Jesus answered: ‘Will you lay down your life for me?’ - John 13:38

Support the Holy Father and pray with him!

"Young people in particular, I appeal to you: bear witness to your faith through the digital world!"

-Pope Benedict XVI

Pray for Pope Benedict's prayer intentions for this month. Find out more here.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More from St Bernadette

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Jw-Yn9n9_5c/SdAR51sfvNI/AAAAAAAAA0Q/ZZqIZCkB7q4/s400/bernadette2-new.jpg

"O my soul, be the faithful imitator of Jesus meek and humble of heart. He who has been meek and humble of heart deserves to be glorified. O Mary, my dear Mother, here is your poor child, unable to carry on any longer. You know my needs and above all my spiritual distress. Have pity on me. Grant that one day I may be with you in heaven.

O Mary, most loving Mother, grant that following your example, I may be generous in all the sacrifices that Our Lord may ask of me during my life."

- Bernadette Soubirous, Personal Notes

From Philip Johnson

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Allocutio for the 1002nd meeting (26 March 2009)

The Annunciation and the ACIES

We just celebrated the Feast of the Annunciation yesterday and as Legionaries, around that day we will also have our consecration to our Lady, known as the ACIES. The Handbook said the ACIES as the great central annual function of the Legion, which brings us together, solemnly joyful, to renew our expression of the union and dependence to Mary.

Once I was wondering, why do the ACIES take place on or around the feast of the Annunciation? Well, I don’t precisely know what our founder had in his mind about this, but this take us further to reflect upon the Annunciation. It is the crucial moment in the history of salvation of human kind and everything depends on a single ‘yes’ from a young Virgin. Annunciation is the time when our Lady responded to Her vocation to be the Mother of God, giving Herself completely in the fulfillment of God’s Will and taking Her role in God’s plan of salvation, to be the Mother of you and me. I guess that’s why the ACIES takes place near the Annunciation. The ACIES is time for us to renew our ‘yes’ to our vocation as Legionaries. God wants to save the world to redeem the sinners, but His plan of salvation involves the sinners to participate in this plan. God does not want it to be a mere ‘show of force’ but a proof of love. He acknowledges our wickedness yet He wants to elevate our nature that He respects our freedom. There is Mary standing, as the representative of all human nature from all time and space, agreeing to the pact of peace between God and man kind.

So the same thing happen when you and I stand in front of the vexillum, placing the hand upon the staff of the vexillum, saying “I am all yours, my Queen, my Mother, and all that I have is yours”. It is our saying ‘yes’ to participate in His plan of salvation, together with our Lady, placing ourselves at Her disposal to be used as His instruments. Yes, it means nothing to be held back. That’s why this consecration is at the heart of our vocation as Legionaries. We may think that this consecration is way to demanding. But authentic love of Mary eases these problems. Frank Duff said that 'We are accustomed to think and to say that whatever we give to Our Lady through the Legion is infinitely outweighed by what she gives to us in return. May this idea realise itself fully in your own case’.

Let us recall for a moment this Word of God addressed to Mary, and I’m sure He also meant it for you and me. The Angel says, “The Lord be with you. Do not be afraid for you have won God’s favour”. Whenever we find it difficult to live our vocation as Legionaries, whenever we find it more challenging and demanding, even impossible, remember always His assurance to Mary after Her saying yes, which He is also saying to you and me, as we respond to His calling. A lot of times we wonder, how all of these things or those works be done? How can we fulfill such a high demand which seems impossible? Then imagine the Angel says to you the words he said to Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you” then he continues, “For nothing is impossible for God”.. Yes, precisely it is the Holy Spirit, to whom we address our promise, who will acts within us just as he works in our Lady. What a marvel can be done!

So my dear Legionaries, at the moment we pause in front of the vexillum, seeing the dove, the symbol of the Holy Spirit and the picture of Our Lady on the vexillum, and say the words of consecration, “I am all yours, my Queen, my Mother, and all that I have is yours”, remember also that at that moment our dear Lord through our Mother also desires to let you know that He will be with you in your service, He will send the Holy Spirit to act within you, and together with our Lady, you will do the impossible.

