When we step on an ant,
An ant smaller than a fetus,
We acknowledge killing an ant.
We may not fret about it,
After-all, it’s an ant!
We have the right
To kill an ant.
When a mother, a doctor,
A nurse, a bio-scientist,
Or technician trained in the art,
When a society and a nation,
Curtails the life of a fetus,
All deny killing a human person.
“It’s too small to matter”,
Do we really believe,
We are doing good?
Do we care beyond
Convenience and profit,
Are we in the right?
Do we have the right?
How big does Truth have to be?
©2012 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved
Truth was never far away.
It stood erect,
And with resolve,
Waited for the moment
Of my will’s consent.
It was relentless,
Devoid of error,
Stalwart and persistent.
Truth was the beacon
On the high mountain.
It appealed to me
On the level of the good.
It drew me
As home beckons the lost.
I journeyed closer,
But as the light
Revealed my tatters
I drew back,
Trapped by my choices.
Truth is a wedding garment,
That clothes inwardly,
As well as out.
My espousals never produced
A marriage of Truth and the holy.
In its stead, I’d wed
What I wanted.
Now, I feared our distance,
And what I had become.
Desiring the right,
Even if I was wrong,
I gathered courage to my breast
And risked all in the quest.
I shed my rags
And found a covering of prayer,
A robe of humility,
And came to Love
In holy fear.
Now, I am
Full of resolve,
A stalwart knight
On Truth’s high mountain,
Carrying lighted torch
To the Dark Valley,
Into caverns of deception.
Standing tall before the Foe,
Truth girds my waist,
And undertakes to speak
Light in the darkness.
I am become an army
On the plain,
As Truth marches not alone.
It goes forth,
Drawing with it men of valor,
Choosing the death of Pride,
And living as Truth’s Bride.
©2012 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved
You, Father God,
To Your servant Moses.
“I am Who Am. “
You are existence
In uncreated simplicity
And immaterial totality.
My thoughts and knowledge
Are without substance or form,
A mystery of being,
An image of Your Essence.
My prayer is a begging
To shape the me of me
Into the Person of Your Son,
That my “I am,”
Be as You Are.
May what I will be
In Your Only Begotten One,
To make me
Fit for Familial Love,
When mortal life be done.
Jesus, You didn”t say,
“Pretend My Father
Is your father.”
Or, “Imagine, if my Father
Were your father.”
No! His prayer revealed
God as our Father.
What Splendid Truth!
©2012 Joann Nelander
I choose to love You, Lord.
My free will is Your gift.
I can decide Your Way too narrow,
And banish You
From my mind, my home, my life,
And the world about me.
I am free to celebrate gods,
I fashion as my own,
To revel in idolatry,
To exult with the mocking crowds
Making fun and sport of You,
You, Who are “so out of touch.”
You have fallen from fashion.
Your Cross, an embarrassment.
This world demands signs,
And leeks, and onions,
And grande cappacinos.
No, You will not stop me.
Without Your grace,
I can not stop myself.
I seem at times to prefer
The company of men,
All who purport to know.
Truth, though, gives witness
To a milieu
Of blatant braggadocio
Through which their errors flow
To seed a field with tares.
For a prideful people
Seeking a rose garden,
Yet only thistles grow.
I choose to love You, Lord.
Be Sun to my darkness,
Be my Light
That I might see.
Protect and command me,
That I might obey.
Love demands freedom.
Freely, I turn to Thee.
©2012 Joann Nelander
I live to love you more, O Lord.
Until now, O King,
I labored long for little.
I trusted to myself,
And drew life
From diminishing waters.
Famine and draught
Were upon the land,
For Sin had dried the well of plenty.
My nights were beset with worry,
And the day exhausted my meager stores.
I drew my energy
From the food of swine,
Never in short supply,
For the world, the flesh and the devil
Fed upon me,
And left, as my swill, their refuse.
Never satisfied, I cried.
My avarice outstripped my pride.
Only my growing greed kept stride.
