Sunday, October 31, 2010
It's All Hallow's Eve. The weather this afternoon is cool and breezy, the skies are blue - and the trees are shedding their leaves. We are waiting for the treaters, but so far only one has arrived. I am sure after dinner, mom and dad will have their kids out in full costume - knocking on the doors expecting a handful of goodies thrown into their bags. Living out here in the suburbs, there are only so many goodies to be had. I grew up in a city, where there were plenty of apartment houses - enough candy to build a small mountain. I remember my bag so full - going home, emptying out the bag on my bed, then going out on another round. Trick or treating was certainly a lot of fun - memories that will last forever.
All Hallow's Eve or Hallowmas is also the eve of "All Saint's Day." A day in which we honor the saints, known and unknown. Think of all our loved ones, family members, friends - those who have gone before us. If they are in heaven - they are saints. And we can pray to them and ask for their help and guidance. We can ask them to pray for us. We are also blessed to have so many women and men who have been canonized in our time. Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, Saint Padre Pio, Saint André Bessette. We have Blessed Mother Teresa who is surely a saint. We also have saints that are living among us. Those who love the poor and needy. Who practice compassion is so many ways, always in the name of Jesus. We can learn so much from them. We are all CALLED to be saints - to be holy.
Excerpt from "Lumen Gentium."
"all the faithful of Christ are invited to strive for the holiness and perfection of their own proper state. Indeed they have an obligation to so strive. Let all then have care that they guide aright their own deepest sentiments of soul. Let neither the use of the things of this world nor attachment to riches, which is against the spirit of evangelical poverty, hinder them in their quest for perfect love. Let them heed the admonition of the Apostle to those who use this world; let them not come to terms with this world; for this world, as we see it, is passing away."
Friday, October 29, 2010
Pray for the grace to know your need.
The greatest obstacle in the spiritual life is not knowing your need for God, your need for a savior. In what ways am I in denial of my deepest need? If we are honest, we will discover that there is a part of us that does not like to acknowledge our need for God, our need for a savior. The hardness of heart which prevents spiritual growth is rooted in this unholy ignorance of the truth. If the truth “sets us free” then lies “hold us bound”. The idea that I do not need God, do not need a savior, is a damn lie.
An essential grace is to know your need for God, your need for a savior. “Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else” (Luke 18:9). An honest self-assessment of one’s sins, weaknesses and failures can open the heart in humility to receive the life-giving healing that only comes from God’s grace.
Pray for the grace to know your need, to know it in your head and your heart.
Fr. Luke Mary Fletcher, CFR
St. Joseph Friary, New York, NY
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
My friend Mary Ann shot this image on her recent trip to Italy. I absolutely love it. The earthy tones remind me of Andrew Wyeth. The splash of the blue bicycle in the center is awesome...
Here is some history of Castello di Trebbio from Mary Ann.
This estate is called Castello di Trebbio and it once belonged to the Pazzi family who happened to be great rivals of the Medici’s because they had banking institutions as well. The Pazzi’s plotted revenge against the Medici’s in this very building because without them in the picture they would be the most powerful banking family in all of Florence as well as the sole rulers. The Pope at the time (not sure which one though) sided with the Pazzi and vowed his allegiance to them because the Medici family refused to loan him any more money b/c this Pope was in so much debt. The Pazzi enticed him because they promised that no matter how much debt he had they would continue to loan him money. So, the Pazzi came up with a plan to kill both Lorenzo and Giuliano de Medici in order to shake things up in the Medici world. This happened in the famous Duomo in Florence during the 15th century. They succeeded in killing Giuliano but Lorenzo survived and the Medici’s continued as the rulers of Florence. As per our tour guide, this conspiracy is just as important as the assasination of JFK because it rocked the Renaissance world. If the both Medici’s had been killed who knows what would have happened to Florence, to all the arts they commissioned as well as their banking empire. Also, after the Pazzi’s were captured and executed the Medici’s gave the Holy See two Popes; this was their revenge to the Vatican.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
He was one of six new saints made by Pope Benedict XVI. Born Alfred Bessette into a large Catholic family in 1845 in the Quebec village of Saint-Grégoire d'Iberville, the baby was so frail as a newborn that his father, Isaac, didn't expect him to live for more than a day.
