Sunday, September 18, 2016

Unutterable and exalted joy!

These things I have spoken to you,
that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be full.
~John 15:11

The concrete sign that we have truly encountered Jesus
is the joy that we show in communicating it to others.
~Pope Francis, 9/17/16 Tweet

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

O blessed Cross,
you alone were worthy to bear
the King and Lord of heaven, alleluia!
~from the Office for the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
~Isaac Watts

Friday, September 9, 2016

Dead or alive?

I am come that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly.
~John 10:10

Have you wept at anything during the past year?

Has your heart beat faster at the sight of young beauty?

Have you thought seriously about the fact
that someday you are going to die?

More often than not,
do you really listen when people are speaking to you,
instead of just waiting for your turn to speak?

Is there anybody you know in whose place,
if one of you had to suffer great pain,
you would volunteer yourself?

If your answer to all or most of these questions is no,
the chances are that you’re dead.

~Frederick Buechner

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

"The song is love..."

Always believe in love
and always sing in thanksgiving!
~Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

In my life I will praise the Lord:
I will sing to my God as long as I shall be.
~Psalm 146:2

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Our life, our sweetness, and our hope!

Heart of Mary...
vessel of the Holy Spirit...
shrine of the Trinity...
home of the Word...
pray for us!
Bl. John Henry Newman

Monday, August 15, 2016

Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven

Now have salvation and power come,
and the Kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed One.
~Revelation 12:10

The Feast of the Assumption is a day of joy. God has won. Love has won. It has won life. Love has shown that it is stronger than death, that God possesses the true strength and that his strength is goodness and love.

Mary was taken up body and soul into Heaven: there is even room in God for the body. Heaven is no longer a very remote sphere unknown to us.

We have a mother in Heaven. And the Mother of God, the Mother of the Son of God, is our Mother. He himself has said so. He made her our Mother when he said to the disciple and to all of us: "Behold, your Mother!". We have a Mother in Heaven. Heaven is open, Heaven has a heart.

~Pope Benedict XVI, 8/15/05 Homily for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

My soul magnifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
~Luke 1:39

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:29

I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing!
~Luke 12:49

Your Lord is a fire:
do not let your heart be cold,
but burn with faith and love.
~St. John of Kronstadt

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Our Lady of Tenderness

I am the mother of fair love,
and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope.
~Sirach 24:24

Sweet Mother, hold me close to your heart.
It pulsates with the life and love of your Beloved Son, Jesus.
Its every beat proclaims Him, its every throb glorifies Him.
I want to live like this ~ like you! ~ but I am selfish and afraid.
Hold me close, dear Mother, and show me
how to be a living sacrifice of praise for Him!

Monday, August 8, 2016

"The secret to joy..."

The secret to joy: never suppress positive curiosity;
get involved, because life is meant to be lived.
~Pope Francis, 8/2/16 Tweet

How great are thy works, O Lord?
Thou hast made all things in wisdom:
the earth is filled with thy riches.
~Psalm 104:24

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Feast of the Transfiguration

“This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, listen to him.”  ~Matthew 17:5

“This is my Son,” who does not take away from me my Divinity, nor does He divide power, nor eternity.

“This is my Son,” — He is not adopted, but really, not indeed created, but generated from me, no different in nature and made similar unto me. But He is of my very being and was born equal to me.

“This is my Son”, through whom all things were made and without whom nothing was made” (Jn 1.3): all that I do he also does it (Jn 5.19) and as I work, he works with me without a difference. In fact, the Father is in the Son just as the Son is in the Father (Jn 10:38), and our unity never separates. And though I the one who generates is different from the one generated, it is not however allowed to have a different opinion about him that one can have of me.

“This is my Son,” who did not count equality of with me something to be grasped at (Phil. 2.6), or to usurp, appropriating it for himself; rather, while remaining in the condition of his glory, he, to complete the design of the restoration of mankind, brought to humility the immutable Divinity to the condition of a servant.

To Him, therefore, in whom is all my pleasure, and whose teachings I manifest, whose humility glorifies me — listen to him without hesitation, for he is truth and life (Jn 14.6), he is my strength and my wisdom (1 Cor 1.24).

“Listen to Him,” he whom the Mysteries of the Law announced; whom the voice of the prophets sang about.

“Listen to Him,” he who has redeemed the world with his blood, who has chained the devil and who has snatched away the spoil (Mt 12:29), who has torn up the document of our debts (Col 2:14), and the covenant that oppressed us. 

“Listen to Him,” he who opens the way to heaven, and with the agony of the cross, prepares there the stairs leading up to the Kingdom. Why are you afraid of being redeemed? Why are you afraid of being dissolved from your chains? Let it happen that, what I wish, Christ also wills. Throw away that carnal fear and arm yourself with the constancy that inspires faith. It is unworthy of you, in fact, to be afraid of what in the Lord’s passion you would not fear in death, with his help.

~St. Leo the Great, excerpt from Sermon 38, 4

"Let me see your face,
let me hear your voice,
for your voice is sweet,
and your face is comely."
The Song of Solomon 2:14

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Rest in peace, good and faithful servant!

"The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace. For if to others, indeed, they seem punished, yet is their hope full of immortality. Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself. As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself. In the time of their judgment they shall shine and dart about as sparks through stubble; they shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord shall be their King forever. Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love: because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with the elect." ~Wisdom 3:1-9
More photos here

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Only Way

“The Way of the Cross alone defeats sin, evil and death, for it leads to the radiant light of Christ’s resurrection and opens the horizons of a new and fuller life.”  ~Pope Francis, 7/29/616, Way of the Cross at World Youth Day in Blonia Park, Krakow
Again therefore, Jesus spoke to them, saying: I am the light of the world: he who follows me, walks not in darkness, but shall have the light of life.  ~John 8:12
 We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world!

