Thursday, August 30, 2012

God's Designs

Whatever your dream of your future is, it cannot equal His dream of you. All your hopes, so wild and extravagant, are nothing as splendid as God’s designs for you. Lay your own aside…Leave yourself in the divine hands. Listen for his voice with humility, promptness, and courage.  ~Fr. Bede Jarrett, O.P.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say, rejoice.
~Philippians 4:4
What a life, dear Lord!  What a grand and glorious life You give me anew each and every day!  Domine, non sum dignus...O Lord, I am not worthy...!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Infinite Riches

Every moment is crammed with infinite riches which are given us according to the extent of our faith and love.  ~Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade in Abandonment to Divine Providence

This is the day which the Lord hath made:
let us be glad and rejoice therein.
~Psalm 118:24

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Morning Clouds by Ann L. Krumrein

A pessimist sees only the dark side of the clouds, and mopes;
a philosopher sees both sides, and shrugs;
an optimist doesn't see the clouds at all -- he's walking on them.
~Leonard Louis Levinson

Thank you, dear Lord, for making me an optimist!

Monday, August 27, 2012

My sweet Annie

Ave Maria!  Here she is, my dear sister, Ann L. Krumrein, down at "the cove" near the lovely home where she and her husband John live in Lincolnville, Maine.  They were about to join friends for a celebratory supper, which is why she's so dressed up.  Normally the attire at the cove is super causual, but not this fun evening.  As always, she's flashing that dazzling smile of hers and looks so classy.  I love you, my sweet Annie!

21st Sunday of Ordinary Time

“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”  ~John 6:68

"To whom shall we go?" Peter asks. In other words, “Who else will instruct us the way you do?” or, “To whom shall we go to find anything better?”

"You have the words of eternal life;" not hard words, as those other disciples say, but words that will bring us to the loftiest goal, unceasing, endless life removed from all corruption.

These words surely make quite obvious to us the necessity for sitting at the feet of Christ, taking him as our one and only teacher, and giving him our constant and undivided attention. He must be our guide who knows well how to lead us to everlasting life.

Thus, shall we ascend to the divine court of heaven, and entering the church of the first born, delight in blessings passing all human understanding.

That the desire to follow Christ alone and to be with him always is a good thing leading to our salvation is entirely self-evident; yet we may learn this from the Old Testament as well.

When the Israelites had shaken off Egyptian tyranny and were hastening toward the promised land, God did not allow them to make disorderly marches; not did the lawgiver let each one go where he would, for without a guide they should undoubtedly have lost the way completely. They were ordered to follow: to set out with the cloud, to come to a halt again with it, and to rest with it.

Keeping with their guide was the Israelites’ salvation then, just as not leaving Christ is ours now. For he was with those people of old under the form of the tabernacle, the cloud, and the fire.

They were commanded to follow, and not undertake the journey on their own initiative. They were to halt with the cloud and to abide with it, that by this symbol you might understand Christ’s words: "Whoever serves me must follow me, so as to be with me wherever I am."

For being always in his company means being steadfast in following him and constant in cleaving to him. But accompanying the Savior Christ and following him is by no means to be thought of as something done by the body. It is accomplished rather by deeds springing from virtue.

Upon such virtue the wisest disciples firmly fixed their minds and refused to depart with the unbelievers, which they saw would be fatal. With good reason they cried out, “Where can we go?”

It was as though they said: “We will stay with you always and hold fast to your commandments. We will receive your words without finding fault or thinking your teaching hard as the ignorant do, but thinking rather, "How sweet are your words to my throat! Sweeter to my mouth are they than honey or the honeycomb.”

Cyril of Alexandria, d. 444
It is you, O Lord,
you are the only one.
~Nehemiah 9:6


Friday, August 24, 2012

Our Daily Bread

Give us this day our daily bread.  ~Matthew 6:11

Ave Maria!  Part of my usual morning routine is to fix a dish of wet cat food for my girl Queenie while my coffee is perking.  She has the timing down pat and knows precisely how many minutes to give me from the time I roll out of bed to the moment I put her breakfast down on the floor.  If I am a mere second behind schedule, she will tell me all about it, loudly and insistently.

I never should have named her Queenie.  That only reinforces her mistaken notions that, first, cats are royalty and, second and most importantly, she in particular is SWMBO, that is, She Who Must Be Obeyed. 

This morning I was not only behind schedule, I was also extremely tired so I deviated a bit from my routine to sit down for a couple of minutes before fixing Her Majesty's breakfast.  Plopping myself down in a chair was cause for Queenie to be filled with consternation, leading her to run back and forth between her food station and me in addition to crying more piteously than usual.  For added drama, she imperiously stamped her front paw a few times. 

It's not like I was starving her.  There was a bowl of fresh water at the ready along with another bowl full of newly dished-out dry food.

It wasn't what she wanted.