The Bessette family was besieged with tragedies. In 1855, when Alfred was 10 years old, his father died in a logging accident. In order to provide for her children, Alfred's mother was forced to separate them from each other and sent them to live with various members of their extended family. Only Alfred was able to stay with his mother due to his own delicate health. Two years later Madame Bessette died of tuberculosis.
After Alfred was orphaned, he lived with his aunt's family and was frequently sick as a young boy, rarely attending school. At age 18, he set out for the United States where he followed the path of many French-Canadians before him working for four years on farms, in factories and in textile mills in New England. Throughout his American sojourn, Alfred remained frail and sickly, as he searched for his real vocation.
In 1867 he returned to Canada, settling in the town of Sainte-Césaire in Quebec. He began helping Fr. André Provençal, the pastor of the local parish. In 1870, convinced that his young parishioner was surely being called by God, wise priest asked Alfred to consider religious life within the Congregation of Holy Cross. Alfred was 25 years old and reluctantly agreed to the advice of his mentor.
Fr. Provençal wrote to the superiors of the Congregation of Holy Cross: "I am sending you a saint."
When Alfred applied for vows, his religious superiors decided they could not accept him knowing that his poor health would be an impediment to future ministry. Alfred was devastated. A few weeks later, the Bishop of Montreal visited College Notre-Dame, which was also the location of the novitiate community. Alfred begged the Bishop to intercede with the Holy Cross superiors, saying "My only ambition is to serve God in the most humble tasks." The superiors relented and admitted Alfred to vows as a brother of Holy Cross. On February 2, 1874, Bessette's religious name, André, was given to him by his superiors. Alfred had chosen the name in honor of his parish priest who had a major influence on his life.
For nearly 40 years Brother André worked as a porter at the College of Notre-Dame in the Montreal neighborhood of Côtes-des-Neiges. Speaking about his assignment as doorman, he once quipped, "When I joined this community, the superiors showed me the door." As porter of the College, Brother André lived in a small room located near the main entrance did many menial tasks such as washing the floors and windows, cleaning lamps, bringing in the firewood and looking after the laundry of the students. He was also the students' barber.
Brother André urged people who came to him to pray with confidence and perseverance. Word spread quickly when many of those with whom he prayed were healed. Brother André insisted, "I am nothing…only a tool in the hands of Providence, a lowly instrument at the service of St. Joseph." While some supported him, many others opposed him and even considered him dangerous to the well being of the school's reputation because they regarded him as a charlatan. Others were concerned for the health of the children, fearing the possibility of contagion in the school spread from diseases carried by the sick who frequented Brother André. As the tensions increased at the College with so many of the sick coming to see the porter, the school officials permitted him to receive the sick in the nearby tramway station rather than the College.
The school's physician, Dr. Charette, slandered Brother André as a fraud, calling him "Brother Greaser" because of the St. Joseph oil André applied on the sick while he was praying with them. The doctor was soon to eat his own words. His wife fell ill and began to hemorrhage; no medical treatment could stop the bleeding. Fearing her imminent death, she begged her husband to seek Brother André's intercession. The doctor was upset with this request but accommodated his wife and asked Brother André to visit her and pray for her. His wife was miraculously healed. From that time on, Dr. Charette became one of André's supporters.
Brother André always had a strong devotion to St. Joseph, and in 1900 received permission to raise money for a shrine to St. Joseph. The first shelter was constructed in 1904. Holy Cross authorities allowed for a room to be added to the Chapel and Brother André was assigned to live in that room where he could receive pilgrims and pray for them. He spent his days seeing sick people who came to him, and spent his evenings visiting the sick who could not make it to the Oratory. Construction on what would become known as Saint Joseph's Oratory began in 1914. A crypt church seating 1,000 was completed in 1917. By the 1920's the Oratory hosted over one million pilgrims annually, and hundreds of cures were attributed to his prayers every year.
