Tuesday, March 31, 2015

His humility...

 I offered my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; 
I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. - Isaiah 50:6

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IMAGE: The Flagellation of Christ ~ Guercino

"The humility of Jesus can be seen in the crib, in the exile to Egypt, in the hidden life, in the inability to make people understand Him, in the desertion of His apostles, in the hatred of His persecutors, in all the terrible suffering and death of His Passion, and now in His permanent state of humility in the tabernacle, where He has reduced Himself to such a small particle of bread that the priest can hold Him with two fingers. 
The more we empty ourselves, the more room we give God to fill us."

Bl Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Monday, March 30, 2015

Entrusted with a treasure...

"This week, Holy Week, which leads us to Easter,
we will take this path of Jesus' own humiliation. 
Only in this way will this week be "holy" for us too!"
- Pope Francis, Palm Sunday homily (2015)

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"We need to implore His grace daily, asking Him to open our cold hearts and shake up our lukewarm and superficial existence. Standing before Him with open hearts, letting Him look at us, we see that gaze of love which Nathaniel glimpsed on the day when Jesus said to him: 'I saw you under the fig tree' (Jn 1:48).
How good it is to stand before a crucifix, or on our knees before the Blessed Sacrament, and simply to be in His presence! How much good it does us when He once more touches our lives and impels us to share his new life! What then happens is that 'we speak of what we have seen and heard' (1 Jn 1:3).
The best incentive for sharing the Gospel comes from contemplating it with love, lingering over its pages and reading it with the heart. If we approach it in this way, its beauty will amaze and constantly excite us. But if this is to come about,
we need to recover a contemplative spirit which can help us to realize ever anew that we have been entrusted with a treasure which makes us more human and helps us to lead a new life. There is nothing more precious which we can give to others."
From Evangelii Gaudium, 264 – Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Palm Sunday

Holy Week, the most solemn and intense period of worship in the Christian faith, begins with Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion (the full name), the Sunday before Easter. In spite of the spiritual gravity of Holy Week, it begins with joy.  The Church celebrates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the Church begins her commemorative pilgrimage with her Lord on His way to Calvary.

Wear RED to Mass today!

The event is mentioned in all four Gospels. (Mark 11:1–11, Matt21:1–11, Luke 19:28–44, John 12:12–19). This entry into Jerusalem is seen as the prophetic fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9-10:

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion, shout for joy, O daughter of Jerusalem: BEHOLD THY KING will come to thee, the just and saviour: he is poor, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. And I will destroy the chariot out of Ephraim, and the horse out of Jerusalem, and the bow for war shall be broken: and he shall speak peace to the Gentiles, and his power shall be from sea to sea, and from the rivers even to the end of the earth.

Entry Into Jerusalem 
"It is a fact that an age waxes or wanes
in proportion to the worship of the divine Eucharist.
It is there that is found the life and the measure
of its faith, its charity, and its vitality.

May the reign of the Eucharist
come about more and more.
For too long impiety and ingratitude
have been allowed to hold sway over the world!
Adveniat regnum tuum. Thy Kingdom come."

St. Peter Julian Eymard
Icon:  Assisi Frescoes Entry into Jerusalem, Pietro Lorenzetti, ca 1320

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including... How to make palm crosses to tuck behind 
picture frames or near holy  images

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Every morning feels new...

Lord, in the morning Thou dost hear my voice
in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for Thee, and watch.
  - Psalm 5:3

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"In the Christian tradition, time has always had a sacramental significance because God entered into time and hallowed it, just as He entered into matter and space and hallowed them. Time means something. And God has ordered the rhythms of our lives so that this awareness is built into our bones.

Morning, for instance, carries with it the sense of promise, of renewal, of freshness, of second chances. Morning is as old as the world, yet every morning feels new. Even as tragic a book as Lamentations picks up on this theme and reminds us that the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, that His mercies never come to an end and that they are "new every morning."

Not surprisingly then, the Church takes over the tradition of morning prayer from our elder brothers, the Jews, and urges us to pray like the psalmist in the morning and to offer the coming day to God, who gave it to us. Today, offer morning prayer to God, make your life a living sacrifice, and watch."  ~ Mark Shea

As a prelude to Holy Week...
hasten to offer the perfect morning prayer -
attend holy Mass! 

Planning ahead...in liturgical correctness...
Remember to wear RED to Mass for PALM SUNDAY!

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Together: toward holiness...

