Sunday, December 30, 2012

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

THe Feast of the Holy Family gives us reason to reflect on how important family is to God's plan of salvation. He formed a family for His Son, uniting them in chaste love, pouring His full grace on the sinless Blessed Mother, and blessed St. Joseph with the grace enough to be a husband and father. Do we ask for the grace needed to live our vocations?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Proclamation

Today, the twenty-fifth day of December,
unknown ages from the time when God created the heavens and the earth
and then formed man and woman in his own image.

Several thousand years after the flood,
when God made the rainbow shine forth as a sign of the covenant.

Twenty-one centuries from the time of Abraham and Sarah;
thirteen centuries after Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt.

Eleven hundred years from the time of Ruth and the Judges;
one thousand years from the anointing of David as king;
in the sixty-fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel.

In the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;
the seven hundred and fifty-second year from the foundation of the city of Rome.

The forty-second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus;
the whole world being at peace,
Jesus Christ, eternal God and Son of the eternal Father,
desiring to sanctify the world by his most merciful coming,
being conceived by the Holy Spirit,
and nine months having passed since his conception,
was born in Bethlehem of Judea of the Virgin Mary.

Today is the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Blessed are you who believed that what the Lord promised would be fulfilled. Elizabeth pronounces this blessing on the Blessed Mother. She was probably aware of the fact that her own husband, despite his seeing the angel Gabriel who announced the conception of her son, doubted. Perhaps she was aware that in her own prayer that she had placed faith in the promise.
Are we blessed to believe the promises of the Lord ourselves?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Third Sunday of Advent

What should we do? The question is asked of John the Baptist as people become aware of the nearness of the Christ. John responds to all with a common theme - acts of charity and morality. This advent, we, too, are invited too respond to God's call in our lives.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Second Sunday of Advent

Prepare the way, make straight the path. John the Baptist's message is clear, but it is not about the physical preparations of roads. It is about spiritual paths. Lower the mountains of pride and anxiety. Raise the valleys of despair and lack of charity. Straighten the paths to our hearts. Of course, it is the grace of God working in us that make this possible. When we do, we are able to respond more readily to the Lord.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

First Sunday of Advent

The day is coming when all around us will cease as it is now, when Christ will return and offer it all to His Father. We ought not be afraid of the end, but rather to stand erect and raise our heads. We can do that if we have done what the Lord asks of us.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Solemnity of Christ the King

Jesus Christ is King, but not in the way in which we so often reduce kings. He is King, but not of a political or geographical kingdom. Rather, He is King of those who hail Him as Lord of their lives and hearts, and the time is coming when He will be made king of all creation, subjecting everything to Himself and offering it to His Father for all eternity. We are already subjects of that good King, and we are invited to proclaim Him for all to hear. Viva Christa Rey!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

We do not know when, but we do know that this world will end. It will be a day beyond all comprehension, awesome and terrifying. But for the faithful, of those that do the will of God, it will be a day that does not bring horror, but of confidence. We need to live our lives in conformity to that day, that when it comes, we can stand before the Son of Man with hearts free from sin and attachment to sin.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

The widow, with so little means, gives freely of her want. She gives as an act of love of God, and does not do so for show our out of pride. Whatever we give, whether our time, talent, or treasure, we should give out of love of God ourselves. We should not look for accolades or any other reason.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Spiritual Discernment Retreat

Fr. Todd Petersen and Margaret McHugh are offering a retreat on Spiritual Discernment for lay people, looking at St. Ignatius of Loyola's great contribution to the Church - the Rules of Discernment. It will be half at the Retreat center of Schoenstatt on the Lake, Sleepy Eye, November 23 through November 25th, with daily Masses, meals, and overnight accommodations. To reserve your place, contact Margaret (507 359-2966 or mmchugh@dnu.org) or Fr. Todd (frtodd@me.com) by Tuesday, November 20.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

The love of God is always first, and requires all of us, but once we love God above all else, we inevitably learn to love our neighbor with a pure and holy love, a love that seeks their true good, always tempered by morality. Love of neighbor is meaningless without love of God, just as love of God with love of neighbor is vain. Let us love God first and foremost, and with that love, serve our fellowman.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Bartimaeus, a man born blind, has the courage to call out to Jesus for help, calling him the son of David. Despite his blindness, he sees more clearly than the rest. Jesus calls him, and asks him what he wants. Bartimaeus answers immediately - I want to see. May we be as ready to ask Jesus we want to see our vocations as this man.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Following Christ is not about power, but service, following the example of Christ who comes to ransom us. May we serve well!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Entry into the Kingdom of God is not a matter of buying or selling or who you know. It is letting it all go and following Christ. It is following the commandments, yes, but being willing to step out in faith, reaching out to God.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

The readings this weekend help us to reflect on the reality of marriage. Marriage is a natural institution created by God in the very beginning. He created humanity as male and female, and the complementarity of the sexes is for the continuation of the human race. The institution of marriage is given to assure the raising of children in an ideal environment. In the Gospel, Jesus is questioned about the nature of divorce, and He responds that the Law allows divorce because of the hardness of heart - because of sin. But Jesus reminds them that this is not the way it was meant to be. Throughout the Gospel, Jesus raises the institution of marriage to a sacrament. Marriage is to have five traits, and as a sacrament, those traits are strengthened by grace: Free, total, Fruitful, faithful, and permanent. The fact that we have to add that Marriage is between one man, one woman, is proof that we have fallen further away from God and His will. May we have the strength and courage to proclaim the beauty of marriage as a reflection of original justice and God's plan for the propagation and education of children.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

St. John asks about what to do about those that do not follow Christ and the Apostles ("us"). Jesus instructs that they are not to prevent the man, as he what he is doing is proof of his support of Jesus, at least implicitly. We can act with jealousy, too, and when we respond to Christ, we must see that we are to work together. That is the beauty of our Church and her vocations: We are not all ordained, or religious, or married, yet we are all to work together.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

To enter the Kingdom of God, we must become like children. As children, we would need to admit our dependance on God, our own limitations, and our need. We come to Christ on His terms, not on our own.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Seminarian Information, Fall 2012

We have posted our newest list of Seminarian information. Download it here.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus Christ is the savior of the world, but in order to save us, He had to die on the cross. A savior without the cross leads to a world without redemption! Sacrifice is a necessary element of Christ's saving work, and so it must be for us as we accept the salvation He has won. We sacrifice, and work with humility and faith, to know more fully who Jesus Christ truly is.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Be Strong! Fear Not! Be Opened! The Lord opens the ears of the deaf, the eyes of the blind, and strengthens the legs of the cripples. If He can do that, can He not cast away every shadow of fear, wipe away every stain of sin, calm every sting of death? We come to worship Him, because He does all things well. But do we allow Him to do it in our lives?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Be doers of the word, not just hearers. Jesus takes the scribes and Pharisees to task for setting aside the law for traditions, failing to worship the Lord, but holding fast to temporal things. We, too, might find it easier to hold to temporal things, instead of listening to the Lord who speaks to us in the silence of our hearts. We must be willing to listen and to obey Him, allowing Him to purify us and our hearts.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