Brother André died in Montreal on January 6, 1937 without seeing the completion of his dream. Over a million people came to pay their respects around his mortal remains during the week following his death. He beatified by Pope John Paul II on May 23, 1982 at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. On Oct. 17, 2010, Brother André Bessette was canonized, becoming the first male Canadian-born saint.
The miracle leading to his canonization occurred in 1999 when a nine-year old boy had been the victim of an automobile accident, leaving him with a serious cranial injury and putting him in an irreversible coma leading toward death. The prayers of the people closest to him, along with the intercession of Brother André, brought him back to consciousness and health, and this was deemed scientifically unexplainable by medical experts.
In his day, Brother André was a porter on Mount Royal. Now he is one of Heaven's special gatekeepers. He left us a powerful example of how to welcome strangers, the homeless, sick, poor and hungry into our communities. Some will come to our doors rejoicing, and others in fear; some will come healed and others to seek that healing. The important thing is that we open doors and build bridges to those who come, instead of erecting obstacles and barriers. As an adult, Brother André stood just five feet tall, yet he was a giant of faith, spirituality and humanity, whose shadow still hovers mightily over Montreal and Canada. In the humble porter's own words, "It is with the smallest brushes that the artists paint the most beautiful pictures." May Canada learn from this great, little man who was truly one of God's masterpieces in our time.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Fr. Louis Marie Navaratne O.S.B. is a Benedictine Monk residing at Holy Face Monastery in Clifton, New Jersey. He is a holy man, a wonderful confessor. Fr. Louis is also an international expert on the Holy Shroud of Turin, a writer and poet. You can find out out more about Holy Face Monastery on the side bar of this blog. Here is his beautiful poem "Peacemaker."
Fr. Louis - "I wrote this poem during my Thanksgiving after Holy Communion. In my meditation I realized that the Body, Blood and Divinity of Jesus (Son of God the Creator) was within me. So, through, with and in Him, creative power was in my hands. Above all, I believed that I and each and everyone of us, have the power and the mission to create, to make PEACE.
In fact, each human being has the power and choice to either MAKE peace or war! So, I prayed to the Lord: "Let me be: a PEACEMAKER" I wish everyone else too -through this poem- would chose to be "peacemakers".
The Lord who said: "Blessed are the 'peacemakers'" will certainly reward us!"
Made in Gods image
In His likeness
Power to create
In my hands
What I think
Say or do
Past is gone
What NOW ?
On this journey
In MY SPACE
Makes a difference
Using God's gifts
Receiving His PEACE
Let me be
A peacemaker !
Copyright © 2007 Fr. Louis Marie Navaratne O.S.B.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
To-morrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
To-morrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow,
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know;
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away;
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
For the grapes' sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost--
For the grapes' sake along the wall.
* Image Brookdale Park -Montclair, New Jersey ©bjm
Monday, October 18, 2010
While the trapped miners were surviving on food rations lowered into a shaft too small to pull them to safety, Greg Hall was working --and praying-- to determine how a larger opening could be drilled. “We're prayerful people,” Angelica Hall remarked. “Prayer is a part of our daily life … and part of our community at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church.”
Mrs. Hall explained that her husband's drilling supply company, which opened its Chilean branch in 1993, normally provided the supplies for gold, copper and silver mines. But in almost 25 years of business, she said, “this is the first time that we were involved in a mine rescue.”
“There was a crossover from Greg's expertise and drilling in Chile, (and) what our parts and our drill pipe could do,” she explained. Hall's engineering expertise “was able to cross over in making a shaft to get to the miners.”
