Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Praying Before the Stable

 God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God!

Blessing Before a Christmas Stable by Father Peter John Cameron, O.P.

Lord Jesus, as I kneel before your manger in adoration, let my first Christmas word be: thank you. Thank you, Gift of the Father, for coming to save me from my sins.

Without You I do not know even how to be human. The characteristics of Your human body express the Divine Person of God's Son. And in that wondrous expression, Lord, You reveal me to myself. Thank you for that saving revelation in Your sacred humanity. As the Christmas liturgy proclaims, in Christ we experience "the holy exchange that restores our life." Thank you for coming as one like myself to save me from myself.

You come as a baby because babies are irresistible and adorable. You come as a baby because You want our first impression of God Incarnate to be that of one who does not judge. How I long to be united with You in every way. May I never be attracted to the allurements and charms of the world. May I love You always, at every moment, with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. May the tenderness, the dependency, and the mercy that You reveal in Your infancy become the hallmarks of my life.

Newborn Savior, the very silence of Your Incarnation proclaims that the answer to the misery, the strife, and the meaningless we often experience in life cannot be found within us. You alone are the Answer. As I kneel before You, Eternal King, I surrender to You all my selfishness, self-absorption, self-indulgence, self-righteousness, self-assertion, and self-exaltation. Even as I adore You on this night of Your birth, rid me of the nagging desire to be adored.

Word became flesh, You make Your dwelling among us. And You do not live Your life for Yourself, but for us. And You enable us to live in You all that You Yourself lived. Help me to embrace this truth with all my mind and heart. Come and live Your life in me. Empty me of my willfulness, my petulance, my hardness, my cynicism, my contemptuousness. Fill me with Your truth, Your strength, Your fortitude, Your purity, Your gentleness, Your generosity, Your wisdom, Your heart, and Your grace.

O Emmanuel, may the assurance of Your unfailing Presence be for me, the source of unending peace. May I never fear my weakness, my inadequacy, or my imperfection. Rather, as I gaze with faith, hope, and love upon Your incarnate littleness, may I love my own littleness, for God is with us. Endow my life with a holy wonder that leads me ever more deeply into the Mystery of Redemption and the meaning of my vocation and destiny.

Longed-for Messiah, Your servant St. Leo the Great well wrote that in the very act of reverencing the birth of our Savior, we are also celebrating our own new birth. From this night on, may my life be a dedicated life of faith marked by holy reliance, receptivity, and resoluteness. May I make my life a total gift of self. May my humble worship of Your Nativity manifest how much I seek the Father's kingship and His way of holiness. The beauty of Your holy face bears the promise that Your Father will provide for us in all things. This Christmas I renew my trust in God's goodness, compassion and providence. I long for the day when You will teach us to pray "Our Father."

May Your presence, Prince of Peace, bless the world with peace, the poor with care and prosperity, the despairing with hope and confidence, the grieving with comfort and gladness, the oppressed with freedom and deliverance, the suffering with solace and relief. Loving Jesus, You are the only real joy of every human heart. I place all my trust in You.

Oh, Divine Fruit of Mary's womb, may I love You in union with the holy Mother of God. May my life be filled with the obedience of St. Joseph and the missionary fervor of the shepherds so that the witness of my life may shine like the star that leads the Magi to Your manger. I ask all this with great confidence in Your Holy Name. Amen.

Venite adoremus! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Divine Intrusion

" in a manner worthy of the Lord, so as to be fully pleasing,
in every good work bearing fruit and growing in the knowledge of God."
~Colossians 1:10

Well-known gifted author Sister Melannie Svoboda, who blogs at Sunflower Seeds, has posted a soul-searching sort of poem that she wrote for Christmas.  It's called "A Christmas Prayer for Divine Intrusion," but, as she points out, it can be prayed any time throughout the year.  It's my kind of prayer:  no-nonsense and no-frills, straightforward and unafraid.  I am reluctant to post this little gem in its entirety without Sister's permission, so look for it here.  I hope it stretches your heart and your mind as much it did mine.  Meanwhile, I find myself repeating these few lines:
"Free me from my tendency to wrap around myself."
"Enlarge my world. Direct my attention to all that really matters."
"Accept me as I am, but keep nudging me to be a better version of who I already am."
"Help me to live less cautiously."
"Keep telling me to grow up. Keep telling me to be more childlike."

