Monday, June 22, 2015

Saint Thomas More: A Prayer for Your Enemies

I LOVE Saint Thomas More. For many reasons, chiefly among them? He cracks me up. Do you know that, prior to being beheaded for treason, he carefully moved his beard from the block, gravely (but I'll bet with a twinkle in his eye) explaining to his poor executioner that his beard "committed no treason"?

I also love for him for his example of forgiveness…actually, more than forgiveness…his disdain of judging others. Incredible, really, given his profession — one of many, actually — as a lawyer. (Also a politician!)

Although a friend of King Henry VIII of England, More couldn't bring himself to humor the sovereign by (even with a wink, wink, nod, nod) acknowledging him as the "supreme head of the church of England." He couldn't, because he was in love with truth — as any good attorney should be — and with the Truth — as any good man should be.

And so he died. Killed for treason. Imagine his sadness! We are now in an era where Christians are martyred by those outside the Church…imagine being martyred, or even hated by, those supposedly inside the Church!

Still, he kept his spirits up. At his trial, he told his judges that he wished that "we may yet hereafter in Heaven merrily all meet together to everlasting salvation."

And he didn't judge!

Since today's memorial of Saints John Fisher and Thomas More is optional, the readings of the day are generally chosen. And how appropriate today's Gospel is for Saint Thomas:

From Matthew 7: 1-5


Stop judging, that you may not be judged.
For as you judge, so will you be judged,
and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother,
‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’
while the wooden beam is in your eye?
You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly
to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.

From his prison cell, awaiting his eternal reward, More penned this prayer. May his words fill our hearts with the stupendous gift of love for those who mistreat us in any way.

A Prayer for Our Enemies

Almighty God, have mercy on N. and N., and on all that bear me evil will, and would me harm, and their faults and mine together by such easy, tender, merciful means as thine infinite wisdom best can devise; vouchsafe to amend and redress and make us saved souls in Heaven together, where we may ever live and love together with thee and thy blessed saints, O glorious Trinity, for the bitter passion of our sweet Saviour Christ. Amen.  
Lord, give me patience in tribulation and grace in everything, to conform my will to thine, that I may truly say: “Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo et in terra”. 
The things, good Lord, that I pray for, give me thy grace to labour for. Amen.








Saturday, June 13, 2015

Apparitions…I was going to write about this myself, but, incredibly enough...

…somebody beat me to it.


This is an amazingly simple and very instructional read. Thanks Kevin Orlin Johnson for your article:

"The Ten Most Common Misconceptions about Apparitions"

Monday, June 08, 2015

Communion in the hand…a how to guide (don't worry, it's brief)

Okay, so right off the bat let me explain that I don't receive the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ in my hand. But this isn't at all an argument about that. There are many, many people who do…and they have every right to. An indult has been granted for this practice.

And there is a very reverend way to do so!

As Saint Cyril of Jerusalem said, lo these many years ago:
When thou goest to receive communion go not with they wrists extended, nor with thy fingers separated, but placing thy left hand as a throne for they right, which is to receive so great a King, and in the hollow of the palm receive the Body of Christ, saying, `Amen.'
What the good saint do not say is "stick out your hand, grab the Host, and saunter back to your pew, and oh, incidentally, don't forget to consume the Lord!"

See the difference? Okay. I'm pretty sure if you're reading this you already know how to receive Jesus in your hand…so pass this on — tactfully, if possible — to your friends, family members, and others who seem not to know.

* Approach the Sacrament with reverence. This isn't the time to grin and wave at friends in the pews.

* Upon reaching the minister of Holy Communion — be he a priest, deacon, or extraordinary minister of the Eucharist — bow your head reverently…you're about to receive God!

* Lift your eyes to the minister of Holy Communion with your hands in the position described by Saint Cyril.

* When the minister of Holy Communion proclaims "The Body of Christ," clearly affirm this by responding "Amen."

* Upon receiving the Sacred Host, immediately consume this most precious gift so that the minister of Holy Communion sees that you do so!!!

Does this seem at all complicated?

Consider receiving on the tongue.

May God continue to bless you!

