See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Pope of Divine Mercy


Jesus, I trust in you!

I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy.  …  Through the Chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will. - Christ to St. Faustina.
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Terry of Idle Speculations posted the photo I am using here in an entry informing us that the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy will be included in the Liturgy for the Mass of Beatification of Pope John Paul II.
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I'm so happy for this - if I understand correctly, the Chaplet will be recited at some point within the Mass?  The Divine Chaplet is the one prayer Our Lord especially urged to be propagated throughout the world, and prayed every day during the Novena, which concludes today.  In fact he asked St. Faustina to pray it unceasingly.  He promised that if the most wretched sinner, the most fallen, hard hearted, repeat offender recited this Chaplet even once, that soul would not fail to receive His grace.  I can tell you from experience this is absolutely true.  The Divine Chaplet proves 'there is no pit so deep that his love and mercy is not deeper still.' (Betsy Ten Boom)
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Another reason I rejoice that the Chaplet may be enclosed within the Liturgy for the Beatification is because I've come to understand it as a liturgical prayer - that is, a prayer based upon the source and summit of the Liturgy, the Eucharist.  I experience it as a prayer that is able to unite one deeply to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  I believe the prayers of the Chaplet express what the priest does at Mass:  At Mass, the priest offers the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Father in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.  Holy Mass is the memorial of His sorrowful passion, in season and out of season as it were - that is in Lent and Eastertide, Advent and Christmastide, after Pentecost and Ordinary time. 
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It seems to me that the Chaplet is a form of prayer deeply uniting the soul to the liturgy - a sort of spiritual  active participation in the prayer of the Church outside the celebration of the Mass or the Liturgy of the Hours.  The Chaplet is a means that unites us to every Mass offered throughout the world, to the silent, loving action of Our Lord in the Eucharist - in other words, to the unceasing prayer of Christ before the Eternal Father.  I'm convinced it can unite us so deeply to Christ that it can become a form of spiritual communion - a means of union with God.
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(These thoughts are simply my private opinion of course, to my knowledge neither the Diary of St. Faustina, nor the Church have ever expressed the devotion of the Chaplet in this way.  The promises of Christ attached to the Chaplet are sufficient to convince any one to pray the Chaplet with devotion.)
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From John Paul II:  (H/T Idle Speculations)
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"The Message of Divine Mercy has always been near and dear to me. It is as if history had inscribed it in the tragic experience of the Second World War. In those difficult years it was a particular support and an inexhaustible source of hope, not only for the people of Krakow but for the entire nation.

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This was also my personal experience, which I took with me to the See of Peter and which in a sense forms the image of this Pontificate.
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I give thanks to Divine Providence that I have been enabled to contribute personally to the fulfilment of Christ's will, through the institution of the Feast of Divine Mercy. Here, near the relics of Blessed Faustina Kowalska, I give thanks also for the gift of her beatification. I pray unceasingly that God will have "mercy on us and the whole world" (Chaplet)." - Shrine of Divine Mercy, Krakow, 7 June 1997
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Our Lord's Promises Attached to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy:

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“The souls that say this chaplet will be embraced by My Mercy during their lifetime and especially at the hour of their death.” (Diary 754)
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“When hardened sinners say it, I will fill their hearts with peace and the hour of their death will be a happy one.” (Diary 1541)
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“No soul that has called upon My mercy has been brought to shame. I delight particularly in a soul that placed its trust in My goodness.” (Diary 1541)
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“When they say this chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as a just judge but as a Merciful Savior.” (Diary 1541)
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“Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death.” (Diary 687)
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“Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy.” (Diary 687) - Source
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Today is the last day of the Divine Mercy Novena...



And tomorrow, the Second Sunday of Easter, is the Feast of Divine Mercy.
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"Go and learn the meaning of the words, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.'  I did not come to call the righteous but sinners." - Matthew 9:13


Friday, April 29, 2011

What is most important...


Jesus, I trust in you.