"Get over it, my girl," I told her.  "Give us this day our daily bread.  That's how our Lord told us to pray.  He never said that we get to pick what that bread will be or how much we'll get."

Whoa!  What's this?  Now I'm preaching to my cat?  No, not really, just preaching to myself.  Whatever bread our dear Lord will give me this new day will be exactly right.  He will provide for me in ways that I cannot imagine, and He will be generous beyond measure.  I only need ask and He will give me Himself.  Deo gratias!  Thanks be to God!

The bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.
John 6:51

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Richard Joseph Mansfield, RIP

That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him.  ~1 Corinthians 2:9

Ave Maria!  Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of my father's entrance into eternal life. My sweet sister Annie said it all in her email to me first thing in the morning:  "OH, HAPPY DAY!!"  Happy, happy, happy indeed!!  A happiness too deep for words, which is why I didn't blog yesterday even though I thought of Daddy all day long. 

The above verse from Scripture is one that Daddy often mentioned to me, and I always hold it close in my heart.  How greatly I long to fully share in those marvelous things that God has prepared for us who love Him!  My love is still so imperfect, so lacking in so many ways, and therefore I  confidently pray each day this simple but powerful prayer that Daddy taught me when I was little girl:

Jesus and Mary, accept our hearts though poor,
And grant that we may love thee ever more and more.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Feast of St. Bernard

Love is sufficient of itself; it gives pleasure by itself and because of itself.  It is its own merit, its own reward.  Love looks for no cause outside itself, no effect beyond itself.  Its profit lies in its practice. I love because I love; I love that I may love.  Love is a great thing so long as it continually returns to its fountainhead, flows back to its source, always drawing from there the water which constantly replenishes it.  Of all the movements, sensations and feelings of the soul, love is the only one in which the creature can respond to the Creator and make some sort of similar return however unequal though it be.  For when God loves, all he desires is to be loved in return; the sole purpose of his love is to be loved, in the knowledge that those who love him are made happy by their love of him. 

The Bridegroom’s love, or rather the love which is the Bridegroom, asks in return nothing but faithful love. Let the beloved, then, love in return. 

~An excerpt from Sermon 83 of St. Bernard’s Sermons on the Song of Songs

Sunday, August 19, 2012

20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.  ~John 6:55

We have heard that unless we eat the flesh of the Son we shall not have life. We must have unwavering faith, then, when we partake of the sacred mysteries, and not inquire “How?”

Unspiritual people, that is, those led by a natural, human way of thinking, are not open to spiritual realities surpassing the natural order, and so lack understanding of the spiritual nourishment the Lord’s flesh affords.

Those who do not share in this flesh will not share in eternal life because they reject Jesus, the true life. What is consumed is the flesh not of a mere man but of God, and being one with the Godhead, it has power to deify.

This is real nourishment: its sustaining power does not last only for a time; it does not decompose like perishable food, but helps us to attain everlasting life.

Likewise the cup of the Lord’s blood is real drink, for it does not quench our thirst only for a time, but keeps those who drink it free from thirst for ever; as the Lord said to the Samaritan woman: "Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give will never thirst again."

Whoever receives the grace of the Holy Spirit by sharing in the divine mysteries will never suffer from spiritual hunger and thirst the way unbelievers do.

"Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood live in me, and I live in them. As I draw life from the living Father who sent me, so whoever eats me will draw life from me." From these words we can begin to understand the mystery of communion.

Those who eat and drink the Lord’s flesh and blood live in the Lord and the Lord lives in them. A marvelous and inexplicable union occurs by which God is in us, and we are in God. Does this not fill you with awe as you listen?

It is not God alone that we eat, for he is intangible and incorporeal; he can be apprehended neither by our eyes nor by our teeth; nor, on the other hand, is it simply the flesh of a man, which would avail us nothing.

Rather, in a union defying explanation, God has made flesh one with himself, so that the flesh now has life-giving power. This is not because its nature is changed into the nature of God. Of course not!

A comparison may be made with iron put into fire. It remains iron but displays the energy of fire. So also the Lord’s flesh remains flesh, but it has life-giving power because it is the flesh of the Word of God.

And so Christ says: "As I draw life from the Father," or in other words, As I was born of the Father who is life, "so those who eat me will draw life from me," because they will be united to me and as it were transformed into me, who am possessed of life-giving power. 

~Theophylact, c. 1050-1109

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven

If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. ~John 14:3

Holy Mary, Gate of Heaven, help us to so live our Christian faith that others may see here on earth the beauty of the Kingdom, and we may walk together in hope toward our true home in heaven.  Amen.

