An Announcement … Monday, June 24

Pope Pius XII called Pastor Angelicus, was the...

Pope Pius XII called Pastor Angelicus, was the most Marian Pope in Church history. He made the world aware of the Annunciation in a personal way.

A Rosary Meditation … The First Joyful Mystery, the Annunciation. “The Virgin Mary utters that generous word, “be it done”…Immediately the Heart of Jesus, ever to be adored, has begun to pulsate with love, divine and human” Pope Pius XII, On Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 63. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1. You know, when you think about it, the entire Bible and all of our precious Catholic Faith is, from beginning to end, one Grand Annunciation. It’s all about the coming of Jesus and the announcing of that coming. The first coming, the second coming, what precedes these, and the personal coming. Your “personal” and my “personal”. Jesus came to Adam and Eve, when God walked with them in the Garden, in a personal way, Genesis 3:8. When the three Hebrew children were cast into the fiery furnace the onlookers saw “the son of man” there in the fire with them, and for those three men that was very personal,Daniel 3:25. And He came to Mary in a very personal way, didn’t He? He does the same for us in Communion, doesn’t He? The Annunciation is more than “Here He is!” It’s “Here I am, with you.”

Today …

St. John the Baptist

John the Baptist was the son of Zachary, a priest of the Temple in Jerusalem, and Elizabeth, a kinswoman of Mary who visited her. He was probably born at Ain-Karim southwest of Jerusalem after the Angel Gabriel had told Zachary that his wife would bear a child even though she was an old woman. He lived as a hermit in the desert of Judea until about A.D. 27. When he was thirty, he began to preach on the banks of the Jordan against the evils of the times and called men to penance and baptism “for the Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand”. He attracted large crowds, and when Christ came to him, and here is yet another “personal “annunciation”, John recognized Him as the Messiah and baptized Him, saying, “It is I who need baptism from You”. When Christ left to preach in Galilee, John continued preaching in the Jordan valley. Fearful of his great power with the people, Herod Antipas, Tetrarch of Perea and Galilee, had him arrested and imprisoned at Machaerus Fortress on the Dead Sea when John denounced his adulterous and incestuous marriage with Herodias, wife of his half brother Philip. John was beheaded at the request of Salome, daughter of Herodias, who asked for his head at the instigation of her mother. John inspired many of his followers to follow Jesus, giving them their own “personal” annunciation, when he designated Him “the Lamb of God“. Among them was Andrew and John, who came to know Christ through John’s preaching. John is presented in the New Testament as the last of the Old Testament prophets and the precursor of the Messiah. His feast day is June 24th and the feast for his beheading is August 29th.

Synonym … “Annunciation” equals “evangelization”. ” …  behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” Matthew 28:20b.

Advertisements

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity … Sunday, May 26

Luca Rossetti da Orta, The Holy Trinity', fres...

Luca Rossetti da Orta, The Holy Trinity’, fresco, 1738-9, St. Gaudenzio Church at Ivrea (Torino).

Jesus said to his disciples: “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.”John 16:12-15.

Three Persons, One God. It’s hard to understand. Difficulty does not disprove, it simply calls for faith.

In explaining the Trinity I’ve often wondered what might have happened had St. Patrick picked a four-leaf clover? 🙂 But that’s out of my hands. Probably it was out of Pat’s too.

St Augustine : Augustine and child
Augustine
and child

I’ve always liked the story of St. Augustine and the Child on the beach, the little boy who was moving the ocean one handful of water at a time. The picture is very childlike, isn’t it? The simplicity of a child gives way to the complexity of being an adult and thinking like an adult when Augustine told the boy that what he was trying to do was impossible. And of course the simple truth is that we can’t do certain things either. Like understand fully the Trinity and its implications. So why worry about it? I can’t run a three-minute mile either, or a one hour mile for that matter, but I don’t worry about it. Some things are better off left to the childlike simplicity of acceptance.

Without trying to really understand it the Trinity has, for me anyway, always been representative of family. Everything that proceeds from the Trinity makes me think of family.

The first thing God created was the angels. A spiritual family all His own. And then came a world meant to be populated by the human family. Everything seems to point towards family, a loving, binding relationship that in turn points back to the Triune Nature of God. Family.

