Monday, June 29, 2015

God Alone!

Photography by Ann L. Krumrein

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing;
God only is changeless.
Patience gains all things.
Who has God wants nothing.
God alone suffices.
St. Teresa's Bookmark

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

"a magnificent book"!

"See nature as a magnificent book in which God speaks to us
and grants us a glimpse of his infinite beauty and goodness."
~Pope Francis, Laudato Si, #12

Photography by Ann L. Krumrein

"Ever since the creation of the world,
his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity
have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made."
~Romans 1:20

Monday, June 22, 2015

Singing for Joy

Let us sing as we go. May our struggles and our concern for this planet never take away the joy of our hope.  

~Pope Francis, 6/19/15 Tweet

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing; that you may abound in hope, and in the power of the Holy Ghost.  

~Romans 15:13

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?  ~Mark 4:41

With the Lord's help I want to speak to you about today's reading from the holy gospel, and to urge you in his name not to let your faith lie dormant in your hearts when you are buffeted by the winds and waves of this world.

The Lord Christ's power is by no means dead, nor is it asleep.

Do you think the Almighty was overcome by sleep in the boat against his will? If you do, then Christ is asleep in your hearts. If he were indeed keeping watch within you, then your faith too would be vigilant. The Apostle, remember, speaks of Christ dwelling in your hearts through faith.

This sleep of Christ has a symbolic meaning. The boat's crew are human souls sailing across the sea of this world in a wooden vessel. That vessel, of course, also represents the Church; but as each one of us is a temple of God, each one's heart is a sailing boat, nor can it be wrecked so long as we fill our minds only with what is good.

When you have to listen to abuse, that means you are being buffeted by the wind; when your anger is roused, you are being tossed by the waves. So when the winds blow and the waves mount high, the boat is in danger, your heart is imperiled, your heart is taking a battering.

On hearing yourself insulted, you long to retaliate; but the joy of revenge brings with it another kind of misfortune—shipwreck. Why is this? Because Christ is asleep in you.

What do I mean? I mean you have forgotten his presence. Rouse him, then; remember him, let him keep watch within you, pay heed to him.

Now what was your desire? You wanted to get your own back. You have forgotten that when Christ was being crucified he said: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Christ, the sleeper in your heart, had no desire for vengeance in his. Rouse him, then, call him to mind. (To remember him is to recall his words; to remember him is to recall his commands.)

Then, when he is awake within you, you will ask yourself, “Whatever kind of wretch am I to be thirsting for revenge? Who am I to threaten another? Suppose I were to die before I were avenged! Suppose I were to take leave of my body breathing out threats, inflamed with rage and thirsting for that vengeance which Christ himself never sought; would he not refuse to receive me? He who said, “Give and it shall be given you; forgive and you will be forgiven,” would indeed decline to acknowledge me. So I will curb my anger and restore peace to my heart.”

Now all is calm again. Christ has rebuked the sea. What I have said about anger must be your rule of conduct in every temptation. A temptation arises: it is the wind. It disturbs you: it is the surging of the sea.

This is the moment to awaken Christ and let him remind you of those words: “Who can this be? Even the winds and the sea obey him.” Who is this whom the sea obeys? It is he to whom the sea belongs, for he made it; all things were made through him.

Try, then, to be more like the wind and the sea; obey the God who made you. The sea obeys Christ's command, and are you going to turn a deaf ear to it? The sea obeys him, the wind is still; will you persist with your blustering?

Words, actions, schemes, what are all these but a constant buffing and puffing, a refusal to be still at Christ's command?

When your heart is in this troubled state, do not let the waves overwhelm you. If, since we are only human, the driving wind should stir up in us a tumult of emotions, let us not despair but awaken Christ, so that we may sail in quiet waters, and at last reach our heavenly homeland.

~St. Augustine, 354-430

In their distress they cried to the Lord,
who brought them out of their peril;
He hushed the storm to silence,
the waves of the sea were stilled.
They rejoiced that the sea grew calm,
that God brought them to the harbor they longed for.
Let them thank the Lord for his mercy,
such wondrous deeds for the children of Adam.
~Psalm 107:28-31

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sometimes It Hurts to Say Goodbye

Love's as Warm as Tears
by C. S. Lewis

Love's as warm as tears,
Love is tears:
Pressure within the brain,
Tension at the throat,
Deluge, weeks of rain,
Haystacks afloat,
Featureless seas between
Hedges, where once was green.

