Friday, May 30, 2014

The Peace of Jesus

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid.  ~John 14:27

"The peace of Jesus is a Person, the Holy Spirit! On the same day of the Resurrection, He comes to the Upper Room and His greeting is: 'Peace be with you. Receive the Holy Spirit.' This is the peace of Jesus: it is a Person, it is a great gift . And when the Holy Spirit is in our hearts, no one can remove His peace. No one! It is a definitive peace! So what is our task? To custody this peace. Safeguard it! It is a great peace, a peace that is not mine, is belongs to another Person who gives it to me, another Person who is in my heart and accompanies me all the days of my life. The Lord has given it to me...  If you have this peace of the Spirit, if you have the Holy Spirit within you, and you are aware of this, let not your heart be troubled. Be sure! Paul told us that we must first pass through many tribulations to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. But we all, all of us, we have so many, everyone! Some bigger, some smaller... 'But let not your heart be troubled,' and this is the peace of Jesus. The presence of the Spirit that makes our heart be at peace. Not anesthetized, no! At peace! Aware, but at peace with the peace that only God's presence gives."  ~Pope Francis, 5/20/14 Homily

For you shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace. ~Isaiah 55:12

Dear Jesus, Prince of Peace, today I will rest in Your peace.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Mary's Faith

"It would be very far from the truth to think that the divine mysteries were so revealed to Mary, and the divinity of Jesus was so evident to her that she had no need of faith. Excepting the Annunciation and the events surrounding the birth of Jesus, we do not find any extraordinary manifestations of the supernatural in her life. Mary lived by pure faith, trusting in God's word even as we must. The divine mysteries which took place in her and around her remained habitually hidden under the veil of faith, assuming an outward appearance common to the various circumstances of ordinary daily  life. Hence, they were often concealed under obscure, disconcerting aspects such as, the extreme poverty in which Jesus was born, the necessity of fleeing into exile in order to save Him, the King of heaven, from the wrath of an earthly king, the toil undergone to procure for Him the strict necessities, and the lack of even these, perhaps. Yet Mary never doubted that this weak, helpless Child, who needed her maternal care and protection just like any other child, was the Son of God.  She always believed, even when she did not understand. Witness for example, the unexpected disappearance of the twelve-year-old Boy who had remained in the Temple without His parents' knowledge. St. Luke relates that when Jesus explained His action, giving as a reason that He was carrying out the mission entrusted to Him by His heavenly Father, Mary and Joseph "did not understand His words" (cf. 2,50). Although Mary knew that Jesus was the Messiah, she did not know how He was to accomplish His mission; at this time, therefore, she did not see the connection between the divine will and His remaining behind in the Temple. Nevertheless, she questioned Him no further.  She believed that Jesus was her God, and that was enough for her; she was certain, absolutely certain of Him.

"Sometimes in our spiritual life, we come to a halt because we insist on understanding and searching into God's plans for our soul. A faithful soul, on the other hand, does not linger to inquire about God's actions; even though not fully understanding them, it believes, following blindly, if necessary, the manifestations of the divine will. This is pleasing to God who does not ask us to understand, but only to believe with all our strength."

 ~Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D., in Divine Intimacy

Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are safe.
Proverbs 28:26

Mary, Seat of Wisdom,
teach us to live as you did,
by pure faith and in confident trust.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sixth Sunday of Easter

If you love me, you will keep my commandments.  ~John 14:15

Christ says:  “If you love me ... ”  Faith does not just mean accepting a certain number of abstract truths about the mysteries of God, of man, of life and death, of future realities.  Faith consists in an intimate relationship with Christ, a relationship based on love of him who loved us first (cf. 1 Jn 4:11), even to the total offering of himself.  “God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8).  What other response can we give to a love so great, if not that of a heart that is open and ready to love?  But what does it mean to love Christ?  It means trusting him even in times of trial, following him faithfully even on the Via Crucis, in the hope that soon the morning of the Resurrection will come.  Entrusting ourselves to Christ, we lose nothing, we gain everything.  In his hands our life acquires its true meaning.  Love for Christ expresses itself in the will to harmonize our own life with the thoughts and sentiments of his Heart.  This is achieved through interior union based on the grace of the Sacraments, strengthened by continuous prayer, praise, thanksgiving and penance.  We have to listen attentively to the inspirations that he evokes through his Word, through the people we meet, through the situations of daily life.  To love him is to remain in dialogue with him, in order to know his will and to put it into effect promptly.  ~Pope Benedict, 5/26/05 Homily  

My Jesus, I love you!  Help me to love you more and more!