Bl. John Paul II:Man’s need for truth and love opens him both to God and to creatures: it opens him to other people, to life “in communion”, and in particular to marriage and to the family. In the words of the Council, the “communion” of persons is drawn in a certain sense from the mystery of the Trinitarian “We”, and therefore “conjugal communion” also refers to this mystery. The family, which originates in the love of man and woman, ultimately derives from the mystery of God. This conforms to the innermost being of man and woman, to their innate and authentic dignity as persons.”

One more reason, no doubt, to believe that we are created in God’s image.

How do we celebrate something like the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity? Well, one way might be to take part in it. A good way to do that might be to spend time, loving time, with family. I think that by doing this we will give honor to God Who gave us the gift of our family, extended and otherwise, along with the gift of participating in His.

Living in Nazareth … Monday, May 12

Nazareth

Nazareth. We all live there.

A Rosary Meditation … The Fourth Joyful Mystery, the Presentation. “And they returned to Nazareth. And the Child grew and became strong, and the grace of God was upon Him.” Luke 2:39-40. Nazareth. Nazareth was the “other side of the tracks.” It didn’t seem to have a very good reputation. John 1:45 “Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith to him: We have found him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets did write, Jesus the son of Joseph of Nazareth. 46And Nathanael said to him: Can any thing of good come from Nazareth? Philip saith to him: Come and see.” Sounds like a place you might not want to be from. But Jesus lived there, both before and after His presentation in the Temple. When Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the Temple it was for the required Mosaic sacrifice, to present Jesus to God. At some point we all, if we are Christians, are presented to God. As children, babies, if we’re born and raised Catholic, it happens when our parents have us baptized. As adults it happens when we convert as adults if we weren’t born into the Faith. Either way, when we come to God, when we’re “presented”, we all come from our own Nazareth, our own wrong side of the tracks, our own sinful nature. And after the Presentation? Jesus returned to Nazareth and spent almost His whole life there. And after OUR presentation? Well, we go back too. We go back to our own Nazareth, our own job, home, circle of friends, and other things like that. By being “presented” we change but the world around us, Nazareth on the wrong side of the tracks, stays the same. Maybe we think we ought not go back. After all, if we’re changed shouldn’t we go to a better environment? Did Jesus? No, and neither should we. It’s BECAUSE we’ve been changed that we MUST go back to Nazareth. You can be “in” Nazareth and not be “of” Nazareth. ” … you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world … ” John 15:19. So, why MUST we go back? And the answer is simple. Simple, not easy. Nazareth needed Jesus. The world still needs Jesus, YOUR Nazareth and MY Nazareth needs Jesus. And that’s why we still live in Nazareth, because it needs Jesus and if we’re not there to show them Jesus, by word and deed, why were we ever presented to God in the first place?

Today …

St. John the Silent

St. John the Silent

Bishop of Colonia in Palestine and a hermit. Born in Nicopolis, Armenia, he established a monastery at the age of eighteen. Appointed a bishop at the age of twenty-eight, he spent nine years in his office before retiring to Jerusalem to embrace the eremitical life. Through a vision, he found his way to the monastery of St. Sabas, asking to be walled up and living for seventy-five years as a silent recluse. Consider. Even walled up, seemingly away from the eyes of the world with all its fuss and fumes he was still a witness for Jesus in Nazareth. How do we know this? Because we still read of his example and we’d know nothing about it if people during his time hadn’t paid attention and passed his witness on. Nazareth pays attention, even when it looks like they can’t see us.

Quote …What do magnets do? They either attract or repulse, don’t they? So, what kind of magnetic effect do we have in Nazareth?

“Profound joy of the heart is like a magnet that indicates the path of life.”

Mother Teresa

Pax … Sunday, May 5

The Holy Family with God the Father and the Ho...

The Holy Family with God the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Gospel John 14:23-29

Jesus said to his disciples: “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. 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.

“I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe.”