What a beautiful moment ACIES is. Brother Paul Wong gave a beautiful analogy that ACIES is like our wedding, a symbolic act of renewing our commitment in the Legion, just as the moment we take our promise. It is a solemn event yet a joyful one. Just like a wedding. So, do make time and the best effort to go for it. Our founder use the bluntest words in the handbook saying that ‘legionaries who can attend, and yet fail to do so, have little or none of the spirit of the Legion in them. The membership of such persons is not an asset to the Legion.' Just as we declare our fealty to Mary, our fellow legionaries are like the congregation who’s there to support and witness it; Just as we pronounce desire to be united to Mary – surely you are not shy in declaring your love to Mary right? Then make sure you declare your consecration to everyone’s ears!- we receive strength and blessings from those present. Therefore, realizing its importance, do come with ourselves prepared. Heart and mind, body and soul. Be punctual, dress your Sunday best. Be solemnly joyful during ACIES (your wedding day is a happy day, right?? So please, don’t look stress or gloomy during the whole ceremony…), and prepare your heart to join our Queen in this joyful occasion. May we truly unite ourselves spiritually with our Queen and Mother during ACIES, and continue living these loving words that we are going to declare full of confidence and simplicity of a child to his Mother, with loyalty and generosity of a soldier to his Queen, “I am all yours, my Queen, my Mother, and all that I have is yours!”.

Have a blessed ACIES everyone!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

St Bernadette on suffering

"My own concerns no longer concern me. From now on I must belong entirely to God, and God alone. Never to myself. Why have I come [to the convent], if not to love Our Lord with all my heart. O Jesus and Mary, grant that all my consolation in this world may be to love you, serve you and suffer for sinners.

O Jesus, teach me to understand how exclusive is heavenly Love. Continually dying to myself, peacefully supporting trials, I work, I suffer, and I wish to have no other witness but His Heart. He who is not prepared to suffer all for the Beloved and to do His Holy Will in all things is not worthy of the beautiful name of Friend.

From here on earth, Love cannot live without suffering. It is through loving the cross that we discover His Heart, for divine Love never lives without suffering. I want my whole life to be inspired by love. He who loves, does all things easily, or, if he suffers, he suffers bravely. Why is suffering necessary? Because on earth, pure love cannot exist without suffering. O Jesus, Jesus, I no longer feel my cross when I think of yours!"

- Saint Bernadette Soubirous
October 1873

Feast day of the Annunciation of the Lord


Let's say together with our Lady today, FIAT!
Have a blessed feast day everyone!


Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Prodigal Son by Rembrandt


Very nice picture specially during Lent :) Fr Joe was talking about this picture. Probably Rembrandt painted this during his conversion. He put a lot of details in the painting. The son in the painting is bald, indicating a status of a slave. Take a look at the hands of the father. The left hand shows a fatherly hand, a strong and firm one. The right one looks like more motherly hand. But both are receiving the son back mercifully. May we always remember our merciful Father, who always waits us to begin again, as His children.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Solemnity of St. Joseph


In the course of that pilgrimage of faith which was his life, Joseph, like Mary, remained faithful to God's call until the end. While Mary's life was the bringing to fullness of that fiat first spoken at the Annunciation, at the moment of Joseph's own "annunciation" he said nothing; instead he simply "did as the angel of the Lord commanded him" (Mt 1:24). And this first "doing " became the beginning of "Joseph's way." The Gospels do not record any word ever spoken by Joseph along that way. But the silence of Joseph has its own special eloquence, for thanks to that silence we can understand the truth of the Gospel's judgment that he was "a just man" (Mt 1:19).

...