Friday, May 23, 2014

"to love much"

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength."  ~Mark 12:30

“The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love. Love is not great delight but desire to please God in everything.” ~St. Teresa of Avila

My dear Jesus, with the help of Your grace, today I will do my utmost to love You as You so richly deserve.  Amen.

Monday, May 19, 2014

I am the way and the truth and the life. ~John 14:6

Without the way you cannot go,
without the truth you cannot know,
without the life you cannot live.
I am the Way which you must follow;
the Truth which you must believe,
the Life for which you must hope.
I am the safe Way,
the infallible Truth,
the Life without end.
I am the straightest Way,
the sovereign Truth,
the true life,
the blessed Life,
Life uncreated.
If you remain in My way,
you shall know truth,
and the truth will make you free,
and you shall lay hold
of eternal life.
~Thomas à Kempis, Imitation of Christ (Bk 3, Ch 56)

Speed my steps along Your path, 
according to Your will, O God!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Fifth Sunday of Easter

I am the way and the truth and the life.  ~John 14:6

Let us march forward intrepidly to meet our Redeemer, Jesus, pursuing our onward course without swerving until we come to the assembly of the saints and are welcomed by the company of the just.

It is to join our Christian forebears that we are journeying, to those who taught us our faith -- that faith which comes to our aid and safeguards our heritage for us even when we have no good works to show.

In the place we are making for the Lord will be everyone’s light; the true light which enlightens every human person will shine upon all.

In the house where we are going the Lord Jesus has prepared many dwelling-places for his servants, so that where he is we also may be, for this was his desire.

Hear his own words about them: “In my Father’s house are many dwelling-places,” and about his desire: “I will come again, he says, and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.”

“But he was speaking only to his disciples” you say, “and so it was to them alone that the many dwelling-places were promised.” Do you really suppose it was only for the eleven disciples they were prepared?

And what of the saying about people coming from all the corners of the earth to sit at table in the kingdom of heaven? Do we doubt that the divine will will be accomplished? 

But for Christ, to will is to do! Accordingly he has shown us both the way and the place: “You know where I am going,” he said, “and you know the way.”

The place is where the Father is; the way is Christ, according to his own declaration: “I am the way, and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.”

Let us set out on this way, let us hold fast to truth, let us follow life. It is the way that leads us, the truth that strengthens us, the life that is restored to us through him.

To make sure that we really understand his will, Christ prays later on: “Father, it is my desire that those whom you have given me may be with me where I am, so that they may see my glory.”

How graciously he asks for what he had already promised! The promise came first and then the request, not the other way around.

Conscious of his authority and knowing the gift was at his own disposal, he made the promise; then, as if to show his filial submission, he asked his Father to grant it. He promised first to make us aware of his power; he asked afterwards to show us his loving deference to his Father.

Yes, Lord Jesus, we do follow you, but we can only come at your bidding. No one can make the ascent without you, for you are our way, our truth, our life, our strength, our confidence, our reward. Be the way that receives us, the truth that strengthens us, the life that invigorates us.

St. Ambrose, 339-397

O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Friday, May 16, 2014

"But we have the mind of Christ." ~1 Corinthians 2:16

Let us ask the Holy Spirit for the grace to live daily according to the mind of Jesus and his Gospel.  
~Pope Francis, 5/15/14 Tweet

And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.
Ephesians 4:23

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The First Hail Mary


The first Hail Mary was brought to earth by Angel Gabriel to Mary.

"Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!"
~Luke 1:26

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


"The Kyrie is the long cry of our wounded nature, like the cry of the sick and the crippled along the path of Jesus, trying to draw His intention to their misery and obtain their pity.  We throw ourselves on the mercy of God, full of love and free of fear now that we have acknowledged our sins and our desire to be healed."  ~1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal published by Angelus Press

Ave Maria!  The above commentary on the Kyrie is part of a longer commentary on the entire Mass found in the margins of the above-referenced missal, which I use each morning at the Traditional Latin Mass celebrated in my parish.  When Father begins the Kyrie, all of us who are present have already acknowledged our sins in the Confiteor and happily turn from them to Him who is "compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and rich in mercy" (Psalm 103:8).  Even as we cry to the Lord "out of the depths" (Psalm 130:1), He calls out to us, "Come up higher, my friend!" (Luke 14:10).  

