Monday, September 30, 2013

He provides, we trust

"Catch, then, O catch the transient hour;
Improve each moment as it flies!" - St. Jerome
"If Christ did not want to dismiss the Jews
without food in the desert for fear
that they would collapse on the way,
it was to teach us that it is
dangerous to try to get to heaven
without the Bread of Heaven." ~ St Jerome
St Jerome
Early Church Father, Doctor of the Church
Brilliant and thorough scholar and writer
Translated Scripture into Latin (Vulgate)
Consultant to Popes and Bishops
c. 331- 420
FEAST DAY - September 30
 "Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." - St Jerome
St Jerome, pray for us!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Guardians of power and love

Since today is SUNDAY, it is the fundamental feast to celebrate.
In the words of a 4th c homily, "the Lord's Day" is "the lord of days"...
Remembering also ... Feast of Archangels
St Michael~St Gabriel~St Raphael (September 29)
"O, angelic spirits, who guard our tabernacles, wherein
lies the adorable treasure of the Holy Eucharist,
defend it from profanation and preserve it for our love."
St Josemaria Escriva 
"Michael and his Angels battled against the dragon...
Satan, the seducer of the whole world, was driven out."
Revelation 12:7, 9
A Sermon of Pope Saint Gregory
From the Third Nocturne of Matins of the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel

We speak of nine orders of Angels, because we know, by the testimony of Holy Scripture, that there are the following: Angels, Archangels, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Dominations, Thrones, Cherubim and Seraphim. It must be realized that "Angel" is the name of their office, not of their nature. For the holy Spirits of the heavenly homeland are always Spirits, but they cannot always be called Angels; they are Angels only when they are announcing something. Those who announce less important things are called Angels, and those who announce the highest things are called Archangels. And so not any Angel but the Archangel Gabriel was sent to Mary; for this ministry, it was fitting to have the highest Angel, since he was to announce the greatest news of all. These Archangels are also given special names to describe their particular virtue. For Michael means "Who is like to God?" Gabriel means "Strength of God," and Raphael "Medicine of God."
Whenever something is to be done needing great power, Michael is sent forth so that from his action and his name we may understand that no one can do what God can do. Hence that old enemy who through pride desired to be like God is shown at the end of the world, left to his own strength and about to undergo the final punishment, as destined to fight with Michael the Archangel, as John says, "There was a battle with Michael the Archangel." Similarly, Gabriel was sent to Mary; he who is called "Strength of God" came to announce Him who deigned to appear in humility to conquer the powers of the air. And Raphael is interpreted, as we said, "Medicine of God," for when he touched the eyes of Tobias to do the work of healing, he dispelled the "night of his blindness."

St Michael, St Gabriel, St Raphael, pray for us
and defend us in battle!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

His lavish of grace

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins,
in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us
with all wisdom and understanding.  - Ephesians 1:7
    "Without her consent, we would not have Our Lord.  She gave Him flesh and blood; it is through her that we have Christ in His humanity.  It is said that Christ is present in His humanity  ... in heaven and in the Blessed Sacrament.

    And if Christ is there, in His humanity and His divinity, then Mary is, too, with us so close, so eager to dispense graces.  We ask her for the grace we each one stand most in need of, and Our Lord Who can deny her nothing will give her more that she asks.  And what could she ask more than that her Son be loved, that we may honor Him with increased honor?"
Dorothy Day, Servant of God

Friday, September 27, 2013

Going to Jesus from Jesus

St Vincent de Paul was praying before the Eucharist one time and,
after a man told him about a poor person on the street needing help,
Vincent said:
"I am going to Jesus from Jesus."
St Vincent de Paul
1580-1660 ~ France
Priest, Co-Founder of Daughters of Charity
Founder - Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians)
Patron - Charitable societies*
*Society of St. Vincent de Paul, founded 1833
by his admirer, Blessed Frédéric Ozanam
FEAST DAY - September 27

“Extend mercy towards others, so that there can be no one in need
whom you meet without helping. For what hope is there for us
if God should withdraw His mercy from us?” ~ St. Vincent de Paul
St Vincent de Paul, pray for us!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

On the search ...

