Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Try looking through Mary's eyes while listening to this song and watching the images from the movie take hold of your heart. Imagine seeing through those eyes (Mary's eyes) and witnessing the look from the One battered and spat upon... gazing into the eyes of the Innocent One.
VATICAN CITY, 31 MAR 2010 (VIS) - The Easter Triduum was the central theme of Benedict XVI 's catechesis during his general audience, held this morning in St. Peter's Square.
"We are", the Pope began, "living through the holy days that invite us to meditate upon the central events of our Redemption, the essential nucleus of our faith". In this context, he encouraged everyone "to experience this period intensely, that it may decisively guide everyone's life to a generous and strong adherence to Christ, Who died and rose again for us".
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
What do I most need to remember and pray through this Holy Week, with regard to my part in the crucifixion of Jesus?
Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion (Lect. 37-Year C)
from WLP Seasonal Missalette
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Humility before the gift
We want to share in that miracle of grace! Life without humility does not work. Father Simon Tugwell remarks that “most of our obstinacy covers up a certain degree of emptiness, a certain degree of dishonesty, of masquerading and posturing, of being uncertain of ourselves; that is why it has to be so unyielding. It can only preserve itself at the expense of a certain ruthlessness, maybe even cruelty and disregard of others.”
Humility begins in the awareness of what is most “down to earth” (“humility” from the Latin humus meaning “ground or earth”) – namely, that life is given. Everything I have and am is a gift from Another. This is why Saint Thomas Aquinas says that “humility’s rule lies in a judgment” – a judgment regarding the fact of our real nothingness. Without humility, our limitations tempt us in one of two ways: either we are scandalized by them, which makes us despondent, or we deny them, which makes us grandiose. But humility gives us a placid acceptance of our nothingness, saving us from the extremes of both self-contempt and “sanguine selfassurance” (Saint Thomas Aquinas).
Acknowledging the Presence
The example of the Blessed Virgin Mary shows us how humility makes one “submissive and ready to receive divine favor” (Saint Thomas Aquinas). There is a twofold dynamic to humility. On the one hand, as we have said, it is not possible to be humble if we deny our nothingness. But on the other hand, we cannot be humble if we fail to acknowledge the merciful presence of God acting in our life. This is the glory of Our Lady’s humility. “Humility mainly concerns a person’s subjection to God. It properly regards the reverence which bows down before God” (Saint Thomas Aquinas). Humility blesses us with a serene acquiescence before our nothingness that becomes a begging for the Infinite. God loves to be acknowledged by our nothingness.
“The one who humbles himself will be exalted” (Lk 14: 11; 18: 14), promises the One who was “humble of heart.” Authentic humility creates space in a soul that God refuses to leave empty; he fills it with himself. “No one makes himself naught except to let God fill the void” (L. Lavelle). A humble person is one who has decided to renounce pretentiousness in favor of the purpose that God has for him or her. “Perfect humility consists in constantly making oneself small for the sake of love, to elevate others” (R. Cantalamessa).
The mortification of humility
It is no surprise that recollection and vigilance distinguish the humble person’s life. “Humility disposes one to free access to spiritual and divine blessings” (Saint Thomas Aquinas). But those blessings come to us in the most subtle ways and – as Our Lady discovered – often as a surprise. Nothing is easier than for the noise of our self-assertive thoughts to drown out God’s voice speaking deep within us, delicately. Thus, humility craves silence… a silence that permits us to become detached from willfulness and absorbed in what God wills for us. Humility enables us to hear God communicating his love to us in just the way he wants to love us.
Rev. Peter John Cameron, O.P.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
- Penitence makes me realistic about myself. - As soon as I say, "Lord Jesus Christ Have Mercy on me a Sinner" all the self delusions fall away and I can begin to see myself as I really am.
- Penitence makes me relistic about other people. - Not only realistic, but compassionate. If I'm a struggling sinner, then so is everyone else. What's the saying, "Be kind, everyone is fighting a great battle."
