Friday, May 31, 2013

Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar!

"Jesus this evening gives Himself to us in the Eucharist, shares our same journey -- indeed, He becomes food, real food that sustains our life even at times when the going is rough, when obstacles slow down our steps. The Lord in the Eucharist makes us follow His path, that of service, of sharing, of giving -- and what little we have, what little we are, if shared, becomes wealth, because the power of God, which is that of love, descends into our poverty to transform it.

"Let us ask ourselves this evening, adoring the Christ truly present in the Eucharist: do I let myself be transformed by Him? Do I let the Lord who gives Himself to me, guide me to come out more and more from my little fence to get out and be not afraid to give, to share, to love Him and others?

"Discipleship, communion and sharing. Let us pray that participation in the Eucharist move us always to follow the Lord every day, to be instruments of communion, to share with Him and with our neighbor who we are. Then our lives will be truly fruitful. Amen."

~Pope Francis, Homily for Corpus Christi, 5/30/13

Sweet Sacrament, we Thee adore.
O make us love Thee more and more!
O make us love Thee more and more!
~Father Frederick William Faber

Thursday, May 30, 2013

"The Church is a family that loves and is loved."

"Let us ask ourselves today: how much do I love the Church? Do I pray for her? Do I feel myself a part of the family of the Church? What do I do to make the Church a community in which everyone feels welcomed and understood, [in which] everyone feels the mercy and love of God who renews life? Faith is a gift and an act that affects us personally, but God calls us to live our faith together, as a family: as the Church.

"We ask the Lord, in a special way in this Year of the faith, that our communities, the whole Church be ever more true families that live and carry the warmth of God."

~Pope Francis, 5/29/13 General Audience

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"The Wonderful Effect of Divine Love"

When my soul is immersed in love, I solve the most intricate questions clearly and quickly. Only love is able to cross over precipices and mountain peaks. Love, once again, love.  ~St. Faustina (Divine Mercy in My Soul, #1123)

He that loves truly flies, runs, and is always full of joy.  He is free and will not be held back.  ~Thomas à Kempis, "The Wonderful Effect of Divine Love" (Imitation of Christ, Bk III, Ch V)

God, my Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet swift as those of deer
and enables me to tread upon the heights.
~Habakkuk 3:19

Monday, May 27, 2013

Méditation from the opera Thaïs

Ave Maria!  One of my most favorite pieces of music is Méditation from the opera Thaïs by French composer Jules Massenet.  According to Wikipedia, this piece is written for solo violin and orchestra, and this opera was first premiered at the Opéra Garnier in Paris on March 16, 1894.  Today I came across the American classical violinist Sarah Chang performing Méditation here on YouTube.  It is sheer joy to watch Ms. Chang play such exquisitely beautiful music, which seems to flow from her very soul.  Truly magnificent! 

When beauty grows too great to bear
How shall I ease me of its ache,
For beauty more than bitterness
Makes the heart break.
~Sara Teasdale

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Holy Spirit Brings Joy

Jesus invited his disciples to rejoice, to overcome the temptation to sadness at the Master's departure, because this departure was the condition planned by God for the coming of the Holy Spirit: "It is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you" (Jn 16:7). It will be the Spirit's gift to provide the disciples with a great joy, even the fullness of joy, according to Jesus' intention. The Savior, after inviting the disciples to remain in his love, said: "I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete" (Jn 15:11; cf. 17:13). It is the task of the Holy Spirit to put into the disciples' hearts the same joy that Jesus had, the joy of faithfulness to the love which comes from the Father.  ~Bl. John Paul II, 6/19/91 General Audience

And so, my heart rejoices, my soul is glad; even my flesh shall rest in hope. ~Psalm 16(15):9

Monday, May 20, 2013

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit
cleanse me
strengthen me
heal me
enlighten me
inform me
transform me
into Jesus
through Mary

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Holy Spirit, a never-ending spring

"The Holy Spirit is God eternally giving himself; like a never-ending spring he pours forth nothing less than himself. In view of this ceaseless gift, we come to see the limitations of all that perishes, the folly of the consumerist mindset. We begin to understand why the quest for novelty leaves us unsatisfied and wanting. Are we not looking for an eternal gift? The spring that will never run dry? With the Samaritan woman, let us exclaim: give me this water that I may thirst no more! (cf. Jn 4:15)."

~Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, 7/19/08 Homily

Like the deer that yearns for running streams,
so my soul is yearning for you, my God.
~Psalm 42(41):2

Thursday, May 16, 2013

"Let's ask ourselves..."

"Let's ask ourselves: are we open to the Holy Spirit, do I pray to him to enlighten me, to make me more sensitive to the things of God? And this is a prayer we need to pray every day, every day: Holy Spirit may my heart be open to the Word of God, may my heart be open to good, may my heart be open to the beauty of God, every day."   ~Pope Francis, 5/15/13 General Audience

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The greatest love...

"Jesus says something remarkable to us: 'Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends' (John 15:13). The greatest love: to [give] one's own life. Love always takes this route: to give one's life. To live life as a gift, a gift to be given — not a treasure to be stored away. And Jesus lived it in this manner, as a gift. And if one lives life as a gift, one does what Jesus wanted: 'I appointed you that you should go and bear fruit' (John 15:16)."  ~Pope Francis, 5/14/13 Homily

Ave Maria!  Pope Francis said many good things in his homily during Mass yesterday as he reflected upon the day's gospel from St. John, chapter 15, verses 9-7.  The above is just one quote from one article.  You can read more about this homily in another article here, which reports the Holy Father as saying that "with Satan the payback is rotten. He always rips us off, always!" 

