Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

"What is heaven’s most precious possession?
I will show you it here on earth."
~St. John Chrysostom

Christ gave us his flesh to eat in order to deepen our love for him. When we approach him, then, there should be burning within us a fire of love and longing.

Otherwise the punishment awaiting us will be in proportion to the magnitude of the graces we have received and of which we have shown ourselves unworthy.

The wise men paid homage to Christ’s body even when it was lying in a manger. Foreigners who did not worship the true God left their homes and their native land, set out on a long journey, and on reaching its end, worshiped in great fear and trembling.

Let us, the citizens of heaven, at least imitate these foreigners.

They only saw Christ in a manger, they saw nothing of what you now see, and yet they approached him with profound awe and reverence. You see him, not in a manger but on an altar, not carried by a woman but offered by a priest; and you see the Spirit bountifully poured out upon the offerings of bread and wine.

Text Box:  What is heaven’s most precious possession? I will show you it here on earth.Unlike the wise men, you do not merely see Christ’s body: you know his power as well, and whole divine plan for our salvation. Having been carefully instructed, you are ignorant of none of the marvels he has performed.

Let us then awaken in ourselves a feeling of awe and let us show a far greater reverence than did those foreigners, for we shall bring down fire upon our heads if we approach this sacrament casually, without thinking of what we do.

By saying this I do not mean that we should not approach it, but simply that we should not do so thoughtlessly. Just as coming to it in a casual way is perilous, so failing to share in this sacramental meal is hunger and death.

This food strengthens us; it emboldens us to speak freely to our God: it is our hope our salvation our light and our life. If we go to the next world fortified by this sacrifice, we shall enter its sacred portals with perfect confidence, as though protected all over by armor of gold.

But why do I speak of the next world? Because of this sacrament earth becomes heaven for you. Throw open the gates of heaven—or rather, not of heaven but of the heaven of heavens—look through and you will see the proof of what I say.

What is heaven’s most precious possession? I will show you it here on earth.

I do not show you angels or archangels, heaven or the heaven of heavens, but I show you the very Lord of all these. Do you not see how you gaze, here on earth, upon what is most precious of all?

You not only gaze on it, but touch it as well. You not only touch it, but even eat it, and take it away with you to your homes.

It is essential therefore when you wish to receive this sacrament to cleanse your soul from sin and to prepare your mind. 

~St. John Chrysostom, c. 347-407

O Sacrament Most Holy!
O Sacrament Divine!
All praise and all thanksgiving
be every moment Thine!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Wisdom from St. Bede the Venerable

Unfurl the sails, and let God steer us where He will.  ~St. Bede the Venerable

Painting by Martha Kisling

Let me hear in the morning of Thy steadfast love,
for in Thee I put my trust.
Teach me the way I should go,
for to Thee I lift up my soul.
~Psalm 143(142):8

Thursday, May 26, 2016

O Sacrament Most Holy! O Sacrament Divine!

O inextinguishable love!
O love of Christ!
O love of the human race!
What a true furnace of love!
~St. Angela of Foligno

Blessed be Jesus
in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

"There is no Christian without joy!"

"A Christian is a man, or a woman, of joy: a man and a woman with joy in their heart. There is no Christian without joy!”  

“The Christian identity card is joy, the Gospel’s joy, the joy of having been chosen by Jesus, saved by Jesus, regenerated by Jesus; the joy of that hope that Jesus is waiting for us, the joy that - even with the crosses and sufferings we bear in this life - is expressed in another way, which is peace in the certainty that Jesus accompanies us, is with us. "

"The Christian grows in joy through trusting in God. God always remembers his covenant....the Christian knows that God remembers him, that God loves him, that God accompanies him, that God is waiting for him. And this is joy."

"Remember well: a Christian is a man, and  a woman, of joy, joy in the Lord; a man and a woman of wonder."

~excerpts from 5/23/16 homily of Pope Francis

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
~Habakkuk 3:18

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Trinity Sunday

Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning,
is now,
and ever shall be,
world without end.
Amen!  Alleluia!

O my God, Trinity whom I adore, let me entirely forget myself that I may abide in You, still and peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity; let nothing disturb my peace nor separate me from You, O my unchanging God, but that each moment may take me further into the depths of Your mystery ! Pacify my soul! Make it Your heaven, Your beloved home and place of Your repose; let me never leave You there alone, but may I be ever attentive, ever alert in my faith, ever adoring and all given up to Your creative action.

