Friday, March 8, 2019
"Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus." "Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus, while before your face I humbly kneel, and with burning soul pray and beseech you to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity, true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment, while I contemplate with great love and tender pity your five wounds, pondering over them within me, calling to mind the words which David, your prophet, said of you, my good Jesus: "They have pierced my hands and my feet; they have numbered all my bones." PLENARY INDULGENCE when recited on a Friday in Lent and Passiontide, when recited after Communion before an image of Christ crucified. On any other day the indulgence is partial.
MEDITATIONS FOR LENT FROM ST. THOMAS AQUINAS
FRIDAY AFTER ASH WEDNESDAY: THE CROWN OF THORNS
Go forth, ye daughters of Sion, and see king Solomon in the diadem, wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the joy of his heart. (Cant 3:5).
This is the voice of the Church inviting the souls of the faithful to behold the marvellous beauty of her Spouse. For the daughters of Sion, who are they but the daughters of Jerusalem, holy souls, the citizens of that city which is above, who with the angels enjoy the peace that knows no end, and, in consequence, look upon the glory of the Lord?
1. Go forth, shake off the disturbing commerce of this world so that, with minds set free, you may be able to contemplate Him whom you love. And see king Solomon, the true peacemaker, that is to say, Christ Our Lord.
In the diadem wherewith His mother crowned Him, as though the Church said, "Look on Christ garbed with flesh for us, the flesh He took from the flesh of His mother." For it is His flesh that is here called a diadem, the flesh which Christ assumed for us, the flesh in which He died and destroyed the reign of death, the flesh in which, rising once again, He brought to us the hope of resurrection.
This is the diadem of which St. Paul speaks, We see Jesus for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour (Heb 2:9). His mother is spoken of as crowning Him because Mary the Virgin it was who from her own flesh gave Him flesh.
In the day of His espousals, that is, in the hour of His Incarnation, when He took to Himself the Church not having spot or wrinkle (Eph 5:27), the hour again when God was joined with man. And in the day of the joy of His heart. For the joy and the gaiety of Christ is for the human race salvation and redemption. And coming home, He calls together His friends and neighbours saying to them, Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost (Luke 15:6).
2. We can however refer the whole of this text simply and literally to the Passion of Christ. For Solomon, foreseeing through the centuries the Passion of Christ, was uttering a warning for the daughters of Sion, that is, for the Jewish people.
Go forth and see king Solomon, that is, Christ, in His diadem, that is to say, the crown of thorns with which His mother the Synagogue has crowned him; in the day of His espousals, the day when He joined to Himself the Church; and in the day of the joy of His heart, the day in which He rejoiced that by His Passion He was delivering the world from the power of the devil. Go forth, therefore, and leave behind the darkness of unbelief, and see, understand with your minds that He who suffers as man is really God.
Go forth, beyond the gates of your city, that you may see Him, on Mount Calvary, crucified.
Saturday, March 2, 2019
Here is the method:
* Choose a quiet spot alone to pray.
* Focus your mind and heart on God.
* Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you through the Scriptures.
* Begin prayerfully reading your chosen passage.
* When anything moves you, pause. Ponder. Talk to God about what you have read, praise Him, or silently lift your heart to Him in love–whichever
you feel moved to do.
* When your conversation with God dries up, return to your passage.
* Repeat steps 5 and 6 until your time is almost ended.
* End with the Our Father, another vocal prayer of your choice, or a brief word of thanksgiving.
Saturday, February 9, 2019
Nobody wants to dispute the fact that tolerance is a virtue, and nobody wants to argue for intolerance, however, there does need to be an ordering of virtue. Tolerance is too often mistaken for charity, and having good manners is too often mistaken for being good. Real goodness, like real charity is tough love because real goodness, like real charity, loves the truth and the truth hurts. (please read this article by Fr. Longnecker. It is really good and helps with one's thinking clearly.)
Monday, February 4, 2019
Take away, O my Jesus, the blindness of my heart, that I may know Thee; take away the hardness of my heart, that I may fear Thee; take away the coldness of my heart, that I may resist everything that is contrary to Thy will; take away its heavy, earthly sluggishness and selfishness, that I may be capable of heroic sacrifice for Thy glory, and for the souls whom Thou has redeemed with Thy own most precious blood. Amen.