     In today’s Gospel reading Jesus explains to us how it is that we are to love Him. We love Him, and show it, by being obedient. We will, if we love Him, keep His word. And whether or not we really love Him is proven by our actions. Simply put: Do we keep His word? Do we do what He tells us to do?
     Of course there are some in the world, and you might like to mark the words “in the world”, who claim ignorance. We hear things like: “Oh, there are so many mistakes in the Bible, its been translated and mistranslated so many times who knows what He really said?” ~ or ~ “Its been so long ago, we’re so far removed from Him and His teachings, His followers then didn’t understand what He was talking about half the time so how can we?” And answers to these are not complicated. Its really very simple to refute these. Of course an unwillingness to hear on the part of those governed by self-will is proof against any logical argument. We pray for those folks. But as for the rest, the ones willing to listen to reason, the people who will listen to Jesus, the answer is clear. And He gives it in the next paragraph.
     The Father is going to send the Holy Spirit in Christ‘s name and the Spirit will teach us everything we need to know and remind us of all that Jesus taught. Simple. And we are just about to celebrate this occurrence at Pentecost. Nearly 2,000 years ago Jesus kept His promise, the Holy Spirit came, and that same Spirit has been teaching and reminding through the Church ever since. (For those that might say He said that it would be the Spirit teaching and not any organized “church”, which idea is essentially based on a wrong understanding of the priesthood of the believer, I ask a simple question; Who stood up to teach on the day of Pentecost? The Holy Ghost or Peter? And the answer is Peter, who was filled with the Spirit if God. In this context people need to remember things like, “He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me.” Luke 10:16. And much more that I needn’t go into here, you’d be reading all day and I’d wear my fingers off typing. But you get the idea.)
     Whats the result? What happens when we love enough to listen and obey? Peace is the result. Peace might be defined in many ways. Often I, personally, think of peace as a lack of turmoil. Honestly, I don’t think that’s the greatest way to define peace but some days, well, that’s about the best I can muster. Peace. Define it. Not in a worldly way, but in a Heavenly way.
     St. Gregory of Nyssa said, “Peace is defined as harmony among those who are divided. When, therefore, we end the civil war within our nature and cultivate peace within ourselves, we become at peace.” So how do we end this civil war within ourselves?
Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you that labour, and are burdened, and I will refresh you. 29 Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. 30 For my yoke is sweet and my burden light.”
     Pax.
I send this out a day early so that … A: You’ll have plenty of time to think about it. B: So I can have a day off. C: I punched the wrong button again. 😉
Published in: on May 4, 2013 at 6:57 am  Comments Off on Pax … Sunday, May 5  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Us … Sunday, April 21

sheep at the show 1

The Church.

Gospel John 10:27-30

      Jesus said: “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”
      The Church is a beautiful thing. It must be. God loves it and gave His Son for it. “It” is “us”. The Church, us, hears the voice of Jesus. If we hear His voice it’s because we recognize it. We know Him and He knows us. We know His goodness and He knows all our faults. But we follow Him regardless. Sheep aren’t flawless, but they need to be faithful. Sheep often stumble, it’s getting up that’s important. And He gives us life. Not what we think of as normal life but never-ending life. And it’s not a life that can be brought to an end. Not here and now or later. Following Him faithfully takes us out of the reach of those that would cut our life short. That tells us Who is really in control, Who it is that has the power of life and death. God has given this flock to Jesus and is greater than any, greater than those who would raid the flock, greater than the wolves parading in sheep’s clothing, greater than all. We’re safe in His hands.
      “The council now beginning rises in the Church like the daybreak, a forerunner of most splendid light.” Pope John XXIII, concerning Vatican II.
      Have you ever noticed that daybreak is always preceded by the dark of night? Have you ever noticed that the birth of a child always involves a solid whack on the bottom? Have you ever noticed that almost everything worthwhile is hard? And have you ever noticed than its usually when folks take their eyes off the goal that they stumble during any race?
      “Know you not that they that run in the race, all run indeed, but one receiveth the prize ? So run that you may obtain.” 1 Corinthians 9:24.
      Its pretty easy now days to get side tracked, to take our eyes off the goal, which goal is Christ. But so many things clamor for our attention. That, coupled with the fact that sheep (“us”) aren’t known for their intelligence, makes stumbling easy. Sorry, but that’s the way it is. Things like abortion, scandal(s), politics, false brethren, pollution, and I just get tired of lists like that. You probably do too. So, rather than look to long and hard at those things, which isn’t to say we turn a blind eye, we’ll keep our eyes on the Goal instead. That “most splendid light” Pope John XXIII spoke of. We sheep will keep listening to His voice, trusting in His hands and not worrying about those things wrong in the pasture. Not worrying does NOT mean adopting a Pollyanna attitude and turning that blind eye that I mentioned before. Because running the race also means taking care of business. But in running, in taking care of business, in looking toward the goal its important to set proper priorities. Priority …
      ” … they follow Me.” … And honestly, faithfully doing this, truly and really following Him takes care of all the rest.
Published in: on April 21, 2013 at 5:06 am  Comments Off on Us … Sunday, April 21  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The fights not over til the last round! … Friday, April 19

Boxer knocked through the ropes

You might get knocked through the ropes, sure, but that doesn’t mean you’re not getting back in the ring!

