Sunday, January 31, 2016

The final word...

"The final word is love." - Dorothy Day

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"It was not enough for Him that He should become one of ourselves by adopting a human nature like our own. It was not enough that He should share the hardships of a life like our own—that He should suffer and die and atone for our sins, in our name.

He loved us, and He would not rest until He should be completely united to us. And in His love He devised this most extraordinary method of union, in which He Himself becomes our food! Truly a tremendous lover!"

Dom Mary Eugene Boylan
This Tremendous Lover (pg 146)

"Love is never finished." Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Mary,cause of our joy, pray for us!

For our lives to be truly Eucharistic, 
they need to be lived
"through Mary, with Mary and in Mary."- St Maximilian Kolbe

"Mary, mother of Jesus, give us your heart,
so beautiful, so pure, so immaculate,
so full of love and humility, that we may
be able to receive Jesus in the Bread of Life,
love Him as you love Him, and serve Him
in the distressing disguise of the poor. "

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Friday, January 29, 2016

Cosmic reaction...

 Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, 
at the presence of the God of Jacob,
who turned the rock into a pool, 
the hard rock into springs of water. - Psalm 114: 7,8

"Man should tremble,
the world should vibrate,
all Heaven should be deeply moved
when the Son of God appears
on the altar
in the hands of the priest."

St Francis of Assisi

Thursday, January 28, 2016

It signifies love, it produces love...

 "The Eucharist is the sacrament of love:
it signifies love, it produces love." - St Thomas Aquinas

 "St Thomas Aquinas' greatest love was the Blessed Sacrament, of which he was to be the world's greatest witness.  He would spend hours at a  time, day and night, before the altar in adoration and meditation.  Here was his great school.  The Eucharistic Lord Himself was his Master. When he celebrated Mass, he was in raptures and often in tears.  After saying his own Mass he would serve another - or at least hear one. 

In December 1273, when he was forty-seven, he laid down his pen, determined to study and write no more, so that he might give himself to God entirely in meditation and prayer.  He was ordered by Pope Gregory X to go to Lyons to assist at the General Council.  Taken ill on the way, he was obliged to stop at the Cistercial Abbey of Fossa-Nouva. His first visit was to the Blessed Sacrament.  At Fossa-Nouva he lay seriously ill for a month.  He made his general confession. 

While Viaticum was being brought to him, he had himself taken fromthe bed and laid upon ashes on the floor.  The tears came to his eyes as he beheld the Host in the hand of the priest.  He made his profession of faith:

"I firmly believe that Jesus Christ, true God and true man, is present in this august Sacrament.  I adore You, my God and my Redemption , the Viaticum of my pilgrimage, for whose honor I have studied, labored, preached and taught."

From Witnesses to the Eucharist, Fr Hugh F Blunt, LLD

St Thomas Aquinas
Italy ~ 1225-1274
Dominican monk
Theologian, philosopher, professor
Prolific writer, Hymn composer
Doctor of the Church
FEAST DAY - January 28
(Happy confirmation namesake day, Fr 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

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"Beware the man of one book." - St Thomas Aquinas

  St Thomas Aquinas, pray for us!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Pure intentions...

 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions
 and in truth.  This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, 
and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence… I John 3:18-19

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"In the fulfillment of your duties, 
let your intentions be so pure 
that you reject from your actions
any other motive than the glory of God 
and the salvation of souls." 

St Angela Merici
Italy ~ 1470 -1540
Foundress:  Ursiline Order *
*For the education of girls and for the missions
First teaching Order of Nuns
outside confines of convent enclosure
Feast Day - Jan 27

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When Angela reached the age of 70, the day and hour of her death were revealed to her. While on her deathbed she counseled: "Whatever you would wish at your dying hour to have done in health, that do now while you may."

She received the last sacraments with great fervor, and was rapt in ecstasy. While pronouncing the holy name of Jesus, she departed this life on January 27, 1540, in the very hour that had been foretold to her.

St Angela Merici, pray for us!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Walking in His strength...

...and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you
and gave Himself up for us, an offering
and a sacrifice, as a fragrant aroma. - Ephesians 5:2

"God is so good to me.  I (Columba Marmion) 
live now on my daily Communion.  
All the morning I walk in the strength 
of that divine food, and from the afternoon 
I live on the thought of the following Communion, 
for It strengthens us according 
to our desires and preparations.  
Our Lord has promised that 'he who eateth Me shall live by Me.'
His life becomes oursthe source of all our activity. "

Excerpt from Abbot Columba Marmion
by Fr Raymond Thibaut

Monday, January 25, 2016

Going to the end of our being...

