Sunday, January 8, 2017

"They opened their treasures..."


They were overjoyed at seeing the star, 
and on entering the house
they saw the child with Mary his mother.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage.
Then they opened their treasures 
and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
~Matthew 2:10-11

Stars cross the sky, wise men journey from pagan lands, earth receives its savior in a cave. Let there be no one without a gift to offer, no one without gratitude as we celebrate the salvation of the world, the birthday of the human race.  ~St. Basil the Great
"Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart."
~Christina Rossetti

Saturday, January 7, 2017

God With Us!

"And the Word became flesh
and dwelt among us,
full of grace and truth;
we have beheld his glory,
glory as of the only Son from the Father."
~John 1:14

Remembering the Sacred Presence of the One Who  Dwells Among Us
~by Joyce Rupp


May we look for your goodness in people who seem least likely to carry your love.

May we behold your radiance in the ones we quickly pass by at home or work.

May we discover your love in our deeper self when we feel unloving and irritable.

May we embrace you in the persons whose faithfulness we take for granted.

May we see your empathy in those serving the wounded of the world.

May we recognize your courage in the valiant people who speak for justice.

May we notice your non-judgmental acceptance in those who keep an open mind.

May we search for your gentleness when it is covered with harshness in another.

May we observe your generosity in every gift we receive, no matter how small it is.

May we reveal your mercy when we pardon someone for having turned against us.

May we welcome your joy in the delightful voices and happy play of children.

May we convey your compassion when we visit those with illness and poor health.

May we detect your patience in those who put up with our impatience and hurry.

May we unite with your peace hidden beneath the layers of the world’s disharmony.

O Divine One, you came into our world in the form of a newly emerged child, fresh and fragile as all of us are at our birthing.  You came as a beloved one filled with the radiance of eternal Light.  As you grew in humanness, your life and teachings revealed the vast goodness of your inner being.  We now carry your loving Spirit of radiance within us.  We can easily miss this gift in the press of our activities and our clouded, inner vision.  Skim away the inattentiveness of our minds and the crusts of unloving on our hearts.  As we prepare to celebrate the wonder of your birth, help us discern your concealed presence in each part of our life.  

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Epiphany of Our Lord


"Why do so few ever see the star?
Only because so few are looking for it...."
~Fr. Alfred Delp, S.J.


Dear Jesus,
my Light and my Salvation,
in Your kindness and mercy,
make me tenacious in seeking the star
and courageous in proclaiming it.
Amen.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Praying Before the Stable


 God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God!


Blessing Before a Christmas Stable by Father Peter John Cameron, O.P.

Lord Jesus, as I kneel before your manger in adoration, let my first Christmas word be: thank you. Thank you, Gift of the Father, for coming to save me from my sins.

Without You I do not know even how to be human. The characteristics of Your human body express the Divine Person of God's Son. And in that wondrous expression, Lord, You reveal me to myself. Thank you for that saving revelation in Your sacred humanity. As the Christmas liturgy proclaims, in Christ we experience "the holy exchange that restores our life." Thank you for coming as one like myself to save me from myself.

You come as a baby because babies are irresistible and adorable. You come as a baby because You want our first impression of God Incarnate to be that of one who does not judge. How I long to be united with You in every way. May I never be attracted to the allurements and charms of the world. May I love You always, at every moment, with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. May the tenderness, the dependency, and the mercy that You reveal in Your infancy become the hallmarks of my life.

Newborn Savior, the very silence of Your Incarnation proclaims that the answer to the misery, the strife, and the meaningless we often experience in life cannot be found within us. You alone are the Answer. As I kneel before You, Eternal King, I surrender to You all my selfishness, self-absorption, self-indulgence, self-righteousness, self-assertion, and self-exaltation. Even as I adore You on this night of Your birth, rid me of the nagging desire to be adored.

Word became flesh, You make Your dwelling among us. And You do not live Your life for Yourself, but for us. And You enable us to live in You all that You Yourself lived. Help me to embrace this truth with all my mind and heart. Come and live Your life in me. Empty me of my willfulness, my petulance, my hardness, my cynicism, my contemptuousness. Fill me with Your truth, Your strength, Your fortitude, Your purity, Your gentleness, Your generosity, Your wisdom, Your heart, and Your grace.

O Emmanuel, may the assurance of Your unfailing Presence be for me, the source of unending peace. May I never fear my weakness, my inadequacy, or my imperfection. Rather, as I gaze with faith, hope, and love upon Your incarnate littleness, may I love my own littleness, for God is with us. Endow my life with a holy wonder that leads me ever more deeply into the Mystery of Redemption and the meaning of my vocation and destiny.