The Divine Mercy.
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It seems to me that the Divine Mercy encompasses all the events of our day: The wars, the storms, the tsunamis, the earthquakes, the Royal Wedding, the Beatification, and so on.  Every event, every joy and sorrow, every person is seen by the Risen Christ.  It occurred to me this morning while praying the chaplet that the prayers of the novena are intended to reveal that - or better said, meant to reveal the presence of Christ to each and every group of souls in the family of mankind.  And within the varied categories of humanity, no matter ones status, state in life, ethnicity, religious affiliation, non-believer, souls in purgatory, what have you - the Lord seeks to reveal himself and his merciful love to each and every individual.  Thus he asks us to participate in and through the prayers of the novena, exercising ourselves in mercy and love by our prayer for one another, specifically, one by one, day by day - a group of souls and every particular soul within that group.  It is an unimaginable grace to be justified by the Divine Mercy.
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Let us remember those who continue to suffer from natural disaster and war and ethnic conflicts.  I received an email from a friend asking for prayers especially for the children, victims of the recent tornadoes:
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"It is with a heavy heart that I write you this morning asking for prayers for the children affected by tornadoes yesterday.  Children's Hospital is full and many of the critically injured children are just known only as "Disaster patient ####"  due to no known identity.  There is no telling how many more children will be coming today as the clean up process begins across our area." 
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Art: The Descent into Hell, TINTORETTO

The Royal Wedding



Yes.  I actually got up to watch it on television.
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I was very impressed.  It wasn't at all stuffy, rather it was youthful, joyful and inspiring.  Any fears about the state of their souls due to the fact the bride and groom had been 'domestic partners' before sanctifying their union in Holy Matrimony, dissolved for me by the religious commitment of their wedding vows, blessed by their church.  I appreciated very much how the ministers emphasized the true character and meaning of marriage between man and wife.  For once, after so many years of dysfunction, the Royal Family actually looked happy and seemed to be at ease amongst their British subjects.  The whole event emphasized the importance of family, fidelity, and duty, bound together by cords of genuine love.  As such it seem to me a lovely prelude to the beatification of Venerable John Paul II this Sunday.
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(Yes, I felt bad considering how Westminster was once Roman Catholic, but I trust that will be remedied in God's own time.)

Mercy and Trust, Confidence and Love.

Jesus, I trust in you.


For he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. - Psalm 103: 14
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It seems to me that the hallmarks of the Divine Mercy devotion align perfectly with the 'little way' of St. Therese of the Child Jesus...
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Mother Agnes of Jesus on her sister and her heroic virtue of hope:
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"Trust in God had become her special characteristic.  She once told me that she had been struck from childhood by this verse from the Book of Job: 'Even if he were to kill me, I would continue to hope in him.'
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She expected as much from God's justice as she did from his mercy, 'How nice it is to think that God is just!' she said.  'It means he takes our weakness into account and knows full well how frail we are by nature.'  She also said she would prefer to live without consolation, because that way she could give God greater proof of her trust in him."  St. Therese By Those Who Knew Her, testimonies for the process.
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Ven. John Paul II also alludes to the justice of God and his mercy in the encyclical, Dives Misericordia,  discussing the parable of the Prodigal Son: 
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In the parable of the prodigal son, the term "justice" is not used even once; just as in the original text the term "mercy" is not used either. Nevertheless, the relationship between justice and love, that is manifested as mercy, is inscribed with great exactness in the content of the Gospel parable. It becomes more evident that love is transformed into mercy when it is necessary to go beyond the precise norm of justice-precise and often too narrow. - On The Mercy of God, John Paul II

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Obama Birth Certificate and the Third Secret.



Don't you people get it?  Yet?
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Indeed, the Smoking Gun website has already compiled a list of inconsistencies found in the document, including asking, “If the original document was in a bound volume (as reflected by the curvature of the left hand side of the certificate), how can the green patterned background of the document’s safety paper be so seamless?” - Obama Birth Certificate Raises As Many Questions As It Answers




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To be continued...
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Next installment: "Was that man in the cape at the United Nations the notorious Fr. Z?"  An intriguing investigative post dealing with new queries swirling about the Catholic vortex as to why a middle aged priest, supposedly incardinated to the Rome diocese, yet living the la vida loca, farmer in the dell high life in central Wisconsin, is always caught roaming New York City...  gorging himself on Chinese food and swilling martinis.  I know!  
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What?