"Are you, too, going to leave?" There is a sadness in the question of Jesus.
Peter responds, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life?” You speak the truth to us, and we long to hear it.
Jesus has just completed the Bread of Life discourse, in which He declares that to have eternal life, they must eat His flesh, and drink His blood, and that it is true food and drink.
The Jews are repulsed, and perhaps rightfully so. After all, there is a law against eating blood, much less human blood and flesh… But Jesus does not back down, in fact, each time they balk at His teaching, He gets stronger.
So they just walk away. And Jesus allows them. He does not back down, explain it away, or compromise.
He gives us the same choice.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

New Prayer Calendar

I have posted the new prayer calendar for September through February. I also posted the full-page calendars, too.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

In the Eucharist, Jesus gives us his very body and blood, which we must eat to have eternal life. The Jews quarreled about what this meant, but Jesus is clear - We must eat His Flesh and Drink His Blood to have eternal life. We receive His Body and Blood in the Eucharist, through the ministry of the priest, which enable us to live in Christ.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus Christ is the Bread of Life that has come from the Father, and He gives life to the world. But the crowds take offense at Him. They think that they know Him, because they know His human history. They cannot see that Jesus is God, and that He is providing for their needs.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Give us this bread always! The crowds cry to Jesus, but it seems that they are only interested in their own stomachs than in the food that Jesus is going to provide. He tells them that He is the "Bread of Life". He is the food that meets more than a biological need - it meets the need for a higher way of living. Jesus is the bread that gives it. In the next weeks, we will continue to hear this message - and Jesus gets stronger. For now, we must ask ourselves, "Are we willing to accept as a gift what the Lord has provided for us, or are we going to grumble, ignoring aha the Lord is truly doing in our lives to lead us to true and lasting freedom?"

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

THe Multiplication of the Loaves is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospels. It contains a great power - it reveals that Jesus Christ is God, and that He provides for His people. It is a foreshadowing of the Eucharist. More importantly, though, for those who are discerning a vocation, the miracle reminds us on our own we can do nothing - not even 200 days wages would be enough! But when we give, even as little as five barley loaves and two fish, Jesus Christ makes it enough for the vast crowds.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Like sheep without a shepherd, the people flock around Jesus and the disciples. They are hungry, and long to be feed. Of course, they come to the source of rest - Jesus Christ. He is the source of our peace. Not just lack of war, but of true peace, where everything is properly ordered for our good.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Lord sends His apostles, two by two, into the countryside to prepare the people for His message. While they are told to travel light, they are not to travel alone. Following Christ, it would seem, is never an individual task but one that requires companions.
We, too, are called by Christ and sent by Him. We do not travel alone, either. Rather, we follow our vocations with others, even if our particular vocation is individual. We work best when we work together.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Because they knew His human history, the people of Jesus' hometown did not allow Him to be active as God in their lives. They thought they knew everything, and could not get past the fact of His teaching with authority and power. They hardened their hearts, not allowing Him to work miracles in their lives.
God is powerful, but he will not act in our lives with that power unless we invite Him to act. We, of our own free wills, either cooperate with Him, or stand against Him. But God continues to call us to conversion, inviting us to open our hearts to Him, and when we do, we can see more fully the good that God does and is.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The readings for the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time remind us that God does not create or desire death, but seeks to give us life or healing. Consider the crowd, though, pressing in on Jesus. Tens, if not hundreds were pressing in on Him, most likely jostling Him, but none where healed but the woman who had suffered hemorrhages without any healing for 12 years. She touched Him with faith, and was healed. Jairus' daughter, alive as long as that woman suffered, is dead, but Jesus raises her. Both tell us that Jesus can heal us, but we must have faith like the woman or like Jairus and his wife.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

As we celebrate the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, we call to mind that the Lord has a plan for each of us. John knew that task and even in the womb, did it by leaping for joy when our Savior drew near. Most of us are not as wise to know the Lord's plans for us, but we should not lose heart. We remain faithful to the Lord, taking each step toward the Lord, and serve Him wherever we can.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Kingdom of God is like a mighty plant grown from a tiny seed. Its beginning is almost imperceptible, but in time becomes large. In many ways, our recognition of our vocations grow in the same way. A small though is planted in our minds, when the the thought of being called to the priesthood or religious life is not see as something odd or distant but rather possible and life-giving. The thought grows, and we eventually learn we must examine it closer. We might even find ourselves amazed at how it got so large so fast, but find that this is exactly where we ought to be.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Dates and Locations of the Operation Andrew Dinners, 2012

The dates and locations (and RSVP contact) are:
October 8 St. Eloi, Ghent Fr. Jeremy Kucera 507-872-6346
October 24 St. Philip, Litchfield Fr. Joseph Steinbeisser 320-693-3313
November 7 St. Andrew, Fairfax Fr. Jeffery Horesji 506-426-7125

Our New website is up!!!

We are finally live with the new Website for Vocations! Check it out!!!

Discernment Retreat 2012

We are hosting a Discernment retreat for young men and their parents August 10, 2012. The flyer is here, email me at frtodd@me.com for registration or more information.

Plenary Indulgence for Prayer of Reparation on feast of the Sacred Heart

Today, there is the possibility of receiving an indulgence for praying the Actus reparationis.
MOST sweet Jesus, whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before Thee, eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries to which Thy loving Heart is everywhere subject.
Mindful, alas! that we ourselves have had a share in such great indignities, which we now deplore from the depths of our hearts, we humbly ask Thy pardon and declare our readiness to atone by voluntary expiation, not only for our own personal offenses, but also for the sins of those, who, straying far from the path of salvation, refuse in their obstinate infidelity to follow Thee, their Shepherd and Leader, or, renouncing the promises of their baptism, have cast off the sweet yoke of Thy law.
We are now resolved to expiate each and every deplorable outrage committed against Thee; we are now determined to make amends for the manifold offenses against Christian modesty in unbecoming dress and behavior, for all the foul seductions laid to ensnare the feet of the innocent, for the frequent violations of Sundays and holydays, and the shocking blasphemies uttered against Thee and Thy Saints. We wish also to make amends for the insults to which Thy Vicar on earth and Thy priests are subjected, for the profanation, by conscious neglect or terrible acts of sacrilege, of the very crimes of nations who resist the rights and teaching authority of the Church which Thou hast founded.
Would that we were able to wash away such abominations with our blood. We now offer, in reparation for these violations of Thy divine honor, the satisfaction Thou once made to Thy Eternal Father on the cross and which Thou continuest to renew daily on our altars; we offer it in union with the acts of atonement of Thy Virgin Mother and all the Saints and of the pious faithful on earth; and we sincerely promise to make recompense, as far as we can with the help of Thy grace, for all neglect of Thy great love and for the sins we and others have committed in the past. Henceforth, we will live a life of unswerving faith, of purity of conduct, of perfect observance of the precepts of the Gospel and especially that of charity. We promise to the best of our power to prevent others from offending Thee and to bring as many as possible to follow Thee.
O loving Jesus, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mother, our model in reparation, deign to receive the voluntary offering we make of this act of expiation; and by the crowning gift of perseverance keep us faithful unto death in our duty and the allegiance we owe to Thee, so that we may all one day come to that happy home, where with the Father and the Holy Spirit Thou livest and reignest, God, forever and ever. Amen.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

New Vocations View Newsletter (May, '12)

I have posted the newest volume of the Vocations View Newsletter. Click to go to the page, or Right click to download!

