Monthly Archives: April 2012
Last night at bible class, we were studying Psalm 23 and while we were reading, various pictures would cross my mind. I thought I would share which ones in this post:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies
thou anointest my head with oil
my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
For my Bible class last week, we were all asked to write a personal Psalm as we are studding the Book of Psalms. Here is mine. I hope you enjoy.
My Beloved, Abba Father
How can I measure You my Papa; You are the Measure itself
There is no reason to measure the Ruler, nor a measure large enough to do so
You my Lord are the Actions of Love, the very Essence and Love itself
The Space between the written Word from start to finish and the words in which You have not yet given to man to use .
The very action of my eyes opening in the morning, to worship You, is You Lord. You command my eyes to open; they listen to You my Lord
The motion of my rolling over to join the day, was Commanded by You before I was born, so I may do Your will.
I tremble at scent of fresh earth, tilled in the early morning before the dawn in my heart. It reminds me Lord, You allow the tiller to perform, My God, breaking new ground within my own soul, planting new hope where only despair had grown before. Breaking the hardness and turning over the soil of my creation, to improve Yours.
My thoughts are but an echo of the tractors in the valley but Your actions are that of enabling the seeds You have sown, to be planted and to flourish.
If I drop a seed of folly, it does not grow long before You point it out to me as such. Allowing me to learn Your ways and to see the difference in the shape of the sprouts. Your sprouts grow straight, reaching up to You and the sprouts of folly are a twisted mess entangling everything in and pulling it back toward the ground to be trampled over.
Making my heart that was once stone, that of a fresh new flourishing place of abundance and joy to harvest that which is simply pleasing to You.
How often we hear today “Oh No! Our nation is heading exactly as Rome!” The Fall of Rome all over again!
How we forget, our Lord Jesus Christ was the One who conquered Rome and others….
And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. Matthew 16:18
Oh Mary, conceived without sin. Pray for us who have recourse to you…
This morning, I received news that a woman I have become very good friends with, had passed away. She was the Vice President of the Legion of Mary, Mystical Rose out of my parish. She was a member of our parish for over 50 years. She was a pillar of the community.
I loved the conversations I would have with her about our Lord. To converse with her about our Lord and the experiences we shared, I will treasure the rest of my life. It was truly a blessing to know her on such a personal level. There was no fear of loving her, nor giving her back to our Lord. He took her very quickly and I can’t thank Him enough. Her name was Yvette. She was a soldier.
When I pray the final part of the Legion of Mary prayers every night, I know now I have someone I know personally that is included when I pray:
May the souls of our departed legionaries and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.
O Lord, grant those who have died the joy of Your Presence, and us who are living the happiness of knowing this. Amen
My King is but resting
At rest, He works to free those from captivity
Held in the abyss of death
Unlocking the door to eternal life
Gathering the souls entrusted to His Father
Oh the joy of the reunion with Abba
At the sight of St. John the Baptist
The Glorious trumpet blast announcing the King into Heaven
As we wait for Him to awake,
A Mother covered in her Sons blood, sits in sorrow
Sorrow only her Son can console
Today is the first day of the 9 day Novena of Divine Mercy. PLEASE Participate. Jesus, I trust in You.
1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.
2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).
4. Conclude with (three times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
In 1933, God gave Sister Faustina a striking vision of His Mercy,
Sister tells us:
“I saw a great light, with God the Father in the midst of it.
Between this light and the earth I saw Jesus nailed to the Cross
and in such a way that God, wanting to look upon the earth, had to
look through Our Lord’s wounds and I understood that God blessed
the earth for the sake of Jesus.”
Of another vision on Sept. 13, 1935, she writes:
“I saw an Angel, the executor of God’s wrath… about to strike
the earth…I began to beg God earnestly for the world with words
which I heard interiorly. As I prayed in this way, I saw the
Angel’s helplessness, and he could not carry out the just
The following day an inner voice taught her to say this prayer on
ordinary rosary beads:
“First say one ‘Our Father’, ‘Hail Mary’, and ‘I believe’. Then on
the large beads say the following words:
‘Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity
of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement
for our sins and those of the whole world.’
On the smaller beads you are to say the following words:
‘For the sake of His sorrowful Passion have mercy on us and on the
In conclusion you are to say these words three times:
‘Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us
and on the whole world’.
Jesus said later to Sister Faustina:
“Say unceasingly this chaplet that I have taught you. Anyone who
says it will receive great Mercy at the hour of death. Priests
will recommend it to sinners as the last hope. Even the most
hardened sinner, if he recites this Chaplet even once, will
receive grace from My Infinite Mercy. I want the whole world to
know My Infinite Mercy. I want to give unimaginable graces to
those who trust in My Mercy….”