"Then my soul shall rejoice in the Lord,
exulting in his deliverance.
All my bones shall say,
"O Lord, who is like thee,
thou who deliverest the weak
from him who is too strong for him,
the weak and the needy
from him who despoils him?"
~Psalm 35:9-10

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Prayer for Tonight, May 12, 2014

Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly.
I offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ,
present in all the Tabernacles of the world,
in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences
by which He is offended.
And through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart,
and the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.

Eucharistic Prayer from the Angel of Fatima

P.S.  Ave Maria!  As I offer this prayer, I beg our dear Lord for two graces for myself:  one, the grace to never forget that I am one of those "poor sinners" for whose conversion I pray; and two, the "grace to be now and always a true penitent".  Blessed be Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Fourth Sunday of Easter

I am the gate of the sheepfold.  ~John 10:7

In our sickness we need a savior, in our wanderings a guide, in our blindness someone to show us the light, in our thirst the fountain of living water which quenches for ever the thirst of those who drink from it. We dead people need life, we sheep need a shepherd, we children need a teacher, the whole world needs Jesus!

If we would understand the profound wisdom of the most holy shepherd and teacher, the ruler of the universe and the Word of the Father, when using an allegory he calls himself the shepherd of the sheep, we can do so for he is also the teacher of little ones.

Speaking at some length through Ezekiel to the Jewish elders, he gives them a salutary example of true solicitude. I will bind up the injured, he says; I will heal the sick; I will bring back the strays and pasture them on my holy mountain. These are the promises of the Good Shepherd.

Pasture us children like sheep, Lord. Fill us with your own food, the food of righteousness. As our guide we pray you to lead us to your holy mountain, the Church on high, touching the heavens.

I will be their shepherd, he says, “and I will be close to them,” like their own clothing. He desires to save my flesh by clothing it in the robe of immortality and he has anointed my body. “They shall call on me,” he says, “and I will answer, 'Here I am.'” Lord, you have heard me more quickly than I ever hoped!

“And if they pass over they shall not fall says the Lord,” meaning that we who are passing over into immortality shall not fall into corruption, for he will preserve us. He has said he would and to do so is his own wish. Such is our Teacher, both good and just.

He said he had not come to be served but to serve; and so the gospel shows him tired out, he who labored for our sake and promised “to give his life as ransom for many,” a thing which, as he said, only the Good Shepherd will do.

How bountiful the giver who for our sake gives his most precious possession, his own life! He is a real benefactor and friend, who desired to be our brother when he might have been our Lord, and who in his goodness even went so far as to die for us!

St. Clement of Alexandria, c. 150-215

Look upon your flock, kind Shepherd,
and be pleased to settle in eternal pastures
the sheep you have redeemed
by the Precious Blood of your Son,
who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Prayer After Communion,
Fourth Sunday of Easter

Saturday, May 10, 2014

"the secret of true adoration"

May the Virgin Mary, the Woman of the Eucharist, introduce us into the secret of true adoration. Her humble and simple heart was ever pondering the mystery of Jesus, in whom she adored the the presence of God and of his redeeming love. May faith in the Eucharistic Mystery, joy in participating in Holy Mass, especially on Sundays, and enthusiasm in witnessing to Christ's immense love grow throughout the Church through her intercession.  

~Pope Benedict XVI, 6/10/07 Angelus

I pray thee, I pray thee, holy Virgin...
In the Spirit thou didst adore Jesus as thy Lord
and gaze upon Him as thy Son;
in that same Spirit may I love Him.

~Saint Ildephonsus of Toledo

Friday, May 9, 2014

"the joy of the faith"

"And he said to them, 'Go into all the whole world and preach the gospel to all creation.'" ~Mark 16:15

"To the extent that we nourish ourselves on Christ and are in love with him, we feel within us the incentive to bring others to him: Indeed, we cannot keep the joy of the faith to ourselves; we must pass it on.”  ~Pope Benedict XVI

Dear Jesus, our Risen Lord and Master, how I rejoice in telling among the nations Your glory and Your wonders among all the peoples!  Amen!  Alleluia!  (cf. Psalm 96[95]):3

Thursday, May 8, 2014

10th Anniversary of My Solemn Consecration to a Life of Virginity -- DEO GRATIAS!!!

