Wednesday, February 28, 2018

A vision that leads...

So I gaze on you in the sanctuary 
to see your strength and your glory.  
For your love is better than life ... 
So I will bless you all my life...Psalm 63:2-4

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“Video caelos apertos, St Stephen cried
as they stoned him:  ‘I see the heavens opened’. 

The elevation is the moment at which the eternal
is made manifest in time, in the ‘divine mystery’,
the moment of vision on the Mount of Vision. 

But we are not meant to think of the vision 
as something which, however precious and sublime,
is fugitive, impermanent:  
essentially it leads on to the moment of communion, 
and that in its turn points onward to the life 
that is to be led in the world when the Mass is over.”

Gerald Vann, O.P.
The Paradise Tree (pg 193)

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Prayer ~ Fasting ~ Almsgiving

"Therefore, do not lose by saving, but gather in by scattering.
Give to the poor, and you give to yourself. You will not be allowed to keep
what you have refused to give to others." - St Peter Chrysologus

Stained Glass:  Elevation of host.  Rothenburg, St Jakob (Bavaria).  Artist: Rafael Toussaint 
Photo: Operation Help the Homeless (LosAngeles ~ USA)

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

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! 

Monday, February 26, 2018

Ardent love compels...

 "I will go anywhere and do anything in order to communicate 
the love of Jesus to those who do not know Him 
or have forgotten Him."- St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

"The more ardent the love for the Eucharist in the hearts of the
Christian people, the more clearly will they recognize
the goal of all mission:  to bring Christ to others.

Not just a theory or a way of life inspired by Christ, but the gift
of His very Person.  Anyone who has not shared the Truth of love
with his brothers and sisters has not yet given enough."

Pope Benedict XVI

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Explosion of Divine power...

Second Sunday of Lent
"Christ showed His disciples the glory of His radiance
to which He configures those who are His." - St Thomas Aquinas

Fra Angelico

"Through your Transfiguration, O Christ, you returned Adam's nature 
to its original splendor, restoring its very elements 
to the glory and brilliance of Your divinity." - Byzantine Liturgy

"Christian faith's steady gaze upon Jesus transforms us here and now." - 
Fr Hans Urs von Balthasar

Excerpt below from:  Letters To A Brother Priest (pg 9) 
Co-authors:  Rev Fr Vincent Martin Lucia/Rev Msgr Josefino Ramirez

"Peter, James and John witnessed the Transfiguration of Christ on Mount Tabor. The whole world will witness the glorious transfiguration of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. 

It will have the exact opposite effect of the bombing of Nagasaki. At the transfiguration of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, there will be an explosion of divine energy which will release the power of His love and renew the face of the earth. Then the world will see Real Power! All will be made well. All will belong to His Heart. All will be  made one.

In the meantime, there are five graces we receive each time we visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. By His glorious wounds we are the ones who are transfigured and changed through His healing love. 

Restorationsanctificationtransformationreparation and salvation are the graces being poured out graciously upon us with each holy hour we make.

Like Peter... this is why we should exclaim in His Divine Presence, 
'Lord, how good it is for us to be here!'"

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"The Blessed Sacrament is the first and supreme 
object of our worship. We must preserve in the depths
of our hearts a constant and uninterrupted,
profound adoration of this precious pledge 

Saturday, February 24, 2018

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

"Let us be greedy for graces."- Fr Joseph Johnson

Friday, February 23, 2018

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!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Abiding in truth that liberates...

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.

Click here: Of Chairs and Peter | Crisis Magazine

"How blessed is the Church of Rome, on which the Apostles 
poured forth all their doctrine along with their blood!" - Tertullian 


"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

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

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!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Graces abound...

"He who loves the Mass is already in paradise."  - St Philip Neri

"Time is full of eternity.
As we use it,
so shall we be.

Every day
has its opportunities,
every hour
its offer of grace."

Cardinal Henry Manning

Savor each moment of holy Mass 
in the special graces of Lent!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Nerve center of the Church...

 I look into the paten's gold
My consecrated fingers hold,
And mirrored in its circle see
The other Christ I'm called to be.

Adrienne Gascoigne

Translation: Accept, holy Father... (addressed to God the Father)

"When the Holy Father (St JPII) described the priesthood 
as "the nerve-centre of the Church's whole life and mission" 
(Holy Thursday Exhortation, 4 April 1996), he was affirming the key role 
played by priests in the drama of salvation.  Priests, it could also be said, 
are God's key-men in the further sense that to them have been given 
the keys of the kingdom - the kingdom of privileged sacramental treasures, 
notably the Eucharist and the forgiveness of sins (cf. Mt 16:19).  ...

... a priest's whole meaning and purpose is focused 
on the Eucharist in general, the Mass in particular.
 For he is consecrator and sacrifice-offerer of the Blessed Sacrament, besides being 
distributor, custodian and privileged adorer.  How accurate and apt, therefore, is the 
Holy Father's (St JPII) observation:  "A priest is worth what his Eucharistic life is worth."

St Claude de la Colombiere treasured the personal 
graces gained through holy Mass like rubies....
"Each day in my Mass He will give me new counsels, new strength.   
He will teach me, encourage me.  He will grant me or obtain for me, 
through His sacrifice, all the graces I shall ask of Him."
Fr Richard Foley, SJ
  Excerpts from Mary and the Eucharist

CLICK BELOW  to see this outstanding slide show video
by Stephen Golder (Turn on sound) * 7 mins

During this grace-filled season of Lent priests offer many extra Masses
and spend many long hours celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation
for the holy benefit of those they serve.  Let us PRAY DAILY for priests -
in thanksgiving for their vocation, for their stamina and piety and to implore 
deeper, richer Eucharistic lives for them - and ultimately for the Church!

"In strengthening the priest
you strengthen the whole Church. ...
Strengthen the priest and
you strengthen the whole foundation,
you strengthen everything in the Church."

Fr Gerald Fitzgerald, s.P., Founder
Handmaids of the Precious Blood

Check out a vibrant and growing Apostolate committed
to pray for priests in the form of Holy Hours:
Seven Sisters Apostolate
Seven Sisters Apostolate