Women and the Royal Wedding.



Not necessarily monarchists either.
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We know within the confines of traditionalist enclaves, many men love lace and trains and silk and furs and pretty colors and high heels.  We know that Puffy.  I mention that because most Americans think these tastes pertain only to women and effeminate males - but there is an entire remnant of gentlemen who like the same things as the romance obsessed contemporary lady in waiting for her knight in shinning armor.  I know!
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So I'm just saying, it's not just the girls who are anxiously awaiting THE Royal Wedding tomorrow, but high-church lovers and royalists are too.  But never mind the men - the women are actually the most interesting - especially the brides to be, wanna be, already have been, as well as their mothers in or out of wedlock.  I suggested to one friend she do a post about bridal superstitions, but since she may not be able to compose herself to do so before THE Royal Wedding airs, I thought I'd do it myself.  I have nothing to blog about anyway - especially after reading Larry's altar server's post.  (He's totally nuts I think.  Very sick people online these days, I must say.)
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Anyway - here it goes.
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Did you know white wasn't always worn by brides?  I know!  And that was before pre-marital sex became so popular!  Yet catty women of today act as if it's canon law and for virgins only.  Queen Victoria started the white wedding trend - before that women just wore their nicest dress.  So let them wear - who cares?  (Other cultures may have worn white but they don't count in WASP society.)
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Evidently - according to what I read on Angela's blog, wearing the jewelry of divorced women on your wedding day might be bad luck.  (I think I should take credit for that superstition.)
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Oh!  Oh!  Queen Victoria's wedding cake weighed a whopping 300 pounds - and from the looks of later photos, she must have eaten the whole thing herself.  What?
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I once attended a neighbor's wedding and the bride was so fat the seams burst on her wedding gown during the dollar dance, and her hair was wet from sweating so much.  I'm not sure what that means however, but ever since I've been turned off to weddings.
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More superstitions from other sources:
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The new bride must enter her home by the main door, and must not trip or fall - hence the custom of carrying the bride over the threshold.  (The heavy weight bride I mention above had a very short skinny husband.  Evidently she tripped because they divorced a couple of years later.)
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A Swedish bride puts a silver coin from her father and a gold coin from her mother in each shoe to ensure that she'll never do without.
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In Holland, a pine tree is planted outside the newlyweds' home as a symbol of fertility and luck.
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Engagement and wedding rings are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because it was once thought that a vein in that finger led directly to the heart.
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In the symbolic language of jewels, a sapphire in a wedding ring means marital happiness.  (So don't worry about Kate.)
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Snake rings dotted with ruby eyes were popular wedding bands in Victorian England -- the coils winding into a circle symbolized eternity.   (Southern Pentecostals use real snakes.)
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In Denmark, brides and grooms traditionally cross-dressed to confuse evil spirits!  (I think that's being revived these days.)
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The tradition of a wedding cake comes from ancient Rome, where revelers broke a loaf of bread over a bride's head for fertility's sake.  (My dad did something like that at my sister's reception - only it was a whiskey bottle over the groom's head.)
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Bonus point:
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Grooms have very few, if any superstitious tabu since the man is the boss and calls all the shots.  Bark like a dog.  Kidding! (Shoulder hunch, eye squint and foolish grin.)
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And what's with these crazy hats British women wear?
Continuity?
I wonder if this is why Harry VIII chopped off their heads?

Therese and Merciful Love.



"The essence of her instructions was to teach us not to be upset when we saw ourselves the personification of weakness, and to tell us to be diligent in loving, because 'love covers a multitude of sins'
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Her 'little way' consisted in boasting of her infirmities, of her utter inability to do anything good.  The gospel passage about the workers who only worked one hour and yet were paid like all the rest delighted her:  'Look, if we give ourselves up and put all our trust in God, making our little efforts and hoping for everything from his mercy, we will be just as rewarded and well paid as the greatest of saints'" - Genevieve of St. Teresa (Celine) testimony for diocesan inquiry in the canonization process of St. Therese of the Child Jesus

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fr. Pfleger suspended!



Oh!  My!  Gosh!  How could they do this? How unfair!
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Cardinal Francis George has suspended Fr. Michael Pfleger after the controversial priest refused to leave his post as pastor at St. Sabina Church, located on Chicago's South Side. - Entire story here.

