Thursday, February 28, 2013

This just in -- Cardinal DiNardo blogging from Rome!

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo in Rome
Ave Maria!  Actually, this information was on the Houston Chronicle Web site last night, so it's really not "just in," but I've always had a liking for that phrase and decided to use it now.  Whatever, go here for the Chronicle article "Cardinal DiNardo blogs as conclave for new pope begins." 

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo is, of course, the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.  I'm looking forward to following his blog, "When in Rome," over these next couple of weeks and am most grateful to the Cardinal for taking the time to keep us, his flock, informed of the goings-on in Rome right now.  "When in Rome" is part of our Archdiocese's resource page on the Papal Conclave 2013

Cardinal DiNardo's reflections on the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI and its theological importance can be found here.  The Cardinal says that "If there were two concepts and realities that have been the focus of his teaching as Pope they would be: 'Caritas' (Love) and 'Logos' (Word). The two terms represent a consolidation of his thinking both as Pope and as a major Theologian."  The Cardinal refers to Pope Benedict's first encyclical, “Deus Caritas Est” (“God is Love”) and notes that this "was actually the first time that any pope had written specifically on this major reality. The writing is both accessible to a large audience but can also be read with attention to its great depth in terms of quotation of others and theological analysis."  This encyclical, the Cardinal adds, "is both a reminder of who we are and an invitation to discover the fundamental gifts that both human and divine love are in this world and beyond this world."  In closing, the Cardinal prays "May the Lord Jesus continue to bless Benedict, one of His most obedient servants in the line of Succession of St. Peter."  AMEN!!!  And may our dear Lord continue to bless Cardinal DiNardo, richly and abundantly.  Amen!

We love you, dear Holy Father!

Pope Benedict XVI waves as he leaves his final general audience 
in Peter's Square at the Vatican on February 27, 2013.
"I would like to invite everyone to renew their firm trust in the Lord, to entrust ourselves like children to God's arms, certain that those arms always hold us up and are what allow us to walk forward each day, even when it is a struggle. I would like everyone to feel beloved of that God who gave His Son for us and who has shown us His boundless love. I would like everyone to feel the joy of being Christian. In a beautiful prayer, which can be recited every morning, say: 'I adore you, my God and I love you with all my heart. Thank you for having created me, for having made me Christian...' Yes, we are happy for the gift of faith. It is the most precious thing, which no one can take from us! Let us thank the Lord for this every day, with prayer and with a coherent Christian life. God loves us, but awaits us to also love Him!”

~Pope Benedict XVI, Final General Audience, 2/27/13

I adore you, my God, and I love you with all my heart!
Thank you for having created Joseph Ratzinger,
for having made him Pope Benedict XVI,
pontiff of love and servant of the truth,
and for giving him the vision and strength,
the wisdom, courage and humility
to serve us and to shepherd us
and to help us become,
with him and like him,
Your cooperators of the truth.
As His Holiness continues "to accompany the Church's journey
through prayer and reflection,"
accompany him with the light and strength of Your Spirit
until that glorious day
when You call him home to You.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Just passing through...

Photography by Ann L. Krumrein

"For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the one which is to come."  ~Hebrews 13:14

There is a well-known story of a wealthy businessman who was passing through Radin, Poland and took advantage of the opportunity to visit the Chofetz Chaim.  The Chofetz Chaim was Yisrael Meir Kagan, a famous rabbi in Eastern Europe at the time.  The tourist was astounded by the lack of furniture in the Chofetz Chaim's home and asked, Rabbi, where is your furniture?"  Like many rabbis, the Chofetz Chaim answered the question with a question.  He asked the tourist, “Where is your furniture?”  “Mine?” replied the tourist, “But I’m only a visitor here.  I’m only passing through.”   “So am I,” said the rabbi.

"For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."  2 Corinthians 5:1

Dear Father,
Lord of heaven and earth,
to You I give thanks and praise
for the home you have made for me
from all eternity.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Our Father, who are in heaven...

