Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It is Christ!

“Remaining in silence
before the Blessed Sacrament,
it is Christ totally and really present
whom we discover,
whom we adore,
and with whom we are in contact."

Pope Bl John Paul II

The Washington Post takes a look at Perpetual Adoration...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Go lions!

"Let us return from that Table
like lions breathing out fire,
terrifying to the devil!"
St. John Chrysostom
 Image - Dan Earle

Monday, August 29, 2011

Heart balm

"Do not look for other excuses. Try it, and find out
by your own experience. Do not wait until tomorrow. 
Today, go and spend a few moments with Jesus,
whether He is within the tabernacle or exposed in the monstrance. Let your weary and wounded heart be
penetrated by the peaceful atmosphere of the sanctuary
and your soul be bathed in the light
streaming forth from the Eucharistic Sun.
And, tomorrow, I am sure, you will return."
Excerpt from The Holy Eucharist

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Thrilled with love and dread alike

Joos van Cleve (Dutch artist, 1485-1540)
"Your light shone upon me in its brilliance, and I thrilled with love and dread alike.  I realized that I was far away from You.  It was as though I were in a land where all is different from Your own and I heard Your voice calling from on high saying,

'I am the food of full-grown men.  Grow and you shall feed on Me.  But you shall not change Me into your own substance, as you do with food of your body.  Instead, you shall be changed into Me.' "  

St Augustine, Confessions
St Augustine
Bishop, Doctor of the Church
North Africa ~ 354-430
Recalling - FEAST DAY - August 28*
  *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".

“If you believe what you like in the gospel,and reject what you don’t like,
it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.”~  St. Augustine of Hippo
Ste Augustine, ora pro nobis!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Always present

St Augustine has left us this praise of his mother, St Monica:
"She did not let a day pass
without being present
at the Divine Sacrifice
before Your altar, O Lord."
St Monica
North Africa ~ 333-387
Mother of St Augustine
FEAST DAY - August 27
As recounted by Augustine... before his mother died she told him:
"There was indeed one thing for which I wished to tarry a little in this life,
and that was that I might see you a Catholic before I died. My God hath
answered this more than abundantly, so that I see you are now made His servant and spurning all earthly happiness. What more am I to do here?"
Sta Monica, ora pro nobis!
Prayer for St Monica's intercession
Exemplary mother of the great Augustine, you perseveringly pursued your wayward son not with wild threats but with prayerful cries to heaven.  Intercede for all mothers in our day so that they may learn to draw their children to God. Teach them how to remain close to their children, even the prodigal sons and daughters who have sadly gone astray. Amen.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Life in abundance!

Artist: Emile Friant

“Holy Communion, as the word itself implies,
is the intimate union of Jesus and our soul and body. 
If we want to have life and have it more abundantly,
we must live on the Flesh of our Lord.”

Bl Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Anniversary of birth
August 26, 1910

Thursday, August 25, 2011

His word is sufficient


"In the person of St Louis IX were the qualities which form a great king, a hero of romance, and a saint!  With his death, the century of knights ended.  One day a messenger, breathless with haste, burst in upon the king with surprising and exciting news. "Your majesty," he cried, "hasten to the Church!  A great miracle is occurring there.  A priest is saying holy Mass, and after the consecration, instead of the host there is visible on the altar Jesus Himself in His human figure.  Everybody is marveling at it.  Hurry before it disappears."

To the astonishment of the messenger, the saintly monarch calmly replied:

Let them go to see the miracle who have any doubt regarding the Real Presence of our Lord in the Holy Sacrament.  As for me, even if I saw Jesus on the altar in His visible form, and touched Him with my hand, and heard His voice, I should not be more convinced than I now am, that He is present in the consecrated Host.  The word of Christ is sufficient for me.  I need no miracle."

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

King St Louis IX
France ~ 1214-1270
Father of eleven children
FEAST DAY - August 25


King Ste Louis IX, ora pro nobis!

From St Louis' mother...
"Never forget that sin is the only great evil in the world. No mother
could love her son more than I love you. But I would rather see you lying
dead at my feet than know that you had offended God by one mortal sin."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Abide in Adoration

"I now ask you to 'abide' in the adoration
of Christ, truly present in the Eucharist.
I ask you to enter into conversation with Him,
to bring before Him your questions
and to listen to His voice."
Pope Benedict XVI
20 August 2011
World Youth Day Vigil, Madrid

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Happiness without compare!


