Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Seized with Easter Joy!

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete."  ~John 15:11

"Through Christ's passion, His burial in the tomb and His glorious resurrection, we come to realize the enormity of the Lord's sacrifice for us. We may feel unworthy of His love who paid so high a price for our salvation. Let us not be afraid. Let's allow ourselves to be taken – even seized – with Easter joy. As we proclaim on Easter Sunday, 'Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life obtaining.'

"In the Gospel of John, chapter 10, Jesus says the shepherd calls his own sheep by name, 'I am the Good Shepherd and I know mine.' In chapter 20, how much fear and doubt must have gripped Mary of Magdala as she stood by the tomb? There, it was Jesus who rescued Mary from her fears and darkness by calling her name. Listen carefully.  Mary thought she had discovered the Risen Lord, but it was the Risen Lord who discovered her. Jesus calls out to each of us by name today as He did the very first Easter Sunday. His promise fulfilled. His word brings life, 'I am the Good Shepherd and I know mine.'

"Jesus waits for you and me, embracing us in our moments of greatest need and desire. Welcome the love of God into your life. Share it those around you, especially the most vulnerable of our sisters and brothers. In this way, we proclaim with Mary, 'I have seen the Lord.' Sing joyfully, 'the Prince of life, who died, reigns immortal.'  Happy Easter!"

~Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Message for Easter Sunday, 2017 (see video of this message here)

"I will sing to the Lord as long as I live:
I will sing praise to my God while I have my being."
~Psalm 104:33

Monday, April 17, 2017

Living the Easter Message

“Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature."  ~Mark 16:15

It is through his Risen Life in us that Christ sends his love to the ends of the earth.
~Caryll Houselander in The Risen Christ

The Risen Shepherd goes in search of all those lost in the labyrinths of loneliness and marginalization.  He comes to meet them through our brothers and sisters who treat them with respect and kindness, and help them to hear his voice, an unforgettable voice, a voice calling them back to friendship with God.  

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!!!

Is there anyone who is a devout lover of God?
Let them enjoy this beautiful bright festival!
Is there anyone who is a grateful servant?
Let them rejoice and enter into the joy of their Lord!
~from An Easter Sermon by St. John Chrysostom

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!!!
For with thee is the fountain of life;
and in thy light we shall see light.
~Psalm 36:9

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Holy Saturday

In the evening weeping shall have place,
and in the morning gladness.
~Psalm 30:5

In God I trust; I shall not fear.
~Psalm 55:5

Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday

He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, and not into light.
~Lamentations 3:2


The hour has now come. Jesus’ journey along the dusty roads of Galilee and Judea, an endless encounter with afflicted bodies and hearts, a journey driven by his urgent need to proclaim the Kingdom, ends here, today. On Golgotha. Today the cross bars the way. Jesus will go no further.

He can go no further!

Here the love of God reveals its full measure, measure beyond measure.

Today the love of the Father, who wills that all be saved in his Son, goes to the extreme, where words fail, where we find ourselves bewildered, our piety overwhelmed by the superabundance of God’s thoughts and plans.

On Golgotha, contrary to all appearances, what is at stake is life, and grace and peace. Here what counts is not the kingdom of evil, which we know all too well, but the triumph of love.

Beneath the cross, too, what is at stake is our world with all its failings and sufferings, its pleas and protests, all those cries that in our day rise up to God from lands of dire poverty and war, from boats teeming with migrants…

How many are the tears, how great is the misery in the chalice that the Son drinks for our sake.

How many are the tears, how great is the misery, yet none of this will be lost in the sea of time. Instead it will be taken up by him, to be transfigured in the mystery of a love which vanquishes all evil.

Golgotha speaks to us of God’s unshakeable fidelity to our humanity.

A birth takes place there!

We need the courage to say that all this is about the joy of the Gospel!

Unless we recognize this truth, we remain trapped in the toils of suffering and death. And we fail to let Christ’s passion bear fruit in our lives.


Lord, our vision is dimmed. How can we walk this far with you?

“Mercy” is your name. But this name is madness.

May the old wineskins of our hearts burst asunder!

Brighten our vision with the good news of the Gospel, in the hour when we stand beneath the cross of your Son.

Then we will be able to celebrate “the breadth and length and height and depth” (Eph 3:18) of the love of Christ, with hearts comforted and flooded with light.

Pope Francis asked Anne-Marie Pelletier to write the Stations of the Cross to be led by him this Good Friday evening at the Colosseum in Rome.  Her Stations are available here, plus an article about her is available here.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

These Holy Days

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!

The love of God has no bounds. As Saint Augustine often repeated, it is a love that goes “to the end without end.” God truly offers all of himself for each of us and holds nothing back. The Mystery which we adore in this Holy Week is a great history of love which knows no obstacles. The Passion of Jesus lasts until the end of the world, because it is a story of sharing in the suffering of all humanity and a permanent presence in the events of the private life of each of us. Indeed, the Easter Triduum is the commemoration of a drama of love which gives us the certainty that we will never be abandoned in life’s trials. 

