Sunday, July 31, 2011

Matters of dependence

A tremendous lover of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament,
St Ignatius of Loyola used to say:

“Pray like everything
depends on God;
work like everything
depends on you.”
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

St Ignatius of Loyola
Spain ~ 1491-1556 
Founder of Society of Jesus (Jesuits)
Jesuit motto:  Ad Majoriem Dei Gloriam 
"to the greater glory of God"
Recalling - FEAST DAY - July 31*
*Since today is SUNDAY, it is the fundamental feast to celebrate.
In the words of a fourth century homily,
the "the Lord's Day" is "the lord of days".


"Some of us would be surprised if they knew what God
could make of them if, in the decisive moments of their lives,
they gave ear to the voice of grace!"  - St Ignatius of Loyola

Ste Ignatius of Loyola, ora pro nobis!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Jesus is...

  Fr. Jean distributing Holy Communion 
“He is the Bread sown in the virgin,
leavened in the flesh,
molded in His passion,
baked in the furnace of the sepulchre,
placed in the churches,
and set upon the altars,
which daily supplies
Heavenly Food to the faithful."

St Peter Chrysologus
Adult convert
Bishop, Doctor of the Church
Italy ~ c. 380-450
FEAST DAY - July 30


"Anyone who wishes to frolic with the devil
cannot rejoice with Christ."  ~ St Peter Chrysologus  

Ste Peter Chrysologus, ora pro nobis!
Saint Peter Chrysologus is the Doctor of Homilies. His words helped to defeat the attack on Christ's humanity. No doctor said so much in his homilies in fewer words. To hear his sermons after nearly 1500 years is a blessing, each and every time.

Peter was a stalwart witness to the faith. He had a short life but it was long and full of accomplishments. He was the archbishop of Ravenna, Italy.  as a young priest and he expended his energies neutralizing the last forces of paganism of his day.

Chrysologus means "The Golden-Worded".  His prayer when he spoke (from Sermon 96):  May our God deign to give me the grace of speaking and you the desire of hearing.

To really benefit fruitfully from any conversation or homily, one's heart and mind must be open to receive the communication. Peter was filled with all the gifts and fruits of the Spirit but even his best efforts to impart his wisdom and knowledge would not benefit anyone unless his listeners were truly docile to grace through their hearts and attentive with their eyes and minds, both exteriorly and interiorly. Our souls have eyes and powerful perceptions that are drawn to God's message when we are open, sincere and desire to learn.

Homilies can be like sweet music to the ear and joy to the heart. The homily during the Catholic Mass is a vital part of the Liturgy of the Word. It follows the reading of the gospel and is the explanation and elaboration on the celebration of the Word. This part of the liturgical service, offered immediately before the celebration of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, prepares its members to fully enter into the worship of God. It also prepares us to be empowered and enlighten to fully partake of the holy meal. Each liturgical celebration of the Mass is an extension of the "Last Supper" that the Lord shared with His dear friends. He changed Himself during this meal into precious food that fortifies us and enables us to proceed on our spiritual journey. More importantly, this meal strengthens us and enables us by transforming us into Himself. That's right! Imagine being changed into another Christ? When this happens we'll be able to do and say what Christ would do or say Himself. Is that possible? Believe it! It's Catholic theology. (Excerpt from

Friday, July 29, 2011

Holy echo

 The words of Martha, 'I know that he will rise again
in the resurrection at the last day' (Jn 11:24), echo in our
souls as we pray and grieve for our beloved dead...

In what better place could we pray for the dead
than before the Eucharist, where we can
experience Our Blessed Savior Present?" 

 S Tassone

 St Martha
Sister to Mary Magdalen and Lazarus
Friend of Jesus
Patroness of servants, innkeepers,
homemakers and cooks
FEAST DAY - July 29 


 In St Martha's footsteps...

Dorothy Day said: "If everyone were holy and handsome, it would be easy to see Christ in everyone. But it was not Christ's way for Himself. Ask honestly what you would do when a beggar asked at your house for food. Would you give it on an old cracked plate, thinking that was good enough? Do you think that Martha and Mary thought that the old and chipped dish was good enough for their guest? It is not a duty to help Christ -- it is a privilege."

   Sta Martha, ora pro nobis!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Eucharist: his only strength (Reflection II)

In 1975,  Francis Xavier Cardinal Nguyên Van Thuán (+2002) was arrested by the Communist government of Viet Nam and imprisoned for thirteen years, nine of them in solitary confinement.  He was finally exiled from Viet Nam in 1991.  This is an excerpt from one of his books, Five Loaves and Two Fish (from pgs 37-39).  Yesterday (7/27) another excerpt from the same book was featured...