Friday, June 05, 2015

Filed under "what feasts we make of crumbs:" Stewart, the Ashers, and a bleeping cake

So anyway, this guy Gareth Lee, uh, coincidentally, I'm sure, [insert sarcastic raised eyebrow here and ask for my forgiveness if I'm wrong] ordered, from a Christian family run bakery in Northern Ireland a cake. Fine. That's what the family bakery does…make cakes.

Only Mr. Lee wanted a "specially designed" cake…one festooned with the credo:

"Support Gay Marriage"…sorta like this. Yep, complete with Sesame Street's Bert & Ernie. Okay.

Image result for support gay marriage cake ireland

The Asher family said "thanks but no thanks." And were promptly found guilty of discrimination by the powers that be. And fined a rather hefty sum.

Okay, that sucks.

But be o' good cheer! Homosexual activist (and, yes, cool "Star Trek Guy") steps up to the plate.

"Finally I find myself on the side of the bakers," he said. "It was not because this guy was a gay couple they objected, it was not because they were going to be celebrating some kind of marriage, it was the actual words on the cake they objected to, they found them offensive…I would support their right to say `no, this is personally offense to my beliefs, I will not do it.' But I feel bad for them that it cost them 500 quid."

 [Which is about $740.00, by the way.]

And lo and behold? The media goes wild…about some guy saying a reasonable thing!

Don't take my word for it. Just google "support gay marriage cake" and good ol' Patrick is on your top stories screen. 

Huh?

Let's look at this another way. Here are some wacky cake ideas, and the bakers asked to carry them out:

Baker, and Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards: "Life Begins at Conception! Ban Abortion!"

Baker, and Roman Catholic Pontiff Francis: "Islam is The True Faith!"

Baker, and Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayeb: "Jesus Really is God!"

Baker, and U.S. President Barack Obama: "Republicans Rule!"

Baker, and former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin: "Vote for Obama!"

Well…you get my point. At least I hope you do. If you don't? Here it is:

There's a W I D E difference between right and wrong…and if you choose what's right? You're not a hero…you're just a person doing the right thing. Don't expect a bleeping medal.

May God continue to bless you. And remember:

Luke 17:10

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Mary. Your crown defeats the fake "crown."

She didn't go to the tomb, because what would be the point? She knew He would rise again…He told them, He told everybody. She believed.

Still, it was agonizing to remember…the scourging, the desertion, the crucifixion…but most of all, the humiliation of a "crown" made of dead branches, of thorns. Mocking her Son.

So she just waited…probably cried. Of course, she cried! That sword, the sword Simeon foretold…yes, it pierced her. Her Son, her Child…it was almost too much to bear.

Still she waited…and contemplated that horrible "crown" that someone -- was it John? -- gave to her before they placed Him in the tomb.

And waited…and cried. Who wouldn't? She witnessed it all…from the humble birth of her adorable Son…His growing up…His becoming a man…His ministry. Yes, she saw it all, right until the end.

She knew it wasn't really the end…she believed Him…yet, still she wept.

And then He appeared to her. Embraced her, He, so gloriously beautiful, His eyes filled with love and…yes…gratitude.

And He reached for the hideous "crown" and while she watched it became -- alive! Alive with the most beautifully created blossoms mankind ever saw!

She knelt. And with gratitude and love, He placed the once hateful symbol on her beautiful head…and she looked up at her King…she, the Queen of all creation.

"Queen of the May"…enjoy and sing along!



Bring flow'rs of the fairest, bring flow'rs of the rarest, 
From garden and woodland and hillside and vale. 
Our full hearts are swelling, our glad voices telling 
The praise of the loveliest, Rose of the vale.

O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today, 
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May. 
O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today, 
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May.

Our voices ascending, in harmony blending. 
Oh! thus may our hearts turn dear Mother, to thee. 
Oh! thus shall we prove thee how truly we love thee, 
How dark without Mary life's journey would be.

O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today, 
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May. 
O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today, 
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May.

O Virgin most tender, our homage we render. 
Thy love and protection, sweet Mother, to win. 
In danger defend us, in sorrow befriend us, 
And shield our hearts from contagion and sin.

O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today, 
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May. 
O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today, 
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May.



Friday, April 24, 2015

Post an ugly picture of Hillary…oh yeah, that'll spread the Gospel, sheesh

Social media among "Catholics" can be, in my humble opinion, equivalent to the forbidden fruit in Eden.

