Friday, June 30, 2023

Praise is fitting for loyal hearts...

 Ring out your joy to the Lord, O you just;
for praise is fitting for loyal hearts. - Psalm 33:1

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"Jesus, for You I live
Jesus, for You I die
 Jesus, I am Yours 
in life and in death."

 From Reflections and Prayers
for Visits with our Eucharistic Lord,
John J. Cardinal Carberry


FEAST of the First Roman Martyrs - JUNE 30
 The First Martyrs of the Church of Rome were Christians 
martyred in Rome during Nero's persecution in the year 64.
“This dreadful conflagration continued nine days; when Nero, finding that his conduct was greatly blamed, and a severe odium cast upon him, determined to lay the whole upon the Christians, at once to excuse himself and have an opportunity of glutting his sight with new cruelties. This was the occasion of the first persecution ...
Nero even refined upon cruelty, and contrived all manner of punishments for them that the most infernal imagination could design.  In particular, he had some sewed up in the skins of wild beasts, and then worried by dogs till they expired; and others dressed in shirts made stiff with wax, fixed to axle-trees, and set on fire in his gardens in order to illuminate them.  This persecution was general throughout the whole Roman empire; but it rather increased than diminished the spirit of Christianity."

A. Wright
A History of the Principal

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Friends of God...

 Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul
June 29

"This day has been made holy by the 
passion of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul. 
... These martyrs realized what they taught: 
they pursued justice, they confessed the truth, they died for it."

St Augustine, Sermon 295

 We do not preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord,
and ourselves as your slaves for the sake of Jesus. - 2 Cor 4:5

Entrance Antiphon (Today’s Liturgy)

These are the ones who, living in the flesh, planted the Church with their blood; they drank the chalice of the Lord and became friends of God. 

Prayer over the Offerings (Today's Liturgy)

May the prayer of the Apostles, O Lord, accompany the sacrificial gift that we present to your name for consecration, and may their intercession make us devoted to you in celebration of the sacrifice. Through Christ our Lord.

Prayer After Communion (Today’s Liturgy)

Grant us, O Lord, who have been renewed by this Sacrament, so to live in the Church, that, persevering in the breaking of the Bread and in the teaching of the Apostles, we may be one heart and one soul, made steadfast in your love. Through Christ our Lord.

Sts Peter and Paul, pray for us!

St Peter was chosen by Christ to be his first Vicar on earth; he was endowed with powers of the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Mt 16:13-19) and charged with the role of Shepherd of Christ's flock (Jn 21:15-17). In St. Peter and his successors, we have a visible sign of unity and communion in faith and charity. Divine grace led St. Peter to profess Christ's divinity.  St. Peter suffered martyrdom by crucifixion under Nero, in about the year 64 AD. He was buried at the hill of the Vatican; recent excavations have revealed his tomb on the very site of St. Peter's Basilica.
St Paul was chosen to form part of the apostolic college by Christ himself on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-16). Selected to bring Christ's name to all peoples (Acts 9:15), he is the greatest missionary of all time, the advocate of pagans, the Apostle of the Gentiles. St. Paul was beheaded in the Tre Fontane along the Via Ostiense and buried nearby, on the site where the basilica bearing his name now stands. 
Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

He has declared, He has established...

 "For this is why the Word became man, 
and the Son of God  became the Son of man: 
so that man, by entering into communion 
with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship,
might become a son of God." - St Irenaeus

"(Christ) has declared the cup, a part of creation,
to be His own Blood, 
from which He causes our blood to flow; 
the bread, a part of creation,
He has established as His own Body, 
from which He gives increase to our bodies.”

St. Irenaeus
Nee Smyrna ~ 125-202 AD
Disciple of Polycarp
(Polycarp: disciple of St John the Apostle)
Bishop of Lyons, Father of the Church
Theologian, prolific writer
Masterpiece - Adversus Haereses (Against Heresies)*
*(Detailed refute on teachings of Gnosticism)
Against Heresies is source of the quote above
Feast Day - June 28

"One should not seek among others the truth that can be easily gotten 
from the Church.  For in her, as in a rich treasury, the apostles have placed
all that pertains to truth, so that everyone can drink this beverage of life. 
She is the door of life." - St Irenaeus

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Know, love, serve...

Train up a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not depart from it.  
Proverbs 22:6

La Prière du Matin (Morning Prayer) by André-Henri Dargelas (c.1860)

"We should never again 
use the expression 
'When Jesus was on earth' 
or think of Him 
as only being in heaven. 
Jesus is still on earth."
Fr John Hardon, SJ

...but Jesus said, "Let the children come to Me,
and do not hinder them; 
for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."
And He laid His hands on them... Matthew 19:14, 15a

MUST SEE! 6 mins Video
Eucharistic Revolution for kids of the 21st Century 

Monday, June 26, 2023

Seek, find, love...

"Sanctity is not rigid like cardboard: 
it knows how to smile,
to give way to others and to hope.
It is life - a supernatural life." - St Josemaría Escrivá

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" ... Jesus hides in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar 
because He wants us to dare to approach Him.
He wants to nourish us 
so we become one single thing with Him.

When He said, Apart from Me you can do nothing,
He was not condemning Christians to ineffectiveness
or obliging them to seek Him by a difficult and arduous route. 
On the contrary ... He has stayed with us, 
He is totally available to us."

