Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The First Sunday of Advent--Cycle A

Every year at the beginning of Advent, I experience such a thrill!  It is the beginning of a whole new liturgical year--and the beginning of the greatest rescue adventure ever.  Who ever could have imagined this? 

We are so accustomed to the same old, same old.  Our reality is so flat, we are so blase´.  The more wonders unfold before our eyes, the more we become jaded, consumed by the old ennui. 

This is our chance to see with new eyes; to set aside a season to wait, to look, to listen.  Just when the world is putting on it's flashiest, most materialistic show, we are really being called to stop and to step aside for a bit.  Look up!  Listen up!

Stay awake!

Jesus alerts us to the fact that we are being lulled to sleep by the world.  We will not be ready when the Great King comes.  And then, what a cause for regret!  Imagine, if the innkeeper had only known, if he had been aware of Whom he was turning away!  Imagine, if we only knew, each time we turn Him away, every day.  The Great King is coming, in the most unexpected ways, and at every moment--the most unexpected time.  But we are so drowsy, so ho-hum, that we miss it, we miss Him.  "If they had known".

We know (or we used to know, at any rate) that He came on that long-ago night--but we have managed to turn the awe of that occasion 
into "the first lucky 13 people in the door will get a $95 IPad."  How sad; how boring.

But turn off the TV, the IPod, the Computer, and come away into a quiet place a little while.  Listen.

Stay awake!

He is coming at the moment you least expect.  He is coming right now.

There are so many excellent Advent resources in print and on the web.  I did just find one more that I am enjoying very much.  Fr. Hoisington's lovely blog Reflections On the Sacred Liturgy
has much to recommend it; at present I am especially enjoying his use of the Catena Aurea to illumine the riches of Advent's scriptures.

Friday, October 08, 2010

The Sorrowful Mysteries

As a guide to meditation on the Mysteries of the day, I have a little "prayerbook" on my Rosary website.  Here is a devotional guide to today's Sorrowful Mysteries.

Often I find myself dwelling on the Agony in the Garden.  I think it is at that point that i can most relate to the suffering of Jesus.  When I peer beyond that to all He underwent at the hands of His tormentors, for my sake, my understanding fails me.  The awful torments He chose out of love!  But mental distress, this I can guess at, at least dimly.

The most distressing thought of all is that it is my sins which caused this; and which daily still serve to distress Him.

King of Mercy, King of Love!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary

Happy Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary!

I am spending a little extra time today in Rosary meditations, as best I can, as a poor little gift to Our Lady--my Mother who has me as the least of her daughters, and who loves me better than I can tell.

I use Yahoo Widgets for lots of little gadgety things, but one widget is much more than a gadget.  It is my Rosary widget, which has the mystery of the day (or you can selct one to pray over and over--as with the Sorrowful Mysteries during Lent, say), pictures and a selection of meditations.  There are links to two sets of online meditations, one from St. Josemaria Escriva and the other from Father Z.  Today I decided to spend a bit of extra meditation time on the First Luminous Mystery--here, and here.

There are so many wonderful links and tools relating to "The Weapon" of choice in Spiritual Battle.  We are so blessed today to access to all of this.  As time permits today, I will post up some more links and resources.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Do you make an adequate thanksgiving after Mass?

After Mass--for most people at my parish, its who can get out the door fastest. It is the sweetest, best time possible to spend with the Lord. In a way that is beyond imagining, He is united with us, so close to us--closer than our own heartbeat! And we totally miss it. How this must wound Him.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Papa!

Ad multos annos!

oremus pro pontifice.

I have to say it--on this day my heart is filled with gratitude and thanksgiving to God for giving us such a shepherd.
And as well my heart brims with love and gratitude for our Holy Father.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Examination of Facts in latest Slurs against the Holy Father

CatholicCulture.org has an excellent commentary on the lack of journalistic standards in the latest slur campaign against Pope Benedict.  The AP should blush to call such sloppy biased tale-spinning journalism.  This excellent article by Phil Lawler answers the key questions surrounding the Holy Father's involvement in the case factually and shows that, once again, the implications and charges are completely groundless.

Pray daily for our Shepherd, the Pope.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sshhhh--Staying Hidden and Humble with Joseph

Today is a good day to reflect on the value of hidden virtue. To be of inestimable value to God, our deeds, restraints, thoughts and prayers do not have to be known to all and sundry--indeed they do not need to be known by anyone but God. I think that, except for God's own decision to have deeds and personages known by others for the sake of His Glory and the salvation of souls, that virtue is best brewed in secret.

We receive no word that Mary made known the merits of her case to Joseph; rather, God saw to it that an angel took care of that matter.

As for himself, in Sacred Scripture, St. Joseph remains mute. He speaks to us through the faithfulness of his actions. The just man lived a hidden and humble life, a life of poverty and labor.

In my pursuit of humility, I can think of no greater advocate before Jesus, Save Mary herself.

Our Holy Mother, St. Teresa said we should learn to be able to suffer a bit for the Lord without the whole world knowing about it. Another great Carmelite, Saint Teresa Margaret Redi, prayed faithfully for the grace to remain hidden in her whole life, so that none would remark on her. And of course, we have the example of St. Therese's "little way", in which remaining hidden can be so great a help.