As night became my guide,
For hope is a thing of prayer,
And my prayer ceased
As from the Sun, I’d hide.
Death, the abode of Sin,
Fought to claim its prize,
And I, all but entered in,
Save for a memory,
Gleaned, as I remembered simpler times,
And leaned upon prayers said for me.
How now to thank
That faith-filled lot,
Who pled for me,
And spoke of He
Who bled to free.
I live anew,
Tears, my livery,
Shed in wanting You.
Feasting in abundant banquet,
My bread, Your Body, my Kingly Core,
Now and forever, in Eternity, O, Lord,
I live to love You more.
Copyright 2012 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved
Man in his pride knows best.
So says the arrogant spirit
Because God made you
In His image,
You crack the door
Of your sciences,
For less than a peek,
And marvel at your prowess.
In awe, you assume
The accomplishment your own.
No thanks for eyes, ears,,
The touch, the smell,
The faculties of intellect
Mine, all it mine you say,
And set out in sinful disregard.
No honor to the Name,
Simple blasphemy your frame.
Wake up, O Dreamer
You revel in your ignorance,
While angels wait
To open your swollen,
To your shame
Humbly gaze on Truth,
And purity’s delight.
Say but the word
That your soul may be healed.
©2012 Joann Nelander
From the treatise On the Trinity by Saint Hilary, bishop
The Father’s gift in Christ
Our Lord commanded us to baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. In baptism, then, we profess faith in the Creator, in the only-begotten Son and in the gift which is the Spirit. There is one Creator of all things, for in God there is one Father from whom all things have their being. And there is one only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom all things exist. And there is one Spirit, the gift who is in all. So all follow their due order, according to the proper operation of each: one power, which brings all things into being, one Son, through whom all things come to be, and one gift of perfect hope. Nothing is wanting to this flawless union: in Father, Son and Holy Spirit, there is infinity of endless being, perfect reflection of the divine image, and mutual enjoyment of the gift.
Our Lord has described the purpose of the Spirit’s presence in us. Let us listen to his words: I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. It is to your advantage that I go away; if I go, I will send you the Advocate. And also: I will ask the Father and he will give you another Counselor to be with you for ever, the Spirit of truth. He will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine.
From among many of our Lord’s sayings, these have been chosen to guide our understanding, for they reveal to us the intention of the giver, the nature of the gift and the condition for its reception. Since our weak minds cannot comprehend the Father or the Son, we have been given the Holy Spirit as our intermediary and advocate, to shed light on that hard doctrine of our faith, the incarnation of God.
We receive the Spirit of truth so that we can know the things of God. In order to grasp this, consider how useless the faculties of the human body would become if they were denied their exercise. Our eyes cannot fulfill their task without light, either natural or artificial; our ears cannot react without sound vibrations, and in the absence of any odor our nostrils are ignorant of their function. Not that these senses would lose their own nature if they were not used; rather, they demand objects of experience in order to function. It is the same with the human soul. Unless it absorbs the gift of the Spirit through faith, the mind has the ability to know God but lacks the light necessary for that knowledge.
This unique gift which is in Christ is offered in its fullness to everyone. It is everywhere available, but it is given to each man in proportion to his readiness to receive it. Its presence is the fuller, the greater a man’s desire to be worthy of it. This gift will remain with us until the end of the world, and will be our comfort in the time of waiting. By the favors it bestows, it is the pledge of our hope for the future, the light of our minds, and the splendor that irradiates our understanding.
Artist Jon McNaughton has done it again. With his newest release, “One Nation Under Socialism,” McNaughton has taken his personal one-artist’s crusade to expose the real Obama agenda to a new level….
Mary was the first tabernacle.
At the Last Supper Jesus, the Christ, ordained and empowered His Apostles to do what, until then, only He could do, make Himself present, in His humanity, to the world.
What the senses can not perceive, the believing heart receives as total gift, total God, in His Holy and eternal Humanity, not just Spirit, but human flesh and blood, along with the power to make Him present in the world and to the world through out Time.
