Monday, July 31, 2017

Withdraw... to find a life...

"Some of us would be surprised if they knew what God
could make of them if, in the decisive moments of their lives,
they gave ear to the voice of grace!" St Ignatius of Loyola


"To withdraw from creatures
and repose with Jesus in the Tabernacle 
is my delight; 
there I can hide myself and seek rest. 

There I ...
 find a life which I cannot describe,
a joy which I cannot make others comprehend,
a peace such as is found only
under the hospitable roof of our best Friend."

St. Ignatius of Loyola
Spain ~ 1491-1556
Priest, Founder of Society of Jesus (Jesuits)
Patron of retreats
The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius - Classic - a MUST READ! 
Jesuit motto:  Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (A.M.D.G.)
"For the greater glory of God"
Feast Day - July 31

"He who goes about to reform the world
must begin with himself, 

or he loses his labor.” - St Ignatius of Loyola

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Holy ministers for the altar...

"O, Father, give us holy ministers for Your altar, who shall be attentive
and fervent guardians of the Eucharist, the Sacrament of the supreme gift of 
Christ for the redemption of the world.  Amen." - Pope Benedict XVI
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These words were written 110 years ago on July 28, 1907, on the morning of
Fr Willie Doyle’s ordination to the priesthood in Miltown Park, County Dublin.

"My loving Jesus, on this the morning of my Ordination
to the priesthood, I wish to place in Your Sacred Heart,
in gratitude for all that You have done for me, the resolution from
this day forward to go straight to holiness. My earnest wish and
firm resolve is to strive with might and main to become a saint."

And on 28 July 1914, the 7th anniversary of his ordination, he wrote:

"At Exposition Jesus spoke clearly in my soul, ‘Do the hard thing for
my sake BECAUSE it is hard’. I also felt urged to perform all my
priestly duties with great fervour to obtain grace for other priests
to do the same, e.g. the Office, that priests may say theirs well."

Fr Doyle’s last entry in his diary was made on the 10th anniversary
of his ordination (and 3 weeks prior to his death) on 28 July 1917: 

"I have again offered myself to Jesus as His Victim to do with
me absolutely as He pleases. I will try to take all that happens,
no matter from whom it comes, as sent to me by Jesus and will bear
suffering, heat, cold, etc., with joy as part of my immolation,
in reparation for the sins of priests. From this day I shall try bravely
to bear all little pains in this spirit. A strong urging to this."

For more on Fr Willie Doyle: 
Click here: Remembering Fr Willie Doyle SJ

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Prayer for Priests composed by Fr Willie Doyle

O my God, pour out in abundance Thy spirit of sacrifice upon
Thy priests. It is both their glory and their duty to become victims,
to be burnt up for souls, to live without ordinary joys, to be often
the objects of distrust, injustice, and persecution.

The words they say every day at the altar, “This is my Body,
this is my Blood,” grant them to apply to themselves: “I am no longer
myself, I am Jesus, Jesus crucified. I am, like the bread and wine,
 a substance no longer itself, but by consecration another.”

O my God, I burn with desire for the sanctification of Thy priests.
I wish all the priestly hands which touch Thee were hands whose touch
 is gentle and pleasing to Thee, that all the mouths uttering such
sublime words at the altar should never descend to speaking trivialities.

Let priests in all their person stay at the level of their lofty functions,
let every man find them simple and great, like the Holy Eucharist,
accessible to all yet above the rest of men. O my God, grant them to carry
with them from the Mass of today, a thirst for the Mass of tomorrow,
and grant them, ladened themselves with gifts,
to share these abundantly with their fellow men.   Amen.

Top painting: Priest at the Altar ~ Francois Marius Garnet 
Bottom painting: Holy Eucharist and Fruit ~ Jan de Heem

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Holy echo...

"The words of Martha, I know that he will rise
again in the resurrection at the last day' (John 11:24),
echo in our souls as we pray and grieve
for our beloved dead…

 cemetery-angel.jpg (375×500)

In what better place could we pray for the dead 
than before the Eucharist, where 
we can  experience Our Blessed Savior Present?

Susan Tassone

St Martha
Sister to Mary and Lazarus
Friend of Jesus
Patroness of servants, innkeepers,
homemakers and cooks
FEAST DAY - July 29 

Jesus entered a village, where a woman named Martha
welcomed him into her home. - Luke 10:38


In St Martha's footsteps...
Dorothy Day said: "If everyone were holy and handsome, it would be easy to see Christ in everyone. But it was not Christ's way for Himself.
Ask honestly what you would do when a beggar asked at your house for food. Would you give it on an old cracked plate, thinking that was good enough? Do you think that Martha and Mary thought that the old and chipped dish was good enough for their guest? It is not a duty to help Christ -- it is a privilege."

St Martha, pray for us!

St Martha, say a prayer for me ... To help my heart decide ...
The task I ought to undertake ... With confidence and pride ...
Preserve me from all jealousy ... And help me persevere ...
With love for every neighbor and ... For our Lord Jesus dear. 
 (Composed by James J Metcalfe - Poem Portraits of the Saints - 1956)

Friday, July 28, 2017

In our midst: day and night...

