Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fruit of trust!

Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament

“Trust all things
to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament
and to Mary Help of Christians
and you will see what miracles are.”

  St John Bosco
 Italy ~ Aug 16, 1815 - Jan 31, 1888
Priest, Educator, Founder of Salesian Society
"Father and Teacher of Youth"
FEAST DAY - January 31

“This was the method that Jesus used with the apostles. He put up with their ignorance and roughness and even their infidelity. He treated sinners with a kindness and affection that caused some to be shocked, others to be scandalized and still others to hope for God’s mercy. And so He bade us to be gentle and humble of heart.” ~ St John Bosco
St John Bosco, ora pro nobis!
Venerable Mama Margaret is the beloved and holy mother of St John Bosco. The sanctity and holiness of St John Bosco was first nurtured by a mother's prayer, a mother's example.  From Mama Margaret to her son:

"When you came into the world I consecrated you to the Blessed Virgin Mary. When you began your studies, I inculcated this devotion in you. Now I want you to belong totally to her. Make your companions those who are devoted to Mary; and if you reach ordination, never cease to inculcate and spread this devotion."

"I have nothing to say regarding your vocation, except that you should do what God inspires you to do. Do not be concerned on my behalf. You owe me nothing. Never forget that I was born in poor circumstances, have lived in poverty all my life; and I am happy to die poor; and I say this seriously to you: if you ever become  wealthy, I shall never set foot on your doorstep."

"Dear John, you have taken the priestly habit and I am as happy as any mother could be. But never forget that it is not the habit that matters, but the effort to progress in virtue. If you ever come to have doubts about your vocation, be sure you never dishonor that priestly garb. Put it aside immediately. I would rather a poor peasant son than a priest who neglected his sacred calling".

"John, you are now a priest; you will be saying Mass; so from henceforth you will be closer to Jesus. Remember that to begin to celebrate Mass means also to begin to suffer. You will not realize this immediately, but little by little you will see that what your mother has told you is the truth."

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Real presence, real Jesus

"This is a real presence which includes every dimension of who Jesus is: body and blood, human soul and divine person.  The consecrated Eucharistic species are the Lord and therefore command our adoration.  We do not adore ourselves, nor the ordained priest, nor the Bible, even though these are vehicles for Christ's spiritual presence; we do adore the Eucharist, this blessed sacrifice made really present sacramentally."

Francis Cardinal George

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hearkening to the words of the Word

Blessed Elisabeth of the Trinity prayed:

"O Eternal Word, Word of my God, I want to spend my life in listening to You, to become wholly teachable that I may learn all from You. Then through all nights, all voids, all helplessness, I want to gaze on You always and remain in Your great light."

We come to Holy Mass to hearken to the words of the Word, to be wounded by them, to be espoused by them in such a way that, as the one Body of Christ, we are drawn upward with our Divine Head to the Father in the Holy Spirit. A listening Church will be one in which Saint Paul's goal for the Corinthians is necessarily fulfilled: "power to attend upon the Lord, without impediment" (1 Cor 7:35).  


Dom Mark Daniel Kirby
Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory
in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland


Monday, January 28, 2013

Sacrament of LOVE

"The Eucharist is the sacrament of love:
it signifies love, it produces love."

St Thomas Aquinas
Italy ~ 1225-1274
Dominican monk
Theologian, philosopher, professor
Prolific writer, Hymn composer
Doctor of the Church
FEAST DAY - January 28
(Happy Feast Day, Deacon Howe!)

"Material food first changes into the one who eats it, and then, as a consequence, restores to him lost strength and increases his vitality. Spiritual food, on the other hand, changes the person who eats it into itself.  Thus the effect proper to this Sacrament is the con­ver­sion of a man into Christ, so that he may no longer live, but Christ lives in him; conse­quent­ly, it has the double effect of restoring the spiritual strength he had lost by his sins and defects, and of increasing the strength of his virtues."  

St Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on Book IV of the Sentences, d. 12, q.2, a.11


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Simplest truth, pure reality

Stained glass:  Waltham Abbey, England

"This is my Body" ~ "This is my Blood"; under no circumstance may the is in these holiest of sentences be interpreted as "means" or "is a symbol of" my Body and Blood.  If ever the Lord's admonition, "Let your speech be, 'Yes, yes';' No,no'; and whatever is beyond these comes from the evil one" (Matthew 5:37) was deeply urgent, it is here.

    It is not only wrong but sacrilegious to tamper with these words.  What they express is simplest truth, and what takes place pure reality He who speaks is neither a great nor the greatest religious personality of the millennia, but the Son of God.

    His words are no expression of mystical profundity, but a command of Him who has all earthly and heavenly power.  They have no equivalent in human speech, for they are words of Omnipotence.  We can compare them only with other words of the Lord, when "He arose and rebuked the wind and the sea, and there came a great calm" (Matthew 8:26); or, to the leper: "I will, be thou made clean" (Matthew 8:3); or to Jairus' dead child, "Girl, arise!" (Luke 8:54).  Their real equivalent is the Father's "Be!" (light made) from which creation itself emerged (Genesis 1:3).