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ reminds us of the absolute centrality of the Eucharist in the life of the Church. Jesus Christ gives us this gift to make us the Church, and gives the priesthood to continue to offer the memorial sacrifice He initiated on the cross.

The sequence that the Church gives provides much reflection:

Sion, lift thy voice and sing;
Praise thy Savior and thy King;
Praise with hymns thy Shepherd true:
Dare thy most to praise Him well;
For He doth all praise excel;
None can ever reach His due.
Special theme of praise is thine,
That true living Bread divine,
That life-giving flesh adored,
Which the brethren twelve received,
As most faithfully believed,
At the Supper of the Lord.

Let the chant be loud and high;
Sweet and tranquil be the joy
Felt to-day in every breast;
On this festival divine
Which recounts the origin
Of the glorious Eucharist.

At this table of the King,
Our new Paschal offering
Brings to end the olden rite;
Here, for empty shadows fled,
Is reality instead;
Here, instead of darkness, light.

His own act, at supper seated,
Christ ordained to be repeated,
In His memory divine;
Wherefore now, with adoration,
We the Host of our salvation
Consecrate from bread and wine.

Hear what holy Church maintaineth,
That the bread its substance changeth
Into Flesh, the wine to Blood.
Doth it pass thy comprehending?
Faith, the law of sight transcending,
Leaps to things not understood.

Here in outward signs are hidden
Priceless things, to sense forbidden;
Signs, not things, are all we see:-
Flesh from bread, and Blood from wine;
Yet is Christ, in either sign,
All entire confessed to be.

They too who of Him partake
Sever not, nor rend, nor break,
But entire their Lord receive.
Whether one or thousands eat,
All receive the selfsame meat,
Nor the less for others leave.

Both the wicked and the good
Eat of this celestial Food;
But with ends how opposite!
Here 'tis life; and there 'tis death;
The same, yet issuing to each
In a difference infinite.

Nor a single doubt retain,
When they break the Host in twain,
But that in each part remains
What was in the whole before;
Since the simple sign alone
Suffers change in state or form,
The Signified remaining One
And the Same forevermore

Lo! upon the Altar lies,
Hidden deep from human eyes,
Angels' Bread from Paradise
Made the food of mortal man:
Children's meat to dogs denied;
In old types foresignified;
In the manna from the skies,
In Isaac, and the Paschal Lamb.

Jesu! Shepherd of the sheep!
Thy true flock in safety keep.
Living Bread! Thy life supply;
Strengthen us, or else we die;
Fill us with celestial grace:
Thou, who feedest us below!
Source of all we have or know!
Grant that with Thy Saints above,
Sitting at the Feast of Love,
We may see Thee face to face. Amen

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity 2012

As we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, the Church gives us time to meditate one of the central beliefs of our Christian faith. God is three Persons, united without confusion in one eternal being. The mystery we celebrate is not what the Trinity does for us, but who the Trinity is. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are united in love. It is a mystery, and we can never think that we have the Holy Trinity completely understood. However, the Trinity can be experienced. While we praise God for who He is, we worship Him because He has revealed himself to us.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New Vocations View Newsletter (May, '12)

I have posted the newest volume of the Vocations View Newsletter. Click to go to the page, or Right click to download!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Pentecost Sequence

For our prayer, I am posting the Pentecost Sunday Sequence. It is a beautiful prayer of the Church.

Come, O Holy Spirit, come!
From Your bright and blissful Home
Rays of healing light impart.

Come, Father of the poor,
Source of gifts that will endure
Light of ev'ry human heart.

You of all consolers best,
Of the soul most kindly Guest,
Quick'ning courage do bestow.

In hard labor You are rest,
In the heat You refresh best,
And solace give in our woe.

O most blessed Light divine,
Let Your radiance in us shine,
And our inmost being fill.

Nothing good by man is thought,
Nothing right by him is wrought,
When he spurns Your gracious Will.

Cleanse our souls from sinful stain,
Lave our dryness with Your rain,
Heal our wounds and mend our way.

Bend the stubborn heart and will,
Melt the frozen, warm the chill,
Guide the steps that go astray.

On the faithful who in You,
Trust with childlike piety,
Deign Your sevenfold gift to send.

Give them virtue's rich increase,
Saving grace to die in peace,
Give them joys that never end. Amen. Alleluia.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Ninth Day Of Pentecost Novena

We join in the final day of our novena.

NINTH DAY (Saturday, Vigil of Pentecost)

Thou, on those who evermore Thee confess and Thee Adore, in Thy sevenfold gift, Descend; Give Them Comfort when they die; Give them Life with Thee on high; Give them joys which never end. Amen

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit

The gifts of the Holy Spirit perfect the supernatural virtues by enabling us to practice them with greater docility to divine inspiration. As we grow in the knowledge and love of God under the direction of the Holy Spirit, our service becomes more sincere and generous, the practice of virtue more perfect. Such acts of virtue leave the heart filled with joy and consolation and are known as Fruits of the Holy Spirit. These Fruits in turn render the practice of virtue more attractive and become a powerful incentive for still greater efforts in the service of God, to serve Whom is to reign.

Prayer

Come, O Divine Spirit, fill my heart with Thy heavenly fruits, Thy charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, faith, mildness, and temperance, that I may never weary in the service of God, but by continued faithful submission to Thy inspiration may merit to be united eternally with Thee in the love of the Father and the Son. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.

To be recited daily during the Novena

PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

(To be recited daily during the Novena)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Eighth Day of Pentecost Novena

We join in the eighth day of our novena.

EIGHTH DAY (Friday, 7th Week of Easter)

Bend the stubborn heart and will, melt the frozen warm the chill. Guide the steps that go astray!

The Gift of Wisdom

Embodying all the other gifts, as charity embraces all the other virtues, Wisdom is the most perfect of the gifts. Of wisdom it is written "all good things came to me with her, and innumerable riches through her hands." It is the gift of Wisdom that strengthens our faith, fortifies hope, perfects charity, and promotes the practice of virtue in the highest degree. Wisdom enlightens the mind to discern and relish things divine, in the appreciation of which earthly joys lose their savor, whilst the Cross of Christ yields a divine sweetness according to the words of the Saviour: "Take up thy cross and follow me, for my yoke is sweet and my burden light.

Prayer

Come, O Spirit of Wisdom, and reveal to my soul the mysteries of heavenly things, their exceeding greatness, power and beauty. Teach me to love them above and beyond all the passing joys and satisfactions of earth. Help me to attain them and possess them for ever. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.

To be recited daily during the Novena

PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

(To be recited daily during the Novena)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Seventh Day of Pentecost Novena

We join in the seventh day of our novena.

SEVENTH DAY (Thursday, 7th Week of Easter)

Heal our wounds--our strength renews; On our dryness pour Thy dew, Wash the stains of guilt away.

