Monday, May 27, 2024

Memorial Day Tribute


This is what today is about.

Let us pray for the souls of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

For love of country, "some gave all".
Cowards die many times before their deaths,
The valiant never taste of death but once. 
Julius Caesar (II, ii, 32-33)
by William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

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Originally posted  5/26/2014.
Re-posted 5/30/2016.
Re-posted 5/25/2020.
Re-posted 5/31/2021.
Re-posted 5/30/2022.
Re-posted 5/29/2023.

Some Gave All


 
...We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.  
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. 
Abraham Lincoln
Gettysburg Address
November 19, 1863

It is altogether fitting and proper to remember those who have died in the service of this country.

It is truly right and just to honor their ultimate sacrifice.

It is well we have this holiday.

Happy Memorial Day!

**********

Originally posted 5/27/2013.
Original photo replaced with current photo and re-posted 5/30/2016.
Re-posted 5/25/2020.
Re-posted 5/31/2021.
Re-posted 5/30/2022.
Re-posted 5/29/2023.

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Three Verses--One Hymn


The author is unknown; the text was translated by Irvin M. Udulutsch. Set to the tune Gott Vater Sei Gepriesen, it is a simple expression one of the Church's great mysteries. Ask St. Augustine.

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1 O God, almighty Father,
Creator of all things,
The heavens stand in wonder,
While earth your glory sings.

Refrain:
O most holy Trinity,
Undivided unity,
Holy God, mighty God,
God immortal, be adored!

2 O Jesus, Word incarnate,
Redeemer most adored,
All glory, praise, and honor;
Be yours, O sov'reign Lord. [Refrain]

3 O God, the Holy Spirit,
Who lives within our soul,
Send forth your light and lead us
To our eternal goal. [Refrain]

Thrice Holy Hymn


Reginald Heber pens the words set to the tune Nicaea. Since we cannot do any better than Ss. Peter, James, and John at the Transfiguration, this might be the closest expression of perfect adoration and praise we can offer.

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1. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

2. Holy, holy, holy! all the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim, falling down before Thee,
Which wert and art and evermore shalt be.

3. Holy, holy, holy! though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see;
Only Thou art holy, there is none beside Thee,
Perfect in pow'r, in love, and purity.

4. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy name, in earth and sky and sea;
Holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity! 

Glory Be To...


From the Athanasian Creed:
...And the Catholic Faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity. Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost is all One, the Glory Equal, the Majesty Co-Eternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father Uncreate, the Son Uncreate, and the Holy Ghost Uncreate. The Father Incomprehensible, the Son Incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost Incomprehensible. The Father Eternal, the Son Eternal, and the Holy Ghost Eternal and yet they are not Three Eternals but One Eternal. As also there are not Three Uncreated, nor Three Incomprehensibles, but One Uncreated, and One Uncomprehensible. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not Three Almighties but One Almighty.

So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not Three Gods, but One God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not Three Lords but One Lord. For, like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be and Lord, so are we forbidden by the Religion to say, there be Three Gods or Three Lords. The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father, and of the Son neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

So there is One Father, not Three Fathers; one Son, not Three Sons; One Holy Ghost, not Three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is afore or after Other, None is greater or less than Another, but the whole Three Persons are Co-eternal together, and Co-equal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshiped. He therefore that will be saved, must thus think of the Trinity....
This is He Who Was, Who Is, and Who Is To Come.

This is I AM.

**********

Originally posted 6/19/2011.
Re-posted 5/26/2013.
Re-posted 6/15/2014.
Re-posted 5/31/2015
Re-posted 5/22/2016.
Re-posted 6/11/2017.
Re-posted 5/27/2018.
Re-posted 6/16/2019.
Re-posted 6/7/2020.
Re-posted 5/30/2021.
Re-posted 6/13/2022.
Re-posted 6/4/2023.

One Hymn--Three Verses


An unknown author wrote it originally in Latin as Ave Colenda Trinitas. The translation we know today is by John David Chambers. Its most familiar setting is to Old Onehundreth.

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1. All hail, adored Trinity!
All hail, eternal Unity!
O God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit, ever One.

2. Three persons praise we evermore,
One only God our hearts adore:
In thy sure mercy, ever kind,
May we your true protection find.

3. O Trinity! O Unity!
Be present as we worship thee;
And with the songs that angels sing
Unite the hymns of praise we bring.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Hymn For Pentecost

Veni, Creator Spiritus,
mentes tuorum visita,
imple superna gratia
quae tu creasti pectora.

Qui diceris Paraclitus,
altissimi donum Dei,
fons vivus, ignis, caritas,
et spiritalis unctio.

Tu, septiformis munere,
digitus paternae dexterae,
Tu rite promissum Patris,
sermone ditans guttura.

Accende lumen sensibus:
infunde amorem cordibus:
infirma nostri corporis
virtute firmans perpeti.

Hostem repellas longius,
pacemque dones protinus:
ductore sic te praevio
vitemus omne noxium.

Per te sciamus da Patrem,
noscamus atque Filium;
Teque utriusque Spiritum
credamus omni tempore.

Deo Patri sit gloria,
et Filio, qui a mortuis surrexit,
ac Paraclito,
in saeculorum saecula. Amen.

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Come, Holy Spirit, Creator blest,
and in our souls take up Thy rest;
come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.

O comforter, to Thee we cry,
O heavenly gift of God Most High,
O fount of life and fire of love,
and sweet anointing from above.

Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts are known;
Thou, finger of God's hand we own;
Thou, promise of the Father,
Thou Who dost the tongue with power imbue.

Kindle our sense from above,
and make our hearts o'erflow with love;
with patience firm and virtue high
the weakness of our flesh supply.

Far from us drive the foe we dread,
and grant us Thy peace instead;
so shall we not, with Thee for guide,
turn from the path of life aside.

Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow
the Father and the Son to know;
and Thee, through endless times confessed,
of both the eternal Spirit blest.

Now to the Father and the Son,
Who rose from death, be glory given,
with Thou, O Holy Comforter,
henceforth by all in earth and heaven. Amen.