24. What is crucially important here is the sanctification of daily life, a sanctification which each person must acquire according to his or her own state, and one which can be promoted according to a model accessible to all people: "St. Joseph is the model of those humble ones that Christianity raises up to great destinies;...he is the proof that in order to be a good and genuine follower of Christ, there is no need of great things—it is enough to have the common, simple and human virtues, but they need to be true and authentic."[36]

...

28. At a difficult time in the Church's history, Pope Pius IX, wishing to place her under the powerful patronage of the holy patriarch Joseph, declared him "Patron of the Catholic Church."[42] For Pius IX this was no idle gesture, since by virtue of the sublime dignity which God has granted to his most faithful servant Joseph, "the Church, after the Blessed Virgin, his spouse, has always held him in great honor and showered him with praise, having recourse to him amid tribulations."[43]

What are the reasons for such great confidence? Leo XIII explained it in this way: "The reasons why St. Joseph must be considered the special patron of the Church, and the Church in turn draws exceeding hope from his care and patronage, chiefly arise from his having been the husband of Mary and the presumed father of Jesus..., Joseph was in his day the lawful and natural guardian, head and defender of the Holy Family.... It is thus fitting and most worthy of Joseph's dignity that, in the same way that he once kept unceasing holy watch over the family of Nazareth, so now does he protect and defend with his heavenly patronage the Church of Christ."[44]

29. This patronage must be invoked as ever necessary for the Church, not only as a defense against all dangers, but also, and indeed primarily, as an impetus for her renewed commitment to evangelization in the world and to re-evangelization in those lands and nations where—as I wrote in the Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici—"religion and the Christian life were formerly flourishing and...are now put to a hard test."[45] In order to bring the first proclamation of Christ, or to bring it anew wherever it has been neglected or forgotten, the Church has need of special "power from on high" (cf. Lk 24:49; Acts 1:8): a gift of the Spirit of the Lord, a gift which is not unrelated to the intercession and example of his saints.

30. Besides trusting in Joseph's sure protection, the Church also trusts in his noble example, which transcends all individual states of life and serves as a model for the entire Christian community, whatever the condition and duties of each of its members may be.

- Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Custos

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Keep the Fast, Keep the Feast

Another very very insightful meditation on fasting.

Excerpts:

"St. Basil got closer when he said that “the first commandment Adam received” was a prohibition on eating, which Basil called “the divine law of fasting and temperance.” Basil was right, but only half right. To see why, we need to look back at Adam’s original fast in the garden.

Before God told Adam he could not eat from the tree of knowledge, he had already offered all the trees of the garden for food. “Behold I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you,” (Genesis 1:29) and “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely” (Genesis 2:16). In offering food, Yahweh was offering more than food. He was offering the whole creation. He formed Adam, placed him in a world full of delights and treasures, and told him, “It’s all yours. Enjoy it.” God created Adam a hungry being, and then set before him a world that, so long as he remained in communion with his Creator, could satisfy his hungers.

This helps us see where Adam’s fast fits in. Yahweh did give Adam a law of fasting, but only after inviting him to a feast. In the Bible, feasting is prior to, more fundamental than, fasting. “Eat, drink, and rejoice” is the first word God speaks to Adam, and it is the last word Jesus speaks to His bride. Fasting is essential to the story, but fasts are always ordered to feasts.

Even Adam’s fast from the tree of knowledge was not permanent. Eventually, Yahweh would have given him the fruit of that tree too. “Knowledge of good and evil” is royal insight and judicial wisdom (cf. 1 Kings 3:9). After long experience, mature people come to have the “knowledge of good and evil” they need to share in Yahweh’s rule over creation (cf. Hebrews 5:14). Naked and newborn in the garden, Adam was not ready for that fruit. He had to drink milk before he could digest meat. One day, though, the good fruit of the tree of knowledge would have been added to his menu.