Come and listen , all you who fear God; let me tell you what
he has done for me. .... Praise be to God, who has not rejected
my prayer or withheld his love from me! - Psalm 66: 16, 20
St. Peter Julian Eymard, Priest of the Eucharist,
said that adorers are
“not content to be alone in adoring, loving,
and serving the God of the Eucharist,”
they wish
to make Him adored, loved and served by all…
to erect a throne of love for Him everywhere
and find faithful adorers for Him.”
Today - gain some contentment -
invite someone to Mass or Adoration!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Mass Clock reminds...

  For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among
the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name,
and a pure offering.... - Malachi 1:11a
Mass Clock Face

"You ask me about our daily monastic timetable. What does it do? What does it mean? Everything centres around the Mass, Adoration and the Liturgy. How can I explain what it means? Like this.....

I first encountered something of the meaning of a monastic timetable when I was a schoolgirl sitting on the benches of a convent school. Hanging near me on the wall, like a radiant sun, was what we called our Mass Clock. It had 24 brilliant wedges of colour. A ring of 24 around the outside, indicating the hours of each day and each night, and a jewel-like wedge of colour joining each hour to the centre inscribed with the names of all the countries in the world where the Sacrifice of the Mass was being said, and linking them to our local time. 

Beneath the Mass Clock were written the words of the prophet Malachi: "From the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, everywhere a pure oblation will be offered to my name. Thus says the Lord."

Above the Mass Clock there was a picture of an angel, flying up to the throne of God in heaven carrying the offerings of consecrated bread and wine. Alongside was written an excerpt from the Roman Canon of the Mass: "Almighty God we pray that your angel may take this sacrifice to your altar in heaven, then as we receive from this altar the sacred Body and Blood of your Son, may we be filled with every grace and blessing."

It was simple. Sitting in an ordinary classroom doing our sums we found that with a short prayer and a moment of silence, we could unite ourselves to a spiritual activity going on somewhere else in the world, and at each hour be caught up into this magical world of the Mass Clock.

The angel became my close companion. He became a sign for me of the hidden adventure whereby the locked barrier of time with its closed circle of repetitive activities could be dissolved and my spirit carried on this angel's invisible wings to eternal realities and the mysterious wonder of heaven. This angel came to me at night also, when I was awake, and the dark silent hours slid by in an act of worship which was joined together with Christ's Mass sacrifice being then offered somewhere else in the world."

-Mother M. Xavier McMonagle, OSB, Tyburn Adorer of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Montmartre  Click here: Tyburn Convent

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What does it matter where we go?

And where I am, there shall my servant be also... - John 12:26b
Via de la Plata Santiago de Compostela ~ Spain
"What does it matter where we go? Wherever we go,
won't we be serving God there?  And wherever we go,
won't we have Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament
with us?  Isn't that enough to make us happy?"
Ven Solanus Casey (+1957)
Porter of St Bonaventure Monastery,
Detroit, MI ~ USA

Monday, September 23, 2013

Giving free rein to your heart...

 "Prayer is the oxygen of the soul." - St Padre Pio
"Kneel down and render the tribute of your presence and devotion to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.  Confide all your needs to Him, along with those of others.  Speak to Him with filial abandonment, give free rein to your heart, and give Him complete freedom to work in you as He thinks best."
St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina
Priest, Stigmatist, Mystic
Italy  ~ 1887-1968
Patron of Eucharistic Adorers
Feast Day - Sept. 23
 “When I am close to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament,
I feel as if my heart is bursting out of my chest.” ~ St Padre Pio
St Padre Pio, pray for us!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Making our way to eternity...

 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life;
no one comes to the Father, but by me." - John 14:6
Aged Man Receiving Communion ~ Alfred Johannot (1831)
    "The Lord's Supper, to which the Virgin leads us in order that we may partake of her joy, is renewed every morning.  The table is always set, the Bread always offered.  The Christian makes his way to eternity from Communion to Communion.  At each stage in the journey, Christ is waiting for him in order that he may renew his strength and take heart again.