What so many -- too many -- of my Catholics do is, rather than calmly (or hell, I'll buy excitedly) say "Uh…no, Mrs. Clinton (or pick your favorite pro-abortion person), life begins at conception and you're wrong when you condone abortion" do?

They post an unflattering photo of the person they're trying to "correct"…and think they're being…"Catholic.'

News flash? You're NOT! Acting as Catholics ought to, I mean.

Here's the thing:

YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO GET PEOPLE INTO HEAVEN!

Sorry for the yelling, but some of you are driving me nuts.

Here's another thing:

God LOVES Hillary Clinton. 

Yes, I know this may be causing your throat to collect stuff that'll make you choke, but it's the truth. You want the truth? This is the truth. You want to feel oh-so-pious? Ignore what I just said.

Ignore it at your own peril.

Ignore, at your own peril, that God loves all those people some of you seem to LOVE to HATE.

So? As Catholics…as Christians…as followers of Christ?

SO. SHOULD. YOU.

Love them, I mean.

Next time you feel the urge to take Christ's job -- for those of you still in hate mode, that would be called "judgment" -- and resort to hateful stuff, here's a tip:

Stop. Breathe. PRAY for the one you think you hate.

Because if you don't? You're screwing yourself. And worse? You may be -- by crooking your stupid little finger, beckoning all your really stupid "likes" and "retweets," etc., etc.?

You're screwing others, too.

May God continue to bless you.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Why do we make the Sign of the Cross? Three (Key Word) reasons to know...

Father Mike Schmitz of Altaration knocks it out of the ballpark.

Ask yourself: Why did God make me?

Enjoy!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Something seems wrong…and not with Immaculate Conception School, Revere, MA

All I know, as Will Rogers used to say, is what I read in the newspapers. That said? Something's whacky here.

Last January, two newspapers reported that:


  • No child was molested, nor subjected to indecent exposure, nor did any child claim such a thing at Immaculate Conception School in Revere, Massachusetts.
  • No parent wished to register any complaints or charges against a man who did not molest a child, nor subject him to indecent exposure.
  • The man who did not molest a child, nor subjected a child to indecent exposure, was completely cleared of any crime by the Revere, Massachusetts police.
  • The non-incident appears to be this: the janitor used the boy's restroom to do what those of us who have to use the restroom usually do. (He's been availing himself of the facilities for the last 17 years.)
  • A priest (Father George Szal), a principal (Alison Kelly), a teacher (name unknown), and a janitor (name also unknown) were fired…as a result of the aforementioned non-incident.
  • Nearly 1,000 parishioners and parents from Immaculate Conception Church and School, have submitted a petition protesting the aforementioned firings to the Archdiocese of Boston and Cardinal O'Malley, calling them to be a "complete overreaction."

So far? No other news. So all we know is that evidently, four people got canned…for a non-incident.

Huh?

I'm biting my tongue to comment on this, but I can't because, as is 'way too often the case? Silence prevails.

Read the stories here and here. See if you can make any sense of it.

And please pray for all involved.

May God continue to bless you.











Tuesday, March 03, 2015

"Altaration: The Mystery of the Mass Revealed"

Ascension Press focuses on teens in the promotion of it's latest video, and that's wonderful!

But I must say, after viewing this brief trailer, I'm thinking the final product will also have an enormous impact on those of us who've left our teen years behind.

Take a look and see if you agree!



Monday, February 16, 2015

Dealing with the murders of Christians in Libya? Let's be radical about it.

Murder is ugly. Sin is ugly.

Murder of those with a different religious belief from yours is uglier still.

Murder — or the wish to see murdered — those who persecute you, kill you, your family, your friends, for whatever reason?

It's the ugliest of all.

There's only one way — ONE WAY — to deal with the sadness that has permeated, recently, the Christian world and, since the beginning of time, the entire world.

It's called prayer. Prayer for those who hurt us.

The 21 Coptic Christians murdered by ISIS, and, perhaps more importantly, their loved ones, deserve our prayers.

ISIS needs our prayers more!

That's the radical view. That's my view.

That's the Christian view.

May God continue to bless you.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Thank you, Brothers Paul and Rafael, O.M.V.