Feasting is the beginning and the goal, but Adam could enjoy the full feast—truly enjoy it—only by first keeping the fast. Eventually, he would feast even on the forbidden fruit, but he could do that well only if he waited for permission, only if he waited until he was ready. That pattern applied not only to the tree of knowledge, but to everything else too. Adam’s fast from the tree showed how he was supposed to handle everything God offered him. If Adam was going to feast on the fruit of the other trees, he would have to “dress and keep the garden.” If he was going to mine that gold, the good gold, down in Havilah (Genesis 2:11–12), he would have to trudge down there, or sail down the Pishon River, and start digging. To enjoy the full abundance of what his Father offered, he was going to have to wait, and work, a long time. To enjoy the banquet, he had to fast until he, and it, were prepared."

...

Jesus is the Last Adam because He keeps the fast. He enters a world that is no longer a garden, but a howling waste, and in that wilderness Satan tempts Him to break the fast, to be an Adam: “You’re hungry; eat this now. You deserve the accolades of the crowds; you can have it now if you jump off the temple. You want all authority in heaven and on earth, but your Father won’t give that to you unless you suffer an excruciating, shameful death; you can have it all now, no cross or self-denial required. It’s yours, and you only need to do a bit of bowing. Life, glory, power, everything you want, everything you deserve—you can have it all now.”

Jesus refused, and refused, and then refused again, and in so doing broke the power of Adamic sin. Jesus kept the fast; he waited, labored, suffered, died, and then opened his hand to receive all the life, glory, honor, authority, and dominion that his Father had to give Him. He kept the fast and as a result was admitted to the fullness of the kingdom’s feast—because by that time both it and he were ready. And by resisting the devil, Jesus sets the pattern of true fasting and reveals a Lenten way of life.

...

We might think we’re celebrating the goodness of creation when we grab for this and that without waiting through the fast. We might think we’re anti-gnostic because we taste the icing of the wedding cake before it’s cut. Our reasoning: “This fruit is just too good for us to wait until it’s ripe.” But that’s not honoring the goodness of creation. Impatience is always incipiently gnostic, because it assumes that nothing can be bettered by time. It is not gnostic to prefer roasted meat to raw. Fasting is not a renunciation of creation; rather, it celebrates and honors the goodness of that most basic and pervasive of all creatures: time.

This, finally, shows us what it means to live out a Lenten lifestyle in imitation of Jesus. It shows, how fasting provides a clue to all Christian living, to all human life and history. Whenever Solomon warns us about the dangers of rapidly acquired wealth, he is warning us not to be Adams. He’s reminding us to keep the fast. Little by little, piece by piece, waiting and not grasping, saving ahead of borrowing: That is Lenten economics.

And Lenten sexuality is like unto it. Lent teaches us to renounce the two-dimensional, bodiless sex that we can seize so easily on the web, in magazines, on the screen. Lent teaches us to wait. But Lent also shows that we don’t wait out of prudish hatred of sex, but out of admiration for its mysterious potency. Sex is so pleasurable, so obsessively delightful, that we have to have our senses trained before we can handle it well. Abstinence is the fast that prepares us for the feast of marriage. Lenten sexuality honors creation by insisting we take time to get ready.

Lenten politics is also the politics of patience and restraint. History is littered with the rubble and severed limbs left behind by Adamic tyrants, who seized power they were incapable of using well. Even competent rulers can forget that ripeness is all. Christians who enter the public square are not to clamor and cling and scramble for a place at the table or a higher rung on the ladder. Christians enter the public square looking to serve, waiting and ready for the fruit when it’s offered.

Everywhere we turn, the world tells us not to keep the fast. Everywhere we turn, the world tempts us to be Adam. Our culture is devoted to stoking up our appetites and convincing us that we need to have it all, and to have it all yesterday. We are fooling ourselves if we think we don’t participate in that culture. Few things provide a better counter to that temptation than a diligent, thoughtful observance of Lent and the cultivation of Lenten way of life. Yes, the Church is a festive community, but unless we are also a fasting community, then we are simply a mirror of the world around us.