The unprecedented rescue took months of planning, since even the smallest error or miscalculation could have caused rocks to slide or cave in-- trapping the miners forever. Mrs. Hall said her husband was grateful to play his part, having volunteered his expertise after initially hearing that a rescue was unlikely.
“He's kind of a take-action guy,” she told CNA. “We try to help if we have the skills and the talents to help.” Both faith and service to others, she said, “have been a part of our entire marriage.”
The same risk-taking spirit will lead Mr. Hall to become Deacon Hall, on February 12 next year. His wife recalled how her husband was first “an usher-greeter, then he was a lector,” before being asked “if he'd ever considered the diaconate.” She said that although her husband hadn't thought about it, “we just went forward in faith a step at a time.”
“Our formation has been six years and we're in the last semester. Hopefully, Greg will be ordained February 12th.” With everything going on, she said, her family's life had been “quite an amazing ride.”
Noting the Biblical significance of 33 miners being pulled alive from their potential tomb after a 33 day drilling operation, Mrs. Hall told CNA that “the significance of that number” --the same number of years Jesus lived before his death and resurrection-- “has not been lost on us.”
She expressed amazement and gratitude that the opportunity to save dozens of lives had emerged in the ordinary course of “our everyday walk,” a fact that she said is proof that “God uses ordinary people in their ordinary lives.”
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Out of ABC News...
Mary MacKillop has officially been declared Australia's first Catholic saint - Saint Mary MacKillop of the Cross.
Pope Benedict addressed over 50,000 pilgrims who gathered at Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican in Rome.
A ripple of joy passed through the thousands of Australians spread throughout the crowd when the announcement was made.
Speaking in Latin, the pope also canonised Canada's Brother Andre and four other saints from Italy, Poland and Spain and declared that "throughout the Church they be honoured devoutly among all the saints".
Reading out the many things for which Saint Mary was known, Archbishop Omata said she was dedicated to teaching.
"Notwithstanding many sorrowful trials the small community began to grow and to be diffused throughout the Australian continent and despite personal difficulties Sister Mary never lost the generosity of her spirit or her complete confidence in divine providence," he said.
About 9,000 Australians made the pilgrimage to Rome, including hundreds of nuns from the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart, the order that Saint Mary helped found.
"Oh, it's just wonderful," said Moya Campbell, 65, a Josephite sister dressed in the order's distinctive turquoise scarf.
"We've always believed that Mary was a saint."
Sister Campbell said Saint Mary's most important legacy for Australia was "the vision she had for education".
"She was the first one to go into rural areas. She saw the need."
In central Sydney, up to 4000 people packed the forecourt of Saint Mary's Cathedral to witness the canonisation ceremony.
Some families arrived around midday, setting up in front of the big screen that beamed the proceedings live from the Vatican.
Sydneysider Maria Cakarun was there with her mother and two young children and says it is an emotional event.
"Very cheery and just hoping that it all sort of bringeth home to a lot of Catholics about practising again," she said.
"It would be lovely to get more people back to the Church and actually believe the true belief, rather than just say cafeteria Catholics. I hope that her canonisation now will bring a lot of hope to a lot of Catholics that have maybe lost hope in the past."
The Sydney celebration was one of many around Australia, with thousands of people including Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Victorian Premier John Brumby and many families and school groups flocking to the Exhibition building in Carlton throughout today.
A festival to celebrate Saint Mary's life and time in Melbourne was held this afternoon, before the crowd moved inside to watch the canonisation telecast from the Vatican.
In Penola, the small South Australian town where Saint Mary founded the order, about 8,000 people travelled to be part of the celebrations.
Over 5,000 took part in an open-air mass on the town's school oval, while more visitors wandered the streets, looking at sites of significance in Saint Mary's life.
Friday, October 15, 2010
I am Yours and born of You,
What do You want of me?
Kindness pleasing to my soul;
God sublime, one Being Good,
Behold this one so vile.
Singing of her love to you:
What do You want of me?
