Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Grace upon grace...

“He who goes about to reform the world must begin with himself,
or he loses his labor.” - St Ignatius of Loyola

If we confess our sins, He who is upright can be depended upon to forgive sins, 
and to cleanse us from every wrong. - I John 1:9

"Of the gifts of grace which
the soul receives in the Eucharist,
one must be counted among the highest;
the Eucharist does not allow the soul
to remain long in sin
or to persist in it obstinately."

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

"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

Monday, July 30, 2018

We live the richest life! ...

TWO Feast Days today - 
St Peter Chrysologus and
the FIRST for Blessed Solanus Casey

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"What does it matter where we go?
Wherever we go, won't we be serving God there?
And wherever we go, won't we have our Lord
in the Blessed Sacrament with us?
Isn't that enough to make us happy?

Bl Solanus Casey
Nee Wisconsin
Capuchian Friar
Generous heart toward sick and poor
Many miracles of healing attributed to his intercession
Known for "Attitude of Gratitude"
Book he authored: Thank God ahead of Time
Beatified 11/18/17, Detroit

 "Thank God ahead of time." - Bl Solanus Casey
Who is Blessed Fr Solanus Casey? - YouTube (10 mins)
Blessed Solanus Casey – Rite of Beatification on Vimeo

Bl Solanus, pray for us!

 And behold I am with you all through the days that are coming,
until the consummation of the world. - Matthew 28:20


“He is the Bread sown in the virgin,
leavened in the flesh,
molded in His passion,
baked in the furnace of the sepulchre,
placed in the churches,
and set upon the altars,
which daily supplies 
Heavenly Food to the faithful."

St Peter Chrysologus
Archbishop, Doctor of the Church
Adult convert
Italy - c. 380-450
Feast Day - July 30

PHOTO CREDIT of stained glass image: Debbie Scalise

"Anyone who wishes to frolic with the devil
 cannot rejoice with Christ." ~ St Peter Chrysologus   

(2 mins)
St Peter Chrysologus, pray for us!

Saint Peter Chrysologus is the Doctor of Homilies. His words helped to defeat the attack on Christ's humanity. No doctor said so much in his homilies in fewer words. To hear his sermons after nearly 1500 years is a blessing, each and every time.

Peter was a stalwart witness to the faith. He had a short life but it was long and full of accomplishments. He was the archbishop of RavennaItaly, as a young priest and he expended his energies neutralizing the last forces of paganism of his day.

Chrysologus means "The Golden-Worded".  His prayer when he spoke (from Sermon 96):
  May our God deign to give me the grace of speaking and you the desire of hearing.  To really benefit fruitfully from any conversation or homily, one's heart and mind must be open to receive the communication.

Peter was filled with all the gifts and fruits of the Spirit but even his best efforts to impart his wisdom and knowledge would not benefit anyone unless his listeners were truly docile to grace through their hearts and attentive with their eyes and minds, both exteriorly and interiorly. Our souls have eyes and powerful perceptions that are drawn to God's message when we are open, sincere and desire to learn.

Homilies can be like sweet music to the ear and joy to the heart. The homily during the Catholic Mass is a vital part of the Liturgy of the Word. It follows the reading of the gospel and is the explanation and elaboration on the celebration of the Word. This part of the liturgical service, offered immediately before the celebration of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, prepares its members to fully enter into the worship of God. It also prepares us to be empowered and enlighten to fully partake of the holy meal. Each liturgical celebration of the Mass is an extension of the "Last Supper" that the Lord shared with His dear friends. He changed Himself during this meal into precious food that fortifies us and enables us to proceed on our spiritual journey. More importantly, this meal strengthens us and enables us by transforming us into Himself. That's right! Imagine being changed into another Christ? When this happens we'll be able to do and say what Christ would do or say Himself. Is that possible? Believe it! It's Catholic theology. (http://www.doctorsofthecatholicchurch.com)

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Calling all saints (in-the-making)...

 "If we get in front of the sun, we get sun tans. ...
But when we get in front of Jesus in the Eucharist,
we become saints." ... "The Eucharist is my highway to Heaven."
- Carlo Acutis, Servant of God (+RIP+age 15)

"From this moment on,
live the Eucharist fully.
Be persons for whom
the Holy Mass,
and Eucharistic adoration
are the center and summit
of their whole life."