“….When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I
will stand between My Father and the dying person not as the just
judge but as the Merciful Savior”.
The Divine Mercy Novena
Jesus asked that the Feast of the Divine Mercy be preceded by a Novena to the Divine Mercy which would begin on Good Friday. He gave St. Faustina an intention to pray for on each day of the Novena, saving for the last day the most difficult intention of all, the lukewarm and indifferent of whom He said:
“These souls cause Me more suffering than any others; it was from such souls that My soul felt the most revulsion in the Garden of Olives. It was on their account that I said: ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass Me by.’ The last hope of salvation for them is to flee to My Mercy.”
In her diary, St. Faustina wrote that Jesus told her:
“On each day of the novena you will bring to My heart a different group of souls and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy … On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My passion, for the graces for these souls.”
The different souls prayed for on each day of the novena are:
DAY 1 (Good Friday) – All mankind, especially sinners
DAY 2 (Holy Saturday) – The souls of priests and religious
DAY 3 (Easter Sunday) – All devout and faithful souls
DAY 4 (Easter Monday) – Those who do not believe in Jesus and those who do not yet know Him
DAY 5 (Easter Tuesday) – The souls of separated brethren
DAY 6 (Easter Wednesday) – The meek and humble souls and the souls of children
DAY 7 (Easter Thursday) – The souls who especially venerate and glorify Jesus’ mercy
DAY 8 (Easter Friday) – The souls who are detained in purgatory;
DAY 9 (Easter Saturday) – The souls who have become lukewarm.
During the Solemn Novena leading to Divine Mercy Sunday,
the Chaplet of Divine Mercy should be offered each day for the
HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
Saint Peter’s Basilica
Holy Thursday, 5 April 2012
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
At this Holy Mass our thoughts go back to that moment when, through prayer and the laying on of hands, the bishop made us sharers in the priesthood of Jesus Christ, so that we might be “consecrated in truth” (Jn 17:19), as Jesus besought the Father for us in his high-priestly prayer. He himself is the truth. He has consecrated us, that is to say, handed us over to God for ever, so that we can offer men and women a service that comes from God and leads to him. But does our consecration extend to the daily reality of our lives – do we operate as men of God in fellowship with Jesus Christ? This question places the Lord before us and us before him. “Are you resolved to be more united with the Lord Jesus and more closely conformed to him, denying yourselves and confirming those promises about sacred duties towards Christ’s Church which, prompted by love of him, you willingly and joyfully pledged on the day of your priestly ordination?” After this homily, I shall be addressing that question to each of you here and to myself as well. Two things, above all, are asked of us: there is a need for an interior bond, a configuration to Christ, and at the same time there has to be a transcending of ourselves, a renunciation of what is simply our own, of the much-vaunted self-fulfilment. We need, I need, not to claim my life as my own, but to place it at the disposal of another – of Christ. I should be asking not what I stand to gain, but what I can give for him and so for others. Or to put it more specifically, this configuration to Christ, who came not to be served but to serve, who does not take, but rather gives – what form does it take in the often dramatic situation of the Church today? Recently a group of priests from a European country issued a summons to disobedience, and at the same time gave concrete examples of the forms this disobedience might take, even to the point of disregarding definitive decisions of the Church’s Magisterium, such as the question of women’s ordination, for which Blessed Pope John Paul II stated irrevocably that the Church has received no authority from the Lord. Is disobedience a path of renewal for the Church? We would like to believe that the authors of this summons are motivated by concern for the Church, that they are convinced that the slow pace of institutions has to be overcome by drastic measures, in order to open up new paths and to bring the Church up to date. But is disobedience really a way to do this? Do we sense here anything of that configuration to Christ which is the precondition for all true renewal, or do we merely sense a desperate push to do something to change the Church in accordance with one’s own preferences and ideas?
But let us not oversimplify matters. Surely Christ himself corrected human traditions which threatened to stifle the word and the will of God? Indeed he did, so as to rekindle obedience to the true will of God, to his ever enduring word. His concern was for true obedience, as opposed to human caprice. Nor must we forget: he was the Son, possessed of singular authority and responsibility to reveal the authentic will of God, so as to open up the path for God’s word to the world of the nations. And finally: he lived out his task with obedience and humility all the way to the Cross, and so gave credibility to his mission. Not my will, but thine be done: these words reveal to us the Son, in his humility and his divinity, and they show us the true path.
Let us ask again: do not such reflections serve simply to defend inertia, the fossilization of traditions? No. Anyone who considers the history of the post-conciliar era can recognize the process of true renewal, which often took unexpected forms in living movements and made almost tangible the inexhaustible vitality of holy Church, the presence and effectiveness of the Holy Spirit. And if we look at the people from whom these fresh currents of life burst forth and continue to burst forth, then we see that this new fruitfulness requires being filled with the joy of faith, the radicalism of obedience, the dynamic of hope and the power of love.
