(Photo©Father Lawrence Lew, O.P. Used With Permission)

"Among creatures no one knows Christ better than Mary; no one can introduce us to a profound knowledge of his mystery better than his mother." - St. John Paul II

Don't Be Foolish!

May Mother's soul and the souls of all the faithfully departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

"Worth Revisiting" Wednesday - Monday Musings - Good Prayer, Bad Prayer, The Better Prayer

We thank Allison Gingras and Elizabeth Riordan for inviting Catholic bloggers to re-post their favorite articles on "Worth Revisiting” Wednesdays. 

Do yourself a favor- go there now (and every Wednesday) and gouge yourself on a feast of spiritual treasures.


Be sure to visit Allison at  Reconciled To You and Elizabeth at Theology Is A Verb during the rest of the week.  You will find much spiritual nourishment and encouragement there.

Here is my contribution:

Monday Musings - Good Prayer, Bad Prayer, The Better Prayer

(Originally published September 28, 2015)

There is always something more that a hungry soul can learn about prayer. I found this to be true during a brief presentation Father John Denburger, OCSO offered at a recent retreat I made at the Abbey at the Genesee in Piffard, New York.


I hope I can do justice to the pearls he shared with us. The most important relationship we are called to develop in this life," Father began, "is our relationship with God and His with us." Prayer is essential. If one does not pray, there can be no fruitful relationship between God and man.


St. Maria Faustina Kowalska confirms Father's teaching, telling us that there are no exceptions to this command to pray:


"In whatever state a soul may be, it ought to pray. A soul which is pure and beautiful must pray, or else it will lose its beauty; a soul which is striving after this purity must pray, or else it will never attain it; a soul which is newly converted must pray, or else it will fall again; a sinful soul, plunged in sins, must pray so that it might rise again. There is no soul which is not bound to pray, for every single grace comes to the soul through prayer."


So what is prayer?

Monday Musings - Our Greatest Need

The Eucharist must be the source, summit and center of our Catholic Faith and our daily lives. Why do we doubt this Truth?


Unforgettable



[What follows is a slightly revised poem I posted some time ago. May it provide some fruit for your contemplation on this most sorrowful of days]

For far too many of us, today will likely pass much like any other Friday - a mad rush to get to the weekend. with little thought of He Who made us and whose sacrificial and brutal death redeemed us. Where is our gratitude?


Unforgettable

This the day so long foretold
The day of justice lacking
The day of man's ingratitude

This the day of cowardice and fear
The day of torture and sorrow
The day of darkness and death

This the day of horror and pain
The day of weeping women
The day of uncaring masses

This the day sin prevailed
The day of little light
The day that mirrored night

This the day so profound and tragic
The day of death and new life
The day with kiss betrayed

(Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)

This the day Your apostles fled
The day Peter knew You not
The day the cock crowed twice

This the day of whips and chains
The day of piercing thorns
The day of spittle, stones and splintered wood

This the day Your cross bearing
The day of multiple falls
The day of Simon's helping hand

This the day of Veronica's veil
The day of human slaughter
The day your mother sobbed

This the day Your limbs dislocated
The day hammers struck the nail
The day of severed nerves

This the day hands and feet fastened to a tree
The day my sins held You there
The day You gasped for air

This the day You hung in writhing pain
The day of unquenchable thirst
The day your Sacred Heart pierced

This the day blood and water flowed from Your side
The day even You felt forsaken
The day Your blood watered the soil

This the day one thief entered paradise
The day another rejected Your offer
The day Your killers forgiven

This the day You reopened the gates
The day You died for me
The day our sins forgiven

This the day of transforming grace
The day we must always remember



Pondering Tidbits of Truth - March 24, 2016


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.



St. Catherine of Siena

"How great is the stupidity of those who make themselves weak in spite of my strengthening, and put themselves into the devil's hands! I want you to know, then, that at the moment of death, because they have put themselves during life under the devil's rule (not by force, because they cannot be forced, as I told you; but they put themselves voluntarily into his hands), and because they come to the point of death under this perverse rule, they can expect no other judgment but that of their own conscience. They come without hope to eternal damnation. In hate they grasp at hell in the moment of their death, and even before they possess it, they take hell as their prize along with their lords as demons."

(From The Dialogue - Jesus to St. Catherine of Siena)

"Revisiting Wednesday" - Good Friday - Gazing Upon The Face of Christ

Once again we thank Allison Gingras and Elizabeth Riordan for inviting Catholic bloggers to re-post their favorite articles on "Worth Revisiting” Wednesdays. 


Do yourself a favor- go there now (and every Wednesday) and gouge yourself on a feast of spiritual treasures.

Be sure to visit Allison at  Reconciled To You and Elizabeth at Theology Is A Verb during the rest of the week.  You will find much spiritual nourishment and encouragement there.

Good Friday - Gazing Upon The Face of Christ

It is only with much perseverance and undeserved grace that our meditation and contemplation will bear fruit - fruit which we should share with those around us. On those occasions when we are so blessed, most of us will resort to sharing our experience with written or spoken words.