~"Mary is Assumed into Heaven" from The Rosary, Contemplating the Face of Christ with Scripture and Icons, published by Pauline Books and Media

Monday, August 13, 2012

A child of God

See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. ~1 John 3:1

To be a child of God, that means to be led by the Hand of God, to do the Will of God, not one's own will, to place every care and every Hope in the Hand of God and not to worry about one's future.  On this rests the freedom and the joy of the child of God.  But how few of even the truly pious, even of those ready for heroic sacrifices, possess this freedom.  ~St. Edith Stein

Father!  Our Father!  My Father!  How happy I am to be Your child!  Help me to truly be Your child, that I may always live in the glorious freedom of the children of God and so give you all the praise and glory of which You alone are worthy.

Father, I adore You!
Lay my life before you!
How I love you!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Bread of Life by Kennedy A Paizs

I am the living bread that came down from heaven.  ~John 6:51

In his goodness and love for humankind, Jesus, the most divine Word, one, simple, and hidden, assumed our nature, appearing though unchanged in his own nature as a being both composite and visible.

Graciously he received us into unifying communion with himself, joining our lowliness to his sublime divinity, upon the sole condition that we in our turn should adhere to him as members of his body by living a pure and godly life like his, and not giving reign to ruinous, death-dealing passions, which would make us incapable of union with those completely healthy and divine members.

If we aspire to communion with Jesus, we must fix our eyes upon the most holy life he lived in the flesh and follow the example of his divine innocence so as to become pure and godlike. Then, in a manner befitting us, he will give us a resemblance to himself.

The bishop manifests these truths in the sacred rites he performs when he publicly unveils the hidden gifts, divides them into many parts, and by the perfect union of the sacrament he distributes with those who receive it, admits the recipients to communion with it.

For by thus presenting Jesus Christ to our eyes he shows us the very life of our spirit and understanding in a way perceptible to our senses, as it were pictorially.

He shows us how Christ came forth from his divine concealment to assume for love of humanity our human form, becoming completely human without loss of his own identity; how while remaining unchanged he descended from his natural unity to the level of our divisibility; and how through the beneficent deeds inspired by his love for us, he calls the human race to communion with himself and to a share in his blessings

He asks only that we unite ourselves to his most divine life by imitating it to the best of our ability, so as to enter into a real communion with God and his divine mysteries.

~Denis the Areopagite
God, of your goodness, give me yourself
for you are enough for me.
~St. Julian of Norwich

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A food that does not perish

Why spend your money for what is not bread; your wages for what does not satisfy? Only listen to me, and you shall eat well, you shall delight in rich fare. ~Isaiah 55:2

Jesus wants to help the people to go beyond the immediate satisfaction of their material needs, however important. He wants to open their eyes to an existential horizon that is not merely that of our daily concerns about what we are going to eat, what clothes we will wear, about our career. Jesus speaks of a food that does not perish, which it is important to seek and receive. He says: "Do not work for the food that does not last but for the food that endures for eternal life" (John 6:27).

~Pope Benedict XVI, 8/5/12 Angelus Message

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

We live in joy

We are filled in the morning with thy mercy: and we have rejoiced, and are delighted all our days. ~Psalm 90(89):14

From our faith we know and every day we see that the world is beautiful and God is good. And because of the fact that he became man and dwelled among us we know it definitively and concretely: yes, God is good and it is good to be a person. We live in this joy, and from this joy we try to bring joy to others, to reject evil and to be servants of peace and reconciliation.

~ Pope Benedict XVI, 8/3/12 Address to Bavarian Pilgrims

Monday, August 6, 2012

Feast of the Transfiguration

Upon Mount Tabor, Jesus revealed to his disciples a heavenly mystery. While living among them he had spoken of the kingdom and of his second coming in glory, but to banish from their hearts any possible doubt concerning the kingdom and to confirm their faith in what lay in the future by its prefiguration in the present, he gave them on Mount Tabor a wonderful vision of his glory, a foreshadowing of the kingdom of heaven. It was as if he said to them: “As time goes by you may be in danger of losing your faith. To save you from this I tell you now that some standing here listening to me will not taste death until they have seen the Son of Man coming in the glory of his Father.” Moreover, in order to assure us that Christ could command such power when he wished, the evangelist continues: Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter, James and John, and led them up a high mountain where they were alone. There, before their eyes, he was transfigured. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. Then the disciples saw Moses and Elijah appear, and they were talking to Jesus.

These are the divine wonders we celebrate today; this is the saving revelation given us upon the mountain; this is the festival of Christ that has drawn us here. Let us listen, then, to the sacred voice of God so compellingly calling us from on high, from the summit of the mountain, so that with the Lord’s chosen disciples we may penetrate the deep meaning of these holy mysteries, so far beyond our capacity to express. Jesus goes before us to show us the way, both up the mountain and into heaven, and – I speak boldly – it is for us now to follow him with all speed, yearning for the heavenly vision that will give us a share in his radiance, renew our spiritual nature and transform us into his own likeness, making us for ever sharers in his Godhead and raising us to heights as yet undreamed of.