The Gift of Counsel

The gift of Counsel endows the soul with supernatural prudence, enabling it to judge promptly and rightly what must done, especially in difficult circumstances. Counsel applies the principles furnished by Knowledge and Understanding to the innumerable concrete cases that confront us in the course of our daily duty as parents, teachers, public servants, and Christian citizens. Counsel is supernatural common sense, a priceless treasure in the quest of salvation. "Above all these things, pray to the Most High, that He may direct thy way in truth."

Prayer

Come, O Spirit of Counsel, help and guide me in all my ways, that I may always do Thy holy will. Incline my heart to that which is good; turn it away from all that is evil, and direct me by the straight path of Thy commandments to that goal of eternal life for which I long.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.

To be recited daily during the Novena

PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

(To be recited daily during the Novena)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sixth Day of Pentecost Novena

We join in the sixth day of our novena.

SIXTH DAY (Wednesday, 7th Week of Easter)

If Thou take Thy grace away, nothing pure in man will stay, All his good is turn'd to ill.

The Gift of Understanding

Understanding, as a gift of the Holy Spirit, helps us to grasp the meaning of the truths of our holy religion BY faith we know them, but by Understanding we learn to appreciate and relish them. It enables us to penetrate the inner meaning of revealed truths and through them to be quickened to newness of life. Our faith ceases to be sterile and inactive, but inspires a mode of life that bears eloquent testimony to the faith that is in us; we begin to "walk worthy of God in all things pleasing, and increasing in the knowledge of God."

Prayer

Come, O Spirit of Understanding, and enlighten our minds, that we may know and believe all the mysteries of salvation; and may merit at last to see the eternal light in Thy Light; and in the light of glory to have a clear vision of Thee and the Father and the Son. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.

To be recited daily during the Novena

PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

(To be recited daily during the Novena)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fifth Day of Pentecost Novena

We join in the fifth day of our novena.

FIFTH DAY (Tuesday, 7th Week of Easter)

Light immortal! Light Divine! Visit Thou these hearts of Thine, And our inmost being fill!

The Gift of Knowledge

The gift of Knowledge enables the soul to evaluate created things at their true worth--in their relation to God. Knowledge unmasks the pretense of creatures, reveals their emptiness, and points out their only true purpose as instruments in the service of God. It shows us the loving care of God even in adversity, and directs us to glorify Him in every circumstance of life. Guided by its light, we put first things first, and prize the friendship of God beyond all else. "Knowledge is a fountain of life to him that possesseth it."

Prayer

Come, O Blessed Spirit of Knowledge, and grant that I may perceive the will of the Father; show me the nothingness of earthly things, that I may realize their vanity and use them only for Thy glory and my own salvation, looking ever beyond them to Thee, and Thy eternal rewards. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.

To be recited daily during the Novena

PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

(To be recited daily during the Novena)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Fourth Day of Pentecost Novena

We join in the fourth day of our novena.

FOURTH DAY (Monday, 7th Week of Easter)

Thou in toil art comfort sweet, Pleasant coolness in the heat, solace in the midst of woe.

The Gift of Fortitude

The Gift of Fortitude By the gift of Fortitude the soul is strengthened against natural fear, and supported to the end in the performance of duty. Fortitude imparts to the will an impulse and energy which move it to under take without hesitancy the most arduous tasks, to face dangers, to trample under foot human respect, and to endure without complaint the slow martyrdom of even lifelong tribulation. "He that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved."

Prayer

Come, O Blessed Spirit of Fortitude, uphold my soul in time of trouble and adversity, sustain my efforts after holiness, strengthen my weakness, give me courage against all the assaults of my enemies, that I may never be overcome and separated from Thee, my God and greatest Good. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.

To be recited daily during the Novena

PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

(To be recited daily during the Novena)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Third Day of Pentecost Novena

We join in the third day of our novena.

THIRD DAY (7th Sunday of Easter)

Thou, of all consolers best, Visiting the troubled breast, Dost refreshing peace bestow.

The Gift of Piety

The gift of Piety begets in our hearts a filial affection for God as our most loving Father. It inspires us to love and respect for His sake persons and things consecrated to Him, as well as those who are vested with His authority, His Blessed Mother and the Saints, the Church and its visible Head, our parents and superiors, our country and its rulers. He who is filled with the gift of Piety finds the practice of his religion, not a burdensome duty, but a delightful service. Where there is love, there is no labor.

Prayer

Come, O Blessed Spirit of Piety, possess my heart. Enkindle therein such a love for God, that I may find satisfaction only in His service, and for His sake lovingly submit to all legitimate authority. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.

To be recited daily during the Novena

PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

(To be recited daily during the Novena)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Second Day of Pentecost Novena

We join in the second day of our novena.

SECOND DAY (Saturday, 6th Week of Easter)

Come. Father of the poor. Come, treasures which endure; Come, Light of all that live!

The Gift of Fear

The gift of Fear fills us with a sovereign respect for God, and makes us dread nothing so much as to offend Him by sin. It is a fear that arises, not from the thought of hell, but from sentiments of reverence and filial submission to our heavenly Father. It is the fear that is the beginning of wisdom, detaching us from worldly pleasures that could in any way separate us from God. "They that fear the Lord will prepare their hearts, and in His sight will sanctify their souls."

Prayer

Come, O blessed Spirit of Holy Fear, penetrate my inmost heart, that I may set you, my Lord and God, before my face forever, help me to shun all things that can offend You, and make me worthy to appear before the pure eyes of Your Divine Majesty in heaven, where You live and reign in the unity of the ever Blessed Trinity, God world without end. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.

To be recited daily during the Novena

PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

(To be recited daily during the Novena)

Friday, May 18, 2012

First Day of Pentecost Novena

Today, we begin the nine day prayer - a novena - asking for the Holy Spirit and His Seven Gifts.

FIRST DAY (Friday, 6th Week of Easter)

Holy Spirit! Lord of Light! From Your clear celestial height, Your pure beaming radiance give!

The Holy Spirit

Only one thing is important -- eternal salvation. Only one thing, therefore, is to be feared--sin· Sin is the result of ignorance, weakness, and indifference The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Light, of Strength, and of Love. With His sevenfold gifts He enlightens the mind, strengthens the will, and inflames the heart with love of God. To ensure our salvation we ought to invoke the Divine Spirit daily, for "The Spirit helpeth our infirmity. We know not what we should pray for as we ought. But the Spirit Himself asketh for us."

Prayer

Almighty and eternal God, Who hast vouchsafed to regenerate us by water and the Holy Spirit, and hast given us forgiveness all sins, vouchsafe to send forth from heaven upon us your sevenfold Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and fortitude, the Spirit of Knowledge and Piety, and fill us with the Spirit of Holy Fear. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.

