The Communion of Saints … Monday, August 26

English: BABY JESUS

A Rosary Meditation … The Fourth Joyful Mystery, the Presentation. “Again therefore, Jesus spoke to them, saying: I am the light of the world: he that followeth me, walketh not in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12. “I am the light of the world.” This is what, Who, Simeon held close in the Temple. When Mary handed Simeon the Baby Jesus he was holding everything that mattered. He was holding all of Life and Love and Grace and more than the Universe could, or can, contain. We might say, “How blessed he was! I wish I could be so blessed as to experience what Simeon did.” Well, I’ve got some good news and some bad news. Bad news first. You can’t have the experience that Simeon had. Ever. Mary isn’t here to present you with Him and you aren’t in the Temple. What happened to Simeon? Happened only once and for only one man. Sorry. OK, now for the good news. And this good news? You can take it as gospel. You can have a greater experience than Simeon did and you can have it every day of your life. You can have Jesus with you, hold Him closer than Simeon did, and not have to wait for years to have it happen the way Simeon did.

Today …

Bl. Zepherin Namuncura


 

 

Bl. Zepherin Namuncura

Zepherin Namuncura was the eighth of twelve children of the chief of the Araucano Indians of the Argentine Pampas, Chief Manuel Namuncura. Zepherin’s ambition was to lead his people to the religion of the one true God. When Zepherin was two, his father gave him to the Salesian priest, Father Dominic Milanesio, to be raised up in the faith. Zepherin was educated at the Salesian mission school in Buenos Aires. At the age of seventeen, he went into the seminary where he studied hard enough to become second in his class. Zepherin was also growing in virtue and was often found in front of the Blessed Sacrament. On September 24, 1903, with the permission of his Superiors, Zepherin organized a procession in honor of Our Lady of Mercy. That night he fell into bed tired from his day’s labor. He awoke coughing and spitting up blood. Zepherin had tuberculosis. In April of 1904, Zepherin accompanied Archbishop Cagliero to Rome where it was thought that the warm dry air might be good for his health. In March of 1905, Zepherin took a sudden turn for the worse. He lost weight alarmingly, and seemed to be often in pain. His director wrote, “He got worse day by day, yet he was never impatient. He suffered, but he held onto his cross generously.” In April, Zepherin was transferred to the hospital run by the Brothers of God in Rome. Here he bore his cross of suffering heroically, constantly praying the Rosary for his people. This saintly seminarian died on the morning of May 11, at the age of eighteen, surrounded by several of the brothers who were praying for him. He was buried in Rome, but at the insistence of his people, his body was taken back to Patagonia in 1924 and buried at the Salesian school of Fortin Mercedes. Zepherin was declared Venerable by Pope Paul VI in 1972.

Think about it and pray …. The next time you receive communion, which is the blessing you have that’s bigger than the one Simeon received, pray for vocations. There is no Real Presence with out the very real presence of a priest.

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Light and Glory … Monday, March 11

The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple

The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Rosary Meditation … The Fourth Joyful Mystery, the Presentation. “A light of revelation to the Gentiles, and a glory for thy people Israel.” Luke 2:32. This is what Simeon was presented with, what he held in his arms. A Light for Gentiles, and Glory for Israel. In this way the Presentation is a little like the Mass. Nothings changed in 2,000 years. We’re still being presented with Jesus. A light. A way to see and know the Truth and a constant help in walking. It’s hard to walk when you don’t know where you’re going and you can’t see the path. And glory. Something to rejoice over, something, Some One, a lifting up of self. Not because we deserve any glory of ourselves but because we’re “attached” to the One Who is Glorious. Simeon held Him and so do we. And He holds us. There’s our attachment. Simeon gave thanks and so do we. We all have so much to be grateful for and Lent is a perfect time to remember this as we use these days to draw nearer to God. Trying to set our “self” aside to make more room for Him in our lives. We must decrease so that He can increase. And the more of our lives He fills up, the more we let Him present Himself to us, the brighter the Light and the greater the Glory.

Today … St. Amunia was mother of St. Aurea. She joined her daughter in the life of a hermitess after the death of her husband. When we read about saints have you ever noticed how often the words “hermit”, “hermitess”, and “solitary” come up? Not to mention “anchorite”. There must be a reason, wouldn’t you think? Maybe, just maybe, being alone as they were, alone with Christ by choice, they were saints because given their choices, their vocation, they had no light or glory of their own. The only Light they had, the only Glory they had, was Christ. I’d have to say that’s a pretty good definition of a saint. And a good plan for being one as well.