Welcome, Son of Mary!  Come and be my Divine Intruder!  Amen, amen!

Monday, December 26, 2016

"to each and everyone He comes"

"For a child is born to us, and a son is given to us."  ~Isaiah 9:6

“A Child is born. To some He comes on this Christmas Day, even in the remorse that follows ‘there is no room’; to some He comes when their hearts are saddened by a life that has been taken away, and can be gladdened only by a Life that is given; to some He comes when their hearts like conscious mangers cry out ‘Lord, I am not worthy’; to others He comes as their study of science reminds them that the only star worth studying is the Star that leads to the Maker of the Stars; to others He comes when their hearts are broken, that He might enter in to heal with wings wider than the world; to others He comes in joy amidst the Venite Adoremus of the angels; to others He comes because they are so young they can never remember another Christmas -- but to each and everyone He comes as if He had never come before in His own sweet way, He the Child who is born, He, Jesus the Savior, He Emmanuel, He, Christ at Christ’s Mass on Christmas –- Merry Christmas!!”  ~Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen in The Fullness of Christ

Venite adoremus!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Joy!

Joy, joy, for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Venite adoremus!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!

Venite adoremus!

Christmas Eve Day

This day you shall know that the Lord is coming,
and tomorrow you shall see His glory.
~from the Divine Office for December 24

O Come, Divine Messiah!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Eve of Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday

Rejoice, Jerusalem, with great joy,
for your Savior will come to you, alleluia.
Antiphon for Lauds from the Divine Office
for the Third Sunday of Advent

Everyone should open their heart very wide to joy, should welcome it and let it be buried very deeply in them; and they should wait the flowering with patience.  Of course, the first ecstasy will pass, but because in real joy Christ grows in us, the time will come when joy will put forth shoots and the richness and sweetness of the person who rejoiced will be Christ's flowering.  ~Caryll Houselander in The Reed of God

O Jesus living in Mary,
come and open our hearts
to the joy that is You!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Behold, I come quickly.  ~Revelation 22:7

Photography by Ann L. Krumrein

Every year we celebrate the holy season of Advent, O God. Every year we pray those beautiful prayers of longing and waiting, and sing those lovely songs of hope and promise. Every year we roll up all our needs and yearnings and faithful expectation into one word: “Come!”

And yet, what a strange prayer this is! After all, you have already come and pitched your tent among us. You have already shared our life with its little joys, its long days of tedious routine, its bitter end. Could we invite you to anything more than this with our “Come”? Could you approach any nearer to us than you did when you became the “Son of Man”? In spite of all this we still pray: “Come.” 

~Karl Rahner

O Jesus,
living in Mary,

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Unutterable and exalted joy!

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

The concrete sign that we have truly encountered Jesus
is the joy that we show in communicating it to others.
~Pope Francis, 9/17/16 Tweet

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

O blessed Cross,
you alone were worthy to bear
the King and Lord of heaven, alleluia!
~from the Office for the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
~Isaac Watts

Friday, September 9, 2016

Dead or alive?

I am come that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly.
~John 10:10

Have you wept at anything during the past year?

Has your heart beat faster at the sight of young beauty?

Have you thought seriously about the fact
that someday you are going to die?

More often than not,
do you really listen when people are speaking to you,
instead of just waiting for your turn to speak?

Is there anybody you know in whose place,
if one of you had to suffer great pain,
you would volunteer yourself?

If your answer to all or most of these questions is no,
the chances are that you’re dead.

~Frederick Buechner

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

"The song is love..."

Always believe in love
and always sing in thanksgiving!
~Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

In my life I will praise the Lord:
I will sing to my God as long as I shall be.
~Psalm 146:2

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Our life, our sweetness, and our hope!

Heart of Mary...
vessel of the Holy Spirit...
shrine of the Trinity...
home of the Word...
pray for us!
Bl. John Henry Newman

Monday, August 15, 2016

Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven

Now have salvation and power come,
and the Kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed One.
~Revelation 12:10

The Feast of the Assumption is a day of joy. God has won. Love has won. It has won life. Love has shown that it is stronger than death, that God possesses the true strength and that his strength is goodness and love.

