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To Admire is to Acquire (Spiritually Speaking)

May 3, 2019


This image from the life of St. Gertrude
colorfully brings home the truth that we move toward what we admire:

At Communion, as [St. Gertrude the Great]
prayed for the Church, but felt a want of fervour,
she prayed to our Lord to give her fervour,
if her petitions were agreeable to Him;
and immediately she beheld a variety of colours:
white, which indicated the purity of the virgins,
violet, which symbolised confessors and religious;
red, which typified the martyrs;
and other colours, according to the merits of the saints.
Then, as she feared to approach our Lord
because she was not adorned with any of these colours,
she was inspired by the Holy Ghost,
“who teaches man wisdom” to return thanks to God
for all those who had been elevated
to the grace and state of virginity;
beseeching Him,
by the love which made Him be born of a Virgin for us,
to preserve all in the Church,
to whom He had vouchsafed this favour
in most perfect purity of body and soul,
for His own honour and glory;
and immediately she beheld her soul adorned
with the same shining whiteness
as the souls of the virgins.

She then returned thanks to God
for the sanctity and perfection
of the confessors and religious
who had pleased Him from the beginning of the world,
beseeching Him
to bring all who were still militant in the Church
to a happy end;
and immediately she beheld her soul adorned with violet;
and as she continued to pray
for the different states and orders in the Church,
her soul was adorned with their respective virtues.
As she returned most fervent thanks to God for these favours,
she beheld herself clothed in a golden amice;
and standing thus marvellously adorned before our Lord,
He turned to the saints, and exclaimed :
” Behold her in garments of gold,
clothed round about with varieties.”
Then He opened His arms to receive her,
as she was no longer able to support
the torrent of Divine joys
with which her soul was encompassed.
~The Life and Revelations of St. Gertrude


The Battle Lines of the Culture War

May 1, 2019


The issue at stake in the culture war
isn’t about when life begins
or who has the right to live
(or the right to die).

It’s about suffering.

What meaning does suffering have
& how will we respond to the sufferer?

The Culture of death
views suffering as the worst of all evils,
so much so
that it must be eliminated at all costs
even to the point of killing the sufferer
rather than to permit them to keep suffering.

The Culture of Life
recognizes that
suffering can be ennobling
when squarely faced and borne with courage,
and rallies around the sufferer,
valuing the person far above any personal cost required,
to support and encourage them through
whatever suffering cannot be morally alleviated.

Anything less
is not worthy of the name.

Pope Francis’ Prayer Intention for May 2019

May 1, 2019


Blessed May!

Here is our Holy Father’s prayer intention for this month
dedicated to Our Lady,
as found here.

The Church in Africa, a Seed of Unity
That the Church in Africa,
through the commitment of its members,
may be the seed of unity among her peoples
and a sign of hope for this continent.

May God bless your prayer!

Can You Drink This Chalice?

April 4, 2019


Then came to him the mother of the sons of Zebedee
with her sons,
adoring and asking something of him.
Who said to her: What wilt thou?
She saith to him: say that these my two sons may sit,
the one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left,
in thy kingdom.
And Jesus answering, said: You know not what you ask.
Can you drink the chalice that I shall drink?
They say to him: We can.
He saith to them: My chalice indeed you shall drink
~Matthew 20:0-23

My Father, if it be possible,
let this chalice pass from me.
Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
~Matthew 26:39

This is the chalice from which James and John unknowingly asked to drink–
the chalice of Jesus’ Passion.

“Can you drink the chalice from which I drink?”

This is the chalice presented to me at Mass,
filled with His Most Precious Blood.

Can I drink this chalice?!

“eat, O friends, and drink,
drink deeply of love.”
~Canticles of Canticles

Drink deeply,
the chalice of suffering love.

Does it bear fruit?

March 24, 2019


Blessed Sunday!

Exodus 3:1-8, 13-15,
Psalm 103:1-4, 6-8, 11,
I Corinthians 10: 1-6, 10-12,
+Luke 13:1-9

Our seminarian intern
brought these readings together
with the idea of spring-cleaning the soul–
Confession, ordering things,
getting rid of things

That last bears more pondering…

God is doing something new
~Isaiah 43:19

Because I am a limited creature,
there is not room
for everything.
As the new comes in,
at least some of the old
must go.

What interests, ideas, activities (etc.)
are no longer bearing fruit?

(or perhaps they never did…)

There may be cause
to put more effort into some of them
(dig around them, give them fertilizer).

But perhaps it’s time
to let them go
and move on.

By What Means?

March 23, 2019


Blessed Saturday!

Micah 7:14-15, 18-20
Psalm 103:1-4, 9-12
+Lk 15:1-3, 11-32

Isn’t it odd
that we think nothing
(as a culture)
of using evil means
toward a good end,
but we object to having
shown toward the repentant?

Deception is fair game
against a “bad guy”,
but generosity when he repents
is frowned upon.

Praise God
He doesn’t act that way!

He delivers me
from deception
and showers me
with kindness.

I need to learn from that…

Be Who You Are

February 23, 2019


Turning the other cheek
is not about letting people take advantage of you.

It’s about refusing to relinquish who you are
under emotional pressure.

It’s about being noble,
taking the high ground,
keeping your head
when those around you are losing theirs.

It’s about having enough “weight”
to not be blown away like chaff,
being substantive.

Don’t succumb to those

who try to push your emotional buttons.

It’s your mission to love them–
to conversion, if possible.

Only the Divine life within
makes that possible.

It’s supernatural.

I must remain in the Vine
in order to produce this fruit.

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