(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

Pondering Tidbits of Truth - January 31, 2019

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.

Saint Raphael Kalinowski

“Devotion to the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament was, and still is, for me a source of patience, perseverance, refuge and consolation; literally, the very spring of my life. Without this mystery of our Savior’s love, which He has left for us in the Church, I would have perished long since.”

(From catholicstormroom,com)

St. Thomas of Villanova

“From it [humility] spring obedience, holy fear, reverence, patience, modesty, mildness, and peace; for, whoever is humble easily obeys all, fears to offend any, maintains peace with all, shows himself affable to all, is submissive to all, does not offend or displease any, and does not feel the insults which may be inflicted upon him. He lives happy and contented, and in great peace.” 

(From Cultivating Virtue – Self-Mastery With The Saints)

Worth Revisiting - I Will Give You A New Heart

We thank Allison Gingras at Reconciled To You  and Elizabeth Riordan at Theology Is A Verb  for hosting Worth Revisiting each week. It is a privilege to share our work with them and their followers.
(Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)

I am at a time in my life where I have to take a close look at myself and ask a few frank questions again. What follows is an excerpt from my book, Fleeting Glimpses of the Silly, Sentimental and Sublime

I Will Give You A New Heart

(Originally published May 6, 2014)

I walked out of the State Capitol building and immediately turned to my left looking beyond the many different people walking about the area and in the nearby park until I saw her.  There was my smiling wife, just a few feet from me, eagerly awaiting news of what transpired during my interview. I approached her excitedly wanting to fill her with the details as soon as I could. But suddenly I did not feel well.  A strange sensation overtook me - a very uncomfortable, unfamiliar and unsettling one.

She immediately saw that I did not look “right”.  There was no time to discuss the interview.  I told her that we should try to get some aspirin before we picked our car up in the underground garage.  She was, of course, very concerned.

It was difficult walking down the street, across the roadway and up the stairs and into the building where I had worked several years previously.  Fortunately, there was still a little store on the second floor just as I had remembered.  I asked Lonnie to go there and see if they had any aspirin. 

As she left to go, I sat down.  I began to sweat profusely.  I had no pain; but I was not right.  One of the security officers saw me and summoned a retired emergency medical technician who was on duty.  He immediately called for assistance, removed my suit jacket, tie and dress shirt.

By then my wife had returned.  I saw her standing in the background but it was so surreal.  My struggling and stressed heart almost broke as my chest tightened and I saw the anguish, fear and tears flowing from her eyes.  Oh, I wanted so much in some way to spare her from this experience.  I was powerless to do anything other then to sit down in the rapidly expanding pool of sweat that enveloped me.  What would be, would be.  “God,” I prayed, “be merciful to me a sinner.  Be with and comfort my wife.”

The medics arrived quickly.  They calmly and reassuringly went about their task of trying to save my life.  I was in route to Albany Medical Center, when I was suddenly “prompted” to ask them to take me to St. Peter’s Hospital instead.

We arrived at that hospital a few minutes later.  They wheeled me rapidly through a crowded emergency room and into an examination stall.  Instantly, a nurse and doctor appeared.  Just as quickly, they whisked me out and up to the operating room. A whirlwind of activity occurred as I lay on a cold metal table with nurses and doctors speaking to me.  I held my precious rosary beads in my hand and continued praying to my Lord.  “An excellent thing to do,” I heard one of the hospital staff say.

Eucharistic Reflection - Why Do We Rarely Hear These Truths?

(Photo©Michael Seagriff)

"...there are five graces we receive each time we visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. By His glorious wounds we are the ones who are transfigured and changed through His healing love. Restoration, sanctification, transformation, reparation and salvation are the graces being poured out graciously upon us with each holy hour we make."

     (From Letters to A Brother Priest by Father Vincent Martin Lucia and Rev. Msgr.Josefino Ramirez)

Monday Musings - St. Thomas Aquinas

On this memorial of the Angelic Doctor, let me re-share a short post I wrote 4 years ago:

(Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)
I read St. Thomas Aquinas by G.K. Chesterton. I highly recommend this book!

Although I do not know if the following tale Chesterton shares about our Angelic Doctor is true, I just had to share it with you:

"It was of him [St.Thomas Aquinas] that the tale was told, and would certainly have been told more widely among us if it had been told of a Puritan, that the Pope pointed to his gorgeous Papal Palace and said, "Peter can no longer say 'Silver and gold have I none;' " and the Spanish friar an­swered, "No, and neither can he now say, 'Rise and walk'."

St. Thomas Aquinas pray for us.

Worth Revisiting - If We But Understood

We thank Allison Gingras at Reconciled To You   and Elizabeth Riordan at Theology Is A Verb  for hosting Worth Revisiting each week. It is a privilege to share our work with them and their followers.
Monday Musings - If We But Understood

(Originally posted on July 30, 2018)

Eucharistic Reflection - The Paradox of Divine Love

"By a beautiful paradox of Divine love, God makes His Cross the very means of our salvation and our life. We have slain Him; we have nailed Him there and crucified Him; but the Love in His eternal heart could not be extinguished. He willed to give us the very life we slew; to give us the very Food we destroyed; to nourish us with the very Bread we buried, and the very Blood we poured forth. He made our very crime into a happy fault; He turned a Crucifixion into a Redemption; a Consecration into a Communion; a death into Life Everlasting."

