Archive for April, 2011

Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Genuine Mystic

The Venerable John Paul II who will soon be raised to the Altar

When asked by the interviewer on a recent EWTN program,’ The Interior Life of Pope John Paul II’, how he would describe the pope in a single term,

George Weigel, author of ‘Witness to Hope, The Biography of Pope John Paul II’, described His Holiness as…. a genuine mystic.

He said that he led the church from the cross and in the spirit of the Apostle Paul lived out the words of Colossians 1:24,

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake,

and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in

Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body,

that is the Church,

of which I became a minister according to the divine

office which was given to me for you,

to make the word of God fully known,

the mystery hidden for ages and generations

but now made manifest to His saints.

I did not have the privilege of living under his pontificate..Those were my years away from the church.

But I watched him and admired him secretly from afar, like Nicodemus who ‘came to Jesus by night’,

I somehow knew Pope John Paul was a ‘teacher who came from God.’

As evidenced by the many interviews on the show, those who knew him best said he understood

the power of suffering and that the witness he gave to that resolve changed not only individual human hearts,

but the course of history.

There is no doubt that we had a saint in our midst. A man so filled with Jesus Christ that, like the Apostle Paul, he no longer lived but “Christ lived in him.” (Galatians 2) The sentiment of the faithful expressed on the day on which his body was processed through the streets of Rome, “Santo Subito” has echoed as the Church has discerned the cause of his canonization.

—via ~ Catholic.org

Lord, forgive me for having left home and not living under the mantle of such a great shepherd of your church..

May I be used now to help promote his message of mercy and devotion to Your Blessed Mother.

+PAX


posted by Caroline  |   4:51 PM  |   0 comments
Friday, April 29, 2011

A Sailor’s Warning

Red Sky in the Morning, Sailor Take Warning

One of the first lessons my father gave me as a young teen when we moved south, was how to watch and interpret the Florida sky. Tampa is the lightening capitol of the world.

That was before cable TV, weather radar and cell phones.

He made sure I understood cloud formations and wind direction, what the color of the sky could indicate…what to do in case of a tornado if I was driving or at home and of course how to prepare for a hurricaine.

I sailed a lot in college and it turns out his directives proved lifesaving on a few memorable instances.

My dad’s long gone now, but I can still hear his voice when a storm rolls through,

Did you prepare like I taught you?

When I look at the tragedies looming across the globe– weather, war, earthquakes, political unrest, it would seem naive not to take note of it and prayerfully seek the spiritual significance of it all.

In Pope Benedict’s homilies from Holy Week, he expressed deep concern for a world overcome by sin, unbelief and loss of faith among Christians.

It was sobering to hear him speak of Satan who has been permitted,

to sift the disciples before the whole world.

On Wednesday’s general audience he said this;

There is a certain insensitivity of soul with regard to evil,

an insensitivity to all the evil of the world.

We do not want to let ourselves be too disturbed by these things;

We want to forget them: We think perhaps it’s not so grave and we tend to forget.

Then on Thursday at the Mass of chrism he said;

Have we–the people of God–become to a large extent a people of unbelief

and distance from God? Is it perhaps the case that the West, the heartlands of

Christianity, are tired of their faith, bored by their history and culture and no

longer wish to know faith in Jesus Christ?

Abandonment of truth has led us far from the people God has called us to be…And deliberately turning from truth

carries serious consequences that envelope every area of our lives.

It’s like creation itself is groaning and crying out ~ waiting for the redemption of the Savior. ( Romans 8: 18-22)

Is it judgement? Don’t think so. This is the age of grace where the call to salvation is given by God our Savior,

who desires all men to be saved.

—1 Timothy 2:4

Is it discipline? Well, the Scriptures say if we are not disciplined, then we are illegitimate sons. (Hebrews 12:8)

It is always God’s desire in discipline to to lead those trained by it to the ‘peaceful fruit of righteousness’.

This is our hope. He literally— loved us to death…and He desires us to be with Him in eternity.

There is no cheap grace with our Savior.