    But let us take care not to allow too much time to elapse between these stages.  Long before the grace of a Communion has grown weak in us, long before the silence and peace which emanate from a Communion have been dispelled by nature and the world, we must make our way into the radiant sphere of another Communion.  Let there be no opportunity between two Communions for a period of darkness in which we would run the risk of falling into snares.  We have nothing to fear if Christ marks our life.  Hardly have we had time to lose Him when already we have found Him again."
Francois Mauriac
Holy Thursday, An Intimate Remembrance

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Renewed !

For I came not to call the righteous,
but sinners, says the Lord.  - Matt 9:13

Prayer after Communion (Today’s Liturgy)

Sharing in that saving joy, O Lord,
with which Saint Matthew welcomed the Savior
as a guest in his home, we pray: grant that we may always
be renewed by the food we receive from Christ,
who came to call not the just, but sinners to salvation. 
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
St Matthew
"And he got up and followed Him" (Mt 9:9b) ...
"leaving everything behind" (Lk 5:28)
Apostle and Evangelist
"the son of Alphaeus" (Mk 2:14)
FEAST DAY - September 21
Imitate St Matthew - get up and follow Jesus.
Then invite sinners to meet Him.
"What reason can the Teacher have for eating with tax collectors
and those who disregard the law?" —Matthew 9:11
Cause heaven to rejoice (Luke 15:7).
His life is somewhat shrouded, and  ... There are not many facts ... But Matthew was a publican ... Who gathered in the tax ... Until that wondrous moment in ... His native Galilee ... When Jesus came upon him, and ... He told him, "Follow me" ... And Matthew followed Jesus then  ... Wherever Jesus went ... Ignoring Pharisees and all ... The Roman government ... With eloquent sincerity ... This good apostle preached ... In distant lands wherever there ... Were souls that could be reached ... And he composed the gospel that ... Inspires us today ... To follow Jesus Christ and live ... According to His way.
From Poem Portraits of the Saints - James J Metcalfe (1956), pg 6
 St Matthew, pray for us!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Liturgy: not an option

Thou dost show me the path of life; in thy presence there is fullness of joy,
in thy right hand are pleasures evermore.  - Psalm 16:11 
“Liturgy is not an option nor merely an obligation, not a bonus, but a need—like food and drink, like sleep and work, like friends. We need to gather, listen, give praise and thanks, and share communion.

Otherwise we forget who we are and whose we are; and we can have neither the strength nor the joy to be Christ’s body—present in the world today.”       

Cardinal Joseph Bernardin

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cure for sagging faith


... and I, when I am lifted up from the earth,
will draw all men to myself. – John 12:32

"Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament... There you will find romance, glory, honour, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves on earth, and more than that: death. By the divine paradox, that which ends life, and demands the surrender of all, and yet by the taste (or foretaste) of which alone can what you seek in your earthly relationships (love, faithfulness, joy) be maintained, or take on that complexion of reality, of eternal endurance, which every man's heart desires.
The only cure for sagging or fainting faith is Communion. Though always Itself, perfect and complete and inviolate, the Blessed Sacrament does not operate completely and once for all in any of us. Like the act of Faith it must be continuous and grow by exercise. Frequency is of the highest effect. Seven times a week is more nourishing than seven times at intervals.

Also I can recommend this as an exercise (alas! only too easy to find opportunity for): make your communion in circumstances that affront your taste. Choose a snuffling or gabbling priest or a proud and vulgar friar; and a church full of the usual bourgeois crowd, ill-behaved children - from those who yell to those products of Catholic schools who the moment the tabernacle is opened sit back and yawn - open necked and dirty youths, women in trousers and often with hair both unkempt and uncovered. Go to communion with them (and pray for them). It will be just the same (or better than that) as a Mass said beautifully by a visibly holy man, and shared by a few devout and decorous people. It could not be worse than the mess of the feeding of the Five Thousand - after which our Lord propounded the feeding that was to come."

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter to his son


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sincerity of love

We love because he first loved us. - I John 4:19

After Communion

Dear God, dear God,
You came to me!
How glad I am! And yet I see
I am not what I ought to be.
Here is my heart!  It's small, but I
Have filled it up with love.  I'll try
To keep it that way till I die.    

