Monday, March 31, 2008


Let it be done. Mary's humble "yes" teaches trust in God's love.

Our Divine Love calls us to say "yes" not to take from us, but to give to us. What God gives in Christ is not always what we want but is always what we need.

Through Mary's yes God gave her, and us, no less than our Savior.

Art: Donatello, Santa Croce

Friday, March 28, 2008

"Children, have you caught anything?"

Through our worthy, correct and reverent celebration of the sacred liturgy in full communion with the Lord in His universal Church we "catch" souls for Christ in every time and place. In union with our holy father Benedict, successor to "Peter the fisherman", the one Church is truly the universal Body of Christ and the "place of faith" for salvation.

Top: Sancta Missa versus Deum. Bottom: The Martinez family with new addition Alejandro.

"It is the Lord!"

John 21
[5] Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any fish?" They answered him, "No." [6] He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish. [7] That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and sprang into the sea. [8] But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.


Lord, graciously grant that, in union with the successor of Peter the fisherman our Holy Father Benedict, we may cast a wide net of charity and truth and so catch a multitude of souls for your Church that You may save all mankind.


"They will fast"*

[14] Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?"
[15] And Jesus said to them, "Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.


Can. 1249 All Christ's faithful are obliged by divine law, each in his or her own way, to do penance. However, so that all may be joined together in a certain common practice of penance, days of penance are prescribed. On these days the faithful are in a special manner to devote themselves to prayer, to engage in works of piety and charity, and to deny themselves, by fulfilling their obligations more faithfully and especially by observing the fast and abstinence which the following canons prescribe.

Can. 1250 The days and times of penance for the universal Church are each Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.

-Code of Canon Law

*Nota bene:
The Octave of Easter is one long Easter "Day" and therefore the Friday in the Octave of Easter is considered not a Friday but, rather, a Sunday and therefore penance is not observed.
- Haurietis Aquas

Thursday, March 27, 2008

"Have you anything here to eat?" Lk 24, 35-48

Surrexit Dominus vere, Alleluia!
The Lord is truly risen, Alleluia!

At His banquet in Holy Mass our Lord feeds us with the one food without which we cannot live, His risen Body and Blood in the Eucharistic Feast.

"Lord, do you have anything here for us to eat?"

"Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you have no life in you."

Photos top: LtCol Rusciolelli, USMC, and family, and bottom: St Francis Xavier Chapel, Camp Lejeune, NC, dressed for Easter

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

"A Presence which does not come to an end"

In his farewell discourse, Jesus announced his imminent death and resurrection to his disciples with these mysterious words: “I go away, and I will come to you”, he said (Jn 14:28).

Dying is a “going away”. Even if the body of the deceased remains behind, he himself has gone away into the unknown, and we cannot follow him (cf. Jn 13:36). Yet in Jesus’s case, there is something utterly new, which changes the world. In the case of our own death, the “going away” is definitive, there is no return.

Jesus, on the other hand, says of his death: “I go away, and I will come to you.” It is by going away that he comes. His going ushers in a completely new and greater way of being present. By dying he enters into the love of the Father. His dying is an act of love.

Love, however, is immortal. Therefore, his going away is transformed into a new coming, into a form of presence which reaches deeper and does not come to an end.

--His Holiness Benedict XVI
Homily for the Easter Vigil, 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Crusade? You bet!

Dear Director,

You have asked me if I do not fear for my life, in the mutual knowledge that conversion to Christianity will provide me with yet another [ennesima, lit. "umpteenth"], and much graver, condemnation to death for apostasy. You are absolutely correct. I know what awaits me, but I will face my fate with my head lifted up, with my spine upright, and with the interior solidity of one who is certain of his own faith. And I will do it even more after the historic and brave gesture of the Pope who, from the first moment in which he came to know my desire, immediately accepted to personally impart upon me the Sacraments of initiation to Christianity. His Holiness has sent an explicit and revolutionary message to a Church which, up to now, has been all too prudent on the conversion of Muslims, abstaining itself from making proselytism in countries with Islamic majorities, and silencing on the reality of converts in Christian nations. Out of fear. The fear of not being able to safeguard converts facing their condemnation to death for apostasy and the fear of retaliations facing Christians who live in Islamic nations. Therefore, today, Benedict XVI, with his testimony, tells us that it is necessary to vanquish fear and not to have any misgivings in affirming the truth of Jesus even before Muslims.

