Friday, May 30, 2014

Dorothy Day on Obedience

 In light of the recent story concerning a woman who calls herself a woman-priest, who presided at an "invalid and illicit" Mass at the St. Francis House in Columbia, Missouri (a homeless shelter that is run by the Catholic Worker Movement), here are some words by the co-founder of the Catholic Worker, Dorothy Day ......

How strong and positive a virtue is this obedience to God and to one’s conscience! St. Peter said, speaking for himself and the Apostles: “We must obey God rather than men.”
Certainly the staff of editors and all the volunteers who are so at home with us that they call themselves Catholic Workers must have tried the patient endurance of the chancery office in New York, not only because of our frequent sojourns in jail and because of the controversial nature of the issues taken up in the paper and by our actions, but also because of the false ideas put forward by many of our friends as being our positions.
One time I made the statement, whether in writing or in a speech I do not remember, that I was so grateful for the freedom we had in the Church that I was quite ready to obey with cheerfulness if Cardinal Spellman ever told us to lay down our pens and stop publication. Perhaps I had no right to speak for more rebellious souls than mine. Or for those whose consciences dictated continuance in a struggle, even with the highest authority, the Church itself. Perhaps I have sounded too possessive about the Catholic Worker itself and had no right to speak for the publication, but only for myself. I do know that Peter Maurin would have agreed with me. Most cradle Catholics have gone through, or need to go through, a second conversion which binds them with a more profound, a more mature love and obedience to the Church.
I do know that my nature is such that gratitude alone, gratitude for the faith, that most splendid gift, a gift not earned by me, a gratuitous gift, is enough to bind me in holy obedience to Holy Mother Church and her commands.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

Heavenly Father,

On this Memorial Day, we pray for those who courageously laid down their lives for the cause of freedom.  May the examples of their sacrifice inspire in us the selfless love of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Bless the families of our fallen troops, and fill their homes and their lives with Your strength and peace.

In union with people of goodwill of every nation, embolden us to answer the call to work for peace and justice, and thus, seek an end to violence and conflict around the globe.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Pope Francis arrives at Bethlehem

Let us pray that the Pope's Middle East visit will bring about peace to this area of the world where there is so much hatred and mistrust. May the Holy Spirit guide him in his efforts.

The following article is out of the Catholic News Agency (CNA) ..

- In his homily delivered in Bethlehem this morning, Pope Francis meditated on the role of the Christ child in the life of every person.

“The child Jesus, born in Bethlehem, every child who is born and grows up in every part of our world, is a diagnostic sign indicating the state of health of our families, our communities, our nation,” the Pope preached on May 25 in Manger Square in Bethlehem.

“And we have to ask ourselves: who are we, as we stand before the child Jesus? Who are we, standing as we stand before today’s children?”

Celebrating mass on the site of Jesus’ birth, Pope Francis delivered strong words in condemnation of every kind of violence and exploitation against children, including trafficking, slavery, and abortion.

Pope Francis was joined at mass by leaders of the Syro-Catholic, Coptic Catholic & Maronite Catholic Churches, as well as nearly 250 priests and 48 bishops.

In an Ignatian-style meditation, the Holy Father considered the different figures present in the nativity, and their response to the Christ child.

“Are we like Mary and Joseph, who welcomed Jesus and care for him with the love of a father and mother? Or are we like Herod, who wanted to eliminate him?” he queried the crowds gathered at the historic site.

The Pope went on to lament that “all too many children continue to be exploited, maltreated, enslaved, prey to violence and illicit trafficking.”

“Are we indifferent?” he asked. “Are we perhaps people who use fine and pious words, yet exploit pictures of poor children in order to make money?”

Just like the child Jesus in Bethlehem, every child “is vulnerable,” emphasized the Pontiff. “He needs to be accepted and protected. Today too, children need to be welcomed and defended, from the moment of their conception.”

Children are “a sign of hope, a sign of life,” he explained, but also “a ‘diagnostic’ sign, a marker indicating the health of families, society, and the entire world.”

Societies and families are more healthy “wherever children are accepted, loved, cared for and protected.”

Pope Francis mourned the numbers of children who are “hungry and suffering from easily curable diseases, who cry out in vain” in a world “which daily discards tons of food and medicine.”

He also repeated his frequent condemnation of the arms trade.