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Originally posted 6/4/2006.
Part of post "Tongues Of Fire" posted 5/27/2007.
Re-posted 5/23/2010.
Re-posted 6/12/2011.
Re-posted 4/18/2013.
Re-posted 6/8/2014.
Re-posted 5/24/2015.
Re-posted 5/15/2016.
Re-posted 6/4/2017.
Re-posted 5/20/2018.
Re-posted 6/9/2019.
Re-posted 5/31/2020.
Re-posted 5/23/2021.
Re-posted 6/5/2022.
Re-posted 5/28/2023.

Pentecost Sequence

Veni, Sancte Spiritus,
et emitte caelitus
lucis tuae radium.

Veni, pater pauperum,
veni, dator munerum
veni, lumen cordium.

Consolator optime,
dulcis hospes animae,
dulce refrigerium.

In labore requies,
in aestu temperies
in fletu solatium.

O lux beatissima,
reple cordis intima
tuorum fidelium.

Sine tuo numine,
nihil est in homine,
nihil est innoxium.

Lava quod est sordidum,
riga quod est aridum,
sana quod est saucium.

Flecte quod est rigidum,
fove quod est frigidum,
rege quod est devium.

Da tuis fidelibus,
in te confidentibus,
sacrum septenarium.

Da virtutis meritum,
da salutis exitum,
da perenne gaudium.

Amen, Alleluia.

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Come, Holy Spirit,
Send forth from on high
The radiance of thy light.

Come, thou, father of the poor,
Come, dispenser of all good gifts,
Come thou, light of our hears.

Supreme Comforter,
Beloved guest of our soul,
Its most desirable nourishment.

In the midst of labor, rest.
A cool breeze to temper the heat,
Solace in the midst of woe.

O most blessed light,
Fill the innermost being.
The very hearts of they faithful.

Without thy divine strength
No good dwells in man,
Nothing but what turns to ill.

Wash away every stain,
Irrigate all dryness,
Heal every wound.

Make supple all that is rigid,
Give ardor to things grown cold,
Straighten every crooked path.

Grant to thy faithful
Who put their trust in thee,
The blessing of thy sevenfold gifts.

Grant us the reward of a virtuous life,
A death which leads to salvation,
To the gift of eternal joy.

Amen. Alleluia.

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Originally posted 5/23/2010.
Re-posted 6/12/2011.
Re-posted 5/19/2013.
Re-posted 6/8/2014.
Re-posted 5/24/2015.
Re-posted 5/15/2016.
Re-posted 6/4/2017.
Re-posted 5/20/2018.
Re-posted 6/9/2019.
Re-posted 5/31/2020.
Re-posted 5/23/2021.
Re-posted 6/5/2022.
Re-posted 5/28/2023.

Wednesday, May 01, 2024

May 2024 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

 Here is the intention for this month when prayer the Morning Offering:
For The Formation Of Religious And Seminarians. We pray that religious women and men, and seminarians, grow in their own vocations through their human, pastoral, spiritual and community formation, leading them to be credible witnesses to the Gospel.

(UPDATE:  5/23/2024). A reflection for this intention can be found here.

Monday, April 01, 2024

Cryptic Conclusion?

All good things must come to an end.

Perhaps I should have done this a long time ago.

Regardless, it is a decision I do not take lightly.

I have been mulling this for quite a while.

Looking for inspiration for this task, I found plenty.

Finality comes in many forms.

Others have done it; why not me?

Only I will give you this opportunity to remember this day.

Look carefully at this post and see it for what it is.

April 2024 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when prayer the Morning Offering:
For The Role Of Women. We pray that the dignity and immense value of women be recognized in every culture, and for the end of discrimination that they experience in different parts of the world.
(UPDATE: 4/30/24). A reflection for this intention can be found here

Sunday, March 31, 2024

The "Other" Prayer

As mentioned in a previous post, the Regina Coeli now takes the place of the Angelus when the church bells peel morning, noon, and night during the Easter Season. This is a wonderful reminder of our salvation during the next 50 days.

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V. Regina cæli, lætare, alleluia:
R. Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia,

V. Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia,
R. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

V. Gaude et lætare, Virgo Maria, alleluia.
R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.

Oremus. Deus, qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum lætificare dignatus es:  præsta, quæsumus, ut per eius Genitricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuæ capiamus gaudia vitæ.  Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
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V.
Queen of Heaven, rejoice. Alleluia.
R. For He Whom thou was made worthy to bear. Alleluia.

V. Has risen as He said. Alleluia.
R. Pray for us to God. Alleluia.

V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary. Alleluia.
R. For the Lord hath risen indeed. Alleluia.

Let us pray: O God, Who through the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, hast vouchsafed to make glad the world, grant us we beseech Thee, that, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may attain unto the joys of eternal life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Originally posted 4/16/2006.
Re-posted 4/4/2010.
Re-posted 4/8/2012.
Re-posted 3/31/2013.
Re-posted 4/20/2014.
Re-posted 4/5/2015.
Re-posted 3/27/2016.
Re-posted 4/16/2017.
Re-posted 4/1/2018.
Re-posted 4/21/2019.
Re-posted 4/12/2020.
Re-posted 4/4/2021.
Re-posted 4/17/2022.
Re-posted 4/9/2023.

Easter Sequence


The Resurrection of Christ, by Peter Paul Rubens

Victimae Paschali laudes immolent Christiani.
Agnus redemit oves: Christus innocens Patri reconciliavit peccatores.
Mors et vita duello conflixere mirando: dux vitae mortuus, regnat vivus.
Dic nobis Maria, Quid vidisti in via?
Sepulcrum Christi viventis, et gloriam vidi resurgentis.
Angelicos testees, sudarium et vestes.
Surrexit Christus spes mea: praecedet suos in Galilaeam.
Scimus Christum surrexisse a mortuis vere: Tu nobis, victor Rex miserere.
Amen. Alleluia.

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Christians, to the Paschal victim offer sacrifice and praise.
The sheep are ransomed by the Lamb; and Christ, the undefiled, hath sinners to his Father reconciled.
Death with life contended: combat strangely ended!
Life's own Champion, slain, yet lives to reign.
Tell us, Mary: say what thou didst see upon the way.
The tomb the Living did enclose; I saw Christ's glory as He rose!
The angels there attesting; shroud with grave-clothes resting.
Christ, my hope, has risen: He goes before you into Galilee.
That Christ is truly risen from the dead we know.
Victorious King, Thy mercy show!
Amen. Alleluia.