--Magdi Cristiano Allam,
vice-director of one of the largest Italian dailies, Corriere della Sera, baptized during the Easter Vigil ceremonies by Pope Benedict XVI

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Surrexit Dominus vere! Alleluia!

The Lord is truly risen! Alleluia!

Meeting Christ in the Liturgy offers a reflection for The Solemnity of the Resurrection of the Lord.

Art: Giotto, La Cappella degli Scrovegni. Courtesy of Christus Rex.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


[15] my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws;
thou dost lay me in the dust of death.

Ps 22

Friday, March 21, 2008


[5] Thou hast fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure.

Ps. 80

[9] For I eat ashes like bread, and mingle tears with my drink

Ps 102

Thursday, March 20, 2008

In Cena Domini


You set a table before me in the sight of my foes;
The Blood of salvation from Your chalice flows.

I will lift up the cup of salvation,
call upon the name of the Lord,
and You will restore me and comfort me again.


(From Pss. 23, 116, 72)

Terror... all around!
Denounce him! Yes, denounce him!"

All my friends watch me to see if I will slip:
"Perhaps he can be deceived," they say;
"then we can get the better of him
and have our revenge." Jer 20, 10


"Love is stronger than hate, it has triumphed and we should affiliate ourselves with this victory of love. We should therefore start again from Christ and work together with him for a world founded on peace, justice and love."

--Benedict XVI
General Audience, 19 March 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Why should I fear when evil days come

when wicked deceivers ring me round -
those who trust in their wealth
and boast of their great riches?

But God will rescue my soul from the grave
by receiving me unto himself.

Fear not when someone grows rich,
when his power becomes oppressively great,
for nothing will he take when he dies;
his wealth and pomp he will leave behind. (Ps 49, 6-7 & 16-18)

Lord, what will you give us if we hand ourselves over to you?
"Crosses in this life, and eternal joy in the next."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"And it was night."

"Satan entered him." It was night for Judas.

We have before us the "mysterium iniquitatis", the mystery of evil, that darkness which consumed Judas when he willed to become an agent in the rebellion of the Evil One. (Jn 13:21-33, 36-38)

Christ is "mysterium amoris", the mystery of love. When we give Him permission to enter in He makes of us agents of love and fills us with His own wonderful light.

Christ gives His saving love and puts Satan to flight through the absolution of the priest in the sacrament of Confession.

"We have wept his death"

The servant in the book of Isaiah, "faced with an unjust condemnation, bears witness to the truth, remaining faithful to the law of love."

"On this path, Archbishop Rahho took up his cross and followed the Lord Jesus, thus he contributed to bringing justice to his martyred country and to the whole world, bearing witness to the truth.

"He was a man of peace and dialogue [...] with a particular fondness for the poor and the disabled. [...] May his example sustain all Iraqis of good will, Christians and Muslims, to build peaceful coexistence founded on human fraternity and mutual respect.

"Over these days, in profound union with the Chaldean community in Iraq and abroad, we have wept his death and the inhuman way in which he was compelled to end his earthly life.

"But today in this Eucharist [...] we wish to give thanks to God for all the good he achieved in Archbishop Rahho. At the same time, we hope that, from heaven, he may intercede with the Lord to obtain for the faithful in that sorely-tried land the courage to continue to work for a better future."

- His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, the memorial Mass in the Vatican for the soul of Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho of Mosul of the Chaldeans, Iraq.

Monday, March 17, 2008

"Enough with the bloodshed!"

"I would like to recall the late Chaldean archbishop of Mosul, Monsignor Paulos Faraj Rahho, who tragically died a few days ago.

"His beautiful witness of fidelity to Christ, to the Church and his people, whom he did not want to abandon despite numerous threats, moves me to cry out forcefully and with distress: Enough with the bloodshed, enough with the violence, enough with the hatred in Iraq!"