Love's as fierce as fire,
Love is fire:
All sorts -- infernal heat
Clinkered with greed and pride,
Lyric desire, sharp-sweet,
Laughing, even when denied,
And that empyreal flame
Whence all loves came.

Love's as fresh as spring,
Love is spring:
Bird-song hung in the air,
Cool smells in a wood,
Whispering, "Dare! Dare!"
To sap, to blood,
Telling "Ease, safety, rest,
Are good; not best."

Love's as hard as nails,
Love is nails:
Blunt, thick, hammered through
The medial nerves of One
Who, having made us, knew
The thing He had done,
Seeing (with all that is)
Our cross, and His.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

"this Heart that gave itself without measure and without limit"

Stained Glass Window, Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Houston, TX

"The Feast of the Sacred Heart is sweet to us because we have need of being loved, and we know that our Lord loves us.  But let us strive to understand that this great need of our hearts is also the need of all other hearts, even those that are apparently far removed from us, or that seem wicked to us....

"If we took advantage of this feast to think a while about this Heart that gave itself without measure and without limit, and if that could make us think about all the millions of hearts that our Lord wished to console, instead of being occupied all the time with ourselves and our needs, we would have a great desire to give instead of always expecting to receive; instead of suffering so much over not being loved enough, we would begin to suffer over not loving others enough. We would feel ourselves responsible for not disappointing all those about us; our selfishness would vanish without or even thinking about it.  And how easy this would be: all it would require would be our considering what our Lord considers.  Instead of seeking in piety, as in everything, to satisfy ourselves, we could and should consider the intentions of the Lord."

from Joy Out of Sorrow by Mother Marie des Douleurs

O Heart of Love,
infinite, immeasurable, unfathomable Love!
Let me consider what You consider,
let me suffer over not loving others enough!
O Jesus so meek and humble of heart,
make my heart more and more like Yours!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Who will not cherish this Heart so wounded for us?
Who will not love one so loving, embrace one so pure?
~St. Bonaventure

"Behold this heart which has so loved men!"
~Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Behold the birds of the air... ~Matthew 6:26

I am the Lord your God,
who brought you up from the land of Egypt.
Open wide your mouth that I may fill it.
~Psalm 81:11

The eyes of all look hopefully to you, O Lord;
you give them their food in due season.
~Psalm 145:15

You open wide your hand
and satisfy the desire of every living thing.
~Psalm 145:16

The hungry he has filled with good things.
~Luke 1:53

 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord be glad in his works!
Psalm 104:31

Bless the Lord, my soul!
Lord, my God, you are great indeed!
~Psalm 104:1

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Loving My Weakness

"I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."  
~2 Corinthians 12:9

"I must cultivate humility and lowliness: I must learn to love my weakness because it teaches me to consider my little, my utter dependence on God, my place among His creatures.  Contemplating Jesus as He tells us to do so, we learn His meekness and humility.  The strength of Jesus is at our disposal: He gives to to us to fortify our frailty."  ~from Towards Evening by Mary Hope

Monday, June 8, 2015

Enjoying Peace

"There are some who remain at peace with themselves and also with others.  And some neither have peace in themselves nor allow others to have peace.  Such people are a trouble to others, and an even greater trouble to themselves.  And there are some who are at peace with themselves, and who try to guide others into peace.  But all our peace in this present life should depend on humble forbearance rather than on absence of adversity.  He who knows the secret of endurance will enjoy the greatest peace.  Such a one is conqueror of self, master of the world, a friend of Christ, and an heir of Heaven."  ~Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, Book 2,  Chapter 3

Dear Lord, let me choose wisely the things that make for peace.  Amen.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Body and Blood of Christ

And taking bread, he gave thanks, and brake; and gave to them, saying:
"This is my body, which is given for you. Do this for a commemoration of me."
~Luke 22:19

“As they were eating he took bread and broke it.” Christ instituted this sacrament at the time of the passover in order to teach us by every possible means both that he himself had been the lawgiver of the Old Testament, and also that the whole of the Old Testament had been a foreshadowing of these mysteries. He was replacing the type by the reality.

