Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Food of the strong...

 I am the living bread which came down from heaven;  if any one eats
of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give
for the life of the world is my flesh. - John 6: 51 

"All created life needs to be fed:  plants draw their nourishment from the secretions of the earth; animals feed on plants or other living creatures; 

man nourishes his body with material and appropriate food; he nourishes his mind with truth, especially divine truth; he should nourish his will with the divine will to be accomplished daily in order to reach eternal life.  In other words, man ought to find his nourishment especially in faith, hope and love.  The acts of these virtues obtain for him, through merit, an increase in supernatural life.

But the Savior offers him still another and more divine food; He offers Himself as the food of souls.  To St Augustine, Christ said:  'I am the food of the strong; grow and thou shalt feed on Me.  But thou shalt not convert Me into thyself as the nourishment of thy body, but thou shalt be changed into Me' (Confessions, Bk VII, chap. 10).

In Communion, the Savior has nothing to gain: it is the soul that receives, that is vivified, supernaturalized; the virtues of Jesus Christ pass into it; it is, as it were, incorporated in Him and becomes a more living member of His mystical body.  

... Christ, present in the Eucharist, leads the soul to a purer and stronger love of God."

Fr Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O. P.
The Three Ages of the Interior Life, Vol I (pg 415)

Attend and pray daily Mass during Lent -
and be strengthened in love!

Monday, February 27, 2017

So sweet... yes, so sweet!

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and
deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the 
basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. - Col 2:8

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“There is more sweetness
in one hour of prayer before Jesus 
in the Blessed Sacrament
than in all the world's crowded theaters,
and brilliant drawing rooms,
and giddy diversions, and social gatherings.”

St Gabriel Possenti
Passionist clerical student
Italy ~1838-1862
Exemplary devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows
Feast Day: February 27

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“Love Mary! She is lovable, faithful, constant. She will never let herself be outdone in love, but will ever remain supreme. If you are in danger, she will hasten to free you. If you are troubled, she will console you. If you are sick, she will bring you relief. If you are in need, she will help you. She does not look to see what kind of person you have been. She simply comes to a heart that wants to love her. She comes quickly and opens her merciful heart to you, embraces you and consoles and serves you. She will even be at hand to accompany you on the trip to eternity." - St Gabriel Possenti

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Our Lady of Sorrows

St Gabriel is remarkable for he obediently and willingly converted in a very short time from a life of excess, devoted to the pleasures of this world, 
to becoming inextricably linked to the Passion of Our Lord. 
He shows us that all are blessed with the graces 
to fall in love with Our Lord, no matter what the cost.

Gabriel died at age 24 of tuberculosis and was buried the day of his death. A companion in the novitiate, Bernard Mary of Jesus, exclaimed:
“Tears come to my eyes and I am filled with shame for having been so far from the virtues that he attained in such a short time.”

St Gabriel Possenti, pray for us! 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Where Charity and Love Prevail...

Where Charity and Love Prevail
(Gregorian Hymn - composed sometime around 4th century)

Where charity and love prevail,
There God is ever found.
Brought here together by Christ's love,
By love are we thus bound.

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With grateful joy and holy fear,
His charity we learn,
Let us with heart and mind and soul,
Now love Him in return.

Forgive we now each other's faults,
As we our faults confess.
And let us love each other well,
In Christian holiness.

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Let strife among us be unknown,
Let all contention cease.
Be His the glory that we seek,
Be ours His holy peace.

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Let us recall that in our midst,
Dwells God's Begotten Son,
As members of His body joined,
We are in Him made one.


Top Photo image: Adoration - Heralds of the Gospel

Saturday, February 25, 2017

When more is more...

"The Mass is very long and tiresome unless
you love God." - GK Chesterton

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"The goods of the soul are an end;
the goods of the body are for an end. 
Hence concerning temporal goods
we ought to seek according to a measure,
but concerning the goods of the soul
we ought to seek as much as we can."
St Thomas Aquinas

Painting: "Celebrando la Santa Misa" ~ Girolano Romani

Friday, February 24, 2017

Choosing one's paths...

"God dwells in our midst, in the Blessed Sacrament
of the altar.” – St Maximilian Kolbe

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“When there are two roads
which will bring me to some place, I take the one
with more churches so as to be nearer the Blessed Sacrament.

When I see a place where my Jesus is,
I could not be happier, and I say, 
“You are here, my God and my All.”

Venerable J.J. Olier  (+1657)

Painting: Road to Church ~ Glenn Barclay

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Sharing in His Chalice...

This holy man fought to the death for the law of his God 
and did not fear the words of the godless, 
for he was built on solid rock.  (Today's Liturgy - Entrance Antiphon)

 Collect (Today's Liturgy)

God of all creation, who were pleased
to give the Bishop Saint Polycarp
a place in the company of the Martyrs,
grant, through his intercession,
that, sharing with him in the chalice of Christ,
we may rise through the Holy Spirit to eternal life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

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 St Polycarp of Smyrna
69-155 AD
Disciple of apostle St John
Friend of Ignatius of Antioch
Apostolic Father 
Bishop of Smyrna, Martyr
Exemplary in catechesis
Feast Day - February 23

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Polycarp was denounced to the government, arrested, and tried on the charge of being a Christian. When the proconsul urged him to save his life by cursing Christ, he replied: “Eighty-six years I have served Him, and He never did me any wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?” 

