Saturday, August 31, 2013

Stay with me, Lord

Remain in me and I will remain in you. - John 14:4

“When a person has eaten some delicious food at a banquet, he is careful not to take anything bitter in his mouth immediately after, lest he should lose the sweet flavor of those delicate viands.  In like manner, when we have received the precious Body of Jesus Christ, we should take care not to lose its heavenly flavor by turning too soon to the cares and business of the world.  ~  St John Chrysostom

St Padre Pio's prayer after Holy Communion

Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You. You know how easily I abandon You.

Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak and I need Your strength, that I may not fall so often.

Stay with me, Lord, for You are my life and without You I am without fervor.

Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light and without You I am in darkness.

Stay with me, Lord, to show me Your will.

Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Your voice and follow You.

Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love You very much and always be in Your company.

Stay with me, Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You.

Stay with me, Lord, as poor as my soul is I want it to be a place of consolation for You, a nest of Love.

Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late and the day is coming to a close and life passes, death, judgment and eternity approaches. It is necessary to renew my strength, so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need You. It is getting late and death approaches, I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows. O how I need You, my Jesus, in this night of exile!

Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all its dangers, I need You. Let me recognize You as Your disciples did at the breaking of the bread, so that the Eucharistic Communion be the Light which disperses the darkness, the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart.

Stay with me, Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to You, if not by Communion, at least by grace and love.

Stay with me, Lord, for it is You alone I look for, Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart, Your Spirit, because I love You and ask no other reward but to love You more and more. With a firm love, I will love You with all my heart while on earth and continue to love You perfectly during all eternity. Amen.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Come to help me!

God come to my assistance.  Lord, make haste to help me.
- Divine Office prayer 
"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."
St Jeanne Jugan
Sr Mary of the Cross
France ~ 1792 - 1879
Foundress - Little Sisters of the Poor
FEAST DAY - Aug 30

“God will help us; the work is His.” ~ St Jeanne Jugan
St Jeanne Jugan, pray for us!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Healing rays await...

 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases... - Psalm 103:2,3

Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament ~ Chihuahua Metropolitan Cathedral ~ Chihuahua, Mexico

"Like the sick who expose their diseased bodies
to the healing rays of the sun,
expose miseries, no matter what they are,
to the beams of light streaming forth
from the Sacred Host."

Fr Jose Guadalupe Trevino, The Holy Eucharist

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

First things first...

  How right they are to adore you! - Song of Songs 1:4
"Christ held Himself in His hands
when He gave His Body to His disciples
'This is My Body.'
 No one partakes of this Flesh
before he has adored it."
St Augustine
Bishop, Doctor of the Church
Powerful intellect, stirring orator, prolific writer
North Africa ~ 354-430
FEAST DAY - August 28

"Too late have I loved You, O Beauty so ancient and so new, too late have I loved You. You have called to me, and have cried out, and have shattered my deafness. You have blazed forth with light and have put my blindness to flight! You have sent forth fragrance, and I have drawn in my breath, and I pant after You. I have tasted You, and I hunger and thirst after You. You have touched me, and I have burned for Your peace" (Confessions 10,27) (Must read entire Confessions!)

"In 397, or twelve years after his conversion, Augustine wrote his Confessions, the greatest spiritual autobiography ever written. It is the work of a teacher who explains, a philosopher who thinks, and a theologian who instructs. It is the work of a poet who achieves chaste beauty in the writing, and a mystic who pours out thanks for having found himself in peace. " - Bishop Fulton J. Sheen in St Augustine of Hippo

St Augustine, pray for us!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

May it be said of you and of me...

 My heart is steadfast, O God ... - Psalm 108, 1a
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
Patroness of Married women and Mothers
FEAST DAY - August 27
"Nothing is far from God." - St Monica
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?"
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.
St Monica, pray for us!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Eucharistic faith: the barometer

 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. - John 8:32

"The Eucharist is the mystery of our faith.  We believe in any revealed truth - only as intelligently, only as entirely, only as clearly, only as courageously, as we believe in the Eucharist. 

Faith in the Eucharist is the barometer of our Catholic faith.  It is the test of our Catholicism.  It is the norm of our commitment to everything else which Christ has revealed.  It is no wonder that when, as described by St John, Christ foretold the Holy Eucharist as His living Body and Blood many of His own disciples walked away.  "This is intolerable language,” they declared.  "Who can accept it?"  Christ then turned to His Apostles and asked them,  "Do you want to leave?"  To which Peter answered, "Lord, to whom shall we go.  You have the words of eternal life." 