On August 5, 2014, Br. Paul Nguyen, OMV, and Br. Rafael Solorio, OMV, took first vows as Oblates of the Virgin Mary. They received the religious habit and their own copy of the Constitutions and Norms of the Congregation. The ceremony took place at St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine in Boston. Enjoy this brief video summary of this memorable ceremony. Directed and edited by John Wykes, OMV

"I Will Follow": a video for young Catholic guys

Monday, February 09, 2015

If you're reading this, you're prayed for and blessed by God Himself!

Guess what? You've just been prayed for (by me) and blessed by God!

How did this happen?

Simple. Once you understand — or probably better worded — once you believe — that God can and does do anything and everything…stuff we can't understand but deliciously believe, believe, believe? This is like A B C !

If you're like me…

(Time out for a sec…if you're really like me you might want to pray a bit for yourself…okay, back to the program here)

…then you are oftentimes asked for prayers.

This is a good thing. When asked for them, offer them. Right then and there. We're straight on that? Good!

Now, here comes the GREAT news…

You know how Saint Paul tells us to "pray without ceasing?" 'Course you do. But how do we actually do that?

Especially, how do we make sure that everyone who needs our prayers — and that would include everyone in the whole world, living and deceased — gets them?

Why, we ask our loving Father, in Jesus' Name, to step right in!

And I've a feeling They'll love to do it.

If you know — if you truly, truly know — that (1) God hears you, and (2) God loves you, and (3) God wants to do whatever you ask of Him, and…and this is the most important: (4) God can do everything and anything? — then this is so simple it's almost embarrassing!

Just ASK Him!

Wait…it gets better!

I'm not merely suggesting that you ask God to hear your prayers for Mr. A, or Mrs. B, or Your Friends C, D, and E. Oh no! Let's take a gigantic leap forward here!

Ask God to hear your prayers for — and bless — Each. And. Everyone. Each and everyone He allows to cross your path!

You can do this! Listen to a prayer I offer each morning…and gleefully remember all day long:

Abba, Father, I thank you for the gift of life, and for the newness of life in Christ Jesus. Hear my prayers for each and everyone you allow, or have allowed, or will allow to cross my path…and for all whom You've allowed my path to cross. And Abba? Bless each one, in the Name of Your Son, Jesus! Thank You!

That's it! Well, no, that's not exactly it. I mean, don't give up praying, by name, for those, all of those people who've asked you to do so. I'm not suggesting you give up intercessory prayers…no, no, not at all.

What I'm telling you, though, is that — as God well knows — we, as poor humans, cannot possibly, on our own — pray for every single person in the whole world. Not on our own. But…

We can, with God as our Loving Father, and Creator of all? We can! Because He can…and wants to!

Try to imagine the implications here.

You're stuck at home because of a snowstorm (like I am right now). Who's crossing your path? That book you're reading? The author is. That email you got from a pesky client? He is. Those folks you're remembering? They are.

Or, say you're on your way somewhere.

That guy that almost hit you on the street? He is. The bus driver? Your fellow passengers? The people in line with you at the grocery store? They are.

That guy you forgot about but dated in high school? He was. (Remember: each and every one who has ever crossed your path.) The wrong number on your phone? Yep.

You're watching TV or messing around with Twitter or Facebook…or something. Scrolling down? They're all blessed…and you've just prayed for them.

The news guy? You might not know it but he just lost his Mom. Guess what? God's blessing him, and, and showing mercy to his mom! Thanks to you! And thanks be to God!

These miracles are incredible…aren't they? I
magine your own and you know what? They're not "imaginary!"

So smile! That's the most fun thing about this!

Next time you're sad, or frustrated, or tempted to become angry at someone, or something, or even yourself, remember…God is blessing you, and them. Each one.

Rejoice! Be giddily gleeful at what God can — and is — doing.

Just because you asked Him. And just because He loves you.

And may He continue to bless you!

Friday, February 06, 2015

"Unless we get on our high horse…" I kinda like that

I was saddened when I read something from a very good friend of mine:

"May they burn in Hell!"

He's a Muslim.

Is that what he really wants? For people to burn in Hell?

"Oh, but he's a Muslim!" you say

Yes, I do say. But -- and yes, indeed, this intro is deliberate --

Unless we get on our high horse…

My friend was talking about ISIS.

And unless we get on our high horse…

I've also heard the same sentiments from Jews and Christians. Including priests and rabbis.

"May they burn in Hell!"