Thursday, December 27, 2018
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Don't you love stained glass windows in a church? They not only bring beauty and light into the sanctuary, but teach as well. Here are some of the stained glass windows at St. Joseph's in Auburn:
I love this little church in the foothills east of Sacramento. Our daughter was married there. We attended catechism classes there and were confirmed in the faith. I would love to see this church restored to its original.
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
THE APOSTLE ST. THOMAS ON THE AMERICAN CONTINENT
by Father P. De Roo, 1899
The belief that ... [the Apostle] St. Thomas penetrated as far as America, in the desire to propagate the teaching of Jesus Christ, is not devoid of foundation. ...[T]he old American traditions, so singularly consistent by their agreement, whilst originating in many different parts of this extensive continent, cannot be [lightly dismissed]. St. Thomas ... had not [here] lasting success..., but other Catholic missionaries followed in the course of time to renew the work, and to teach Catholic doctrine, morality, and worship, of which the Spaniards found so many clear vestiges in South America at the time of its discovery and conquest.
But, you may ask, how did he get to the Americas in order to evangelize them;[We should then by no means rule out the possibility] of a miraculous intervention of God for the purpose of spreading the true Faith.... [Let us consider] some prehistoric vestiges found in America, that would seem to indicate the actual presence of the Apostle St. Thomas on this continent.
It is especially amongst the oldest nations of Brazil that the memory of the Apostle has been religiously kept, ...preserv[ing] the tradition that he preached to them. Nieremberg (Historiae Naturae, l. xiv, c. cxvii) writes: "The East Indians [i.e., those of Brazil] still show a path followed by St. Thomas on his way to the kingdoms of Peru. ... It is related in particular that St. Thomas had gone to Paraguay (See Nieremberg, loc. cit., and Bancroft, Native Races, vol. V, p 26) along the Iguazu River; and afterwards to Parana on the Uruguay, on the bank of which is pointed out a spot where he sat down to rest. According to the ancient reports he foretold the later coming of men who would announce to their descendants the faith of the true God. This tradition is indeed a great consolation and encouragement to the preachers of our holy religion who suffer much in their labors for the faith among those barbarous nations." ... [A]nyone reading the chronicles of Brazil...must be impressed with the fact that in that country, down from ancient times, ...the name of St. Thomas, who preached there, is preserved. ...
[Concerning the above reference] stat[ing] that St. Thomas entered Paraguay and the neighboring provinces..., Sahagun (Historia General, p. iv) relates that the Commissary of the Franciscans, who, with four other religious, had been sent to La Plata, wrote on the first of May, 1533, ...a most remarkable letter, in which he states that the Christians had been received like angels by the natives, from whom he had learned that, four years before, a certain prophet...had announced to them that ere long Christians, brothers of St. Thomas, would come to baptize [them].... [T]he prophet...had [further] enjoined them to keep the Commandments and many other Christian teachings. This report is hardly more surprising than [what we learn] from the History of Paraguay by Charlevoix...: When, in the year 1609, the Fathers Cataldino and Moceta penetrated into the wilderness of America, to convert the Guaranis, [certain] chiefs of the tribe assured them that long ago, according to their ancestral traditions, a learned man, named Pay Zuma or Pay Tuma, had preached in their country the faith of heaven and had made many conversions amongst them. Yet, in leaving he had foretold them that they and their descendants would abandon the worship of the true God, whom he had made known to them; but that, after the lapse of centuries other messengers of the same God would come with a cross, like the one they saw him carrying, and would restore among their posterity the faith he was preaching. Some years later, when Fathers Montoya and Mendoza were in the district of Taiati, in the province of Santa Crux, the Indians, seeing them approach with crosses in their hands, received them with great demonstrations of joy. The missionaries, manifesting their astonishment, were told the same story as was told Cataldino and Moceta. These natives designated their ancient Apostle also by the name of Pay Abara, or the Celibate Father. Pay Zuma seems, however, to have been the more common appellation. In all these regions the first Christian missionaries of the sixteenth century were called Pay-zumas, by the aborigines (cf. Horn, De Originibus Americanis, l. 3, c. 19; and Bastian, Die Culturländer des Alten Amerika, b. II, s. 58-67). ... It will be noticed that [the form Zuma or Tuma] bears a striking resemblance to the Apostle's name. ...
