Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
that never was it known
that any one who fled to your protection,
implored your help or sought your intercession,
was left unaided.
Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto you,
O Virgin of virgins, my Mother.
To you I come, before you I stand,
sinful and sorrowful;
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions, but in your mercy
hear and answer me.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
I am glad for Divine mercy. It gives me more hope, and I am often in need of it. St. Faustina said, "Jesus, I trust in You." This short prayer will at times become a mantra for one desiring deeper union with Jesus, for this desire always brings with it great suffering. It will become a chant for one going through that damnable trial that seems endless. What does Jesus want from us,,?,, A broken and contrite heart, honesty, trust, humility, passion, our needs, our fears, our hopes, our dreams, our failures, our triumphs, our total devotion, our love,,, He wants it all. I don't know about you, but it is hard to give Him my all all of the time. In fact, it's hard to even give it some of the time. My weakness amazes me, even after all He has done for me and in me. (everything is grace) I know more and more that apart from Him I can do nothing. But knowing that His Divine Mercy is for everyone, makes me remember the thief on the cross when suffering various trials. While we are hanging on our crosses, maybe we too can learn to look to Him and ask His help, and then listen for Him say those words, "Today, you will be with Me in paradise." He is risen! Christ have mercy on us!
Saturday, April 18, 2009
In his humility, Christ entered the dark regions of our fallen world and he is glad that he became so humble for our sake, glad that he came and lived among us and shared in our nature in order to raise us up again to himself. And even though we are told that he has now ascended above the highest heavens - the proof, surely, of his power and Godhead - his love for man will never rest until he has raised our earthbound nature from glory to glory, and made it one with his own in Heaven. So let us spread before his feet, not garments or soulless olive branches, which delight the eye for a few hours and then wither, but ourselves, clothed in his grace, or rather, clothed completely in him.
Friday, April 17, 2009
The meaning of eternity is like the flavor of an apple. You can't really explain it, but you try to anyway. It is beyond us, like God, it is other. But Jesus talked about it as if He knew it well. He referred to the eternal Kingdom of God through parables to help us understand. He constantly asked, "What is the Kingdom of God like?" Then He would explain the flavor of it to His followers. It is like a field, an old woman, a coin, a man with a vineyard, treasure hidden, a Samaritan, a new wineskin, a farmer, a father with two sons, on and on and on. And He said the Kingdom is within us. In the book of Ecclesiastes, the writer says that eternity has been placed in the heart of every human. Even atheist sense eternity. The bible says that demons believe, and they shudder. We must take eternity seriously! Once we die, we will realize this life here on earth was but a vapor. The soul of a man will either spend eternity with God, or separated and alone without God. We must strive to embrace the Kingdom of God within us, and know it is a gift we can ultimately choose to refuse. We must meditate on the flavor of the apple, trying our best to share what it is like with everyone we meet. This is our calling.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Prayer of St. Pio of Pietrelcina after Holy Communion
Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have
You present so that I do not forget You.
You know how easily I abandon You.
Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak
and I need Your strength,
that I may not fall so often.
Stay with me, Lord, for You are my life,
and without You, I am without fervor.
Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light,
and without You, I am in darkness.
Stay with me, Lord, to show me Your will.
Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Your voice
and follow You.
Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love You
very much, and always be in Your company.
Stay with me, Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You.
Stay with me, Lord, for as poor as my soul is,
I want it to be a place of consolation for You, a nest of love.
Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late and the day is coming to a close, and life passes;
death, judgment, eternity approaches. It is necessary to renew my strength,
so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need You.
It is getting late and death approaches,
I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows.
O how I need You, my Jesus, in this night of exile!
Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all it's dangers. I need You.
Let me recognize You as Your disciples did at the breaking of the bread,
so that the Eucharistic Communion be the Light which disperses the darkness,
the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart.
Stay with me, Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to You,
if not by communion, at least by grace and love.
Stay with me, Jesus, I do not ask for divine consolation, because I do not merit it,
but the gift of Your Presence, oh yes, I ask this of You!
Stay with me, Lord, for it is You alone I look for, Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart,
Your Spirit, because I love You and ask no other reward but to love You more and more.