Our Holy Father is concerned. He is teaching us to take notice of the signs of the times. We have an ark. It’s the church, prayer, the Rosary

Scriptures, the Eucharist and the sacraments.

This world isn’t our home…we are destined for eternity and where we spend it depends on what we do with the truth while we are given the

breath of life. The hour He calls us may happen in a whirlwind or in the whisper of the night.

One thing is for sure, we will answer to Him one day.

Listen to the Father’s voice;

Did you prepare like I taught you?

+PAX

A Sailor’s Warning, fine art print

Mark Podger

Papal Homily at the Last Supper Mass

zenit.org


posted by Caroline  |   9:53 PM  |   4 comments
Thursday, April 28, 2011

What Does it Mean To be Consecrated to Mary?

The condition to being part of our Lady’s army is to be …little.

That is how I came to the Blessed Mother.

In my weakness— trembling, falling, stumbling but thirsting for her mercies,

I met a woman from the Legion of Mary, the apostolate which credits it’s development to the work of St Louis de Montfort.

She knew little of my struggles or what I had recently been though, but she told me to read

‘True Devotion to Mary.’

I made the consecration 5 years ago, and I have seen that Mary’s graces have drawn me closer to Christ in ways I labored to no avail before.

Where I was and am impaired, she becomes my tutor.

I pray you read it and make the consecration.

Remember, if you’re the only one in your household, living the faith…

then you be the first soldier to be part of Our Lady’s army and she will lead you in the fight for your loved ones.

Where Mary is present, the evil one is absent.

One of the unmistakable signs that a person is led by the spirit of God

is the devotion he has to Mary,

and his habit of thinking and speaking of her.

—True Devotion, 166

St Louis de Montfort, pray for us.

+PAX

To make your consecration:

total consecration


posted by Caroline  |   4:00 PM  |   2 comments
Wednesday, April 27, 2011

From Gangster to Holy Monk

Saint Peter Armengol is a model of confidence. His life inspires everyone who, amid the crisis of the modern world, needs special graces from Our Lady to remain completely faithful.

From Gangster to Convert

Peter Armengol was born in Guardia dels Prats, a small village in the archdiocese of Tarragon, Spain in 1238. He belonged to the noble house of the barons of Rocafort, descendants of the counts of Urgel, whose ancestors were directly linked to the counts of Barcelona and the monarchs of Aragon and Castile.

Despite the great care taken by his parents regarding his education, young Peter gave himself over to a life of total dissipation, vice and caprice. “Abyssus abyssum invocat” (Deep calleth on deep), say the Scriptures. Thus Peter joined a gang of criminals who, pursued by Justice, led the life of bandits in the mountains. Soon, young Armengol became the leader of that gang.

Read the story here: tfp student action

This is a testimony for every parent, wife, husband, sister or brother who has given up on ever seeing their loved one turn their heart towards God.

Every family has a story.

We live in times of profound moral crisis with families crying out for their children who have succumbed to every temptation the world has offered them.

Especially in this Easter season, I feel compelled to encourage us not to despair of hope for even the hardest hearts.

Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God has made him both Lord and Christ,

this Jesus whom you crucified.

Now, when they heard this they were cut to the heart,

and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?”

And Peter said to them,

Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins;

and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

For this promise is to you and your children and to all who are far off,

every one whom the Lord God calls to Him.

—Acts 2:36-39

Maybe you are the only Christian in your household..then you are the intercessor who is given the privilege of being the

watchman on the wall ( Isaiah 62:6).

You are the,

repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets to dwell in.

—Isaiah 58: 12

Together we ask for your Divine Mercy to cover our families O Lord, and for the intercession of your Blessed Mother

to pour out her graces upon us.

St Peter Armengol, Pray for us.

+PAX


posted by Caroline  |   4:16 PM  |   2 comments
Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Listen for Your Name

St. Mary Magdalen,

You come with springing tears

To the spring of mercy, Christ….

What can I say, how can I find the words to tell

About the burning love with which you sought Him

Weeping at the sepulchre

And wept for Him in your seeking?….