  "Feed on this Bread of the Angels from which you will
draw the strength to fight inner struggles."- Bl Pier Giorgio Frassati
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"Ask Jesus to make you a saint.
After all, only He can do that.
Go to confession regularly
and to Communion as often as you can."

St. Dominic Savio

"This world is filled with many vulgar and dishonorable things that will claw and tear at your Christian purity if you allow them to. Don't let them! Seek instead the things of God. He will purify you and free you from your slavery to profane and inconsequential things." - Patrick Madrid

“There is no shame so great that God’s mercy cannot shine forth from its midst. … Jesus is not afraid to go to the core of our shame to heal us.  Sins and secrets do not scare Him.  The serpent causes shame and hiding; Jesus invites us to mercy and communion.” ~ Fr Richard Veras

"I think one of the central elements of my own discipleship so far has been my pastors’ focus on the Cross. The way of Jesus is the way of the cross. It is terribly painful to give up one’s sins and self-will, to allow one’s old self to be crucified along with Jesus … and I have been very grateful to my pastors who acknowledge how hard and painful it can be along this Christian journey. But the way of the cross is also the way of life and peace.- Dr Holly Ordway (excerpt - Former Atheist: Christianity Really Does Make Sense)

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

For love of priests, and of holy Mass...

 "We are born to love, we live to love, 
and we will die to love still more." - St. Joseph Cafasso
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"March 26th is one of two days the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church honors a Pearl of Our Lady's Dowry. The Church chose this day, as it was the first available. In reality, she was put to death on quite a momentous day. Not only was it March 25th - the date that the Feast of the Annunication is normally celebrated, but in the year that she died, 1586, this date was also Good Friday. She followed in  her dear Saviour's footsteps so closely that she died in a cruciform position, her hands and arms outstretched and bound to the floor on which she would be crushed. After having been secured in the cruciform position mentioned before, in imitation of Christ, the martyr was crushed to death by several hundred pounds of weights that were laid on top of her. She was not the only victim of the execution. She had been four months pregnant.

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This "Pearl" is St. Margaret Clitherow. She died in defense of the Catholic faith. More specifically, she died in defense of the priesthood, the Mass, and the Blessed Sacrament. 

St. Margaret opened her home to the most reviled class of people in Elizabethan England - Catholic priests. "This is a war and a trial in God's Church," she wrote of the persecution in her country. "Therefore, if I cannot do my duty without peril and dangers, yet by God's grace I will not be slacker for them. If God's priests dare venture themselves to my house, I will never refuse them." 

One biographer wrote, "The heart and center of [St. Margaret's] life was the Mass." One priest that she harbored, Father John Mush, wrote, "Her most delight was to kneel where she might continually behold the Blessed Sacrament."
St Margaret Clitherow
England ~ 1556-1586
Convert, Wife, Mother, Martyr
aka "Pearl of York"
Co-Patroness: Seven Sisters Apostolate
FEAST DAY - March 26

"I die for the love of my Lord Jesu."St Margaret Clitherow 
Moved by her saintly life, all her children entered the religious life.
Anne became a nun. Henry and William both became priests.

St Margaret Clitherow, pray for us!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

That generous word... "be it done"


 "The Virgin Mary uttered that generous word, "Be it done" 
... Immediately the Heart of Jesus, ever to be adored, 
has begun to pulsate with love, divine and human."
Pius XII, On Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 63

"The Wisdom of God creates poets. How evidently this is so can be seen by considering Mary of Nazareth. When she had given to the Lord of Hosts the Flesh that would become our Bread, Wisdom caused her to break into a poem of praise, a song repeated by more people than probably any other ever composed. The Presence within stirred her to exult and proclaim the One 'who has filled the hungry with good things'. And the praise owed to the Presence of embodied Wisdom among us has never ceased in the Church from that day until this."
James T. O'Connor
The Hidden Manna

When the Divine Child was conceived, Mary’s humanity gave Him hands and feet, eyes and ears, and a body with which to suffer. Just as the petals of a rose after a dew close on the dew as if to absorb its energies, so too Mary as the Mystical Rose closed upon Him Whom the Old Testament had described as a dew descending upon the earth. When finally she did give Him birth, it was as if a great ciborium had opened, and she was holding in her fingers the Guest Who was also the Host of the world, as if to say, ‘Look, this is the Lamb of God; look, this is He Who takes away the sins of the world.’”

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
Life of Christ

Top Image: The Annunciation, Adolphe-William Bouguereau (1888)
Bottom Image: Mystical Rose - Sr Marie Pierre Semlar, M.M.

incl liturgical readings, history and family activities

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, 
that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Belonging to Christ, not to ourselves...