Mary was taken up body and soul into Heaven: there is even room in God for the body. Heaven is no longer a very remote sphere unknown to us.

We have a mother in Heaven. And the Mother of God, the Mother of the Son of God, is our Mother. He himself has said so. He made her our Mother when he said to the disciple and to all of us: "Behold, your Mother!". We have a Mother in Heaven. Heaven is open, Heaven has a heart.

~Pope Benedict XVI, 8/15/05 Homily for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

My soul magnifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
~Luke 1:39

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:29

I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing!
~Luke 12:49

Your Lord is a fire:
do not let your heart be cold,
but burn with faith and love.
~St. John of Kronstadt

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Our Lady of Tenderness

I am the mother of fair love,
and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope.
~Sirach 24:24

Sweet Mother, hold me close to your heart.
It pulsates with the life and love of your Beloved Son, Jesus.
Its every beat proclaims Him, its every throb glorifies Him.
I want to live like this ~ like you! ~ but I am selfish and afraid.
Hold me close, dear Mother, and show me
how to be a living sacrifice of praise for Him!

Monday, August 8, 2016

"The secret to joy..."

The secret to joy: never suppress positive curiosity;
get involved, because life is meant to be lived.
~Pope Francis, 8/2/16 Tweet

How great are thy works, O Lord?
Thou hast made all things in wisdom:
the earth is filled with thy riches.
~Psalm 104:24

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Feast of the Transfiguration

“This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, listen to him.”  ~Matthew 17:5

“This is my Son,” who does not take away from me my Divinity, nor does He divide power, nor eternity.

“This is my Son,” — He is not adopted, but really, not indeed created, but generated from me, no different in nature and made similar unto me. But He is of my very being and was born equal to me.

“This is my Son”, through whom all things were made and without whom nothing was made” (Jn 1.3): all that I do he also does it (Jn 5.19) and as I work, he works with me without a difference. In fact, the Father is in the Son just as the Son is in the Father (Jn 10:38), and our unity never separates. And though I the one who generates is different from the one generated, it is not however allowed to have a different opinion about him that one can have of me.

“This is my Son,” who did not count equality of with me something to be grasped at (Phil. 2.6), or to usurp, appropriating it for himself; rather, while remaining in the condition of his glory, he, to complete the design of the restoration of mankind, brought to humility the immutable Divinity to the condition of a servant.

To Him, therefore, in whom is all my pleasure, and whose teachings I manifest, whose humility glorifies me — listen to him without hesitation, for he is truth and life (Jn 14.6), he is my strength and my wisdom (1 Cor 1.24).

“Listen to Him,” he whom the Mysteries of the Law announced; whom the voice of the prophets sang about.

“Listen to Him,” he who has redeemed the world with his blood, who has chained the devil and who has snatched away the spoil (Mt 12:29), who has torn up the document of our debts (Col 2:14), and the covenant that oppressed us. 

“Listen to Him,” he who opens the way to heaven, and with the agony of the cross, prepares there the stairs leading up to the Kingdom. Why are you afraid of being redeemed? Why are you afraid of being dissolved from your chains? Let it happen that, what I wish, Christ also wills. Throw away that carnal fear and arm yourself with the constancy that inspires faith. It is unworthy of you, in fact, to be afraid of what in the Lord’s passion you would not fear in death, with his help.

~St. Leo the Great, excerpt from Sermon 38, 4

"Let me see your face,
let me hear your voice,
for your voice is sweet,
and your face is comely."
The Song of Solomon 2:14

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Rest in peace, good and faithful servant!

"The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace. For if to others, indeed, they seem punished, yet is their hope full of immortality. Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself. As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself. In the time of their judgment they shall shine and dart about as sparks through stubble; they shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord shall be their King forever. Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love: because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with the elect." ~Wisdom 3:1-9
More photos here

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Only Way

“The Way of the Cross alone defeats sin, evil and death, for it leads to the radiant light of Christ’s resurrection and opens the horizons of a new and fuller life.”  ~Pope Francis, 7/29/616, Way of the Cross at World Youth Day in Blonia Park, Krakow
Again therefore, Jesus spoke to them, saying: I am the light of the world: he who follows me, walks not in darkness, but shall have the light of life.  ~John 8:12
 We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world!