Pope St John Paul II

"Our aim has to be the Infinite and not the finite.
The Infinite is our homeland. 
We have always been expected in Heaven." - Carlo Acutis

Saturday, July 28, 2018

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 is 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

Friday, July 27, 2018

Drop by drop ...

"I place my trust in You,  O adorable Blood, our Redemption,
our regeneration.  Fall, drop by drop, into the hearts that have
wandered from You and soften their hardness." - St Albert the Great

"Today the war is being waged against religion as such and against Christ Crucified. We need, therefore, 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. 
Now, more than ever, it is opportune to tell people 
at what price our souls were redeemed.

We must let it be known how the Blood of Christ
cleanses the souls and sanctifies them, particularly by means
of the sacraments. We must arouse them from their insensibility
by reminding them that His Blood is offered up every morning upon the altars and that instead of blasphemy and insult, we should give it adoration and praise."

St Gaspar del Bufalo (+1837)
"Apostle of the Precious Blood"

Image above:  Angel collecting blood of Christ (detail) - Lorenzo Fiorenzodi

Thursday, July 26, 2018

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!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

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
Shrine: Santiago de Compostela
+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!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

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!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Remedy for souls...

  "Blessed may you be, my Lord Jesus Christ. For our salvation
you allowed your side and heart to be pierced with a lance
and from that side water and your precious blood flowed out
abundantly for our redemption. St. Bridget of Sweden

"Oh Jesus! Sweetness of hearts,
delight of the spirit,
by the bitterness of the vinegar and gall which
Thou didst taste on the Cross of Love for us,
grant us the grace to receive worthily
Thy Precious Body and Blood during our life
and at the hour of our death,
that they may serve as a remedy
and consolation for our souls.  Amen.”

St Bridget (Birgitta) of Sweden
Wife, Widow, Religious, Foundress
Mystic and Visionary
Patroness: Sweden.  Co-patroness: Europe
Mother of eight, including St Catherine of Sweden
Founded religious order, Brigittines*
*distinctive skull cap over veil
Feast Day – July 23

Painting above: Artist: Peter Paul Rubens


"The world would have peace
if only men of politics would follow the Gospels."
St. Bridget of Sweden

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Burning with great-heartedness...

May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up
of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.  - Psalm 141:2

"St Mary Magdalene seeks the Lord, and when she finds Him, she adores Him ...
Adoration takes first place.  Mary Magdalene reminds us of the need to recover
the primacy of adoration in the life of the Church and in the liturgical celebration."
Cardinal Robert Sarah, Essay on Saint Mary Magdalene

 "Yes, I am happy, perfectly happy; 
and do you wish to know where I find true happiness?
 At the feet of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. …

I would strongly urge that, even as the Magdalene anointed
the Lord’s feet with tears and perfumed oil, you too would pour out 
the perfume of constant prayer and contemplation 
at the foot of the tabernacle.

I should like the Eucharist to become a burning flame
for your soul , so that, immersed in that flame, it might 
emerge burning with love and great-heartedness. 

I should like to see this Eucharistic altar, on which Jesus is
sacrificed, accept your offering too, so that you may become a victim
of love, whose perfume rises to the throne of the Eternal God!"

Fr Augustine Mary of the Most Blessed Sacrament
Carmelite priest  (1821 to 1871)

Photo:  St Joseph Catholic Church ~ Ogden, Utah. USA

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St Mary Magdalene
Disciple of Jesus
"Apostle to the Apostles"
Feast Day – July 22

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    “The story of Mary of Magdala reminds us all of a fundamental truth.
A disciple of Christ is one who, in the experience of human weakness,
has had the humility to ask for His help, has been healed by Him 
and has set out following closely after Him, becoming a witness
of the power of His merciful love that is stronger than sin and death.”
 Pope Benedict XVI

Excellent read - Saint Mary Magdalene, Prophetess of Eucharistic Love
- Fr Sean Davidson (2017) - Ignatius Press

Painting:  Forgiveness - Daniel Gerhartz  

"The love of God makes us do great things." - St Philip Neri

St Mary Magdalene, pray for us!