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has passed and the new has come! - II Cor 5:17

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"The saints go to Holy Communion in complete poverty of spirit.  It is not a question of supplying for their deficiencies, of completing themselves - it is a question of replacing their nothingness by the fullness of Christ.  Their past life - good and bad - their sins and merits, count as nothing in their eyes; their hope, their whole desire, their whole self, is found in the Blessed Sacrament. ...

We cannot believe our good fortune; we cannot realize the love and bounty of God.  We do not know the gift of God; we do not realize that God can give us all the desires of our heart.  We still cling to our own selves and our own strength, and put our hope in our selves.

If we would be truly happy, and find all that our heart longs for let us go to Communion in faith, hope, charity, humility, and complete abandonment to the will of Him who comes as our food and our tremendous lover.  For we cannot do better than to adopt the device of St Columban: Christi simus, non nostri - Let us belong to Christ, and not to ourselves."

M. Eugene Boylan, O.Cist. R
This Tremendous Lover (pg 172-3)

Monday, March 23, 2015

To be content always...

But you are a shield around me, O LORD; 
you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. - Psalm 3:3

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"The only One necessary to have
to be content
is to have our Lord."

 St Turibius de Mogrovejo
Nee Spain ~ 1538 - 1606
Layman to ordained Archbishop of Lima! (see YouTube below)
Started First Seminary in the Americas
Patron: Peru, Latin Am. Bishops, Native Rights
Feast Day - March 23
IMAGE above:  At Prayer ~ F Schurig, circa 1890
When Turibius undertook the reform of the clergy as well as unjust officials, he naturally suffered opposition. Some tried, in human fashion, to explain God's law in such a way as to sanction their accustomed way of life.  He answered them in the words of Tertullian, "Christ said, 'I am the truth'; he did not say, 'I am the custom.'"
St Turibius, pray for us!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

He is lifted, I am drawn...

Fifth Sunday of Lent*
*Final Lenten Sunday before Palm Sunday

 "And when I am lifted up from the earth, 
I will draw everyone to Myself." - John 12:32
(Gospel ~ today's Liturgy)

"I spend every free moment
at the feet of the hidden God
[in the Blessed Sacrament]. 
He is my Master; I ask Him about everything;
I speak to Him about everything.  
Here I obtain strength and light;
here I learn everything;
here I am given light
on how to act toward my neighbor."
St. Maria Faustina of the Blessed Sacrament
Divine Mercy Diary, 704

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Same Body broken, same Blood flowed...

“Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the 
Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking.” St Irenaeus

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"The Mass is that which makes the cross visible to every eye; it placards the Cross at all the crossroads of civilization; it brings Calvary so close that even tired feet can make the journey to its sweet embrace; every hand may now reach out to touch its Sacred Burden, and every ear may hear its sweet appeal, for the Mass and the Cross are the same.
In both there is the same offering of a perfectly surrendered will of the beloved Son, the same Body broken, the same Blood flowed forth, the same Divine Forgiveness.
All that has been said and done and acted during Holy Mass is to be taken away with us, lived, practiced, and woven into all the circumstances and conditions of our daily lives."

Venerable Fulton J Sheen
Calvary and the Mass: The Ite, Missa Est

Friday, March 20, 2015

Bringing our hearts to His...

Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light. - Micah 7:8b

“Our lives must be woven around the Eucharist...
fix your eyes on Him Who is the light;
bring your hearts close to His Divine Heart;
ask Him to grant you the grace of knowing Him,
the love of loving Him, the courage to serve Him.
Seek Him fervently.”

Bl Mother Teresa of Calcutta
(Quote chosen to honor St Photina)

St Photina
Samaritan Woman at the Well
Convert, Evangelizer of the Faith, Martyr
Name meaning“resplendent” or “shining with light”
Historical FEAST DAY - March 20

"Woman, believe me... the hour is coming, and is now here, when the 
true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the
Father seeks such as these to worship him." - John 4:22a, 23

By the well of Jacob, O holy one, /
thou didst find the Water /
of eternal and blessed life; /
and having partaken /
thereof, O wise Photina, /
thou wentest forth proclaiming Christ, the Anointed One.
(Megalynarion for St. Photina, according to the Byzantine usage)

 St Photina, pray for us -
that we may have zeal for the faith!