Let us run with confidence and joy to enter into the cloud like Moses and Elijah, or like James and John. Let us be caught up like Peter to behold the divine vision and to be transfigured by that glorious transfiguration. Let us retire from the world, stand aloof from the earth, rise above the body, detach ourselves from creatures and turn to the creator, to whom Peter in ecstasy exclaimed: Lord, it is good for us to be here.

It is indeed good to be here, as you have said, Peter. It is good to be with Jesus and to remain here for ever. What greater happiness or higher honour could we have than to be with God, to be made like him and to live in his light?

Therefore, since each of us possesses God in his heart and is being transformed into his divine image, we also should cry out with joy: It is good for us to be here – here where all things shine with divine radiance, where there is joy and gladness and exultation; where there is nothing in our hearts but peace, serenity and stillness; where God is seen. For here, in our hearts, Christ takes up his abode together with the Father, saying as he enters: Today salvation has come to this house. With Christ, our hearts receive all the wealth of his eternal blessings, and there where they are stored up for us in him, we see reflected as in a mirror both the first fruits and the whole of the world to come.

~from a sermon on the transfiguration of the Lord by Anastasius of Sinai, bishop

Sunday, August 5, 2012

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Whoever comes to me will never be hungry; whoever believes in me will never thirst.  ~John 6:35

"Our ancestors ate manna in the desert; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'" Wishing to persuade Christ to perform the kind of miracle that would provide them with bodily nourishment, the people in their insatiable greed called to mind the manna.

What was the reply of our Lord Jesus, the infinite wisdom of God? "It was not Moses who gave you bread." In other words, “Moses did not give you the true bread. On the contrary, everything that happened in his time was a prefiguration of what is happening now.

"Moses represented God, the real leader of the spiritual Israelites, while that bread typified myself, who have come down from heaven and who am the true bread which gives genuine nourishment.”

Our Lord refers to himself as the true bread not because the manna was something illusory, but because it was only a type and a shadow, and not the reality it signified.

This bread, being the Son of the living Father, is life by its very nature, and accordingly gives life to all. Just as earthly bread sustains the frail substance of the flesh and prevents it from falling into decay, so Christ quickens the soul through the power of the Spirit, and also preserves even the body for immortality. Through Christ resurrection from the dead and bodily immortality have been gratuitously bestowed upon the human race.

"Jesus said to the people: 'I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me shall never hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst'" He did not say “the bread of bodily nourishment,” but “the bread of life.”

For when everything had been reduced to a condition of spiritual death, the Lord gave us life through himself, who is bread because, as we believe, the leaven in the dough of our humanity was baked through and through by the fire of his divinity.

He is the bread not of this ordinary life, but of a very different kind of life which death will never cut short.

Whoever believes in this bread will never hunger, will never be famished for want of hearing the Word of God; not will such a person be parched by spiritual thirst through lack of the waters of baptism and the consecration imparted by the Spirit.

The unbaptized, deprived of the refreshment afforded by the sacred water, suffer thirst and great aridity. The baptized, on the other hand, being possessed of the Spirit, enjoy its continual consolation.

~Theophylact, c. 1050-1109

Dear Lord, may we seek only the bread that You give us always!

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Mary's greatness consists in the fact that she wants to magnify God, not herself.

~Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est, #41

Dearest Mary, Handmaid of the Lord, how glorious it is to magnify the Lord with you!  Amen.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Holy Father's Intentions for August 2012

General Intention:  That prisoners may be treated with justice and respect for their human dignity.

Mission Intention:  That young people, called to follow Christ, may be willing to proclaim and bear witness to the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

Almighty and merciful God, to whom alone the secrets of the heart lie open, who recognize the just and make righteous the guilty, hear our prayers for your servants held in prison, and grant that through patience and hope they may find relief in their affliction and soon return unhindered to their own. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  ~“For Those in Prison,” Collect, The Roman Missal

~from The Apostleship of Prayer

"The permanent grand meeting of God with man"

The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season.  You open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.  ~Psalm 145(144):15-16

Ave Maria!  This past Sunday in his 7/29/12 Angelus message, Pope Benedict XVI spoke briefly but powerfully about the multiplication of the loaves from John's gospel (6:1-15). The following three lines in particular have provided a rich meditation for me these past few days.   
  • The Eucharist is the permanent grand meeting of man with God, in which the Lord becomes our food, gives himself to transform us into himself.
  • God is able to multiply our little gesture of love and make us participate in his gift.  
  •  It is not the Eucharistic food that is changed into us, but rather we who are mysteriously transformed by It.
Domine, non sum dignus!  Lord, I am not worthy!  Still, I dare to come daily to this glorious grand meeting of You with us -- and from Your fullness I humbly and gratefully receive, grace upon grace (John 1:16).  Deo gratias!  Thanks be to God!