For the sweetness of love He shows Himself

Who would not for the bitterness of tears.

—Anselm of Canterbury

She hears Jesus call her name ~ Mary ~

and in a moment she who had come to look for a corpse recognizes her risen Lord.

We cannot count on ourselves to find Him…but with burning love we can ask for that

faith which is a gift from God and then listen for His voice to call our name.

My sheep hear my voice,

and I know them,

and they follow me;

and I give them eternal life;

and they shall never perish

and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.

—John 10:27-28

+PAX


posted by Caroline  |   3:09 PM  |   6 comments
Monday, April 25, 2011

Stepping Heavenward

January 15, 1831

How dreadfully old I am getting! Sixteen! Well, I don’t see as I can help it. There it is in the big Bible in father’s own writing: Katherine, born January 15, 1815

I meant to get up early this morning, but it looked dismally cold out of doors, and felt delightfully warm in bed. So I covered myself up, and made ever so many good resolutions.

I determined, in the first place, to begin this journal. To be sure, I have begun half a dozen, and gotten tired of them after a while. Not tired of writing them, but disgusted with what I had to say about myself. But this time I mean to go on, in spite of everything. It will do me good to read it over, and see what a creature I am.

—Stepping Heavenward

Elizabeth Prentiss

I thought of this quote this morning from a wonderful book written in the 19th century about a young woman, named Katherine Mortimer.

Katherine begins journaling at the ‘old age’ of 16 writing of her daily struggles with very ordinary things and continues till her last entries when in her forty’s, she realizes she doesn’t have much time left. It is the story of her journey to womanhood…and the shaping of a soul from seemingly insignificant events of ordinary life. When you enter into her struggle, you see her relate with great sincerity and humility what it means to love the Lord with all your heart not just on Sunday, but everyday in your kitchen, and in your day to day relationships.

From Chapter 1, after an emotional confrontation with her mother :

Mother went on to say that I had in me the elements of a fine character if I would only conquer some of my faults. “You are frank and truthful,” she said, “and in some things conscientious. I hope you are really a child of God, and are trying to please Him. And it is my daily prayer that you may become a lovely, loving, useful woman.”

Katherine bites back that her friend Amelia’s mother never talks to her like that; she rather lavishes her with praise saying what a comfort she is to her.

But just as I am trying as hard as I can to be good, and making resolutions, and all that, you scold me and discourage me!”

Katherine’s mother respond’s;

“I am very sorry for you, dear,” Mother replied. “But you must bear with me. Other people will see your faults, but only your mother will have the courage to speak of them. Now go to your own room, and wipe away the traces of your tears that the rest of the family may not know that you have been crying on your birthday.

Yesterday as I sat across from my mother at Easter dinner, the memories flooded in about how my own journey so resembled Katherine’s and how patient and kind my mother has been with me over the years.. Many of those younger years I didn’t trust her to see my faults and I’m sure many more older years when she questioned if there were any elements of fine character left in me. But she has been so faithful . She has taught me unconditional love and patience in this the struggle to womanhood.

At 16, I did a lot of door slamming…You could call me the queen of drama queens. Oh~ and could my mom tell you stories!

In my early 20′s I had dreams that I was sure she couldn’t understand and when I left the Catholic Church to ‘get on with ministry’ I spurned the very one who taught me who God was.

It wasn’t until my late 20′s when motherhood began to transform me from a girl who selfishly sought happiness and fulfillment, to a woman who must learn to offer herself daily for others…

From one narrow escape after another she accompanied me through my 30′s and 40′s: broken relationships, rejection, death, disappointment, and financial challenges. She never left my side…and from her heart ~ always a ready word of forgiveness.

Like Katherine, I’ve journaled through most of those years coming many times as she did to the point of disgust reading back what I had to say about myself.

But like her, I mean to go on in spite of everything. Someday, I’ll put all the pages of the journey together as a record of God’s endless mercy and grace to me.