Mary received, and by her body, in her body, made Him present as gift from God the Father. In her Immaculate body, at Her faith response,”Fiat secundum tuum.” God became Man, and Mary was His Tabernacle, the Ark of the New Covenant, in fulfillment of the Old Covenant.
Reality challenges the mind and senses to believe God.
“And the virgin shall be with Child.”
“This is My Body…This is My Blood.”
God enters Time and remains in Time, coming unto his own and so remaining “Emmanuel”, “God with us” for all Time until earth and the heavens be no more, made new, as promised, a New Heaven and a New Earth. And God remaining Man throughout eternity with the Virgin at His side with the children He gave her from His Cross.
The world, in turmoil, convulses.
Those who know You,
Run to You.
Those, who are rushing
To the pit in despair,
Flee from You,
As from Leviathan.
Show forth Your Truth and Beauty.
Stop sinners in their flight.
Smile, as the Sun from heaven,
That all men may truly see,
And all men know You, O Truth.
You are a scourge
To the proud,
But to the man,
Who clearly sees himself,
For what he is, and faints.
Then, coming to his senses,
Lies prostrate in repentance;
To that man, You are Hope
And help, and healing.
Your Mercy covers a multitude of sin.
Your blood, sprinkled on us,
Cries out “Sanctuary!”
O Altar, O Victim, O Priest.
You know my heart,
And yet embrace it.
Your priestly garment
Covers my nakedness.
Your Kingly Mantle identifies me,
As Child of the Great King.
My name is written on Your Thigh.
Like a mother,
You brought me forth at Your Knees,
To claim me eternally.
The waters well up,
I am washed,
And carried in the current,
To ride the waves of Your Mercy
And come to rest on Your shore
For all eternity.
Celebrate the Mass
Of our Redemption,
Once for all,
And for all time.
The thunder is silent.
The quaking ceases.
The clouds of darkness part.
The Sun of Justice rises,
And the course of the world
Obeys the Will of Your Father.
O Christ, O Holy One,
Guide the course
Of this wayward planet.
Set the earth aright,
And welcome its people
Into Your Heart.
Copyright © 2011 Joann Nelander All rights reserved.
Can’t say it any better than Mel Gibson, Tim Hughes and Jim Caviezel:
How much of your world is face to face? Twitter, Facebook,virtual networking, email; all “thin community”. “Thick community” is eye to eye, face to face and human.
Os Guinness says that four things are important to humans: meaning, belonging, identity (Who am I?) and purpose (What am I here for?) Reminding me of Socrates’ “The unreflected life is not worth living.” Guinness writes:
“We are, quite literally, spread thin across space and time, potentially everywhere and nowhere at once. We thus tend to have, in the words of Gilbert Meilaender, ‘not an individual identity, but fragments of experience; not the narrative of a life that is in some sense a whole, but a decentered flow of experience.’ “
As I peek in on Facebook, I leave feeling as though I don’t know anyone anymore, just shouts and waves as comments and faces rush by. (Twitter’s even worse!) Am I alone in feeling this?
Guinness has an engaging discussion: “Survival of the fastest: Living sanely when life is fired point blank.” on the Veritas Forum .
Imitation of Christ
Restlessness of Soul — Directing Our Final Intention Toward God
The Voice of Christ: MY CHILD, do not trust in your present feeling, for it will soon give way to another. As long as you live you will be subject to changeableness in spite of yourself. You will become merry at one time and sad at another, now peaceful but again disturbed, at one moment devout and the next indevout, sometimes diligent while at other times lazy, now grave and again flippant. But the man who is wise and whose spirit is well instructed stands superior to these changes. He pays no attention to what he feels in himself or from what quarter the wind of fickleness blows, so long as the whole intention of his mind is conducive to his proper and desired end. For thus he can stand undivided, unchanged, and unshaken, with the singleness of his intention directed unwaveringly toward Me, even in the midst of so many changing events. And the purer this singleness of intention is, with so much the more constancy does he pass through many storms. But in many ways the eye of pure intention grows dim, because it is attracted to any delightful thing that it meets. Indeed, it is rare to find one who is entirely free from all taint of self- seeking. The Jews of old, for example, came to Bethany to Martha and Mary, not for Jesus’ sake alone, but in order to see Lazarus. The eye of your intention, therefore, must be cleansed so that it is single and right. It must be directed toward Me, despite all the objects which may interfere.