"I am my beloved's,
and his desire is for me."
Song of Solomon 7:10

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Following Jesus and Bearing Witness

For to this you have been called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.  ~1 Peter 2:21

"Martyrdom is the translation of a Greek word that also means witness. And so we can say that for a Christian the path follows in the footsteps of this witness, Christ’s footsteps, to bear witness to Him and, many times, this witness ends up in laying down one’s life . You cannot understand a Christian without witness. We are not a ' religion' of ideas, of pure theology, beautiful things, of commandments. No, we are a people who follow Jesus Christ and bear witness -- who want to bear witness to Jesus Christ -- and sometimes this witness leads to laying down our lives."  ~Pope Francis, 5/6/14 Homily

My dear Jesus,
today and always,
please give me the grace
of joyfully bearing witness to You,
in whatever way You chose for me,
even to the laying down of my life.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mother of Trust

Mary, Mother of Trust!  This most pacifying title corresponds to the invitation, repeated in the Gospel and addressed to the Virgin by the Angel and then so many other times by Jesus to his disciples:  "Do not be afraid" (cf. Luke 1:30).  "Do not be afraid, for I am with you," says the Lord.  In the icon of Our Lady of Trust, in which the Child points to the Mother, it seems that Jesus is adding, "Look at your Mother and do not fear."  

~Pope Benedict XVI, 2/1/08 Homily

Dear Mary, Mother of Trust, always keep me close to you and your Beloved Son, Jesus!

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Lord is truly risen! Alleluia!

"Swirling Sunset" by Ann. L. Krumrein

Jesus, may You be our soul's unending paschal joy!
The Divine Office, Hymn for Lauds during the Easter Season

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Third Sunday of Easter

They recognized Jesus at the breaking of the bread. ~Luke 24:31

It seems to me there is one page of the Gospel for each one of us. Some weep with Mary Magdalene before the empty tomb and suddenly He appears: a man who pronounces their names in a low voice. Others put their fingers in the open wounds with Thomas. For my part, I have walked all my life with the two tired travelers who entered Emmaus in the evening. Christ was dead; they had lost everything. Only now, when the shadows of my life are deepening, do I understand what I wrote twenty years ago on this subject in my Life of Jesus: "Who among us is not familiar with the inn at Emmaus? Who has not walked on this road in the evening when all seemed lost? Christ was dead within us. They had taken Him from us -- the world, the philosophers and sages, our passions. There was no Jesus for us on the earth. We followed a road, and Someone walked at our side. We were alone and yet we were not alone. It was evening. Here was an open door, the obscurity of a room where the flame from the fireplace lightened nothing but the trampled earth and made the shadows flicker. O broken bread! O breaking of the bread, consummated in spite of so much misery! 'Stay with us…the day declineth…' The day declineth, life is coming to a close. Childhood seems further away than the beginning of the world; and our lost youth means no more to us than the last sound in the dead trees of an unknown park…"

~François Mauriac in The Son of Man

Therefore my heart is glad,
and my soul rejoices...
In Thy presence there is fullness of joy...
~Psalm 16(15):9, 11

Saturday, May 3, 2014

"no longer strangers and sojourners"

"So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God."  ~Ephesians 2:19

"Happy is the individual who has Jesus and Mary and all the angels and saints of God as friends in this life, as guides on the way, advisers in doubt, teachers in studies, readers at meals, companions in solitude, associates in conversation, fellow singers in choir, guardians in dangers, attendants in battle, assistants at the last hour, consolers during his agony, advocates at judgment, patrons before God, and welcoming friends in heaven."  ~Thomas à Kempis in Bountiful Goodness

Thank you, dear Lord, for all the marvelous comrades You give us to accompany us on our journey to our heavenly home.  Amen.  Alleluia!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Feast of St. Athanasius

" filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father."
~Ephesians 5:18-20

"Singing psalms is medicine for healing the soul."  ~St. Athanasius

Dear Lord, today I will sing to You a new song.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!