This has been the verdict of the Church's history.  Every major break in our unity has been over the meaning of the Eucharist. "

Servant of God Fr John A Hardon, S.J. (2000+)

Invite someone to attend Mass with you. 
Meet them there - or offer a ride.
How about coffee after - to discuss the homily!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Really present - really

 For the LORD takes delight in his people... - Psalm 149:4a

Adoration  By Sr. Sarah Hennessey, FSPA - 8/23/13 (Sacred Heart Parish- St Mary's School ~ Owatonna, Minnesota (USA).  Sr Sarah is a former Quaker.)
My family never understood adoration. My friends even less. As a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, the medal around my neck portrays a monstrance. Most people have no idea what it is. And if I try to explain that it "holds the Blessed Sacrament exposed" people get even more confused.
I want them to get it but I do not know even how to begin.
Jesus loves us so much that his true and glorified body becomes really present under the simple sign of bread. He wants us totally and as gift he lets us gaze upon him in the consecrated host. Jesus' resurrection really happened and because of that he is able to remain with us through the grace of the Eucharist. Gazing upon him is suddenly intimate and healing and calming and an intense way to experience Real Presence.
My first experience of adoration was before I even knew about a tabernacle. I sat before this box in a Catholic church and was filled with a warm spirit of love and peace. My heart burned with love for the Eucharist and I began my journey to became Catholic.  Jesus is really here and he wants me to just spend time with him. Often I find that people new to the Catholic Church, or someone in trouble just come off the street, or someone like my Methodist grandfather discover they have a hunger for adoration. It may not make sense or fit into the brain but Jesus' presence is real.
What do you do in adoration? Just ask a child. The fourth graders at St. Mary's told me all the ways that they like to spend time with Jesus. I love this list of "25 Ways to Spend an Hour with Jesus."
My Franciscan community has been praying in adoration around the clock for 135 years and eight days. At each hour when we change adorers we stand and pray together a prayer that I think says it all:
O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine
All Praise and all Thanksgiving be every moment Thine
Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, grant Peace to the World

Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Home sweet home!

 The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call
on him in truth. - Psalm 145:18 (Today's Responsorial Psalm)

 St John the Baptist Catholic Church ~ Savannah, Georgia ~ USA

“It became obvious why Catholics had built such beautiful cathedrals and churches throughout the world. Not as gathering or meeting places for Christians. But as a home for Jesus Himself in the Blessed Sacrament. Cathedrals house Jesus. Christians merely come and visit Him. The cathedrals and churches architecturally prepare our souls for the beauty of the Eucharist.”

 Allen R. Hunt
Excerpt from: Confessions of a Mega Church Pastor:
How I Discovered the Hidden Treasures of the Catholic Church (2010)
Today is the FEAST DAY of St Bartholomew
Nee: Cana
Apostle and Martyr
"Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him."
- said of St Bartholomew by Jesus - Gospel of St John 1: 47
Among the twelve apostles great…There was Bartholomew…Known also as Nathanael…Among Christ’s chosen few…He too received The Holy Ghost…And he preached everywhere…That every soul might turn to God…And no one might despair…St Philip introduced him to…The Master and The Lord…And thus he came to understand…The goal he struggled toward…Bartholomew proclaimed the faith…Through all the barbarous East…And in the truest Christian sense…He was a holy priest…His death was double martyrdom…As legend now abide…Condemned to death, Bartholomew…Was flayed and crucified.  ~ James Metcalfe, Poem Portraits of the Saints

St Bartholomew, pray for us!

Friday, August 23, 2013

"Inundated with happiness"

Come and share your master's happiness! - Matthew 25: 21/23

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

St Rose of Lima
Peru ~ 1586-1617
Father - Spaniard ~ Mother - Indian
Third Order Dominican, Mystic
Patroness of the Americas, Philippines
FEAST DAY - Aug 23
"Apart from the cross there is no other ladder
by which we may get to heaven." ~ St Rose of Lima
St Rose of Lima, pray for us!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Queenship of Mary

 "I shall sing a hymn to the mother, the Queen, whom I joyously
approach in praise, gladly celebrating her wonders in song. . .
Our tongue cannot worthily praise thee, O Lady; for thou who
hast borne Christ the king art exalted above the seraphim. . .
Hail, O Queen of the world; hail, O Mary, Queen of us all."
-  Axathistos (Byzantine hymn) 
Feast of Queenship of Mary ~ August 22*
*Octave of feast of Assumption (August 15)
 Feast established - Pope Pius XII - October 11, 1954
Encyclical Letter "Ad Caeli Reginam."
He 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.
Coronation of Our Lady ~ Gentile da Fabriano 

"Every time the Son of God comes again to us in the “poverty” of the sacramental signs of bread and wine, the seeds of that new history wherein the mighty are “put down from their thrones” and “those of low degree are exalted” (cf. Lk 1:52), take root in the world. Mary sings of the “new heavens” and the “new earth” which find in the Eucharist their anticipation and in some sense their programme and plan. 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!  ~ Ecclesia de Eucharistia (58)