Traditions similar to these are reported in other parts of South America, such as those of the Tupinambas, and along the Uruguay, where is shown still the resting-place of the Apostle during his sojourn among the tribe (Nieremberg, loc. cit.). ...
The most ancient traditions of the Peruvians tell of a white-bearded man, named "Thonapa Arnava," ...who arrived in Peru from a southern direction, clothed with a long violet garment and red mantle. He taught the people to worship ... the Supreme God and Creator, instead of the sun and moon; [he] healed the sick and restored sight to the blind. At his approach, wherever he went, the demons took to flight. ... Horn aptly remarks that proper names frequently undergo slight variations in their passage from language to language, so that Thonapa might easily represent Thoma-Papas. ... [The title Papas, or Father, is] evidently imported, as it is without meaning in the native tongue.... The surname "Arnava" is not unreasonably interpreted from the Peruvian Nechua dialect, in which arma or arna signifies to bathe or pour water, referring probably to the ceremonies of baptism administered by St. Thomas...; [thus the name seems to designate him as Father] Thomas the Baptist. Sahagun tells the curious fact that the Peruvians gave to their missionaries, after the Spanish conquest, the name of ... Padres Tomés.
The Chilians likewise have a tradition of a bearded and shod man, who had appeared to their forefathers, healing the sick and procuring for them, when their land was parched, abundant rains (Bastian, loc.cit.).
[Concerning] the northern half of our continent..., we find in one of [America's] most magnificent ruins, in the temple of the cross of Palenque, artistic relics, which many learned antiquarians have considered as unmistakable records of the early possession of the Catholic faith. ...
Sahagun...assures us that the famous Mexican high priest and civilizer, Quetzalcoatl, was none other than St. Thomas. "Cohuatl," he says, means not serpent, as it is often mistranslated, but "twin," that is, the name of the Apostle, who was called Didumos, which means "twin"; an interpretation confirmed by the fact that in Mexico there was no serpent-worship, and no serpent is represented on any altar. ... Bancroft (Ibid., vol. V, p 200) ... says: "During the Olmec period, that is, the earliest periods of Nahua power, the great Quetzalcoatl appeared. His teachings, according to the traditions, had much in common with those of Christ in the Old World; and most of the Spanish writers firmly believed him to be identical with one of the Christian Apostles, probably St. Thomas."
Thus the belief that ... [the Apostle] St. Thomas penetrated as far as America, in the desire to propagate the teaching of Jesus Christ, is not devoid of foundation. ...[T]he old American traditions, so singularly consistent by their agreement, whilst originating in many different parts of this extensive continent, cannot be [lightly dismissed]. St. Thomas ... had not [here] lasting success..., but other Catholic missionaries followed in the course of time to renew the work, and to teach Catholic doctrine, morality, and worship, of which the Spaniards found so many clear vestiges in South America at the time of its discovery and conquest.
It would not, therefore, have been such an extraordinary matter to have followed these nations in their migrations eastward to Polynesia, and even as far as the Americas. ... But suppose that, for the sake of argument, it be granted that human means of transportation from Palestine or from European coasts to America were unknown during the lifetime of the Apostle....