"Our citizenship is in heaven."  ~Philippians 3:20

LL Ori and the Orion Nebula
"And if you, our Father, are in heaven, then our home is heaven.  We belong there, because we belong to you.  We must not live or love as if we belonged here.  We must be glad to be going there.  We must have confidence in getting there, because of you.   Your Son told us, 'Fear not, little flock: for it hath pleased your Father to lay up a  kingdom for you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  I ascend to my Father and to your Father....'

"You love us and design and will our whole happiness in love.  'Eye hath not seen...what happiness God has prepared for those that love him.'  But we know that heaven is home.  Your Son revealed you in homely terms and heaven in homely terms.  It is the home of the family circle, completed and fulfilled.  His Mother and ours, soul and body in heaven, shows us that we, too, are to be fulfilled, soul and body, our whole human person, and that our relationships and love are to be brought to the completion that can be given only in your divine unity in the love of your Holy Spirit.

"Father, if I am there to you in heaven, you in heaven are here to me.  Let me have something of your heaven in my heart now, that my heart may hold to you more gladly."

~H.P.C. Lyons, S.J., Praying Our Prayers
"Father, I adore you,
lay my life before you,
how I love you!"

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Holy Father on the Transfiguration of Our Lord

"Meditating on this passage of the Gospel (Luke 9:28B-36), we can take from it a very important teaching. First of all, there is the primacy of prayer, without which all of the work of the apostolate and charity is reduced to activism. During Lent we learn to give the right amount of time to both personal and communal prayer, which gives breath to our spiritual life. Moreover, to pray is not to isolate oneself from the world and its contradictions, as Peter wished to do on Tabor. Prayer, rather, leads us back to the journey, to action. 'The Christian life,' I wrote in my Message for this Lent, 'consists in continuously scaling the mountain to meet God and then coming back down, bearing the love and strength drawn from him, so as to serve our brothers and sisters with God’s own love' (n. 3). 

"Dear brothers and sisters, I hear this Word of God addressed to me in a special way during this moment of my life. Thank you! The Lord is calling me to 'scale the mountain,' to dedicate myself still more to prayer and to meditation. But this does not mean abandoning the Church – on the contrary, if God asks this of me, it is to serve the Church with the same dedication and the same love with which I have tried to do so hitherto, but in a way that is more adapted to my age and my strength. Let us invoke the intercession of the Virgin Mary: may she help us always to follow the Lord Jesus in prayer and in active charity."
~Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus Message of 2/24/13
The heights of the mountains are his.  ~Psalm 95(94):4

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Second Sunday of Lent

"As Jesus prayed, the aspect of his face was changed and his clothing became brilliant as lightning."  ~Luke 9:29

With three chosen disciples Jesus went up the mountain. Then he was transfigured by a wonderful light that made even his clothes seem to shine. Moses and Elijah stood by him and spoke with him of how he was going to complete his task on earth by dying in Jerusalem.

In other words, they spoke of the mystery of his incarnation, and of his saving passion upon the cross.

For the law of Moses and the teaching of the holy prophets clearly foreshadowed the mystery of Christ. The law portrayed it by types and symbols inscribed on tablets.

The prophets in many ways foretold that in his own time he would appear, clothed in human nature, and that for the salvation of all our race he would not refuse to suffer death upon the cross.

The presence of Moses and Elijah, and their speaking together, was meant to show unmistakably that the law and the prophets were the attendants of our Lord Jesus Christ.

He was their master, whom they had themselves pointed out in advance in prophetic words that proved their perfect harmony with one another. The message of the prophets was in no way at variance with the precepts of the law.

Moses and Elijah did not simply appear in silence; they spoke of how Jesus was to complete his task by dying in Jerusalem, they spoke of his passion and cross, and of the resurrection that would follow.

Thinking no doubt that the time for the kingdom of God had already come, Peter would gladly have remained on the mountain. He suggested putting up three tents, hardly knowing what he was saying.

But it was not yet time for the end of the world; nor was it in this present time that the hopes of the saints would be fulfilled -- those hopes founded on Paul’s promise that Christ "would transform our lowly bodies into the likeness of his glorious body." Only the initial stage of the divine plan had as yet been accomplished.

Until its completion was it likely that Christ, who came on earth for love of the world, would give up his wish to die for it? For his submitting to death was the world’s salvation, and his resurrection was death’s destruction.