Romano Guardini
Meditations Before Mass (Sophia Press, 1993)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

He prepares, He invites


"Our Lord knew well that we were too weak to walk courageously
along the road of life that is often very difficult.  So His prophet
who saw from afar all the treasures hidden in the Church
of Jesus Christ said, "Thou hast prepared a table before me,
against them that afflict me" (Psalm 23:5). 

The food of this table is Jesus Christ Himself,
His Divine Flesh, His precious Blood. 
It is He who prepares the feast and invites us to it."

St Madeleine Sophie Barat

RESPOND to the invitation of Jesus Christ Himself. 
Consider attending Holy Mass daily during the season of Lent. 
If this is already your routine - add a daily Holy Hour.
This year Lent begins Feb 13, 2013.
He has prepared the Table - and invited YOU!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Every heart an altar...

And so we know and rely
on the love God has for us.  ~ I John 4:16 


"How much I love You, O my Jesus. I wish to love You with my whole heart; yet I do not love You enough. My lack of devotion and my sloth make me anxious. I have one desire, that of being near You in the Blessed Sacrament. You are the sweet bridegroom of my soul.  My Jesus, my love, my all, gladly would I endure hunger, thirst, heat, and cold to remain always with You in the Blessed Sacrament. Would that in Your Eucharistic presence I might unceasingly weep over my sins. Take entire possession of me. To You I consecrate all the powers of my soul and body, my whole being. Would that I could infuse into all hearts a burning love for You. What great glory would be given to You here on earth, if every heart were an altar on which every human will were laid in perfect conformity with Your Will to be consumed by the fire of Your love."  ~ St John Neumann
January 25

*This feast is at the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, an international Christian ecumenical observance that began in 1908, which is an octave (eight-day observance) spanning from January 18 (observed as the Confession of Peter) to January 25.

 The Conversion of Saul -- Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni
"Being converted is simply meeting yourself for the purpose of going to the very end of your being.  Conversion means a willingness to see the truth of things and conform one's conduct to it" (A. Serillanges). In the Voice and the Light that Saul encounters on the road, he sees the truth of things and willingly conforms himself to Jesus Christ. "That dear preacher Paul ... was a wolf, but he became a lamb, a gracious vessel of love - and the fire with which Christ filled his vessel he carried through the whole world" (St Catherine of Siena).  "It is clear that Paul wholly fled from himself and cast out all his own will, and that his will was active only in relation to Christ.  Since with Christ there was nothing undesirable or repugnant to his will, it follows that his was a wondrous pleasure which was always present and with which he always lived (Nicholas Cabasilas).
Excerpt from: Magnificat, Vol 14, No 11, January 2013 (pg 335-6).
St Paul, pray for our continued conversion!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Heavenly Dew


"When the bee has gathered the dew of heaven and the earth's sweetest nectar from the flowers, it turns it into honey, then hastens to its hive. In the same way, the priest, having taken from the altar the Son of God (who is as the dew from heaven, and true son of Mary, flower of our humanity), gives Him to you as delicious food."

St Francis de Sales
Bishop and Doctor of the Church
France/Switzerland ~ 1567-1622
Prolific writer and apologist
Patron of writers, journalists
Author of Introduction to the Devout Life (MUST READ!)
and A Treatise on the Love of God
Co-Founder of Sisters of the Visitation
FEAST DAY - January 24

"After having conferred Holy Orders on a pious young man, St Francis de Sales noticed that the newly ordained priest hesitated before a door as if to let someone pass before him.  'Why do you pause?' asked the saint.  'God favors me with the sight of my guardian angel,' replied the priest.  'Before I was ordained to the holy priesthood, my angel always remained at my right and preceded me.  Now he walks at the left and refuses to go before me.'  Such is the great veneration which the angelic spirits show even God's ministers because of their reverence for the Blessed Sacrament.'

~ From The Guardian Angels:  Our Heavenly Companions

St Francis de Sales, ora pro nobis!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Never cease to wonder at this!

Child at Holy Mass at Kator Catholic Cathedral in South Sudan's capital Juba
 ~ July 10, 2011. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

"It is estimated that in every second of the day and night four elevations of the host take place.  I never cease to wonder at this, or to rejoice in the knowledge that there is never a second of one's life in which one cannot lift up one's heart to God in the heart of Christ lifted up in the host. ...

Mass at the Carmelite Monastery, Mabolo, Cebu City, Philippines

Think of all the places where Mass is being celebrated at this present moment, ... all the cathedrals and all the churches of the world, all the tin huts and mud huts and make-shifts that are the best man can do in many mission fields and in English villages, robbed by the reformation of their little Saxon churches.  In ships out on the deep seas, on battlefields and camps, in prisons and hospital wards, in the desert and the jungle, in the great cities of the world, in the cottages of the faithful peasants in persecuted countries, and under the tall trees of lonely forests of exile.