“St Rose of Lima was so ardent in her love of God in the Blessed Sacrament that when she knelt in His presence the fire which sparkled in her eyes showed the flame which consumed her soul.  At times she appeared like an angel.  If anyone asked her what effects the Blessed Sacrament produced in her, she stammered and said she had no words to express them, but that she seemed to pass entirely into God, and was inundated with such happiness that nothing in common life could be compared to it” (pg 34, Hidden Treasure). ...

“St Joseph Benedict LaBre, St Paschal Baylon and St Rose of Lima are three saints that we know of who spent forty straight hours in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament commemorating the forty hours Christ was in the tomb” (pg 39, Hidden Treasure).

Excerpts from Hidden Treasure, The Riches of the Eucharist
Louis Kaczmarek

St Rose of Lima
Peru ~ 1586-1617
Patroness of South America
FEAST DAY - Aug 23

“When we serve the poor and the sick we serve Jesus.
We must not fail to help our neighbors,
because in them we serve Jesus.” - St Rose of Lima

Sta Rose of Lima, ora pro nobis!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Feast of the Queenship of Mary


 "The Magnificat expresses Mary's spirituality, and there is nothing
greater than this spirituality for helping us to experience the mystery
of the Eucharist. The Eucharist has been given to us so that our life,
like that of Mary, may become completely a Magnificat! ... let us listen
to Mary Most Holy, in whom the mystery of the Eucharist appears,
more than in anyone else, as a mystery of light. Gazing upon Mary,
we come to know the transforming power present in the Eucharist.
In her we see the world renewed in love." (Ecclesia de Eucharistia 58, 62)

Mary, Queen of Clergy, pray for us.  Help us to faithfully love and serve Jesus in the Eucharist.

More on the Queenship of Mary...The Mary Page
From Saint for the Day

Pius XII established this feast in 1954. But Mary’s queenship has roots in Scripture. At the Annunciation, Gabriel announced that Mary’s Son would receive the throne of David and rule forever. At the Visitation, Elizabeth calls Mary “mother of my Lord.” As in all the mysteries of Mary’s life, Mary is closely associated with Jesus: Her queenship is a share in Jesus’ kingship. We can also recall that in the Old Testament the mother of the king has great influence in court.
In the fourth century St. Ephrem called Mary “Lady” and “Queen” and Church fathers and doctors continued to use the title. Hymns of the eleventh to thirteenth centuries address Mary as queen: “Hail, Holy Queen,” “Hail, Queen of Heaven,” “Queen of Heaven.” The Dominican rosary and the Franciscan crown as well as numerous invocations in Mary’s litany celebrate her queenship.

The feast is a logical follow-up to the Assumption and is now celebrated on the octave day of that feast. In his encyclical To the Queen of Heaven, Pius XII points out that Mary deserves the title because she is Mother of God, because she is closely associated as the New Eve with Jesus’ redemptive work, because of her preeminent perfection and because of her intercessory power.

As St. Paul suggests in Romans 8:28–30, God has predestined human beings from all eternity to share the image of his Son. All the more was Mary predestined to be the mother of Jesus. As Jesus was to be king of all creation, Mary, in dependence on Jesus, was to be queen. All other titles to queenship derive from this eternal intention of God. As Jesus exercised his kingship on earth by serving his Father and his fellow human beings, so did Mary exercise her queenship. As the glorified Jesus remains with us as our king till the end of time (Matthew 28:20), so does Mary, who was assumed into heaven and crowned queen of heaven and earth.

“Let the entire body of the faithful pour forth persevering prayer to the Mother of God and Mother of men. Let them implore that she who aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers may now, exalted as she is in heaven above all the saints and angels, intercede with her Son in the fellowship of all the saints. May she do so until all the peoples of the human family, whether they are honored with the name of Christian or whether they still do not know their Savior, are happily gathered together in peace and harmony into the one People of God, for the glory of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 69).

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Praying the Mass

Dora Holvey of Palm Beach kneels in prayer before Mass at St. Edward Catholic Church
Daily News Photo Credit: Meghan McCarthy  

“What is “praying the Mass”?  The Mass is made up of several prayers which take the form of responses, chants, and orations of varying length, but the Mass is one coherent, constant prayer.  Rather than thinking that you are praying at Mass (and then, only when you are saying something), you should come to realize that everything you sing and say and do and see and hear and smell is one great prayer, the greatest prayer.