As well as the vision of Christ’s glory, wonderful beyond all description, something else occurred which was to serve as a vital confirmation, not only of the disciples’s faith, but of ours as well.

From a cloud on high came the voice of God the Father saying: "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him."

~ St. Cyril of Alexandria, Homily 9 on the Transfiguration

O God,
who have commanded us
to listen to your beloved Son,
be pleased, we pray,
to nourish us inwardly by your word,
that, with spiritual sight made pure,
we may rejoice to behold your glory.
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.
Collect, Second Sunday of Lent
The Roman Missal

Saturday, February 23, 2013

"prick up the ears of your heart"

"The conversion of souls is the working of the divine, not the human voice... It is from him alone that we must hope for results. We must ask him for it, so that our voice may be in harmony with the voice of majesty. May I suggest then that you prick up the ears of your heart in order to hear this inner voice and that you make an effort to hear God speaking within rather than the man speaking without... Nor do we have much difficulty in hearing this voice; the difficulty is rather in stopping our ears from hearing it. For that voice offers itself, presents itself, and never ceases to knock at the door of each one of us."

~St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Ave Maria!  Upon reading the above gem from St. Bernard that appeared in my email box this morning, I immediately thought of our dear Blessed Mother Mary.  Ave Maria!  She is the one par excellence who pricked up the ears of her heart to hear that inner voice of which St. Bernard speaks.  When the Voice of Majesty knocked at her door, Our Lady not only heard and opened her heart but also was in such complete harmony with the Divine Voice that the Word became flesh and made its home within her (John 1:4).  Ave Maria! 

Dear Mary, Mother of the Incarnate Word, help me to humbly welcome as you did the engrafted Word, which is able to save our souls (James 1:21).

Friday, February 22, 2013

Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, apostle

"You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church.  And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and to you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven." ~Matthew 16:18

Ave Maria! Saint of the Day at American Catholic sums up the significance of today's feast simply but powerfully: "This feast commemorates Christ’s choosing Peter to sit in his place as the servant-authority of the whole Church."

Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself chose St. Peter as the first pope to shepherd His church "in His place." St. Peter didn't claim this position for himself nor did the first apostles or the early church assign it to him. This was all our Lord's doing, recounted in Matthew 16:13-20. And Christ, chief Shepherd and prince of pastors, selected Peter before He was crucified and died and rose from the dead -- that is, before Peter, who had boldly declared "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God" (John 16:16), gutlessly denied His Lord and Master three times. St. John the Evangelist tells us that Jesus "knew what was in man" (John 2:25), yet in spite of His knowledge of Peter's human frailty, He entrusted to him the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

Christ continues to entrust these sacred keys to men of His own choosing until the end of time.

Our Lord also continues to pray for these men as He did for Peter: "I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail" (Luke 22:32).

"O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are his judgments, and how unsearchable his ways!" (Romans 11:33)

In light of the upcoming conclave to select Pope Benedict XVI's successor, today's feast renews our faith and hope in God alone. Today is an excellent day to thank and praise our Lord for His Church and for our Holy Father as well as to pray for our Holy Father and the cardinals who will select his successor. Jesus, we trust in You!

It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God.
For you, eternal Shepherd,
do not desert your flock,
but through the blessed Apostles
watch over it and protect it always,
so that it may be governed
by those who have appointed shepherds
to lead it in the name of your Son.
And so, with Angels and Archangels,
with Thrones and Dominions,
and with all the hosts and Powers of heaven,
we sing the hymn of your glory,
as without end we acclaim:
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts...
Preface I of Apostles, The Roman Missal

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Praise and beauty are before him:
holiness and majesty in his sanctuary.
~Psalm 96:6
Ave Maria!  I wish I knew a bit more about this image of outer space but can find no such information on the Web.  Sometimes when my soul is feeling hemmed in for various and sundry reasons, I go to NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day to have my mind boggled and my heart stretched.  Works every time!  I can always hear our dear Lord inviting me, "Come up, higher my friend...'and adoring bend the knee.'"
O Lord our Lord, how majestic is Your name in the whole earth!
For Your magnificence is elevated above the heavens.
Psalm 8:1

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Father's Love

"How does Jesus resist the temptations of the devil?  He is not relying on moral strength or trying hard to adhere to a code of ethics.  It is Jesus' unwavering love, trust, and affection for his Father which renders the devil and his temptations powerless.