“In an age which insists on the protection of minors, there is a flourishing trade in weapons which end up in the hands of child-soldiers, there is a ready market for goods produced by the slave labor of small children. Their cry is stifled: they must fight, they must work, they cannot cry!”

These children deserve the world’s attention, he stressed.

“Are we ready to listen to them, to care for them, to pray for them and with them? Or do we ignore them because we are too caught up in our own affairs?”

The Pope closed his homily by reflecting on Mary’s response to Jesus as an example for all - a theme that he continued after mass in his Angelus remarks, also delivered in Manger Square.

“As we prepare to conclude our celebration, our thoughts turn to Mary Most Holy, who here, in Bethlehem, gave birth to Jesus her son. Our Lady is the one who, more than any other person, contemplated God in the human face of Jesus.”

He entrusted the Holy Land, its residents, and pilgrims, to Mary, asking for her intercession in watching over “our families, our young people and our elderly."
“Watch over the Church’s pastors and the entire community of believers,” prayed the Holy Father.

Pope Francis then once again encouraged the leaders of the Middle East to work together for peace, offering a very concrete invitation to the leadership of Palestine and Israel.

“In this, the birthplace of the Prince of Peace, I wish to invite you, President Mahmoud Abbas, together with President Shimon Peres, to join me in heartfelt prayer to God for the gift of peace. I offer my home in the Vatican as a place for this encounter of prayer.”

He concluded, “building peace is difficult, but living without peace is a constant torment. The men and women of these lands, and of the entire world, all of them, ask us to bring before God their fervent hopes for peace.”

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dominican Sisters of Summit Need Our Help

The Dominican Sisters of Summit New Jersey need our help with the expansion and renovation of their monastery. These sisters are the "real deal." We need more religious sisters - they are a blessing and help for us in our own increase of sanctity.

read more HERE

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Father Robert Cormier

Please keep Father Robert Cormier in your prayers. Father Bob was a holy priest of the Archdiocese of Newark New Jersey. He died Tuesday morning during a climbing accident on Mt. Hood in Oregon. While in diaconal formation, I was privileged to attend two of his seminars on prayer and faith. He was a beautiful priest and teacher.

May God bless Fr. Bob always.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything - Thomas Merton

“To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us - and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him.

Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.”      Thomas Merton (Fr. Louis)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

3rd Sunday of Easter

No one may share the Eucharist with us unless he believes that what we teach is true, unless he is washed in the regenerating waters of baptism for the remission of his sins, and unless he lives in accordance with the principles given us by Christ.
  We do not consume the eucharistic bread and wine as if it were ordinary food and drink, for we have been taught that as Jesus Christ our Saviour became a man of flesh and blood by the power of the Word of God, so also the food that our flesh and blood assimilates for its nourishment becomes the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus by the power of his own words contained in the prayer of thanksgiving.
  The apostles, in their recollections, which are called gospels, handed down to us what Jesus commanded them to do. They tell us that he took bread, gave thanks and said: Do this in memory of me. This is my body. In the same way he took the cup, he gave thanks and said: This is my blood. The Lord gave this command to them alone. Ever since then we have constantly reminded one another of these things. The rich among us help the poor and we are always united. For all that we receive we praise the Creator of the universe through his Son Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit.
  On Sunday we have a common assembly of all our members, whether they live in the city or the outlying districts. The recollections of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as there is time. When the reader has finished, the president of the assembly speaks to us; he urges everyone to imitate the examples of virtue we have heard in the readings. Then we all stand up together and pray.
  On the conclusion of our prayer, bread and wine and water are brought forward. The president offers prayers and gives thanks to the best of his ability, and the people give assent by saying, “Amen.” The eucharist is distributed, everyone present communicates, and the deacons take it to those who are absent.
  The wealthy, if they wish, may make a contribution, and they themselves decide the amount. The collection is placed in the custody of the president, who uses it to help the orphans and widows and all who for any reason are in distress, whether because they are sick, in prison, or away from home. In a word, he takes care of all who are in need.
  We hold our common assembly on Sunday because it is the first day of the week, the day on which God put darkness and chaos to flight and created the world, and because on that same day our saviour Jesus Christ rose from the dead. For he was crucified on Friday and on Sunday he appeared to his apostles and disciples and taught them the things that we have passed on for your consideration.
St. Justin Martyr
above image   Spring © 2014 Brian J. Murphy