(Photo from Father Lawrence Lew, O.P. - God’s Excessive Love - Used With Permission)
" "Charity brings to life again those who are spiritually dead." -St. Thomas Aquinas

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Worth Revisiting - When Was The Last Time You Really Looked at a Crucifix?

We thank Allison Gingras at Reconciled To You  and Elizabeth Riordan at Theology Is A Verb once again for  hosting Catholic bloggers at Worth Revisiting. It is a privilege for us to share our work with them and their readers.

Here is my contribution this week: 

When Was The Last Time You Really Looked At A Crucifix?

(Originally posted August 2, 2015)

There are still Catholics (albeit their numbers are dwindling) who attend Mass on Sunday, even though some of them often complain that Mass is boring and/or that they get nothing out of it.  
Let me ask two questions.
(Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)
When was the last time you really looked at a crucifix? I mean really gazed at one and pondered the realities it depicts.
When was the last time you went to Mass and reminded yourself that you were about to spend time at the foot of Jesus' cross?
If you have never done either of theses exercises or it has been some time since you did,  take a few minutes today to read and meditate on the following reflections of Father Raymond and author John Lynch.

Then when you next go to Church, arrive a few minutes earlier than normal. Gaze upon the crucifix and recall what is about to take place at the Altar of Sacrifice. 

“You have never looked upon a crucifix and seen what the early Christians saw. They had seen men nailed!

‘They'd seen them, twisting, sinking of their own

Weight pulled upon the nails; with tongues extended,

Heads that swung in torture side to side,

That lifted up and cried for death in babbled

Spurts of sound. They'd seen them. They had seen

Men nailed . . .’
So must we look - until we see! For this is the Mass - the only important thing in all the world! This sacrilege which wrought salvation. We must look as Mary looked. We must stand as Mary stood.”

(From God, A Woman and The Way by Rev. M. Raymond, O.C.S.O. wherein Father includes the italicized excerpt from A Woman Wrapped in Silence by John Lynch )

Eucharistic Reflection - Who Could Have Imagined It?

"In order to show me close up how ardently Thou lovest me, Thou comest from the purest delights of Heaven down to this dirty, miserable earth, spend Thy life in poverty, adversities and sufferings - finally to hang, despised, ridiculed and overwhelmed with pain, between two thieves on the shameful gibbet. By sacrificing Thyself in this horrible way, Thou hast redeemed me, O God of love! Who could have imagined it?

Monday, August 13, 2018

Monday Musings - WANTED: Lepers and Prophets!

Few people warm up to lepers or prophets. That is most unfortunate.

(Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)

In Jesus’ time, lepers were shunned. Rarely would they show themselves in public and when they did so they kept their distance from the rest of the community – warning those nearby of their diseased presence by their voices and/or by ringing bells.

What great courage and faith it took for them to seek Jesus out. They knew He was the source of mercy, forgiveness, healing and eternal life. They begged Him to have mercy on them and cleanse them physically. Jesus, defying the norms of His day, not only approached them, He touched and healed them. Unfortunately, true to human nature, not all of those cured expressed their thanksgiving and gratitude for the opportunity at a new life.

Man’s ingratitude toward His God has continued over the centuries.

As the undeserved beneficiaries of God’s mercy and spiritual healing, how have we expressed our gratitude to Him? What portion of the 168 hours in each week that He gives us, have we given back to Him by talking to Him, listening to Him, adoring Him and spending time in His Presence?

As best as I can recall from my reading of Scripture over the years, prophets fared little better than lepers in the reception they received. It was an important but difficult and painful task for those chosen to share God’s words. Not many of the Lord’s prophets were willing ones. Can you blame them? No one wants to constantly hear “Here’s trouble. All he ever does is focus on the negative. He’ll have nothing positive, to say.” Much of what these messengers had to share were predictions of captivity, destruction, doom, eternal damnation and war. Few were thrilled about serving in that capacity. One became so discouraged, he sought death rather than the treatment to which he was subjected. They rarely felt welcomed; they were often despised, ignored, imprisoned or killed. Some tried to flee from their duties.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Pondering Tidbits of Truth - August 9, 2018

Pondering Tidbits of Truth is my simple and inadequate way of providing nuggets of spiritual wisdom for you to chew on from time to time.
(Photo©Michael Seagriff)

Robert Cardinal Sarah

Unless silence dwells in man, and unless solitude is a state in which he allows himself to be shaped, the creature is deprived of God. There is no place on earth where God is more present than in the human heart. This heart truly is God’s abode, the temple of silence.”

(From The Power of Silence)

St. Thomas Aquinas, O.P.

We don’t study just for the sake of knowledge. We study because we desire to know the truth. And the truth is a person. The Truth is God.

St. Francis de Sales

“Be not of those who think perfection consists in undertaking many things, but of those who place it in doing well what little they do. For it is better to do little and do it well, than to undertake much and do it ill. Yes, little and good, this is the best.  

(From Introduction to the Devout Life