There are records to indicate that St. Thomas travelled through [regions of the ancient Near East such as] Parthia, Media, Persia, Hircania, and Bactria, and thence proceeded further east to India proper (Roman Breviary, Dec. 21). Greek-speaking Christian congregations still exist at Socotera [the island Socotra, in the Indian Ocean], the place in which the missionary Theophilus was preaching at the time of Emperor Constantine. It is well known that an entire Christian population was found here by Kosmas Indicopleustes in the sixth century, by Arabian freighters in the ninth, and finally by the Portuguese in the year 1507. According to the traditions of the Syrian Christians, the Apostle passed by Socotera and landed at Cranganor, where took place the first conversions of the Indian people. He established Christian communities all over the coasts of Coromandel and Malabar, until he shed his blood for the doctrine he was preaching -- in a place, since called Beit-Tuma, or house of Thomas. This tradition is related by St. Gregory of Nazianzen, and by a merchant of Alexandria who found Christians also in Ceylon (Peschel: Geschichte des Zeitalters der Entdeckungen, S. 5). Nicephorus, of Constantinople, and nearly all the authors referred to by Solorzano, state, moreover, that St. Thomas preached [not only] to the easternmost peoples of India, [but even to] the Chinese.
(Rev. P. De Roo, "The Apostle St. Thomas in America," American Ecclesiastical Review, vol. XX, Jan., 1899)
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
"In his act of self-sacrifice on the cross, the fathers argued, Jesus lured the dark powers into the open and away from the human beings who had been in their thrall." excerpt from, The Most Unexpectedly religious film of the year, by Bishop Robert Barron.
After reading Bishop Barron's commentary on The Quiet Place, 2018, my mind began wondering over the father's self sacrifice to save his children and how this could be compared to God the Father's plan for humanity in the sacrifice of his only begotten son, Jesus; and I thought to myself....does anyone today think their sins are so bad they should die because of them? Most people I talk to have a pretty good opinion of themselves and when confronted with the reality of their sins will say, "I just ask God to forgive me and He does".
Okay, that is all very well and good, but what about the sin committed? Was it so bad that one should die because of the sin? Personally, I think we have collectively all gone far afield of what God thinks of sin - immoral acts; and, perhaps we really don't understand how devastating sin is in our lives. It is too easy in this modern culture to be distracted, look the other way, deliberately forget about the sin. Therefore, we never truly develop a sense of mortification for our deeds that so displease God.
So, what does that do in regards to the great sacrifice of God's son, Jesus? It seems logical to think that if one does not think one's sins are really all that bad, and certainly not bad enough to die for, then Christ's sacrifice isn't......well, you know where that leads. Heaven forbid that our hearts should be so hardened that we are not truly cut the marrow of our souls each time we sin. Pray for these things that you might have a tender heart: mortification of spirit, habitual contrition through the gift of compunction, for tears of sorrow for our sins, for the grace to pray well, for perseverance, for docility toward the Holy Spirit, for discernment of spirits, and finally for the gift to distrust oneself. Do not place any confidence in yourselves, but in God alone.
Saturday, March 17, 2018
I have been listening to a podcast by Leanne Van der Putten, a catholic wife, mother, and grandmother, who has a blog called Finer Femininity and want to recommend it to all my friends and family. She really speaks to me and is helping me in my walk with Christ. Here is a link to the podcast on youtube:
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
This is what we are about: We plant the seeds that one day will grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise." | Archbishop Oscar Romero
Gardening Daniel Ridgway Knight (American-born French genre painter, 1839-1924) la petite jardiniere
...in the heart that is open to kindness
...in a mind which seeks after wisdom
...in a heart that is faithful through suffering
...in a whole presence that is full of graciousness and a strength that comes from within.
To be a woman is to say in many different ways and yet in all uniqueness:
I am beautiful before God
I am beautiful before man
and beautiful before children
when I am most truly woman.
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Friday, September 29, 2017
The Chaplet of St. Michael is a wonderful way to honor this great Archangel along with the other nine Choirs of Angels. What do we mean by Choirs? It seems that God has created various orders of Angels. Sacred Scripture distinguishes nine such groupings: Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominations, Powers, Virtues, Principalities, Archangels and Angels (Isa. 6:2; Gen. 3:24; Col. 1:16; Eph. 1:21; Rom. 8:38). There may be more groupings but these are the only ones that have been revealed to us. The Seraphim is believed to be the highest Choir, the most intimately united to God, while the Angelic Choir is the lowest.