Yours, you made me,
Yours, you saved me,
Yours, you endured me,
Yours, you called me,
Yours, you awaited me,
Yours, I did not stray.
What do You want of me?
Good Lord, what do you want of me,
What is this wretch to do?
What work is this,
This sinful slave, to do?
Look at me, Sweet Love,
Sweet Love, look at me,
What do You want of me?
In Your hand
I place my heart,
Body, life and soul,
Deep feelings and affections mine,
Spouse -- Redeemer sweet,
Myself offered now to you,
What do You want of me?
Give me death, give me life,
Health or sickness,
Honor or shame,
War or swelling peace,
Weakness or full strength,
Yes, to these I say,
What do You want of me?
Give me wealth or want,
Delight or distress,
Happiness or gloominess,
Heaven or hell,
Sweet life, sun unveiled,
To you I give all.
What do You want of me?
Give me, if You will,prayer;
Or let me know dryness,
And abundance of devotion,
Or if not, then barrenness.
In you alone, Sovereign Majesty,
I find my peace,
What do You want of me?
Give me then wisdom.
Or for love, ignorance,
Years of abundance,
Or hunger and famine.
Darkness or sunlight,
Move me here or there:
What do You want of me?
If You want me to rest,
I desire it for love;
If to labor,
I will die working:
Sweet Love say
Where, how and when.
What do You want of me?
Calvary or Tabor give me,
Desert or fruitful land;
As Job in suffering
Or John at Your breast;
Barren or fruited vine,
Whatever be Your will:
What do You want of me?
Be I Joseph chained
Or as Egypt's governor,
Or exalted high,
Or Jonas freed:
What do You want of me?
Silent or speaking,
Fruitbearing or barren,
My wounds shown by the Law,
Rejoicing in the tender Gospel;
Sorrowing or exulting,
You alone live in me:
What do You want of me?
Yours I am, for You I was born:
What do You want of me?
Saint Teresa of Ávila
Thursday, October 14, 2010
"The devil is no fool. He can get people feeling about heaven the way they ought to feel about hell. He can make them fear the means of grace the way they do not fear sin. And he does so, not by light but by obscurity, not by realities but by shadows; not by clarity and substance, but by dreams and the creatures of psychosis. And men are so poor in intellect that a few cold chills down their spine will be enough to keep them from ever finding out the truth about anything."
— Thomas Merton (The Seven Storey Mountain)
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Alberto Segovia, brother of trapped miner Dario Segovia, and his daughter Carla Belgica, stand at the relatives camp outside the San Jose mine, near Copiapo, Chile, on Monday. The miners became trapped when the gold and copper mine collapsed on Aug. 5 and are expected to be rescued starting late Tuesday or early Wednesday.
Let us pray for the Chilean miners. The rescue attempt is to begin tonight.
Out of CBC News....
The Chilean miners trapped more than 600 meters underground will face one more horror as they are pulled from the mine one at a time in a cramped capsule.
Starting around midnight Tuesday, each of the 33 miners who have been trapped since Aug. 5 will take their turn being strapped into the capsule that will carry them to the surface through a shaft it took weeks to drill.
The rescue capsule — known as the Phoenix — has passed unmanned tests, but this type of rescue has never been attempted before. Psychologists, Chile's health minister and doctors at the site say this will be a perilous journey for the miners.
Doctors say they expect the miners could suffer nausea and heart palpitations and are concerned about the risk of blood clotting and heart attacks. They have already sent Aspirin down to the men to thin their blood.
A group of four including paramedics will be the first to make the trip from the surface, traveling down into the mine to reassure the men and oversee the rescue. The miners will then be strapped into the capsule, which is barely larger than themselves.
The tube is expected to spin on its way to the surface, and the trip could take between 15 minutes and an hour.
Psychologists said that while the men seemed calm, they could sense anxiety in their voices.
Above ground, the mine site is abuzz with excitement as families have gathered in a special waiting area to see their loved ones.
Each miner has chosen two loved ones he will get to see as soon as he gets out, before being whisked away for medical treatment.