Rosary Meditation … The Second Sorrowful Mystery, the Scourging at the Pillar. “Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. But thou sayest it; I am a king.” John 18:36-37. He never said that His kingdom wasn’t IN the world, or that it wasn’t a force to be reckoned with. Not being “off” the world, which is to say it’s not part of the worldly system, His kingdom here on earth, the Church, stands out against a backdrop of purely worldly empires. And it stands up as well, standing for the right and against the wrong. And He is King of all this. And More. A king about to be whipped by the worldly powers. Whipped, down but not out. A good lesson to be learned from the scourging, I think, is that just because we’re beaten doesn’t mean we’re beat. The world can throw punches and they can land. Some land pretty hard. So? I mean, so what? Knowing that we may be down but never out doesn’t make the beating not hurt. But it does give us a confidence in living that the world will never have, never know. When worldly fists hit and hit hard lets remember Jesus as He was being scourged. Remember that regardless the score kept at ring side by the judges, it ain’t over til the bell rings in the last round.

Today …

St. Expeditus

One of my favorites. The one I call the Patron Saint of Get’er done. No procrastination here. When Expeditus made his decision to be a Christian it wasn’t “I’ll do it later, when its more convenient.” He knew that it was now or never. Being a Roman centurion he knew that the punches would fly too. That didn’t stop him. Lets never let worldly blows, not illness, not oppressive governments, not the people next door that look at the statue of the Blessed Virgin in our yard and crinkle their noses, make us fearful. Lets just keep in mind that the last round bell hasn’t been sounded yet.

Consider … “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet (Here’s that ‘last bell’ I’ve been talking about!): for the
trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall rise again incorruptible: and we shall be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:52.

Published in: on April 19, 2013 at 4:05 am  Comments Off on The fights not over til the last round! … Friday, April 19  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Someone sees you … Wednesday, April 17

3rd quarter of 16th century

A Rosary Meditation … The First Glorious Mystery, the Resurrection. “For I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no one shall take from you.” John 16:22. Prophetic in more ways than one, and more times than once. Jesus is of course speaking of His resurrection here but the resurrection has far-reaching implications. His followers would see Him again, after the resurrection, and at His Second Coming, and today here where I am at about six p.m. You’ll need to check your own parishes Mass schedule to see when it happens today there where you are. And, odd as it might sound, none of this would’ve happened without the crucifixion. There isn’t one Mystery that can be deleted without taking away all of them. Think about it. But seeing Him again would of necessity require that a person had seen Him before, wouldn’t it? Could the followers He speaks to here ever seen Him at all if they hadn’t believed first? No one sees Christ, not after His resurrection or in the Holy Eucharist, without eyes of faith. At the Second Coming its a different matter. Every eye will see Him and many will mourn as a result. The ones who’ll be mourning are the ones blind to faith. But here we have His words to the faithful, the ones with eyes to see and ears to hear. They saw Him again. And “I will see you again … ” He saw them too, didn’t He? Remember Who’s looking the next time the priest raises the Host at the consecration. You’re not the only one seeing.

Today … St. Elias. Spanish martyr with Paul and Isidore. He was a priest of Cordoba, Spain, quite elderly. Isidore and Paul were catechists. They were put to death by the Moors of the city. St. Eulogius gave a vivid account of their martyrdom. Do you think anyone that willingly dies a martyr’s death is blind? Or do they see better than most? Do you think anyone that sacrifices socially or politically or financially for the sake of saving a life is blind? Or do they see mandated health insurance covering abortion for what it is?

Quote … “Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.” ~ Pope John XXIII ~

Published in: on April 17, 2013 at 4:59 am  Comments Off on Someone sees you … Wednesday, April 17  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What child is this? And I’m talking to YOU … Monday, April 15

The Annunciation by John William Waterhouse, 1914

The Annunciation by John William Waterhouse, 1914. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Rosary Meditation … The First Joyful Mystery, the Annunciation. “And therefore the Holy One to be born shall be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:35. No small thing here. A tremendous title, isn’t it? To be born the Son of God. And He shares it with us. He tells us to “get born all over”. John 3:7. And after that? “Dearly beloved, we are now the sons of God; and it hath not yet appearedwhat we shall be. We know, that, when he shall appear, we shall be like to him: because we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2. Still no small thing. Still a tremendous title. And its YOURS. Think about Mary’s reaction to these words. Think about how others felt when it was announced to them. How people felt when they met Him. How do we react to 1 John 3:2? How do others feel about us as Christians? How do they feel when they’re around us? Are they aware they’re with a child, TRUE child, of God? Or are they hanging out with just another worldly clone?