Psalm 105 (106)They mingled themselves with the peoples,and learned to do as they did.They served the same idolsuntil it became their undoing.They sacrificed their own sonsand their daughters to demons.They poured out innocent blood.The blood of their own sons and daughterswas sacrificed to the idols of Canaan.Their blood polluted the land,and their actions defiled them.They devoted themselves to whoring.The Lord blazed out in anger against his own people,He detested his own chosen race.He gave them into the hands of foreigners.They were conquered by those who hated them.
These words from today’s Office of Readings, I find frightening in light of our society. We are blessed by the knowledge that God, who is near to us, has blessed us, giving us His Son and sending us His Holy Spirit. Sinners get to live as saints should they so desire. What does our society reveal about our desires.
What does our society testify about us as a people? Gifts, even gifts of God, can be squandered by prodigal sons and daughters. His greatest gift, life, we subject to pluralistic debate and countermand by man-made law. ‘Choice’ is elevated above conscience and morality and enshrined as a god to be fed by money-making mills. Is this license the best we can do with the gift of life in a land of freedom and liberty?
Facts about fetal pain.
More facts about fetal pain.
Facts about maternal pain.
The crew of Divine Office.org in a “chatter & cheese” segment (spontaneous sharing after prayer), brought up a certain delight in God’s burning anger that we have been hearing about in the readings from the Book of Revelation for the last week or so. The delight springs from a desire for justice that has been long awaited by the saints, martyrs, and, now by us in this Age. Finally, the raging anger and wrath of God lays low all His enemies who throughout time have set themselves against Him, and caused suffering for His People.
One prevalent thought that emerged in the discussion voiced the notion that this Day of Wrath was in fact the Day of the Cross-the Crucifixion and Death of our Lord Jesus- the Day an unsuspecting Satan was conquered for all time and Eternity by the bloody sacrifice on Calvary.
- “Then I saw the heavens opened, and there was a white horse; its rider was (called) “Faithful and True.” He judges and wages war in righteousness. His eyes were (like) a fiery flame, and on his head were many diadems. He had a name inscribed that no one knows except himself. He wore a cloak that had been dipped in blood, and his name was called the Word of God.” Rev. 19:11-13
The discussion voiced another light, “The One on the Horse is Jesus.” Chris, said, “Maybe that battle was fought and won.” This Mystery, still unfolding in the world and in the Church in Time is one of triumph and exaltation of the King of Kings who is at hand and enthroned in Heaven and in His Church.
Another thought reflected the idea of transformation, transformation through the sacraments, through Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Matrimony, Holy Orders. “Burning anger is transformative, purifying.” We are transformed, become new creatures and are yet being fit for the Kingdom, here and yet to come, already but not yet, ”Yesterday, today and tomorrow.”
I image the Mystery of it in this way: it is as a block buster movie being made; when complete, the movie is presented as a whole, but in the process of becoming, it is made up of bits and pieces filmed at different times and different places, yet all part of the complete work and necessary to it. We are being spliced into the triumphant victory of the Day of the Lord, so to speak, as each of us contributes her/his part.
St. Athanasius is a favorite “all time tough guy” of Fr. Jeff Wharton. Fr. Jeff comments that Athanasius lived in a time of errant teaching among priest and bishops and didn’t flinch in defending the Son as “homo-ousios” (meaning “of the same substance, or nature, or essence”) with the Father. The term, itself, is one that grew out of the Council of Nicea to clarify the Church’s understanding of the Nature of Son as one with the Father. St Athanasius was to spend his life defending the full deity of Christ against emperors, magistrates, bishops, and theologians; James Kiefer explains that for this, he was regarded as a trouble-maker and banished from Alexandria a total of five times by various emperors. Hence the expression “Athanasius contra mundum,” or, “Athanasius against the world.”
