Saturday, April 30, 2011

Behold thy Mother (Easter Saturday)


"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.

Friday, April 29, 2011

That His life be manifest! (Easter Friday)

"He belongs to you, but more than that,
He longs to be in you, living and ruling in you,
as the head lives and rules in the body. 
He desires that whatever is in Him
may live and rule in you: 

His breath in your breath,
His heart in your heart,
all the faculties of His soul
in the faculties of your soul,

so that these words may be fulfilled in you: 

Glorify God and bear Him in your body,
that the life of Jesus may be made manifest in you."

St John Eudes

Thursday, April 28, 2011

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

Still Life of Flowers and Grapes Encircling a Monstrance
Jan van Kessel 

"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. 

    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. 

For each holy 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

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Civilization of love (Easter Wednesday)

"Do not abandon yourselves to despair.
We are the Easter people and Alleluia is our song." 
Pope Ven John Paul II
"During this Easter season I encourage all of you
to discover ever more fully in the Eucharist,
the sacrament of Christ’s sacrificial love, the
inspiration and strength needed to work ever
more generously for the spread of God’s Kingdom
and the growth of the civilization of love"
(cf. Sacramentum Caritatis, 90).

Pope Benedict XVI
April 20, 2007

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Seed of immortality (Easter Tuesday)

The bread that I will give is My flesh
for the life of the world. ~ Gospel of St John 6:51

“The Eucharist is source and pledge of blessedness
and glory, not for the soul alone, but for the body also.
...In the frail and perishable body that divine Host,
which is the immortal body of Christ, implants
a principle of resurrection, a seed of immortality,
which one day must germinate.”

Pope Leo XIII

Monday, April 25, 2011

Our companion (Easter Monday)

 "Octave" has two senses in Christian liturgical usage. In the first sense,
it is the eighth day after a feast, reckoning inclusively, and so always falls on
the same day of the week as the feast itself. The word is derived from Latin
octava (eighth), with dies (day) understood. The term is also applied to the
whole period of these eight days, during which the observance of certain
major feasts came to be observed - like Easter - and thus the EASTER OCTAVE
we are in right now.  *They are celebrated as Solemnities of the Lord.
(General Norms for Liturgical Year and Calendar, 24)

Let the celebration CONTINUE!!!

"We have Him so near in the Blessed Sacrament,
where He is already glorified and where we don't
have to gaze upon Him as being so tired and worn out,
bleeding, wearied by His journeys,
persecuted by those for whom He did so much good,
and not believed in by the Apostles. …

Behold Him here without suffering,
full of glory, before ascending into heaven,
strengthening some, encouraging others,
our companion in the Most Blessed Sacrament."

St Teresa of Avila

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A new day dawns! (Easter Sunday)

Indeed, He is RISEN!
 Christ is Risen, and you, O death, are annihilated!
Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down!
Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is Risen, and life is liberated!
Christ is Risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead;
for Christ having risen from the dead,
is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

To Him be Glory and Power forever and ever. Amen!
(Excerpt - Easter homily, St John Chrysostom)
Jacopa Robusti Tintoretto, The Resurrection of Christ (1565)
"On the third day the friends of Christ coming
at daybreak to the place found the grave empty and
the stone rolled away.  In varying ways they realized
that new wonder; but even they hardly realized
that the world had died in the night. 
What they were looking at was the first day of a new creation,
with a new heaven and a new earth; and in a
semblance of the gardener God walked again in the garden,
in the cool not of the evening but the dawn.”

GK Chesterton, The Everlasting Man

Thursday, April 21, 2011

O, happy fault! (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.
Michael O'Brien
"By a beautiful paradox of Divine love, God makes His Cross the very means of our salvation and our life. We have slain Him; we have nailed Him there and crucified Him; but the Love in His eternal heart could not be extinguished. He willed to give us the very life we slew; to give us the very Food we destroyed; to nourish us with the very Bread we buried, and the very Blood we poured forth. He made our very crime into a happy fault; He turned a Crucifixion into a Redemption; a Consecration into a Communion; a death into Life Everlasting."

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, This is the Mass

O crux, ave spes unica! (Good Friday)

O crux, ave spes unica!
(Hail, O cross, our only hope!)

"All the greatest pains become sweet for
whoever looks at Jesus Christ on the Cross."