Earlier, in a Letter to the Philippians...
“Stand fast, therefore, in this conduct and follow the example of the Lord, ‘firm and unchangeable in faith, lovers of the brotherhood, loving each other, united in truth,’ helping each other with the mildness of the Lord, despising no man.”

And wrote on another occasion...

“If we pray to the Lord to forgive us, we ourselves must be forgiving; we are all under the eyes of our Lord and God, and every one of us must stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, where each of us will have to give an account.”

St Polycarp, pray for us!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Christ's Will and Way ...

Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter the Apostle
February 22

The feast of the Chair of St Peter commemorates the teaching authority of the Vicar of Christ. The Catechism teaches that "it is this Magisterium's task to preserve God's people from deviations and defections and to guarantee them the objective possibility of professing the true faith without error" so that "the People of God abides in the truth that liberates" (CCC 890).


  Prayer over the Offerings
(Today's Liturgy)

Accept with favor, O Lordwe pray,
the prayers and offerings of your Church,
that, with Saint Peter as her shepherd,
she may come to an eternal inheritance,
for it is through his teaching
that she holds the faith in its integrity.
Through Christ our Lord.

      Communion Antiphon
      (Today's Liturgy - Cf. Mt 16:16, 18)

Peter said to Jesus:  You are the Christ,
the Son of the living God.
And Jesus replied:  You are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church.

Prayer after Communion
(Today's Liturgy )

O God, who at our celebration
of the feast day of the blessed Apostle Peter
have nourished us by communion in the Body
    and Blood of Christ,
grant, we pray, that this redeeming exchange
may be for us a Sacrament of unity and peace.
Through Christ our Lord.


"Perhaps it would be a good thing if every Christian,
certainly every priest, could dream once in his life that he were pope, 
and wake from the nightmare in a sweat of agony." - Msgr Ronald Knox

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Driving out the beasts...

"We need ... to reemphasize the glories of the Cross and 
of our Crucified Redeemer, to reopen the fountains of mercy 
just when the devil would make us the victim of wrath... We must arouse 
them from their insensibility by reminding them that His Blood 
is offered up every morning upon the altars."- St Gaspar del Bufalo

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On one occasion St Peter Damian wrote to a young nephew:

"If I may speak figuratively, drive out the 
roaring beasts from your domain; do not cease from protecting 
yourself daily by receiving the Flesh and Blood of the Lord.  

Let your secret foe see your lips 
reddened with the Blood of Christ. 
He will shudder, cower back, 
and flee to his dark, dank retreat."

St Peter Damian
Italy ~ 1007-1072
Benedictine monk, Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia
Reformer, Author - Liber Gomorrhianus (Book of Gomorrah)
Doctor of the Church
 MOTTO:  “Do not prefer anything to the love of Christ.”
FEAST DAY - February 21

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“Do not be depressed. Do not let your weakness make you impatient. Instead, let the serenity of your spirit shine through your face. Let the joy of your mind burst forth. Let words of thanks break from your lips.” - St Peter Damian

St Peter Damian, pray for us!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Behold...behold...behold...behold...Him! ...

 "Behold, the everlasting oblation!  Of such power it is, that in the
whole world no other sacrifice remains but this." - St Vincent Ferrer

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"Recall that at four important moments during the celebration of the Eucharist, the priest elevates the sacred Host and the Precious Blood of the Lord. The first moment is the elevation during the consecration. The second moment occurs when, at the conclusion of the Eucharistic prayer, the priest raises the Host and the chalice together just before the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer. Then, before the distribution of Holy Communion, the priest presents the sacred Host and the Precious Blood to the entire congregation with the words “Behold the  Lamb of God….” And finally, in a more personal moment, each communicant is invited to behold and adore the sacred Host just before receiving the Bread of Life." - Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, OP


"At the elevation of the most holy Sacrament, we must strive to 
adore Him with all our heart, then to offer Him to God the 
Father for the remission of our sins and those of all the world, 
then to offer to Him ourselves and all the Church and 
all our relations and friends."- St Francis de Sales

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"The whole life and passion of Christ is expressed in the Mass.  So when the priest raises the sacred host and chalice, he represents how 
Christ was raised high upon the Cross.  All must humble themselves and bend the knee when the body of Christ is raised up, for the true Christ 
who is in heaven is in the host." - St Vincent Ferrer 

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 "For the elevation is done that all present may see and ask 
for whatever will profit unto salvation, according to the words: 
And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to Myself." - Durandus, Bishop of Mende (France)

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"Behold the Sun of holy Church, that scatters the clouds
and renders heaven again serene!  Behold the heavenly Rainbow, 
pacifying the storms of divine justice!" - St Leonard

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Jesus, foil my plans...

"What does Sunday, the day of the Lord, mean for us?  It is a day for rest
and for family, but first of all a day for Him." - Pope Benedict XVI

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"The purpose of the Eucharist is your conversion,  
your turning away from your own will so that it may 
gradually disappear in your service to others.

You go to Holy Communion to be converted,
to establish the reign of Christ in your heart from then on,
and for His will to become your supreme value.  Every reception
of the Eucharist should confirm your adherence to His will. 

Consequently, you should wish that Jesus would
foil your plans.  The Eucharist should prepare you for this;
it should contribute to the gradual demise of your egoism,
allowing Christ to grow within you.

Father Tadeusz Dajczer (+2009)
Polish priest and professor of theology in Warsaw
Co-Founder of the Families of Nazareth Movement

 Painting: Girl going to Church, Matthau Schiestl (+1939)