Monday, July 25, 2016

My refuge and my strength!

How precious is your mercy, O God!
The children of men seek shelter
in the shadow of your wings.
~Psalm 36(35):8

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Do I Really Mean What I Pray?

Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said, “Praying the Our Father and living it will lead us toward saintliness. The Our Father contains everything: God, ourselves, our neighbors….”

Examine how well you live what you pray as you meditate on the following:

I cannot say OUR if I keep my faith only to myself and never share it with others.

I cannot say FATHER if I do not trust in His loving and complete concern for me, forgetting that He always answers prayers how and when He knows is best.

I cannot say WHO ART IN HEAVEN if I am so attached to the ways of this world that I neglect to seek God first in everything.

I cannot say HALLOWED BE THY NAME if I am unwilling to let His holiness penetrate my life and help me grow in my own holiness.

I cannot say THY KINGDOM COME if I am not using my life to bring His love into the world.

I cannot say THY WILL BE DONE if I live by my own ideas of morality or choose to follow the world’s standards.

I cannot say ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN if I am not devoting my life to serving Him here on earth.

I cannot say GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD if I am not willing to be generous with whatever God gives me.

I cannot say FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES if I don’t want to put forth enough effort to change.

I cannot say AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US if I still hold a grudge, if I’m still angry, or if I still insist that other people change.

I cannot say LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION if I deliberately or knowingly place myself in a position to be tempted.

I cannot say DELIVER US FROM EVIL if I’m not actively fighting against evil through deeds of love and service for everyone in my life, especially those who cause problems.

~The “Our Father” Prayer:  Do I Really Mean What I Pray?, by Terry A. Modica, co-founder and Executive Director of Good News Ministries, author, international speaker, retreat director, photographer, and Catholic faith formation teacher

Lord, teach us to pray, teach us to live.  Amen.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

"being a dwelling place for the Word"

“Mary becomes a model for the Church’s mission, i.e., that of being a dwelling place for the Word, preserving it and keeping it safe in times of confusion, protecting it, as it were, from the elements. Hence she is also the interpretation of the parable of the seed sowed in good soil and yielding fruit a hundredfold.

“She is not the thin surface earth which cannot accommodate roots; she is not the barren earth which the sparrows have pecked bare; nor is she overgrown by the weeds of affluence that inhibit new growth. She is a human being with depth. She lets the word sink deep into her. So the process of fruitful transformation can take place in a twofold direction: she saturates the Word with her life, as it were, putting the sap and energy of her life at the Word’s disposal; but as a result, conversely, her life is permeated, enriched, and deepened by the energies of the Word, which gives everything its meaning.

“First of all it is she who digests the Word, so to speak, transmuting it; but in doing so she herself, with her life, is in turn transmuted into the Word. Her life becomes word and meaning. That is how the Gospel is handed on in the Church; indeed, it is how all spiritual and intellectual growth and maturity are handed on from one person to another and within humanity as a whole. It is the only way in which men and mankind can acquire depth and maturity. In other words, it is the only way to progress.” 

~from Seek That Which is Above: Meditations Through the Year by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

Mother of the Incarnate Word, pray for us!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Feast of St. Mary Magdalene

I found him whom my soul loveth:
I held him: and I will not let him go.
~Song of Songs 3:4
St. Mary Magdalene by Francesco Hayez, 1827

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Plan for Today

Lord, we are tired of being grownups. Let us become children. Take from us everything we thought we had to acquire, deprive us of all knowledge, cloud our knowing, and upset our calculation. Instead of a multitude of words and an infinity of names, give us love. Your love, Lord, not our love.  ~Adrienne von Speyr, Lumina

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

Today I will abandon being a grownup and revel in being my Heavenly Father's child!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

"work a chemical change"

Souls are made sweet not by taking the acid fluids out, but by putting something in -- a great Love, a new Spirit, the Spirit of Christ. Christ, the Spirit of Christ, interpenetrating ours, sweetens, purifies, transforms all. This only can eradicate what is wrong, work a chemical change, renovate and regenerate, and rehabilitate the inner man. Will-power does not change men. Time does not change men. Christ does. Therefore "Let that mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus."  ~from The Greatest Thing in the World by Henry Drummond (1851-1897)

Be filled with the Spirit.  ~Ephesians 5:18

Monday, July 18, 2016

Have mercy on us and on the whole world!