O my beloved Christ, crucified for love, would that I might be for You a spouse of Your heart! I would anoint You with glory, I would love You – even unto death! Yet I sense my frailty and ask You to adorn me with Yourself; identify my soul with all the movements of Your soul, submerge me, overwhelm me, substitute Yourself in me that my life may become but a reflection of Your life. Come into me as Adorer, Redeemer and Saviour.

O Eternal Word, Word of my God, would that I might spend my life listening to You, would that I might be fully receptive to learn all from You; in all darkness, all loneliness, all weakness, may I ever keep my eyes fixed on You and abide under Your great light; O my Beloved Star, fascinate me so that I may never be able to leave Your radiance.

O Consuming Fire, Spirit of Love, descend into my soul and make all in me as an incarnation of the Word, that I may be to Him a super-added humanity wherein He renews His mystery; and You O Father, bestow Yourself and bend down to Your little creature, seeing in her only Your beloved Son in whom You are well pleased.

O my `Three’, my All, my Beatitude, infinite Solitude, Immensity in whom I lose myself, I give myself to You as a prey to be consumed; enclose Yourself in me that I may be absorbed in You so as to contemplate in Your light the abyss of Your Splendor!

~Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Pentecost Saturday

The Holy Ghost shall come upon you,
and the power of the most High shall overshadow you
~Luke 1:35

If Christ is a mystery, if the Church is a mystery, Mary is also a mystery, and so we cannot discover Mary except in the light of the Holy Spirit. The first thing we read about Mary is that Joseph, in his uncertainty, heard in his soul a voice saying: "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit" (Mt 1,20). That was said on a specific and special occasion, but I believe we have to enlarge it and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking and saying to each of us: "Do not fear to open your heart to Mary. Do not fear to take Mary into your heart and soul, and life and tradition, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit'. The link is very deep, and the Holy Spirit will show it to us. ~Cardinal Leo Joseph Suenens, 1904-1962 

Come, Holy Spirit,
teach me the mystery of Mary,
Your Spouse,
God's mother and mine!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Pentecost Friday

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
~Romans 15:13

Holy Spirit, open my eyes and calm my mind.  Give me the recollection of the Father's love, of the Son's unceasing prayer, of the world as God's world and of your own presence within me.  Holy Spirit, give me faith.

Holy Spirit, reveal to me the truth of the Father's unfailing purpose; of the Son's victory and risen presence; the truth about myself – sinner yet child beloved of God.  Holy Spirit, give me hope. 

 Holy Spirit, give me peace; peace with God and peace with people.  Kindle my desire for you.  Strengthen my will to live and serve.  Teach me and lead me where you will.  Holy Spirit, give me love.

~St. John's Abbey, Collegeville, MN

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Pentecost Thursday

And in Your light we see light.  ~Psalm 36(35):10

Where Thou lightest,
Hearts are brightest;
Clouds that brooded
There, before Thee disappear;
Fire all-holy! 

~Adam of St. Victor
 translated by Digby S. Wrangham

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Pentecost Wednesday

 "We must be thoroughly convinced that if the Holy Spirit works in our souls to assimilate us to Christ, He can do so only by opening to us the way of the Cross.  Jesus is Jesus Crucified; therefore, there can be no conformity to Him except by the Cross, and we shall never enter into the depths of the spiritual life except by entering into the mystery of the Cross."  ~Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene in Divine Intimacy 

If we have died with him,
we shall also live with him;
if we endure,
we shall also reign with him,
~2 Timothy 2:11-12

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Pentecost Tuesday

Receive the joy of your glory, alleluia:
giving thanks to God, alleluia,
Who has called you to the heavenly kingdom,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Introit for Traditional Latin Mass
on Tuesday after Pentecost
by Frances R. Havergal

To Thee, O Comforter divine,
For all Thy grace and power benign,
Sing we Alleluia!

To Thee, Whose faithful love had place
In God's great covenant of grace,
Sing we Alleluia!

To Thee, Whose faithful voice doth win
The wandering from the ways of sin,
Sing we Alleluia!