Fasting looks like an enemy to life, but the opposite is true. We live abundantly only if we know how to fast—which is to say, only if we are disciplined to wait until the feast is ready. Lent trains us to be a people of patience and restraint, a people who rejoices in a God who has time and gives us time and makes us wait for the treasures He gives. Lent trains us to follow the Master who kept the fast. We must learn the lessons of Lent and the fast if we are going to be the people of the new Adam and not just another variation on the old.

Peter J. Leithart is Senior Fellow of Theology and Literature at New St. Andrews College in Moscow, Idaho, and pastor of Trinity Reformed Church in Moscow.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Beautiful Stations of the Cross

A puppet version



Via Fr Joe

Learning from the orchestra...

Don't worry, I won't be writing about those musical stuff since I have other more interesting stuff for you to write about here :P

I was watching the conservatory's orchestra tonight under the baton of Leon Fleisher, one of the most legendary conductors/pianists. Indeed it was an extraordinary performance as far as I follow the conservatory's orchestra series and yet, indeed (I dont know why) it is very insightful also.

It is really amazing to see how different conductor can make the orchestra sound different. What is unique tonight is that a 'young' orchestra - consists of students- under the baton of a great conductor, can make a really great improvement in a week of (yes, intense) rehearsal. With hard work, trust and obedience to the conductor's instruction, putting one's deep effort to the music, they really make a good music today...

It was popping in my mind that, isn't our life is just like that? We are the 'young' orchestra (how old you are, guys, in the eyes of our Eternal Father, we are always babies...) trying to make a good music. Just as when the musicians lose focus at the conductor they will be lost in the music too, most of the time we are not making a good music in our life because we lack of focus to our Divine Conductor, to our Lord.

As happened tonight, there are beautiful moments in the concert, there are also scary - not so smooth moments. But what make it different between a great musicians and not is that, a great musician will keep putting his/her heart and mind wholly to make beautiful music all the time, regardless what happen. So does it with a great conductor will not give up in leading the orchestra or lose trust to the orchestra regardless any incidents may happen during the performance. So do we with our faith and love for God, shouldn't just merely based on feelings or incidents. Yes, I know, experiences may affect our faith journey, but again, love for God, prayer life, is not only about feeling. We are to put our whole heart and mind, always, everywhere - at all time, to make a good music together with the Conductor in our life. I'm sure this Conductor will keep conduct (lead) our life always, regardless whatever 'wrong pitch' we may sound in our life. He will keep moving His baton conducting our life, we only need to always always trust to Him (just as the musicians should trust in the gesture the conductor signalling) and being docile in the process..(I truly can understand how much effort the orchestra has to make during the rehearsal in order to 'get' what this conductor wants....)

It's really amazing to find how a young orchestra can sound different! We too, in our young age, we can sound different, if we follow His baton. A great person is not a matter of how many times (s)he succeeds, but how many times (s)he is able to stand up and begin again after his/her failures, humbly admit the past failure, asking for His forgiveness, and move on with eyes keep focusing on God. Yes, your life can be a great symphony if you allow our Lord to be the Conductor :)

(And yes, after this I also learn that...none of us can say that whatever you are doing or whatever your passion is, can't be useful for others. We will never know that at one point of time, God wants YOU to be His instruments to open someone's eyes who is listening to you making music, who is reading your writings, who sees you working, or just passing by in your life...)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Photos!

Click the link below each photo to access the respective album:


From 22.2.09 - Legion DoR



From 25.2.09 - HMG's 100th meeting


From 26.2.09 - Therese's bday


From 2.3.09 - Valerio's FFM talk


From 5.3.09 - Paul's bday


From 12.3.09 - Millennial Meeting

Angelus Domini

A stunning rendition by University of North Carolina's Clef Hangers.



H/T Prashanthi

V

Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae;

R


Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto.

All


Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

V


Ecce ancilla Domini.

R


Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.

All


Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

V


Et Verbum caro factum est.