"...Jesus sees everything, from bread to all the kingdoms of the world, as meaningless without the love of his Father.  When the devil tempts Jesus to test his Father's love, Jesus knows that love which is manipulated is not love at all and cannot compare to the free and abundant Love which is his Father.

"The devil wants Jesus to doubt the Father and to conceive of himself without the Father; for when Jesus' heart is with his Father, the devil's temptations are revealed for the nothingness that they are.

"As long as I conceive of myself as alone, and as long as I conceive of God as far away from the truest and deepest longings of my heart, I will always sin.  I will continually set my heart on things that will never answer its infinite longing.

"...Our hope is not in our strength, but in gazing upon Christ who first gazes upon us."

~Father Richard Veras, The Magnificat Lent Companion, Lent 2013

Lord, show us the Father,
and it is enough for us.
~John 14:8

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

"Power belongs to darkness..."

"Finally, the Devil showed Christ all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said: All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. All Christ had to do in return was to worship the donor instead of God -- which, of course, he could not do. How interesting, though, that power should be at the Devil's disposal, and only attainable through an understanding with him! Many have thought otherwise, and sought power in the belief that by its exercise they could lead men to brotherhood and happiness and peace, invariably with disastrous consequences. Always in the end the bargain with the Devil has to be fulfilled -- as any Stalin or Napoleon or Cromwell must testify. I am the light of the world, Christ said; power belongs to darkness."  ~Malcolm Muggeridge

Ave Maria!  Along with being the cunning father of lies, the devil is also the nefarious prince of darkness.  The above image comes to mind.  It is from that haunting scene "Night on Bald Mountain" in the Walt Disney movie "Fantasia."  Go here to check it out in all its gruesomeness. Viewing it in full screen will likely chill your soul.  It's not a pretty picture.  The devil and his works never are, though the glamor of evil can initially fascinate us.  We will ultimately be seduced, however, unless we turn to the true light, Jesus Christ, who  told us that he came "as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness" (John 12:46). 

And it is this light, Christ Himself, who alone can and will overcome the darkness and defeat the devil.  At the close of the above scene from Fantasia, the death knell tolls, much to the horror of Satan and his minions.  His end is near as the dawn from on high rises through the tender mercy of our God (Luke 1:78).  The message is loud and clear: 
"The night is passed, and the day is at hand.  Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armour of light" (Romans 13:12).  

Today and always, let us proclaim the praises of Him who has made us His own and called us out of darkness into His marvelous light!  (1 Peter 2:10)

Dear Lord Jesus,
I beg for the grace to turn to You
and to walk in Your light,
that I may always follow and love You alone.

Monday, February 18, 2013

"Do we want to follow the 'I' or God?"

"At the beginning of his public ministry Jesus had to unmask and reject the false images of the Messiah that the tempter proposed to him. But these temptations are also false images of man, which always harass our conscience, disguising themselves as suitable, effective and even good proposals. The evangelists Matthew and Luke present 3 temptations of Jesus, differing in part only in the order. The nucleus of these temptations always consists in instrumentalizing God for our own interests, giving more importance to success or to material goods. The tempter is clever: he does not direct us immediately toward evil but toward a false good, making us believe that power and things that satiate primary needs are what is most real. In this manner God becomes secondary; he is reduced to a means, he becomes unreal, he no longer counts, he disappears. In the final analysis, faith is what is at stake in temptations because God is at stake. In the decisive moments of life and, in fact, in every moment of life, we are faced with a choice: do we want to follow the 'I' or God? Do we want to follow individual interest or rather the true Good, that which is really good?"  ~Pope Benedict XVI, 2/17/13 Angelus Message
Ave Maria!  Oh, how I appreciate the Holy Father's reminder that the devil, being the cunning father of lies, doesn't immediately tempt us with evil but with a false good.  How easy it is for me to be swayed by what appears to be good, overlooking its subtle falsity!  And yes, as the Holy Father points out, it's not just in the decisive moments of life that I am faced with a choice but also in every moment of life.  "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation" (Is 12:2)."
Dear Lord Jesus, I beg for the grace to see clearly and to choose wisely,
that I may always follow and love You alone.  Amen.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

