Thursday, July 31, 2014

Lord, today is the day I begin!

You have become old in spirit and are already dying, and have no strength anymore. You have become enervated by the affairs of daily life and fallen into lethargy just like old men who, once they have given up all hope of regaining strength, expect nothing but to fall asleep. But if you repent, you will become quite new again.  ~Hermas
Dear Lord, please give me a new heart and a new spirit that I may better love and serve You and all Your beloved children.  Amen.  Alleluia!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Take, Lord, Receive!

"I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship."  ~Romans 12:1

Transform me into Yourself, O Jesus, that I may be a living sacrifice and pleasing to You. I desire to atone at each moment for poor sinners. The sacrifice of my spirit is hidden under the veil of the body; the human eye does not perceive it, and for that reason it is pure and pleasing to You.  ~St. Maria Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, #908

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Gate

I am the gate; if anyone enters by me, he will be saved.  ~John 10:9


No one compels you, traveler; 
this road or that road, make your choice! 
Dust or mud, heat or cold, 
fellowship or solitude, 
foul weather or a fairer sky, 
the choice is yours as you go by! 

But here if you would take this path 
there is a gate whose latch is love, 
whose key is single and which swings 
upon the hinge of faithfulness, 

and none can mock, who seeks this way, 
the king we worship shamelessly. 
If you would enter, traveler, 
Into this city fair and wide, 
it is forever and you leave 
all trappings of the self outside.

~Jane Tyson Clement

Please open wide that gate, dear Lord as I'm planning on coming in -- and yes, I'll leave all my baggage behind!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The secret of joy...

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

"This is the secret of joy.  We shall no longer strive for our own way, but commit ourselves, easily and simply to God's way, acquiesce in His will and in so doing find our peace."  
~Evelyn Underhill

Dear Lord, may mine be the joy of surrendering all to You.  Amen.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Weeds and Flowers

"The kingdom of heaven may be likened
to a man who sowed good seed in his field."
~Matthew 13:24

one is a weed
and which is a flower?

Who is a sinner and who is a saint?

Are we each?

you wait for us
in patience and kindness

as we, 
with your help,
work with our weeds.

Thank you for your tolerance.

Make us patient
with others. 

Copyright © 2014, Anne M. Osdieck.  Permission is hereby granted to reproduce for personal or parish use.

Monday, July 21, 2014

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.  
~John Burroughs

Ave Maria!  Wow, my day has barely begun and already it's too short!  "Crammed with riches" comes to mind, which I believe is a quote from Jean-Pierre de Caussade but I'll have to check that out later because I'm out the door in a few moments.  Enough to know that this day is God's gift to each one of us -- ah, such joy indeed!

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it. ~Psalm 118:22

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Let them grow together until the harvest.  ~Mark 13:30

“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but when all were asleep his enemy came and sowed darnel among the wheat.” (Mark 13:24-25)

Now as the Lord himself explains, the darnel is the offspring of the evil one. They bear his mark because they behave the way he does: they are seeds of his sowing, and his children by adoption. Harvest time will be the end of the world, for although it began long since and continues now through death, only then will all things come to an end.

The reapers are the angels, for they are, and will be especially at that time, the servants of the King of heaven. As Scripture says: “Just as the darnel is collected and burnt in the fire, so it will be at the end of the world. The Son of Man, who is also the Son of the Father Most High, will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all evildoers and every cause of sin.”

And so the Lord’s servants, the angels of God, seeing the darnel in the field, that is, wicked and impious folk living among good people, and that even within the Church, said to the Lord: “Do you wish us to go and gather it up?” In other words, “Shall we kill them, to remove them from the earth?” But the Lord’s reply was: “No, for fear that in collecting the darnel you may also uproot the wheat.”

How then would the wheat, the good people, be uprooted as well if the angels gathered up the darnel, cutting off the wicked by death to separate them from the just? The fact is that many godless sinners who live among people who are upright and devout repent in time and are converted, and by learning new habits of piety and virtue they cease to be darnel and become wheat.

And so some wheat would be uprooted in the gathering of the darnel if the angels snatched the wicked away before they repented. Moreover, many while living evil lives produce children of good disposition, or they may have other rightly disposed descendants.

This is why he who sees everything before it comes into being would not permit the darnel to be uprooted until the appointed time. But he says: At harvest time I will say to the reapers: “First collect the darnel and bind it in bundles to be burnt, but gather the wheat into my barn.”

Those therefore who wish to be saved from eternal punishment and to inherit the everlasting kingdom of God must be not darnel but wheat. They must avoid saying or doing anything evil or useless, and practice the opposite virtues, thus bringing forth the fruits of repentance.

In this way they will become worthy of the heavenly granary; they will be called children of the Father Most High, and as heirs will enter his kingdom rejoicing, resplendent with divine glory.

To this may we all attain through the grace and loving kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with his eternal Father and the most holy, good, and life-giving Spirit belongs glory now and always and for endless ages. Amen.

