Monday, September 30, 2013

S Hieronymi / Saint Jerome: “Follow me.”

“No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.”

To this first reply Jesus adds a second: "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." This reply does not do away with the first: following Jesus Christ involves keeping the Commandments. The Law has not been abolished, but rather man is invited to rediscover it in the person of his Master who is its perfect fulfillment. In the three synoptic Gospels, Jesus' call to the rich young man to follow him, in the obedience of a disciple and in the observance of the Commandments, is joined to the call to poverty and chastity. The evangelical counsels are inseparable from the Commandments.
-- CCC 2053

Art: Giovanni Battista Pittoni, The Apotheosis of Saint Jerome with Saint Peter of Alcántara and an Unidentified Franciscan, about 1725, National Gallery of Scotland.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time: "If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead."

If someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent."
The rich man begged to go back and warn those he loved in life to repent of sin and come back to a Godly way of life so that they would not suffer as he did, watching the poor man Lazarus enjoying heavenly bliss from his place of torment as he was forced to do.
What a grace it would be for us to be given a vision of hell and its torments so that our desire to not go there would motivate us to love God more so as to be with Him for eternity! But God is love, and love must be free in order to be itself. This is one reason why we have the sacred liturgy of the Mass: together as God’s people and one with Christ we learn to love God and to be love by Him more and more throughout our lives. Come to holy Mass faithfully on Sundays and on other occasions if able.
 Jesus Christ is the one risen “from the dead” to whom we listen, especially as He speaks in love through the sacrament of the Eucharist, now and forever.
Then Abraham said, 'If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.'" 

The Dedication of the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel: "Archangele Michael, constitui te principem super omnes animas suscipiendas."

"Stetit Angelus iuxta aram templi, habens thuribulum aureum in manu sua."

"Dum praeliaretur * Michael Archangelus cum dracone, audita est vox dicentium: Salus Deo nostro. Alleluia."

"Angeli, Archangeli, Throni, et Dominationes, Principatus, et Potestates, Virtutes caelorum, laudate Dominum de caelis. Alleluia."

"Angeli Domini Dominum benedicite in aeternum."

Saturday, September 21, 2013

"No servant can serve two masters": Choose your home, eternal or temporary

"Home is where, if you have to go, they have to take you in."

All joking aside, there are some, like the steward in the Gospel, have no where to go.He was soon to be out on his ear for having squandered his master's money but used his position fraudulently one last time to give hope that he might have refuge after losing his position.

‘What shall I do, now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me? I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg. I know what I shall do so that, when I am removed from the stewardship, they may welcome me into their homes.’

He learned the hard way that love money cannot buy happiness because after all was said and done he had no friends as well, it seems, as no family either.

Family is the first place where we learn the value of the person, that persons are more important than things. Have you seen siblings put inanimate toys aside as of no interest in order to play with each other for long hours? People are fascinated with other people when life is in balance.

Sin and love of money takes the balance out of life and causes unhappiness. It can cause unhappiness forever of one is not converted by love of Jesus Christ to reject money and the material things of this world as idols which enslave. Jesus Christ alone brings the freedom to love our dignity enough to reject the alternatives which enslave as had done
the dishonest steward.

"The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones." The small things with which the Lord entrusts us now are the keeping on the Commandments, the task of learning that we cannot hope to return His love without Jesus Christ.

I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings."

Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist: "sat with Jesus and his disciples"

"Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do."

Outward sacrifice, to be genuine, must be the expression of spiritual sacrifice: "The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit. . . . " The prophets of the Old Covenant often denounced sacrifices that were not from the heart or not coupled with love of neighbor. Jesus recalls the words of the prophet Hosea: "I desire mercy, and not sacrifice." The only perfect sacrifice is the one that Christ offered on the cross as a total offering to the Father's love and for our salvation. By uniting ourselves with his sacrifice we can make our lives a sacrifice to God.

-- CCC 2100

Art: The calling of Saint Matthew, Caravaggio.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

La Festa di San Gennaro a Napoli / Saint Januarius: "nothing hidden that will not become visible"

...nothing secret that will not come to light.

By canonizing some of the faithful, i.e., by solemnly proclaiming that they practiced heroic virtue and lived in fidelity to God's grace, the Church recognizes the power of the Spirit of holiness within her and sustains the hope of believers by proposing the saints to them as models and intercessors. "The saints have always been the source and origin of renewal in the most difficult moments in the Church's history." Indeed, "holiness is the hidden source and infallible measure of her apostolic activity and missionary zeal."

-- CCC 828

In photo: The archbishop of Naples shows the reliquary containing the blood of Saint Januarius / San Gennaro during the feast of the patron at the Duomo. The faithful gather in the cathedral church on the feast day to beg for a sign of favor in the liquefaction of the saint's relic as a sign that the city will be preserved from the danger of natural disasters such as the eruption of the volcano Vesuvius which looms over the city or earthquake.