               (Venerable Fulton J. Sheen from Calvary and the Mass: A Missal Companion)

Monday Musings - Just To Be Clear

Lay Catholic artist, writer, poet and mystic, Caryll Houselander, leaves no doubt that the person who desires to advance spiritually in this earthly life must come to understand and conform his/her life to the truths set forth below:

"You see, God's will for you is to serve Him, in His way, as He chooses, now. It is only a want of humility to think of extreme vocations, like being a nun or a nurse, while you try to bypass your present obvious vocation, which is to restore your will to God's, so that you may become what He wants you to be, and may be able to use the faculties He has given to you for His service."

(From The Letters of Caryll Houselander: Her Spiritual Legacy)

Worth Revisiting - A Lasting Gift to God and to Ourselves

We thank Allison Gingras at Reconciled To You   and Elizabeth Riordan at Theology Is A Verb  for hosting Worth Revisiting each week. It is a privilege to share our work with them and their followers.

Monday Musings - A Lasting Gift to God and to Ourselves

(Originally published on December 24, 2018)

The gifts of the Magi - gold, frankincense, and myrrh - were expensive and very significant physical gifts. But they pale in comparison to the spiritual gifts we can give our Infant, Crucified, and Risen Lord – if we would but choose to do so.

(Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)
The gifts I am about to describe, when given to our Lord in love and gratitude, weekly (daily if possible), will not only please Him, but will result in our being united more intimately with the Prince of Peace.

What follows are some concrete suggestions as to what each of us can and should do every time we attend Mass, if we are serious about loving God as He deserves and as we ought. We don’t need any one’s permission to do any of these things. 

We will just do these things out of love and reverence and let God do the rest:    

Eucharistic Reflection - The Road To Sanctity

"The road of sanctity is not a road of honors, but rather a road of misunderstandings and humiliations. When you encounter difficulties, don’t discourage yourself too quickly. Run without delay to the tabernacle to sigh with Jesus, telling him: ‘Jesus, I have only the thought of abandoning you. Deign to change my will. I’m very sad, and all I can do is ask you to accept my sadness. I can’t find peace… I can’t stop myself from crying… accept my tears with gentleness'."

                  Francois-Xavier Nguyen Van Thuân

Monday Musings - A Prisoner You Need Not Fear

[The following is excerpted from my book, Fleeting Glimpses of the Silly, Sentimental and Sublime.]

When we read or hear the Scriptural reminder of the eternal consequences for our failing to visit the imprisoned (Matthew 25: 31-46) more often than not the image that first comes to mind is of those locked behind bars in the far too numerous Federal and State prisons and local jails that saturate the landscape of this nation – some 2,266,800 adults in 2010 according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. More than 2 million! Many of them are Catholic and none of them are there voluntarily!

Admittedly, Jesus is not calling every Catholic to be His representative and ambassador to our forgotten convicted brothers and sisters. Certainly though more are being invited to this needed ministry than are responding. Is God calling you? Is fear holding you back?

(Photo©Michael Seagriff)
But there is one prisoner you need not fear. One that each and everyone who professes to be Catholic, without exception, are being called to visit. He has been imprisoned and been ignored for more than two thousand years. Unlike his 2,266,800 incarcerated brothers and sisters in the U.S., He is imprisoned voluntarily and out of love. Yet, the majority of those He loves and who profess to love Him ignore Him, rarely if ever visit Him.

Pondering Tidbits of Truth - January 10, 2019

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.

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

"In order to be Christian, our lives must be a continual renunciation and sacrifice. However, we know that the difficulties of this world are nothing compared to the eternal happiness that awaits us, where there will be no limit to our joy, no end to our happiness, and we shall enjoy unimaginable peace. And so, young people, learn from our Lord Jesus Christ the meaning of sacrifice."

(From Pier Giorgio Frassati: A Hero for Our Times)

Saint Peter Claver

"To love God as He ought to be loved, we must be detached from all temporal love. We must love nothing but Him, or if we love anything else, we must love it only for His sake."

(From The Catholic Church the Teacher of Mankind)

Blessed Dina Bélanger 

"I asked Him one day, not to let me be deceived by the devil. He explained how I could always recognize the difference between His Divine Voice and that of the tempter who so loves to play the role of imitator and deceiver. The Savior makes Himself heard only in hours of deep recollection, peace and silence. His Voice is soft, so soft that in the soul all must be hushed,' it is a melodious voice, while that of the devil is noisy, abrupt and discordant, and his words are uttered in the midst of agitation and tumult."

(From Visionaries, Mystics and Stigmatists Down Through The Ages)