 …The whole Mass is a prayer of worship and an encounter with the mystery of God.  When you do more than just move your lips and your arms, when you pray the Mass, then you will be doing more than just “going to Mass,” you will be worshipping God:  you will learn how to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind” (Luke10:27)."

Excerpt from Praying the Mass, The Prayers of the People (2nd Ed - 2010), Jeffrey Pinyan

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Heavenly guards

“When Jesus is corporeally
present within us,
the angels surround us
as a guard of love.”

St Bernard of Clairvaux
 Cistercian monk ~ Doctor of the Church
 France ~ 1090 -1153
FEAST DAY – August 20

"There are those who seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge - That is curiosity.
There are those who seek knowledge to be known by others - That is vanity.
There are those who seek knowledge in order to serve - That is love."
- St Bernard
Ste Bernard of Clairvaux, ora pro nobis!

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Most Loving Heart of Jesus


"Your most loving Heart, O Jesus,
dwells in this Sacrament
burning with love for us
It is there continually performing
thousands of good deeds towards us."

St. John Eudes
France  ~ 1601-1680
Priest, gifted preacher,
encouraged devotion to the 'Twin' Hearts 
Especially desiring to counsel/defend endangered women,
he founded an association of priests (Eudists) and the
Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity
(now known as Good Shepherd Sisters)
FEAST DAY - August 19
Our wish, our object, our chief preoccupation must be to form Jesus in ourselves,
to make His spirit, His devotion, His affections, His desires and His disposition
live and reign there. All our religious exercises should be directed to this end.
It is the work which God has given us to do unceasingly.”

St. John Eudes, The Life and Reign of Jesus in Christian Souls
Ste John Eudes, ora pro nobis!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Grace-laden paths

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

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Heavenly Medicine

"As often as the sacrifice is offered, the Lord's death,
the Lord's resurrection, the Lord's ascension,
and the remission of sins are signified--
and still you don't take this Bread of Life daily?
He who has a wound needs a medicine.
The wound is that we are under sin; the medicine
is the heavenly and venerable Sacrament."
St. Ambrose of Milan

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 be with us!

 U.S. Army Chaplain Capt. Carl Subler, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, offers a Catholic Mass to Soldiers from 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment at Forward Operating Base Wolverine, Afghanistan. (USAF photo credit: Staff Sgt. Christine Jones)

"In the Eucharist, we have Christ Himself and
the grace which He brings to the souls of men. This
is a testimonial to the depth of Christ's love for men.
His delights are to be with the children of men.
In the Eucharist, Christ, Who has ascended
into heaven, still remains with men on earth." 

 St. Thomas Aquinas

Monday, August 15, 2011

Let us follow her - who follows Him

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Solemnity ~ August 15

Today, she who "belongs to Christ" by a unique, abiding, and unrepeatable
privilege, the most holy Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, follows where He
has gone, "through the greater and more perfect tent not made by human hands,
that is, not of this creation . . . into the Holy Place" (Heb 9:11). "Today the sacred
and living ark of the living God, who conceived her Creator Himself,
takes up her abode in the temple of God." ~ St. John Damascene

 “Above all, let us listen to Mary Most Holy, in whom the mystery of the Eucharist appears, more than in anyone else, as a mystery of light. Gazing upon Mary, we come to know the transforming power present in the Eucharist. In her we see the world renewed in love. Contemplating her, assumed body and soul into heaven, we see opening up before us those 'new heavens' and that 'new earth' which will appear at the second coming of Christ. Here below, the Eucharist represents their pledge, and in a certain way, their anticipation: 'Veni, Domine Iesu!'’” (Rev 22:20).

Bl. John Paul II,  Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 62


"The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the oldest Marian Feast, returns every year in the heart of summer. It is an opportunity to rise with Mary to the heights of the spirit where one breathes the pure air of supernatural life and contemplates the most authentic beauty, the beauty of holiness. The atmosphere of today’s celebration is steeped in paschal joy. “Today”, the antiphon of the Magnificat says, “the Virgin Mary was taken up to Heaven. Rejoice, for she reigns with Christ for ever. Alleluia”. This proclamation speaks to us of an event that is utterly unique and extraordinary, yet destined to fill the heart of every human being with hope and happiness.

Mary is indeed the first fruit of the new humanity, the creature in whom the mystery of Christ – his Incarnation, death, Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven – has already fully taken effect, redeeming her from death and conveying her, body and soul, to the Kingdom of immortal life.