Video: San Gennaro Il miracolo del sangue sciolto a Napoli / San Gennaro: the miracle of liquefying blood at Naples

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ember Days: September 18, 20 and 21

The Four Seasons

The Ember days, which fall on a Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of the same week, occur in conjunction with the four natural seasons of the year. Autumn brings the September Embertide, also called the Michaelmas Embertide because of their proximity to the Feast of St. Michael on September 29. Winter, on the other hand, brings the December Embertide during the third week of Advent, and spring brings the Lenten Embertide after the first Sunday of Lent. Finally, summer heralds the Whitsun Embertide, which takes place within the Octave of Pentecost.

In the 1962 Missal the Ember days are ranked as ferias of the second class, weekdays of special importance that even supersede certain saints’ feasts. Each day has its own proper Mass, all of which are quite old. One proof of their antiquity is that they are one of the few days in the Gregorian rite (as the ’62 Missal is now being called) which has as many as five lessons from the Old Testament in addition to the Epistle reading, an ancient arrangement indeed.

Fasting and partial abstinence during the Ember days were also enjoined on the faithful from time immemorial until the 1960s. It is the association of fasting and penance with the Embertides that led some to think that their peculiar name has something to do with smoldering ash, or embers. But the English name is probably derived from their Latin title, Quatuor Temporibus, or The Four Seasons. Source: Michael P. Foley/Rotate Caeli.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

In Impressione Ss. Stigmatum S. Francisci

Domine Iesu Christe, qui, frigiscente mundo, ad inflammandum corda nostra tui amoris igne, in carne beatissimi Francisci passionis tuae sacra Stigmata renovasti: concede propitius; ut eius meritis et precibus crucem iugiter feramus, et dignos fructus poenitentiae faciamus: Qui vivis et regnas cum Deo Patre in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross: "so must the Son of Man be lifted up"

... so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
-- Jn 3:13-17

"And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." The lifting up of Jesus on the cross signifies and announces his lifting up by his Ascension into heaven, and indeed begins it. Jesus Christ, the one priest of the new and eternal Covenant, "entered, not into a sanctuary made by human hands. . . but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf." There Christ permanently exercises his priesthood, for he "always lives to make intercession" for "those who draw near to God through him". As "high priest of the good things to come" he is the center and the principal actor of the liturgy that honors the Father in heaven.
-- CCC 662

Friday, September 13, 2013

S John Chrysostom: “Can a blind person guide a blind person?"

No disciple is superior to the teacher; but when fully trained, every disciple will be like his teacher.

In the ecclesial service of the ordained minister, it is Christ himself who is present to his Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock, high priest of the redemptive sacrifice, Teacher of Truth. This is what the Church means by saying that the priest, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, acts in persona Christi Capitis:
It is the same priest, Christ Jesus, whose sacred person his minister truly represents. Now the minister, by reason of the sacerdotal consecration which he has received, is truly made like to the high priest and possesses the authority to act in the power and place of the person of Christ himself (virtute ac persona ipsius Christi). Christ is the source of all priesthood: the priest of the old law was a figure of Christ, and the priest of the new law acts in the person of Christ.
-- CCC 1548

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sanctissimi Nominis Mariae - Most Holy Name of Mary

The honoured name of the Virgin Mary, which is said to mean Star of the Sea, is most fitting for the Virgin Mother. She may well be compared to a star ; for, as a star beameth forth its rays without any diminution of its own lustre, so too the Virgin gave birth to a Son with no loss to her virginity. The departing rays do not lessen the star's brightness, nor Mary's Son her ínviolate maidenhood. She is, therefore, that noble star risen from Jacob and raised by nature above this great and wide sea. She shineth with merits, she enlighteneth with her example. Ye, all ye that are cast about upon sea of temporalities in storms and tempests more than ye walk on solid land, turn ye not your eyes away from the brightness of this star. Think of Mary, call on Mary, so that ye may experience for yourself how fittingly it was said, And the Virgin's name was Mary. - Pope Innocent XI ordered the Feast of this most holy name, which had already been honoured with a special rite in some parts of the Christian world, to be celebrated each year by the universal Church as a perpetual memorial of the great blessing of that signal victory won at Vienna in Austria over the cruel Turkish tyrant who had been grinding down the Christian people.

Monday, September 9, 2013

S. Gorgonii, Martyris

From the Martyrologium:

At Nicomedia, the holy martyrs Dorotheus and Gorgonius. They stood high at the Court of the Emperor Diocletian. They denounced in his presence the persecution which he was raising against the Christians, wherefore he caused them to be hung up, and their whole bodies torn with lashes, then to have the skin taken off their bowels, to be covered with vinegar and salt, and cooked upon a gridiron, and at the last strangled. In after times the body of the blessed Gorgonius was brought to Rome, and laid first upon the Latin Way, and afterwards in the Basilica of St Peter.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta: "I rejoice in my sufferings"

... in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his Body, which is the Church
--Col 1:24:2:3

Moved by so much suffering Christ not only allows himself to be touched by the sick, but he makes their miseries his own: "He took our infirmities and bore our diseases." But he did not heal all the sick. His healings were signs of the coming of the Kingdom of God. They announced a more radical healing: the victory over sin and death through his Passover. On the cross Christ took upon himself the whole weight of evil and took away the "sin of the world," of which illness is only a consequence. By his passion and death on the cross Christ has given a new meaning to suffering: it can henceforth configure us to him and unite us with his redemptive Passion.
-- CCC 1505