Gregory Palamas, 1296-1359

Friday, July 18, 2014


"I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!"  
~Luke 12:49"

God is a brazier of love. Prayer brings us near to Him, and in coming near to Him, we are caught by His fire."  ~Dom Augustin Guillerand, 1877-1945, French Carthusian monk
Dear Lord, I want to be caught by Your fire, but I'm afraid to be caught on fire.  Please, help me!  O Jesus, King of Love, I trust in Your loving mercy!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

One step at a time...

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

Those who would climb to a lofty height
must go by steps, not leaps.  
~St. Gregory the Great

Dear Father, 
in your loving kindness,
guide my every step to You.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Pope Francis Prays for Peace

"Peace, peace, to the far and to the near, says the Lord; and I will heal him."  ~Isaiah 56:19

“Lord help us! Give us your peace, teach us peace, guide us towards peace. Open our eyes and our hearts and give us the courage to say 'never again war!': with war all is destroyed! Give us the courage to perform concrete gestures to build peace. Make us available to listen to the cries of our fellow citizens who ask us to transform our arms into instruments of peace, our fears into trust, our tension into forgiveness. Amen”.  ~Pope Francis, 7/13/14

"Open my eyes and my ears that I may this coming day be able to do some work of peace for Thee."  ~Alan Paton

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

A sower went out to sow.  ~Matthew 13:3

Dearly beloved, the reading from the holy gospel about the sower requires no explanation, but only a word of warning. In fact the explanation has been given by Truth himself, and it cannot be disputed by a frail human being.

However, there is one point in our Lord’s exposition which you ought to weigh well. It is this. If I told you that the seed represented the word, the field the world, the birds the demons, and the thorns riches, you would perhaps be in two minds as to whether to believe me.

Therefore the Lord himself deigned to explain what he had said, so that you would know that a hidden meaning is to be sought also in those passages which he did not wish to interpret himself.

Would anyone have believed me if I had said that thorns stood for riches? After all, thorns are piercing and riches pleasurable. And yet riches are thorns because thoughts of them pierce the mind and torture it. When finally they lure a person into sin, it is as though they were drawing blood from the wound they have inflicted.

According to another evangelist, the Lord spoke in this parable not simply of riches but of deceptive riches, and with good reason. Riches are deceptive because they cannot stay with us for long; they are deceptive because they are incapable of relieving our spiritual poverty.

The only true riches are those that make us rich in virtue.

Therefore, if you want to be rich, beloved, love true riches. If you aspire to the heights of real honor, strive to reach the kingdom of heaven. If you value rank and renown, hasten to be enrolled in the heavenly court of the angels.

Store up in your minds the Lord’s words which you receive through your ears, for the word of the Lord is the nourishment of the mind. When his word is heard but not stored away in the memory, it is like food which has been eaten and then rejected by an upset stomach.

A person’s life is despaired of if he cannot retain his food; so if you receive the food of holy exhortations, but fail to store in your memory those words of life which nurture righteousness, you have good reason to fear the danger of everlasting death.

Be careful, then, that the word you have received through your ears remains in your heart. Be careful that the seed does not fall along the path, for fear that the evil spirit may come and take it from your memory.

Be careful that the seed is not received in stony ground, so that it produces a harvest of good works without the roots of perseverance.

Many people are pleased with what they hear and resolve to undertake some good work, but as soon as difficulties begin to arise and hinder them they leave the work unfinished.

The stony ground lacked the necessary moisture for the sprouting seed to yield the fruit of perseverance.

Good earth, on the other hand, brings forth fruit by patience. The reason for this is that nothing we do is good unless we also bear with equanimity the injuries done us by our neighbors.

In fact, the more we progress, the more hardships we shall have to endure in this world; for when our love for this present world dies, its sufferings increase.

This is why we see many people doing good works and at the same time struggling under a heavy burden of afflictions. They now shun earthly desires, and yet they are tormented by greater sufferings

But, as the Lord said, they bring forth fruit by patience, because, since they humbly endure misfortunes, they are welcomed when these are over into a place of rest in heaven.

~St. Gregory the Great, c 540-604

Dear Lord, transform our hearts into good earth for Your precious seed. Amen.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

"To surrender all that we are, as we are..."

"Be it done to me according to thy word."  ~Luke 1:38

"We are all asked if we will surrender what we are, our humanity, our flesh and blood, to the Holy Spirit and allow Christ to fill the emptiness formed by the particular shape of our life.

"The surrender that is asked of us includes complete and absolute trust; it must be like Our Lady's surrender, without condition and without reservation.

"We shall not be asked to do more than the Mother of God; we shall not be asked to become extraordinary or set apart or to make a hard and fast rule of life or to compile a manual of mortifications or heroic resolutions; we shall not be asked to cultivate our souls like rare hot-house flowers; we shall not, most of us, even be allowed to do that.

"What we shall be asked is to give our flesh and blood, our daily life -- our thoughts, our service to one another, our affections and loves, our words, our intellect, our waking, working, and sleeping, our ordinary human joys and sorrows -- to God.

"To surrender all that we are, as we are, to the Spirit of Love in order that our lives my bear Christ into the world -- that is what we shall be asked.