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He Is Risen! He Is Risen Indeed!

Happy Easter, Everybody!

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Originally posted Easter Sunday 2006.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2007.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2008.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2009.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2011.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2012.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2013.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2014.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2015.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2016.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2017.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2018.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2019.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2020.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2021.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2022.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2023.

Some messages never change.

2024 Easter Card


May our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ bless you with unending life and joy.
May He Who conquered death and sin bestow upon you grace and favor.
May He give you mercy and peace in infinite measure.

Happy Easter, Everybody!

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Reclaiming And Proclaiming The Light

"Then God said: 'Let there be light.' And there was light." (cf. Genesis 1:3)

There are parallels between the creation of the world and our salvation (one might even say our re-creation). For example, as creation was enveloped in darkness, so was its re-creation. Remember, darkness covered the earth in the beginning and also at the death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The darkness in the beginning would not relent until God spoke. The darkness known as death, brought into the world by Original Sin, would not relent until God again spoke.

And what did God speak? In true Triune language, Himself. The Prologue of the Gospel of St. John captures the essence of this meaning. Word and Light came forth, as we profess in the Nicene Creed. Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Father, born of the Blessed Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit, was present in both events, invisible at the first but incarnate at the second.

In fact, His triumph over sin and death is what we celebrate tonight. What better reminder of this fact than the juxtaposition of the two icons which entered the Church during Her liturgies--the Cross on Good Friday and the Pascal Candle tonight. Both will stop three times on their way to the altar, each accompanied by their respective proclamation and response. The wood of the Cross reminds us of the ultimate sacrifice made by Jesus for us; the wax and wick of the candle, the ultimate salvation won by Christ for us.

It may have been the ultimate darkness that particular Passover, but it didn't last.

"What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." (John 1:3b-5)

"On this, your night of grace, O holy Father, accept this candle, a solemn offering,...this gift from your most holy Church."

Both the English and Latin forms of the chant are provided for your meditation.

Seven Last Words: Waiting And Trusting


Crucified Christ with Saint John the Evangelist, the Virgin, and Saints Dominic and Jerome
by Fra Angelico

This concludes a series of short meditations upon the statements made while Jesus hung on the Cross.

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"Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit." (Luke 23:46, cf. Psalm 31:6)
Before the feast of Passover, Jesus realized that the hour had come for him to pass from this world to the Father. He had loved his own in this world, and would show his love for them to the end.

John 13:1
His final acts. One last attempt to reveal Himself to the world (again, a fragment of a Psalm which would be familiar to all, another one which portrayed His Passion). And then, He dies.

"What wondrous love is this, O my soul?" A love which takes a soul a lifetime to understand, much less appreciate, much less articulate, much less emulate. A love eternal.

And now comes the ultimate act of trust. In His humanity, He can no longer do anymore. In a sense, He has become a child again--placed in His Mother's arms, wrapped in cloth, laid to rest in a place not His own. He has now placed His trust in the Father, a trust that the plan of salvation would come to fruition.

His work on earth is done. His job--to re-create the world--is completed. The six days from Palm Sunday to Good Friday are over. "Since on the seventh day God was finished with the work he had been doing, he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken." (Genesis 2:2)

And so He rests.

And so we wait.

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Originally posted 4/15/2006 as "Seven Last Words: Trusting".
Re-posted 4/7/2007 as "Seven Last Words: Waiting."
Re-posted 3/22/2008.
Re-posted 4/11/2009.
Re-posted 4/3/2010.
Re-posted 4/23/2011.
Re-posted 4/7/2012.
Re-posted 3/30/2013.
Re-posted 4/19/2014.
Re-posted 4/4/2015.
Re-posted 3/26/2016.
Re-posted 4/15/2017.
Re-posted 3/31/2018.
Re-posted 4/20/2019.
Re-posted 4/11/2020.
Re-posted 4/3/2021.
Re-posted 4/16/2022.
Re-posted 4/8/2023.

While We Wait

The following is from the Office of Readings of the Divine Office/Liturgy of the Hours. It is a ancient homily preserved in this liturgy for this day. Its tone reflects the mood of the day and the anticipation of what is to come

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The Lord's Descent Into The Underworld

Something strange is happening – there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.
  
He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all.” Christ answered him: “And with your spirit.” He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
  
I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated. For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.
  
See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.
  
I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.
  
Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.

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Fedora doff to the Catholic Company, an on-line Catholic book and gift shop with headquarters in Charlotte, NC. They provide a daily newsletter with meditations, the daily readings for the Mass, a saint of the day, and links to the Divine Office/Liturgy of the Hours. This post's inspiration comes from today's e-mail.

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Originally published 4/20/2019.
Re-posted 4/11/2020.
Re-posted 4/3/2021.
Re-posted 4/16/2022.
Re-postd 4/8/2023.

Friday, March 29, 2024

Seven Last Words: Completion


Christ Crucified Between Two Thieves by Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn 

This continues a series of short meditations upon the statements made while Jesus hung on the Cross.

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"It is consummated." (John 19:30)

Many of you have or will hear and/or read these or similar words today.

His Hour has finally come. With the coming of the darkness, it seems as if the first day of creation was being undone. Is not, in fact, what has been really happening since His entry into Jerusalem six days ago? Genesis, redux. All of creation is being re-newed. Made new again.

But not by destroying it, as Satan tried to do to Him. Redeeming it with His death. Reconciling it with the Trinitarian Life. Gathering it as He did His Cross. Healing it with the stripes of the scourging. Washing it clean with the blood and water which will soon flow from His side. Offering it all back to the Father.

This new work of creation is done. God has said again, with His Word, it is very good. Jesus has done all He could. Like the groom and bride, Heaven and earth are once again united in a new and everlasting covenant.

No Greater Love.

"It is consummated."