Here's the thing: this sucks.

I'm not a Muslim. Nor am I a Jew. I'm a Catholic, but, for the sake of my point? I'm a Jesus-lover. A God-lover.

And, as such? I know that war sucks. Persecution sucks.

Wishing anybody to "burn in Hell"…that sucks, too.

Because this, friends, is not how peace is achieved.

Jesus said it better: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

Saints above (saints above!) have repeated these words over, and over, and over again. And died doing so.

And, I believe -- no, I know -- that they were and remain gloriously in Heaven...for doing so.

Saul approved of Stephen's martyrdom. Stephen prayed for him…while dying.

And, as Saint Augustine reminds us: "If Stephen hadn't prayed for Saul, the Church wouldn't have a Saint Paul."

Read this account of Saint Paul Miki's last words…and if you're able to do so? Get off your bleeping high horse.

As I come to this supreme moment of my life, I am sure none of you would suppose I want to deceive you. And so I tell you plainly: there is no way to be saved except the Christian way. My religion teaches me to pardon my enemies and all who have offended me. I do gladly pardon the Emperor and all who have sought my death. I beg them to seek baptism and be Christians themselves.

May God continue to bless you.





Friday, January 23, 2015

"So What if Abortion Ends Life?

A year ago, Mary Elizabeth Williams told the truth. I might not agree with her -- of course I *don't* agree with her! -- but at least she has given me a clear-cut picture of those who call themselves "pro-choice."

In an odd way, I admire her honesty. It helps me make some sense, as awful as it is, out of the "pro choice movement."

Some quotes, along with the actual column:

"I believe that life starts at conception. And it's never stopped me from being pro-choice"

"I know that throughout my own pregnancies, I never wavered for a moment in the belief that I was carrying a human life inside of me. I believe that’s what a fetus is: a human life. And that doesn’t make me one iota less solidly pro-choice."

"Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal. That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers. Yet a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always."

Monday, January 12, 2015

Uh..Loyola? You might wanna rethink this...

Kathy Schiffer reports about that guy "Touré," scheduled to speak at The University That Pretends To Be Catholic…on the day said University pretends to celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Let's all celebrate Diversity (to say nothing of Multicultural Affairs.)

Sheesh.

Friday, January 02, 2015

"I'll pray for you" means bupkis. Do it NOW!

I can't tell you how many times I've heard well-meaning but incredibly naive people respond to a prayer request by saying, for instances:

"Oh yes, I'll pray for you."

"I'll keep him (or her or them) in my prayers."

"I'll remember him (or her or them) in my Mass (or Rosary or whatever)."

STOP THAT!

What do have to do that's more important than answering that prayer request RIGHT NOW?

Not to scare you…but you might be dead (or in a coma or diapering your baby or any number of things)…later.

So that "I'll" means nothing, really. Or, to be charitable? It means "let's hope I get the chance to pray (for you, or him or her)…later."

Drop the apostrophe ll! Stop what you're doing and pray NOW!

Let me make myself clear. When someone asks you -- in person, in a text, by phone, via email, on your Facebook or Twitter feed or whatever -- for a prayer? Please DO so. Then and there!

"But Kelly…what if I'm in the middle of…"

Doesn't matter. I don't care if you're comforting your child, explaining to your wife why the budget is kaput, learning about a friend's illness, death, or other sad thing, trying to digest the fact that you just got fired…it doesn't matter.

What matters is that, if you're asked to pray, pray NOW!

You needn't elaborate to God. 

I mean, if you're really, really in a situation that prevents you from uttering a few words to the Almighty, that's not a problem. "God, help him (or her or them)" is sufficient.

But is this usually the case when asked for your prayers? No it isn't.

You're, say, walking down the street. You meet an acquaintance. She's troubled. She asks you to pray for her. Do you pat her nicely on the arm and tell her you "will"? No. You. Do. Not.

You stop. You take a minute or two or three. You pray -- right out loud so she and any other passerby will hear you (God will, no matter how loud or softly you speak) -- right then and there.

And hey…there's a bonus for you!

When people ask for prayers, they're actually doing you a bigger favor than what they're asking of you. They're giving you a chance to talk to God.

It doesn't get any better than that.

So skip the "later" thing…and do it now.

May God continue to bless you!


Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Holy Innocents

Universalis offers a wonderful reflection on the Holy Innocents, whose feast is normally celebrated on December 28.
The Holy Innocents are the children who were slaughtered at the orders of King Herod, in the hope that by killing every boy born in Bethlehem at the same time as Jesus, he would succeed in killing the newborn King of the Jews.

  There was nothing about those baby boys that made them deserve death. Look at any one of them, and you can see that he had no chance to do anything, or be anyone, or become anyone. He had done nothing. He had done nothing bad, he had done nothing good. He was born, and then he died, and that was all there was to him. So passive are these babies that some people find it hard to understand how they can share the title of “martyr” with people like St Stephen (the day before yesterday), who insisted on preaching the truth until his hearers stoned him for it, or St Thomas Becket (tomorrow), who insisted on living the truth until his king had him killed because of it. These children did not insist on anything except their mothers’ milk; and unlike Stephen and Thomas, there was no voluntary act of theirs that we can see as making the difference between being martyred and not being martyred.

  So in our rational human terms these children are a puzzle, and that is one reason why God has inspired the Church to celebrate this very feast – to show us how inadequate our seemingly rational, worldly-wise thoughts are. As he reminds us again and again throughout salvation history, his thoughts are not our thoughts. Babies may not rank high on the scale as far as our human calculus is concerned; but then neither do sparrows, and yet God has told us that God sees and counts every one of those.

  The Holy Innocents can stand, therefore, for the “unimportant” and “unnecessary” pawns, child and adult alike, that permeate the whole of human history, the ones who can be sacrificed for some greater cause because they “don’t really matter”; the eggs that were broken to make an omelette…or even broken to make nothing at all. There are plenty of them, one way or another. The feast of the Holy Innocents reminds us that in God’s eyes (that is, according to the true value of things), no-one is unimportant, no-oneis unnecessary, no-one “doesn’t really matter.” However meaningless their lives and deaths may seem to us, they shine glorious in heaven.

  On a more personal level, the honour given to the Holy Innocents reminds us that if we suffer or even die for God’s sake, it has value even if we have little or no say in it ourselves. Honouring them effectively honours also the martyrdom of the people these children could have become, and their children’s children as well; and at the same time we can remember the contemporary and continuing massacre of those who die before birth for the convenience of those who have them killed.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Truth has arisen from the earth and justice...

…and has looked down from Heaven
(Saint Augustine)
Awake, mankind! For your sake God has become man. Awake, you who sleep, rise up from the dead, and Christ will enlighten you. I tell you again: for your sake, God became man.

You would have suffered eternal death, had he not been born in time. Never would you have been freed from sinful flesh, had he not taken on himself the likeness of sinful flesh. You would have suffered everlasting unhappiness, had it not been for this mercy. You would never have returned to life, had he not shared your death. You would have been lost if he had not hastened to your aid. You would have perished, had he not come.

Let us then joyfully celebrate the coming of our salvation and redemption. Let us celebrate the festive day on which he who is the great and eternal day came from the great and endless day of eternity into our own short day of time.

He has become our justice, our sanctification, our redemption, so that, as it is written: Let him who glories glory in the Lord.

Truth, then, has arisen from the earth: Christ who said, I am the Truth, was born of the Virgin. And justice looked down from heaven: because believing in this new-born child, man is justified not by himself but by God.

Truth has arisen from the earth: because the Word was made flesh. And justice looked down from heaven: because every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.

Truth has arisen from the earth: flesh from Mary. And justice looked down from heaven: for man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven.

Justified by faith, let us be at peace with God: for justice and peace have embraced one another. Through our Lord Jesus Christ: for Truth has arisen from the earth. Through whom we have access to that grace in which we stand, and our boast is in our hope of God’s glory. He does not say: “of our glory,” but of God’s glory: for justice has not come out of us but has looked down from heaven. Therefore he who glories, let him glory, not in himself, but in the Lord.

For this reason, when our Lord was born of the Virgin, the message of the angelic voices was: Glory to God in the highest, and peace to men of good will.

For how could there be peace on earth unless Truth has arisen from the earth, that is, unless Christ were born of our flesh? And he is our peace who made the two into one:that we might be men of good will, sweetly linked by the bond of unity.

