Saturday, November 30, 2013

Come and see... and BEHOLD!

 "Behold, the Lamb of God" ...
Photo credit:  Lawrence OP
"When John the Baptist said:  This is the Lamb, and he baptizes in the Spirit, he left the deeper understanding of these things to be received from Christ.  All the more so would Andrew act in the same way, since he did not think himself able to give a complete explanation.  He brought his brother to the very source of light, and Peter was so joyful and eager that he would not delay even for a moment." _ St John Chrysostom
"Behold, the Lamb of God" ...
In the spirit of St Andrew,  invite someone to Mass
or Adoration during this Advent season - to come and see -
and to Behold the very source of Light!
St Andrew
Apostle, Priest, Martyr
Younger brother of St Peter
Patron:  Russia, Scotland, fishermen
 Name "Andrew" (Greek: manly, brave, from ἀνδρεία,
Andreia, "manhood, valour")
Feast day  - November 30
  "Come after Me, and I will make you fishers of men." 
At once they (Simon Peter and Andrew)
left their nets and followed Him.  ~ Matthew 4: 19
For You have built Your Church to stand firm on apostolic foundations,
to be a lasting sign of Your holiness on earth and offer all humanity Your heavenly teaching.  (Today's Liturgy: Preface II - Eucharistic Prayers)
St Andrew, pray for us!

Christmas Anticipation Prayer

Beginning on St. Andrew's Feast Day, November 30, the following prayer is traditionally recited fifteen times a day until Christmas. This is a beautifully meditative prayer that helps us increase our awareness of the real focus of Christmas and helps us prepare ourselves spiritually for His coming.
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, [here mention your request] through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother.  Amen.

You will happily find beautiful St Andrew Chaplets here:

Friday, November 29, 2013

Entering heaven...

"For a church is not a barber's shop or a chemist's or a market stall: 
it is the dwelling of angels and of archangels; it is the kingdom of God;
it is heaven itself." - St John Chrysostom
"Now, ye worldly affairs and thoughts of business,
leave me and remain outside,
while I go into the Sanctuary of the Most High
to speak to the great Lord of Heaven and earth."
St Francis of Assisi

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Reward of a simple approach...

...and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him.  For the LORD is your life...
- Deuteronomy 30:20

"Whenever I go to the chapel, I put myself in the presence of our good Lord, and I say to Him, Lord, I am here.  Tell me what you would have me to do’ ...

. . . And then, I tell God everything that is in my heart.  I tell Him about my pains and my joys, and then I listen.  If you listen, God will also speak to you, for with the good Lord, you have to both speak and listen.  God always speaks to you when you approach Him plainly and simply."

St Catherine Labouré
France~ 1806 -1876
Daughters of Charity nun (Nursing order)
Marian Visionary
Incorrupt body (Mother house D of Charity: 140 Rue du Bac, Paris)
Feast Day - November 28

In her second apparition, on November 27, 1830, Our Lady revealed her desire for the Miraculous Medal.  Over the course of the apparitions, which always occurred near the Blessed Sacrament, Our Mother gave St Catherine this message, as if giving a remedy, for the world:  “Come to the foot of the altar.  Here graces will be showered on all, great and little, who ask for them.  Graces will especially be showered upon those who ask for them.”

More about St Catherine and the Miraculous Medal -
and to obtain a free medal (USA and Canada only )

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Real participatio actuosa

Abide in Me and I will abide in you.  - John 15:4a
Concerning active participation during the Liturgy,
Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Ratzinger, astutely clarifies....

"If there is to be real participatio actuosa,
there must be silence.
In this silence, together, we journey inward,
becoming aware of word and sign,
leaving behind the roles which conceal our real selves. 

In silence man 'bides' and 'abides'; he becomes aware of
'abiding' reality.  Liturgy's tension, tautness, does not come from 'variety' ...but from the fact that it creates a space in
which we can encounter what is truly great and inexhaustible,
something that does not need 'variety' because it suffices,
namely, truth and love." 