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Originally posted 4/14/2006.
Re-posted 4/6/2007.
Re-posted 3/21/2008.
Re-posted 4/10/2009.
Re-posted 4/2/2010.
Re-posted 4/22/2011.
Re-posted 4/6/2012.
Re-posted 3/29/2013.
Re-posted 4/18/2014.
Re-posted 4/3/2015.
Re-posted 3/25/2016.
Re-posted 4/14/2017.
Re-posted 3/30/2018.
Re-posted 4/19/2019.
Re-posted 4/10/2020.
Re-posted 4/2/2021.
Re-posted 4/15/2022.
Re-posted 4/7/2023.

Mercy's Novena Once More

We are all in need of mercy. Some of us are more aware of this fact than others (cf. Luke 18:9-14). If you are a saint who knows what a sinner looks like by your reflection in the mirror or a sinner who is absolutely sure your sainthood is guaranteed, this devotion is for you.

Once again the Divine Mercy Novena begins today. Details about it can be found here. I know of a nearby parish who will be praying this devotion this year. As a reminder, a plenary indulgence is granted.

"The law entered in so that transgression might increase but, where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more,..." (Romans 5:20).

And what greater grace than mercy?




Thursday, March 28, 2024

The Not-So-Routine Routine

It is a familiar routine. At least it should be. But it will never be.

Tonight marks the beginning of Christianity's "High Holy Days", the Pascal Triduum. The echoes of the "Hosannas" heard on Palm Sunday no longer reverberate. For the next three days we commemorate the events leading to the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ:  His Last Supper, agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, betrayal, two trials, Via Dolorosa, crucifixion, death, and burial.

We know about them, but do we really know them? How has the central mystery of our Faith formed us? How have we grown in our belief over the past Lenten season? We can and should spend our lifetimes meditating on these wonderous deeds, integrating them into our being. We are called to be holy, to be more as we were created, in the image and likeness of God; to be more Christ-like, more like the Father Who is perfect, Who we have seen because we have seen Jesus and he is one with the Father; to be more like the Trinity Who is love. All of this is encapsulated in the Pascal Mystery.

The Church's liturgy reflects this. There are not three separate celebrations but one continuous act of worship. Notice if you attend Holy Thursday's Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper and/or Good Friday's Liturgy of the Lord's Passion there are no words of dismissal. As His disciples, we are to follow Him in His final hours and keep vigil as He lays in the tomb to see if after three days the Temple has been rebuilt, that He has freely laid down His life and freely has taken it up again, either at the Easter Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter and/or Easter Sunday:  The Resurrection of the Lord.

The Upper Room is ready. So will be the Cross. So will be the Tomb. Are we?

The invitation awaits.

"Come and see."

Seven Last Words: Wanting


Cristo Crucificado by Zurbaran

This continues a series of short meditations upon the statements made while Jesus hung on the Cross.

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"I thirst." (John 19:28)

Was this an echo of another conversation Jesus had earlier in the Gospel of St. John, when He asks the Samaritan woman to give Him water from Jacob's well? No one overheard that exchange; remember, the disciples were returning as she was leaving. But, this short statement hearkens back to that incident.

The entire story (John 4:4-42) has hints of the Passion. Jesus and the Samaritan woman met at about noon, the same time when Jesus was fixed to the Cross. While she wondered if He was greater than Jacob, recall the crowd who wondered if He was greater than Elijah. He was still hoping people would recognize Him, just as He began to reveal Himself to her (John 4:10). Her coming to believe echoed the words of the Centurion. But the greatest clue was in His words to her as she spoke of where true worship of God would take place, seemingly as a foreshadowing of what was to come (John 4:19-24).

Jesus has had nothing to drink since the Last Supper. His scourging drained much blood. His carrying the Cross sapped what little strength He was conserving. He had to be severely dehydrated. Yes, He thirsted.

But not for water. I have read somewhere His thirst upon the Cross is for the salvation of all. But, is it also possible that His human nature was thirsting to see the living God?
O God, you are my God whom I seek; for your my flesh pines and my soul thirsts like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.

Psalm 63:2
Jesus, in His life and in His death, has an unquenchable desire to draw all to Him. Soon, it would be sated.

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Originally posted 4/13/2006.
Re-posted 4/5/2007.
Re-posted 3/20/2008.
Re-posted 4/9/2009.
Re-posted 4/1/2010.
Re-posted 4/21/2011.
Re-posted 4/5/2012.
Re-posted 3/28/2013.
Re-posted 4/17/2014.
Re-posted 4/2/2015.
Re-posted 3/24/2016.
Re-posed 4/13/2017.
Re-posted 3/29/2018.
Re-posted 4/18/2019.
Re-posted 4/9/2020.
Re-posted 4/1/2021.
Re-posted 4/14/2022.
Re-posted 4/6/2023.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Seven Last Words: Gifts Of Others



Crucified Christ, by Francisco Goya

This continues a series of short meditations upon the statements made while Jesus hung on the Cross.


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"Woman, behold thy son. . . .Behold thy mother." (John 19:26-27)

Although other accounts of the Passion mention other people near the Cross, it was the Blessed Virgin Mary and the disciple whom Jesus loved who had the courage to draw as close as possible in His agony. A love greater than their fear, they stood in the place of Adam and Eve, in a sense. In proxy of all humanity.

Jesus, in His humanity, would have never remembered the words of Simeon. Jesus, in His divinity, would have known them intensely. I don't think it is possible to determine who's heart was more broken at this moment; between the Son and the Mother, they both had to be aching infinitely.

Yet, in this moment of incredible anguish, love still abounds.

Jesus gave His Mother His adopted "children", those who worship in Spirit and Truth, those who Love as He demonstrated time after time, those who observe the Great Commandments, those who He has saved.

Jesus gave St. John, as the representative of His Church at this moment, the greatest example of what holiness is, the sign of what His grace can do in us, the model of what saying "yes" to Him means, the true meaning of what humanity is.

No small gifts.

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Originally posted 4/11/2006.
Re-posted 4/3/2007.
Re-posted 3/18/2008.
Re-posted 4/7/2009.
Re-posted 3/30/2010.
Re-posted 4/19/2011.
Re-posted 4/3/2012.
Re-posted 3/26/2013.
Re-posted 4/15/2014.
Re-posted 3/31/2015.
Re-posted 3/22/2016.
Re-posted 4/11/2017.
Re-posted 3/27/2018.
Re-posted 4/16/2019.
Re-posted 4/7/2020.
Re-posted 3/31/2021.
Re-posted 4/13/2022.
Re-posted 4/5/2023.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Seven Last Words: Utter Abandonement


Christ Crucified by Velazquez

This continues a series of short meditations upon the statements made while Jesus hung on the Cross.