For this reason, as the Second Vatican Council recalls, the Virgin Mary is a sign of certain hope and comfort to us (cf. Lumen Gentium, n. 68). Today’s feast impels us to lift our gaze to Heaven; not to a heaven consisting of abstract ideas or even an imaginary heaven created by art, but the Heaven of true reality which is God Himself. God is Heaven. He is our destination, the destination and the eternal dwelling place from which we come and for which we are striving."

- Homily of His Holiness, Benedict XVI, August 15th 2008

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Culmination of the Mass


"The culmination of the Mass
is not the consecration,
but the Communion."

St Maximilian Kolbe
Priest, Martyr
Poland ~1894-1941
Recalling - FEAST DAY - August 14*
*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".

Ste Maximilian, ora pro nobis!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Supernatural strength

Junior Chip Arnold reads from Scripture as his classmates listen and reflect
before the Holy Eucharist in the Holy Name of Jesus Chapel ~ Jesuit High School, New Orleans

"Scripture on the one hand and the
Eucharist, the Word made Flesh, on the
other have in them that strength
which no power on earth can withstand."

Dorothy Day,
Servant of God

Friday, August 12, 2011

Still, in His presence

"We should go to prayer with deep humility
and an awareness of our nothingness.
We must invoke the help of the Holy Spirit
and that of our good angel,
and then remain still in God's presence,
full of faith that He is more in us than we are in ourselves."
St. Jane Frances de Chantal
France ~ 1572-1641
Widow of the Baron of Chantal, mother of seven
 Founded the Order of the Visitation Sisters 
with St. Francis de Sales - 1610
Honored by the Church for the holiness of her youth,
of her married life, of her widowhood, and of her religious life
"Hold your eyes on God and leave the doing to Him.
That is all the doing you have to worry about." - St Jane de Chantal
 Sta Jane de Chantal, ora pro nobis!
Happy and Holy FEAST DAY to 
happy and holy Sr Jane de Chantal!
Visitation Sister, Mendota Heights, MN

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Happy indeed!

"Happy, indeed,
is she to whom it is given
to share this sacred banquet,
to cling with all her heart to Him
whose beauty all the heavenly hosts
admire unceasingly,
whose love inflames our love,
whose contemplation is our refreshment,
whose graciousness is our joy,
whose gentleness fills us to overflowing,
whose remembrance brings a gentle light,
whose fragrance will revive the dead,
whose glorious vision will be the happiness
of all the citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem."
Letter of St Clare of Assisi to St Agnes of Bohemia - (Letter IV)

ST CLARE of Assisi
Italy ~ 1194-1253
Foundress of Poor Clare Sisters
FEAST DAY – August 11

"They say that we are too poor, but can a heart which
possesses the infinite God be truly called poor?" ~ St Clare

Sta Clare of Assisi, ora pro nobis!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

From glory to glory


     "The Pope and the faithful had gathered in the catacombs in the evening of August 6, 258.  Being Christians in a cemetery, theirs was an illegal assembly punishable by death.  There is every reason to believe that the catacomb Mass that evening was to be offered specifically to strengthen the faithful to endure the new persecution... Pope Sixtus was preaching... soldiers burst into the crypt.  The congregation drew together before them, baring their breasts and extending their necks to signify that they were ready to die to protect the Pope.  But Sixtus would have none of that.  He came forward and they took him, along with four of his deacons.

    Another deacon, Lawrence, cried out:  "Father, where are you going without your deacon?"  Sixtus replied:  "I do not leave you, my son.  You shall follow me in three days."

    The Vicar of Christ was taken up the nearby stairs and beheaded on the spot, along with the four deacons.  For some 1,500 years his name was mentioned in the Canon said by every Catholic priest of the Latin rite, anywhere in the world.

    Deacon Lawrence was temporarily spared in order to give the persecution officials access to the treasure supposedly accumulated by the Roman church.  What he actually brought forth before the prefect of Rome was not gold and silver, but a representative group of the poor and needy. ... The angry prefect commanded that Lawrence be roasted to death on a gridiron. (He) joked with his executioners about turning his body over because 'one side is broiled enough'. "

From The Founding of Christendom, Vol I (Warren Carroll) -
this series is a MUST READ! 

St Lawrence
Deacon, Martyr - d. 258
FEAST DAY - August 10

'Martyrdom of St Lawrence' by Pellegrino Tibaldi (1592)
Basilica, El Escorial

Ste Lawrence, ora pro nobis!