To be recited daily during the Novena

PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

(To be recited daily during the Novena)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Love one another… this type of love is not what the world calls love, but a love that is supernatural. The world's idea of love is warm affections, feelings, etc, or a special devotion to someone. But the theological understanding is found even in this passage - great love requires great sacrifice! To lay down one's life for a friend, this is love! Love is our calling, our destiny, and our design. May we live this love always!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Parent's Guide for Vocations eBook through Kindle Store

I was able to get my Parent's Guide for Vocations adapted to the Kindle. I also was able to add a "Look inside" feature, so you can see the Table of Contents, Index, and random pages.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Christ is the vine, we are the branches. We cannot do anything without Him, and with Him, all things are possible. He prunes us through His word and through showing us the futileness of our deeds apart from Him, so that we may bear greater fruit in Him.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Parent's Guide for Vocations Update

I just got copies of my book A Parent's Guide for Vocations - I reset the price for $6, but use code 9N9MQ8XC on the check out to get it for $4.50!). I will be giving the parents of our Diocesan seminarians and young women religious a copy.
Not to boast, but the book looks great!!! It is good to see the fruits of my labor, and to hold it in my hands!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

It is Finished!!!

I have just finished my book for parents entitled A Parent's Guide for Vocations, and it is available at CreateSpace and Amazon.com.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fourth Sunday of Easter

Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep. THis is true in two ways - first, He is incarnate for us, setting aside the rights and glories of His divinity to become human, and second, lays down that even that life on the cross for the redemption of all the world. He confronts the wolf directly, not letting the evil one scatter what His Father has gathered. May we learn to hear the Shepherd's voice, follow that voice, and trust Him with our lives.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Parent's Guide for Vocations

I am just completing my booklet, A Parent's Guide for Vocations, and uploaded it for self-publishing. Price is set $7, with proceeds to go to provide our seminarian and women religious parents a copy, and anything in excess to the Seminarian Aid Fund of the Diocese of New Ulm.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Third Sunday of Easter

This weekend, we hear St. Luke's account of the first Easter Evening. Cleopas and his companion are in the midst of sharing how Christ revealed Himself to them on the way to Emmaus and was made known in the breaking of bread. Christ suddenly appears to them, and proves to them that He is indeed real by not only asking them to touch Him, but eats in front of them. He removes their doubts, and gives them the task of proclaiming Him to all.
Christ can remove our doubts, too. We can find Him in the Eucharist, and we can ask Him to help us to see Him. Seeing Him, then, let us believe and proclaim Him to all the World.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Second Sunday of Easter - Divine Mercy Sunday

The Risen Jesus reveals Himself to the Apostles, breathing the Holy Spirit on them and giving them His authority to forgive sins. St. Thomas, absent from that first appearance, is skeptical. He simply cannot believe the marvelous news of Christ being risen after the cruel death on the Cross. He comes to instant belief seeing Christ the second Sunday!
Are we slow to doubt the good news, to reject the word of others? If so, perhaps we should ask that the Lord would reveal Himself to us like He did to St. Thomas, and pray for the gift of faith.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Praise - the New Translation

Exult, let them exult, the hosts of heaven,
exult, let Angel ministers of God exult,
let the trumpet of salvation
sound aloud our mighty King’s triumph!
Be glad, let earth be glad, as glory floods her,
ablaze with light from her eternal King,
let all corners of the earth be glad,
knowing an end to gloom and darkness.
Rejoice, let Mother Church also rejoice,
arrayed with the lightning of his glory,
let this holy building shake with joy,
filled with the mighty voices of the peoples.
(Therefore, dearest friends,
standing in the awesome glory of this holy light,
invoke with me, I ask you,
the mercy of God almighty,
that he, who has been pleased to number me,
though unworthy, among the Levites,
may pour into me his light unshadowed,
that I may sing this candle’s perfect praises).
It is truly right and just,
with ardent love of mind and heart
and with devoted service of our voice,
to acclaim our God invisible, the almighty Father,
and Jesus Christ, our Lord, his Son, his Only Begotten.
Who for our sake paid Adam’s debt to the eternal Father,
and, pouring out his own dear Blood,
wiped clean the record of our ancient sinfulness.
These, then, are the feasts of Passover,
in which is slain the Lamb, the one true Lamb,
whose Blood anoints the doorposts of believers.
This is the night,
when once you led our forebears, Israel’s children,
from slavery in Egypt
and made them pass dry-shod through the Red Sea.
This is the night
that with a pillar of fire
banished the darkness of sin.
This is the night
that even now, throughout the world,
sets Christian believers apart from worldly vices
and from the gloom of sin,
leading them to grace
and joining them to his holy ones.
This is the night,
when Christ broke the prison-bars of death
and rose victorious from the underworld.
Our birth would have been no gain,
had we not been redeemed.
O wonder of your humble care for us!
O love, O charity beyond all telling,
to ransom a slave you gave away your Son!
O truly necessary sin of Adam,
destroyed completely by the Death of Christ!
O happy fault
that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!
O truly blessed night,
worthy alone to know the time and hour
when Christ rose from the underworld!
This is the night
of which it is written:
The night shall be as bright as day,
dazzling is the night for me,
and full of gladness.
The sanctifying power of this night
dispels wickedness, washes faults away,
restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to mourners,
drives out hatred, fosters concord, and brings down the mighty.
On this, your night of grace, O holy Father,
accept this candle, a solemn offering,
the work of bees and of your servants’ hands,
an evening sacrifice of praise,
this gift from your most holy Church.
But now we know the praises of this pillar,
which glowing fire ignites for God’s honor,
a fire into many flames divided,
yet never dimmed by sharing of its light,
for it is fed by melting wax,
drawn out by mother bees
to build a torch so precious.
O truly blessed night,
when things of heaven are wed to those of earth,
and divine to the human.
Therefore, O Lord,
we pray you that this candle,
hallowed to the honor of your name,
may persevere undimmed,
to overcome the darkness of this night.
Receive it as a pleasing fragrance,
and let it mingle with the lights of heaven.
May this flame be found still burning
by the Morning Star:
the one Morning Star who never sets,
Christ your Son,
who, coming back from death’s domain,
has shed his peaceful light on humanity,
and lives and reigns for ever and ever.
R. Amen.

Holy Saturday

From the Office of Readings for Holy Saturday:

Something strange is happening—there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.

He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: ‘My Lord be with you all.’ Christ answered him: ‘And with your spirit.’ He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: ‘Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.’

I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated.

For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.

See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.

I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.

Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Typical new US nun

39-year-old who prays Rosary, comes from large family:
The typical woman religious who professed perpetual vows in 2011 is a 39-year-old cradle Catholic who prayed the Rosary and participated in retreats and Eucharistic adoration before entering religious life, according to a survey released by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

464 (57%) of the major superiors of US women religious responded to the survey, which was conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA). In addition, CARA surveyed religious institutes of men; the 75% of institutes that responded reported that a total of eight men professed perpetual vows as brothers in 2011. (Men studying for the priesthood were not surveyed.)