To Thee, Whose faithful power doth heal,
Enlighten, sanctify, and seal,
Sing we Alleluia!

To Thee, Whose faithful truth is shown
By every promise made our own,
Sing we Alleluia!

To Thee, our Teacher and our Friend,
Our faithful Leader to the end,
Sing we Alleluia!

To Thee, by Jesus Christ sent down,
Of all His gifts the sum and crown,
Sing we Alleluia!

To Thee, Who art with God the Son,
And God the Father ever One,
Sing we Alleluia!


Monday, May 16, 2016

Pentecost Monday

With Thy sevenfold gifts descend!
Holy Spirit Which Dwells in You by Cassie Sears
Come, Spirit of Wisdom, dispose our hearts to know and value the things of heaven above the things of the earth and show us the way to salvation.

Come, Spirit of Understanding, enlighten our minds to the mysteries of salvation and grant that we may come to a fuller knowledge of you.

Come, Spirit of Counsel, guide us in the way of your commandments. Incline us to do good. Keep us from evil and bring us to everlasting life.

Come Spirit of Fortitude, strengthen us in every trial and help us in our struggle against evil. Never let us be parted from you.

Come, Spirit of Knowledge, help us to see beyond the passing joys of this world to the glories you have prepared for us.

Come, Spirit of Piety, stir up our hearts to true holiness and love of you. May we always seek you in spirit and in truth.

Come Spirit of the Fear of the Lord, teach us ever to set the Lord before us and to avoid whatever is displeasing to you. Bring us all one day to the fullness of your love.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Pentecost Sunday

When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,
they were all in one place together.
And suddenly there came from the sky
a noise like a strong driving wind,
and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,
which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in different tongues,
as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.
~Acts 2:1-4

Pentecost by Mark Wiggin

Come, Holy Spirit!
and by the power of Your love,
transform us into a living sacrifice of praise,
a joyful proclamation of Jesus,
our risen Lord and Savior.
Amen!  Alleluia!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

A Pearl of Great Price

To souls, restless for a purer life or inflamed with the desire to possess the kingdom of heaven,
virginity offers itself as "a pearl of great price," for which one "sells all that he has, and buys it."
~Pope Pius XII

Ave Maria!  Rejoice with me, dear ones, as I celebrate the 12th anniversary of being consecrated to a life of virginity by Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza.  "O magnify the Lord with me; and let us extol his name together." (Psalm 34:3)

"the Lord’s Ascension must also fill us with serenity and enthusiasm"

"The Ascension of Christ" by Louis Cretey
"...after the Ascension the disciples returned to Jerusalem 'with great joy' (Lk 24:52). Their joy stems from the fact that what had happened was not really a separation, the Lord’s permanent absence: on the contrary, they were then certain that the Crucified-Risen One was alive and that in him God’s gates, the gates of eternal life, had been opened to humanity forever. In other words, his Ascension did not imply a temporary absence from the world but rather inaugurated the new, definitive and insuppressible form of his presence by virtue of his participation in the royal power of God. It was to be up to them, the disciples emboldened by the power of the Holy Spirit, to make his presence visible by their witness, preaching and missionary zeal. The Solemnity of the Lord’s Ascension must also fill us with serenity and enthusiasm, just as it did the Apostles who set out again from the Mount of Olives 'with great joy'. Like them, we too, accepting the invitation of the 'two men in dazzling apparel', must not stay gazing up at the sky, but, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit must go everywhere and proclaim the saving message of Christ’s death and Resurrection. His very words, with which the Gospel according to St Matthew ends, accompany and comfort us: 'and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age' (Mt 28:19)."  ~Pope Benedict XVI, 5/24/09 Homily 

"Therefore, overcome with paschal joy,
every land, every people exults in your praise
and even the heavenly Powers, with the angelic hosts,
sing together the unending hymn of your glory,
as they acclaim:
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of Hosts..."
~from the Preface of the Ascension of the Lord

Saturday, May 7, 2016

"Mary's conception was the origin of the blood of Jesus."

"My Savior, some will doubt the power of your blood.  Yet it is most fitting that the precious blood of the Son of the Virgin should exercise all its power upon her in order to honor the place from which it came.

"A holy bishop once said that Mary was like all men in that she was redeemed by the blood of her Son, but unique in that this blood was brought forth from her own body.  