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"Eli, Eli, lema sabacthani?" ("My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?") (Matthew 27:46b; cf. Psalm 22:2)

When the crowd heard this from Jesus, they responded by saying He was invoking Elijah. They must have forgotten Him saying there was Someone greater than Elijah amongst them. They also must have forgotten this was the opening line of a Psalm surely heard at times in their synagogues.

While all words in the Bible lead to the Word, some more than others point directly to Him. Psalm 22 is a case in point. Still a Teacher, still calling out to Israel to see Him as He truly is--their redeemer, Jesus leaves no stone unturned as His humanity begins to drain away. Indeed, as He said earlier in His ministry, this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.

Yet, how eerily these words echo in Heaven as well as on earth. A member of the Trinity, a union of Perfect Love, wondering out loud if He is no longer part of Them. Has God rejected Himself? The Begotten Son, forgotten? The Beloved, unloved? We can't fathom it.

Such is the Paschal Mystery. We can find the paradoxes. There are times when we seek answers to those contradictory questions. But, as Fr. John Powell, SJ, wrote in several of his books, we need to seek not peace of mind, but rather peace of heart. "Then God's own peace, which is beyond all understanding, will stand guard over your hearts and minds, in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:7)

Perhaps, Jesus thought of another passage to help His align His will to the Father's in this time of seemingly utter abandonment. It is a quote to quiet our souls and asks us to trust in the One Who is worthy of that trust. Maybe, just maybe, it helped Him in this moment.

"Be still, and know that I am God."

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Originally posted 4/12/2006.
Re-posted 4/5/2007.
Re-posted 3/19/2008.
Re-posted 4/8/2009.
Re-posted 3/31/2010.
Re-posted 4/20/2011.
Re-posted 4/4/2012.
Re-posted 3/27/2013.
Re-posted 4/16/2014.
Re-posted 4/1/2015.
Re-posted 3/23/2016.
Re-posted 4/12/2017.
Re-posted 3/28/2018.
Re-posted 4/17/2019.
Re-posted 4/8/2020.
Re-posted 3/30/2021.
Re-posted 4/13/2022.
Re-posted 4/4/2023.

Monday, March 25, 2024

Seven Last Words: The Promise

Crucifixion by Matthias Gruenewald

This continues a series of short meditations upon the statements made while Jesus hung on the Cross.

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"Amen I say to thee: This day thou shalt be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43)

From the website Catholic Community Forum:
One of the thieves crucified with Jesus, the other being traditionally known as Gestas; Dismas is the one who rebuked the other, and asked for Christ's blessing.

An old legend from an Arabic infancy gospel says that when the Holy Family were running to Egypt, they were set upon by a band of thieves including Dismas and Gestas. One of the highwaymen realized there was something different, something special about them, and ordered his fellow bandits to leave them alone; this thief was Dismas.
While St. Joseph taught Him the skills of carpentry, Jesus was actually a farmer. Recall the Parable of the Seeds, the need for harvesters, the call to die to self in order to be fruitful. While He was very familiar with wood (first the Manger and now the Cross), He came to reap and gather the most precious crop of all--souls.

Seeds of grace are what He planted. Some sprouted quickly (St. Paul). Some needed nurturing (the Samaritan woman at the well). Some matured with the help of others (St. Augustine, thanks to St. Monica). Some died on the vine (Judas). Now, one which had laid dormant for some 30 years blossoms.

The Church teaches it is never too late to repent. Salvation is close at hand when sincerely sought.

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Originally posted 4/10/2006.
Re-posted 4/2/2007.
Re-posted 3/17/2008.
Re-posted 4/6/2009.
Re-posted 3/29/2010.
Re-posted 4/18/2011.
Re-posted 4/2/2012.
Re-posted 3/25/2013.
Re-posted 4/14/2014.
Re-posted 3/30/2015.
Re-posted 3/21/2016.
Re-posted 4/10/2017.
Re-posted 3/26/2018.
Re-posted 4/15/2019.
Re-posted 4/6/2020.
Re-posted 3/29/2021.
Re-posted 4/11/2022.
Re-posted 4/3/2023.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Seven Last Words: Lacking Knowing


Kreuzigung by Bernardo Daddi

This begins a series of short meditations upon the statements made while Jesus hung on the Cross.

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"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34)

One has to wonder how many times this thought crossed the mind of Jesus during His ministry before He uttered it at His crucifixion. Certainly not when people converted upon encountering Him, whether by His words or deeds. Certainly not when people asked Him in faith for something. And certainly not when He showed forgiveness through His words and deeds.

Yet, one will find example after example of those who "know not what they do." The Scribes and Pharasees debating Him. The rich young man walking away from His invitation. James and John asking for their seats. The crowds shouting their "Hosanna". Peter--well, pick an incident.

Judas Iscariot. Caiaphas. Herod. Pontius Pilate.

We, when we sin.

Yes, there are degrees of culpability. But, because of Original Sin, there is damage done to our wills and intellects. And it is that damage that does not allow us to truly realize in the very core of our being what our sinfulness does to us. It is in that sense we "know not what we do." It is the war within us mentioned by St. Paul.

Yet, is that not what metanoia is all about? Is that not why we, "with the help of Thy Grace," seek to uproot in our souls that which separates us from God? Is that not why we examine our consciences and seek the Sacrament of Reconciliation, to continue to strengthen what has been weakened?

It is the level of sanctity asked of us ("Be therefore perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect."). It is the level of sanctity achieved by the saints. It is a level of sanctity we can have. The Son has asked the Father with the Spirit that this may be. It continues its fruition when we seek it.

"Father, forgive them."

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Originally posted 4/9/2006.
Re-posted 4/1/2007.
Re-posted 3/16/2008.
Re-posted 4/5/2009.
Re-posted 3/28/2010.
Re-posted 4/17/2011.
Re-posted 4/1/2012.
Re-posted 3/24/2013
Re-posted 4/13/2014.
Re-posted 3/29/2015.
Re-posted 3/20/2016.
Re-posted 4/9/2017.
Re-posted 3/25/2018.
Re-posted 4/14/2019.
Re-posted 4/5/2020.
Re-posted 3/28/2021.
Re-posted 4/10/2022.
Re-posted 4/2/2023.