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.  ~Isaiah 53:4

You have placed my tears in your flask.  ~Psalm 56(55):9

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Jesus Visits Martha and Mary in Their Home

See where I stand at the door, knocking;
if anyone listens to my voice and opens the door,
I will come in to visit him,
and take my supper with him,
and he shall sup with me.
~Revelation 3:20

Thus was the Lord received as a guest who came unto his own and his own received him not; but as many as received him, he gave them the power to become sons of God, adopting those who were servants and making them his brothers, ransoming the captives and making them his co-heirs. No one of you should say: “Blessed are they who have deserved to receive Christ into their homes!” Do not grieve or complain that you were born in a time when you can no longer see God in the flesh. He did not in fact take this privilege from you. As he says: Whatever you have done to the least of my brothers, you did to me.  ~St. Augustine of Hippo
Dear Lord, may I always welcome You with a glad and grateful heart whenever, wherever, and however You choose to visit me.  Amen.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Good Samaritan

To interpret the parable of the Good Samaritan, one of the elders used to say that the man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho was Adam. He said Jerusalem was paradise, Jericho was the world, and the brigands were enemy powers. The priest was the law, the Levite the prophets, and the Samaritan Christ.

Adam’s wounds were his disobedience, the animal that carried him was the body of the Lord, and the “pandochium” or inn, open to all who wished to enter, was the Church. The two denarii represented the Father and the Son, and the innkeeper was the head of the Church, who was entrusted with its administration. The promised return of the Samaritan was a figure of the second coming of the Savior.

The Samaritan was carrying oil—“oil to make his face shine,” as scripture says, referring surely to the face of the man he cared for. He cleansed the man’s wounds with oil to soothe the inflammation and with wine that made them smart, and then placed him on his own mount, that is, on his own body, since he had condescended to assume our humanity.

This Samaritan bore our sins and suffered on our behalf; he carried the half dead man to the inn which takes in everyone, denying no one its help; in other words, to the Church. To this inn Jesus invites all when he says: “Come to me, all who labor and are overburdened, and I will give you new strength.”

After bringing in the man half dead the Samaritan did not immediately depart, but remained and dressed his wounds by night as well as by day, showing his concern and doing everything he could for him.

In the morning when he wished to set out again he took from his own pure silver coins, from his own sterling money, two denarii to pay the innkeeper—clearly the angel of the Church—and ordered him to nurse with all diligence and restore to health the man whom for a short time he himself had personally tended.

I think the two denarii stand for knowledge of the Father and the Son in the Father. This was given to the angel as a recompense, so that he would care more diligently for the man entrusted to him. He was also promised that whatever he spent of his own in healing him would be repaid.

This guardian of souls who showed mercy to the man who fell into the hands of brigands was a better neighbor to him than were either the law or the prophets, and he proved this more by deeds than by words.

Now the saying: “Be imitators of me as I am of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1) makes it clear that we can imitate Christ by showing mercy to those who have fallen into the hands of brigands. We can go to them, bandage their wounds after pouring in oil and wine, place them on our own mount, and bear their burdens.

And so the Son of God exhorts us to do these things, in words addressed not only to the teacher of the law but to all of us: “Go and do likewise.” If we do, we shall gain eternal life in Christ Jesus, “to whom belongs glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.”

~Origen of Alexandria

we love you.
Expand our hearts.
Let us love our neighbors.

Make us brave enough to cleanse wounds,
to give shelter when it is needed,
to help pay the bills and
give our helping

When we love you
in our neighbor,
let us find

~ Anne Osdieck

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

"Nothing exists without a reason..."

Nothing exists without a reason, nothing in the world happens by chance; everything, everything without the least exception, is part of the magnificent plan of divine Providence.  In this plan every creature, even the lowest, has its definite place, its end, and its value; every event, even the most insignificant, has been foreseen from all eternity and regulated even to its slightest detail.  In this plan, as vast as it is wonderful, all creatures, from the most sublime -- such as the angels -- to the humblest -- like the dewdrops and the blades of grass -- are called upon to the contribute to the harmony and good of the whole.  ~Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.