First Sunday of Lent

Filled with the Holy Spirit,
Jesus returned from the Jordan
and was led by the Spirit
into the desert for forty days
 to be tempted by the devil. 
~Luke 4:1

Since he clings to me in love, I will free him,
protect him, for he knows my name.
When he calls on me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in distress;
I will deliver him, and give him glory.
With length of days I will content him;
I will show him my saving power.
Psalm 91(90):14-16

Friday, February 15, 2013

"The supreme sign of God's love"

"The Way of the Cross … invites all of us … to contemplate Christ crucified in order to have the force to overcome difficulties. The cross of Christ is the supreme sign of God’s love for every man and woman, the superabundant response to every person’s need for love. At times of trouble, when [we] have to face pain and adversity, let us look to Christ’s cross. There we can find the courage and strength to press on; there we can repeat with firm hope the words of Saint Paul: 'Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us' (Rom 8:35, 37)."  ~Pope Benedict XVI, 4/6/12 Address After the Stations of the Cross
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,
because by Your holy cross You have redeemed the world.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The True Disciple

Pope Benedict XVI leading the Mass on Ash Wednesday,
February 13, 2013, at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome,
his last public Mass as our Holy Father.

"The true disciple does not serve himself or the 'public', but his Lord, in simplicity and generosity: 'And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you' (Mt 6:4, 6, 18).   ~Pope Benedict XVI, Homily at Ash Wednesday Mass, 2/13/13

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for our beloved Holy Father's shining example of how to be Your true disciple.  Please bless him richly and abundantly in Your wondrous love.  Amen.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ash Wednesday

Remember that you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

God bless Pope Benedict XVI!

Ave Maria!  With  remarkable courage and extraordinary humility, our beloved Holy Father has made the pivotal decision to resign from his Petrine ministry at the end of this month.  There is nothing I can say that hasn't already been said or will be said in days to come.  All I can, do and will say are many prayers of enormous gratitude to God for giving us such a wise, loving, faithful shepherd in Pope Benedict XVI.  And with deep affection and great respect for our Holy Father, I beg our dear Lord to continue to give him strength and to bless him with peace (Ps 29:11).   Deo gratias!

May the glory of the Lord endure for ever:
the Lord shall rejoice in his works.
~Psalm 104:31

Monday, February 11, 2013

Our Lady of Lourdes

my beloved,
my beautiful one,
and come! 
O my dove in the clefts of the rock,
in the secret of the rock,
in the secret recesses of the cliff,
let me see you,
let me hear your voice." 

~Songs 2:13-14

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Here I am. Send me!

"Here Am I, Send Me" by Amanda Jolley
In the First Reading (Is 6:1-2a, 3-8), Isaiah dates a religious vision not by a day but by a death. “In the year that King Uzziah died...”

There are some things so painful for a person that events in his life can be dated by them: “in the year my son died.” A hard death of this sort divides a whole life into before and after: there is the life you had before your child died, and then there is what happened afterwards, after the death of your hopes and dreams for that child.

Sometimes in unbearable grief such as that stemming from the death of someone so loved, a person doesn’t know how to stand under his sorrow. A heartbroken person has lost something central to him; and a person can fall apart when the center doesn’t hold.

In those circumstances, a person can want to die then too; he can want to come to the Lord too. When King Uzziah died, Isaiah came to the Lord, only in a vision, where the doorposts shook and the house filled up with smoke.

The problem is that you can’t really come to the Lord before your time, and falling apart under grief gets you only an increase of sorrow. Isaiah responded to that vision of the Lord by saying “Woe is me! I am doomed!”

This is not the end of the story for Isaiah, though. An angel seared Isaiah’s mouth with a burning coal. And then Isaiah opened his mouth and offered to serve the Lord. When God asked, “whom shall I send?” Isaiah said, “Here I am. Send me.” All his most important service for the Lord came after the death that dates his vision.

When Isaiah himself finally died and came to the Lord, three kings later, he had become the foremost prophet of Israel. Because in the end he didn’t fall apart but lived after King Uzziah’s death, he produced the great prophecies of the Messiah that even now give the whole world hope.