Everlasting "Last Words"

Once again, Holy Week is upon us. We are reminded of our own fickleness and indifference toward our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ at the Mass of Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion, where the joyous cries of 
"Hosanna" during the procession do an abrupt 180 degree turn with the tone of the proclamation of the Liturgy of the Word, culminating with our gleeful screams of "Crucify Him" during the proclamation of the Passion narrative. Isn't our consistent inconsistency amazing?

So we now spend the next seven days contemplating what we have done to Him by "my fault, my fault, my most grievous fault". To hopefully aid in that meditation, I offer my very humble thoughts on the "Seven Last Words", the final sentences uttered upon the Cross by the Word made flesh. May they be a source of inspiration to you, either on their own or as a departure to other more eloquent reflections.

His hour has come.

Later today.

Take the time to ponder and wonder.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

PM: Special Edition--Solemnity Of St. Joseph

Foster Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Patron Saint of the Universal Church. Terror of demons. The true strong, silent type. Invoked to avoid a sudden and unprovided death. (And my middle name.) What's not to like about the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary? We now interrupt our regularly scheduled Lenten penances to bring you these brief reflections:
The righteous man shall flourish like the palm tree; he shall grow up like the cedar of Lebanon; for he is planted in the house of the Lord, in the courts of our God.

V. It is good to give praise to the Lord; and to sing in honor of your name.

Ps. 91:13-14; V. 2
Here the word "righteous" is synonymous with the word "just", an adjective commonly associated with St. Joseph (cf. Matt. 1:19). The introit also uses the cedar tree to indicate how strong he, and we, are if our being is rooted in God.
O Lord, you have gone ahead to meet him with goodly blessings; you have placed a crown of precious stones on his head.

V. He asked you for life, and you granted him length of days for ever and ever.

Ps. 20:4; V. 5
In the Gradual, we note what goodly blessings were bestowed on him in being the head of the Holy Family, staring with Jesus and Mary. Tradition holds his length of days ended just before the start of Jesus' public mission. And how great is his reward in Heaven because of this vocation.
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord; he shall delight exceedingly in his commandments.

V. His seed shall be mighty upon earth; the descendants of the righteous will be blessed.

V. Glory and wealth are in his house; and his righteousness endures for ever.

Ps. 111:1-3
The Tract acknowledges, "The beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." (Wisdom 9:10) Joseph's knowledge of the Law through the Word and his just application of it brought him many graces. Those who emulate him as well as Jesus are the mighty; their glory, wealth, and justness will far outlive them on earth, but not in Heaven.
My fidelity and my mercy are with him; and in my name shall his horn be exalted.

Ps. 88:25
The Psalm from which this Offertory was taken (88:2-38) speak of Jesus directly. Since He had to come from the House of David, Joseph was chosen to graph the True Vine to this branch. It is through Christ that Joseph's name is exalted.
Joseph, son of David, fear not to receive Mary as your wife; for that which is conceived in her comes from the Holy Spirit.

Matt. 1:20
One of two options of Communion Antiphons, connected with the same Gospel proclamation. Happy are those who obey God, when the Father with the Spirit sends the Son. Joseph clearly received all the messages from the angel and, with all the trust attributive to Abraham, was blessed by doing the will of God.
My son, why have you treated us so? Your father and I have been anxiously looking for you. How is it that your were seeking me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father's business?

Lk. 2:48-50
The other option is associated with the finding of the Christ Child in the Temple (the other Gospel proclamation), just as it is with the Feast of the Holy Family. Jesus, as son of Joseph, was obedient to him on earth just as He was obedient to His Heavenly Father. Christ was about His Father's business in both His human and Divine natures. With the help of St. Joseph, may we be as well.

Most chaste heart of St. Joseph, intercede for us.

Imploring The Saint Of The Day

One of the original six litanies approved for public use by the Holy See prior to 2013, how appropriate it is to recite it on this day.

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V. Lord, have mercy.
R. Lord, have mercy.
V. Christ, have mercy.
R. Christ, have mercy.
V. Lord, have mercy.
R. Lord, have mercy

V. God our Father in heaven.
R. Have mercy on us.
V. God the Son, Redeemer of the world.
R. Have mercy on us.
V. God the Holy Spirit.
R. Have mercy on us.
V. Holy Trinity, one God.
R. Have mercy on us.

V. Holy Mary,
R. Pray for us. (Repeat after each invocation.)

St. Joseph 
Noble son of the House of David 
Light of patriarchs 
Husband of the Mother of God 
Guardian of the Virgin 
Foster father of the Son of God 
Faithful guardian of Christ 
Head of the Holy Family 
Joseph, chaste and just 
Joseph, prudent and brave 
Joseph, obedient and loyal
Pattern of patience 
Lover of poverty
Model of workers 
Example to parents 
Guardian of virgins
Pillar of family life 
Comfort of the troubled 
Hope of the sick 
Patron of the dying
Terror of evil spirits 
Protector of the Church 

V. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world
R. Spare us. O Lord
V. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world
R. Graciously hear us. O Lord.
V. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world
R. Have mercy on us

V. God made him master of his household.
R. And put him in charge of all that he owned.

Let us pray:

O God, who in your inexpressible providence were pleased to choose Saint Joseph as spouse of the most holy Mother of your Son, grant, we pray, that we, who revere him as our protector on earth, may be worthy of his heavenly intercession. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Sunday, March 17, 2024

St. Patrick's Breastplate


From New Advent, the following is a literal translation from the old Irish text.