Feast of Faith

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Preparing for 'that hour'

Guard my life, for I am devoted to you.  You are my God;  save your servant who trusts in you. ... Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul." - Psalm 86:2,4

St Albert the Great Chapel, Edinburgh

"But most assuredly, there is one hour when the remembrance of the visits you have paid to the Blessed Sacrament will give you indescribable pleasure - the hour of your death. 

And if you never, at any other time, feel remorse for neglecting this great duty, certainly you will feel it when your soul has left the body and you know how near you have been to Jesus Christ on earth. Oh, with what shame and confusion will you not be covered when Jesus will say to you: "I was a stranger and you received Me not." I was so near to you and you visited Me not. You have treated Me as an outcast; you have left Me alone; you have thought of Me but seldom, or not at all.  How confused, I say, will you feel at such a well-deserved reproach! 

Save yourself this shame and confusion; resolve from henceforth daily to spend some time, say half an hour or a quarter of an hour at least in church in the presence of Jesus Christ in the most Holy Sacrament!

And at the hour of death He will say to you:  "I was indeed a stranger to many lukewarm Christians, but not to you; you came to visit Me; you kept company with Me on earth; you shall, from henceforth, enjoy My Presence in Heaven forever and ever."

Michael Mueller, C.S.S.R.
The Blessed Eucharist,
Our Greatest Treasure (1867), pg 59-60

Monday, November 25, 2013

Above all: to adore

 How right they are to adore you! - Song of Songs 1:4c
Cardinal Donald Wuerl: presider
"The Temple is the place where the community
goes to pray, to praise the Lord, to give thanks,
but above all to adore:
the Lord is adored in the Temple....
Adoration is most important:
the whole community together look at the altar
where the sacrifice is celebrated and adore."
Pope Francis
Holy Mass - 22 November 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013

King of Kings, Lord of Lords

Solemnity of
Our Lord Jesus Christ the King

The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King celebrates the all-embracing authority of Christ as King and Lord of the cosmos.  It is celebrated on the final Sunday of Ordinary Time, the Sunday before Advent. "O Lord our God, you are worthy to receive glory and honor and power" (Rev 4:11).
“The Lord will sit on His royal throne for ever;
the Lord will bless His people in peace.” - Psalm 10b,11b 
 O king of Glory, though You hide Your beauty,
yet the eye of my soul rends the veil.” - St. Faustina
“There He is:
King of Kings and Lord of Lords,
hidden in the bread.
To this extreme
has He humbled Himself
for love of you.”
St. Josemaria Escriva

Excerpt: Quas Primas, Encyclical of Pope Pius XI 
Promulgated on December 11, 1925, Quas Primas introduced the Feast of Christ the King. The encyclical summarizes both the Old Testament and the New Testament teaching on the kingship of Christ. Invoking an earlier encyclical Annum Sacrum of Pope Leo XIII, Pius XI connotes that the kingdom of Christ embraces the whole mankind. He connected the denial of Christ as king to the rise of secularism. At the time of Quas Primas, secularism was on the rise, and many Christians, even Catholics, were doubting Christ’s authority, as well as the Church’s, and even doubting Christ’s very existence.  Click here: QUAS PRIMAS  (EXCELLENT !)
Hail King Jesus, our King of Peace!

20. If the kingdom of Christ, then, receives, as it should, all nations under its way, there seems no reason why we should despair of seeing that peace which the King of Peace came to bring on earth -- he who came to reconcile all things, who came not to be ministered unto but to minister, who, though Lord of all, gave himself to us as a model of humility, and with his principal law united the precept of charity; who said also: "My yoke is sweet and my burden light." Oh, what happiness would be Ours if all men, individuals, families, and nations, would but let themselves be governed by Christ! "Then at length," to use the words addressed by our predecessor, Pope Leo XIII, twenty-five years ago to the bishops of the Universal Church, "then at length will many evils be cured; then will the law regain its former authority; peace with all its blessings be restored. Men will sheathe their swords and lay down their arms when all freely acknowledge and obey the authority of Christ, and every tongue confesses that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father."