"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 the kingdom of God; it is heaven itself." - St John Chrysostom

l'hôtel Ibis de Roubaix Nord

"On entering the church,
a man must leave behind
any authority he has over other men,
for before God no man has any authority. 
Again, the cares and anxieties which a man has
in regard to his home, family and business or work are good,
but they should be left at the door of the church,
except when he wants to speak to God about them."

St Louis of Granada

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“What joy ought not we men to conceive, 
what hopes and what affections,
in knowing that in the midst of our land,
in our churches, near our houses, 
the Holy of holies,
the true God, dwells and lives
in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar!
He who by His presence alone renders the saints in heaven blessed! 
He who is love itself."

St Alphonsus Ligouri

Art work:  Franklin Booth

Thursday, July 27, 2017

"Jesus, what made You so small?"...

"Jesus, what made You so small?

St Bernard of Clairvaux

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Union with Christ, family and friends...

  Let us praise Joachim and Anne, to whom, in their generation, 
the Lord gave Him who was a blessing for all the nations. 
- Entrance Antiphon (Today's Liturgy)

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"As medieval Christians came to seek union with Christ in abiding before the reserved Blessed Sacrament, they likewise began to discover in the presence of their God a deeper union with their family and friends, as did Saint Elzear of Sabran, a Third Order Franciscan (1286-1323), who, in a letter to his wife, Saint Delphina, wrote: 

'You desire to hear often of me. 
Go often to visit our amiable Lord Jesus Christ
in the Holy Sacrament.  Enter in spirit His Sacred Heart. 
You know that to be my constant dwelling. 
You will always find me there.'"

From In the Presence of Our Lord
The History, Theology, and Psychology of Eucharistic Devotion
Fr Benedict J Groeschel, CFR and James Monti

Remembering ...
St Joachim and St Anne
Parents of the Virgin Mary 
Patron of Grandparents
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O God, who willed that your Only Begotten Son should be born from 
among humanity so that by a wonderful mystery humanity 
 might be born again from you, we pray that, in your kindness,
you may sanctify by the spirit of adoption those you have fed
with the Bread you give your children.  Through Christ our Lord. 
(Prayer after Communion, Today's Liturgy)

St Joachim and St Anne, pray for us!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Ever present, as He said...

Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee
and his brother John.  They were in a boat with their father Zebedee,
preparing their nets.  Jesus called them, and immediately 
they left the boat and their father and followed him. - Matthew 4:21, 22

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"And just as He appeared before the holy Apostles in true flesh, so now He has us see Him in the Sacred Bread. Looking at Him with the eyes of their flesh, they saw only His Flesh, but regarding Him with the eyes of the spirit, they believed that He was God.

In like manner, as we see bread and wine with our bodily eyes, let us see and believe firmly that it is His Most Holy Body and Blood, True and Living.  

For in this way our Lord is ever present among those who believe in Him, according to what He said: "Behold, I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world" (Mt. 28, 20).

 St. Francis of Assisi

Painting above: Christ calling the Apostles James and John ~ Edward Armitage


Saint JAMES (the Greater)
Apostle and Martyr
Son of Zebedee and Salome
Brother of apostle John
Dubbed 'Son of Thunder'
Patron of Spain and laborers
+42 AD 
FEAST DAY - July 25


"Accept the help that the Virgin and the saints offer you.
Promise that you will press forward
on your way to join them."  ~  St Francis de Sales

St James, pray for us!

Monday, July 24, 2017

A pleasing sacrifice...

 "Nothing created has ever been able to fill the heart of man.
God alone can fill it infinitely." - St. Thomas Aquinas

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In 1875 Fr Sharbel was granted permission to live as a hermit nearby his monastery at St. Peter and Paul hermitage. His 23 years of solitary life were lived in a spirit of total abandonment to God.
Sharbel's companions in the hermitage were the Sons of God, as encountered in the Scriptures and in the Eucharist, and the Blessed Mother. The Eucharist became the center of his life. He consumed the Bread of his Life and was consumed by it. 

Though this hermit did not have a place in the world, the world had a great place in his heart. Through prayer and penance he offered himself as a sacrifice so that the world would return to God. It is in this light that one sees the importance of the following Eucharistic prayer in his life: 

"Father of Truth, behold Your Son a sacrifice pleasing to You, accept this offering of Him who died for me..."  On December 16, 1898 while reciting the "Father of Truth" prayer at the Holy Liturgy Sharbel suffered a stroke. He died on Christmas Eve at the age of 70. Through faith this hermit received the Word of God and through love he continued the Ministry of Incarnation.

St Sharbel Makhluf
Lebanon ~ 1828-1898
Priest and Hermit
Perfume of Lebanon
Feast Day - July 24

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When Sharbel was canonized (1977), Bsp Francis Zayek, 
head of the U.S. Diocese of St. Maron,

wrote a pamphlet entitled “A New Star of the East.” Bishop Zayek wrote:

“St. Sharbel is called the second St. Anthony of the Desert, the Perfume of Lebanon, the first Confessor of the East to be raised to the Altars according to the actual procedure of the Catholic Church, the honor of our Aramaic Antiochian Church, and the model of spiritual values and renewal. Sharbel is like a Cedar of Lebanon standing in eternal prayer, on top of a mountain.”

St Sharbel, pray for us!