“We had weekly indoctrination sessions in which the whole camp had to participate.  During our break, I and my Catholic companions took advantage of the opportunity to pass to each, or to the other four groups of prisoners, the little container that held the Blessed Sacrament:  they all knew that Jesus was among them, He who could heal all their physical and mental suffering.  At night, the prisoners took turns for adoration; Jesus helped us in a tremendous way with His silent presence.  Many Christians regained the fervor of their faith during those days, and Buddhists and other non-Christians converted.  The strength of Jesus’ love is irresistible.  The darkness of prison became light; the seed germinated underground during the storm.

Every time I offer Mass I have the opportunity to extend my hands and nail myself to the cross with Jesus, to drink with Him the bitter cup.

Every day, praying and hearing the words of the consecration, I confirm with all my heart and with all my soul a new covenant, an eternal covenant between me and Jesus, through His Blood mixed with mine (cf.  Cor 11:23-25).”

Francis Xavier Cardinal Nguyên Van Thuán,
Five Loaves and Two Fish

Other books by Cardinal Van Thuan: The Road of Hope,
Testimony of Hope and Prayers of Hope, Words of Courage

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Eucharist: his only strength (Reflection I)

In 1975,  Francis Xavier Cardinal Nguyên Van Thuán was arrested by the Communist government of Viet Nam and imprisoned for thirteen years, nine of them in solitary confinement.  He was finally exiled from Viet Nam in 1991.  This is an excerpt from one of his books, Five Loaves and Two Fish (from pgs 35-37).  Tomorrow will feature another excerpt from the same book...

"When I was arrested, I had to leave immediately, with empty hands.  The next day I was allowed to request in writing the things I needed most:  clothes, toothpaste.... I wrote... Please, could you send me a bit of medicine for my bad stomach? The faithful understood what I meant and they sent a little bottle of wine for Mass, which they labeled 'stomach medicine,' as well as some hosts sealed in a flashlight to protect them from the humidity....

I will never be able to express my immense joy; every day, with three drops of wine and one drop of water in the palm of my hand, I celebrated Mass. ...  

It depended on the situation... On the boat that brought us north, I celebrated at night with the prisoners who received communion around me.  At times I had to celebrate while every one was bathing after calisthenics.  In the re-education camp, the prisoners were divided into groups of fifty; we slept on common beds and everyone had the right to fifty centimeters of space.  We arranged it so there were five Catholics near me.  At 9:30 PM the lights were turned off and everyone had to sleep.  I curled up on the bed to celebrate Mass, from memory, and I distributed communion by reaching under the mosquito netting covering us.  We made small containers from cigarette packages in which to reserve the Blessed Sacrament.  Jesus in the Eucharist was always with me in my shirt pocket."

Francis Xavier Cardinal Nguyên Van Thuán,
Five Loaves and Two Fish

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Peaceful practice


"Go and find Him when your patience and strength
run out and you feel alone and helpless.  Jesus is
waiting for you in the chapel.  Say to Him,
'Jesus, you know exactly what is going on. You are all
I have, and you know all things. Come to my help.' 

And then go, and don't worry about how you
are going to manage.  That you have told God
about it is enough.  He has a good memory."
Foundress ~ Little Sisters Of The Poor

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ever present, as He said

"Christ calling the Apostles James and John" ~ Edward Armitage
 "And just as He appeared before the holy Apostles in true flesh,
so now He has us see Him in the Sacred Bread. Looking at Him with
the eyes of their flesh, they saw only His Flesh, but regarding Him
with the eyes of the spirit, they believed that He was God.
In like manner, as we see bread and wine with our bodily eyes,
let us see and believe firmly that it is His Most Holy Body and Blood,
True and Living.  For in this way our Lord is ever present among those
who believe in Him, according to what He said: "Behold, I am with
you all days even to the consummation of the world" (Mt. 28, 20).

 St. Francis of Assisi

Saint JAMES (the Greater)
Apostle and Martyr
Son of Zebedee and Salome
Brother of apostle John
Dubbed 'Son of Thunder'
Patron of Spain and laborers
+42 AD 
FEAST DAY - July 25
"Accept the help that the Virgin and the saints offer you.
Promise that you will press forward on your way to join them."
Saint Francis de Sales
Ste James, ora pro nobis!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Source of our gladness

“It is our duty and our privilege
ever to find our gladness in praising
the most sacred Body of Christ. 