OK, here goes … I’m not sure what anyone else may see in it or think about it but my own perception is that I often repeat myself. Granted, some things need to be repeated and at times that’s why I do it. But at other times the repetition is nothing more or less than human limitation on my part. The Rosary, its Mysteries, and all that goes along with it are in no way limited. I am. So, with that in mind, and with the thought that everyone has ideas of their own that are worthwhile, I send out this invitation: If any one has any ideas for Rosary Meditations, perhaps a good reference work to gather thought-provoking quotes from, things that could be expanded and expounded upon, well, I’m open to suggestions. I make no guarantees, but please feel free to share. 🙂

Published in: on March 11, 2013 at 12:05 am  Comments Off on Light and Glory … Monday, March 11  
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OK, now close your eyes and hold out your hand … Thursday, February 21

StJohnsAshfield StainedGlass Simeon

StJohnsAshfield StainedGlass Simeon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Rosary Meditation … The Fourth Joyful Mystery, the Presentation. “Because my eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples.” Luke 2:30-31. Blessed eyes, weren’t they? Simeon holding a baby, THE Baby, knowing Who and What he was looking at. It’s not everybody that recognizes salvation when it’s offered. Lots of people who have eyes to see in the physical world are blind in the spiritual realm. Its easy enough to see this blindness during Christ‘s earthly ministry and things, people that is, seem to have not changed much. But blindness has been cured before and so there is hope for the world. Closer to home we’ll hope there’s hope for us because we, as Catholics, can suffer from a dimmed vision from time to time. The symptoms are a lack of faith and obedience. Not so terribly difficult to overcome with a little effort. Pray for faith and trust I’ve been given it. (See? There it is already!) And do the deal even when I wonder if Holy Mother Church is right THIS time. (History, personal history, helps with this. I just ask myself when was the last time she was wrong? Ah, more faith right there with trust to go with it!) Wondering is natural, doubt is a temptation, a temptation is not a sin. Self-will is always self-defeating. Better to have vision, like Simeon. Better to keep my eyes on the Christ and hold Him close, like Simeon. When salvation came Simeon saw it, recognized it even when it was wrapped in swaddling cloths. Now salvation is brought to me disguised in other ways. Bread, wine, a divine institution that looks all to human much of the time. Its OK. All these things, the bread and wine and more, are seen through eyes of faith because they are gifts given by the One Simeon held. And even when the package looks a little odd to me, because the gift comes from Him, I can trust in the content, I can hold out my hand and receive the gift. Even with my eyes closed.

Today … St. Felix of Metz. Third bishop of Metz, France. He is believed to have ruled that see for more than four decades. I picked the good bishop this morning for a simple reason. “Felix” is Latin for “Happy”. So I figured he obviously knew about the Gift, and that he saw.

And … Seeing can be a strain, eye strain. Eyes get tired? Its OK. We have a Shepherd to lead shortsighted sheep. Trust me, I know. Now if I could only remember where I laid my glasses. 😉

The Exchange … Monday, February 4

Early life of Christ in the Bowyer Bible print...

Early life of Christ in the Bowyer Bible print 7 of 21. presentation of Jesus in the Temple & Simeon. Opie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Rosary Meditation … The Fourth Joyful Mystery, the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. “Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word, in peace.” God had promised Simeon that he would get to see the Promised One, Messiah, before he died. The Promise having been fulfilled Simeon could now die in peace. A Holy death. Having had the Christ presented to him he had, in a sense, presented himself to Christ. An exchange had taken place. God had given Himself to Simeon and Simeon had given himself to God. That’s a good way to describe a Christians relationship with God, isn’t it? He presents Himself to us, for us, in the manger. He presents Himself to us, for us, via the yearnings of our heart as He stands at its door, knocking. Revelation 3:20a. A part of this knocking, of the invitation to share, is a dinner invitation. Revelation 3:20b. He presents Himself to us, for us, daily at Holy Mass. And with every bit of beauty that we are blessed to witness He offers a union with the Artist if we’ll only enter into His beauty. He has and does present Himself to us, for us. We have a choice of responses.

Today … St. Berlinda. A hermitess of Belgium. Berlinda, also called Berlindis or Bellaude, was a niece of St. Amandus. She entered the Benedictine convent of St. Mary‘s at Moorsel, in Belgium. She later became a hermitess at Meerbeke. Here is someone who answered the offer to exchange. Christ had given Himself for and to St. Berlinda. She reciprocated. We can’t all go to the convent or the hermit’s cell. But we can all take part in the exchange.

Please … Hermit, hermitess, brother, sister, monk, nun, friar, priest. Pray that people, maybe you, answer the call to exchange this life for one of service. Please pray for vocations.