R


Et habitavit in nobis.

All


Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

V


Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genetrix.

R


Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

V


Oremus.Gratiam tuam, quaesumus, Domine, mentibus nostris infunde; ut qui, Angelo nuntiante, Christi Filii tui incarnationem cognovimus, per passionem eius et crucem, ad resurrectionis gloriam perducamur. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum.

All


Amen.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

This calls for some...

glitter...



free glitter text and family website at FamilyLobby.com





St. Frances of Rome


Frances was born in the city of Rome in 1384 to a wealthy, noble family. From her mother she inherited a quiet manner and a pious devotion to God. From her father, however, she inherited a strong will. She decided at eleven that she knew what God wanted for her -- she was going to be a nun.

And that's where her will ran right up against her father's. He told Frances she was far too young to know her mind -- but not too young to be married. He had already promised her in marriage to the son of another wealthy family. In Rome at that time a father's word was law; a father could even sell his children into slavery or order them killed.

Frances probably felt that's what he was doing by forcing her to marry. But just as he wouldn't listen to her, Frances wouldn't listen to him. She stubbornly prayed to God to prevent the marriage until her confessor pointed out,

"Are you crying because you want to do God's will or because you want God to do your will?"


Read the rest of her inspiring life here at Catholic.org >>

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"They have no more wine"

It is no big secret, I believe, that we Catholics at one point or another, find it difficult to pray the rosary. There's a long way from the first Hail Mary to the last and so there are lots of opportunities to be distracted. It's a struggle, and perhaps sometimes, we need to find creative solutions.

Of late, I've taken to imagining the mysteries, as suggested by a priest. Got an overactive imagination? Turn it to worthwhile things. So I did. And last meeting, upon meditating on the Luminous mysteries, there was one mystery that stood out so vividly: The Miracle at Cana.

A wedding. People happily celebrating a union. Music, laughter, tall stories fill the air. Our Lord is right in the midst of it, although perhaps no one but His mother fully understood it at that time. Plenty of food to go around, plenty of rich and tasty wine to fill the guests.

Until suddenly, the wine ran out. The waiters were in a pickle. What to do? Surely there wasn't any emergency delivery service at that time. What to do?

The Bible tells us only that "when there was no more wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, 'They have no more wine.' " How could she have known? I wonder.
Perhaps, amidst all the celebration, there was one woman taking everything in silently. The stories, the music, the laughter. But unlike the others, she looks around and perceives more than they could. Perhaps she noticed a distressed look from one of the waiters, a small hint of anxiety. Here she shows how sensitive she is to the needs of those around her. Or perhaps, the waiters had heard about Jesus of Nazareth. Maybe they weren't sure what all the fuss was about Jesus, but just maybe, He could help them. But they didn't know how to approach Him.

'His mother is here,' perhaps someone said. 'We could ask for her help. He would listen to her.' And so they look for her in the crowd. It doesn't take long for them to find Mary, who is ever so close to everyone who needs her intercession. They hastily tell her the problem, growing more desperate as time passed by with the wine vats empty. But she doesn't need too many words; looking at their distress, she understands. Sure enough, she approaches her Son. Just like in the Annunciation, she probably didn't know how He will do it, but she was certain that He will do it.

"They have no more wine." Such simple words that all of us can relate to. We have no more wine. Every week, work keeps on piling up. There's hardly time to breathe. No time to pray. No time to do active work. Someone needs help, someone needs a friendly conversation, but there's just no time to stop. No time to sit and talk. No energy to force out a smile and encourage someone else.

I have no more wine, my Lord. I'm running on empty.

Then you stop for awhile, because the next step is just too heavy to take. You close your eyes, but it's too hard to pray on your own. Fortunately, you have the prayers of the Church. And you start praying the Our Father, the Haily Mary. Just a few, you think to yourself. I just need to relax. So one bead leads to another...and another... And once again you hear her saying, "Your child has no more wine."