 - Mary Dixon Thayer

From Friends of Ours by Sr Mary Estelle
of the Sisters of the Order of St Dominic
The Marywood Readers (pg 82)
Grand Rapids, Michigan (1931)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Go, then - and partake!

 He gave them bread from heaven to eat. - John 6:31

"The Bread of Life, the Bread of the angels,
is not offered only for our adoration and homage,
but was given to us as food. 
Let us go, then, and partake of this Food
to nourish and fortify our souls."
St Robert Bellarmine
 Italy ~ 1542-1621
Jesuit theologian, writer, and cardinal
Key voice and action in Counter-Reformation
"Prince of the Apologists"
Doctor of the Church
Patron of Canon lawyers, catechists, students
FEAST DAY - September 17
From St Robert Bellarmine's treatise On the Ascent of the Mind to God:
  "May you consider truly good whatever leads to your goal
and truly evil whatever makes you fall away from it."
St Robert Bellarmine, pray for us!

Monday, September 16, 2013

One - by the Lord's voice

 It is you who have stood by me in my trials;
and I confer a kingdom in you, says the Lord,
that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom. 
- Luke 22:28-30 (Today's Communion Antiphon)
 Photo Credit:  Lawrence Lew, OP
"There is one God, and one Christ, and one Church,
and one chair, by our Lord's voice founded upon Peter.
To set up another altar, or to constitute another priesthood,
besides the one altar and the one priesthood, is impossible.
Whosever gathereth elsewhere scattereth.
It is adulterous, it is impious, it is sacrilegious,
whatsoever is instituted by man to the breach of God's disposition.
Get ye far from such men:
they are blind, and leaders of the blind..."
St Cyprian, The Unity of the Catholic Church
Sts Cornelius (Pope, Martyr +253)
and Cyprian (Bishop of Carthage, Martyr +258)
FEAST DAY - September 16
 “You cannot have God for your Father if you do not have the Church for your mother.... God is one and Christ is one, and his Church is one; one is the faith, and one is the people cemented together by harmony into the strong unity of a body.... If we are the heirs of Christ, let us abide in the peace of Christ; if we are the sons of God, let us be lovers of peace.” ~ St Cyprian, The Unity of the Catholic Church

 Sts Cornelius and Cyprian, pray for us!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Gift of the Queen of Sorrows


“Eucharistic Heart of Jesus,
reign over the afflicted;
become their consolation
through this consecrated Bread,
the gift of the Queen of Sorrows.”

Fr. Mateo Crawley-Boevey


Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows
September 15
The Seven Sorrows of Mary:
* at the prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:35);
* at the flight into Egypt (Matt 2:13);
* having lost the Holy Child at Jerusalem (Luke 2:48);
* meeting Jesus on His way to Calvary;
* standing at the foot of the Cross (John 19:25);
* Jesus being taken from the Cross;
* at the burial of Christ.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Blest is the wood...

"Blest is the wood through which justice comes about." - Wisdom 14:7

Exquisite mosaic - Tree of Life - Holy Cross (detail) ~ San Clemente - Rome


FEAST of the
September 14
 "How splendid the cross of Christ! It brings life, not death; light, not darkness; Paradise, not its loss. It is the wood on which the Lord, like a great warrior, was wounded in hands and feet and side, but healed thereby our wounds. A tree has destroyed us, a tree now brought us life." ~ St Theodorus the Estudite

"Recognize in this bread what hung on the cross, and in this chalice what flowed from His side... whatever was in many and varied ways announced beforehand in the sacrifices of the Old Testament pertains to this one sacrifice which is revealed in the New Testament.

Receive in this bread that which was hanged on the cross; receive in this cup that which was poured from Christ's side. For he will gain death, not life, who thinks Christ is a liar." ~ St Augustine


O Jesus, Jesus, I no longer feel my cross
when I think of yours!" 