Let us then rejoice in this grace, so that our glorying may bear witness to our good conscience by which we glory, not in ourselves, but in the Lord. That is why Scripture says: He is my glory, the one who lifts up my head. For what greater grace could God have made to dawn on us than to make his only Son become the son of man, so that a son of man might in his turn become son of God?

Ask if this were merited; ask for its reason, for its justification, and see whether you will find any other answer but sheer grace.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Pope Francis: a model for Jewish spiritual leaders?

From David Benkof's The Times of Israel blog:

"The shift in tone that Pope Francis is bringing to the Catholic Church has serious repercussions for people who follow that religion — and those of other faith systems. As the most prominent religious figure in today's world, the actions, ideas, and approach of the pontiff (literally, `bridge builder') deserve attention, including among Jews. In fact, I think even our most outstanding rabbis could learn from Pope Francis..

Read the rest here. (Only one teeny nit: it was actually Pope Benedict XVI who had the Twitter account first).

Saturday, November 22, 2014

An Act of Adoration by Saint John Paul II

Jesus, our God, Living Bread of Heaven,

R:/ we adore You.


Jesus, our God, life and heart of the church

R:/ we adore You.


Jesus, our God, Radiant Mystery of Faith

R:/ we adore You.


Jesus, our God, Mystery of Mercy for all mankind

R:/ we adore You.


Jesus, our God, Center and Summit of the Church’s life

R:/ we adore You.


Jesus, our God, Source of Charity

R:/ we adore You.

Jesus, our God, Nourishment of the faithful

R:/ we adore You.


Jesus, our God, Priceless Treasure of all who receive You

R:/ we adore You.


Jesus, our God, Love of the Father

R:/ we adore You.

Jesus, our God, Good Sheppard, Bread Divine

R:/ we adore You.


Jesus, our God, Divine One who opens our eyes to light and our hearts to new hope

R:/ we adore You.

Jesus, our God, Source of Holiness

R:/ we adore You.


Jesus, our God, poured out for us

R:/ we adore You.

Jesus, our God, Who was obedient unto death

R:/ we adore You.


Jesus, our God, Helper of all who come to you

R:/ we adore You.


Jesus, our God, fore-taste of the joy of Heaven

R:/ we adore You.

Jesus, our God, Bread of Angels and of pilgrims

R:/ we adore You.


All: Jesus, our God, we adore You for all time, past, present, and future, for every soul that ever was, is, or shall be created. Grant us the grace to comfort YOU. Jesus, I live for you; Jesus, I die for you; Jesus, I am yours—in life and in death. Amen.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Parable of the Twins

(This is an adaptation translated from a source I'm unaware of…but it's pretty cool. Enjoy!)

A Conversation Between Twins in Utero

So. Two unborn babies had a chat about what would happen when they had to leave the womb. We'll call them James and Peter.

~ ~ ~

James: "You're saying you believe in life after birth?"

Peter: "Of course! Maybe we're in here so that we can prepare for it. There must be something after birth!"

James: "Life after birth? That's absurd! There's no life after birth. Just how would that look like?"

Peter: "I'm not sure. I have a feeling it's much more bright, and we'll be able to walk and feed ourselves with our own mouths."

James: "What insanity! You know well enough that it's impossible to walk. And eating with our mouths? Preposterous! That's why we have our life cord for! I'm telling you, bro, there's no `life after birth!'"

Peter: "Look, our birth cord is short…too short. I'm thinking that life after birth is pretty different from what we're used to."

James: "But nobody ever returned to tell us what it's like! Life ends with birth! And besides…life is nothing but confinement to this small, dark place…"

Peter: "Well, I don't know exactly what life is like, but we'll definitely meet our Mother!"

James: "`Mother'??? You believe in 'Mother'??? Okay. If she exists, where do you think she is now?"

Peter: "She's everywhere around us! Thanks to her, we're alive! Without her, we wouldn't have existed!"

James: "Sorry. I don't believe it. I've never seen `Mother,' so obviously she doesn't exist."

Peter: "Maybe you're right. But yet…but yet…sometimes? When we're very, very quiet? We can hear how she sings…and, well, gently strokes our world. You know, James? Actually, I think that with birth? Life only begins!"


~ ~ ~

Epilog…a few months later…

Peter: "Uh…James?"

James: "Shut up! (I love you.)"

Peter: "Love you more!" :-)