart into the heart of the Word, and, being vivified by the breath of the Divinity, becoming adorable because You became the Blood of God.
I adore You enclosed in the veins of Jesus, preserved in His humanity like the manna in the golden urn, the memorial of the eternal Redemption which He accomplished during the days of His earthly life. I adore You, Blood of the new, eternal Testament, flowing from the veins of Jesus in Gethsemane, from the flesh torn by scourges in the Praetorium, from His pierced hands and feet and from His opened side on Golgotha. I adore You in the Sacraments, in the Eucharist, where I know You are substantially present....
I place my trust in You, O adorable Blood, our Redemption, our regeneration. Fall, drop by drop, into the hearts that have wandered from You and soften their hardness.
O adorable Blood of Jesus, wash our stains, save us from the anger of the avenging angel. Irrigate the Church; make her fruitful with Apostles and miracle-workers, enrich her with souls that are holy, pure and radiant with divine beauty."
- A meditation on the Precious Blood of Jesus from the writings of St. Albert the Great
St Albert the Great (Albertus Magnus)
Dominican, Doctor of the Church
Teacher and Mentor of St Thomas Aquinas
Patron of scientists
Germany ~ 1200-1280
FEAST DAY - November 15
 It has been said that St. Albert was a scientist by temperament,
a philosopher by deliberate choice and a theologian by mood.
Ste Albert the Great, ora pro nobis!
  MORE on St Albert worth reading...