Pope Francis sure does tell it like it is.  He speaks plainly and simply, but we must not fool ourselves for his message is heavy with that "eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison" (2 Corinthians 4:17).  As always, the choice is mine.  Will I live this day -- this very moment! -- in glory or misery?  Which will I choose -- the glory of love or the misery of self?

St. Francis de Sales ended his magnificent Treatise on the Love of God with his astute observation that "All Christian wisdom consists in choosing rightly."  May the Holy Spirit guide us to choose rightly, today and every day. 
Holy Spirit, “free us always” from “the way of selfishness, which eventually ends badly” and give us “a heart able to love with humility and meekness.”  ~Pope Francis

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Learning how to pray...

But we well know that prayer cannot be taken for granted. We have to learn to pray: as it were learning this art ever anew from the lips of the Divine Master himself, like the first disciples: "Lord, teach us to pray!" (Lk 11:1). Prayer develops that conversation with Christ which makes us his intimate friends: "Abide in me and I in you" (Jn 15:4). This reciprocity is the very substance and soul of the Christian life, and the condition of all true pastoral life. Wrought in us by the Holy Spirit, this reciprocity opens us, through Christ and in Christ, to contemplation of the Father's face. Learning this Trinitarian shape of Christian prayer and living it fully, above all in the liturgy, the summit and source of the Church's life, but also in personal experience, is the secret of a truly vital Christianity, which has no reason to fear the future, because it returns continually to the sources and finds in them new life.  ~Bl. John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte

Dear Jesus, I beg you for the grace to never take prayer for granted.  Let me learn anew this day how to pray in intimate friendship with You, My Lord and My All.  Amen.

Monday, May 6, 2013

"Be on the lookout for mercies."

Be on the lookout for mercies. The more we look for them, the more of them will we see. Blessings brighten when we count them. Out of the determination of the heart the eyes see.  ~Maltbie D. Babcock,1858-1901

For your mercy is magnified even to the heavens.
~Psalm 57:10

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Blessed are you, O Mary!

Blessed are you, O Mary, silent witness of Easter!
You, O Mother of the Crucified One now risen,
who at the hour of pain and death
kept the flame of hope burning,
teach us also to be,
among the incongruities of passing time,
convinced and joyful witnesses of life and love
brought to the world by the Risen Redeemer.

~Blessed John Paul II
Urbi et Orbi, Easter 2004

Friday, May 3, 2013

First Friday ~ Blessed be the Sacred Heart of Jesus!

Everything that God wanted to tell us about himself and about his love he placed in the Heart of Jesus, and by means of that Heart he has told us everything. We find ourselves before an inscrutable mystery. In Jesus’ Heart we read the eternal divine plan of the world’s salvation. It is a plan of love....

Brothers and Sisters, meditating on God’s love, revealed in the Heart of his Son, requires a consistent response on our part. We have not been called only to contemplate the mystery of Christ’s love, but take part in it. Christ says: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (Jn 14:15). He thus places before us a great calling and at the same time a condition: if you want to love me, keep my commandments, keep God’s holy law, walk in the way that I have shown you....

“He who has my commandments and keeps them”, says Christ, “he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him” (Jn 14:21). ...the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus reminds us of God’s love, for which man yearns intensely. It shows us that the practical response to this love is the keeping of God’s commandments in our daily lives. God does not intend that they should grow dim in our memory but that they should remain forever impressed on people’s consciences so that, knowing and keeping the commandments, they “might have eternal life”.

~Bl. John Paul II, 6/6/99 Homily
My dear Jesus,
whose heart is a "burning furnace of charity",
may I honor Your Sacred Heart today and every day
by loving You in thought, word and deed.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

St. Joseph the Worker

St. Joseph the Carpenter by Georges de La Tour

In the Gospel of St. Matthew, in one of the moments when Jesus returns to his town, to Nazareth, and speaks in the synagogue, the amazement of his fellow townspeople at his wisdom is emphasized, and the question they ask: “Is not this the carpenter’s son? “(13:55). Jesus comes into our history is among us, born of Mary by the power of God, but with the presence of Saint Joseph, the legal father who cares for him and also teaches him his work. Jesus is born and lives in a family, in the Holy Family, learning the craft of carpenter from Saint Joseph in his workshop in Nazareth, sharing with him the commitment, effort, satisfaction and also the difficulties of every day.

This reminds us of the dignity and importance of work. The book of Genesis tells us that God created man and woman entrusting them with the task of filling the earth and subduing it, which does not mean exploiting it, but nurturing and protecting it, caring for it through their work (cf. Gen 1:28; 2 15). Work is part of God’s loving plan, we are called to cultivate and care for all the goods of creation and in this way participate in the work of creation! Work is fundamental to the dignity of a person. Work, to use an image, “anoints” us with dignity, fills us with dignity, makes us similar to God, who has worked and still works, who always acts (cf. Jn 5:17); it gives you the ability to maintain ourselves, our family, to contribute to the growth of our nation. And here I think of the difficulties which, in various countries, today afflicts the world of work and business; I think of how many, and not just young people, are unemployed, many times due to a purely economic conception of society, which seeks selfish profit, beyond the parameters of social justice. not lose hope; St. Joseph also experienced moments of difficulty, but he never lost faith and was able to overcome them, in the certainty that God never abandons us.

....Dear brothers and sisters, we ask Saint Joseph and the Virgin Mary, who teach us to be faithful to our daily tasks, to live our faith in the actions of everyday life and to give more space to the Lord in our lives, to stop to contemplate His face.

Thank you, dear Lord, for the work You give me to do! Amen. Alleluia!