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I bind to myself today:
The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.
I bind to myself today:
The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,
The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,
The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
The virtue of His coming on the Judgement Day.
I bind to myself today:
The virtue of the love of seraphim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the hope of resurrection unto reward,
In prayers of Patriarchs,
In predictions of Prophets,
In preaching of Apostles,
In faith of Confessors,
In purity of holy Virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.
I bind to myself today:
The power of Heaven,
The light of the sun,
The brightness of the moon,
The splendour of fire,
The flashing of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of sea,
The stability of earth,
The compactness of rocks.
I bind to myself today:
God's Power to guide me,
God's Might to uphold me,
God's Wisdom to teach me,
God's Eye to watch over me,
God's Ear to hear me,
God's Word to give me speech,
God's Hand to guide me,
God's Way to lie before me,
God's Shield to shelter me,
God's Host to secure me,
Against the snares of demons,
Against the seductions of vices,
Against the lusts of nature,
Against everyone who meditates injury to me,
Whether far or near,
Whether few or with many.
I invoke today all these virtues:
Against every hostile merciless power
Which may assail my body and my soul,
Against the incantations of false prophets,
Against the black laws of heathenism,
Against the false laws of heresy,
Against the deceits of idolatry,
Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,
Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.
Christ, protect me today:
Against every poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against death-wound,
That I may receive abundant reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort,
Christ in the chariot seat,
Christ in the poop [deck],
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I bind to myself today:
The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity:
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.
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Originally posted 3/17/2006.
Re-posted 3/17/2009.
Re-posted 3/17/2010.
Re-posted 3/17/2011.
Re-posted 3/17/2012.
Re-posted 3/17/2013.
Re-posted 3/17/2014.
Re-posted 3/17/2015.
Re-posted 3/17/2016.
Re-posted 3/17/2017.
Re-posted 3/17/2018.
Re-posted 3/17/2019.
Re-posted 3/17/2020.
Re-posted 3/17/2021.
Re-posted 3/17/2022.
Re-posted 3/17/2023.

Friday, March 08, 2024

In Memory Of...

Helen Marie (Sheely) Rolling
Born: March 1, 1939
Died: March 8, 2020
Requiescat In Pace.

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Originally posted 3/8/2021.
Re-posted 3/8/2022.
Re-posted 3/8/2023.

Friday, March 01, 2024

Question For The Month

Since Easter falls on the last Sunday of the month this year, does that mean March enters like the Lion of Judah and exits like the Lamb of God? 

March 2024 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when prayer the Morning Offering:

For the Martyrs of Our Day, Witnesses to Christ. We pray that those who risk their lives for the Gospel in various parts of the world inflame the Church with their courage and missionary enthusiasm.
A reflection for this intention can be found here.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

An Early Call To Repentence


Ready or not, Lent is here.

Yes, it seems to have come unannounced (because it is rare to hear the Proclamation of Easter and the Moveable Feasts at Epiphany). Yes, it seems we just celebrated the Christmas Season (because there were only five Sundays between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday this year). Yes, because it "conflicts" with Valentine's Day (and the Feast of Ss. Cyril and Methodius). Yes, because we are only in the middle of February.

Remember how long a thousand years is in God's eye (cf. Psalm 90:4).

Now is the acceptable time to rend your hearts and remove the speck from your eye. The Church has graciously set aside the next forty days for us to draw closer to God. With prayer, fasting, and almsgiving we have the opportunity to be refined like gold in fire

How can we, the People of God, become holier during this time so as to fulfill our baptismal promises better? This is the focus of Lent. From the tried and true to something we wanted to try, our spiritual disciplines now have more direction and purpose.

The challenge is once again before us.

Accept the grace of God and use it to become more of  “'a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises' of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." (cf. 1 Peter 2:9)

Time's a wasting.

Saturday, February 03, 2024

February 2024 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when prayer the Morning Offering:

For the Terminally Ill. We pray that those with a terminal illness, and their families, receive the necessary physical and spiritual care and accompaniment.
(UPDATE:  2/9/2024).  A reflection for this intention can be found here.

Friday, January 19, 2024

State (Battle) Lines

The weekend nearest January 22 is a bittersweet time for those in the pro-life movement. On the negative side, it is the remembrance of the anniversary of the 1972 Supreme Court decisions of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, rulings that allowed for unrestricted abortions in this country. For over 50 years it has been a time of peaceful protest as well as the herculean effort to change hearts and minds. And while there have been incremental steps forward (as well as backward), the giant leap for humanity was the ruling June 24, 2022 of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which overturned Roe's (as well as Casey v. Planned Parenthood) "settled precedent" on this most controversial subject.

The pro-life events last year had many celebratory moments. But in the back of everybody's mind was the stark reality this SCOTUS decision, while a major victory, now made the pro-life challenge even more daunting. In fact it became at least 50 times difficult. All this did was now return the legal question to the states. (Nor has it entirely stopped the federal government's attempts to enshrine this so-called right into law on a national level.)

In the over 18 months since Dobbs took effect, the battles have increased and intensified in individual state legislatures, courts, and ballot boxes. And it is easier to keep score. Progress or regression has more measurables now--the passing of laws, rulings, or constitutional amendments at the state level. But the color representing those achievements still remains the same. Unfortunately, depending on your political persuasion, the country can still be colored red or blue regarding this. It is just becoming more clearer which hue goes where.

What does this mean for the pro-life movement? In a sense, it is still more of the same. The changing of hearts and minds continues. Limited resources are more stretched. There are more threats of violence to those whose voices are raised loud enough to be effectively heard. And there is still the bully pulpit that is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC, where the current occupant has perhaps staked his entire political career (some of a religious nature would opine at the cost of his soul) on cementing his legacy with this issue.

The response is still the same. More prayer and fasting (for this is a spiritual battle as well); more speaking the truth in love (for the opposition is still winning the war of words); more grassroots efforts (for this is where the pro-life movement is most effective); more visible signs of support for not only mother (and father?) and child but those who have been scarred by this act (for true compassion is shown in loving deeds). This is what we do best:  offer authentic hope and love.

We are 366 days from inaugurating the next President of the United States. But we can't be assured of that person's support; we have seen what the political tides do to this issue. We still have to pray as if it were up to God and work as if it were up to us.

And both are right to do.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

January 2024 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when prayer the Morning Offering:

For the Gift of Diversity in the Church. We pray that the Holy Spirit may help us to recognize the gift of different charisms within the Christian community and to discover the richness of different traditions and rituals in the Catholic Church.
A reflection for this intention can be found here.