The history of this Chaplet goes back to a devout Servant of God, Antonia d'Astonac, who had a vision of St. Michael. He told Antonia to honor him by nine salutations to the nine Choirs of Angels. St. Michael promised that whoever would practice this devotion in his honor would have, when approaching Holy Communion, an escort of nine angels chosen from each of the nine Choirs. In addition, for those who would recite the Chaplet daily, he promised his continual assistance and that of all the holy angels during life, and after death deliverance from purgatory for themselves and their relations.
The Chaplet of St. Michael
O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me. Glory be to the Father, etc.
[Say one Our Father and three Hail Marys after each of the following nine salutations in honor of the nine Choirs of Angels]
1. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Seraphim may the Lord make us worthy to burn with the fire of perfect charity.
2. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Cherubim may the Lord grant us the grace to leave the ways of sin and run in the paths of Christian perfection.
3. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Thrones may the Lord infuse into our hearts a true and sincere spirit of humility.
4. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Dominations may the Lord give us grace to govern our senses and overcome any unruly passions.
5. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Virtues may the Lord preserve us from evil and falling into temptation. Amen.
6. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Powers may the Lord protect our souls against the snares and temptations of the devil.
7. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Principalities may God fill our souls with a true spirit of obedience. Amen.
8. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Archangels may the Lord give us perseverance in faith and in all good works in order that we may attain the glory of Heaven.
9. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Angels may the Lord grant us to be protected by them in this mortal life and conducted in the life to come to Heaven.
Say one Our Father in honor of each of the following leading Angels: St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael and our Guardian Angel.
O glorious prince St. Michael, chief and commander of the heavenly hosts, guardian of souls, vanquisher of rebel spirits, servant in the house of the Divine King and our admirable conductor, you who shine with excellence and superhuman virtue deliver us from all evil, who turn to you with confidence and enable us by your gracious protection to serve God more and more faithfully every day.
Pray for us, O glorious St. Michael, Prince of the Church of Jesus Christ, that we may be made worthy of His promises.
Almighty and Everlasting God, Who, by a prodigy of goodness and a merciful desire for the salvation of all men, has appointed the most glorious Archangel St. Michael Prince of Your Church, make us worthy, we ask You, to be delivered from all our enemies, that none of them may harass us at the hour of death, but that we may be conducted by him into Your Presence.This we ask through the merits of
Jesus Christ Our Lord.
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
This is Millais's first important religious subject, showing a scene from the boyhood of Christ. When it was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1850 it was given no title, but accompanied by a biblical quotation: 'And one shall say unto him, What are those wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.' (Zech. 13:6)
Christian symbolism figures prominently in the picture. The carpenter's triangle on the wall, above Christ's head, symbolises the Holy Trinity. The wood and nails prefigure the crucifixion, as does the blood on the young Christ's hand, which he has cut on a nail, and which drips onto his foot. The young St John is shown fetching a bowl of water with which to bathe the wound. This clearly identifies him as the Baptist, and the image is extended by the white dove perched on the ladder, symbol of the Holy Spirit, which descended from Heaven at the baptism of Christ.
Following the Pre-Raphaelite credo of truth to nature, Millais painted the scene in meticulous detail and based the setting on a real carpenter's shop in Oxford Street. The sheep in the background, intended to represent the Christian flock, were drawn from two sheep's heads obtained from a local butcher. He avoided using professional models, and relied instead on friends and family. Joseph's head was a portrait of Millais's own father, but the body was based on a real carpenter, with his rough hands, sinewy arms and prominent veins. The Virgin Mary was his sister-in-law Mary Hodgkinson, who also appears in Millais's Isabella (1848-9, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool); John the Baptist was posed by a young adopted cousin, Edwin Everett; and Nöel Humphreys, the son of an artist friend, sat for the young Christ.
The public reaction to the picture was one of horror and Millais was viciously attacked by the press. The Times described the painting as 'revolting' and objected to the way in which the artist had dared to depict the Holy Family as ordinary, lowly people in a humble carpenter's shop 'with no conceivable omission of misery, of dirt, of even disease, all finished with the same loathsome minuteness'. Charles Dickens was one of the most vehement critics, describing the young Christ as 'a hideous, wry-necked, blubbering, red-headed boy, in a bed gown' (Household Words, 15 June 1850).