Monday, October 11, 2010
A young monk arrives at the monastery. He is assigned to helping the other monks in copying the old canons and laws of the church by hand.
He notices, however, that all of the monks are copying from copies, not from the original manuscript. So, the new monk goes to the head abbot to question this, pointing out that if someone made even a small error in the first copy, it would never be picked up! In fact, that error would be continued in all of the subsequent copies.
The head monk, says, 'We have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son.'
He goes down into the dark caves underneath the monastery where the original manuscripts are held as archives in a locked vault that hasn't been opened for hundreds of years.. Hours go by and nobody sees the old abbot..
So, the young monk gets worried and goes down to look for him. He sees him banging his head against the wall and wailing,
'We missed the R!
We missed the R!
We missed the R!'
His forehead is all bloody and bruised and he is crying
uncontrollably. The young monk asks the old abbot, 'What's wrong, Father?'
With a choking voice, the old abbot replies,
'The word was...
Sunday, October 10, 2010
From today's "Office of Readings."
A commentary on Haggai by St Cyril of Alexandria
My name is great among the nations
When our Saviour came, he appeared as a divine temple, glorious beyond any comparison, far more splendid and excellent than the older temple. He exceeded the old as much as worship in Christ and the gospels exceeds the cult of the laws, as much as truth exceeds its shadows.
Furthermore, I might point out that originally there was just one temple at Jerusalem, in which one people, the Israelites, offered their sacrifices. Since the only-begotten Son became like us, and as Scripture says, though he was Lord and God, he has shone upon us, the rest of the world has been filled with places of worship. Now there are countless worshippers who honour the universal God with spiritual offerings and fragrant sacrifices. This, surely, is what Malachi foretold, speaking, as if in the person of God: I am a great king, says the Lord; my name is honoured among the nations, and everywhere there is offered to my name the fragrance of a pure sacrifice.
With justice, therefore, do we say that the final temple, the Church, will be more glorious. To those who are so solicitous for the Church and labour for its construction, Haggai declares that a gift will be made, a gift from heaven given by the Saviour. That gift is Christ himself, the peace of all men; through him we have access in the one Spirit to the Father. The prophet goes on to say: I will give peace to this place and peace of soul to save all who lay the foundation to rebuild the temple. Christ too says somewhere: My peace I give you. Paul will teach how profitable this is for those who love: The peace of Christ, he says, which surpasses all understanding will keep your minds and hearts. Isaiah, the seer, made the same prayer: O Lord our God, give us peace, for you have given us everything. Once a man has been found worthy of Christ’s peace, he can easily save his soul and guide his mind to carry out exactingly the demands of virtue.
Haggai, therefore, declares that peace will be given to all who build. One builds the Church either as a teacher of the sacred mysteries, as one set over the house of God, or as one who works for his own good by setting himself forth as a living and spiritual stone in the holy temple, God’s dwelling place in the Spirit. The results of these efforts will profit such men so that each will be able to gain his own salvation without difficulty.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Just as millions of bloggers around the world are doing today, I must join in. Today, October 9th, would have been John Lennon's 70th birthday. I remember exactly where I was when the news came that John Lennon was shot. It was though a piece of me had been severed from my being. I am a child of the 60's - and I can not deny that the BEATLES were a very strong influence on me. My first Beatle album was given to me as a Christmas gift in 1965. The album "Beatles 65." I still have it. The theme of my 1973 high school year book was "Imagine." Imagine was probably John's biggest solo hit. As I look back on the words of "Imagine" now, I could not imagine - no heaven, no religion. But I think what John was speaking about was plain and simple. PEACE. He just wanted peace in our world. And his words ring out today so clear "all we are saying, is give peace a chance." In 1975 he decided to change his life, stop recording - spend time with his family. As he said, he was "watching the wheels go round - no longer riding on the merry-go-round - he just had to let it go." Maybe we should look at our own lives, maybe time for us to do the same....