St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi 

Simon Vouets, 1622

"Do grant, oh my God, that when my lips
approach Yours to kiss You,
I may taste the gall that was given to You;
when my shoulders lean against Yours,
make me feel Your scourging;
when my flesh is united with Yours,
in the Holy Eucharist,
make me feel Your passion;
when my head comes near Yours,
make me feel Your thorns;
when my heart is close to Yours,
make me feel Your spear."

St. Gemma Galgani


That He might stay with us (Holy Thursday)

Institution of the Sacraments
of Holy Eucharist and Holy Orders
 Peter Paul Rubens, The Last Supper
Jesus Christ
instituted the Sacrament of the Eucharist
so that He might stay with us
and be the Food of our soul;
that He might stay with us
and be our Companion.
St John Vianney
"Without the priest, the passion and death of our Lord
would be of no avail.  It is the priest who continues
the work of redemption here on earth... 
Leave a parish for twenty years without a priest and
they will end by worshipping the beasts there...
The priest is not a priest  for himself,
he is a priest for you."
"O, how great is the priest!...
If he realized what he is, he would die."
St John Vianney
Pray, pray, pray
for our priests!
They rely on our Prayers!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Loving as He loves

From a treatise on John by Saint Augustine, bishop
The perfection of love  (From today's Office of Readings)
Dear brethren, the Lord has marked out for us the fullness of love that we ought to have for each other. He tells us: No one has greater love than the man who lays down his life for his friends. In these words, the Lord tells us what the perfect love we should have for one another involves. John, the evangelist who recorded them, draws the conclusion in one of his letters: As Christ laid down his life for us, so we too ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. We should indeed love one another as he loved us, he who laid down his life for us.

This is surely what we read in the Proverbs of Solomon: If you sit down to eat at the table of a ruler, observe carefully what is set before you; then stretch out your hand, knowing that you must provide the same kind of meal yourself. What is this ruler’s table if not the one at which we receive the Body and Blood of Him who laid down His life for us? What does it mean to sit at this table if not to approach it with humility? What does it mean to observe carefully what is set before you if not to meditate devoutly on so great a gift? What does it mean to stretch out one’s hand, knowing that one must provide the same kind of meal oneself, if not what I have just said: as Christ laid down His life for us, so we in our turn ought to lay down our lives for our brothers? This is what the apostle Paul said: Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we might follow in His footsteps.

This is what is meant by providing “the same kind of meal.” This is what the blessed martyrs did with such burning love. If we are to give true meaning to our celebration of their memorials, to our approaching the Lord’s table in the very banquet at which they were fed, we must, like them, provide “the same kind of meal.”

Prepare for your meal at the Lord's Table with great care -
especially during this Holiest of Weeks!
To you all flesh will come with its burden of sin.
Too heavy for us, our offenses,
but you wipe them away.  Ps 65:2,3

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Come to the altar, surrender


"Holy Week is the time of our great Passover:
the passage from darkness to light, from sadness to joy,
from time to eterntiy, from death to life.  And so we are drawn to
the Cross and the Cross is offered to us, in this and in every Eucharist.
The Eucharist is the place and the means and the price of our Passover
for the Eucharist is the Church held in the embrace of the Cross.

If you are weary, come to the altar, surrender to the embrace of the Cross.
If you are fearful and isolated, come to the altar, surrender to the embrace
of the Cross. If you are bitter, or bruised, or fragmented, come to the altar,
surrender to the embrace of the Cross. If you hunger and thirst for
holiness, come to the altar, surrender to the embrace of the Cross.
If you would ascend with Christ to the Father, if you would make of
your life a fragrant offering, come to the altar, surrender to the embrace
of the Cross. If you would leave behind the darkness of the cold tomb,
if you would know the joy of resurrection, come to the altar, surrender
to the embrace of the Cross.

Together let us surrender to the mystery of the Cross.  Together let us
receive from the altar the mystery of the Cross, and so enter into the
silence and into the song of the great and glorious Pasch of the Lord.
In a week's time, having passed over from death to life, from the seven days of measured time into the mystic Eighth day, we will hail the
festival day of Him who triumphs over hell and holds the stars of heaven
in His hand (cf. Salve, Festa Dies, Easter Processional Hymn)."