Pope Francis, March 23, 2016

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Fourth Sunday of Lent

At Mass today we hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus healing the blind man (John 9:1-41).  Reflecting upon this familiar Scripture passage, Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB notes:  "We sometimes describe our blindness as an inability to see the forest for the trees, but that is a rather simplistic analysis. More worrisome is the inherited blindness which so often assumes that there are no lessons left to learn. Arrogance is very often the root of our blindness. We need the miracle of restored sight each day." (read more here) 

How seriously do I take my blindness?  How willing am I to let Jesus heal me so that I may see Him who is the Truth and follow Him who is the Light?

"Until now I wandered in the hope of finding God, but since you enlighten me, O Lord, I find God through you and I receive the Father from you, I become your coheir, since you did not shrink from having me for your brother.  Let us put away, then, let us put away all blindness to the truth, all ignorance:  and removing the darkness that obscures our vision like fog before the eyes, let us contemplate the true God…since a light from heaven shone down upon us who were buried in darkness and imprisoned in the shadow of death, purer than the sun, sweeter than life on this earth.  Amen."  ~Saint Clement of Alexandria

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Annunciation of the Lord

"Open your heart to faith, O blessed Virgin,
your lips to praise, your womb to the Creator....
Arise in faith, hasten in devotion,
open in praise and thanksgiving."
from a homily In Praise of the Virgin Mother
by Saint Bernard, abbot

Monday, March 20, 2017

First Day of Spring!

What is Spring?
Growth in every thing...
~Gerard Manley Hopkins

Everything growing on earth, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.
~Daniel 3:76

Friday, March 17, 2017

Your ways, O Lord, make known to me!

I wept heretofore for him that was afflicted,
and my soul had compassion on the poor.
~Job 30:25

A homeless man bundled up in blankets in a doorway in Manhattan during winter storm Stella

So long as there are poor, I am poor;
So long as there are prisons, I am a prisoner;
So long as there are sick, I am weak;
So long as there is ignorance, I must learn the truth;
So long as there is hate, I must love;
So long as there is hunger, I am famished.
~Ven. Fulton J. Sheen

Thursday, March 16, 2017

"can spring be far behind?"

You make me jubilant, Lord, by your deeds;
at the works of your hands I shout for joy.
Psalm 92:5

Friday, March 3, 2017

"You have freedom only to give your heart away."

My son, give me your heart...  ~Proverbs 23:26

"God will love you, of course, even though you do not love him, but remember if you give him only half your heart, he can make you only fifty percent happy.  You have freedom only to give your heart away.  To whom do you give yours?  You give it either to the moods of the hour, to your egotism, to creatures, or to God." 
 ~Ven. Fulton J. Sheen

Oh dear Lord, deliver me from half-heartedness!  You who have given me Your entire being down to the last drop of Your Precious Blood, let me at least try to give You my whole heart -- not only for the sake of my happiness but most importantly for the praise of Your glory.  Amen!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Ash Wednesday

May the Lord direct our hearts,
in the charity of God,
and the patience of Christ.
2 Thess 3:5

Sunday, January 8, 2017

"They opened their treasures..."

They were overjoyed at seeing the star, 
and on entering the house
they saw the child with Mary his mother.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage.
Then they opened their treasures 
and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
~Matthew 2:10-11

Stars cross the sky, wise men journey from pagan lands, earth receives its savior in a cave. Let there be no one without a gift to offer, no one without gratitude as we celebrate the salvation of the world, the birthday of the human race.  ~St. Basil the Great
"Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart."
~Christina Rossetti

Saturday, January 7, 2017

God With Us!

"And the Word became flesh
and dwelt among us,
full of grace and truth;
we have beheld his glory,
glory as of the only Son from the Father."
~John 1:14

Remembering the Sacred Presence of the One Who  Dwells Among Us
~by Joyce Rupp

May we look for your goodness in people who seem least likely to carry your love.

May we behold your radiance in the ones we quickly pass by at home or work.

May we discover your love in our deeper self when we feel unloving and irritable.

May we embrace you in the persons whose faithfulness we take for granted.

May we see your empathy in those serving the wounded of the world.

May we recognize your courage in the valiant people who speak for justice.

May we notice your non-judgmental acceptance in those who keep an open mind.

May we search for your gentleness when it is covered with harshness in another.

May we observe your generosity in every gift we receive, no matter how small it is.

May we reveal your mercy when we pardon someone for having turned against us.

May we welcome your joy in the delightful voices and happy play of children.

May we convey your compassion when we visit those with illness and poor health.

May we detect your patience in those who put up with our impatience and hurry.

May we unite with your peace hidden beneath the layers of the world’s disharmony.

O Divine One, you came into our world in the form of a newly emerged child, fresh and fragile as all of us are at our birthing.  You came as a beloved one filled with the radiance of eternal Light.  As you grew in humanness, your life and teachings revealed the vast goodness of your inner being.  We now carry your loving Spirit of radiance within us.  We can easily miss this gift in the press of our activities and our clouded, inner vision.  Skim away the inattentiveness of our minds and the crusts of unloving on our hearts.  As we prepare to celebrate the wonder of your birth, help us discern your concealed presence in each part of our life.  

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Epiphany of Our Lord

"Why do so few ever see the star?
Only because so few are looking for it...."
~Fr. Alfred Delp, S.J.

Dear Jesus,
my Light and my Salvation,
in Your kindness and mercy,
make me tenacious in seeking the star
and courageous in proclaiming it.