God bless you John Lennon!
Friday, October 8, 2010
St. Thomas the Apostle Parish
Bloomfield, New Jersey
Every now and then I am going to post pictures of the beautiful stained glass of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish Church. I hope you enjoy them. Maybe they will be a help to you in your prayer life.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Excerpt from: The Character of Diaconal Ordination
For such a "simple" station in the Church's hierarchy, the vocation of the deacon is complex. The complexity arises from the net of relationships in which the deacon finds himself upon ordination, a net that is not to be escaped but embraced. Unfortunately, the intricacy of the relationships of the diaconate can tempt a man to despair as he makes efforts to please all of his constituencies: wife, children, bishop, pastor, employer, parishioners, diocesan officials, fellow deacons, and more. Along with these relationships and the various calls they carry, the deacon also feels pressed to "perform" well in his ministries, which can be various and often emotionally consuming; however, looking at the vocation of deacon from the perspective of what Christ is sharing with him, the deacon can receive clarity on a vital truth: it is not the quantity of acts of service that matter to Christ but simply one's fidelity to the character of ordination. Excessive activity and neurotic hand-wringing about whether "I am doing enough to help others" gives birth only to stress, not holiness. Most deacons of the Western world will go to purgatory because they were too busy exerting themselves, not because their ministry was measured. Jesus will meet them at Purgatory's gate with one question: "Why did you try to do so much?"
Deacon James Keating is speaking here primarily to permanent deacons. But I think all of us in lay ministry can get some fruit out of his words.
The rest of Deacon Keating's article is HERE
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
"Sr Chiara's Profession of Religious Vows to the Franciscan Sisters"
O God, Father of all Mercies, Provider of a bountiful Harvest, send Your Graces upon those You have called to gather the fruits of Your labor; preserve and strengthen them in their lifelong service of you.
Open the hearts of Your children that they may discern Your Holy Will; inspire in them a love and desire to surrender themselves to serving others in the name of Your son, Jesus Christ.
Teach all Your faithful to follow their respective paths in life guided by Your Divine Word and Truth. Through the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, all the Angels, and Saints, humbly hear our prayers and grant Your Church's needs, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity HERE
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.
-- St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Smyrnaeans, 8
Sunday, October 3, 2010
"The world and time are the dance of the Lord
The silence of the spheres is the music of
a wedding feast.
The more we persist in misunderstanding the phenomena
the more we analyze them out into strange finalities
and complex purposes of our own,
the more we involve ourselves in sadness, absurdity, and
But it does not matter much,
because no despair of ours can alter the
reality of things,
or stain the joy of the cosmic dance which is always
Indeed we are in the midst of it,
and it is in the midst of us,
for it beats in our very blood, whether we
want it to or not.
Yet the fact remains that we are invited to forget
ourselves on purpose,
cast our awful solemnity to the winds and join in the
New Seeds of Contemplation - Thomas Merton
* above image - Peace©bjm
Friday, October 1, 2010
Oh! how I love Thee, Jesus! my soul aspires to Thee--
And yet for one day only my simple prayer I pray!
Come reign within my heart, smile tenderly on me,
To-day, dear Lord, to-day.
But if I dare take thought of what the morrow brings--
That fills my fickle heart with dreary, dull dismay;
I crave, indeed, my God, trials and sufferings,
But only for to-day!
O sweetest Star of heaven! O Virgin, spotless, blest,
Shining with Jesus' light, guiding to Him my way!
O Mother! 'neath thy veil let my tired spirit rest,
For this brief passing day!
Soon shall I fly afar among the holy choirs,
Then shall be mine the joy that never knows decay;
And then my lips shall sing, to heaven's angelic lyres,
The eternal, glad To-day!
Poems of Sr. Therese, Carmelite of Lisieux, known as The "Little Flower of Jesus,"
Translated by S.L. EMERY
* bottom image - Brookdale in Pink ©bjm 2010