Reflection:  Fr Mark Kirby

Monday, April 18, 2011

Draw us upwards!

 "We are on pilgrimage with the Lord to the heights. We are striving
for pure hearts and clean hands, we are seeking truth,
we are seeking the face of God.  Let us show the Lord that we desire
to be righteous, and let us ask Him: Draw us upwards! Make us pure!
Grant that the words which we sang in the processional psalm may
also hold true for us; grant that we may be part of the generation which
seeks God, “which seeks your face, O God of Jacob” (cf. Ps 24:6). Amen."
(Ending of Pope Benedict XVI's Palm Sunday Homily 2011)
“With all my heart I desire You,
O Bread of Angels!
Do not look on my unworthiness
which separates me from You,
but look on Your love
which so often has invited me
to approach You.” 
St. Louise de Marillac

Sunday, April 17, 2011


 Holy Week, the most solemn and intense period of worship in the Christian
faith, begins with Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion (the full name), the Sunday
before Easter. In spite of the spiritual gravity of Holy Week, it begins with joy. 
The Church celebrates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the Church
begins her commemorative pilgrimage with her Lord on His way to Calvary.
 Wear RED to Mass today!

"It is a fact that an age waxes or wanes
in proportion to the worship of the divine Eucharist.
It is there that is found the life and the measure
of its faith, its charity, and its vitality.

May the reign of the Eucharist
come about more and more.
For too long impiety and ingratitude
have been allowed to hold sway over the world!
Adveniat regnum tuum. Thy Kingdom come."

St. Peter Julian Eymard


How to make palm Crosses to tuck behind
picture frames of holy images
Palm Cross Drawings Copyright 2000 S. A. Keith of
Take a palm that is about 2 feet long and 1/2" wide (if it tapers at the top, this is good!). Hold the palm upright, so the tapered end points toward the ceiling.
Then bend the top end down and toward you so that the bend is about 5 or 6 inches from the bottom of the palm.
About a third of the way from the bend you just made, twist the section you've pulled down to the right, forming a right angle.
About an inch and a half away from the "stem" of the cross, bend this arm of the palm back behind the palm so that it is now facing to your left. Make the bend at a good length to form the right arm of the Cross.
Folding that same section at a point that equals the length on the right side, bend it on the left side and bring the end forward over what is now the front of the cross.
From the very center of the Cross, fold that arm up and to the upper right (in a "northeast" direction) so that it can wrap around where the upright post of the Cross and the right arm intersect.
Fold this down and to the left behind the Cross...
...and then fold it toward the right so that it is parallel and under the transverse arms of the Cross.
Bring it up behind the Cross again, this time folding it up toward the "northwest" direction.
Tuck the tapered end into the transverse section you made in step 7...
...and pull through.
Turn the Cross over; this side will be the front. Trim the tapered end if necessary, remembering that the palm is a sacramental and any part you trim away should be kept and respected as a sacramental! Use that piece for burning during storms.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Source of light and love

“The Eucharist bathes the tormented
soul in light and love. Then the
soul appreciates these words,
‘Come all you who are sick,
I will restore your health.’
St. Bernadette
France ~ 1844-1879
Lourdes visionary and nun
FEAST DAY - April 16
Said of St Bernadette by a fellow Sister, Sr Dalias:
"The Holy Eucharist was the breath of her soul."
Sta Bernadette, ora pro nobis!
April 16
"Adore Him present in the Eucharist:
in fact, adoration must precede
our every activity and program,
that it may render us truly free
and that we may be given
the criteria for our action."
Pope Benedict XVI
Oct. 19, 2006
Italy's National Ecclesial Convention

Friday, April 15, 2011

In Thee: every good, all love

 "I only wish and desire the masterpiece
of the love of my God.
O my Jesus, in Thee is every good,
in Thee is all love.
Great God, hear my prayers!
Oh, that I could expire before Thy tabernacle,
burning with love and bathed in my tears."
St. Catherine of Genoa

Thursday, April 14, 2011

On Everyone's Call to Be a Saint

"...What is the soul of holiness?  Again Vatican II specifies: It tells us that holiness is none other than charity fully lived. "We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him" (1 John 4:16). ... For charity to grow as a good seed in the soul and fructify us, every faithful one must listen willingly to the Word of God, and with the help of his grace, realize the works of his will, participate frequently in the sacraments, above all in the Eucharist and in the holy liturgy, constantly approach prayer, abnegation of oneself, in the active service to brothers and the exercise of all virtue. ...