Wednesday, January 03, 2024

Every Knee Should Bend

Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 
Phil. 2:6-11
In my 2016 Christmas Eve Reflection, using this passage as a focal point for a phrase, I had wondered if people have forgotten that Jesus is God. With at least 70% of the faithful not believing in the Real Presence (depending on the poll you have seen), it is no wonder why one may see such casual, if not irreverent behavior, during Communion. Many people, using lex orandi, lex credendi as a starting point, question the posture of standing and receiving the Sacred Host on the hand versus kneeling and receiving on the tongue, saying this contributes to the lack of reverence.

I made mention I genuflect as I pass by the Tabernacle outside of Mass, praying the "Jesus Prayer" as I pause there. I also bow my head at the mention of the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and during the recitation of the Gloria Patri, as is/was customary. I do that to remind me of the very thing I decry, to give witness to the fact that He is here among us.

Today is the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. You may not see it on your calendar, as it was seemingly removed and then restored. In keeping with a positive take on the 2nd. Commandment, there are two prayers you can use to honor "the name which is above every name."

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The first is one of the six officially approved litanies of the Church. The Litany of the Holy Name invokes titles associated with Jesus. A partial indulgence is gained for its recitation.

V. Lord, have mercy on us.
R. Christ, have mercy on us.
V. Lord, have mercy on us. Jesus, hear us.
R. Jesus, graciously hear us.
V. God the Father of Heaven
R. Have mercy on us.
V. God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
R. Have mercy on us.
V. God the Holy Spirit,
R. Have mercy on us.
V. Holy Trinity, one God,
R. Have mercy on us.
V. Jesus, Son of the living God,
R. Have mercy on us.
Jesus, splendor of the Father, [etc.]
Jesus, brightness of eternal light.
Jesus, King of glory.
Jesus, sun of justice.
Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary.
Jesus, most amiable.
Jesus, most admirable.
Jesus, the mighty God.
Jesus, Father of the world to come.
Jesus, angel of great counsel.
Jesus, most powerful.
Jesus, most patient.
Jesus, most obedient.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart.
Jesus, lover of chastity.
Jesus, lover of us.
Jesus, God of peace.
Jesus, author of life.
Jesus, example of virtues.
Jesus, zealous lover of souls.
Jesus, our God.
Jesus, our refuge.
Jesus, father of the poor.
Jesus, treasure of the faithful.
Jesus, good Shepherd.
Jesus, true light.
Jesus, eternal wisdom.
Jesus, infinite goodness.
Jesus, our way and our life.
Jesus, joy of Angels.
Jesus, King of the Patriarchs.
Jesus, Master of the Apostles.
Jesus, teacher of the Evangelists.
Jesus, strength of Martyrs.
Jesus, light of Confessors.
Jesus, purity of Virgins.
Jesus, crown of Saints.

V. Be merciful, R. spare us, O Jesus.
V. Be merciful, R. graciously hear us, O Jesus.
V. From all evil, R. deliver us, O Jesus.
From all sin, deliver us, O Jesus.
From Your wrath, [etc.]
From the snares of the devil.
From the spirit of fornication.
From everlasting death.
From the neglect of Your inspirations.
By the mystery of Your holy Incarnation.
By Your Nativity.
By Your Infancy.
By Your most divine Life.
By Your labors.
By Your agony and passion.
By Your cross and dereliction.
By Your sufferings.
By Your death and burial.
By Your Resurrection.
By Your Ascension.
By Your institution of the most Holy Eucharist.
By Your joys.
By Your glory.

V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. spare us, O Jesus.
V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. graciously hear us, O Jesus.
V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. have mercy on us, O Jesus.
V. Jesus, hear us.
R. Jesus, graciously hear us.

Let us pray.
O Lord Jesus Christ, You have said, "Ask and you shall receive, seek, and you shall find, knock, and it shall be opened to you." Grant, we beg of You, to us who ask it, the gift of Your most divine love, that we may ever love You with our whole heart, in word and deed, and never cease praising You.

Give us, O Lord, as much a lasting fear as a lasting love of Your Holy Name, for You, who live and are King for ever and ever, never fail to govern those whom You have solidly established in Your love.
R. Amen.

++++++++++ 

The other is a very familiar prayer at the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. The Divine Praises are recited as the Sacred Host is being returned to the tabernacle. It can also be used to make reparations for blasphemy and profane language.

Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true Man.
Blessed be the Name of Jesus.
Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be His Most Precious Blood.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most Holy.
Blessed be her Holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be her Glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the Name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints.

++++++++++

Perhaps one or both of these can be your New Year's resolution in terms of the spiritual life.

**********

Originally posted 1/3/2017.
Re-posted 1/3/2018.
Re-posted 1/3/2019.
Re-posted 1/3/2020.
Re-posted 1/3/2022.
Re-posted 1/3/2023.

Monday, January 01, 2024

Hail, Theotokis!


Fish Eaters presents the Akathis Hymn to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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Originally posted 1/1/2011.
Re-posted 1/1/2014.
Re-posted 1/1/2015.
Re-posted 1/1/2016.
Re-posted 1/1/2017.
Re-posted 1/1/2018.
Re-posted 1/1/2019.
Re-posted 1/1/2020.
Re-posted 1/1/2021.
Re-posted 1/1/2022.
Re-posted 1/1/2023.

Another New Year's Indulgence

For those of you who were unable to gain the indulgence from singing "Te Deum" last night, fear not.

You have another opportunity today.

Singing the hymn "Veni, Creator Spiritus", as it does on Pentecost Sunday, also carries with it a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions.

You will find the words and a familiar translation here.

**********

Originally posted 1/1/2016.
Re-posted 1/1/2017.
Re-posted 1/1/2018.
Re-posted 1/1/2019.
Re-posted 1/1/2020.
Re-posted 1/1/2021.
Re-posted 1/1/2022.
Re-posted 1/1/2023.

Perpetual Resolution


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Originally posted 1/1/2007.
Re-posted 1/1/2013.
Re-posted 1/1/2014.
Re-posted 1/1/2015.
Re-posted 1/1/2016.
Re-posted 1/1/2017.
Re-posted 1/1/2018.
Re-posted 1/1/2019.
Re-posted 1/1/2020.
Re-posted 1/1/2021.
Re-posted 1/1/2022.
Re-posted 1/1/2023.