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Raymond Card. Burk
Sunday, August 6, 2017
Here is one of the only pictures I have of my birth mother. She left our family in 1956 and I haven't seen her since. I have been trying to find her ever since my Dad died in 2010. He wouldn't give me any information about her, but even so, I persevered and have gleaned some information about her; unfortunately, I do not know her date of birth, birth name, or social security number.
It is so sad to grow up without a parent. There is always a big hole in one's heart and life. I wish I knew how to find her. I have exhausted all avenues of inquiry thus far.
I hope I will see her in heaven.
Sunday, June 25, 2017
I just read this really great article written by Rebecca DeVendra about chapel veils and want to share it:
"In my experience, it is impossible to talk about the Catholic custom of women wearing chapel veils at Mass without encountering judgment. Progressives will insist that the practice is an outdated custom to be tossed aside. Reactionaries will declare that women who do not cover their heads in Mass are sinning and that canon 1262 is still in force. Both are wrong.
Here is what we all need to realize about the chapel veil: it is a form of devotion to God that is only open to a woman. This means that it is a strictly feminine form of prayer that excludes men. Men who cover their heads during Mass signify a rejection of Christ; it is to dishonor His spiritual head. Even a priest who wears his biretta will remove it when in prayer: he never wears it while kneeling or while standing at the altar reciting the prayers of the Mass. Women, however, may veil at all times when in the presence of the Lord because they have a sacred role that demands their dignity be acknowledged.
Catholic people who do not understand the custom of veiling and push against it usually do not realize their own inconsistencies. Would they say, for instance, that nuns ought not to wear habits? That a bride ought not to wear a veil on her wedding day? That a young girl receiving Communion for the first time ought not to be veiled? The veil or desired head covering in these instances is never a symbol of oppression. It would be ridiculous to apply most arguments against the chapel veil to these instances:
“Yuck, you’re wearing a veil on your wedding day? You look so silly. You do know you’re not a Muslim woman, right?”
“Why is that nun in a habit? Does she think she’s better than me?”
“Why are you wearing that thing on your head for your first communion? Is some man making you do that? You poor thing.”
Paul states in I Corinthians 11:10-12: “That is why a woman ought to have a veil on her head, because of the angels. Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.” (RSV)
I wear a veil regularly now at Mass. It took some time and prayer to feel at home in it. It helps to find a parish where half of the women wear head coverings (veils or scarves or hats, as all of these things are acceptable substitutes), and to know that people will not make it their personal mission to comment on your attire. I can assert comfortably now that there is great solace in the practice of veiling. It is conducive to prayer, and like all acts of loving devotion, freely chosen.
Modesty, chastity, dignity. This is what a chapel veil represents, and it belongs to a woman in respect to God, not only to man. It is a symbol of her authority and of her right to communicate with God in a specifically feminine form of devotion."
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
"You must constantly carry the cross which He lays on you, be it interior or exterior, without growing weary or complaining of its length or weight. Does it not suffice that it has been given to you by the hands of a Friend, Whose all-loving Heart has destined it for you from all eternity?"
--St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
"On awakening, enter into the Sacred Heart of Jesus and consecrate to It your Body, your soul, your heart and your whole being, so as to live but for Its love and glory alone." --St, Margaret Mary Alacoque
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
O most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore Thee, I love Thee and with a lively sorrow for my sins, I offer Thee this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure, and wholly obedient to Thy will. Grant, good Jesus, that I may live in Thee and for Thee. Protect me in the midst of danger; comfort me in my afflictions; give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, Thy blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Within Thy Heart I place my every care. In every need let me come to Thee with humble trust saying, Heart of Jesus help me.
Monday, April 24, 2017
[This prayer gives us a true measure of our mercy, a mirror in which we observe ourselves as merciful Christs. We can make it our morning invocation and our evening examination of conscience.]
O Most Holy Trinity! As many times as I breathe, as many times as my heart beats, as many times as my blood pulsates through my body, so many thousand times do I want to glorify Your mercy.
I want to be completely transformed into Your mercy and to be Your living reflection, O Lord. May the greatest of all divine attributes, that of Your unfathomable mercy, pass through my heart and soul to my neighbor.
