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