Saturday, March 31, 2018

Keeping vigil... in silence... full of trust (HOLY SATURDAY)

Holy Saturday is sacred as the day of the Lord's rest; it has been called 
the "Second Sabbath" after creation. The day is and should be the most calm 
and quiet day of the entire Church year, a day broken by no liturgical function 
and is chiefly a day of solemn vigil for the Lord’s resurrection


"And, finally, Holy Saturday is the day of God’s silence. It must be a day of silence. We must do everything possible so that it is a day of silence, as that Day, which was the day of God’s silence. Jesus placed in the sepulcher shares with the whole of humanity the tragedy of death as a silence that speaks and expresses love as solidarity with all those ever abandoned, which the Son of God reaches filling the emptiness that only the infinite mercy of God the Father can fill. God is silent, but out of love. In this day love, that silent love, becomes expectation of life in the resurrection. We think of Holy Saturday: it will do us good to think of the silence of Our Lady, “the Believer,” who in silence awaited the Resurrection. 
Our Lady must be the icon for us of that Holy Saturday. To think much of how Our Lady lived that Holy Saturday, in expectation. It is a love that does not doubt, but that hopes in the Lord’s word, and which becomes manifest and splendid on Easter day." - Pope Francis, Wednesday Audience, 03/23/16

"The last day of the Holy Week:  a fruitful stillness before the breathtaking action of the night. 
Perhaps only the greatest Russian writers have succeeded in painting it as it is, a pause, 
a last moment of waiting, made holy by the Lord's rest in the tomb.

The Church is waiting at the tomb and weeps.  
She sees where the Lord has been laid, where the woman had buried Adam, 
where man is buried where he had come to grief through her evil counsel. 
She sees it and weeps. She weeps at the Lord's tomb, as the Lord wept for Lazarus: 
for sin which killed the giver of all life. But her tears are soft, and she is at peace. . . .

The death of Adam has lost its terrors in the tomb 
of Christ. The death for obedience' sake has snuffed out sin. No longer does a massa damnata blunder on from sin to sin and death to death, but the body of the obedient Christ rests in hope.  A foreboding of the happy chance of fault which merited such and so great a redeemer. It is a foreboding of the blessedness of suffering earning 'the name which is above all names', and the 'glory of God the Father', 
which makes the seers — men and the Church — at peace and full of hope."

D. Aemiliana Löhr, The Great Week

“Today a great silence reigns on earth, 
a great silence and a great stillness. A great silence because the King is asleep. 
The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and 
he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. . . 
He has gone to search for Adam, our first father, as for a lost sheep." 

From ancient homily, Liturgy of the Hours, Holy Saturday

Ancient Homily for Holy Saturday - YouTube (7:47 mins)


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"... Holy Saturday...the more I reflect on it, 
the more this seems to be fitting for the nature of our human life:  
we are still awaiting Easter; we are not yet standing in the full light 
but walking toward it full of trust." 

- Pope Benedict XVI, Milestones: Memoirs, 1927-1977 

Friday, March 30, 2018

Death by love... (GOOD FRIDAY)

O crux, ave spes unica! 
(Hail, O cross, our only hope!)

"His side was pierced as Adam's was; yet there came forth not a 
woman who, being beguiled, was to be a death-bearer, but a 
fountain of life that regenerates the world by its two streams: 
the one to renew us in the baptismal font and clothe us with the 
garment of immortality, the other to feed us, the reborn, at the 
table of God, just as babes are nourished with milk."
Bishop Theodore of Cyr (15th century)
From the treatise:  On the Incarnation of the Lord

Souls have all the same price,
which is that of the Precious Blood of Jesus."
Blessed Charles de Foucauld

"Nature is in mourning covered with darkness during the Holy Hour of the first Good Friday.  The chants of the heavenly Jerusalem are interrupted.  The entire court of Heaven waits in order to receive the last throb of the Heart of the Man-God, the victim of Golgotha.

Fervent loving souls, 
we are truly at the summit of Calvary: 
it is the Holy Hour!

A loud voice resounds in the heights, a voice that says: "Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit.'  And bending His lacerated Head, Jesus Crucified dies of love.  It is His Heart which out of love for us has brought Him to death.  
All glory to His loving Heart which gave us life and which now is stilled in death!"- Fr Mateo Crawley-Boevey 
Painting: Altarpiece detail:  Matthias Grunewald

"Do grant, oh my God,
that when my lips approach Yours to kiss You, 
I may taste the gall that was given to You;
when my shoulders lean against Yours,
make me feel Your scourging; 
when my flesh is united with Yours, in the Holy Eucharist, 
make me feel Your passion;
when my head comes near Yours,
make me feel Your thorns;
when my heart is close to Yours,
make me feel Your spear."

St. Gemma Galgani

We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee
because by Thy holy Cross 
Thou has redeemed the world. 