Among the survey’s findings:

42% of newly-professed men and women religious came from families with four or more siblings, while another 13% came from families with three siblings; remarkably, none of the 75 women religious or eight religious brothers was an only child
5% of the newly professed women religious are converts, typically at age 22
79% of the newly professed women religious reported that both parents are Catholic, while 42% say they had a relative who was a priest or religious
66% are white, while 17% are Asian and 10% are Hispanic
70% were born in the US, with foreign-born nuns most commonly born in Vietnam, Philippines, India, or another Asian country; the typical newly professed woman foreign-born religious entered the US in 2000
48% attended a Catholic elementary school, while only 25% attended a Catholic college
though the newly professed were educated at a time when fewer than 1% of Americans were home schooled, the survey found that “3% of responding religious report being home schooled at some time in their educational background (although none of the brothers report this)”
56% of newly professed women religious have at least a bachelor’s degree
14% participated in one of the World Youth Days, and 13% participated in a Franciscan University of Steubenville conference as a high school student
67% of the newly professed had attended a retreat before entering religious life, 65% regularly prayed the Rosary, and 60% regularly took part in Eucharistic adoration
the typical newly professed woman religious began to consider a religious vocation at the age of 19 and was familiar with her institute for two years before entrance
37% reported that a parent or family member discouraged them from entering religious life; 25% report they were discouraged from entering religious life by their mother, while 14% were discouraged from doing so by their father
48% say they were encouraged by a religious sister to consider religious life, 38% by a friend, and 32% by a parish priest; 18% said their mother encouraged them to consider a religious vocation, and an even smaller 7% said their father encouraged them to consider a vocation

Way of the Cross 2012

Much has been said about the selection of the writers for this year's Way of the Cross held annually on Good Friday in the Coliseum. They are beautiful, prayerful, and poignant. From the Source - Way of the Cross 2012.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mass of the Lord's Supper Homily of Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict's Homily for the Mass of the Lord's Supper:
Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Holy Thursday is not only the day of the institution of the Most Holy Eucharist, whose splendour bathes all else and in some ways draws it to itself. To Holy Thursday also belongs the dark night of the Mount of Olives, to which Jesus goes with his disciples; the solitude and abandonment of Jesus, who in prayer goes forth to encounter the darkness of death; the betrayal of Judas, Jesus’ arrest and his denial by Peter; his indictment before the Sanhedrin and his being handed over to the Gentiles, to Pilate. Let us try at this hour to understand more deeply something of these events, for in them the mystery of our redemption takes place.

Jesus goes forth into the night. Night signifies lack of communication, a situation where people do not see one another. It is a symbol of incomprehension, of the obscuring of truth. It is the place where evil, which has to hide before the light, can grow. Jesus himself is light and truth, communication, purity and goodness. He enters into the night. Night is ultimately a symbol of death, the definitive loss of fellowship and life. Jesus enters into the night in order to overcome it and to inaugurate the new Day of God in the history of humanity.

On the way, he sang with his disciples Israel’s psalms of liberation and redemption, which evoked the first Passover in Egypt, the night of liberation. Now he goes, as was his custom, to pray in solitude and, as Son, to speak with the Father. But, unusually, he wants to have close to him three disciples: Peter, James and John. These are the three who had experienced his Transfiguration – when the light of God’s glory shone through his human figure – and had seen him standing between the Law and the Prophets, between Moses and Elijah. They had heard him speaking to both of them about his “exodus” to Jerusalem. Jesus’ exodus to Jerusalem – how mysterious are these words! Israel’s exodus from Egypt had been the event of escape and liberation for God’s People. What would be the form taken by the exodus of Jesus, in whom the meaning of that historic drama was to be definitively fulfilled? The disciples were now witnessing the first stage of that exodus – the utter abasement which was nonetheless the essential step of the going forth to the freedom and new life which was the goal of the exodus. The disciples, whom Jesus wanted to have close to him as an element of human support in that hour of extreme distress, quickly fell asleep. Yet they heard some fragments of the words of Jesus’ prayer and they witnessed his way of acting. Both were deeply impressed on their hearts and they transmitted them to Christians for all time. Jesus called God “Abba”. The word means – as they add – “Father”. Yet it is not the usual form of the word “father”, but rather a children’s word – an affectionate name which one would not have dared to use in speaking to God. It is the language of the one who is truly a “child”, the Son of the Father, the one who is conscious of being in communion with God, in deepest union with him.

If we ask ourselves what is most characteristic of the figure of Jesus in the Gospels, we have to say that it is his relationship with God. He is constantly in communion with God. Being with the Father is the core of his personality. Through Christ we know God truly. “No one has ever seen God”, says Saint John. The one “who is close to the Father’s heart … has made him known” (1:18). Now we know God as he truly is. He is Father, and this in an absolute goodness to which we can entrust ourselves. The evangelist Mark, who has preserved the memories of Saint Peter, relates that Jesus, after calling God “Abba”, went on to say: “Everything is possible for you. You can do all things” (cf. 14:36). The one who is Goodness is at the same time Power; he is all-powerful. Power is goodness and goodness is power. We can learn this trust from Jesus’ prayer on the Mount of Olives.

Before reflecting on the content of Jesus’ petition, we must still consider what the evangelists tell us about Jesus’ posture during his prayer. Matthew and Mark tell us that he “threw himself on the ground” (Mt 26:39; cf. Mk 14:35), thus assuming a posture of complete submission, as is preserved in the Roman liturgy of Good Friday. Luke, on the other hand, tells us that Jesus prayed on his knees. In the Acts of the Apostles, he speaks of the saints praying on their knees: Stephen during his stoning, Peter at the raising of someone who had died, Paul on his way to martyrdom. In this way Luke has sketched a brief history of prayer on one’s knees in the early Church. Christians, in kneeling, enter into Jesus’ prayer on the Mount of Olives. When menaced by the power of evil, as they kneel, they are upright before the world, while as sons and daughters, they kneel before the Father. Before God’s glory we Christians kneel and acknowledge his divinity; by that posture we also express our confidence that he will prevail.

Jesus struggles with the Father. He struggles with himself. And he struggles for us. He experiences anguish before the power of death. First and foremost this is simply the dread natural to every living creature in the face of death. In Jesus, however, something more is at work. His gaze peers deeper, into the nights of evil. He sees the filthy flood of all the lies and all the disgrace which he will encounter in that chalice from which he must drink. His is the dread of one who is completely pure and holy as he sees the entire flood of this world’s evil bursting upon him. He also sees me, and he prays for me. This moment of Jesus’ mortal anguish is thus an essential part of the process of redemption. Consequently, the Letter to the Hebrews describes the struggle of Jesus on the Mount of Olives as a priestly event. In this prayer of Jesus, pervaded by mortal anguish, the Lord performs the office of a priest: he takes upon himself the sins of humanity, of us all, and he brings us before the Father.

Lastly, we must also pay attention to the content of Jesus’ prayer on the Mount of Olives. Jesus says: “Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet not what I want, but what you want” (Mk 14:36). The natural will of the man Jesus recoils in fear before the enormity of the matter. He asks to be spared. Yet as the Son, he places this human will into the Father’s will: not I, but you. In this way he transformed the stance of Adam, the primordial human sin, and thus heals humanity. The stance of Adam was: not what you, O God, have desired; rather, I myself want to be a god. This pride is the real essence of sin. We think we are free and truly ourselves only if we follow our own will. God appears as the opposite of our freedom. We need to be free of him – so we think – and only then will we be free. This is the fundamental rebellion present throughout history and the fundamental lie which perverts life. When human beings set themselves against God, they set themselves against the truth of their own being and consequently do not become free, but alienated from themselves. We are free only if we stand in the truth of our being, if we are united to God. Then we become truly “like God” – not by resisting God, eliminating him, or denying him. In his anguished prayer on the Mount of Olives, Jesus resolved the false opposition between obedience and freedom, and opened the path to freedom. Let us ask the Lord to draw us into this “yes” to God’s will, and in this way to make us truly free. Amen.