-His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI

"I call upon the Lord: he saves me from my enemies"

Laudans invocabo Dominum:
at ab inimicis meis salvus ero.

Circumdederunt me dolores mortis:
et torrentes iniquitatis conturbaverunt me.

Dolores inferni circumdederunt me:
praeoccupaverunt me laquei mortis.

Ps 18, 4-6

Friday, March 14, 2008

Sicut aqua effusus sum:

et dispersa sunt omnia ossa mea.

Factum est cor meum tamquam cera liquescens
in medio ventris mei.

Ps 22, 15

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Requiescat in pace

+Paulos Faraj Rahho
Archbishop of Mosul

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine.
Et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Requiescat in pace.

Grant him eternal rest, Lord.
And let perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace.

Exaudi me

Eripe me de luto, ut non infigar:
libera me ab iis, qui oderunt me,
et de profundis aquarum.

Non me demergat tempestas aqua,
neque absorbeat me profundum:
neque urgeat super me puteus os suum.

Exaudi me, Domine, quoniam benigna est misericordia tua:
secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum respice in me.

Et ne avertas faciem tuam a puero tuo:
quoniam tribulor, velociter exaudi me.

Intende animae meae, et libera eam:
propter inimicos meos eripe me.

Tu scis improperium meum,
et confusionem meam, et reverentiam meam.

In conspectu tuo sunt omnes qui tribulant me,
improperium exspectavit cor meum, et miseriam.

Et sustinui qui simul contristaretur, et non fuit:
et qui consolaretur, et non inveni.

Et dederunt in escam meam fel:
et in siti mea potaverunt me aceto.

Ps 69 (68), 15-22

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Dominus in manibus nostris

"Whatever the reasons for this practice, we cannot ignore what is happening worldwide where this practice has been implemented. This gesture has contributed to a gradual weakening of the attitude of reverence towards the sacred Eucharistic species whereas the previous practice had better safeguarded that sense of reverence. There instead arose an alarming lack of recollection and a general spirit of carelessness. We see communicants who often return to their seats as if nothing extraordinary has happened... In many cases, one cannot discern that sense of seriousness and inner silence that must signal the presence of God in the soul.

"Then there are those who take away the sacred species to keep them as souvenirs, those who sell, or worse yet, who take them away to desecrate it in Satanic rituals. Even in large concelebrations, also in Rome, several times the sacred species has been found thrown onto the ground.

"Now I think that it is high time to review and re-evaluate such good practices and, if necessary, to abandon the current practice that was not called for by Sacrosanctum Concilium, nor by the Fathers, but was only accepted after its illegitimate introduction in some countries. Now, more than ever, we must help the faithful to renew a deep faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic species in order to strengthen the life of the Church and defend it in the midst of dangerous distortions of the faith that this situation continues to cause."

-On receiving Communion in the hand
Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith
Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship

Non timebimus

Deus noster refugium, et virtus:
adjutor in tribulationibus,
quae invenerunt nos nimis.

Propterea non timebimus dum turbabitur terra:
et transferentur montes in cor maris.

Sonuerunt, et turbatae sunt aquae eorum:
conturbati sunt montes in fortitudine ejus.

Ps 46, 1-4

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

"Non aperui os meum"

Obmutui, et non aperui os meum, quoniam tu fecisti:
amove a me plagas tuas.

A fortitudine manus tuae ego defici in increpationibus:
propter iniquitatem corripuisti hominem,

Et tabescere fecisti sicut araneam animam ejus:
verumtamen vane conturbatur omnis homo.

Exaudi orationem meam, Domine, et deprecationem meam:
auribus percipe lacrimas meas.

Ps 39, 10-13

Monday, March 10, 2008

"Veniat ad me, et bibat." John 7, 37-38

Circumdederunt me dolores mortis: et torrentes iniquitatis conturbaverunt me.
Dolores inferni circumdederunt me: preoccupaverunt me laquei mortis.
In tribulatione mea invocavi Dominum, et ad Deum meum clamavi:
Et exaudivit de templo sancto suo vocem meam:
et clamor meus in conspectu ejus, introivit in aures ejus.