Monday, July 25, 2016

My refuge and my strength!

How precious is your mercy, O God!
The children of men seek shelter
in the shadow of your wings.
~Psalm 36(35):8

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Do I Really Mean What I Pray?

Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said, “Praying the Our Father and living it will lead us toward saintliness. The Our Father contains everything: God, ourselves, our neighbors….”

Examine how well you live what you pray as you meditate on the following:

I cannot say OUR if I keep my faith only to myself and never share it with others.

I cannot say FATHER if I do not trust in His loving and complete concern for me, forgetting that He always answers prayers how and when He knows is best.

I cannot say WHO ART IN HEAVEN if I am so attached to the ways of this world that I neglect to seek God first in everything.

I cannot say HALLOWED BE THY NAME if I am unwilling to let His holiness penetrate my life and help me grow in my own holiness.

I cannot say THY KINGDOM COME if I am not using my life to bring His love into the world.

I cannot say THY WILL BE DONE if I live by my own ideas of morality or choose to follow the world’s standards.

I cannot say ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN if I am not devoting my life to serving Him here on earth.

I cannot say GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD if I am not willing to be generous with whatever God gives me.

I cannot say FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES if I don’t want to put forth enough effort to change.

I cannot say AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US if I still hold a grudge, if I’m still angry, or if I still insist that other people change.

I cannot say LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION if I deliberately or knowingly place myself in a position to be tempted.

I cannot say DELIVER US FROM EVIL if I’m not actively fighting against evil through deeds of love and service for everyone in my life, especially those who cause problems.

~The “Our Father” Prayer:  Do I Really Mean What I Pray?, by Terry A. Modica, co-founder and Executive Director of Good News Ministries, author, international speaker, retreat director, photographer, and Catholic faith formation teacher

Lord, teach us to pray, teach us to live.  Amen.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

"being a dwelling place for the Word"

“Mary becomes a model for the Church’s mission, i.e., that of being a dwelling place for the Word, preserving it and keeping it safe in times of confusion, protecting it, as it were, from the elements. Hence she is also the interpretation of the parable of the seed sowed in good soil and yielding fruit a hundredfold.

“She is not the thin surface earth which cannot accommodate roots; she is not the barren earth which the sparrows have pecked bare; nor is she overgrown by the weeds of affluence that inhibit new growth. She is a human being with depth. She lets the word sink deep into her. So the process of fruitful transformation can take place in a twofold direction: she saturates the Word with her life, as it were, putting the sap and energy of her life at the Word’s disposal; but as a result, conversely, her life is permeated, enriched, and deepened by the energies of the Word, which gives everything its meaning.

“First of all it is she who digests the Word, so to speak, transmuting it; but in doing so she herself, with her life, is in turn transmuted into the Word. Her life becomes word and meaning. That is how the Gospel is handed on in the Church; indeed, it is how all spiritual and intellectual growth and maturity are handed on from one person to another and within humanity as a whole. It is the only way in which men and mankind can acquire depth and maturity. In other words, it is the only way to progress.” 

~from Seek That Which is Above: Meditations Through the Year by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

Mother of the Incarnate Word, pray for us!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Feast of St. Mary Magdalene

I found him whom my soul loveth:
I held him: and I will not let him go.
~Song of Songs 3:4
St. Mary Magdalene by Francesco Hayez, 1827

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Plan for Today

Lord, we are tired of being grownups. Let us become children. Take from us everything we thought we had to acquire, deprive us of all knowledge, cloud our knowing, and upset our calculation. Instead of a multitude of words and an infinity of names, give us love. Your love, Lord, not our love.  ~Adrienne von Speyr, Lumina

Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children,
you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.  ~Matthew 18:3

Today I will abandon being a grownup and revel in being my Heavenly Father's child!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

"work a chemical change"

Souls are made sweet not by taking the acid fluids out, but by putting something in -- a great Love, a new Spirit, the Spirit of Christ. Christ, the Spirit of Christ, interpenetrating ours, sweetens, purifies, transforms all. This only can eradicate what is wrong, work a chemical change, renovate and regenerate, and rehabilitate the inner man. Will-power does not change men. Time does not change men. Christ does. Therefore "Let that mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus."  ~from The Greatest Thing in the World by Henry Drummond (1851-1897)

Be filled with the Spirit.  ~Ephesians 5:18

Monday, July 18, 2016

Have mercy on us and on the whole world!

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.  ~Isaiah 53:4

You have placed my tears in your flask.  ~Psalm 56(55):9

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Jesus Visits Martha and Mary in Their Home

See where I stand at the door, knocking;
if anyone listens to my voice and opens the door,
I will come in to visit him,
and take my supper with him,
and he shall sup with me.
~Revelation 3:20

Thus was the Lord received as a guest who came unto his own and his own received him not; but as many as received him, he gave them the power to become sons of God, adopting those who were servants and making them his brothers, ransoming the captives and making them his co-heirs. No one of you should say: “Blessed are they who have deserved to receive Christ into their homes!” Do not grieve or complain that you were born in a time when you can no longer see God in the flesh. He did not in fact take this privilege from you. As he says: Whatever you have done to the least of my brothers, you did to me.  ~St. Augustine of Hippo
Dear Lord, may I always welcome You with a glad and grateful heart whenever, wherever, and however You choose to visit me.  Amen.