Is there any employment, indeed, more
congenial to Christian men than
eulogizing the abyss of divine charity?”

St Thomas Aquinas

Saturday, July 23, 2011

O Jesus, sweetness of hearts...

 This statue in a side chapel of Salamanca Cathedral (western Spain) vividly shows the
blood flowing from Christ's wounds which is being collected in chalices by angels. 
Photo Credit:  Lawrence OP

Oh Jesus! Sweetness of hearts, delight of the spirit,
by the bitterness of the vinegar and gall which Thou didst
taste on the Cross for Love of us, grant us the grace to receive worthily Thy Precious Body and Blood during our life
and at the hour of our death, that they may serve
as a remedy and consolation for our souls. Amen.”

St Bridget (Birgitta) of Sweden
Wife, Religious, Foundress
Mystic and Visionary
Founded religious order, Brigittines
FEAST DAY – July 23


"The world would have peace if only men of politics
would follow the Gospels." ~ St. Bridget of Sweden

 Sta Bridget of Sweden , ora pro nobis!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Magdalene as model

 "I will seek Him Whom my heart loves." Song of Songs 3:2


"Yes, I am happy, perfectly happy; and do you wish
to know where I find true happiness?
At the feet of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. ...

I would strongly urge that, even as the Magdalene
anointed the Lord’s feet with tears and perfumed oil,
you too would pour out the perfume of constant prayer
and contemplation at the foot of the tabernacle.
I should like the Eucharist to become a burning flame
for your soul, so that, immersed in that flame,
it might emerge burning with love and great-heartedness.

I should like to see this Eucharistic altar, on which
Jesus is sacrificed, accept your offering too,
so that you may become a victim of love,
whose perfume rises to the throne of the Eternal God!"

Fr. Augustine Mary
Of The Most Blessed Sacrament
Carmelite priest - (1821 to 1871)

St Mary Magdalene
Disciple of Jesus
Feast Day – July 22

Sta Mary Magdalene, ora pro nobis!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A privilege indeed!

"The privilege of receiving the Holy Eucharist from the Hands of Jesus Himself was experienced by a number of saints, including St Laurence of Brindisi, a Capuchian, whose unusual talents and rare virtue were called upon by Pope Clement VIII for several unusual missions.  One of these was his chaplaincy to the Imperial army of Prague. ...
    With the Turks still menacing nearby Christian countries, the Imperial army of 18,000 men assembled to do battle with the Turks, who numbered 80,000.  Vastly outnumbered, the Christians appealed to St Laurence for advice and encouragement.  After delivering a rousing discourse, the saint, despite his mature years, mounted a horse and with the cross held high in his hands led the troops against the infidels.  The crushing defeat of the Turks was attributed by all to the prayers and inspiration of the saint. 
    It is told that on his return from the campaign he joined his brethren at Gorizia, where Our Lord appeared to them and gave them all Holy Communion with His own Hand."  
From Eucharistic Miracles
Joan Carroll Cruz
St Laurence of Brindisi
Capuchin priest
Preached in 8 languages fluently
1559-1619 ~ Italy
Doctor of the Church
FEAST DAY - July 21
"The Word of the Lord is light for the intellect and fire for the will, so that man
can know and love God. For the interior man, who through grace lives from
the Spirit of God, it is bread and water, but bread that is sweeter than honey
and water that is better than wine and milk. ... It is a hammer against a hard
heart obstinate in vices. It is a sword against the flesh, the world and the devil,
to destroy every sin." ~ St Laurence of Brindisi
St Laurence of Brindisi, pray for us!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The unmistakable Divine Presence

"A former Protestant minister, Leslie E. Dunkin,
wrote these thought provoking words
in a letter to his minister friends:

The contrast between any non-Catholic or Protestant church and any Catholic Church has helped convince me concerning the Divine Presence.  Any Protestant building requires the presence of people, and they in the right mood, to feel even the presence of Christ’s spirit.  Any Catholic Church with its burning tabernacle light possesses for all – both Catholic and non-Catholic – a feeling of hushed silence.  The Catholic knows this to be the Divine Presence in His tabernacle.  After having attended Catholic Mass with a reasonable understanding of its meaning, I found that any non-Catholic church service at its best lacks what is always experienced at Catholic Mass or even alone in a Catholic Church – the immediate Divine Presence and the keen sense of this presence."