Longed-for Messiah, Your servant St. Leo the Great well wrote that in the very act of reverencing the birth of our Savior, we are also celebrating our own new birth. From this night on, may my life be a dedicated life of faith marked by holy reliance, receptivity, and resoluteness. May I make my life a total gift of self. May my humble worship of Your Nativity manifest how much I seek the Father's kingship and His way of holiness. The beauty of Your holy face bears the promise that Your Father will provide for us in all things. This Christmas I renew my trust in God's goodness, compassion and providence. I long for the day when You will teach us to pray "Our Father."

May Your presence, Prince of Peace, bless the world with peace, the poor with care and prosperity, the despairing with hope and confidence, the grieving with comfort and gladness, the oppressed with freedom and deliverance, the suffering with solace and relief. Loving Jesus, You are the only real joy of every human heart. I place all my trust in You.

Oh, Divine Fruit of Mary's womb, may I love You in union with the holy Mother of God. May my life be filled with the obedience of St. Joseph and the missionary fervor of the shepherds so that the witness of my life may shine like the star that leads the Magi to Your manger. I ask all this with great confidence in Your Holy Name. Amen.

Venite adoremus! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Divine Intrusion


"...live in a manner worthy of the Lord, so as to be fully pleasing,
in every good work bearing fruit and growing in the knowledge of God."
~Colossians 1:10


Well-known gifted author Sister Melannie Svoboda, who blogs at Sunflower Seeds, has posted a soul-searching sort of poem that she wrote for Christmas.  It's called "A Christmas Prayer for Divine Intrusion," but, as she points out, it can be prayed any time throughout the year.  It's my kind of prayer:  no-nonsense and no-frills, straightforward and unafraid.  I am reluctant to post this little gem in its entirety without Sister's permission, so look for it here.  I hope it stretches your heart and your mind as much it did mine.  Meanwhile, I find myself repeating these few lines:
"Free me from my tendency to wrap around myself."
"Enlarge my world. Direct my attention to all that really matters."
"Accept me as I am, but keep nudging me to be a better version of who I already am."
"Help me to live less cautiously."
"Keep telling me to grow up. Keep telling me to be more childlike."

Welcome, Son of Mary!  Come and be my Divine Intruder!  Amen, amen!

Monday, December 26, 2016

"to each and everyone He comes"


"For a child is born to us, and a son is given to us."  ~Isaiah 9:6


“A Child is born. To some He comes on this Christmas Day, even in the remorse that follows ‘there is no room’; to some He comes when their hearts are saddened by a life that has been taken away, and can be gladdened only by a Life that is given; to some He comes when their hearts like conscious mangers cry out ‘Lord, I am not worthy’; to others He comes as their study of science reminds them that the only star worth studying is the Star that leads to the Maker of the Stars; to others He comes when their hearts are broken, that He might enter in to heal with wings wider than the world; to others He comes in joy amidst the Venite Adoremus of the angels; to others He comes because they are so young they can never remember another Christmas -- but to each and everyone He comes as if He had never come before in His own sweet way, He the Child who is born, He, Jesus the Savior, He Emmanuel, He, Christ at Christ’s Mass on Christmas –- Merry Christmas!!”  ~Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen in The Fullness of Christ

Venite adoremus!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Joy!


Joy, joy, for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.


Venite adoremus!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve


How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!


Venite adoremus!

Christmas Eve Day


This day you shall know that the Lord is coming,
and tomorrow you shall see His glory.
~from the Divine Office for December 24


O Come, Divine Messiah!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Eve of Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday


Rejoice, Jerusalem, with great joy,
for your Savior will come to you, alleluia.
Antiphon for Lauds from the Divine Office
for the Third Sunday of Advent


Everyone should open their heart very wide to joy, should welcome it and let it be buried very deeply in them; and they should wait the flowering with patience.  Of course, the first ecstasy will pass, but because in real joy Christ grows in us, the time will come when joy will put forth shoots and the richness and sweetness of the person who rejoiced will be Christ's flowering.  ~Caryll Houselander in The Reed of God


O Jesus living in Mary,
come and open our hearts
to the joy that is You!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Come!

Behold, I come quickly.  ~Revelation 22:7

Photography by Ann L. Krumrein


Every year we celebrate the holy season of Advent, O God. Every year we pray those beautiful prayers of longing and waiting, and sing those lovely songs of hope and promise. Every year we roll up all our needs and yearnings and faithful expectation into one word: “Come!”

And yet, what a strange prayer this is! After all, you have already come and pitched your tent among us. You have already shared our life with its little joys, its long days of tedious routine, its bitter end. Could we invite you to anything more than this with our “Come”? Could you approach any nearer to us than you did when you became the “Son of Man”? In spite of all this we still pray: “Come.” 

~Karl Rahner

O Jesus,
living in Mary,
come!

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!
Amen.

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