Dear friends, it is clear that configuration to Christ is the precondition and the basis for all renewal. But perhaps at times the figure of Jesus Christ seems too lofty and too great for us to dare to measure ourselves by him. The Lord knows this. So he has provided “translations” on a scale that is more accessible and closer to us. For this same reason, Saint Paul did not hesitate to say to his communities: Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. For his disciples, he was a “translation” of Christ’s manner of life that they could see and identify with. Ever since Paul’s time, history has furnished a constant flow of other such “translations” of Jesus’ way into historical figures. We priests can call to mind a great throng of holy priests who have gone before us and shown us the way: from Polycarp of Smyrna and Ignatius of Antioch, from the great pastors Ambrose, Augustine and Gregory the Great, through to Ignatius of Loyola, Charles Borromeo, John Mary Vianney and the priest-martyrs of the 20th century, and finally Pope John Paul II, who gave us an example, through his activity and his suffering, of configuration to Christ as “gift and mystery”. The saints show us how renewal works and how we can place ourselves at its service. And they help us realize that God is not concerned so much with great numbers and with outward successes, but achieves his victories under the humble sign of the mustard seed.
Dear friends, I would like briefly to touch on two more key phrases from the renewal of ordination promises, which should cause us to reflect at this time in the Church’s life and in our own lives. Firstly, the reminder that – as Saint Paul put it – we are “stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Cor 4:1) and we are charged with the ministry of teaching, the (munus docendi), which forms a part of this stewardship of God’s mysteries, through which he shows us his face and his heart, in order to give us himself. At the meeting of Cardinals on the occasion of the recent Consistory, several of the pastors of the Church spoke, from experience, of the growing religious illiteracy found in the midst of our sophisticated society. The foundations of faith, which at one time every child knew, are now known less and less. But if we are to live and love our faith, if we are to love God and to hear him aright, we need to know what God has said to us – our minds and hearts must be touched by his word. The Year of Faith, commemorating the opening of the Second Vatican Council fifty years ago, should provide us with an occasion to proclaim the message of faith with new enthusiasm and new joy. We find it of course first and foremost in sacred Scripture, which we can never read and ponder enough. Yet at the same time we all experience the need for help in accurately expounding it in the present day, if it is truly to touch our hearts. This help we find first of all in the words of the teaching Church: the texts of the Second Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church are essential tools which serve as an authentic guide to what the Church believes on the basis of God’s word. And of course this also includes the whole wealth of documents given to us by Pope John Paul II, still far from being fully explored.
All our preaching must measure itself against the saying of Jesus Christ: “My teaching is not mine” (Jn 7:16). We preach not private theories and opinions, but the faith of the Church, whose servants we are. Naturally this should not be taken to mean that I am not completely supportive of this teaching, or solidly anchored in it. In this regard I am always reminded of the words of Saint Augustine: what is so much mine as myself? And what is so little mine as myself? I do not own myself, and I become myself by the very fact that I transcend myself, and thereby become a part of Christ, a part of his body the Church. If we do not preach ourselves, and if we are inwardly so completely one with him who called us to be his ambassadors, that we are shaped by faith and live it, then our preaching will be credible. I do not seek to win people for myself, but I give myself. The Curé of Ars was no scholar, no intellectual, we know that. But his preaching touched people’s hearts because his own heart had been touched.
The last keyword that I should like to consider is “zeal for souls”: animarum zelus. It is an old-fashioned expression, not much used these days. In some circles, the word “soul” is virtually banned because – ostensibly – it expresses a body-soul dualism that wrongly compartmentalizes the human being. Of course the human person is a unity, destined for eternity as body and soul. And yet that cannot mean that we no longer have a soul, a constituent principle guaranteeing our unity in this life and beyond earthly death. And as priests, of course, we are concerned for the whole person, including his or her physical needs – we care for the hungry, the sick, the homeless. And yet we are concerned not only with the body, but also with the needs of the soul: with those who suffer from the violation of their rights or from destroyed love, with those unable to perceive the truth, those who suffer for lack of truth and love. We are concerned with the salvation of men and women in body and soul. And as priests of Jesus Christ we carry out our task with enthusiasm. No one should ever have the impression that we work conscientiously when on duty, but before and after hours we belong only to ourselves. A priest never belongs to himself. People must sense our zeal, through which we bear credible witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us ask the Lord to fill us with joy in his message, so that we may serve his truth and his love with joyful zeal. Amen.