And even though Jesus responds that His time has not yet come, He does it anyway. He gets up from the table and goes to the back room. At His mother's request, He responds to a plea for help.

But there's a catch. Mary says, "Do whatever He tells you." A call to obedience. You have asked for help. Now, be humble enough to do what He wants you to do. Believe in Him, and He will provide.

The waiters do not understand. But they already see Jesus walking towards them, and they have no more time to figure out what she just told them. So they take her for her word, for who could better know a son than his own mother?

When Jesus told them to fill the waterpots with water, they must have wondered if they'd heard Him correctly. They needed wine, not water. Did He even know what He was doing? They couldn't understand. But they see Mary, perhaps standing quietly to the side, and they remember her words. "Do whatever He tells you."


And so they do. They give him their active cooperation. They bring the wine to the headwaiter and it turns out to be even better than the first one. And for the rest of the celebration, they have more than enough.

How magnanimous our God is! Just when we think we are running on empty, when we think we've hit rock bottom, we find out that He has been safely holding us in His hands all along. Just when we thought our vat has run dry, He fills it to the brim. He gives us what we need to carry on. To this very day, He continues to offer us His wine, His blood. And when He gives, He gives magnanimously.

When we find ourselves running on empty, let's not forget that Mary is ever ready to help intercede for us. But let us also not forget what she said next. "Do whatever He tells you."

Friday, March 6, 2009

Allocutio for the 998th meeting of Regina Coeli Praesidium

The Holy Eucharist
(allo by Sr. Therese)

Natural event happens following the natural law that we know in the universe. When we consider something is a miracle, usually it refers to a supernatural interference. However, miracle doesn’t break the law of nature. It fits as a new event to the pattern of natural law and assimilates to that pattern. Just as how it happens in the natural law, we understand that the present moment has a direct link to the previous history. We need to take account the previous accident into consideration of our present moment/condition. Holy Eucharist is the most wonderful miracle ever happened. The Holy Eucharist does not behave against the natural law when we take it into our physical body. Once we received the Holy Eucharist, the miracle happens to our being, the Miracle that Christ lives us, and shall affect our present condition. We need to love and believe the Miracle that just happened to us by our living the Miracle, our effort to keep the Presence of God.

PS: guys, I try to summarize as best as I can..so, apologize if I leave out some beautiful analogy and examples that she shows. Please feel free to add about it.

Adoro Te Devote

Therese ended her allocutio today with my favourite Eucharistic hymn:




Adoro te devote, latens Deitas,
Quæ sub his figuris vere latitas;
Tibi se cor meum totum subjicit,
Quia te contemplans totum deficit.

Visus, tactus, gustus in te fallitur,
Sed auditu solo tuto creditur.
Credo quidquid dixit Dei Filius;
Nil hoc verbo veritátis verius.

In cruce latebat sola Deitas,
At hic latet simul et Humanitas,
Ambo tamen credens atque confitens,
Peto quod petivit latro pœnitens.

Plagas, sicut Thomas, non intueor:
Deum tamen meum te confiteor.
Fac me tibi semper magis credere,
In te spem habere, te diligere.

O memoriale mortis Domini!
Panis vivus, vitam præstans homini!
Præsta meæ menti de te vívere,
Et te illi semper dulce sapere.

Pie Pelicane, Jesu Domine,
Me immundum munda tuo sanguine:
Cujus una stilla salvum facere
Totum mundum quit ab omni scelere.

Jesu, quem velatum nunc aspicio,
Oro, fiat illud quod tam sitio:
Ut te revelata cernens facie,
Visu sim beátus tuæ gloriæ. Amen



Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore,
Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.

Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived:
How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
What God's Son has told me, take for truth I do;
Truth himself speaks truly or there's nothing true.

On the cross thy godhead made no sign to men,
Here thy very manhood steals from human ken:
Both are my confession, both are my belief,
And I pray the prayer of the dying thief.