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I know!  Here is a seasoned priest - a man for all seasons - totally dedicated to his flock, standing firm through criticism and attack to minister to these poor people.  Where is the justice?  He's been accused and suspended - just like that!
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What?




Yes, I will pray for him - but I have a feeling he doesn't think he needs them.  It seems to me he made his bed.

Birther madness...


Was Obama born?

That's the issue, right?  Huh?  So what's with Trump?  (And who would ever vote for him?)  What's with this birther madness?  How do people get themselves so wrapped up in this stuff?  Did I ever post about it?  I probably did - I just can't remember.  I'm a stats whore. 
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Photo:  I don't know who that is.

Divine Mercy image displayed in Daly Plaza, Chicago.



The Heralds of Divine Mercy have placed an image of Divine Mercy in the middle of Daly Plaza in Downtown Chicago.    To think that the image of Divine Mercy is exposed publicly for veneration in a secular public square is amazing.  The image itself is the source of great graces, as Our Lord revealed to St. Faustina:
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"I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces to the fountain of mercy.  That vessel is this image with the inscription: Jesus I trust in You... I desire that this image be venerated first in your chapel and then throughout the world." - Diary
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At another time Jesus revealed:
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"By means of this image I shall grant many graces to souls; it is to be a reminder of the demands of My mercy, because even the strongest faith is of no avail without works." - Diary

Divine Mercy and storms...



In the diary of St. Faustina, Our Lord revealed to her that he sometimes speaks to souls through storms...
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"Write that I am speaking to them through their remorse of conscience, through their failures and sufferings, through thunderstorms, through the voice of the Church." 1728 (90) Diary, Divine Mercy In My Soul
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The night before Our Lord gave St. Faustina the chaplet, she saw in a vision a great storm threatening the earth, and she had no other recourse but to pray  the words of the chaplet she heard interiorly.  "As I was praying in this manner, I saw the Angel's helplessness: he could not carry out the just punishment which was rightly due for sins."  - 474-475 Diary
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I gathered from this that the chaplet of Divine Mercy may be efficacious against storms as well. 
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Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.  For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
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Link:
How to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet

Fomenting wars and revolutions and democracy throughout the world...



Pat Buchanan asks, "When Dictators Fall, Who Rises?" 
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One month before the invasion of Iraq, Riah Abu el-Assal, a Palestinian and the Anglican bishop of Jerusalem at the time, warned Tony Blair, "You will be responsible for emptying Iraq, the homeland of Abraham, of Christians."
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The bishop proved a prophet. "After almost 2,000 years," writes the Financial Times, "Iraqi Christians now openly contemplate extinction. Some of their prelates even counsel flight."
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The secular despot Saddam Hussein protected the Christians. But the U.S. liberation brought on their greatest calamity since the time of Christ. Scores of thousands of those Iraqi Christians fleeing terrorism and persecution after 2003 made their way to Syria, where they received sanctuary from President Bashar Assad. Finish reading.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

African Suffering



After the turmoil began in the Ivory Coast earlier this month, I started another icon of the Black Madonna, similar to the piece I painted for Haiti.  I didn't paint during Holy Week however, so I need to resume the work soon.  The Blessed Virgin is our help and model in the darkness, and so I was especially consoled to come across the story of a solar phenomenon which excited residents in Abidjan, Ivory Coast last Wednesday.  An image of the Blessed Virgin appeared in the sky:
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A bizarre day time phenomena in the sky event occurred in Africa’s Ivory Coast in Abidjan on Wednesday, April 20, 2011. The event witnessed by ‘thousands’ of hysterical residents, the cell phone video footage aired by Afrika-United TV.  [...] at approximately ’1:30 in the video you can begin to see something similar to a woman dressed in white with a blue blanket, floating near the trees.’  - Story
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Imagine worrying about whose feet were going to get washed on Holy Thursday.
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If you weren't paying attention, you may not have noticed that an unspeakable mass slaughter of innocent men, women, and children took place in that part of the world.