 St. Bernadette Soubirous

 "On the Cross human misery and divine mercy meet. ...The Cross is planted in the earth and would seem to extend its roots in human malice, but it reaches up, pointing as it were to the heavens, pointing to the goodness of God.

By means of the Cross of Christ, the Evil One has been defeated, death is overcome, life is given to us, hope is restored, light is imparted. O Crux, ave spes unica!…" ~ Pope Bl John Paul II - From homily 09/14/03

Friday, September 13, 2013

Invitation par excellence

  You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies... - Psalm 23: 5a

"Consider at whose table thou eatest!
For we are fed with that which
the angels view with trepidation and
which they cannot contemplate without fear
because of Its splendor.

We become one with Him:
we become one Body
and one Flesh with Christ."
St John Chrysostom
Chrysostomos - 'golden-mouthed'
Syria ~ 349 - 407
Archbishop of Constantinople
Doctor of the Church
Patron of orators
FEAST DAY ~ September 13
"The bee is honored more than other animals, not because she labors,
but because she labors for others.”  ~ St John Chrysostom
  Click here: Saint John Chrysostom - YouTube (25 mins - excellent!)
St John Chrysostom, pray for us!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

O name of Mary!

"O name of Mary! Joy in the heart, honey in the mouth,
melody to the ear of Her devout clients!" - St Anthony of Padua
 Feast of the Most Holy Name
of the Blessed Virgin Mary
September 12
In accordance with Jewish custom our Lady's parents named her eight days after her birth, and were inspired to call her Mary. The feast of the Holy Name of Mary follows that of her Birthday, as the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus follows Christmas. Our salvation begins when an archangel speaks the name of Mary.  To be Christian is to carry on that Annunciation unceasingly. 

O amor mei nomen matris Dei ~ St. Anselm
"Oh name of the mother of God, thou art my love."

"I want what is good for myself; I beg the same for you. Now there is no other way to bring this about than to ask the Virgin Mary constantly to come to you with her glorious Son. Be bold! Ask her to give you her Son, who in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar is truly food of your soul.  ...  

Readily will she give Him to you, still more readily will He come to you, giving you strength to make your way fearlessly through this dark wood.  In it large numbers of our enemies lie in wait, but they cannot reach us if they see us relying on such powerful help. "  ~ St. Cajetan

"God the Father gathered all the waters together and called them the seas or maria [Latin, seas]. He gathered all His grace together and called it Mary or Maria . . .This immense treasury is none other than Mary whom the Saints call the 'treasury of the Lord.' From Her fullness all men are made rich." ~ St. Louis de Montfort (+1716)

"This most holy, sweet and worthy name was 'eminently fitted to so holy, sweet and worthy a virgin. For Mary means a bitter sea, star of the sea, the illuminated or illuminatrix. Mary is interpreted Lady. Mary is a bitter sea to the demons; to men She is the Star of the sea; to the Angels She is illuminatrix, and to all creatures She is Lady ." ~ St. Bonaventure (+1274)

 “Well may all, shepherds and flock alike, fly with fullest confidence to the protection of the Blessed Virgin. Let them not fail to call upon her name with one voice, beseeching her as God’s mother, publicly and in private by praise, by prayer, by the ardour of their desire: ‘Show thyself our Mother.’ ~ Pope Leo XIII - Adiutricem populi, Sept. 5 1895

"Saint Bernard says, and we say with him:  Look to the star of the sea, call upon Mary ... in danger, in distress, in doubt, think of Mary, call upon Mary.  May her name never be far from your lips, or far from your heart ...  If you follow her, you will not stray; if you pray to her, you will not despair; if you turn your thoughts to her, you will not err.   If she holds you, you will not fall; if she protects you, you need not fear; if she is your guide, you will not tire; if she is gracious to you, you will surely reach your destination." ~ Benedict XVI, address at Heiligenkreuz Abbey, September 9, 2007

More on the Name of Mary...

Jesus - Mary - Jesus - Mary - Jesus - Mary 
"The invocation of the sacred names of Jesus and Mary is a short prayer which is as sweet to the mind, and as powerful to protect those who use it against the enemies of their salvation, as it is easy to remember." ~ St. Thomas a Kempis