St Josemaría Escrivá
Spain ~ 1902-1975
Priest, Founder of Opus Dei
Opus Dei - Finding God in daily life
 Feast Day - June 26
Painting above: Oneness in Christ - Ariel Agemian

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St Josemaria Escriva describes this experience
about himself as a young seminarian...
"Why am I becoming a priest? 
Our Lord wants something: what is it?  
And in Latin — not very elegant Latin — … I kept repeating 
Domine, ut videam! Ut sit! Ut sit!  - The thing that you want, 
and that I don’t know — make it happen!”

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Friends of the King! ...

“The Eucharist is the visible manifestation
of the generosity of God.” 
  Raniero Cardinal Cantalamessa

“Beneath the accidents of bread, Jesus is accessible – if the King disguises Himself, we can converse with Him without ceremonies and court etiquette:  indeed He seems to have waived His claim to them by appearing incognito.

Take pleasure in remaining in His society:  do not lose such precious time, for this hour is of the utmost value to the soul, and the good Jesus desires you to spend it with Him.

When you have received our Lord, since He really dwells within you, try to close the eyes of your body and to open those of your soul; look into your heart.  … He will reveal Himself to you, in proportion to the desire you have of seeing Him.  He will not show Himself openly or reveal His glories or bestow His treasures, save on souls who prove that they ardently desire Him, for these are His real friends.”

Excerpt from The Way of Perfection 34:9-11
St Teresa of Avila (1582 +)

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Saturday, June 24, 2023

The birth of the herald...

  Solemnity of the Nativity
of St John the Baptist 
June 24

Today's Entrance Antiphon - Jn 1:6-7; Lk 1:17
 A man was sent from God, whose name was John.  He came 
to testify to the light, to prepare a people fit for the Lord.

"Fortunate is John, who through the spirit of God deserved
to express his joy before he uttered any infant cries. 
Fortunate is he who deserved to possess divine benefits before
he got human goods.  Fortunate is he who deserved acquaintance
with heaven sooner than with earth.  Fortunate is he who deserved
to announce future events before he saw any present ones.  Fortunate is
who could receive God before he was received into his own body, 
Fortunate, yes, outstandingly fortunate, is he who acquired merit before
he knew how to seek it.  Fortunate is he who did not come to grace
through toil but was enabled by grace and then proceeded to his labors." 

St Peter Chrysologus 
Hat tip : Magnificat, Vol 20, N0. 4/June 2018
Magnificat Home
Painting by Marie Ellenreider

Today's Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia, alleluia! You, child, will be called prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way.  Alleluia, alleluia!

"Happy birthday of John the Baptist. His birth is the culmination of an age, an era, a Covenant. He is the last of the Old Testament Prophets. His birth signals an end and a beginning. The Book of Hebrews says By calling this covenant “new,” [God] has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear (Hebrews 8:13). 

Hence John would later say, “The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must increase; I must decrease. (Jn 3:29-30).  Today John the Baptist is born who will usher in the new by answering the most significant question ever posed:  "But where is the Lamb?'"
Msgr Charles Pope
Pastor ~ Holy Comforter - St Cyprian Parish ~ Washington, DC

“Behold the Lamb of God
who takes away the sins of the world.”
(St John the Baptist is quoted at every holy Mass)

Prayer after Communion (Today's Mass)
Having feasted at the banquet of the heavenly Lamb,
we pray, O Lord,
that, finding joy in the nativity of Saint John the Baptist,
your Church may know as the author of her rebirth
the Christ whose coming John foretold.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

St John the Baptist in the Desert - Philllipe de Champaign

“I want to show you a sun that shone more brightly than all these, a soul that was truly free and detached, cleaving only to the will of God. I have often wondered who is the most mortified of the saints I know, and after some reflection I have come to the conclusion that it was Saint John the Baptist. He went into the desert when he was five years old and knew that our Savior and his came on earth in a place quite close by, one or two days' journey perhaps. How his heart, touched with love of his Savior from the time He was in His Mother's womb, must have longed to enjoy His presence! Yet he spends twenty-five years in the desert without coming to see our Lord even once; and leaving the desert he stays to catechize without visiting Him but waiting till our Lord comes to seek him out. Then when he has baptized Him he does not follow Him but stays behind to do his appointed task. How truly mortified was his spirit! To be so near his Savior and not see Him, to have Him so close and not enjoy His presence! Is this not a completely detached spirit, detached even from God Himself so as to do His will and serve Him, to leave God for God, and not to love God in order to love Him better? The example of this great saint overwhelms me with its grandeur.”  -  St Francis de Sales

St John the Baptist, pray for us,
the He may increase and 
we may decrease!

Friday, June 23, 2023

His dedicated emissaries...

 "I propose to have no other purpose 
in all my activities, either interior or exterior, 
than the motive of Love alone...
St Teresa Margaret Redi of the Sacred Heart

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"When devotion to the Sacred Heart
is recommended, what is being recommended to us
is the gift of our entire self to Jesus - soul and body, 
thoughts, feelings, words, actions, joys and sorrows.

Jesus came to light a fire on earth.
Fire purifies, gives light, communicates, unites.  
Such is the blaze of Divine Love devotion 
to the Sacred Heart enkindled in our hearts.

The Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament
feeds the flame of our love for the Lord, burning from us 
the dross of self.   Thus afire we thirst for souls 
as He does, becoming His dedicated emissaries 
among the men and women of our day,
so many of whom neither know Him nor love Him."

Fr Richard Neilson

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