...for our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power
and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. - I Thes 1:5a

 "The single greatest need in the world today is the practice of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.  How can we say this? Logically! We have seen that the conversion of our country calls for an outpouring of marvelous power from God. Christ promised to move mountains at the words of a person who believes.  We conclude: there is no greater profession of faith than during prayer before the Holy Eucharist.
Why should prayer before Christ in the Eucharist be so potent in obtaining miracles of conversion? Because it is prayer that is animated by extraordinary faith. ... There is no miracle too great, and no miracle is greater than the conversion of sinners—provided we believe.
That is why we can say and say with complete security; the single most powerful means on earth for the conversion of America is for Catholic Americans to mobilize a crusade of prayer before the Eucharist for the conversion of our nation."  

 From The Conversion of America Through the Eucharist -  
Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. (1998)  
(Undoubtedly applicable to every nation! - Ed.)

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 (Confession of Peter) to January 25.

"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 17, No 11, January 2016 (pg 344-5).

St Paul, pray for our continued conversion!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Noblest, most profitable, sweetest...

O sing a new song to the Lord; sing to the Lord, all the earth.
In his presence are majesty and splendor, strength and honor
in his holy place. (Today's Entrance Antiphon, Cf. Ps 96: 1,6)

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"The devotion to the Eucharist
is the most noble
because it has God as its object;
it is the most profitable for salvation,
because It gives us the Author of Grace;
it is the sweetest,
because the Lord is sweetness Itself."

St Pius X

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St Francis de Sales
Bishop and Doctor of the Church
France ~ 1567-1622
Author of Introduction to the Devout Life (a must-read)
and A Treatise on the Love of God
Co-Founder of Sisters of the Visitation
Patron of authors, writers, deaf persons
a.k.a. the "Gentleman Saint"
(due to his patience and gentleness)
FEAST DAY - January 24

“Do not look forward in fear to the changes in life; rather, look to them with full hope that as they arise. God, whose very own you are, will lead you safely through all things; and when you cannot stand, God will carry you in His arms.  Do not fear what may happen tomorrow; the same understanding Father who cares for you today will take care of you then and every day.  He will either shield you from suffering or will give you unfailing strength to bear it.  Be at peace, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.”  ~ St Francis de Sales

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Heavenly food...

"O, Mary, model of a perfect communion,
help us to receive Jesus worthily." - Msgr Louis-Gaston de Ségur

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"The Eucharist produces
impulses of angelic love
and has the singular capacity of effecting in souls
a holy, instinctive tenderness
for the Queen of the angels. 
She has given us Flesh of her flesh and
Bone of her bone, and in the Eucharist she continues
to give us this sweet, virginal, Heavenly Food."

St Albert the Great

Image above: Aurel Naray (1883-1948): Maria

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"Hail white lily of the ever peaceful and glorious Trinity!
Hail, effulgent rose, the delight of Heaven,

Of whom the King of Heaven was born
and by whose milk He was nourished!
Nourish our souls by the effusions of thy Divine influences."

(Known as the "Hail Mary of Gold")

Friday, January 22, 2016

Kindness and truth shall 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.), 2003n. 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

“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 

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"If people spent one hour per week in Eucharistic Adoration,
abortion would be ended."~ Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

"In the Bread which came down from heaven, the family will 
be able to find the support that will keep it united in the face 
of today's threats and will preserve it as a bastion of life, 
steadfast against the culture of death." - St John Paul II

"Our own belief is that the renovation of the world will be
brought about only by the Holy Eucharist." - Pope Leo XIII


        Lord Jesus, I firmly believe that the Blessed Sacrament is Your very Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. Senses cannot grasp this marvel. Faith, however, reaches beyond what the eyes can see and assures us that You are present.
        Grant, O Lord, that our faith in the Eucharist may also strengthen our ability to recognize the dignity of every human life. We know that the senses can fool us there as well. Some may not be attractive, others may seem too small, some may appear as less than human.  But we, who can see You in the Sacred Host, can certainly see you in our brothers and sisters. We can also see You, O Lordin the children in the womb. In a day when so many have forgotten these children, and dismiss them as less valuable than those who are born, grant that we may grow all the more convinced of their dignity and worth. Then grant, O Lord, that we may act accordingly. Amen. (Priests for Life)

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Fruit of friendship...

The martyrdoms of the saints have taught us and do teach us 
how to conquer the world,
with all of its fallacies, fervors, and fears." - St Augustine

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"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
Rome ~ 291-304 AD 
Virgin, Martyr
Patron: young girls, chastity, engaged couples
FEAST DAY - January 21

Whenever a man wished to marry Agnes,
she would always say, "Jesus Christ is my only Spouse."

"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

A Roman maid of tender years … St Agnes died for Christ … Steadfast in faith, and ever chaste … She could not be enticed … Although the pagans tortured her … Their efforts were in vain … As piously and patiently … She gloried in her pain … Not even all their insults and … Humiliating acts … Could cause her vigil of the soul … To lessen or relax … When she was only thirteen years … She died beneath the sword … True to her vow to be a spouse … And virgin of our Lord … And now her soul is honored as … The little lamb of Christ … This Roman maid who kept the faith … And nobly sacrificed. Excerpt from: Poem Portraits of the Saints, James Metcalfe (pg 28)

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.  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, pray for us!