The fact that it was evening signified that the fullness of time had come and that all was about to be accomplished. He gave thanks to teach us how we ought to celebrate these mysteries, to show that he was not going to his passion against his will, and to train us to accept with gratitude whatever we have to suffer and so to derive from it hope of future blessedness.

If the type was able to free a people from bondage, much more would the reality liberate the world, and Christ’s death bring down blessings upon our race. We see then why he did not institute this sacrament before, but only when it was time to abolish the rites of the law.

Christ put an end to the most important Jewish festival by offering his disciples another far more awe-inspiring meal. “Take, eat,” he said, “this is my body which is broken for many.” He told them that the reason he was going to suffer was to take away our sins.

He spoke of the blood of the new covenant, that is of the promise, the new law. He had promised long before that the new covenant would be ratified by his blood. As the old covenant had been ratified by the blood of sheep and calves, so the new covenant was to be ratified by the blood of the Lord.

Thus, by speaking of his covenant and by reminding them that the old covenant had also been inaugurated by the shedding of blood, he made known to them that he was soon to die. And he told them once again the reason for his death in the words, “This is my blood, which is poured out for all for the forgiveness of sins and, Do this in memory of me.”

Notice how he leads them away from the Jewish customs by saying, “Just as you used to do this in memory of the miracles performed in Egypt, so now you must do it in memory of me.”

Blood was shed then for the salvation of the firstborn: It is to be shed now for the forgiveness of the sins of the whole world. “This,” he said, “is my blood, which is shed for the forgiveness of sins.” He said this to show that his passion and cross are a mystery, and so again to comfort his disciples.

As Moses had said, “This shall be for you an everlasting memorial,” so now the Lord says, “Do this in memory of me until I come.” This is why he also says, “I have longed to eat this passover,” meaning, “I have longed to hand over to you these new rites, and to give you the passover which will turn you into people moved by the Spirit.”

~St. John Chrysostom, c. 347-407

Full and clear ring out your chanting,
Joy nor sweetest grace be wanting,
From your heart let praises burst:

For today the feast is holden,
When the institution olden
Of that supper was rehearsed.

Here the new law’s new oblation,
By the new king’s revelation,
Ends the form of ancient rite:

Now the new the old effaces,
Truth away the shadow chases,
Light dispels the gloom of night.

What he did at supper seated,
Christ ordained to be repeated,
His memorial ne’er to cease:

And his rule for guidance taking,
Bread and wine we hallow, making
Thus our sacrifice of peace.

~from "Lauda Sion" by St. Thomas Aquinas

Saturday, June 6, 2015

"and sing and sing"

How good to sing praise to our God!  ~Psalm 147:1
Gladly do I give my life to Thee,
Not solemnly, not grudgingly,
But I would take my life and fling
It at Thy feet -- and sing and sing --
Happy to bring Thee this small thing.
~Mary Dixon Thayer

Friday, June 5, 2015

True Humility

"Who can understand sins?  From my secret ones, cleanse me, O Lord."  ~Psalm 19:12

"It is false humility to believe ourselves unworthy of God’s goodness and to not dare to look to him with trust. True humility lies in seeing our own unworthiness and giving ourselves up to God, never doubting that he can work out the greatest results for and in us. If God’s success depends on finding our foundations already laid, we might well fear that our sins had destroyed our chances. But God needs nothing that is in us. He can never find anything there except what he himself has given us."  ~Rev. François Fénelon, French Roman Catholic archbishop, theologian, poet and writer, 1651-1715

Oh sweet Jesus, so meek and humble of heart, teach us true humility -- Your humility! -- lest we delude ourselves and dishonor You by our insidious pride.  Amen.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Corpus Christi

"Lo! The angel's food is given
to the pilgrim who has striven."
Sequence for the Mass of Corpus Christi, St. Thomas Aquinas

"If we reflected on the love of Jesus Christ for us in the Blessed Sacrament,
our whole life would be but one continuous act of love and gratitude."
~St. Peter Julian Eymard

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Life of the Christian

"To suffer and to be happy although suffering, to have one’s feet on the earth, to walk on the dirty and rough paths of this earth and yet to be enthroned with Christ at the Father’s right hand, to laugh and cry with the children of this world and ceaselessly to sing the praises of God with the choirs of angels – this is the life of the Christian until the morning of eternity breaks forth."  ~St. Edith Stein

"All my springs are in Thee."  ~Psalm 87:7