With a firm love, I will love You with all my heart while on earth
and continue to love You perfectly during all eternity. Amen
If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.--Mother Teresa
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
When Jesus was carrying the cross up to the "place of the skull", He was tired. He was hurting, weary, and bloody. Mary, His mother, was close by suffering what she knew was inevitable. St. John, the beloved disciple, must have been with her. A few of the other women followed too. Why do we never discuss the courage of these women, and the lone apostle John? I think they found their courage in the Holy Mother of our Lord. She would not allow her Son to be alone as He suffered. Her deep love moved her to allow the sword to pierce her heart through. I wonder if after the resurrection, she recalled the words of Simeon, that a sword would pierce her heart. Being firm in our resolutions during times of suffering is hard. And if we want to see what being firm looks like, we need look closely at Mary. She will teach us how to stay near Him, and she will teach us how to embrace our own crosses with humility and trust. Here is the beauty in all of this, Jesus did this work in Mary to the glory of God, and He can do it in you and me too...It's all about what He has accomplished, and, by grace, how we respond to it. We have a great family that is His Church, we are not alone in our battles. He is Risen! Jesus, have mercy on us.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Aren't we all always waiting for some kind of miracle? If we are not, maybe we should be. Our God is God! He is Other. (mind boggling). Yet, He took on flesh, He gained a Body through the Virgin Mary. This is all so incredible, so beyond our imagining. But we can not only know it is true, we can eat this Body of His, and drink this Blood of His. Amazing! But still, we are all waiting for that particular miracle today, this day, 2009. We are all waiting on something to help us out of this mire and mess we find ourselves, even at Easter. Maybe we have a relative who is a victim of abuse and won't seek help. Maybe we ourselves are addicted to drink, food, praise, or drugs. Maybe we are depressed and feel hopeless. These feelings are nothing new to Jesus. We can lean upon His breast like the beloved disciple John, and find Him looking deeply into our bloodshot eyes. He is waiting to give us the miracle we need, and it has nothing to do with money, things, or dreams. It has to do with our redemption, and the redemption of our false ideas of Who He really Is; and, who we really are in His eyes. He has come to set us free. He has come to teach us the infinite beauty of detachment. He has come to save us so that we might be with Him forever. He is risen!
Saturday, April 11, 2009
The Triduum is the Passion of Jesus. From instituting the Eucharist and the Priesthood on Thursday night, to His glorious and quiet Resurrection on Sunday morning, these are days of constant prayer and thanksgiving. Saturday is the most mysterious. He is out of sight, silent. But this is a day and night of great ministry. The scripture says he took captivity captive. He descended to the dead and preached to His children held captive. Jesus defeated death! He took Adam and Eve by the hand and lead them home to the Father! Hallelujah! Praise His Name! The second Adam saved the first. My friend, we, the children of the first Adam, destined for physical death, are now adopted through baptism into the family of our Elder Brother, the second Adam. Eve is no longer our spiritual mother, Mary is! Eve grasped, Mary didn't. We can now say with Mary, "Let it be done unto me according the Thy will." Now we can say with St. Paul,
"O Death where is thy victory!?" So let us press in to His Sacred Heart through the Sacraments He gave us in His Church. And by grace, let us love not this world over the one to come! Christ, have mercy on us.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
How wonderful it is to walk in a spring field of budding grass at dawn. How beautiful to stand by a cold creek in these Mississippi woods, counting the fresh deer tracks along the shore. They stopped here earlier to drink. All of these wonders speak of our Beloved Jesus, for He is the Word, and through Him all things were made. All of His art speak to us of grace, beauty, and even wildness. He gives us the world to know His love, which is grace, and at times, is wild and frightening to us with our desire for control, and wanting everything explainable. It makes me think of Aslan in C.S. Lewis' masterpiece, "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe". The little girl is reminded that though Aslan is loving and gentle, he is also wild and unpredictable. Jack, our Fiest, is walking with me this morning. Even his eyes speak of God's unconditional, wild love.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
When we stood on the hill in Ephesus near the ruins of St. John's Basilica, I looked over the ledge and saw two Turkish men reclining on a hill. They had just eaten their lunch in the warmth of the noon day sun and had their shoes off. They were talking and smoking cigarettes. We made our way into the ruins after our guide told us the history of this ancient place. Soon we were standing in one of the holiest spots on this weary globe, St. John's tomb. This was the "disciple whom Jesus loved". This was the man who had laid his head on the breast of Jesus in the Upper Room. This was the only male disciple at the foot of the cross. This was the beloved disciple given the awesome responsibility of caring for the Blessed Virgin. This was the apostle who wrote the 6th chapter of the gospel attributed to his name. This was the one given the revelation of the Lamb who was slain. As I was thinking about these things I noticed the priests traveling with us. They had gathered one by one and were kneeling on the concrete slab where this beloved Saint was laid to rest. I wish you could have been there.