Chrism Mass Homily of His Holiness Benedict XVI

A must read - His Holiness Pope Benedict's Chrism Mass Homily.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

At this Holy Mass our thoughts go back to that moment when, through prayer and the laying on of hands, the bishop made us sharers in the priesthood of Jesus Christ, so that we might be “consecrated in truth” (Jn 17:19), as Jesus besought the Father for us in his high-priestly prayer. He himself is the truth. He has consecrated us, that is to say, handed us over to God for ever, so that we can offer men and women a service that comes from God and leads to him. But does our consecration extend to the daily reality of our lives – do we operate as men of God in fellowship with Jesus Christ? This question places the Lord before us and us before him. “Are you resolved to be more united with the Lord Jesus and more closely conformed to him, denying yourselves and confirming those promises about sacred duties towards Christ’s Church which, prompted by love of him, you willingly and joyfully pledged on the day of your priestly ordination?” After this homily, I shall be addressing that question to each of you here and to myself as well. Two things, above all, are asked of us: there is a need for an interior bond, a configuration to Christ, and at the same time there has to be a transcending of ourselves, a renunciation of what is simply our own, of the much-vaunted self-fulfilment. We need, I need, not to claim my life as my own, but to place it at the disposal of another – of Christ. I should be asking not what I stand to gain, but what I can give for him and so for others. Or to put it more specifically, this configuration to Christ, who came not to be served but to serve, who does not take, but rather gives – what form does it take in the often dramatic situation of the Church today? Recently a group of priests from a European country issued a summons to disobedience, and at the same time gave concrete examples of the forms this disobedience might take, even to the point of disregarding definitive decisions of the Church’s Magisterium, such as the question of women’s ordination, for which Blessed Pope John Paul II stated irrevocably that the Church has received no authority from the Lord. Is disobedience a path of renewal for the Church? We would like to believe that the authors of this summons are motivated by concern for the Church, that they are convinced that the slow pace of institutions has to be overcome by drastic measures, in order to open up new paths and to bring the Church up to date. But is disobedience really a way to do this? Do we sense here anything of that configuration to Christ which is the precondition for all true renewal, or do we merely sense a desperate push to do something to change the Church in accordance with one’s own preferences and ideas?

But let us not oversimplify matters. Surely Christ himself corrected human traditions which threatened to stifle the word and the will of God? Indeed he did, so as to rekindle obedience to the true will of God, to his ever enduring word. His concern was for true obedience, as opposed to human caprice. Nor must we forget: he was the Son, possessed of singular authority and responsibility to reveal the authentic will of God, so as to open up the path for God’s word to the world of the nations. And finally: he lived out his task with obedience and humility all the way to the Cross, and so gave credibility to his mission. Not my will, but thine be done: these words reveal to us the Son, in his humility and his divinity, and they show us the true path.

Let us ask again: do not such reflections serve simply to defend inertia, the fossilization of traditions? No. Anyone who considers the history of the post-conciliar era can recognize the process of true renewal, which often took unexpected forms in living movements and made almost tangible the inexhaustible vitality of holy Church, the presence and effectiveness of the Holy Spirit. And if we look at the people from whom these fresh currents of life burst forth and continue to burst forth, then we see that this new fruitfulness requires being filled with the joy of faith, the radicalism of obedience, the dynamic of hope and the power of love.

Dear friends, it is clear that configuration to Christ is the precondition and the basis for all renewal. But perhaps at times the figure of Jesus Christ seems too lofty and too great for us to dare to measure ourselves by him. The Lord knows this. So he has provided “translations” on a scale that is more accessible and closer to us. For this same reason, Saint Paul did not hesitate to say to his communities: Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. For his disciples, he was a “translation” of Christ’s manner of life that they could see and identify with. Ever since Paul’s time, history has furnished a constant flow of other such “translations” of Jesus’ way into historical figures. We priests can call to mind a great throng of holy priests who have gone before us and shown us the way: from Polycarp of Smyrna and Ignatius of Antioch, from the great pastors Ambrose, Augustine and Gregory the Great, through to Ignatius of Loyola, Charles Borromeo, John Mary Vianney and the priest-martyrs of the 20th century, and finally Pope John Paul II, who gave us an example, through his activity and his suffering, of configuration to Christ as “gift and mystery”. The saints show us how renewal works and how we can place ourselves at its service. And they help us realize that God is not concerned so much with great numbers and with outward successes, but achieves his victories under the humble sign of the mustard seed.

Dear friends, I would like briefly to touch on two more key phrases from the renewal of ordination promises, which should cause us to reflect at this time in the Church’s life and in our own lives. Firstly, the reminder that – as Saint Paul put it – we are “stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Cor 4:1) and we are charged with the ministry of teaching, the (munus docendi), which forms a part of this stewardship of God’s mysteries, through which he shows us his face and his heart, in order to give us himself. At the meeting of Cardinals on the occasion of the recent Consistory, several of the pastors of the Church spoke, from experience, of the growing religious illiteracy found in the midst of our sophisticated society. The foundations of faith, which at one time every child knew, are now known less and less. But if we are to live and love our faith, if we are to love God and to hear him aright, we need to know what God has said to us – our minds and hearts must be touched by his word. The Year of Faith, commemorating the opening of the Second Vatican Council fifty years ago, should provide us with an occasion to proclaim the message of faith with new enthusiasm and new joy. We find it of course first and foremost in sacred Scripture, which we can never read and ponder enough. Yet at the same time we all experience the need for help in accurately expounding it in the present day, if it is truly to touch our hearts. This help we find first of all in the words of the teaching Church: the texts of the Second Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church are essential tools which serve as an authentic guide to what the Church believes on the basis of God’s word. And of course this also includes the whole wealth of documents given to us by Pope John Paul II, still far from being fully explored.

All our preaching must measure itself against the saying of Jesus Christ: “My teaching is not mine” (Jn 7:16). We preach not private theories and opinions, but the faith of the Church, whose servants we are. Naturally this should not be taken to mean that I am not completely supportive of this teaching, or solidly anchored in it. In this regard I am always reminded of the words of Saint Augustine: what is so much mine as myself? And what is so little mine as myself? I do not own myself, and I become myself by the very fact that I transcend myself, and thereby become a part of Christ, a part of his body the Church. If we do not preach ourselves, and if we are inwardly so completely one with him who called us to be his ambassadors, that we are shaped by faith and live it, then our preaching will be credible. I do not seek to win people for myself, but I give myself. The CurĂ© of Ars was no scholar, no intellectual, we know that. But his preaching touched people’s hearts because his own heart had been touched.