The Cenacle room on Mt Zion in Jerusalem is where two major events in the early Christian Church are commemorated: The Last Supper and the coming of the Holy Spirit on the apostles.
• The Last Supper was the meal Jesus shared with his apostles the night before he died. During this meal he instituted the Eucharist.
• The coming of the Holy Spirit, at Pentecost, is recognised as marking the birth of the Christian Church.
The Cenacle is on the upper floor of a two-storey building near the Church of the Dormition, south of the Zion Gate in the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City.
Where Peter was left knocking
According to early Christian tradition, the “upper room” was in the home of Mary the mother of John Mark. He was the author of the Gospel of Mark (and presumably also the young man who fled naked, leaving behind his linen garment, to escape the authorities when Jesus was arrested in the garden at Gethsemane, an event he recorded in Mark 14:51).
This house was a meeting place for the followers of Jesus inside the city walls of Jerusalem.
It was also the house to which Peter went after an angel of the Lord released him from prison. Acts 12:12-16 says a maid named Rhoda was so overjoyed at recognising his voice that she left him knocking at the outer gate while she went to tell the gathered disciples.
Above Taken from See the Holy Land
“Mary brought in a pound of very costly ointment, pure nard, and with it anointed the feet of Jesus, wiping them with her hair; the house was filled with the scent of the ointment. Then Judas Iscariot — one of his disciples, the man who was to betray him-said, ‘Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?’
He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he was in charge of the common fund and used to help himself to the contents. So Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone; let her keep it for the day of my burial.
You have the poor with you always, you will not always have me.’
How many times we find ourselves at the feet of our Lord and yet hold back from “Breaking The Jar” that contains our hearts and the love we have for Him, in fear that someone might say something. We need to pour our souls on His feet every day to do His will.
“And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:15
Standing on The Gospel
Reaching Ephesians 6:15 “and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace”
We need to be “readied” by the “shoes” of the “death, burial, and resurrection of Christ”, which is the Gospel that brings peace.
I had a dream last Wednesday night, after Wednesday’s events and blog post, that has left such an impression on me, much as the same dream that I had before my conversion in which I now see as the beginning of my conversion or departure from self and the world. This dream last week, however, was a dream of arrival into the arms of my Lord.
When I was young, I would focus on the wounds of our Lord and pray to God to allow me to heal them for Him. To sit at his side and nurse his wounds. I could see His broken body so clearly, suffering in so much pain. I wanted to cleanse them and dress them. Administer ointment to them and kiss Him and make Him well, then I would pray that I could be the horse that our Lord would ride into battle to take out all the sin from the world. Good Lord, when I think of that now, I understand the gravity of my asking that of Him.
I was in a dim lit maze. I had reached the end. I was blocked in on three sides. To the left was a solid wall. I was wrought with worry. I didn’t know where to go. Turning around was not an option as the entire maze had been full of terrors at every turn. In front of me there was no way to move forward. To the right, was a wall. Cut into the wall on the right was a passage that was outlined with bright light as it was cut through before but looked solid. It wasn’t me who had been there before, but the way was made easy for me to pass through. I pressed my shoulder on the cut out and broke through. I laughed so hard because it was so easy. The wall went from looking as solid stone, to being only made of something like Styrofoam. It was a Styrofoam facade maze I had been traveling through.
When I broke through while laughing after, I was in the parking lot of my Parish. It was packed with people. There was a Man and a small group of souls waiting for me. I can not identify the souls waiting with Him. The worry left me immediately and was replaced with utter peace. He smiled and I was full of so much love for this Man. I had reached the Man I had been searching for my entire life. He grabbed me and bent down to lift my right foot. The soul of my boot was warn away and my toes were exposed. He continued to smile and grabbed me by the hand and told me: “Come on, lets get you your new shoes.” and led me away.
I woke up after, immersed in the love and peace I had in this dream, which is still with me, looked at my crucifix smiling and said out loud, It’s You!
“18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.* 19 In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live.m 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you.n 21 Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”o 22 Judas, not the Iscariot,* said to him, “Master, [then] what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered and said to him, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me.”
Immersed in Thy love;
Fresher than morning dew;
Here I’m kept away from every earthly care.
Such tender feeling;
Caressed by my Beloved;
You’re the loveliest, much fairer than the fair.
Moments with You,
Now I seize this opportunity to say
That I love You.
I will be with You
All my days, come what may.
I cannot help it;
I’m so in love with You
For I’ve tasted Your divine heavenly wine.
I’m soaked with Thy love,
I pour my all on You.
What my future holds for me, my Lord are Thine.
I’m so attracted
By Your constraining love,
And Your Name is sweet as ointment poured forth
I’m captivated by Your dear Person, Lord.
Draw me from this age to pursue only You…
Ad maiorem Dei gloriam!