News elsewhere...
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More than 500 Nigerians were killed this week in post-election violence. Most of the violence occurred in the Muslim north when it emerged that Goodluck Jonathan, a southern Christian – had defeated a Muslim candidate.  Story here.
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Blood and water flowing forth from the side of Christ, I trust in you.

Merciful love...



It is mercy I desire, not sacrifice.
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In his encyclical, Dives in Misericordia, John Paul II goes into great depth to explain that mercy is love - in other words, human beings experience the love of God as mercy in this life.  The encyclical is so dense I do not want to attempt to discuss it here - JPII's writings are sometimes exasperatingly loaded.    It seems to me that the simplest example of this is the doctrine of Therese of Lisieux; the surrender of the soul to merciful love.  The practical application of which seems to me to be her 'little way' of confidence and love, as well as the devotion revealed to St. Faustina, the Devotion to the Divine Mercy.  John Paul II promulgated this devotion throughout his papacy, and established the Second Sunday of Easter as its feast.
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This year as I pray the novena in preparation for the feast, I am more aware than ever of the Risen Christ and the Paschal Mystery, which is why I think I see the devotion as filling that empty spot in the heart as a result of Good Friday and Holy Saturday.  For me it can only be filled, completed by the Risen Christ, revealing his Divine Mercy to all of those he appeared to in this Holy Week following the Resurrection... deep calling unto deep.
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The Paschal Mystery is the culmination of this revealing and effecting of mercy, which is able to justify man, to restore justice in the sense of that salvific order which God willed from the beginning in man and, through man, in the world. The suffering Christ speaks in a special way to man, and not only to the believer. The non-believer also will be able to discover in Him the eloquence of solidarity with the human lot, as also the harmonious fullness of a disinterested dedication to the cause of man, to truth and to love. And yet the divine dimension of the Paschal Mystery goes still deeper. The cross on Calvary, the cross upon which Christ conducts His final dialogue with the Father, emerges from the very heart of the love that man, created in the image and likeness of God, has been given as a gift, according to God's eternal plan. God, as Christ has revealed Him, does not merely remain closely linked with the world as the Creator and the ultimate source of existence. He is also Father: He is linked to man, whom He called to existence in the visible world, by a bond still more intimate than that of creation. It is love which not only creates the good but also grants participation in the very life of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For he who loves desires to give himself. - Dives
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'Day unto day takes up the story and night unto night makes known the message.'

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It seems to me the breaking of the Lenten fast, the Alleluias of Easter Day, are only the beginning of understanding what takes place even now - 'the Lord has truly been raised and he has appeared to Simon.'  Perhaps it explains why Easter Week is considered as one day.  - Mercy is poured out: 'Day unto day takes up the story and night unto night makes known the message.'
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This year I have been wondering how I can continue to live with such distraction, arguing and discussing to no avail the evils which surround us in the world, in our day to day lives?  I wonder how I can hope for mercy when I snap and pass judgement on others because they disagree with me or the teachings of the Church?  When I pretend to know who is truly Catholic and who is not?  How can I demonstrate mercy when I react with bitterness to others, when I condemn persons because of the erroneous beliefs they hold?  Or even petty disagreements regarding the interpretation of rubrics and discipline?  How do I know that Christ is not calling them exactly where they are in their journey?  What if one act of kindness, of hospitality is what that soul needs to believe that God loves them, that his mercy is there, right now, in the present moment?
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I often think of St. Therese who once wished she could live amongst prostitutes in a brothel so that she could show them the merciful love of God.  Likewise I consider St. Simon Salus, who left the desert to live amongst the outcasts, criminals, and whores, to show, to be merciful love amidst the unlovable.  How could they do that if they spent all of their time condemning the sin and sneering and scoffing at the sinner?
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Once again today I have come to realize how I've betrayed my own brothers by criticism and condemnation - as if I own the truth and they alone deny it.  What a clanging cymbal I have been, a sounding gong, because I have lived without mercy, without love.    