Today …

St. Paternus

St. Paternus

St. Paternus. The first 5th century saint. He followed his father’s path by becoming a hermit in Wales. He founded the monastery at the great church of Paternus, and became a bishop of that region. He was known for his preaching, charity and mortification’s. No clone of the world’s, here is one that stood out then and stands out now. A good example. Good examples are best when followed.

Think … No one on earth outranks a child of God’s.

Who is the disciple Jesus gave His mother to? … Friday, April 12

Crucifixion?

(Photo credit: nikoretro)

A Rosary Meditation … The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery, the Crucifixion. “And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.” John 19:27. Up until the crucifixion Mary had been the responsibility of Jesus. Now, at the end of His earthly life, its time to make continuing provision for His mother. She will stay behind, at least for now. And Jesus gives her to who? “The disciple.” We know this disciple to be the disciple Jesus loved, nameless here. Why nameless? Because we know also that its John. Why not say John? Maybe to leave a blank that you and I HAVE to fill in. We know, no, let’s make it personal … You know, I know, that Jesus loves us. He proved it and He proves it over and over. The only name that anyone can use to fill in this blank is their own. So now, who does Jesus give His mother to? Who is it that takes her into their own home, as their own mother, to keep and care for? If He trusts us so much that He would give us His mother to be ours, if she willingly comes with us to our door, and if we follow Him, what must our attitude be towards this trust and this gift? In one of His parables Jesus spoke of a ruler who went into a far country to take care of business. Before he left he gave each of his servants an amount of money to care for while he was gone. Matthew 25:14-30, Luke 19:12-28. How much more precious than gold is His, and our, mother? What do we do with such a wonderful gift? Treasure and tend it, or bury it? Remember that we bury corpses. Remember also where He was when He gave us this gift. It obviously means a great deal to Him. We show Him by our living how much it means to us.

Today …

St. Zeno of Verona

St. Zeno of Verona

St. Zeno of Verona. Bishop of Verona, Italy, theological writer. A native of Africa, he was named bishop in 362 and proved an ardent opponent of Arianism. He also promoted discipline among the clergy and in liturgical life, built a cathedral, and founded a convent. Zeno wrote extensively on the virgin birth of Christ and other theological matters. He was the subject of numerous legends. Hard worker, lots going on, lots to do. Zeno probably didn’t have much free time. Many of us don’t. I wonder if he made time for his mother? Being a saint I suppose he did. Do we?

And just how many mothers do we have? …

Hundreds of dewdrops to greet the dawn,
Hundreds of bees in the purple clover,
Hundreds of butterflies on the lawn,
But only one mother the wide world over.
~ George Cooper ~

Published in: on April 12, 2013 at 5:07 am  Comments Off on Who is the disciple Jesus gave His mother to? … Friday, April 12  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Because He lives … Saturday, March 30

English: Resurrection of Christ

Resurrection of Christ. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Rosary Meditation … The First Glorious Mystery, the Resurrection. “For I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no one shall take from you.” John 16:22. A good verse to dwell upon the day before Easter. “For I will see you again … ” God knows every flower of the field and watches over all the sparrows. There has never been a time when you and I haven’t been in His field of vision. In saying “I will see you again” He makes it clear that He will receive us, at His second coming or at our death. Either way He’ll be seeing a loved one that He’s always watched over. We on the other hand will see a Loved One with our own eyes for the first time. Perhaps many is the time that we’ve glimpsed Him with our heart. But this seeing? It will be eye to eye. He has risen, the First Fruits of Life and New Life. Because He lives so do we. Just think about that for a little. Because He lives so do we. Without His Resurrection everything else, the teachings, the healings, the fulfillment of prophecy, would’ve been of no account. His Resurrection is the proof of all the rest. It is the guarantee that because He lives so do we.

Today … St. Pastor. Bishop of Orleans, France. There is no documentation concerning him but this we can know about him. He’s alive and well for the reason given above.

Confirmation of all the above … “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live (John 11:25).

Published in: on March 30, 2013 at 4:46 am  Comments Off on Because He lives … Saturday, March 30  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,