A rare few who ponder persistently the mysteries of our Faith and the life of our Savior Jesus Christ, and who have been blessed with artistic gifts, will receive a greater grace - the ability to share the fruits of their meditation and contemplation through the creation of penetrating, piercing, and powerful images of He Whom they have contemplated.

Take time this Good Friday (and from time to time thereafter) to gaze upon and ponder the drawing posted below. Let your eyes, heart, mind and soul take in every painstakingly created feature of this compelling representation of our Lord.

Ponder the depth of God's love for you as He suffered such a savage, barbaric and painful death in order that we might all have an opportunity of spending eternity in His loving arms. Are you satisfied with how you have loved Him in return?

No doubt the creator of this sketch - a man who spent time in prison - meditated and contemplated much before he put lead pencil to a blank sheet of copy paper. This visual gift - the fruit of this soul's contemplation - has remained in my home office for many years.  Others deserve to see it. May God use it to touch and stir the hearts and souls of all who visit here as He had so obviously penetrated that of the artist.

May the image's creator be comforted and encouraged this day knowing that God will use the fruit of his contemplation to draw others to Him. 

We owe this gifted artist our gratitude and unending prayerful support.

Eucharistic Reflection - Thanksgiving Is Essential



The most solemn moments of your life are those you spend in thanksgiving, when the King of Heaven and earth, your Savior and your Judge, is yours, fully inclined to grant all you ask of Him…

(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)
Devote half an hour, if possible, to this thanksgiving, or, at the very least, fifteen minutes. Rather than abridge your thanksgiving, it would be better, if necessary, to shorten your preparation instead; for there is no more holy, no more salutary, moment for you than when you possess Jesus in your body and in your soul.

The temptation often comes to shorten our thanksgiving. The Devil knows its value, and our nature, our self-love, shrinks from its effects. Determine, therefore, what the duration of your thanksgiving is to be, and never subtract a moment from it without a pressing reason.

Monday Musings - Podcast - Why Don't We Care About The Salvation of Souls?

(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)
There is nothing, and should be nothing, more important to us individually and to the Catholic Church than the salvation of souls - our soul and the souls of every human being!  

So how are we doing in this most vital fight for souls? 

Not so good...Listen




Sacrilege Should Not Be Suffered in Silence

No one should ever encourage, facilitate or condone sacrilege.

 "Real sacrilege," according to the Catholic Encyclopedia,  "is the irreverent treatment of sacred things" and "can happen" by the reception of Holy Communion "in the state of mortal sin". Such "irreverence towards the Holy Eucharist is reputed the worst of all sacrileges".

It follows then that if we care about the salvation of souls, we would instruct and fraternally correct the ignorant [the thousands who come to Mass only once or twice a year, as well as those public figures who by their conduct and words reject the teachings of Christ's Church] who approach our Eucharistic Lord in a state of mortal sin.

Such conduct is an insult to and causes unspeakable pain and suffering to our Loving and merciful Lord. If left unconfessed, eternal damnation is the penalty for those who commit such a sacrilege and for those charged with the duty of teaching and saving such souls but who refuse to do so and thereby silently facilitate their sin.

This is such an unnecessary and egregious sin, since all of us sinners  have available the gift of mercy and forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation through which our sins are forgiven and our souls cleansed.

Why then cause our Lord so much pain here and guarantee unspeakable torture and loss of His love in eternity?

How insane and unloving it is to remain silent about such sacrileges during this Jubilee Year of Mercy.

Our loving and merciful Lord minced no words on this subject when he told St. Bridget:


Better a few "hurt feelings" now than a multitude of tortured souls suffering for all eternity.

"Worth Revisiting" Wednesday - When Was The Last Time You Really Looked At A Crucifiz?

Once again we thank Allison Gingras and Elizabeth Riordan for inviting Catholic bloggers to re-post their favorite articles on "Worth Revisiting” Wednesdays. 


Do yourself a favor- go there now (and every Wednesday) and gouge yourself on a feast of spiritual treasures.



Be sure to visit Allison at  Reconciled To You and Elizabeth at Theology Is A Verb during the rest of the week.  You will find much spiritual nourishment and encouragement there.

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 )

Monday Musings - Where Is Your Soul Planted?



St. Catherine of Siena reminds us that it is not enough to be "a good person" or a "spiritual person". We must be "trees of love" free from deadly sin:

(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)
“All of you are trees of love: You cannot live without love because I made you for love. The soul who lives virtuously sets her tree's root in the valley of true humility. But those who live wickedly have set their root in the mountain of pride, and because it is badly planted it produces fruit not of life but of death. Their fruits are their actions, and they are all poisoned by a multitude of different sins. If they do produce one or another fruit of good action, it is spoiled because the root from which it comes is rotten. In other words, if a soul is living in deadly sin, no good that she does has any value for eternal life because it is not done in grace.”