The last keyword that I should like to consider is “zeal for souls”: animarum zelus. It is an old-fashioned expression, not much used these days. In some circles, the word “soul” is virtually banned because – ostensibly – it expresses a body-soul dualism that wrongly compartmentalizes the human being. Of course the human person is a unity, destined for eternity as body and soul. And yet that cannot mean that we no longer have a soul, a constituent principle guaranteeing our unity in this life and beyond earthly death. And as priests, of course, we are concerned for the whole person, including his or her physical needs – we care for the hungry, the sick, the homeless. And yet we are concerned not only with the body, but also with the needs of the soul: with those who suffer from the violation of their rights or from destroyed love, with those unable to perceive the truth, those who suffer for lack of truth and love. We are concerned with the salvation of men and women in body and soul. And as priests of Jesus Christ we carry out our task with enthusiasm. No one should ever have the impression that we work conscientiously when on duty, but before and after hours we belong only to ourselves. A priest never belongs to himself. People must sense our zeal, through which we bear credible witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us ask the Lord to fill us with joy in his message, so that we may serve his truth and his love with joyful zeal. Amen.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

Hosanna in the highest… The Lord enters Jerusalem in solemn procession, with people acclaiming Him. Not even a few days later, another procession, but one marked not by joy, but demands for His death. Hosanna, all the same, because by His death and resurrection, we have salvation.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Fifth Sunday of Lent

A simple request - We want to see Jesus - but it requires a radical commitment. We must die to yourselves, uniting our life to the life and death of Jesus Christ, who frees us from sin and death for an eternity with His Heavenly Father. It means killing every inclination that leads us elsewhere, of putting to death all selfish desires and empty, false causes of happiness. It means nourishing that which leads us to deeper faith, hope, and love, of embracing the Lord.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Fourth Sunday of Lent

God loves us… This is the simple truth of the Gospel, a truth captured in today's Gospel. Sometimes, we can forget this love, take it for granted, or reduce it to meaninglessness. But God so loved us that He sent his Son to redeem us. No other god, no other religion makes such a claim! God, the Only God, sent His Son to die for us. Salvation is in Him alone! He desires us to come to faith in Him.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Third Sunday of Lent

Jesus cleanses the Temple, to restore it to its proper use for the worship of God. Over time, perhaps because of the renovation process that Herod the Great began and Herod the Tetrarch continued, sellers and money changers moved into the temple. While they provided a good service to the pilgrims (after all, who always has the proper offering or coins for the sacrifice?), it was not the place. Jesus corrects this.
IN our lives, there might be things, as good as they initially started out, that are equally out of place, preventing us from fulfilling our proper purpose. May the Lord cleanse our hearts!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Second Sunday of Lent

Jesus Christ reveals to Peter, James, and John His divine nature veiled by His Human flesh as a foreshadowing of what is to come. While Christ is to die on the cross, He will be raised from the dead because He is divine. This foreshadowing is one that is frequent - it is how God the Father, who wrote the history of salvation, gives hints of how he is going to save us, gave prophets and seers the glimpse. It is seen in the first reading as Isaac, bound and laid on the altar and nearly sacrificed, Is this not a foreshadowing - the Father will provide His only Begotten Son, who will carry the wood of the Cross, and be attached to it. The Father will raise Him up again, and through His Son, Salvation will be given.
The Father speaks to the apostles with a message for us, too: this is my beloved son - listen to Him!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

First Sunday of Lent

Jesus enters the desert, a place of testing and desolation. He enters society, prepared for his ministry, proclaiming that the Kingdom of God is at hand, and that there is need for repentance.
Note, in this short passage, we have perhaps the best explanation of formation for those responding to a vocation. They are taking out of the world into seminaries or houses of formation, ministered by angels, and among the savage beasts (like the formation staff and the others in formation), and they leave prepared for the ministry.
This Lenten season can be such a time for us, too.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday

We begin the season of Lent, and as we do, we are invited to ask the Lord what He desires us to be free of or properly order in our lives so that we can love Him above all else. Note that in the Gospel, the hypocrites do good things, but for the wrong reasons - they do it all for fame. If we do it for our personal health, simply the arm feelings, or for any other reason other than the Love of God and the denial of self because of that love, we have failed.
May this season of penance, prayer, alms, and fasting by one that helps us find freedom in God.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus forgives a man because of the faith of his friends. This might strike us as odd, and in a way, it is, but this man was perhaps most paralyzed by sin. He was unable to come to Jesus Christ on his own, and so his friends bore him to the Lord, tearing up the roof so that Jesus could heal him. THat is true faith.
If we forget this miracle, we might forget the important role we have in carrying our friends and neighbors to the lord in their paralysis. We must be men and women of faith, knowing that the Lord wants us to be free from sin, and bring them to Him in our prayer.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Lord desires us to be free, so He heals the leper. Not all the time, though, is healing bodily. The healing that we do experience, often healing of our spirits, demonstrate Christ's love. No longer does He tell us to not tell anyone, so we should follow the example of this leper and tell all how we were healed.

Monday, February 6, 2012

New Prayer Calendar posted

I have posted the new prayer calendar for March through August. I also posted the full-page calendars, too. I will rename it/move it the end of the month, which is why it is named "future".

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus heals Simon Peter's mother-in-law, but knows that he came to preach in more toms that just Capernaum. He tells them that they must move on. His purpose drives His action.
When we know why God created us (certainly to know, love and serve Him) with some more clarity, it sets us on a path. We must follow Jesus's example, therefore, and spend time in prayer in asking the Father what purpose He has planted in our hearts.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus does everything He does from his own authority. In Greek, the work for authority is literally "from one's being". While the crowds did not understand that He was God, they did understand that He was working from his own power. He taught and healed as who He was.
We who follow Him work with His authority. But He also gives us authority as sons and daughters of God. Do we use it for the purpose with which it has be given?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men. Did the fishermen understand what this seemingly simple explanation mean, or did they just follow, knowing that in time all would be revealed? They were asked to be formed in Jesus Christ, and with that formation to bring men into the Kingdom of God by sharing the good news.
We hear that some call in our lives. We are called to conform our lives to Christ and to transform the world around us by proclaiming the good news.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Second Sunday In Ordinary Time

Speak. Lord, your servant is listening! Samuel opens his ears and heart to the Lord, who called to him but he did not recognize who was calling. He lived in a time and culture when, as the verses before this reading relate, revelations were infrequent and visions rare. But the Lord was calling - the people were accustomed to not listening. Even Eli, the priest, missed the signs the first two times. But the beauty is that once he realizes what is going on, he is able to instruct Samuel, who then never ceases to listen to the Lord.
Andrew does not struggle with listening to the God. He, as a follower of John the Baptist, hears John point of Christ Jesus, calling Him the Lamb of God. He follows Jesus. When asked what he is looking for, he answers not with a desire to see the house of Jesus, but to know Him, to see where he lives. Andrew finds Simon, and tells him. Simon and Andrew both are able to hear the Lord, and they in turn help others.
We live in time that has distanced the Lord, by and large. But we have some people like Eli, John the Baptist, and Andrew. They can help us listen to the voice of the Lord, and help us to open our hearts to Him.

All are called by God to love Him.

All are called to serve Him.

Some are called to special lives of service,

to give witness to God's love through being a priest, religious brother, or sister.

Is He calling you?