Prior to his final victory, St. Lawrence was brought before Cornelius Secularis, prefect of Rome under the Emperor Valerian, who, according to Dom Prosper Guéranger in his Liturgical Year, "aimed at ruining the Christians by prohibiting their assemblies, putting their chief men to death, and confiscating their property." It was for this reason that St. Lawrence, the archdeacon for Pope St. Sixtus II, was summoned to the tribunal of Cornelius, who sought the riches of the Church of Rome. It was the duty of the archdeacon to care for these treasures. St. Lawrence asked for a short delay, so he could gather these riches for the prefect. When the archdeacon returned three days later, instead of bringing vessels of gold and silver, he brought the poor of the city, saying, "[Behold, these choice pearls, these sparkling gems that adorn the temple, these sacred virgins, I mean, and these widows who refuse second marriage.... Behold then, all our riches." In response to his boldness, Cornelius ordered the scourging and torture of St. Lawrence upon the rack.

The following is also taken from Dom Guéranger's entry for the feast of St. Lawrence in Volume XIII of his Liturgical Year....

"...Laurence was taken down from the rack about midday. In his prison, however, he took no rest, but wounded and bleeding as he was, he baptized the converts won to Christ by the sight of his courageous suffering. He confirmed their faith, and fired their souls with a martyr's intrepidity. When the evening hour summoned Rome to its pleasures, the prefect recalled the executioners to their work, for a few hours' rest had sufficiently restored their energy to enable them to satisfy his cruelty."

"Surrounded by this ill-favoured company, the prefect thus addressed the valiant deacon: 'Sacrifice to the gods, or else the whole night long shall be witness of your torments.' 'My night has no darkness,' answered Laurence, 'and all things are full of light to me.' They struck him on the mouth with stone, but he smiled and said, 'I give Thee thanks, O Christ.'"

"Then an iron bed or gridiron with three bars was brought in and the saint was stripped of his garments and extended upon it while burning coals were placed beneath it. As they were holding him down with iron forks, Laurence said 'I offer myself as a sacrifice to God for an odour of sweetness.' The executioners continually stirred up the fire and brought fresh coals, while they still held him down with their forks. Then the saint said: 'Learn, unhappy man, how great is the power of my God; for your burning coals give me refreshment, but they will be your eternal punishment. I call Thee, O Lord, to witness: when I was accused, I did not deny Thee; when I was questioned, I confessed Thee, O Christ; on the red-hot coals I gave Thee thanks.' And with his countenance radiant with heavenly beauty, he continued: 'Yea, I give Thee thanks, O Lord Jesus Christ, for that Thou hast deigned to strengthen me.' He then raised his eyes to his judge, and said: 'See, this side is well roasted; turn me on the other and eat.' Then, continuing his canticle of praise to God [he said]: 'I give Thee thanks, O Lord, that I have merited to enter into Thy dwelling place.'"

"As he was on the point of death, he remembered the Church. The thought of the eternal Rome gave him fresh strength, and he breathed forth this ecstatic prayer: 'O Christ, only God, O Splendour, O Power of the Father, O Maker of heaven and earth and builder of this city's walls! Thou has placed Rome's scepter high over all; Thou hast willed to subject the world to it, in order to unite under one law the nations which differ in manners, customs, language, genius, and sacrifice. Behold the whole human race has submitted to its empire, and all discord and dissensions disappear in its unity. Remember thy purpose: Thou didst will to bind the immense universe together into one Christian Kingdom. O Christ, for the sake of Thy Romans, make this city Christian; for to it Thou gavest the charge of leading all the rest to sacred unity. All its members in every place are united - a very type of Thy Kingdom; the conquered universe has bowed before it. Oh! may its royal head bowed in turn! Send Thy Gabriel and bid him heal the blindness of the sons of Iulus, that they may know the true God. I see a prince who is to come - an Emperor who is a servant of God. He will not suffer Rome to remain a slave; he will close the temples and fasten them with bolts forever.'"

"Thus he prayed, and with these last words, he breathed forth his soul. Some noble Romans who had been conquered to Christ by the martyr's admirable boldness, removed his body: the love of the most high God had suddenly filled their hearts and dispelled their former errors. From that day, the worship of the infamous gods grew cold; few people went now to the temples, but hastened to the altars of Christ. Thus Laurence, going unarmed to the battle, had wounded the enemy with his own sword."