21. That these blessings may be abundant and lasting in Christian society
, it is necessary that the kingship of our Savior should be as widely as possible recognized and understood, and to the end nothing would serve better than the institution of a special feast in honor of the Kingship of Christ. For people are instructed in the truths of faith, and brought to appreciate the inner joys of religion far more effectually by the annual celebration of our sacred mysteries than by any official pronouncement of the teaching of the Church. Such pronouncements usually reach only a few and the more learned among the faithful; feasts reach them all; the former speak but once, the latter speak every year -- in fact, forever. The church's teaching affects the mind primarily; her feasts affect both mind and heart, and have a salutary effect upon the whole of man's nature. Man is composed of body and soul, and he needs these external festivities so that the sacred rites, in all their beauty and variety, may stimulate him to drink more deeply of the fountain of God's teaching, that he may make it a part of himself, and use it with profit for his spiritual life.

To Jesus Christ, our Sov'reign King,
Who is the world's salvation,
All praise and homage do we bring,
And thanks and adoration.

Christ Jesus Victor, Christ Jesus Ruler!
Christ Jesus, Lord and Redeemer!
The way to 'enter' into God's Kingdom does not permit shortcuts; rather, every person must freely welcome the truth of the love of God. He is Love and Truth and both love and truth never impose themselves: they knock at the door of the heart and mind and, wherever they may enter, they bring peace and joy. This is God's way of reigning; this is His project of salvation, a 'mystery' in the biblical sense of the word, which is a plan that is revealed little by little throughout history."- Benedict XVI

Saturday, November 23, 2013

"¡Viva Cristo Rey!"

"They will live with Christ in heaven, who lived on earth
according to the words and ways of Christ." - St Nicetas of Remesiana


"I believe, O Lord, but strengthen my faith…
Heart of Jesus, I love Thee; but increase my love. 
Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee;
but give greater vigor to my confidence. 
Heart of Jesus, I give my heart to Thee; but enclose it
in Thee that it may never be separated from Thee.
Heart of Jesus, I am all Thine; but take care of
my promise so that I may be able to put it in practice
even unto the complete sacrifice of my life."

Bl Miguel Agustin Pro
Jesuit priest, Martyr
Mexico ~ 1891-1927
FEAST DAY – November 23


"How can I explain to you the sweet grace of the Holy Spirit, which invades my poor miner's soul with such heavenly joys? I could not keep back tears on the day of my ordination, above all at the moment when I pronounced, together with the bishop, the words of the consecration. After the ceremony the new priests gave their first blessing to their parents. I went to my room, laid out all the photographs of my family on the table, and then blessed them from the bottom of my heart." ~ Bl Miguel Pro