Help me, O Lord, that my eyes may be merciful, so that I may never suspect or judge from appearances, but look for what is beautiful in my neighbors’ souls and come to their rescue.
Help me, that my ears may be merciful, so that I may give heed to my neighbors’ needs and not be indifferent to their pains and moanings.
Help me, O Lord, that my tongue may be merciful, so that I should never speak negatively of my neighbor, but have a word of comfort and forgiveness for all.
Help me, O Lord, that my hands may be merciful and filled with good deeds, so that I may do only good to my neighbors and take upon myself the more difficult and toilsome tasks.
Help me, that my feet may be merciful, so that I may hurry to assist my neighbor, overcoming my own fatigue and weariness. My true rest is in the service of my neighbor.
Help me, O Lord, that my heart may be merciful so that I myself may feel all the sufferings of my neighbor. I will refuse my heart to no one. I will be sincere even with those who, I know, will abuse my kindness. And I will lock myself up in the most merciful Heart of Jesus. I will bear my own suffering in silence. May Your mercy, O Lord, rest upon me.
You Yourself command me to exercise the three degrees of mercy.
The first: the act of mercy, of whatever kind.
The second: the word of mercy — if I cannot carry out a work of mercy, I will assist by my words.
The third: prayer — if I cannot show mercy by deeds or words, I can always do so by prayer. My prayer reaches out even there where I cannot reach out physically.
O my Jesus, transform me into Yourself, for You can do all things (163). - St. Faustina
Monday, March 20, 2017
This is a painting by Sigismund Goetze (1866-1939) entitled “Despised and Rejected of Men”, a phrase taken from the Suffering Servant of Isaiah’s prophecy.
Goetze is classified as an English Victorian Painter. He was a devout Anglican and in this particular scene he superimposes his English society on the Suffering Christ. In the painting Christ is tied to a pillar about to be scourged, but the pillar is an altar of an ancient pagan shrine and the people moving about are in a Greek Temple. In the Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 17, St. Paul is preaching the Gospel to the people of Athens. There he makes reference to an altar dedicated to “THE UNKNOWN GOD”. Although the Athenians meant it to be an insurance against slighting any overlooked deities in their many-gods world-view, St. Paul used it as an opening to speak about the one true God whom they had hitherto not known by name. Here in Goetze’s painting, Christ chained to an altar of the Unknown God is a cruel irony. Although England has been Christian for centuries, Christ remains largely unknown its present generation. The throngs are too caught up in their own egotism to notice Him.
Goetze depicts several types familiar to late-Victorian society. In the left-hand corner there is the lady of fashion flirting shamelessly with her escort. Behind them is the scientist, so infatuated with his bubbling test-tube that he is blind to Christ. Above him is the sports-enthusiast, lost in the horse-racing pages. At the base of the altar huddles a poor mother with a sickly child. Turned in on herself by misery, she also has her back to Christ. To the right, a ragamuffin newsboy hawks the latest tabloid scandal sheet. A pompous cleric walks along, eyes straight ahead. Behind the cleric is a scheming businessman whose god is money. Next to him a corrupt judge is pouring over his lawbooks. In the far background a demagogic politician is haranguing the crowd. Only the nurse looks upon Christ, and reacts with sorrow and compassion.
This religious painting is supposed to make people think: am I not also somewhere in that passing crowd? We could easily imagine an updated version of this painting with very recognizable types of contemporary American society. Few enough there are who recognize Our Lord Jesus Christ for who He is and try to shape their lives accordingly. (commentary by: Fr. Higgins, http://miol.cx/passiontide/).
Here is another explanation of the painting by Sister Mary Joseph Calore:
The following description captures the artist's intent quite well.