Published in: on February 4, 2013 at 6:28 am  Comments Off on The Exchange … Monday, February 4  
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A Receiving Without Boundaries … Thursday, January 17

Liturgy of Saint James. Russian Orthodox Churc...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Rosary Meditation … The Fourth Joyful Mystery, the Presentation. “And when they brought in the child Jesus, he received him into his arms and blessed God.” Luke 2:27-28. This of course refers to Simeon, faithfully waiting for the promised One and the fulfillment of God’s promise to him that he would see Messiah before he died. My first thought upon reading this concerned waiting, seeing and receiving, but of another sort. It occurs to me that what happened to Simeon once can potentially happen to us daily in the Holy Mass. We wait, Jesus is placed in our “arms” so that we can hold Him not only TO our breast but IN it as well, and we see all of this, veiled as it is with the earthy elements of bread and wine, with eyes of faith. Pity those without eyes to see or ears to hear. “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” Read John 6. There has ever been ONE sacrifice for sins, and ONE Who is both the Priest Who offers and the Lamb Who is offered. That ONE sacrifice began at the Lord’s Supper and continued on through Calvary and will continue daily til the end of the age. And we can receive the benefits daily at Mass, at least weekly at Mass, and whenever we desire via a spiritual communion. The Babe in Simeon’s arms knows no boundaries. We are blessed with a receiving without boundaries.

Today … St. Anthony the Abbot. Feel free to Google him. There’s much to be known, and even more to be learned, from his example. Two Greek philosophers came to him at one point. When he asked them why they came they said they had heard he was a wise man and that was why they’d come to see him. He said, “If you think me wise, become what I am, for we ought to imitate the good. Had I gone to you, I should have imitated you, but since you have come to me, become what I am, for I am a Christian.” Anthony received these well thought of wise men, he received the poor suffering ones who were in need of healing, he received those who came to him without respect of persons. Why? Because he had received Christ first.

And … “I would fain improve every opportunity to wonder and worship, as a sunflower welcomes the light.” (Henry David Thoreau) Receive.

Published in: on January 17, 2013 at 6:08 am  Comments Off on A Receiving Without Boundaries … Thursday, January 17  
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Monday, November 26

A Rosary Meditation … The Fourth Joyful Mystery, the Presentation. Have you ever wanted something REALLY bad? Maybe a B-B gun or Betsy-Wetsey for Christmas? Those were top priority back in the late fifties and early sixties. And now that we all know how old I am, with life span in mind, can you imagine waiting expectantly, in faith and with patience, for all your life? I don’t mean part of your life but all of it, right up to the point that you’re so old you know you won’t last much longer? Because that’s where Simeon was. He’d heard about the Promised One, Messiah, since childhood. Later God had promised him that he would live to see this One. For some the longer they wait the more disgusted they become. Just watch people in a long checkout line. But others, like Simeon, know that the longer you wait the closer you get. Anna was there waiting too. We aren’t told that God had promised her anything but, and this is just a thought, if she knew something as wonderful as seeing the Messiah was going to happen to Simeon, well, maybe she stayed close so that it would happen to her too. In today’s Gospel reading, Luke 21:1-4, a poor widow tosses all her money into the temples collection plate. In giving all she gave more than any other. Anna and Simeon, there in the temple, worshiping and serving God through sacrifice and prayer, were giving all they had, their very lives. Like good priests and nuns do today. People like the poor widow and Simeon and Anna and faithful religious are all rewarded. Ultimately they are all rewarded in the same way. They get to see Jesus. 1 John 3:2. Where are WE? We’re waiting whether we want to be or not, whether we know it or not. And it doesn’t matter if we’re a Simeon, poor widow, nun, Anna, or priest. Do we wait in faithful, patient expectation? And what is it that we give while we wait? Part of what we have, part of our self, reserving some for us? Look at the Babe in Simeon’s arms and at the happy mother with a heart so loving as to willingly be pierced. Fast forward, but go slow, 33 years. Think about their lives. Ask yourself one simple question. What did they hold back? Luke 10:37b. The faithful and patient will be presented with their reward in the end. Revelation 22.

Today … St. Basolus. Never heard of him? It’s no wonder. He lived as a hermit for 40 years, living on a hill near Reims, France. Forty years is a long time. Wait, sacrifice, pray, be faithful, be patient. Why? For the same reason Simeon and Anna did. He was waiting to see Jesus, waiting for the promised reward of the Beatific Vision. Revelation 22 again. And now, after forty years of faithfulness, a drop in the bucket compared to eternity, he enjoys Christ forever. “Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven.” Matthew 5:12a. Remember that and wait with patient expectation. Even when you’re at the end of a long checkout line at Wal-Mart.

Colossians 1:11-12 … “Strengthened with all might, according to the power of His glory, in all patience and longsuffering with joy, giving thanks to God the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light.”

Published in: on November 26, 2012 at 5:49 am  Comments Off on Monday, November 26  
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