Sixteen years ago today I joyfully reconciled with the Catholic Church and in  so doing was enabled to fully partake of her sacramental life - and at its summit - the Holy Eucharist, the Sacrament of Charity and Unity.  Let us join in the fitting endeavor of praying and living lives that speak of the power and love of our Eucharistic Lord - to come to know, love and serve Him more and more - and to lead all that we meet to the inexhaustible riches of His Sacred Heart.  - Janette  +JMJ+

“I will not rest until I find the whole world devoted
to the Blessed Sacrament!” - Bl. Didacus Joseph of Cadiz

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Ite ad Joseph! - Go to Joseph!

Grant, we pray, almighty God, that by Saint Joseph's intercession
your Church may constantly watch over the unfolding of the mysteries of human salvation, whose beginnings you entrusted to his faithful care. 
Collect ~Today's Liturgy

Solemnity of St Joseph 
Patron of the Universal Church + Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary
+ Protector of the Divine Infant and Mary +
March 19
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"Saint Joseph believed unhesitatingly in the mystery of the Incarnation, in the fruitful virginity and in the divine maternity of Mary. He believed without seeing the miracles that were to fill Judea with his glory and renown of his holy name.
We too should recognize Jesus in the frail Host that is offered to us at the altar. Here He is even smaller than at Bethlehem, more hidden than in Saint Joseph's workshop. Still it is He, 'I believe all the Son of God has spoken, than Truth's own word there is no truer token.'"

  Bishop Pierre-Anastase Pichenot

“He [St. Joseph] nourished with the greatest solicitude
Him whom the faithful were one day to receive
as the Bread of Life on their homeward journey.”   Pope Pius IX  

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St. Joseph joined with Mary in adoration and united himself to Christ, Whose heart surged with sentiments of adoration, love and praise for the Father and of charity for men. St. Joseph’s adoration kept pace with every stage of our Lord’s life, drawing upon the grace, the spirit, and the virtue of each mystery. In the Incarnation he adored the self-annihilation of the Son of God; at Bethlehem, the poverty; at Nazareth, the silence, the apparent weakness, the obedience, and all the other virtues of Christ.…

Because his faith was so strong, Joseph’s mind and heart bowed in perfect adoration. Imitate his faith as you kneel before the  humble Christ annihilated in the Eucharist. Pierce the veil which covers this furnace of love and adore the hidden God. ”
St Peter Julian Eymard
"To other Saints our Lord has given power to help in one sort
of need , but this glorious saint, as I know by experience,
helps us in every need." - St Teresa of Avila
 St Joseph, pray for us!
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"When Egypt was laid waste by the great famine,
Pharaoh told his people,
Ite ad Joseph! - Go to Joseph! (Genesis 41:55)
So if we are in trouble, let us listen to the word of the Lord and take Pharaoh's advice; let us go to Joseph if we wish to be consoled."   
- St Alphonsus de Ligouri
 Click here: St Joseph: A Hidden Life from "Who Cares About The Saints?"Fr. James Martin, S.J. - YouTube  (7 mins)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Bring JOY to the face of your soul

"Since Christ Himself said in reference to the bread: "This is My Body," 
who will dare remain hesitant? And since with equal clarity 
He asserted: "This is My Blood," who will dare entertain any doubt 
and say that this is not His Blood?... - St Cyril of Jerusalem

   An except from The Bread of Heaven and the Cup of Salvation
   St Cyril of Jerusalem, Early Church Father

"Do not, then, regard the Eucharistic elements as ordinary bread and wine:  they are in fact that Body and Blood of the Lord, as He Himself has declared.  Whatever your senses may tell you, be strong in faith.

You have been taught and you are firmly convinced that what looks and tastes like bread and wine is not bread and wine but the Body and Blood of Christ.  You know also how David referred to this long ago, when he sang:  Bread gives strength to man's heart and makes his face shine with the oil of gladness.  Strengthen your heart, then, by receiving this bread as spiritual bread, and bring joy to the face of your soul.

May purity of conscience remove the veil from the face of your soul so that by contemplating the glory of the Lord, as in a mirror, you may transformed from glory to glory in Christ Jesus our Lord.  To Him be glory for ever and ever.  Amen."

St Cyril of Jerusalem
Bishop of Jerusalem
Scripture scholar, Catechist par excellence
Early Church Father, Doctor of the Church
FEAST DAY - March 18


St Cyril admonished catechumens surrounded by heresy:
 "Make your fold with the sheep;
flee from the wolves:
depart not from the Church."
St Cyril of Jerusalem, pray for us!