At the exhibition of the Royal Academy, in London, the great canvas by Sigismund Goetze, entitled “Despised and Rejected of Men,” (right) has created an artistic sensation. It is declared to be a “powerful and terribly realistic presentment of Christ.” in a modern setting, and is described by a writer in The Christian Commonwealth (London), as follows:
In the center of the canvas is the Christ, standing on a pedestal, bound with ropes, while on either side passes the heedless crowd. A prominent figure is a richly vested priest, proudly conscious of the perfection of the ritual with which he is starving his higher life. Over the shoulder of the priest looks a stern-faced divine of a very different type. Bible in hand, he turns to look at the gospel has missed its spirit,and is as far astray as the priest whose ceremonial is to him anathema. The startled look on the face of the hospital nurse in the foreground is very realistic; so is the absorption of the man of science, so intent on the contents of his test-tube that he had not a glance for the Christ at his side. One of the most striking figures is that of the thoughtless beauty hurring from one scene of pleasure to another; and spurning the sweet-faced little ragged child who is offering a bunch of violets. In rejecting the plea of the child who knows that the proud woman is rejecting the Christ who has identified himself forever with the least of these little ones. The only person in the whole picture who has found time to pause is the mother seated on the steps of the pedestal with her baby in her arms, and we can not but feel that when she has ministered to the wants of her child she will spare a moment for the lover of little children who is so close to her. In the background stands an angel with bowed head, holding the cup which the world He loved to the death is still compelling the Christ to drink, while a cloud of angel faces look down upon the scene with wonder. As the visitor turns away he is haunted with the music of Stainer’s “Crucifixion,” “Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?” (http://eastereggcrafts.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-rejected-christ-by-goetze.html)
Saturday, March 18, 2017
Who Was St Gertrude?
Most of what’s known about Gertrude comes from her Vita Sanctae, the official Catholic biography produced to justify her veneration. She was born around 626 in what’s now Belgium. Her father was Pippin of Landen, a powerful Frankish nobleman and political operator at the court of King Dagobert I. Aged ten, Gertrude feistily refused a marriage proposal from the son of a duke, “saying that she would have neither him nor any earthly spouse but Christ the Lord.”
When her father died – although sources disagree, Gertrude was probably about 14 – her mother Itta shaved her head into a monkish tonsure to deter would-be suitors from marrying into her wealthy family by force. Itta and Gertrude established the monastery of Nivelles and retired to a religious life – historically, this has been one of women’s few options to preserve their intellectual, economic and sexual autonomy. When her mother died in 650, the now 24-year-old Gertrude took on sole governance of the monastery, and was known for her hospitality to pilgrims.
She died in 659 – worn out in her early thirties, says the Cambridge Medieval History, “because of too much abstinence and keeping of vigils”. A visiting Irish monk, whose brother Gertrude had sheltered, predicted she would die on St Patrick’s Day, and that “blessed Bishop Patrick with the chosen angels of God… are prepared to receive her”. Begorrah, it was so.
Monday, March 13, 2017
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
The following is in answer to my daughter's email to me regarding "Feminism, is it heretical"?:
Imagine me....it's the 1960's and all I dream about is growing up, getting married, having children, and being a homemaker. I really had no other ambition in life but knew I had to support myself because my parents were opting out of that chore.
After years of failed relationships - starting in 1966, none of the "men-boys" I met lived up to my expectations, I finally meet Prince Charming (aka AEM) only to find out that he has been indoctrinated with the feminist idealism -- "all women should work outside of the home and help financially support the family". It wasn't enough that I still had to take care of the home, cooking, laundry, children, and everything else that goes with it, but I must find work and pull my fair share of the load. If I chose not to do so, I was a very selfish person.
Imagine, too, living in the 1970's where everything you watch (on tv) and listen to on the radio, and your friends and peers all have the same idea. There was absolutely no support for my dream of the perfect family.
I tried to squeeze in things that I thought were conducive, and promoted my vision, but it was poor and pathetic.
Eventually, the deep division I felt in my soul became too wide of a gap and I fell through into deep depression. Thus, years of counseling and anti-depressants were consumed - but, alas, none of it helped really.
It was only when I realized that my Saviour, whom I had put in a little slot of my life and basically abandoned, forced His way into my heart through His blessed Mother and healed my broken heart.
I came to the realization that one cannot change other people - only yourself.
There -- that's a little synopsis of what I actually experienced as a young woman in the 1960's and 70's.