Bl Miguel Pro, pray for us!
MORE on Bl Miguel Pro...
In the 1920s the churches in Mexico were closed and priests went into hiding. Fr Pro spent the rest of his life in a secret ministry to the sturdy Mexican Catholics. In addition to fulfilling their spiritual needs, he also carried out the works of mercy by assisting the poor in Mexico City with their temporal needs. He adopted many interesting disguises in carrying out his secret ministry. He would come in the middle of the night dressed as a beggar to baptize infants, bless marriages and celebrate Mass. He would appear in jail dressed as a police officer to bring Holy Viaticum to condemned Catholics. When going to fashionable neighborhoods to procure for the poor, he would show up at the doorstep dressed as a fashionable businessman with a fresh flower on his lapel. His many exploits could rival those of the most daring spies. In all that he did, however, Fr. Pro remained obedient to his superiors and was filled with the joy of serving Christ, his King.
Falsely accused in the bombing attempt on a former Mexican president, Miguel became a wanted man. Betrayed to the police, he was sentenced to death without the benefit of any legal process.
At the time of the killing, Mexico was under the rule of the fiercely anti-clerical and anti-Catholic President Plutarco Elías Calles who had begun what writer Graham Greene called the "fiercest persecution of religion anywhere since the reign of Elizabeth."
On the day of his execution, as Fr. Pro walked from his cell to the courtyard and the firing squad, he blessed the soldiers, knelt and briefly prayed quietly. Declining a blindfold, he faced his executioners with a crucifix in one hand and a rosary in the other and held his arms out in imitation of the crucified Christ and shouted out, "May God have mercy on you! May God bless you! Lord, Thou knowest that I am innocent! With all my heart I forgive my enemies!" Before the firing squad were ordered to shoot, Pro raised his arms in imitation of Christ and shouted the defiant cry of the Cristeros, "Viva Cristo Rey!" -"Long live Christ the King!" When the initial shots of the firing squad failed to kill him, a soldier shot him point blank.
Calles had the execution meticulously photographed, and the newspapers throughout the country carried them on the front page the following day. Presumably, Calles thought that the sight of the pictures would frighten the Cristero rebels who were fighting against his troops, particularly in the state of Jalisco. However, they had the opposite effect. The Cristeros became more animated and fought with renewed enthusiasm, many of them carrying the newspaper photo of Pro before the firing squad.
Miguel Pro's last request prior to execution was to be allowed to kneel and pray.
Pro himself refused a blindfold.  A Crucifix in the right hand, a rosary in the other.
He blessed and forgave the firing squad.

November 24, 1927, at the front of the Jesuit church of the Holy Family, a multitude accompanied the remains of Father Pro.  Father Mendez Medina cried out, "Make way for the martyrs of Christ the King!" 
Although Calles had forbidden any public demonstration, the people acted in open defiance. Never had the city seen such an enormous turnout for a funeral. As the martyrs' caskets left the house, a great and unanimous cry soared from the hearts and mouths of thousands:.. "¡Viva Cristo Rey!" Thousands thronged the streets and balconies, throwing flowers, praying the rosary and singing. It was a triumph - a glorious witness to the heroism of martyrs for Christ the King.

 This SUNDAY is the FEAST of CHRIST the KING
Let us together renew an unwavering loyalty!
"¡Viva Cristo Rey!"

Friday, November 22, 2013

Voices: joining and ringing out!

Therefore, we, too, extol you with all the Angels,
as in joyful celebration we acclaim:  Holy, holy, holy....
Choir of Angels ~ Hans Memling (c. 1433-1494, Netherlands)
“Liturgical action is given a more noble form when sacred rites are solemnized in song, with the assistance of sacred ministers and the active participation of the people.... Choirs must be diligently promoted, but bishops and other pastors must ensure that, whenever the sacred action is to be celebrated with song, the whole body of the faithful may be able to contribute that active participation which is rightfully theirs.... Gregorian chant, other things being equal, should be given pride of place in liturgical services. But other kinds of sacred music, especially polyphony, are by no means excluded.... Religious singing by the people is to be skillfully fostered, so that in devotions and sacred exercises, as also during liturgical services, the voices of the faithful may ring out” (Constitution on the Liturgy, 112-118).

St Cecilia
Martyr ~ Rome
Approx  90-117 AD
Patron of Musicians, Sacred Music
Feast Day – Nov 22

St Cecilia-~Artemesia

"Words cannot express the things that are sung by the heart ... And if so happy that words can no longer express what they feel, people discard the restricting syllables. They burst out into a simple sound of joy, of jubilation.'" ~ Well said, St. Augustine!

  Sing praises to the LORD, O you His saints,
and give thanks to His holy Name.  ~ Psalm 30:4

St Cecilia, pray for us! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Behold the heavenly tabernacle !