Is he not a loving Lord to his whole creation;
does not his mercy reach out to all that he has made?
Joining, then, Lord, in thy whole creation’s praise, 
let thy faithful servants bless thee!
~Psalm 144:9-10

Sunday, July 3, 2016


 I came to cast fire upon the earth, and would that it were already kindled!  ~Luke 12:49
Love is like fire – when it is first kindled in us, small troubles and temptations smother and hinder it; but when it really burns, having kindled our eagerness for God, the more temptations and tribulations meet it, the more it flares, until it overcomes and consumes all injustice and wickedness.  ~Peter Riedemann, 1506-1556

May the Lord enkindle in us the fire of His love
and the flame of everlasting charity.  Amen.
The Roman Missal, 1962

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

"no confidence whatever in my own strength"

O Lord, I do not wish to be preoccupied with my fears nor be discouraged at my weakness.  On the contrary, I wish to trust in Your mercy, and to have no confidence whatever in my own strength, convinced that my weakness comes from depending on myself.  ~St. Teresa of Avila

On the day when I shall fear,
I will trust in you,
in God, whose word I praise.
In God I trust; I shall not fear.
~Psalm 56(55):4-5

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

"Believe in His love..."

"Believe that He loves you.
He wants to help you Himself
in the struggles you must undergo.
Believe in His love, His everlasting love."
~Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

The Father Himself loves you,
because you have loved me and
have believed that I came from the Father.
~John 16:27

Monday, June 27, 2016

Awake, my soul! Ps 57:9

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.  ~Helen Keller

My heart is ready, O God; my heart is ready.
~Psalm 108(107):1

Sunday, June 26, 2016

"help me to live this day"

In quietness and in trust shall be your strength.  ~Isaiah 30:15

Dear Lord,
help me to live this day quietly, easily;
To lean upon Thy great strength trustfully, restfully;
To wait for the unfolding of Thy will patiently, serenely
To meet others peacefully, joyously;
To face tomorrow confidently, courageously.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Nativity of St. John the Baptist

For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.  ~Luke 1:44

St. John The Baptist As A Child by Bartolome Esteban Murillo
We must therefore confess that we are a work of mercy:  our sacrifice is Eucharistic, a sacrifice of thanksgiving.  This was the sacrifice offered by St. John [the Baptist].  In leaping for joy, he gave thanks to the Liberator.  If the Liberator caused John to leap for joy by means of his presence alone, what will it be like in heaven when we shall see him face-to-face?  John was in his mother's womb and was able to sense Jesus, who was in his Mother's womb.  Jesus comes to our very selves, yet we seem to be unaware that he is with us.  ~Bishop Jacques-Benigne Bossuet
Dear St. John the Baptist, make me aware!  Make me aware that Jesus is truly with me!.  And help me to live as you did, gratefully proclaiming His mercy and glory to all.  Amen.  Alleluia!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Praise and exalt Him above all forever!

Declare his glory among the nations;
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
~Psalm 96(95):3

If we are able to tell everybody straight out and with a joyful heart that we praise God and thank him for all his goodness, if we represent and proclaim our kind and merciful God, then we will be a great comfort to many people. We will forget about our own cross and rejoice with those who praise God. Then we will be able to sing songs of praise from the bottom of our hearts. How good, how pleasant it is to praise the Lord!  ~Johann Christoph Blumhardt

Dear Lord, make me Your living song of praise!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

11th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Therefore I tell you,
her sins, which are many, are forgiven,
for she loved much.
~Luke 7:47

A sinful woman has proclaimed to us that God's love has gone forth in search of sinners. For when he called her, Christ was inviting our whole race to love; and in her person he was drawing all sinners to his forgiveness.

He spoke to her alone, but he was drawing all creation to his grace.

No one else persuaded him to help her come to forgiveness; only his love for the one he himself had formed persuaded him to do this, and his own grace besought him on behalf of the work of his hands.

Who would not be struck by the mercy of Christ, who accepted an invitation to a Pharisee's house in order to save a sinner!

For the sake of the woman who hungered for forgiveness, he himself felt hunger for the table of Simon the Pharisee; and all the while, under the guise of a meal of bread, he had prepared for the sinner a meal of repentance!