"Your love is my only martyrdom.
The more I feel it burning in me,
The more my soul desires you…
Jesus, make me die of love for you." 
St Thérèse of Lisieux
Divine Mercy Novena begins today

Thursday, March 29, 2018

He went away, yet He remained... (HOLY THURSDAY)

The Paschal Triduum begins with the Evening Mass In Cena Domini on Holy Thursday, continues through the Friday of the Lord's Passion, reaches its summit in the Solemn Paschal Vigil, and comes to a close with Sunday Vespers of the Lord's Resurrection - a full three days - evening Thursday through evening Sunday (According to the General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar).

Institution of the Sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Holy Orders

“Consider, on your knees, the mystery 
of God’s love for us, that He didn't want to leave us orphans.
 … For Christ knew our hunger for Himself.  
He knew that we would be walking around in the darkness 
of a thousand wars and miseries throughout this life. …

This is Holy Thursday.  This is when the Christ we are talking 
about took an ordinary piece of bread and a little wine and changed it into 
His Body and His Blood. … Remember this day always, year after year:  
the day of Christ’s infinite love, when He went away 
and yet He remained, in Bread and Wine, and in the priest. …

In His immense love, Christ chose men 
who would have His hands and His feet, in whom He could walk, 
in whom He could forgive sins, who could lift Him up, who could give us 
the sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist – the Bread and Wine, 
which He said makes for everlasting life!  
The incredible love of God is visible to us! ..."

Catherine de Hueck Doherty
Painting above: The Last Supper - Nesterenko, Vasily Igorevich 


"Without the priest, the passion and death 
of our Lord would be of no avail.  
It is the priest who continues the work of redemption here on earth... 
Leave a parish for twenty years without a priest 
and they will end by worshipping the beasts there...
The priest is not a priest  for himself,
he is a priest for you."

"O, how great is the priest!...
If he realized what he is, he would die."

St John Vianney
Patron of all priests

Pray, pray , pray for our priests!
They rely on our prayers - and we rely on our priests!

As Father John Hardon, S.J., once said, “praying and offering God sacrifices for the priesthood are indispensably important,” because “there is no Catholic Church without the priesthood.”

Prayer for Priests to pray today...
and tomorrow and everyday... 
 (St Charles Borremeo)

O holy Mother of God, pray for the priests your Son has chosen to serve the Church. Help them, by your intercession, to be holy, zealous, and chaste. Make them models of virtue in the service of God’s people.
Help them be pious in meditation, efficacious in preaching, and zealous in the daily offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Help them administer the sacraments with joy. Amen

Learn more about praying for priests... 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

My God, grant me today five graces...

 Wednesday of Holy Week
Spy Wednesday

"If you can not soar up as high as Christ sitting on His throne,
behold Him hanging on His cross. Rest in Christ's Passion and live
willingly in His holy wounds." ~ Thomas à Kempis, Imitation of Christ

"Oh, my God, through the precious Blood of Jesus
and His five wounds, 
grant me today five graces: 

the conversion of a sinner, 
the conversion of an unbeliever, 
the salvation of someone 
dying in peril of everlasting death; 
vocation to the priesthood 
or to the religious life; 
 and, for some new soul, 
the grace of entering into and
savoring the mystery of the Eucharist." 

Prayer of Elisabeth Leseur (+1914)
Image above: Angels Bearing Instruments of the Passion (altarpiece detail) ~ Rogier van der Weyden (+1464)


"Life is a journey.  
When we stop, things don't go right."Pope Francis

Let us especially be mindful of and in prayer for the thousands of
Catechumens and Candidates who will fully enter the
Catholic Church and her sacramental life during the Easter Vigil.
Life in abundance! - John 10:10

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The humility of Jesus...

Tuesday of Holy Week

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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"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."

St Teresa of Calcutta

Painting image:  The Flagellation of Christ - Guercino

Monday, March 26, 2018

Pouring it out...

Monday of Holy Week

"There is only one anointing that is strong enough to meet death and that is
the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the love of God.  There is, then, something
that is both exemplary and lasting in Mary's anointing of Jesus at Bethany.  
It was above all a concern to keep Christ alive in this world and to oppose
the powers that aimed to silence and kill him.  It was an act of faith and love.  
Every such act can have the same effect." - Pope Benedict XVI
(Today's Gospel: John 12:1-11)  

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"Nothing is held back, no drop is kept in reserve.
The house is filled with the fragrance, because the perfume
is no longer hers; it has ceased any longer to belong to her as
a personal possession. The excess of this gesture, its extravagance,
expresses the essential truth about love. 

Neither love nor the perfume, in this case, can remain enclosed
in a container, protected and saved.  Instead, it must be all 
thrown away in the hour of love, wasted imprudently 
without a thought for tomorrow, poured out in its entirety."

Fr Donald Haggerty 
Painting above:  Forgiven ~ Daniel Gerhartz

Hat tip: Both quotes noted in Magnificat Magazine: Holy Week 2018, Vol. 20, No.1