Et apparuerunt fontes aquarum, et revelata sunt fundamenta orbis terrarum:
Ab increpatione tua, Domine, ab inspiratione spiritus irae tuae.
Misit de summo, et accepit me: et assumpsit me de aquis multis.
A deadly flood surrounded me,
devilish torrents rushed at me;
caught by the cords of the grave,
I was brought to the snares of death.
But I called to the Lord in my distress,
I cried to my God for help; and from his temple he heard my voice,
my cry of grief reached his ears.

The beds of the seas appeared,
the foundations of the world were laid bare
at the rebuke of the Lord,
at the blast of his breath.
Reaching down from above,
he drew me out of the deep waters.

Psalm 18: 5-7, 16-17

Jesus wept.

"Father, I thank you for you have heard me. I knew that you hear me always; but my prayer was for the sake of these people, that they may believe that you sent me." (John 11, 41-42)

Meeting Christ in the Liturgy offers a reflection for The Fifth Sunday of Lent.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Abyssus abyssum vocat

[1] As a hart longs
for flowing streams,
so longs my soul
for thee, O God.
[2] My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and behold
the face of God?
[3] My tears have been my food
day and night,
while men say to me continually,
"Where is your God?"
[4] These things I remember,
as I pour out my soul:
how I went with the throng,
and led them in procession to the house of God,
with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving,
a multitude keeping festival.
[5] Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my help
[6] and my God.
My soul is cast down within me,
therefore I remember thee
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
from Mount Mizar.
[7] Deep calls to deep
at the thunder of thy cataracts;
all thy waves and thy billows
have gone over me.
[8] By day the LORD commands his steadfast love;
and at night his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.
[9] I say to God, my rock:
"Why hast thou forgotten me?
Why go I mourning
because of the oppression of the enemy?"
[10] As with a deadly wound in my body,
my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me continually,
"Where is your God?"
[11] Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my help and my God.

2 Quemadmodum desiderat cervus ad fontes aquarum: ita desiderat anima mea ad te, Deus.
3 Sitivit anima mea ad Deum fortem vivum: quando veniam, et apparebo ante faciem Dei?
4 Fuerunt mihi lacrimae meae panis die ac nocte: dum dicitur mihi cotidie: Ubi est Deus tuus?
5 Haec recordatus sum, et effudi in me animam meam: quoniam transibo in loco tabernaculi admirabilis, usque ad domum Dei.
In voce exultationis, et confessionis: sonus epulantis.
6 Quare tristis es, anima mea? et quare conturbas me?
Spera in Deo, quoniam confitebor illi: salutare vultus mei,
7et Deus meus.
Ad meipsum anima mea conturbata est: propterea memor ero tui de terra Iordanis, et Hermoniim a monte modico.
8 Abyssus ad abyssum invocat, in voce cataractarum tuarum.
Omnia excelsa tua, et fluctus tui super me transierunt.
9 In die mandavit Dominus misericordiam suam et nocte canticum eius.
Apud me oratio Deo vitae meae,
10 dicam Deo: susceptor meus es.
Quare oblitus es mei? et quare contristatus incedo, dum affligit me inimicus?
11 Dum confringuntur ossa mea, exprobraverunt mihi qui tribulant me inimici mei.
Dum dicunt mihi per singulos dies: Ubi est Deus tuus?
12 quare tristis es, anima mea? et quare conturbas me?
Spera in Deo, quoniam adhuc confitebor illi: salutare vultus mei, et Deus meus.

Psalm 42

Monday, March 3, 2008

"O Lord make us see"

Makes us see our hearts as Thou do, and through Thy mercy make our hearts like unto Thine.

Do not let us despair at the sight of our sins but in Thy mercy hear and answer our calls for help.

Give us the hope of salvation through Thy infinite mercy. Give us the joy of a heart renewed.

Meeting Christ in the Liturgy offers a reflection for The Fourth Sunday of Lent.