The shepherd came down from heaven for the lost sheep, to catch in Simon's house the woman the cunning wolf had carried off. In the house of Simon the Pharisee he found the one he sought.

Seeing Jesus' feet, the sinner took them to be a symbol of his incarnation, and in grasping them believed herself to be grasping her God on the level of his corporal nature.

By her words she besought him as her Creator—for clearly her words, though not written down, may be guessed at from her actions. She must surely have uttered words corresponding to her deeds when she bathed his feet with her tears, wiped them with her hair, and poured precious ointment over them.

It was a prayer that she offered to the incarnate God: by bringing him her humility she showed her trust in him, and by the conversation they had with one another she proved him to be truly man.

Such then were the words addressed to Jesus by the sinner when she clasped his feet. He listened to them patiently, his silence proclaiming his steadfastness, his patience proclaiming his endurance.
By his kindness he showed his approval of her boldness. He made it obvious that it was right for her to wrest pardon from him in the presence of all the guests.

He did not speak at once and when he spoke he uttered only one word, but by that word he destroyed sins, abolished faults, chased away iniquity, granted pardon, uprooted evil, and made righteousness bud.

All at once his forgiveness appeared within her soul and chased out of it the darkness of sin; she was cured, she recovered her wits, and gained both health and strength.

For when Jesus gives graces he gives them lavishly, as he easily can, being the God of all things.

In order that you may have the same experience, reflect within yourself that your sin is great, but that it is blasphemy against God and damage to yourself to despair of his forgiveness because your sin seems to you to be too great.

He has promised to forgive your sins, however many they are; will you tell him you cannot believe this and dispute with him, saying that your sin is too great; he cannot heal your sickness?

Stop at this point, and cry out with the prophet, Lord, I have sinned against you.” At once he will reply, “As for me, I have overlooked your fault: you shall not die.” Glory to him from all of us, for all the ages.   Amen.

~Anonymous from the Early Church

But I have trusted in thy mercy.
My heart shall rejoice in thy salvation:
I will sing to the Lord, who giveth me good things:
yea I will sing to the name of the Lord the most high.
~Psalm 13(12):6-7

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Obedience and Faith

Are you worried because you find it so hard to believe? Don’t be surprised at the difficulty of faith, if there is some part of your life where you are consciously resisting or disobeying the commandment of Jesus. Is there some part of your life which you are refusing to surrender at his behest, some sinful passion, maybe, or some animosity, some hope, perhaps your ambition or your reason? If so, you must not be surprised that you have not received the Holy Spirit, that prayer is difficult, or that your request for faith remains unanswered...The person who disobeys cannot believe. Only if you obey can you believe.  ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Put a new and right spirit within me.  ~Psalm 51(50):10

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

"His exceeding love"

Believe that He loves you. 
He wants to help you Himself
in the struggles you must undergo. 
Believe in His love, His exceeding love.
~Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity, O.C.D.

As the Father has loved me,
so have I loved you;
abide in  my love.
~John 15:9

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The upward call...

..but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
~Philippians 3:13-14

Difficulties should not depress or divert us. The cause that has gripped us is so great that the small weaknesses of individuals cannot destroy it. Therefore I ask you only one thing: do not be so worried about yourself. Free yourself from all your plans and aims. They occupy you far too much. Surrender yourself to the sun, the rain, and the wind, as do the flowers and the birds. Surrender yourself to God. Wish for nothing but one thing: that his will be done, that his kingdom come, and that his nature be revealed. Then all will be well.  ~Eberhard Arnold

Dear Lord, with the help of Your grace, today I will let go and fly on the wings of Your love.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Not a pretty picture...!

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot.  Would that you were cold or hot!  So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.  ~Revelation 3:16

We must loathe lukewarm people. This message is found throughout scripture. Those who are violent are better off, even if initially they do evil. We cannot expect anything from souls who are slumbering; from those who do good – or think they do good – by abstaining from evil. A heart that is on fire, even if it bewilders us at times, is equipped to serve. God freely chooses his saints from among the great sinners, but never from among those who are lukewarm – from those who do not risk anything.  ~Henri Daniel-Rops

Deliver us from lukewarmness, dear Lord -- and especially deliver me from myself!