- Penitence makes me realistic about God - If I'm a sinner and see myself clearly, then I suddenly see God clearly too. I cut through the sentimentality or the fear or whatever false image of God and should be able to see him as the loving and forgiving Father.
- Penitence makes me able to learn. - You can't learn anything if you think you know it all. You can learn to be righteous is you think you already are. Saying you're a sinner is the first step to enlightenment.
- Penitence makes me aware of my need for God - The cry "O Lord make haste to help me!" is the cry of a person in need. We can only be given what we need when we ask for what we need and we can only ask if we first realize we have a need.
- Penitence opens my heart - The hardened heart is a fearful thing, and no one who is truly penitent can have a hardened heart. Immediately we cry out in penitence we make a great soul jump forward. The opened heart is a heart that can sing.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Father Mark at Vultus Christi asks:
Could we not offer the Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of Saint Joseph (March 19) for the Joseph whom God has set over the household of His Church: Pope Benedict XVI? It is no coincidence that, in these days of battle against the powers of darkness, the Successor of Peter bears the name of Joseph, protector of the universal Church. The providential designs of God are often revealed in such details.
I recommend the Prayer to Saint Joseph that Pope Leo XIII promulgated with his Encyclical Quamquam pluries in 1889. It is perhaps more suitable today than when it was written one-hundred-twenty-one years ago. In many places it is customary to pray this prayer after the recitation of the Rosary.
To you, O Blessed Joseph, we come in our trials, and having asked the help of your most holy spouse, we confidently ask your patronage also. Through that sacred bond of charity which united you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the fatherly love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you to look graciously upon the beloved inheritance which Jesus Christ purchased by his blood, and to aid us in our necessities with your power and strength.
O most provident guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ. Most beloved father, dispel the evil of falsehood and sin. Our most mighty protector, graciously assist us from heaven in our struggle with the powers of darkness. And just as you once saved the Child Jesus from mortal danger, so now defend God's Holy Church from the snares of her enemies and from all adversity. Shield each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your help, we may be able to live a virtuous life, to die a holy death, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
You don't have to go to Ireland to allow the Holy Spirit to work on you, but a nice video all the same.
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Monday, March 08, 2010
"In the face of sin, God shows himself to be full of mercy and he does not fail to call sinners to avoid evil, to grow in his love and to concretely help our neighbor in need, to live the joy of grace and not risk eternal death."
The Holy Father added that the "possibility of conversion entails that we learn to read the events of life in the light of faith, animated by the holy fear of God."He said that in the presence of suffering or grief, "true wisdom is to let oneself be called from the precariousness of existence and to read human history with God’s eyes, who, always and only wanting the good of his children, by an inscrutable plan of his love, sometimes allows them to be tried through suffering to lead them to a greater good."
Saturday, March 06, 2010
Friday, March 05, 2010
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
To be seen by Him does not mean to be exposed to a merciless gaze, but to be enfolded in the deepest care. Human seeing often destroys the mystery of the other. God’s seeing creates it.
We can do nothing better than press on into the sight of God. The more deeply we understand what God is, the more fervently we shall want to be seen by him. We are seen by him whether we want to be or not. The difference is whether we try to elude his sight or strive to enter into it, understanding the meaning of his gaze, coming to terms with it, and desiring that His will be done.
We can do nothing better than place ourselves and all that we have in God’s sight: “Behold me!” Let us put away the fear that prevents us. Let us abandon the sloth, the pretense of independence, and the pride. “Look at the good! Look at the shortcomings! The ugly, the unjust, the evil, the wicked, everything – look at it, O God!”
Sometimes it is impossible to alter something or other. But let Him see it at any rate. Sometimes one cannot honestly repent. But let him see that we cannot yet repent. None of the shortcomings and evil in our lives are fatal so long as they confront his gaze. The very act of placing ourselves in his sight is the beginning of renewal. Everything is possible so long as we begin with God. But everything is in danger once we refuse to place ourselves and our lives in his sight.