Mercy and Love

"Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and maimed and blind and lame" (Lk 14:21).
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The Sacred Heart, pierced in death, becomes a word of life for the world.
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"Death, which by its very nature is the end, the destruction of every communication, is changed by Jesus into an act of self-communication; and this is man's redemption, for it signifies the triumph of love over death. We can put the same thing another way: death, which puts an end to words and to meaning, itself becomes a word, becomes the place where meaning communicates itself".15
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This means that after the mouth of Jesus fell silent in death, there remained the open side and the pierced Heart that speaks of nothing but love, the ultimate and everlasting word about God.
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In the final analysis, one "impelled by the charity of Christ" (cf. II Cor 5:14) will have but one message, that of the pierced Heart revealing the love of the Father and "drawing all to himself" (cf. Jn 12:32).
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One who has contemplated the message carved in the flesh of Jesus' side by the soldier's lance and learned to read it in adoration has but one language in which to speak to the world: the language of the heart.
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It is learned not in conferences or classrooms or books, but in silence and in the contemplation of the Pierced One. It is learned especially in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.
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The language of the heart encompasses a thousand local dialects, a million accents. Devotion to the Sacred Heart impels the Christian to an inventive charity, a charity ready to explore every dark and treacherous place in search of the lost sheep.
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"Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and maimed and blind and lame" (Lk 14:21). "The great gesture of embrace emanating from the Crucified has not yet reached its goal; it has only just begun."16 - Pope Benedict XVI
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... A charity ready to explore every dark and treacherous place in search of the lost sheep.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Bob Simon on Mt. Athos



60 Minutes
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Easter Sunday, 60 Minutes featured Bob Simon's report on Mt. Athos* - the holy mountain in Greece, home to Orthodox monks - for centuries.  Monastic observance unchanged for centuries - the closest observance to the earliest monks, the desert fathers, the world has today.  Even the Carthusians have made some reforms since Vatican II, but not these monks.  They do not have television or Internet, they do not go home for funerals or weddings, and they pray without ceasing - literally.
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The Carthusians and a few monasteries of Discalced Carmelite nuns would be the only monastics I know of in the West to hold a candle to this type of monasticism, all of the others have made extensive compromises with the world.  Interestingly the monasteries on Athos do not advertise for vocations, yet they keep coming.  I know of a Carmelite monastery of nuns who have no access to the Internet, nor do they advertise for vocations.  They never have and continue to resist all outside interference to do so, and the community thrives.
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I'm guessing it is the monastics of the Orthodox Church who would be most resistant to union with Rome, since they fear they would have to modernize according to the legal dictates of Roman canonical laws and discipline.  Perhaps even admitting women to the Holy Mountain... thus opening themselves to the world and Western decadence.   
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I found the report to be edifying.  It left me wondering how one can become holy while living in distraction with media - especially the Internet and all the controversies, rash judgement and gossip it engenders.
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"Pay no attention to the affairs of men, whether they be good or bad, for besides the danger of sin, this is the cause of distractions and the lack of spirit." - John of the Cross
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*Simon's report was excellent and beautifully done and quite appropriate for Easter.

Devotion to The Divine Mercy.

Jesus, I trust in you.


The Novena, the Chaplet, and the Feast.
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The official novena began on Good Friday, but considering the parable of the laborers in the vineyard and how all were paid equally despite the time of day they were hired, if you didn't begin the novena on that solemn day, begin now, joining your prayer to the prayer of those who were hired first - or rather, those who began on time.  The novena and devotion is all about trust, so have confidence that Jesus in his Divine Mercy anticipated your participation - even though you began late. 
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The prayers of the novena given to St. Faustina were meant for her personal use, yet those intentions seem to have been adopted as the official exercise of the novena.  Nevertheless, one may add their own particular intentions, or souls they bring to the Divine Mercy each day.  That said, the pre-eminent prayer Our Lord requested for all of us to pray was the chaplet of Divine Mercy.  Attached to the chaplet are many amazing graces.  Anyway, these practices are the means used in preparation for the feast day, which is observed on the Second Sunday of Easter.
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If indeed Easter is something of a psychological  'let down' - naturally speaking - it has been my experience that nothing is more spiritually consoling than praying the Divine Mercy chaplet while venerating the image of Divine Mercy in preparation for the feast of Divine Mercy, which this year also includes the beatification of John Paul II, the Pope of Divine Mercy, who once said:  "The Message of Divine Mercy has always been near and dear to me... which I took with me to the See of Peter and which in a sense forms the image of this Pontificate."