Saint Joseph, help me to take profit from every opportunity to learn to enjoy being hidden and humble. Let me not squander any chance to profit from the Graces that your Divine Son grants me! O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, I beg you to make my heart like unto thine!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Anglican Ordinariate

Damian Thompson's column in the Telegraph  gives  us an excellent overview of this personal use Ordinariate, provided by Bishop Peter Elliott of Melbourne, the delegate of the Ausralian Catholic Bishop's Conference to the project of establishing the Personal Ordinariate in Australia.   The quoted text provides a concise explanation of the varieties of ordinariate, as well.

Laying Down Self

"Nearly every family and household have mental peculiarities of their own, which others recognize and appreciate far more distinctly than themselves. The same is true of religious communities, of large cities, and finally of nations themselves. In this peculiarity we shall for the most part find that the weaknesses and unworthinesses of our character entrench themselves."

I found this quote at one of my yahoo groups, Catholic Retreats .  It is apparently from a book titled At the Foot of the Cross, the First Dolor, Part 13.

This struck me to the heart.  It is so very true that in our peculiarities reside our weaknesses, or our "miseries", as St. Faustina would put it.  These are the very things which constitute misery and weakness itself--because they belong to "me", not to Jesus Christ.

I must decrease so that He may increase.  This is the very thing that is so hard for us, because we must give up our sense of entitlement, that is so entrenched in Western culture.  Its all about me, baby; all about me.  What is mine, peculiarly mine--my "rights", emotions, preferences.  We perceive we have a "right " to these, when in fact, nothing could be further from the Truth.

Our rights and our freedoms consist in the right to love and be in right relationship with God--lover to Lover, child to Parent, servant to master.  This Lent I am engaged in a fierce struggle to lay "I, Me and Mine" at the foot of the Cross.

Not my will but Thine be done, Father

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Halfway Through Lent

Well, we are about halfway through Lent. I have spent some time this morning looking at what I have undertaken so far, and my results are mixed. As one might expect, I have done the best with those things to which I am more naturally attracted, and the worst with things that are the greatest struggle for me. To wit, MBM (My Big Mouth).

I have not been entirely unsuccessful but I can do better. I would also like to be more abstemious with certain things than I am at present, more in line with my original resolve.

Putting on the full armor of the Lord, I journey forth again today to my small world to do spiritual battle. I take heart from the antiphon for midday prayer throughout Lent:

"As I live, says the Lord, I do not desire the sinner to die, but to turn back to me and live!"

Turning, turning, turning.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Beautiful Article on Mary and Redemptive Suffering by Shane Kapler at Catholic Exchange

Here is a lovely reflection on Mary and redemptive suffering. 

I need reminders of this in my own life.  You know I worry sometimes that one can accept sufferings that one ought to be changing.  I am still struggling with the parameters of this.  At heart, I believe that whatever God sends is a grace--so that it is hard to pray for deliverance.  But again, we are exhorted to lay our needs before tha Lord.

I guess that the best attitude is that which St. Pio counseled:   "Pray and don't worry!"

Worrywart that I am; I need this admonition!  Being able to rest in the Lord and accept suffering as Grace and Tonic from His hand is in itself a wonderful grace!   When, in the laboratory of my daily life, I am working on this (and it seems I often am), I find the Holy Name and the brief prayer, "Jesus, I trust in You!" to be the biggest help.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

I have always been fascinated by this feast---how Christ sanctified the waters and entered into communion with us, manifest here.  I also know that there are levels of theological and mystical meaning here that i haven't got a clue about.

Here is a great sermon on this by St Gregory Nazianzen:

A sermon by St Gregory Nazianzen
The baptism of Christ
Christ is bathed in light; let us also be bathed in light. Christ is baptised; let us also go down with him, and rise with him.
  John is baptising when Jesus draws near. Perhaps he comes to sanctify his baptiser; certainly he comes to bury sinful humanity in the waters. He comes to sanctify the Jordan for our sake and in readiness for us; he who is spirit and flesh comes to begin a new creation through the Spirit and water.
  The Baptist protests; Jesus insists. Then John says: I ought to be baptised by you. He is the lamp in the presence of the sun, the voice in the presence of the Word, the friend in the presence of the Bridegroom, the greatest of all born of woman in the presence of the firstborn of all creation, the one who leapt in his mother’s womb in the presence of him who was adored in the womb, the forerunner and future forerunner in the presence of him who has already come and is to come again. I ought to be baptised by you: we should also add, “and for you,” for John is to be baptised in blood, washed clean like Peter, not only by the washing of his feet.
  Jesus rises from the waters; the world rises with him. The heavens, like Paradise with its flaming sword, closed by Adam for himself and his descendants, are rent open. The Spirit comes to him as to an equal, bearing witness to his Godhead. A voice bears witness to him from heaven, his place of origin. The Spirit descends in bodily form like the dove that so long ago announced the ending of the flood and so gives honour to the body that is one with God.
  Today let us do honour to Christ’s baptism and celebrate this feast in holiness. Be cleansed entirely and continue to be cleansed. Nothing gives such pleasure to God as the conversion and salvation of men, for whom his every word and every revelation exist. He wants you to become a living force for all mankind, lights shining in the world. You are to be radiant lights as you stand beside Christ, the great light, bathed in the glory of him who is the light of heaven. You are to enjoy more and more the pure and dazzling light of the Trinity, as now you have received – though not in its fullness – a ray of its splendour, proceeding from the one God, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.