Perhaps also this language of Vatican II is a bit solemn for us; perhaps we should say things in a still simpler way. What is the most essential? Essential is that no Sunday be left without an encounter with the Risen Christ in the Eucharist -- this is not a burden but light for the whole week. Never to begin or end a day without at least a brief contact with God. And, in the journey of our life, to follow "road signs" that God has communicated to us in the Decalogue read with Christ, which is simply the definition of charity in specific situations.

...From whence charity for God and for our neighbor is made the distinctive sign of the true disciple of Christ. (Lumen Gentium , 42). This is true simplicity, grandeur and profundity of the Christian life, of being saints."

Excerpt from Papal Wednesday Audience, 4/13/11 - Pope Benedict XVI
Full text:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Flowing anew!

"In the Mass the blood of Christ
flows anew for sinners."
St Augustine

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Eucharistic Witness


Eucharistic Witness

Thin White Wafer in hand held high:
    "Oh, Lord, I am not worthy!"
Words slurred in audible sigh.
Wheat, unleavened; chaff and thresh
transformed from grain to flesh.

Thin White Wafer in hand held high:
   ". . . say but the Word . . ."
Vision transposed by mortal eye.
See-through image, symbolic and real,
Grace personified, nourish and heal.

Thin White Wafer in hand held high:
   "The Body of Christ!"
Touches the tongue; come union nigh,
Eucharist consumed give to us
faith, our hope and God's caritas. Amen.

MaryAnne Frank

Monday, April 11, 2011

The soul is not the same


“When a soul has worthily received
the sacrament of the Eucharist,
it swims in love;
it is humble, kind, mortified, charitable,
and modest, in harmony with all; 
it is capable of the greatest sacrifices…
it is not the same as it was before.”

Bl Elisabetta Renzi
Foundress - The Srs of Our Lady of Sorrows

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Our resurrection and life

Fifth Sunday of Lent

From today's Gospel: 
Jesus told her,“I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes
in Me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes
in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord. 
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world.” ~ John 11:25-27

"He declared that the chalice, which comes from His creation,
was His blood, and He makes it the nourishment of our blood.
He affirmed that the bread, which comes from His creation, was His body,
and He makes it the nourishment of our body. When the chalice we mix and
the bread we bake receive the word of God, the Eucharistic elements become
the Body and Blood of Christ, by which our bodies live and grow. ...

The slip of a vine planted in the ground bears fruit at the proper time. The
grain of wheat falls into the ground and decays only to be raised up again
and multiplied by the Spirit of God who sustains all things.  The Wisdom of God places these things at the service of man and when they receive God’s word
they become the Eucharist, which is the Body and Blood of Christ.

In the same way our bodies, which have been nourished by the Eucharist,
will be buried in the earth and will decay, but they will rise again at the
appointed time, for the Word of God will raise them up to the glory of God
the Father. Then the Father will clothe our mortal nature in immortality
and freely endow our corruptible nature with incorruptibility, for God’s
power is shown most perfectly in weakness."

Irenaeus of Lyons (2nd c AD ): Adversus Haereses

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Receive, love and serve Him

"Mary, mother of Jesus, give us your heart,
so beautiful, so pure, so immaculate,
so full of love and humility, that we may be able
to receive Jesus in the Bread of life,
love Him as you love Him, and serve Him in
the distressing disguise of the poor."
Bl Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Friday, April 8, 2011

None other than Love and Mercy!

Continuing with the cycle of catecheses on Doctors of the Church,
in his April 6, 2011, General Audience, the Holy Father centered
his meditation on the figure of St. Thérèse of Lisieux (1873-1897): 
"Inseparable from the Gospel, the Eucharist
was for Thérèse the sacrament of Divine Love
that descends to the extreme to lift us to Him.
In her last Letter, the saint wrote these
simple words on the image that the Child Jesus
represents in the consecrated Host:
'I cannot fear a God who for me has
made Himself so small! (...) I love Him! In fact,
He is none other than Love and Mercy!' "(LT 266).
On ZENIT's Web page:
Full text: