Monday, October 31, 2011

Withholding nothing!

"The secret lies in a total offering of self, withholding nothing.  Jesus was a total oblation on the Cross.  There wasn't a cell of His body or sentiment of His heart that He didn't offer to the Father.  Anything we withhold for ourselves is lost, because we only possess what we give. 

St Francis of Assisi who, because of the elevated fervor of his devotion to the Eucharist can be considered a special guide on the topic, ends his wonderful discourse on the Eucharist with this exhortation:  "Look at God's humility, my brothers, and pour out your hearts before Him.  Humble yourselves, so that He who has given Himself wholly to you may receive you wholly."

In the Imitation of Christ, Jesus says:  "Look, I offered Myself wholly to the Father for you; I also gave My whole body and blood for food, that I might be wholly yours, and you should remain mine.  But if you stand upon yourself and do not offer yourself freely to My will, the offering is not fully made, nor will union between us be complete."

What we hold back for ourselves to keep a margin of freedom from God pollutes all the rest.  It is the little silk thread Saint John of the Cross speaks of, which prevents the bird from flying."

Fr Raniero Cantalamessa
The Eucharist, Our Sanctification

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Eucharist accompanies and anticipates

Art work:  Craig Gallagher  -- CLICK HERE:
"This daily bread symbolizes and summarizes
God's love as Father, and opens before us the
New Testament fulfillment of that 'bread of life,'
the Eucharist, which accompanies us in our
existence as believers, and anticipates the
definitive joy of the messianic banquet of Heaven."
Pope Benedict XVI
General Audience, Oct. 19, 2011
 Pillar banner - Nina Somerset

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Both ever blest

Mary the Dawn, Christ the Perfect Day;
Mary the Gate, Christ the Heav'nly Way!
Mary the Root, Christ the Mystic Vine;
Mary the Grape, Christ the Sacred Wine!
Mary the Wheat-sheaf, Christ the Living Bread;
Mary the Rose-Tree, Christ the Rose Blood-red!
Mary the Font, Christ the Cleansing Flood;
Mary the Chalice, Christ the Saving Blood!
Mary the Temple, Christ the Temple’s Lord;
Mary the Shrine, Christ the God adored!
Mary the Beacon, Christ the Haven’s Rest;
Mary the Mirror, Christ the Vision Blest!
Mary the Mother, Christ the Mother’s Son.
Both ever blest while endless ages run.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Commitment to the mission

Missionary of Charity Brothers and co-workers, Calcutta
"The more lively the Eucharistic
faith of the people of God,
the deeper is its sharing in ecclesial life
in steadfast commitment to the mission entrusted
by Christ to His disciples(Sacramentum Caritatis, 6).
Sts Simon and Jude
Apostles, Martyrs (approx 65 AD)
FEAST DAY - October 28
"Just as Christ was sent by the Father, so also He sent the apostles, filled with the Holy Spirit. This He did so that, by preaching the gospel to every creature (cf. Mark 16:15), they might proclaim that the Son of God, by His death and resurrection, had freed us from the power of Satan (cf. Acts 26:18) and from death, and brought us into the kingdom of His Father" ~ Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy
O God, we thank you for the glorious company of the apostles,
and especially on this day for Simon and Jude; and we pray that,
as they were faithful and zealous in their mission,
so may we with ardent devotion make known the love and mercy
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Sts. Simon and Jude, ora pro nobis!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Learning of love for souls

"To learn from the Heart of Jesus the secret of love for souls and deep knowledge of them: how to touch their hurts without making them smart and to dress their wounds without reopening them; ... to disclose Truth in its entirety and yet make it known according to the degree of light that each soul can bear. The knowledge required for the apostolate can be had only from Jesus Christ, in the Eucharist and in prayer. "

~ Elisabeth Leseur, Servant of God



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

In the quiet of the heart

La Purisima Concepcion Catholic School students pray during Mass (Los Angeles, Feb, 2011)

"When one has just received communion,
of what use are the words of men
when it is God who is speaking?
We must listen
to what the good Lord says to our heart."

St. John Vianney

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mutual attraction...

“The Blessed Sacrament is the magnet of souls. 
There is a mutual attraction between
Jesus and the souls of men. 
Mary drew Him down from heaven.  Our nature attracted Him
rather than the nature of angels.  Our misery caused Him to stoop to
our lowness.  Even our sins had a sort of attraction for the abundance
of His mercy and the predilection of His grace.  Our repentance wins
Him to us.  Our love makes earth a paradise to Him; and our souls
lure Him as gold lures the miser, with irresistible fascination.”

Fr Frederick Wm Faber

Monday, October 24, 2011

A life poured out for Christ

Eucharistic Christ ~ Wolfgang Hofer - 2011 (From 18th c motif)

"St Anthony of Claret had always been especially attracted by devotions honoring the Blessed Sacrament.  During his school days he had been so captivated by a book his father gave him, The Goodness of Our Sacramental Lord, that he had committed it to memory!

Kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament, he would pray:  "Oh, my God, grant me a place by the gates of hell, that I may stop those who enter there, saying:  'Where are you going, unhappy one?  Back, go back!  Make a good confession.  Save your soul!  Don't come back here to be lost forever.' "

From Hidden Treasure: The Riches of the Eucharist
(Louis Kaczmarek)

 St Anthony Claret 
Spain ~ 1807-1870
Missionary, Religious founder (Claretians),
Social reformer, Queen's (Spain) chaplain,
Writer and publisher, Excellent/renowned preacher
Great devotion to Eucharist and Immaculate Heart of Mary
Said of him... "never without a rosary in his hands"
Archbishop of Cuba 1850-57
FEAST DAY - October 24

"When I see the need for Divine teaching and how hungry people are to hear it,
I am atremble to be off and running throughout the world,
preaching the word of God. I have no rest, my soul finds no other relief,
than to rush about and preach." ~ St. Anthony Mary Claret
St Anthony Claret, ora pro nobis!
More on St Anthony Mary Claret -

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Saintly advice

He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood will have eternal life
and I will raise him up on the last day.  ~ John 6:54

“The altar points our way
to heaven.”

St. Louis Guanella
 Italy ~ 1842-1915
Founder of the Servants of Charity
Motto:  la Santita salvera il mondo
"Holiness will save the world"
Canonization Day TODAY – October 23, 2011

“Deepen your love daily for the Eucharist.” ~ St. Louis Guanella

St Louis Guanella, ora pro nobis!

More on this new Saint:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Drop by drop

 “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.”

St Albert the Great

Invite someone to pray the Mass with you THIS Sunday!

Friday, October 21, 2011

In imitaton of the mothers of Lu...

Let us learn from the mothers of the village of Lu:

"The little village of Lu, northern Italy, with only a few thousand inhabitants, is in a rural area 90 kilometers east of Turin. It would still be unknown to this day if, in the year 1881, the family mothers of Lu had not made a decision that had “serious consequences”. The deepest desire of many of these mothers was for one of their sons to become a priest or for a daughter to place her life completely in God’s service.

Under the direction of their parish priest, Msgr. Alessandro Canora, they gathered every Tuesday for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, asking the Lord for vocations. They received Holy Communion on the first Sunday of every month with the same intention. After Mass, all the mothers prayed a particular prayer together imploring for vocations to the priesthood.

Through the trusting prayer of these mothers and the openness of the other parents, an atmosphere of deep joy and Christian piety developed in the families, making it much easier for the children to recognize their vocations.
Did the Lord not say, “Many are called, but few are chosen” (Mt 22:14)? In other words, many are called, but only a few respond to that call. No one expected that God would hear the prayers of these mothers in such an astounding way.
From the tiny village of Lu came 323 vocations! - 152 priests (diocesan and religious), and 171 nuns belonging to 41 different congregations. As many as three or four vocations came from some of these families. picture is indeed unique in the annals of the Catholic Church.  From Sept 1-4, 1946,
the majority of the 323 priests and religious met in their village of Lu for a reunion!  Blessed Philip Rinaldi
The most famous example is the Rinaldi family, from whom God called seven children. Two daughters became Salesian sisters, both of whom were sent to San Domingo as courageous, pioneer missionaries. Five sons became priests, all joining the Salesians. The most well-known of the Rinaldi brothers is Blessed Philip Rinaldi, who became the third successor of St. John Bosco as Superior General of the Salesians.  Pope John Paul II beatified him on 29 April 1990. In fact, many of the vocations from this small town became Salesians.
It is certainly not a coincidence, since St. John Bosco visited Lu four times during his life. The saint attended the first Mass of his spiritual son, Fr. Philip Rinaldi in this village where he was born. Fr Rinaldi fondly recalled the faith of the families of Lu:

“A faith that made our fathers and mothers say, The Lord gave us our children, and so if He calls them, we can't say no."

Fr. Luigi Borghina and Fr. Pietro Rota lived the spirituality of Don Bosco so faithfully that the former was called the “Brazilian Don Bosco” and the latter the “Don Bosco of Valtellina”. Pope John XXIII once said the following about another vocation from Lu, His Excellency, Evasion Colli, Archbishop of Parma: “He should have become pope, not me. He had everything it takes to become a great pope.”
Every ten years, the priests and sisters born in Lu come together from all around the world. Fr. Mario Meda, the long-serving parish priest of Lu, explained that this reunion is a true celebration, a feast of thanksgiving to God who has done such great things for Lu."

The prayer that the mothers of Lu prayed was short, simple, and deep:
“O God, grant that one of my sons may become a priest!
I myself want to live as a good Christian
and want to guide my children always to do what is right,
so that I may receive the grace, O God, to be allowed to give
you a holy priest! Amen.”

Let us learn from the mothers of Lu and imitate them! rural villiage of Lu in northern Italy

Excerpt from Blog - Spiritual Motherhood of Priests

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Food of soaring eagles

"Be special adorers of the Divine and Blessed
Sacrament of the Altar, which is the heavenly food
of the soaring eagles, that is, of the souls advanced
in holiness… and thank Him unceasingly for
having left us such an infinite Treasure."

St Paul of the Cross
Mystic, Founder - Passionist Order
Italy ~ 1694-1775
FEAST DAY - October 20

"It is an excellent and holy practice to call to mind and meditate on our
Lord's Passion, since it is by this path that we shall arrive at union with God. 
In this, the holiest of all schools, true wisdom is learned,
for it was there that all the saints became wise." ~ St. Paul of the Cross

St Paul of the Cross, ora pro nobis!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

They have drunk His cup...

“We multiply whenever we are mown down by you;
the blood of Christians is seed.” Tertullian, Apology, 50,13

“Let us honor the martyrs of the Lord chosen
out of every class, as soldiers of Christ who
have drunk His cup and were then baptized
with the baptism of His life-bringing death,
to be partakers of His passion and glory…”

St John Damascus
Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, 4, 15


Sts. Isaac Jogues,
John de Brebeuf and Companions
Jesuit Martyrs ~ +1642-1649 *
FEAST DAY - Oct. 19

Fr Isaac Jogues gave the original European name to New York's Lake George,
calling it Lac du Saint Sacrement, Lake of the Blessed Sacrament.

*The North American Martyrs and their entrance into eternal life:
St Rene Goupil - Sept 29, 1642
St Isaac Jogues - Oct 18, 1646
St John de Lalande - October 19, 1646
St Anthony Daniel - July 4, 1648
St John de Brebeuf - March 16, 1649
St Gabriel Lalemant - March 17, 1649
St Charles Garnier - December 7, 1649
St Noel Chabanel - December 8, 1649
Sts. Isaac Jogues, John de Brebeuf 
and Companions, ora pro nobis!

Prayer to the Eight North American Martyrs
(author unknown)

Let Us Pray
Protect our land, O heavenly patrons, which you have bedewed with the rich treasure of your blood. Watch over our Catholic Faith which you helped to establish in this new land. Bring all our fellow citizens to a knowledge and love of the truth. Make us zealous in spreading abroad a knowledge of Catholic teachings, so that we may continue and perfect the work which you have begun with so much labor and suffering. Pray for our homes, our schools, our missions; for vocations, for the conversion of sinners, the return of those who have wandered from the fold, and the perseverance of all the faithful. Amen.

More on the North American Martyrs... ( a must read!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gifts that free our hearts

Chapel of the North American Martyrs ~ New Orleans (Jesuit HS)
Prayer over the gifts (Liturgy – Oct 18, 2011)
may your gifts from heaven free our hearts to serve you.
May the sacrifice we offer on the feast of St Luke
bring us healing and lead us to eternal glory,
where Jesus is Lord for ever and ever.

Communion Antiphon
The Lord sent disciples to proclaim to all the towns:
the kingdom of God is very near to you. (See Lk 10:1,9)

Prayer after Communion
All-powerful God,
may the Eucharist we have received at your altar
make us holy
and strengthen us in the faith of the Gospel
preached by St Luke.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.


St Luke
Evangelist, Martyr
Fellow-worker of St Paul
Patron:  Artists, Physicians and Surgeons
Feast Day – October 18

St Luke, ora pro nobis!

Luke wrote as a Gentile for Gentile Christians. This Gospel reveals Luke's expertise in classic Greek style as well as his knowledge of Jewish sources.
The character of Luke may best be seen by the emphases of his Gospel, which has been given a number of subtitles: (1) The Gospel of Mercy: Luke emphasizes Jesus' compassion and patience with the sinners and the suffering. He has a broadminded openness to all, showing concern for Samaritans, lepers, publicans, soldiers, public sinners, unlettered shepherds, the poor. Luke alone records the stories of the sinful woman, the lost sheep and coin, the prodigal son, the good thief. (2) The Gospel of Universal Salvation: Jesus died for all. He is the son of Adam, not just of David, and Gentiles are his friends too. (3) The Gospel of the Poor: "Little people" are prominent—Zechariah and Elizabeth, Mary and Joseph, shepherds, Simeon and the elderly widow, Anna. He is also concerned with what we now call "evangelical poverty." (4) The Gospel of Absolute Renunciation: He stresses the need for total dedication to Christ. (5) The Gospel of Prayer and the Holy Spirit: He shows Jesus at prayer before every important step of his ministry. The Spirit is bringing the Church to its final perfection. (6) The Gospel of Joy: Luke succeeds in portraying the joy of salvation that permeated the primitive Church.

Source:  Saint of the Day

Monday, October 17, 2011

Wheat of God

Born in Syria, Ignatius converted to Christianity and eventually became bishop of Antioch. In the year 107, Emperor Trajan visited Antioch and forced the Christians there to choose between death and apostasy. Ignatius would not deny Christ and thus was condemned to be put to death in Rome.
Ignatius is well known for the seven letters he wrote on the long journey from Antioch to Rome. Five of these letters are to Churches in Asia Minor; they urge the Christians there to remain faithful to God and to obey their superiors. He warns them against heretical doctrines, providing them with the solid truths of the Christian faith.
The sixth letter was to Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, who was later martyred for the faith. The final letter begs the Christians in Rome not to try to stop his martyrdom. Ignatius bravely met the lions in the Circus Maximus.
"I am writing to all the Churches and I enjoin all, that I am dying willingly for God's sake, if only you do not prevent it. I beg you, do not do me an untimely kindness.   The only thing I ask of you is to allow me to offer the libation of my blood to God. I am the wheat of the Lord; may I be ground by the teeth of the beasts to become the immaculate bread of Christ."
~ St Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Romans
St Ignatius of Antioch
Bishop and Martyr
First Century
Disciple of St John the Evangelist
FEAST DAY - October 17

"My desire is to belong to God." ~ St Ignatius of Antioch

St Ignatius of Antioch, ora pro nobis!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Recognizing Christ

"The Most Blessed Sacrament
is Christ made invisible.
The poor sick person
is Christ again made visible."
St Gerard Majella
Italy ~ 1726-1755
Lay Brother of the Congregation
of the Most Holy Redeemer
Wonder-worker and Patron of expectant mothers
Recalling FEAST DAY - Oct 16*
*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".
"Who except God can give you peace? Has the world
ever been able to satisfy the heart?" ~ St Gerard
St Gerard, ora pro nobis!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Always be found...

 "To converse with You, O King of glory,
no third person is needed,
You are always ready
in the Sacrament of the Altar
to give audience to all.
All who desire You always find You there,
and converse with You face to face."
 St Teresa of Avila
 Spain ~ 1515-1582
Carmelite Contemplative, Reformer, Author
FEAST DAY - October 15
   St. Teresa’s most popularly known writing is a brief poem known as her “Bookmark”,
because it was found in her prayer book after her death in 1582.
Original Spanish:

Nada te turbe,
nada te espante;
todo se pasa,
Dios no se muda.
La pacientia todo lo alcanza.
Quien a Dios tiene nada la falta:
solo Dios basta.

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

St Teresa of Avila, ora pro nobis!

More about ... St. Teresa of Avila and the Eucharist

By Fr John A. Hardon, SJ
The Church in the sixteenth century was in desperate need of reform. So true is this that we may correctly speak of the Catholic Reformation which took place after the Protestant revolution. Among the Catholic reformers was a contemplative nun who has since been declared a Doctor of the Church, St. Teresa of Avila (1515 - 1582)
As might be expected, Teresa of Avila was one of the staunch defenders of the Catholic faith in her day. Unlike her contemporary, St. Ignatius Loyola, she did not organize an academic crusade to defend the teachings of the one, true Church. She was a contemplative who spent the latter half of her life restoring Carmelite spirituality to its historic authenticity. However, under obedience of her spiritual directors she published some of the deepest and clearest expositions of Catholic Christianity. Her published writings span the whole gamut of the Church’s teaching.
Among the doctrines undermined by the followers of Luther and Calvin was the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. The key factor was their denial that the Eucharist is literally the Incarnate Son of God. The crucial issue was the humanity of Christ. There was no problem admitting that the Eucharist somehow signifies or symbolizes the presence of God. What the “Reformers” would not admit is that the Holy Eucharist is the whole Christ with the fullness of His humanity united with His divinity. The following passage from St. Teresa was written in 1575. She describes the deep secrets that God revealed to her after she had received Holy Communion.
Once after receiving Communion, I was given understanding of how the Father receives within our soul the most holy Body of Christ, and of how I know and have seen that these Divine Persons are present, and how pleasing to the Father this offering of His Son is, because He delights and rejoices with Him here - let us say - on earth. For His humanity is not present with us in the soul, but His divinity is. Thus the humanity is so welcome and pleasing to the Father and bestows on us so many favors.
What is St. Teresa saying? She is saying that God the Father bestows on us indescribable blessings through the humanity of His Only Son. It is impossible to overestimate the importance of this truth. Certainly the graces we receive come to us from God. But they come to us through the humanity which the Second Person of the Holy Trinity assumed when He became man.
That is why the Holy Eucharist is called The Mystery of Faith. The Eucharist is nothing less than Jesus Christ. It is not only that God became man to redeem the world by His death on Calvary. God is constantly redeeming the world by communicating through the humanity of Jesus the graces that He won for us on Good Friday. At the heart of our faith is the belief that God assumed our human nature in order to serve as the channel of the graces that we need to reach our heavenly destiny. The Holy Eucharist, therefore, is the principal channel of the light and strength we need to embrace the cross in this valley of tears in order to join the Savior in His eternal glory.