If you can stand under your sorrow, rather than falling apart, then a new life can come through the searing grief, unimaginable to you before. If you can stand and live into the period of your life after the destruction of your heart’s desire, then God’s grace can bring life out of death for you.

~Eleonore Stump, Professor of Philosophy, Saint Louis University 

Friday, February 8, 2013

God's greatness, my smallness

" live by faith is to recognize the greatness of God and accept our smallness, our creaturely condition, letting the Lord fill it with His love and so allowing our true greatness to grow". 

~Pope Benedict XVI, 2/6/13 General Audience
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
O Lord my God, how great you are!
~Psalm 104:1

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Holy Father on Lent in the Year of Faith

“We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.” (1 Jn 4:16)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The celebration of Lent, in the context of the Year of Faith, offers us a valuable opportunity to meditate on the relationship between faith and charity: between believing in God – the God of Jesus Christ – and love, which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit and which guides us on the path of devotion to God and others...

Faith is knowing the truth and adhering to it (cf. 1 Tim 2:4); charity is 'walking' in the truth (cf. Eph 4:15).

Through faith we enter into friendship with the Lord, through charity this friendship is lived and cultivated (cf. Jn 15:14ff).

Faith causes us to embrace the commandment of our Lord and Master; charity gives us the happiness of putting it into practice (cf. Jn 13:13-17).

In faith we are begotten as children of God (cf. Jn 1:12ff); charity causes us to persevere concretely in our divine sonship, bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit (cf. Gal 5:22).

Faith enables us to recognize the gifts that the good and generous God has entrusted to us; charity makes them fruitful (cf. Mt 25:14-30). In light of the above, it is clear that we can never separate, let alone oppose, faith and charity...

The Christian life consists in continuously scaling the mountain to meet God and then coming back down, bearing the love and strength drawn from him, so as to serve our brothers and sisters with God’s own love...

Essentially, everything proceeds from Love and tends towards Love. God’s gratuitous love is made known to us through the proclamation of the Gospel. If we welcome it with faith, we receive the first and indispensable contact with the Divine, capable of making us “fall in love with Love”, and then we dwell within this Love, we grow in it and we joyfully communicate it to others...

Dear brothers and sisters, in this season of Lent, as we prepare to celebrate the event of the Cross and Resurrection – in which the love of God redeemed the world and shone its light upon history – I express my wish that all of you may spend this precious time rekindling your faith in Jesus Christ, so as to enter with him into the dynamic of love for the Father and for every brother and sister that we encounter in our lives. For this intention, I raise my prayer to God, and I invoke the Lord’s blessing upon each individual and upon every community!

~Pope Benedict XVI, Message for Lent 2013

Dear Lord Jesus, increase my faith and bring me to the fullness of charity.  Amen.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

On my to-do list for today...

"Or how can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye?'"  ~Lk 6:42

"Everything that is unconscious in ourselves we discover in our neighbor and we treat him accordingly.  We no longer subject him to the test of drinking poison; we do not burn him or put screws on him; but we injure him by means of moral verdicts pronounced with the deepest conviction.  What we combat in him is usually our own inferior side."  ~Carl Jung

Help me, dear Lord, to see the log in my own eye -- and to do something about it.  Amen.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


I come in the little things,
Saith the Lord:
My starry wings
I do forsake,
Love’s highway of humility to take...

~from "Immanence" by Evelyn Underhill

Monday, February 4, 2013

"The great glory of charity is to understand."

Our Lord gave Himself to all: 
to children,
to sinners (the Magdalene, Simon, the adulterous woman, those possessed by devils),
to the timid (Nicodemus),
to the discouraged (the disciples of Emmaus),
to condemned criminals (the thieves on the cross).

He showed no preferences, unless it were for the most distressed;
He took the lost sheep upon His shoulders.
He adapted Himself to all.

It was in imitation of this model that St. Paul became all things to all men that he might win them to Christ (1 Cor 9:22).

The good Master did not crush the broken reed,
nor did He extinguish the smoking flax.

When questions were put, He answered them;
when they asked Him how to pray, He taught them.