"Our Lady has made this possible.  Her fiat was for herself and for us, but if we want God's will to be completed in us as it is in her, we must echo her fiat."

~Caryll Houselander in The Reed of God

Ave Maria! Mother of our Lord, let me echo your fiat that I may bear Christ into the world.

Friday, July 11, 2014

"We must live in those upper reaches..."

So come!  Never mind weariness, illness, lack of feeling, irritability, exhaustion, the snares of the devil and of men, with all that they create of distrust, jealousy, prejudice and evil imaginings.  Let us soar like an eagle above these clouds, with our eyes fixed on the sun and its rays, which are our desires.  We cannot help being aware of all these evils, of course, and we cannot be indifferent to them, but let us never forget that ours is not a life governed by our feelings.  We must live in those upper reaches of the spiritual life where God and his will are active in a process which is eternal and unchanging.  There, he who is uncreated, immeasurable and cannot be described by human words, will keep us far removed from all the shadows and turmoils of the world.  We shall feel through our senses countless disturbances, it is true, but they will all disappear like the clouds in a windswept sky.  God and his will are the eternal objects which captivate every faithful soul; and when the day of glory arrives, they will be our true happiness.  ~Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade, S.J. in Abandonment to Divine Providence

Set me high upon the rock too high for me to reach.  ~Psalm 61(60):3

Thursday, July 10, 2014

"The first rule of Christian charity..."

"Make love your aim."  ~1 Corinthians 14:1

"The first rule of Christian charity -- 
to believe no ill, if we have not seen it; 
and to be silent, if we have seen it." 

~St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

Monday, July 7, 2014

"The great method of prayer"

"Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her."  
~Hosea 2:14

"The great method of prayer is to have no method at all. When the Holy Spirit has taken possession of the person who prays, it does as it pleases without any more need for rules or methods. The soul must be in God's hands like clay in the hands of a potter so that he might fashion all sorts of parts. Or the soul must be like soft wax to receive a seal's impressions, or like a blank tablet upon which the Holy Spirit can write the divine will.

"If, going to prayer, one can become pure capacity for receiving the spirit of God, that will suffice for any method. Prayer must happen by grace not by artfulness. Go to prayer by faith, remain there in hope and go out only by charity which requires simply that one act and suffer."

~St. Jane Frances de Chantal

Dear God, help me become pure capacity for receiving Your spirit.  Amen.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The mystical chrism of meekness and humility

"'Learn of me,' he says, 'for I am meek and humble of heart' (Matthew 11:29).  Humility perfects us with respect to God, and meekness with respect to our neighbor .... balm, which sinks deeper than any other liquid, symbolizes humility, while olive oil, which always rises to the top, symbolizes meekness and mildness, which rise above all things and stand out among the virtues as the flower of charity.  According to St. Bernard, it is perfect when it is not only patient but also meek and mild.  Take care...that this mystical chrism compounded of meekness and humility is found within your heart."  ~St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life (Book 3, Chapter 8)

Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make our hearts like Yours!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ

"You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot."  ~1 Peter 1:17

Ave Maria! In the Catholic Church, the month of July is devoted to the Blood of Christ. On the calendar for the Traditional Latin Mass, yesterday, July 1, was the Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The liturgy for the day -- both the Mass and the Divine Office -- provided such riches for prayer and meditation that my cup is still overflowing. Then there are the treasures that the Church has wisely and lovingly preserved over the years, such as the following prayer by St. Albert the Great. Of course, nothing can compare to praying to our dear Lord from our hearts in our own words or even in utter silence, but the prayers of the fathers and mothers of our Church teach me much and guide me along the sometimes dark and narrow way. How thankful I am for their wisdom and holiness!

Blessed be His Most Precious  Blood!

"I adore You, O Precious Blood of Jesus, flower of creation, fruit of virginity, ineffable instrument of the Holy Spirit, and I rejoice at the thought that You came from the drop of virginal blood on which eternal Love impressed its movement; You were assumed by the Word and deified in His person. I am overcome with emotion when I think of Your passing from the Blessed Virgin's heart into the heart of the Word, and, being vivified by the breath of the Divinity, becoming adorable because You became the Blood of God. 

"I adore You enclosed in the veins of Jesus, preserved in His humanity like the manna in the golden urn, the memorial of the eternal Redemption which He accomplished during the days of His earthly life. I adore You, Blood of the new, eternal Testament, flowing from the veins of Jesus in Gethsemane, from the flesh torn by scourges in the Praetorium, from His pierced hands and feet and from His opened side on Golgotha. I adore You in the Sacraments, in the Eucharist, where I know You are substantially present.... 

"I place my trust in You, O adorable Blood, our Redemption, our regeneration. Fall, drop by drop, into the hearts that have wandered from You and soften their hardness. O adorable Blood of Jesus, wash our stains, save us from the anger of the avenging angel. Irrigate the Church; make her fruitful with Apostles and miracle-workers, enrich her with souls that are holy, pure and radiant with divine beauty."

~St. Albert the Great