Friday, May 29, 2015

I am loved by my Heavenly Father...

The mercies of the Lord I will sing for ever. ~Ps. 89:1

"Remember that God loves your soul, not in some aloof, impersonal way, but passionately, with the adoring, cherishing love of a parent for a child. The outpouring of His Holy Spirit is really the outpouring of His Love, surrounding and penetrating your little soul with a peaceful, joyful delight in His creature: tolerant, peaceful, a love full of long-suffering and gentleness, working quietly, able to wait for results, faithful, devoted, without variableness or shadow of turning. Such is the charity of God."  
~Abbé Henri de Tourville, 1842-1903, French priest and spiritual director

"He will rejoice over you with gladness,
he will renew you in His love;
He will exult over you with loud singing
as on a day of festival."
~Zephaniah 3:17

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

"What if we were to transform everything into praise…?"

"The splendor of nature at this season is most moving and instructive.  See how everything is opening up and expanding, how everything is rejoicing in the beautiful light.  The other day, on contemplating some superb pale pink peonies, it seemed to me that the Lord was showing them to me especially for you.  I thought of how hundreds of flowers come forth every year; and when they are most beautiful they become more than flowers – and then you don't even see their leaves any more.  I thought how very lovely it would be if souls would open up like flowers and yield themselves to the Divine Sun; if they would exercise all the gifts they have received, exultantly and royally; if they would open up, expanding into a final burst of praise before the Lord.  Those poor peonies, they gave all their petals, gave them in splendid profusion – but now, it's all over.  What if we were to transform everything into praise, giving all our days without counting, without wondering about what is going to happen and what we will do in every sort of unreal circumstances?  If only we had that sense of the gift which makes it possible to live without all the endless computations motivated by vanity (which don't prevent anything anyway)!  Don't you think that it is better to die because there is no longer anything in us which can be utilized for the Lord than to die like a dried bud that didn't want to open up?

"This is what we should expect from the Holy Ghost: that He should breathe into us an ardor of generosity without the possibility of stopping, and that we should finally be rid of this spirit of our own which is petty, rapacious and case-hardened.  Let us consent to be like a bundle of grain which is placed under the altar and which will remain there as a witness to the magnificence of the Lord until nothing is left of it.  Obviously these flowers would have lasted a little longer if they had been placed in water, but let's not feel sorry for them; let us, too, be able to give the Lord without holding back a little of our gift, without asking that the flowers destined for the altar be disposed of in this or that manner.

"Thus we will know joy, the ravishing fragrance with which the Holy Ghost perfumes those who let themselves be drawn by Him into truly living as 'offerings to the Lord.'"

~Mother Marie des Douleurs, Joy Out of Sorrow

Listen to me, my faithful children: open up your petals,
like roses planted near running waters;
Send up the sweet odor of incense,
break forth in blossoms like the lily.
Raise your voices in a chorus of praise;
bless the Lord for all his works!
~Sirach 39:13-14

Monday, May 25, 2015

"Let everything in us be on a grand scale..."


perfect in us the work begun by Jesus: enable us to continue to pray fervently in the name of the whole world: hasten in every one of us the growth of a profound interior life; give vigor to our apostolate so that it may reach all men and all peoples, all redeemed by the Blood of Christ and all belonging to him.

Mortify in us our natural pride, and raise us to the realms of holy humility, of the real fear of God, of generous courage.

Let no earthly bond prevent us from honoring our vocation, no cowardly considerations disturb the claims of justice, nor meanness confine the immensity of charity within the narrow bounds of petty selfishness.

Let everything in us be on a grand scale: the search for truth and the devotion to it, and readiness for self-sacrifice, even to the cross and death;

and may everything finally be according to the last prayer of the Son to his heavenly Father, and according to your Spirit, O Holy Spirit Of Love, which the Father and the Son desired to be poured out over the Church and its institutions, over the souls of men and over nations.


~St. John XXVII

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Pentecost Sunday

God's love has been poured forth into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
~Romans 5:5

Come, Spirit of Love!
Take our hearts and make them Your own!
Incite, ignite, excite and delight us
for the praise and glory of the Father
who loves us so very much!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Be Mirthful

My sweet sister Annie texted me regarding yesterday's post on praising God and told me that it made her mirthful.  That made me smile -- bit-time!  And without even thinking about it, I immediately started belting out the first verse of Old One Hundredth:

All people that on earth do dwell, 
sing to the Lord with cheerful voice. 
Him serve with mirth, his praise forth tell; 
come ye before him and rejoice.