"Just as Mary surpassed in grace all others on earth, so also in heaven is her glory unique. If eye has not seen or ear heard or the human heart conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9), who can express what He has prepared for the woman who gave Him birth and who loved Him, as everyone knows, more than anyone else?" ~ St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Mary, Queen of heaven, pray for us!
"The mood of springtime informs the church's interior; nature's blossoming, the warm air of May evenings, human gladness in a world that is renewing itself -- all these things enter in. Veneration of Mary has its place in this very particular atmosphere, for she, the Virgin, shows us faith under its youthful aspect, as God's new beginning in a world that has grown old. In her we see the Christian life set forth as a youth-fulness of the heart, as beauty and a waiting readiness for what is to come."
 - Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Seek That Which is Above (1986), pp. 95-96.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

True subjects offer true homage

 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; 
yea, I have a goodly heritage.
... in thy presence there is fullness of joy... - Psalm 16: 6,11b
"The Eucharistic Congress in Venice that took place in August 1898, was prompted and carried out by the zeal and energy of the Patriarch, who spared no pains to make it a success.

    Each parish was to take its part in the celebration, the whole Congress being carefully organized by the Cardinal himself.  "The heart of man," he said, "is inconstant in good; it grows cold and languid if from time to time it is not stirred up to action."  Conferences were held and missions were preached in many of the Venetian churches to prepare the people for the great event.  The bells of all the towers in the city rang out to announce the beginning of the congress, which opened with a magnificent procession from the Patriarchal palace to St. Mark's. 

    "Jesus is our king,"  he said, "and we delight to honor as our King Him whom the world dishonors and disowns.  We, His true subjects, offer our true homage to Christ the King; the intensity of our love shall be greater than the coldness of the world. 

We meet around the tabernacle where Jesus remains in our midst until the end of time; there faith springs up anew in our hearts, while the fire of His charity  - the very fire that He came to cast upon the earth - diffuses itself within us.  The object of this Eucharistic Congress is to make reparation to our Lord Jesus Christ for the insults offered to Him in the Blessed Sacrament; to pray that His thoughts may be in our minds, His charity in our institutions, His justice in our laws, His worship in our religion, His life in our lives."

F.A. Forbes
Heroes of the Church:  Life of Pius X
St Pius X
"Pope of the Eucharist"
Italy~ 1835-1914
257th Pope - 1903 to 1914
Papal motto: "To renew all things in Christ"
Advocated frequent Communion, Communion for children,
continual Catechesis for all, daily Scripture reading by all. 
Reformed the liturgy, promoted clear and simple homilies,
brought Gregorian chant back.
FEAST DAY - August 21
Describing Pius X, an historian wrote that he was
“a man of God who knew the unhappiness of the world
and the hardships of life, and in the  
greatness of his heart wanted to comfort everyone.”

St Pius X, pray for us!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Finding rest, providing rest...

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.  ...
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge. - Psalm 62:5,8 
 St Paul Catholic Church - Madison, Wisconsin ~ USA 
"We find rest in those we love,
and we provide a resting place
for those who love us."

St Bernard of Clairvaux
  France ~ 1090 -1153
Cistercian Abbot, founded 40+ monasteries in lifetime
Eloquent preacher - Mellifluous ("full of honey")
Doctor of the Church
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
St Bernard of Clairvaux, pray for us!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Change of heart

Yet I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me.  You are my help
and my deliverer; O my God, do not delay. - Psalm 40:17
"Pray that just as Jesus changes the lower earthly nature
of bread and wine into His body and blood
He might change and transform also
the sluggish, coldness and dryness
of our earthly and arid heart ...
into the fire, tenderness and agility
of the holy divine affections and dispositions
of His divine and heavenly Heart."
  - From What We Must Do to Assist Worthily
at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (St John Eudes)
St. John Eudes
France ~ 1601-1680
Priest, gifted preacher and confessor
Encouraged devotions to twin Hearts of Jesus and Mary
 Central theme of his writings: Jesus as the source of holiness,
Mary as the model of the Christian life.
Dedicated to counsel and defend morally endangered women,
he founded an association of priests (Eudists) and religious -
Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity
(later 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

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Bearing witness

Above all, love each other deeply... I Peter 4:8a
“From the Eucharist we receive the strength
to bear witness of the love of Jesus
in every environment in which we find ourselves,
especially among the most disadvantaged.”
Pope Francis
August 15, 2013, address

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The fruit of Love

"Here in the tiny Host
I find the fruit of love."
St. Therese of Lisieux