Jesus' words to Sister Faustina:
"Say unceasingly this chaplet that I have taught you. Anyone who

says it will receive great Mercy at the hour of death. Priests

will recommend it to sinners as the last hope. Even the most

hardened sinner, if he recites this Chaplet even once, will

receive grace from My Infinite Mercy. I want the whole world to

know My Infinite Mercy. I want to give unimaginable graces to

those who trust in My Mercy...."



"....When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I

will stand between My Father and the dying person not as the just

judge but as the Merciful Savior".

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter reflections...




I've been quiet for so long, I think it's time to talk.
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Easter's a big let down, isn't it.  Not a question BTW.  I always thought Easter was rather protestant - isn't that odd?  I think it's because it's all about the clothes - and some of the hymns too.  I really do.  I was in Our Lady's chapel before Mass and I could hear the women as they came in squealing over each other's outfits.  The male ushers were throwing compliments around as if they were trying to pick up chicks.  One guy boasted that his new suit went perfectly with his shiny new car.  Nothing wrong with that - it's people stuff and it is just fine - so I'm not complaining.  Just talking.
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Spiritually bi-polar.
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Actually, Easter itself isn't the let down - maybe it's just the observance or the expectation which makes it seem so spiritually bi-polar.  If you follow Holy Week intensely, especially Good Friday and Holy Saturday - it can get pretty heavy.  Then when Easter Sunday suddenly bursts upon you, you are supposed to be all joyful and triumphant - even though you are still trying to get over Good Friday.  See what I mean?  Crying your eyes out one day and jumping up and down the next - yes - they do that in the Middle east - they go nuts.  I think I've learned to handle it however.  I remind myself we just commemorate Christ's passion - even though he's alive and well in heaven.  Then on Easter I tell myself he was risen all along and we just commemorate the resurrection on Easter.  Otherwise it's just too nuts.  The Russians know this because their Easter greeting, 'Christos voskres!' sounds like 'Christ was crazy!'  Kind of.  It doesn't mean that of course.
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Pewsitters.
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As usual, Church was so crowded and I think that is just wonderful.  I was actually delighted to have kids crawling over me all through Mass - they were so cute.  Nope.  I'm not being sarcastic either.  I loved it.  I don't have kids and never wanted any - but I enjoy watching them play and crawl around the pews. 
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I had a new appreciation for those people who save up all their devotion for Ash Wednesday, Easter and Christmas - I think it is a wonderful thing, what they do.  Even though they do not go to Mass at other times during the year, I figured, at least they must be thinking about it, otherwise they probably wouldn't make it on the days they think are important.  I was able to sit in between two devout families and in front of me was another couple who seemed to be Easter Catholics - I assumed they were with their adult children and grandchildren.  I like seeing that - or being with them, you might say.  It reminds me of how important it is to be kind and welcoming to others who may not be regular church goers.  Not to judge or snub or glad-hand them either.  Some people just don't like churchy behavior.  I know!
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Chocolate!!!!!!!!!!!! 
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After Mass I stopped at Walgreen's to see what Easter candy they had left, but my favorites were all sold out.  On my way home I noted that the grocery stores were closed and I felt kind of sad for Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, and Hindus (Minneapolis has tons of them) - what are they supposed to do today?  As soon as I got home, I checked the big bowl of fresh fruit I put out for the rabbit, looks as if she ate most of it, with the help of squirrel family of course.  Then I ate some chocolate. 
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Oh - I forgot to mention I wore jeans to Mass, and no one gave me dirty looks.  Maybe I make too much of what I wear?  Could be.

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Happy Easter once again - thanks for your cards, I appreciate them, even though I forget to send them myself.  Praying for you and with you in the novena to the Divine Mercy.
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Art:  EsterHazy, Michael Sowa

Happy Easter!


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Regina cæli lætare, Alleluia:
Quia quem meruisti portare, Alleluia:
Resurrexit sicut dixit, Allelluia:
Ora pro nobis Deum, Alleluia


Happy Easter to all my friends and family - online and offline.  And a very special Happy Easter to all of my former friends and readers and those persons I may have offended.