Serving the Lord with mirth might sound a bit frivolous, but I think not.  If we look up "mirth" in the dictionary here, the word describes rather well the joy of a child of God who  knows implicitly that she is loved by her Heavenly Father and therefore completely trusts in His goodness and mercy and gladly does everything she possibly can to love Him in return.

According to Bob Mills, who wrote a chapter in the book Does God LOL?, the word "mirth" in Old One Hundredth was originally "fear".  It was changed to "mirth" in the Scottish Psalter to be more in keeping with the words of Psalm 100, on which this song is based.

Makes sense to me!  And so does this admonition from St. Théophane Vénard who suffered terribly before he was brutally martyred for his faith:  

Be merry, really merry.
The life of a true Christian should be a perpetual jubilee,
a prelude to the festivals of eternity.

Here, here!  Let the joy begin -- and never end!  I'm in!  How about you? 

Friday, May 22, 2015

"Let everything that has breath give praise to the Lord!" ~Psalm 150:6

"The language of praise is our mother-tongue...
"Often and often, dear Master, I say to You with the Twelve, 'Teach me to pray'.  I say to You now, 'Teach me to praise'.  Teach me that highest, purest prayer which will be the incense rising for ever from my heart when other prayer has ceased."
~Mother Mary Loyola, Coram Sanctissimo (Before the Most Holy)
I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart. ~Psalm 9:2

Monday, May 18, 2015

St. Leo the Great on the Ascension of Our Lord

For such is the power of great minds,
such is the light of truly believing souls,
that they put unhesitating faith in 
what is not seen with the bodily eye.
they fix their desires on what is beyond sight.

The sacred work of our salvation was of such value in the sight of the Creator of the universe that he counted it worth the shedding of his own blood.

From the day of his birth until his passion and death this work was carried out in conditions of self-abasement; and although he showed many signs of his divinity even when he bore the form of a slave, yet, strictly speaking, the events of that time were concerned with proving the reality of the humanity he had assumed.

But he was innocent of any sin, and so when death launched its attack upon him he burst its bonds and robbed it of its power. After his passion weakness was turned into strength, mortality into eternal life, and disgrace into glory.

Of all this our Lord Jesus Christ gave ample proof in the sight of many, until at last he entered heaven in triumph, bearing with him the trophy of his victory over death.

And so while at Easter it was the Lord’s resurrection which was the cause of our joy, our present rejoicing is on account of his ascension into heaven. With all due solemnity we are commemorating that day on which our poor human nature was carried up in Christ above all the hosts of heaven, above all the ranks of angels, beyond the highest heavenly powers to the very throne of God the Father.

It is upon this ordered structure of divine acts that we have been firmly established, so that the grace of God may show itself still more marvelous when, in spite of the withdrawal from our sight of everything that is rightly felt to command our reverence, faith does not fail, hope is not shaken, charity does not grow cold.

For such is the power of great minds, such is the light of truly believing souls, that they put unhesitating faith in what is not seen with the bodily eye; they fix their desires on what is beyond sight.

Such fidelity could never be born in our hearts, not could anyone be justified by faith, if our salvation lay only in what was visible.

This is why Christ said to the man who seemed doubtful about his resurrection unless he could see and touch the marks of his passion in his very flesh: “You believe because you see me; blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

It was in order that we might be capable of such blessedness that on the fortieth day after his resurrection, after he had made careful provision for everything concerning the preaching of the gospel and the mysteries of the new covenant, our Lord Jesus Christ was taken up to heaven before the eyes of his disciples, and so his bodily presence among them came to an end.

From that time onward he was to remain at the Father’s right hand until the completion of the period ordained by God for the Church’s children to increase and multiply, after which, in the same body with which he ascended, he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

And so our Redeemer’s visible presence has passed into the sacraments. Our faith is nobler and stronger because sight has been replaced by a doctrine whose authority is accepted by believing hearts, enlightened from on high.

Leo the Great, c. 400-61

O Christ ascended on high, grant us the grace to seek that which is above, where You sit forever at the right hand of the Father.  Amen!  Alleluia! 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Ascension of the Lord

"You are our leader and the way to heaven;
may You also be the goal on which our hearts are set,
our joy in tribulation and life's sweet reward."
Hymn for Ascensiontide from the Divine Office

"Ascension" by Francisco Camilo, Spanish painter, 1610-1671

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

God, My All!

Virgin Mary,
grant that
God may be my all.

May I belong to him
ever more and more.
May I belong to him
for ever.

May his Love
be my life;
may my life be all love.

May my path
lead me to him,
the source of all life,
eternal rest,
Love divine.


~Rev. Jean Beyer, S.J.