From Hidden Treasure:
The Riches of the Eucharist
Louis Kaczmarek

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

His Blood: only remedy

"In Him we have redemption through His blood,
the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace,
which He lavished upon us" (Eph. 1:7-8).

“Sometimes we are blind and do not see.
The precious Blood of Christ is the only remedy
which can open, not only our eyes,
but also our heart, and make our soul
understand the immensity of God’s goodness.”

St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Sense of It

  “How I hate these follies of not believing
in the Eucharist, etc!  If the Gospel be true,
if Jesus Christ be God, what difficulty is there?”

Blaise Pascal
Pensees  (Section III - 224)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Treasure destined to overflow


"Let us lay up for ourselves a store of lofty
thoughts, energy, and strong, intense affection,
and then we may be sure that sooner or later,
perhaps without our being aware of it,
the overflow will reach the hearts of others."

Ven Elizabeth Leseur

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Given to contemplating and listening

FEAST of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel*
*Title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary,
in her role as patroness of the Carmelite Order
July 16
The Carmelites see in the Blessed Virgin Mary a perfect model of the interior
life of prayer and contemplation to which Carmelites aspire, a model of virtue,
as well as the person who was closest in life to Jesus Christ. She is seen as the
one who points Christians most surely to Christ, saying to all what she says to the
servants at the wedding at Cana, "Do whatever He [Jesus] tells you."
Carmelites look to Mary as spiritually their mother and sister.
Contemplating Mary, we will understand better
the transforming force that the Eucharist possesses.
Listening to her, we will find in the Eucharistic
mystery the courage and strength
to follow Christ the Good Shepherd
and to serve Him in our brothers.”
Pope Ven. John Paul II
June 10, 2004
Devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is expressed through the scapular. Whoever receives the scapular becomes a member of the order and pledges to live according to its spirituality in accordance with the characteristics of his/her state in life.
To clarify the meaning and privileges of the Brown Scapular: "The scapular is a Marian habit or garment. It is both a sign and pledge. A sign of belonging to Mary; a pledge of her motherly protection, not only in this life but after death. As a sign, it is a conventional sign signifying three elements strictly joined: first, belonging to a religious family particularly devoted to Mary, especially dear to Mary, the Carmelite Order; second, consecration to Mary, devotion to and trust in her Immaculate Heart; third an incitement to become like Mary by imitating her virtues, above all her humility, chastity, and spirit of prayer." ~ Fr. Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD

Friday, July 15, 2011

Pierced with His love


 "Lord Jesus Christ, pierce my soul with Your love
so that I may always long for You alone, who are
the Bread of angels and the fulfillment of the
soul’s deepest desires.  May my heart always
hunger for You, so that my soul may be filled
with the sweetness of Your presence."

St Bonaventure
Italy ~ 1221 - 1274
Bishop, Cardinal and Doctor of the Church
FEAST DAY - July 15

"Holy Mass is an achievement of God, wherein He places before
our view all the love He has borne us.  It is, in a certain way,
a combination of all the benefits bestowed upon us." ~ St Bonaventure

Ste Bonaventure, ora pro nobis! 

who will be Ordained to the Holy Priesthood
TODAY – Friday, 7/15/11 - 5 PM Mass - Duluth, Minnesota

"Only in heaven shall we know what a priest is.
If we were to know this on earth, we would die,
 not of grief, but of love." ~ St. John Vianney

Thursday, July 14, 2011

"I have given myself to Jesus"

"Bl Kateri Tekakwitha was devoted to the Eucharist
and to Jesus Crucified.  At 4 am she could be seen kneeling
outside the chapel in the snow waiting for it to open. 

She attended three Masses daily and always managed two hours in preparation for Holy Communion and two hours in thanksgiving; and she made frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament.  Her motto:  "Who can teach me what is most agreeable to God so that I may do it?" "

Louis Kaczmarek
Excerpt from: Hidden Treasure,
The Riches of the Eucharist


 Bl Kateri Tekakwitha
Consecrated Virgin
Lily of the Mohawks
Daughter of Christian Algonquin mother
and non-Christian Mohawk Chief
FEAST DAY - July 14

"I am not my own; I have given myself to Jesus. He must be my only love.
The state of helpless poverty that may befall me if I do not marry does
not frighten me. All I need is a little food and a few pieces of clothing.
With the work of my hands I shall always earn what is necessary and what
is left over I'll give to my relatives and to the poor. If I should become
sick and unable to work, then I shall be like the Lord on the cross.
He will have mercy on me and help me, I am sure."

Bl Kateri Tekakwitha, ora pro nobis!