"She has this in common with all the faithful:  that Jesus gives her his blood; she has this all her own:  that he first received it from her.  

"She has this in common with us:  that this blood was poured out upon her for her sanctification; but she has this as her own:  that she was its source.  

"We can even say that Mary's conception was the origin of the blood of Jesus.  It is from this source that the stream began to flow; the stream of graces that flows in our veins by the sacraments and that brings the spirit of life to the whole body of the Church.

"As fountains lift their bubbling waters to the same height from which they have fallen, so the blood of our Savior will cause its power to be lifted up even to the conception of his Mother to honor the place from which it first flowed."

~Bishop Jacques-BĂ©nigne Bossuet, 1627-1704

O Virgin Mother,
blessed above all others by your Beloved Son Jesus,
may we always honor, love and serve you
for the praise of His glory!
Amen!  Alleluia!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Ascension Thursday

I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world:
again I leave the world, and I go to the Father.
~John 16:28

Beloved Jesus, take us home to the Father!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

"the power of the sainthoods"

Their sound hath gone forth into all the earth:
and their words unto the ends of the world.
~Psalm 19:4
"Communion of Saints" by Elise Ritter
"You go to your saint and find God working and manifest in him. He got near to God by some saint of his that went before him, or that stood beside him, in whom he saw the divine presence. That saint again lighted his fire at some flame before him; and so the power of the sainthoods animates and fills the world."  ~Phillips Brooks, 1835-1893
Thank You, dear Father, for the communion of saints!  Thank You for their shining example, their unwavering faith, their steadfast hope, their enduring love.  Thank You for their constant help and their abiding presence.  They are indeed our marvelous companions as we travel together through this vale of tears to You, our everlasting home.  Yes, Father, yes, we give You thanks for our brothers and sisters the saints!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Our Lady of Light

Our Lady of Light,
illumine our pilgrim way.
Lead us out of the darkness
into the true and everlasting light,
your Beloved Son Jesus.
Amen!  Alleluia!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

"Souls are large that love much..."

“My Father and I will come to him”—that is to say, to the holy of heart—says the Son of God, “and we will make our home with him.” It seems to me that when the psalmist said to God: “You make your dwelling in the holy place, you who are Israel’s praise,” he had no other heaven in mind than the hearts of the saints. The apostle expresses it quite clearly: “Christ lives in our hearts through faith,” he tells us.

Surely it is no wonder that the Lord Jesus gladly makes his home in such a heaven because, unlike the other heavens, he did not bring it into existence by a mere word of command. He descended into the arena to win it; he laid down his life to redeem it.

And so after the battle was won he solemnly declared: “This is my resting place for ever and ever; here I have chosen to dwell.” Blessed indeed is the soul to whom the Lord says: “Come, my chosen one, I will set up my throne in you.”

Why, then, are you sorrowful, my soul, and why are you troubled within me? Are you trying to find a place for the Lord within yourself? Who among us can provide a fitting place for the Lord of glory, a place worthy of his majesty!

O that I might be counted worthy to worship at his footstool, that I might at least cling to the feet of some saintly soul whom the Lord has chosen to be his dwelling place!

However, the Lord has only to anoint my soul with the oil of his mercy for me in my turn to be able to say: “I have run the way of your commandments because you have enlarged my heart.”

Then perhaps, even if I cannot usher him into a large and richly furnished room in my heart where he may refresh himself with his disciples, I shall at least be able to offer him a place to lay his head.

It is necessary for a soul to grow and be enlarged until it is capable of containing God within itself. But the dimensions of a soul are in proportion to its love, as the apostle confirms when he urges the Corinthians “to widen their hearts in love.”

Although the soul, being spiritual, cannot be measured physically, grace confers on it what nature does not bestow. It expands spiritually as it makes progress toward human perfection, which is measured by nothing less than the full stature of Christ, and so it grows into a temple sacred to the Lord.

Love, then, is the measure of the soul. Souls are large that love much, small that love little; while as for the soul that has no love at all, such a soul is itself nothing. “Without love,” says Saint Paul, “I am nothing.”

~St. Bernard of Clairvaux, On the Song of Songs 27, 8-10

Widen my heart in love, O Lord and Lover of All!
Enlarge it with Your life, Your truth, Your Love
that it may grow into Your sacred temple!