I am not like Thomas, wounds I cannot see,
But can plainly call thee Lord and God as he;
Let me to a deeper faith daily nearer move,
Daily make me harder hope and dearer love.

O thou our reminder of Christ crucified,
Living Bread, the life of us for whom he died,
Lend this life to me then: feed and feast my mind,
There be thou the sweetness man was meant to find.

Bring the tender tale true of the Pelican;
Bathe me, Jesu Lord, in what thy bosom ran---
Blood whereof a single drop has power to win
All the world forgiveness of its world of sin.

Jesu, whom I look at shrouded here below,
I beseech thee send me what I thirst for so,
Some day to gaze on thee face to face in light
And be blest for ever with thy glory's sight. Amen.

(translation of Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.)

This wasn't the translation she used though...would like to find it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

When was the last time you went to confession?

I remember Fr. Marin's allocutio two or three weeks ago. He stressed on the importance of confession. We cannot forgive ourselves with some hocus-pocus introspection. Nor can we ask others to forgive us. The only way we know for sure that our sins have been forgiven is by receiving it from Christ himself, and that is what we receive when we go for confession. 


From Fr. Z:

Jesus Christ, God and Savior, gave us the Sacrament of Penance, of Reconciliation.

This is the ordinary means by which He desires us to seek forgiveness for our actual, post-baptismal sins.

There is no sin that any limited little mortal can commit which is so bad that God cannot forgive it.

Christ gave His own power to forgive sins to the Church He established, the Catholic Church.

Priests exercise this ministry in the Church, acting by virtue of their ordination, as "another Christ".

When you confess your sins to a priest and he gives you absolution, you sins are taken away… not merely covered over or set aside.  They are no more.  You may remember them in sorrow, but they no longer harm your relationship with God.

Mortal sins break your saving friendship with God.  Mortal sin places you at risk of eternal separation from God and the happiness of heaven… forever.

Confession and absolution repairs that rupture and returns you to a state of friendship with God.

Awareness of mortal sin should drive you to a confessional.

In our weakness we will sometimes put off going to confession.  Perhaps fear or embarrassment keeps us away.   Time slips by.  Days become weeks become months become years.  

Then you die and go to your judgment.

So … maybe the priest is not friendly or the confession schedule is a little narrow…. so what?  A better confessor is some distance away… so?  It is a little hard… not convenient… too much to do….  And?

What is a moment of embarrassment, what is an interruption of your oh-so-important routine compared to the eternity of heaven or of hell?

You do not know the moment when your reckoning will come, friends.

Have you fallen into the trap, willingly or innocently, of going to "general absolution" without making a confession of your sins in the proper way?

The Sacrament of Penance heals your soul, strengthens you against sin, and – simply on the basic level of peace of mind – works wonders. 

I will never forget one somewhat slow afternoon in a confessional… just a bit bored…  I heard someone get in and slid open the window.  "Bless me Father, I have sinned.  It has been sixty years since my last confession…."

When we were finished he wept and said "I’m free."

Our question:

When was the last time you went to confession?

"My Father made it!!"

I can't stop myself to write about this at the end...

A friend of mine, Rina, shared this to me few days ago...

We often take for granted the fact that we are children of God. Yes, this beautiful fact of Divine Filiation has been repeated over and over again, but a lot of time it just pass through and seems that we (I!) don't enjoy the beauty as much again.

Once, a father of a girl is a contractor. When the girl goes around the city, she passed by the buldings that her father made. She proudly said to her friend, "Look! My father made it!"

Just as the Father that loves His children so much, He wants to leave us some 'finger print' that we can always recall His love and presence. Don't you realize that the sunrise is how He said 'good morning to you?', the sunset, wind, your friend around you, is how He said, "I love you"? It's how He wants to keep in touch with you. So, the next time you passed by a beautiful scenery, or seeing a beautiful rainbow, a nice plant or tree, remember always to recall, "Hey! My (yes, YOURs too!) Father made it!" and let yourself be amazed....