Pope Francis’ Prayer Intentions for August

Posted August 1, 2018 by pussywillowpress
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JMJ

Blessed August!

Here is our Holy Father’s prayer intention for this month
dedicated to The Immaculate Heart of Mary, as found here.

AUGUST
Universal: The treasure of Families
That any far-reaching decisions of economists and politicians
may protect the family as one of the treasures of humanity.

May God bless your prayer!

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Jesus Wanted Brothers (& Sisters)

Posted May 27, 2018 by pussywillowpress
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JMJ

The only Son of God died for us,
so that He might not remain alone.
He Who died as the only Son
did not want to remain the only Son.

For the only Son of God made many sons of God.
He bought brothers for Himself by His Blood;
He made them welcome by being rejected;
He ransomed them by being sold;
He honored them by being dishonored;
He gave them life by being put to death.
~St. Augustine (Sermo 171)

A family asked their children
if they’d rather have a new baby brother or sister–
or a puppy.
The children chose the puppy.

I can relate.
As a child, I probably would’ve chosen a kitty.
But that just shows how far I was
from the Heart of Jesus.

He didn’t want to remain an only Son!
He didn’t want to be an only Child.

And this was no slight preference!
He was so passionate about acquiring a large family
that “He bought brothers for Himself by His Blood”!
He counted no price too high to pay
for brothers (& sisters)…
for you.

The Sacred Heart and the Church

Posted April 22, 2018 by pussywillowpress
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…a husband is head of the wife,
just as Christ is the Head of the Church,
being Himself Savior of the body
~Ephesians 5:23-24

if the man is the head,
the woman is the heart,
and as he occupies the chief place in ruling,
so she may and ought to claim for herself
the chief place in love.
~Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii, paragraph 27

From this it follows that the Church, Jesus’ Bride,
is (mystically) His Heart.

That puts a whole new perspective
on devotion to the Sacred Heart!

Man put a crown of thorns on Jesus’ head.
He received it on His Heart-
that’s where St. Margaret Mary Alacoque saw it
when Jesus revealed his Sacred Heart to her, burning with love.

The Church is crowned with thorns
(hedged about with thorns–
protected from invasion as a “garden enclosed”, cf. Song of Songs 4:12),
burning with love,
pierced with a sword.

Mary, her heart pierced with a sword at her Son’s crucifixion,
is its exemplar.

To enter into Jesus’ Sacred Heart,
to be enfolded in His love and mercy,
is to enter into His Church,
to be enfolded within Her.

This fits with the revelation of Divine Mercy as well,
the Blood and Water, Baptism and the Eucharist
(and, by extension, all the Sacraments),
flowing from Jesus’ Heart,
the Church.

Note that Jesus’ Heart is crowned–
the Church is crowned.
The Head does not reserve all glory to Himself.
He has made a gift of His Crown to His Beloved,
not as His superior,
but as His ambassador.
She bears His authority in perfect communion with Him.
As He does only what He sees His Father doing (John 5:19),
so She does only what She sees Him doing.
The two become one.

This is what it means
to be married.

St. Joseph Leads the Rosary

Posted November 16, 2017 by pussywillowpress
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JMJ

Somewhere I ran across the idea of offering the rosary to St. Joseph
as a bouquet of “spiritual roses & lilies”
for him to present to his bride.

How sweet!

I love it when husbands give flowers to their wives :).

But when I think of what sort of bouquet
my rosaries end up being,
I started asking St. Joseph to help me pray
and to fix them up for me
(he is a handyman, after all)
before presenting them to Mary.

I’ve given him a lot of work to do.
He’s been very patient with me!

Recently, the idea came to me
(thank you, guardian angel!)
of letting St. Joseph lead the rosary.

How does Joseph pray the “Our Father”?
Or the “Hail Mary”?

What perspective does he have
on the Mysteries of his Son’s life?

Those are some of the best rosaries I’ve prayed!
I recommend it :).

Da-ddy! The DOLL!

Posted October 11, 2017 by pussywillowpress
Categories: Uncategorized

JMJ

(my re-telling, since I can’t find the original…)

Two little girls, out shopping with their father, stopped in their tracks.

There, in a shop window, was

THE DOLL!

Her hair was all curls, her cheeks rosy, her smile radiant,
her gown, afloat with ruffles and lace.
Her eyes opened and closed.
She could drink from a bottle.

She was every little girl’s dream.

Suddenly, nothing else mattered.

THE DOLL was EVERYTHING!

Their little noses pressed against the glass of the shop window,
the sisters squealed with delight,
“Daddy! Daddy! THE DOLL!”

Smiling at their excitement, Daddy promised that it would be theirs–
not right away, but when the time was right.

Bursting with joy,
the girls threw their arms around each other
and  bounced up and down.
“THE DOLL!  THE DOLL!”

Days went by.

No doll.

Weeks went by.

No doll.

One day, Daddy came home to find one daughter
huddled in the corner of the couch, dissolved in tears.
Enfolding her in his strong arms, he asked gently,
“What’s the matter, Sweetheart?”

Pulling away, she curled into a ball of misery,
wailing,
“Da-ddy” (*sniff* *gulp* *sobsob*)
“THE DO- (*gulp* *sob*) -OLL!”

Just then, the door burst open as her sister flew into the room,
launched herself into her father’s arms
and began smothering him with kisses.

“Well, well, what’s all this about?!”