The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Feast Day -November 21*
*The Feast celebrates Mary as a temple,
where God dwelt in a special way through her role as Mother of Jesus.
"Go then, go, O Queen of the world, O Mother of God, go joyfully to
the house of God and there await the coming of the divine Spirit
who will make you the Mother of the divine Word." - St Germanus
From the Byzantine liturgy:

The most pure temple of the Savior, His most precious bridal chamber, the Virgin, sacred treasury of God's glory, enters today into the house of the Lord, bringing with her the grace of the divine Spirit.  Wherefore the angels of God are singing: "Behold the heavenly tabernacle!" ... Wherefore let us cry out to her with all our strength: "Joy to you, fulfillment of the Creator's plan!" At the moment when the young girl Mary was presented in the glorious Temple, "everything that humans build was already diminished by the praise in her heart." (Rilke)


"God Himself, with the whole heavenly court, was greatly pleased
and glorified the day when He beheld His spouse being led to the Temple. 
Never had He seen a holier creature, nor one whom He loved so tenderly,
come to offer herself to Him." - Bernardine de Bustis (+1515)
"Hers was the happiness of first bearing in her womb Him
whom she would obey as her master." - St Augustine


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

THE source - and summit!

 "Awesome is the altar on which the divine victim is immolated! 
From paradise there went forth a spring whose visible waters
spread out on every side.  From this Table, it is a spring
of spiritual waters that gushes forth." - St John Chrysostom
Pope Francis' Inauguration Mass
flows from the altar -
Bishop Paul V Dudley
11-29-1926 ~ 11-20-2006
"The Body of Christ (Eucharist) will unite the
Body of Christ (Believers)."~ Bishop Paul V Dudley

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A kiss of gladness

"It is a kiss of gladness, that he should have been granted
the honour and happiness of celebrating the Mass."
- Bl Hyacinth Cormier, Dominican friar (+1916)
Pope Francis

"The priest kisses the sacred altar to show that when Christ came to us, He joined holy Church to Himself:  as it is said in the bridal song, Let him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth

And he places his hands upon the altar to show that charity, which is denoted by the kiss, must be supported by good works."
Bishop of Mende, France
The one who is to sing the Mass kisses the altar on first approaching it. 
He does this so that he may speak words of true peace to the people. 
And coming, he preached peace to you that were far off,
and peace to them that were nigh. - St Albert the Great

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hold nothing back!

Remember, O LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully
and with wholehearted devotion
and have done what is good in your eyes. - Isaiah 38:3
“We cultivate a very small field for Christ,
but we love it, knowing that God
does not require great achievements,
but a heart that holds back nothing for self. ...
He who has Jesus has everything."
St Rose Philippine Duchesne
nee France ~ 1769-1852
"Missionary of the American Frontier"
Foundress of the American Society of the Sacred Heart
FEAST DAY – November 18

St Rose spent hours in adoration of our Eucharistic Lord.  Sometimes her prayer would go long into the nighttime, spending 6 to 8 hours before the Blessed Sacrament.   Her long hours of contemplation impelled the Potawatomi Indians whom she served to name her, Quah-kah-ka-num-ad, "Woman-Who-Prays-Always".  It is said  that the Native American children sneaked behind her as she knelt and sprinkled little pebbles (or acorns or leaves) on her long habit robe, and came back hours later (or even the following morning) to find them undisturbed.

She wrote:  "Once baptized, they never revert to drunkenness or stealing. Whatever is found is placed at the door of the church to be claimed by the owner. Not a single house has locks on the doors, yet nothing is ever missing. The Indians gather in groups (men and women separate) for morning prayers, Mass, and catechism. In the evening they assemble again for prayers." 

"You may dazzle the mind with a thousand brilliant discoveries of natural science; you may open new worlds of knowledge which were never dreamed of before; yet, if you have not developed in the soul of the pupil strong habits of virtue which will sustain her in the struggle of life, you have not educated her, but only put in her hand a powerful instrument of self-destruction." ~ Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne

St Rose Philippine Duchesne, pray for us!