Holy Mass - Christmas Day, 1942, New Guinea

Think too how everywhere where Christ is lifted up men are bowed down in adoration, soldiers, sailors, airmen, fishermen, men of every country, men of every colour, rich men and poor men, free men and prisoners, old men and young men, men of every craft and trade and profession, all adoring God, all in communion with one another, all in communion with the Holy Father, all in communion with you and me.

'And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men to Me'. 

From Lift Up Your Hearts,
Caryll Houselander

Bishop Lee Piche, Fr Thomas McCabe - Missionaries of Charity home Chapel, San Felix, Venezuela

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

May kindness and truth meet

Day of Penance* for Violations
to the Dignity of the Human Person
*In all the dioceses of the United States of America, January 22
(or January 23, when the 22nd falls on a Sunday) shall be
observed as a particular day of penance for violations to the
dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion,
and of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the
right to life.
---General Instruction of the Roman Missal (U.S.), 2003, n. 373
Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven. ~ Ps 85:10,11
Federico Barocci
“Devotion to the Eucharist leads one to a devotion to life
and a devotion to life leads one to the Eucharist….
We receive our strength for our labors for life from the
Good News of Jesus Christ and from the Holy Eucharist.
This is the food that nourishes us for the tasks at hand….
The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith
and respect for life is our faith's first precept.”
Justin Cardinal Rigali
3 October 2004 
 "If people spent one hour per week in Eucharistic Adoration,
abortion would be ended."
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

Monday, January 21, 2013

The fruit of friendship

"In martyrdom, Agnes also seals the other crucial element of her life, virginity for Christ and for the Church. The total gift of martyrdom is prepared, in fact, by the conscious, free and mature choice of virginity, a witness to the will to belong totally to Christ. If martyrdom is a final heroic act, virginity is the result of a long friendship with Jesus that has matured in the constant hearing of His Word, in the dialogue of prayer, in the Eucharistic encounter."

Pope Benedict XVI
Address at the Almo Collegio Capranica, Roma,
for the Feast of St. Agnes ~ Jan. 20, 2012

St Agnes
Virgin, Martyr
291-304 AD
FEAST DAY - January 21


 "This is a virgin's birthday; let us follow the example of her chastity. It is a martyr's birthday; let us offer sacrifices; it is the birthday of holy Agnes: let men be filled with wonder, little ones with hope, married woman with awe, and the unmarried with emulation. It seems to me that this child, holy beyond her years and courageous beyond human nature, received the name of Agnes (Greek: pure) not as an earthly designation but as a revelation from God of what she was to be." ~ St. Augustine

Including 2 min YouTube

The lamb, as a symbol of purity, is one of the symbols of St. Agnes. In Rome on this day, the Holy Father will bless two crowned lambs, brought to the Church of St. Agnes in two baskets, decorated in red (martyrdom) and white (purity), by Trappists of the Tre Fontane Monastery. The lambs are blessed and then taken to the Convent of St. Cecilia, where the Sisters care for them and use their wool to weave the palliums worn by the Pope and his Archbishops. The palliums are conferred on new archbishops -- those appointed as archbishops during the preceding year -- on the Feast of SS. Peter and Paul on 29 June. Because of St. Agnes's association with lambs, a lamb-shaped cake would be nice today. Think of using coconut for the wool...

St. Agnes, like St. Valentine, St. Catherine of Alexandria, and St. Anthony of Padua, is invoked by single women in search of a husband -- and today is a good day to pray such a prayer. (I am praying too - you know who you are! - Janette) In fact, Medieval folklore says that on St. Agnes Eve, girls are often granted visions of their future husbands. Scottish girls would meet in a crop field at midnight, throw grain onto the soil, and pray:

Agnes sweet and Agnes fair,
Hither, hither, now repair;

Bonny Agnes, let me see
The lad who is to marry me.

St Agnes, ora pro nobis!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Partakers of His sacraments

"Do whatever he tells you." ~ John 2:5

“Go with Him, as His inseparable companion, to the wedding feast of Cana, and drink of the wine of His Blessing. Let you have ever before you the Face of the Lord, and look upon His beauty, and let your earnest gaze turn nowhere away from His most sweet countenance. Go before Him into a desert place and see the wonder of His works, where He multiplied in His own Holy Hands the bread that sufficed to feed a great multitude.

Go, my brother, go forward, and with all the love of your soul follow Christ wherever He may go . . . and lovingly behold Him as taking bread into His hands, He blesses it, and breaks it, as the outward form of His own Immaculate Body; and the chalice which He blessed as the outward form of His precious Blood, and gave to His disciples; and be you also a partaker of His sacraments.”

St. Ephrem of Syria
c. 306-73