Now I have children in their 20′s who may, if you ask them on the sly, tell you I’m still a bit of a Drama Queen. That’s OK. I’ll own that. But I thank God it’s tempered since those early teen days and I pray that in some regard, I have become a loving useful woman, the child of God my mother longed to see .

There she sat across from me at the table yesterday still serving up portions for everyone as I rolled all these pictures over in my heart and mind.

She’s 86 now and she’s my best friend.

Thank you Lord, for giving me such a wonderful tutor on my journey towards ‘stepping heavenward.’

+PAX



posted by Caroline  |   5:16 PM  |   0 comments
Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Keys to the Empty Tomb

The Empty Tomb, Jerusalem

Alleluia! Blessed Easter Morning!

If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching

is in vain.

—1 Corinthians 15:14

The Resurrection above all constitutes the confirmation of all Christ’s works and teachings.

All truths, even the most inaccessible to human reason,

find their justification

if Christ by His Resurrection has given definitive proof of His divine authority,

which He had promised.

The Resurrection of the crucified one shows that He was truly,

I AM

the Son of God

and

God Himself.

—CCC 651, 653

Oh Glorious Lord, we rejoice in Your saving power,

we put all our hope in You, for–

You hold the keys

to life and death.

Glory to the Father, to the Son

and to Holy Spirit.

Amen

+PAX


posted by Caroline  |   3:31 PM  |   0 comments
Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Same Power

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus

were baptized into His death?

We were buried therefore

by baptism into death,

so that as Christ was raised from the dead

by the Glory of the Father,

we too

might walk in the newness of life.

—Romans 6: 3-4

Old man…body of sin. Our corrupt state, subject to sin and concupiscence, coming to us from Adam, is called our old man, as our state, reformed in and by Christ, is called the new man. And the vices and sins which then ruled in us, are named the body of sin. (Challoner) -

But~

The old and sinful man we must look upon as crucified with him, and the body of sin, or our sinful body, destroyed. We must look upon ourselves as dead to sin, and that we must sin no more, as Christ being once risen, dies no more. (Witham)-

For, the same power present in Christ which conquered the grave…lives in you

and me.

+PAX


posted by Caroline  |   2:14 PM  |   0 comments
Friday, April 22, 2011

Tetelestai

Pietà
Michelangelo

God’s great plan for sending His Son into the World hinged on Mary’s

Fiat

IT IS FINISHED

because all beginnings

Start with a

Yes.

+PAX


posted by Caroline  |   1:01 PM  |   0 comments
Thursday, April 21, 2011

Holy Thursday and A Sinner’s Appeal for Mercy

What was it, O Judas!

that led thee to betray Jesus?

Had he cut thee off from the number of the apostles?

Had he deprived thee of the gift of healing the sick?

When he supped with his apostles

did he drive thee from table?

When he washed their feet,

did he pass thee by?

And yet thou was unmindful of these great favors!

Thy ungrateful plot has branded thee with infamy:

but his incomparable patience and great mercy

are everywhere praised.

Say, O ye unjust ones!

what is it ye have heard from our Savior?

Did he not expound unto you the Law and the Prophets?

Why therefore, have you plotted

how to deliver up to Pilate the Word that is from God,

and that came to redeem our souls?

They that had enjoyed thy unceasing gifts cried out:

‘Let him be crucified!’

These murderers of such as were innocent,

sought thee, that they might treat thee,

their benefactor, as an evil-doer.

But thou, O Christ!

didst bear their wickedness with silence;

for thou, being the lover of mankind,

didst desire to suffer for and save us.

We are prevented from speaking by the multitude of our sins:

do thou, O Virgin Mother of God!

pray for us to him that was born of thee,

for the Mother’s prayer avails much with the mercy of the Lord,

Despise not, O most pure Virgin!

the prayers of sinners,

for he that refused not even to suffer for us,

is merciful, and is able to save us.

— The Liturgical Year,

Passiontide and Holy Week

by Abbot Guéranger OSB

(Translated from the French

by Dom Laurence Shepherd OSB,

The Newman Press,

Westminster, MD, 1949

+PAX


posted by Caroline  |   3:12 PM  |   2 comments