Her eyes dancing, she exclaimed,
“Da-ddy! THE DO-OLL!”

Confident in her father’s faithfulness,
she was celebrating his promise
as if its fulfillment was already hers.

My Heavenly Father has made me much more amazing promises than this.

Every day, I have the choice to imitate one of these two girls.
The joy rings through my memory:
“Da-ddy! THE DOLL!”

In Pursuit of Joy

Posted April 9, 2017 by pussywillowpress
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JMJ

A friend was recently prompted to pursue joy,
to be intentional about becoming more joyful.

These came to mind as being particularly helpful…

An aspiration to pray often
(memory aid: pray it when you pass by something you see often,
such as a picture of Jesus):

My God, I rejoice that You are infinitely happy.
~St. Alphonsus de Liguori

(I add, “and that You have loved me into being
that I may share in Your infinite happiness”)

Quotes for reflection:

Do not be saddened this day,
for rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength.
-Nehemiah 8:10

This next one is my mainstay–there’s so much in it!
Joy is a choice, and it can be learned.
It requires an act of the will,
discipline of the mind to turn it away from evil and to good,
confidence in God
& dependence on Him (prayer with thanksgiving).

Rejoice in the Lord always;
again I will say Rejoice.
Let all men know your forbearance [gentleness, patience].
The Lord is at hand.
Have no anxiety about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving [the Greek is “eucharistia”]
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which passes all understanding,
will keep [as a guard keeping watch]
your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, my brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence,
if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.
What you have learned and received
and heard and seen in me,
do;
and the God of peace be with you.

I rejoice in the Lord greatly
that now at length you have revived your concern for me;
you were indeed concerned for me,
but you had no opportunity.
Not that I complain of want;
for I have learned, in whatever state I am,
to be content
.
I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound;
in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret
of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want.
I can do all things through Him Who strengthens me.
~Philippians 4:4-13

Romans 8:14-39, encouragement about the glory & security
God’s working out for us, starting now. In God, we’re invincible.

True joy, genuine festival,
means the casting out of wickedness.
To achieve this one must live a life of perfect goodness
and, in the serenity of the fear of God,
practise contemplation in one’s heart.
~Athanasius of Alexandria (c.293-373)

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal
which comes upon you to prove you,
as though something strange was happening to you.
But rejoice in so far as you share
in Christ’s sufferings,

that you may also rejoice and be glad
when His glory is revealed.
If you are reproached for the Name of Christ, you are blessed,
because the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
~I Peter 4:12-14

In His farewell speech at the Last Supper,
Jesus said twice, “Let not your hearts be troubled” (Jn 14:1, 27).
That’s a command.
He gave us His peace (Jn 14:27) to enable us to obey it.

Thus says the Lord to you,
Fear not, and be not dismayed at this great multitude;
for the battle is not yours but God’s.
~2 Chronicles 20:15

But this is God’s cause
God’s honour, His infinite greatness, and divine dignity
are involved.
It is not becoming that His magnificent plan
should be defeated through the machinations of an adversary
whom He had cast out of Heaven for his crimes.
God created man for His own glory,
and predestined his nature to everlasting union with Himself;
and inasmuch as the malice of Satan
was more aimed at his Creator than at man
,
it became the Infinite Majesty,
and was most worthy the divine goodness,
that He should rescue man from his misery,
and defeat the malignity of Satan.

|
St. Athanasius boldly declares that
it would be unworthy of God’s goodness
to suffer His own work in man to be destroyed
through the devil’s fraud
.
It would be unbecoming that God’s workmanship in man
should become extinct,
whether through his own negligence
or through the devil’s imposition.”
(S. Athanas., De Incarnatione Verbi.)
The devil could not be allowed so to gain his end
as to deprive God of the glory of perfecting His own work.
The great St. Leo has argued the point in these terms:
“Forasmuch as the devil glorified
that man had lost the divine gifts
through his fraud and deception,
and had so been stripped of his immortality,
and placed under the stern sentence of death;
and forasmuch as the same Satan had obtained
a solace to his wickedness
bringing over a companion to his prevarication;
it pleased God to change the first sentence passed on man,
a sentence both just and deservedly severe,
and passed on one whom He had established in honour.
But this demanded the dispensation of God’s secret counsel,
that He who is unchangeable,
and whose will cannot lose its benignity,
may complete His fatherly design in a mystery more hidden;
and that, however driven to crime
by the devil’s craft and wickedness,
man may not perish in opposition
to the whole intention of God.”
(S. Leo, Servi. 2 in Nativitate Domini)
~Archbishop Ullathorne, The Endowments of Man

God bless your meditations on joy 🙂

Wednesday, Fourth Week of Lent

Posted March 29, 2017 by pussywillowpress
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JMJ

Blessed Wednesday!

Two lines of thought came for today’s readings
& I’m only using one on Draw Near,
so I thought I’d post the other one here…

Readings:
Isaiah 49:8-15 (God will provide for His people)
Psalm 145:8-18 “The Lord is kind and merciful”
+John 5:17-30 (Jesus only does His Father’s will)

The work
of God the Father,
through the Son,
is One,
a work
to create life,
and give it back again
when once
it has been lost…

but life
must be received
and utilized.

This is
where judgment lies.

Refusing,
or neglecting,
to receive
condemns
to death.

What judgment am I choosing (or neglecting to choose)?
Do I expect life on my own terms?


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