Indeed you might say that He did nothing else but place Himself at the disposal of any who wished to ask Him a question or a favor.

He never seemed to be in a hurry.

It is difficult to open your heart to one who appears always to be preoccupied or busy.
"Seeing the multitudes, he went up into the mountain.  And when he was set down his disciples came unto him." (Mt 5:1)

On another occasion:  "Jesus going out of the house, sat by the seashore ... and he went up into a boat and sat" (Mt 13:1-2) ... "On a certain day ... he sat teaching" (Lk 5:17).
What a lesson for us!  Sitting down was equivalent to saying:  "See, I am at your disposal, I am entirely at your service.  I am most interested in what you have to say to me."

George Duhamel once wrote:  "The majority of people seem to suffer from a sense of neglect; they are unhappy because nobody takes them in hand, nobody is ready to accept the confidences they offer."

And Ernest Hello, more briefly:  "The great glory of charity is to understand."

~Rev. Raoul Plus, S.J. in Radiating Christ

Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
make my heart like Yours.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

17th World Day for Consecrated Life, February 2/3, 2913

We should never forget that consecrated life, before being a commitment of men and women, is a gift which comes from on high, an initiative of the Father "who draws his creatures to himself with a special love and for a special mission" (Vita Consecrata,17). This look of special love profoundly touches the heart of the one called, who is urged by the Holy Spirit to place himself or herself in the footsteps of Christ, in a particular way of following him, by means of assuming the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty, and obedience. A stupendous gift!

Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ and of the Church, look upon the men and women whom your Son has called to follow him in total consecration to his love: may they always let the Spirit guide them; may they be tireless in giving of themselves and in serving the Lord, so as to be faithful witnesses to the joy that flows from the Gospel, and preachers of the Truth that leads human beings to the springs of immortal life. Amen!

~Bl. John Paul II, 2/2/00

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

"...a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel."
~Luke 2:32

“Christ himself says, ‘I am the light of the world.’ And we are the light, we ourselves, if we receive it from him.... But how do we receive it, how do we make it shine? ...[T]he candle tells us: by burning, and being consumed in the burning. A spark of fire, a ray of love, an inevitable immolation are celebrated over that pure, straight candle, as, pouring forth its gift of light, it exhausts itself in silent sacrifice.”  ~Pope Paul VI
Dear Lord Jesus, on this gladsome feast of Your presentation in the temple, I ask for the grace to exhaust myself in silent sacrifice.  O, consume me in the fire of Your love!  Amen.

Friday, February 1, 2013


I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth!  ~Matthew 11:25
The love of God the Father never fails, He never tires of us; He is love that gives to the extreme, even to the sacrifice of His Son. Faith gives us this certainty, which becomes a secure rock in constructing our lives: we can face all the moments of difficulty and danger, the experience of the darkness of crisis and of times of pain, supported by our faith that God does not leave us alone and is always near, to save us and bring us to eternal life… 
The fatherhood of God, then, is infinite love, tenderness that stoops over us, weak children, in need of everything. Psalm 103, the great hymn of divine mercy, proclaims: "As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him, for he knows how we were made, he remembers that we are dust" (vv. 13-14). It is precisely our littleness, our weak human nature, our fragility that becomes an appeal to the Lord's mercy for Him to manifest His greatness and tenderness as a Father by helping us, forgiving us and saving us… 

So when we say "I believe in God the Father Almighty," we express our faith in the power of the love of God who in his Son dead and risen defeats hatred, evil, sin and opens us to eternal life, that of children who want to be always in the "Father's House". To say “I believe in God the Father Almighty”, in his power, in his way of being Father, is always an act of faith, of conversion, of transformation of our mind, of all our affection, of our entire way of life…. 

Dear brothers and sisters, we ask the Lord to sustain our faith, to help us truly discover faith and to give us the strength to proclaim Christ crucified and risen and to bear witness to him in the love of God and neighbor. And God grant that we may receive the gift of our "sonship", to live fully the reality of the Creed, in trusting abandonment to the love of the Father and His merciful omnipotence that saves. Thank you.
~Pope Benedict XVI, 1/30/13 General Audience
Father, I adore you
Lay my life before you
How I love you!