James E. Kiefer writes of St. Athanasius:
Outside the pages of the New Testament itself, Athanasius is probably the man to whom we chiefly owe the preservation of the Christian faith. He was born around AD 298, and lived in Alexandria, Egypt, the chief center of learning of the Roman Empire.
In 313 the Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan, which changed Christianity from a persecuted to an officially favored religion. About six years later, a presbyter (elder, priest) Arius of Alexandria began to teach concerning the Word of God (John 1:1) that “God begat him, and before he was begotten, he did not exist.” Athanasius was at that time a newly ordained deacon, secretary to Bishop Alexander of Alexandria, and a member of his household. His reply to Arius was that the begetting, or uttering, of the Word by the Father is an eternal relation between Them, and not a temporal event. Arius was condemned by the bishops of Egypt (with the exceptions of Secundus of Ptolemais and Theonas of Marmorica), and went to Nicomedia, from which he wrote letters to bishops throughout the world, stating his position.
The Emperor Constantine undertook to resolve the dispute by calling a council of bishops from all over the Christian world. This council met in Nicea, just across the straits from what is now Istanbul, in the year 325, and consisted of 317 bishops. Athanasius accompanied his bishop to the council, and became recognized as a chief spokesman for the view that the Son was fully God, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father.
Those were tumultuous times, the bishops gathered by Constantine were men who lived through the persecutions of the time and bore the scars of living martyrdom in testimony to their faith. Can you imagine their meeting one another in one great hall after their years of torture, lonely exile and torment suffered for the defense of the Faith?
Athanasius is the perfect model for our day. As best I can remember, Fr. Wharton said, “So much is not right in this world. Let it lead us to a zeal for the work and Word of God.” We, too, can bring Truth to the fore with love, leaving off anger that distresses our balance and prayer, that the Holy Spirit may use us mightily, doing great things even in little ways.
Jesus I Trust In You
Jesus revealed to St. Faustina that the Feast of Mercy would be a very special day when “all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened”. (Diary 699)
Jesus promised that “The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain the complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.”(Diary 699) He went on to say “I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My Mercy.” (Diary 1109)
Jesus said to St. Faustina “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 signature: Jesus, I trust in You”. (Diary 327) “The two rays denote Blood and Water. The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls. These two rays issued forth from the very depths of My tender mercy when My agonized Heart was opened by a lance on the cross. …Happy is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him.” (Diary 299)
Speaking of “Divine Mercy Sunday”, Jesus said “…tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon the souls who approach the Fount of My Mercy. On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet…. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy”. (Diary 699)
Today’s Gospel: John 21: 1-14
Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias.
He revealed himself in this way.
Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus,
Nathanael from Cana in Galilee,
Zebedee’s sons, and two others of his disciples.
Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.”
They said to him, “We also will come with you.”
So they went out and got into the boat,
but that night they caught nothing.
When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore;
but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?”
They answered him, “No.”
So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat
and you will find something.”
So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in
because of the number of fish.
So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.”
When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord,
he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad,
and jumped into the sea.
The other disciples came in the boat,
for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards,
dragging the net with the fish.
When they climbed out on shore,
they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread.
Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.”
So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore
full of one hundred fifty-three large fish.
Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.
Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.”
And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?”
because they realized it was the Lord.
Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them,
and in like manner the fish.
This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples
after being raised from the dead.
Gone fishin’! Peter needed a break. Getting back to the familiar seemed the thing to do. The other disciples followed the leader. It wasn’t really what they wanted. They wanted the Lord as evidenced by Peter being so besides himself at the realization that the man on shore was Jesus that He dressed for the occasion, putting clothes on to jump into the water.
I love this Gospel. Once more we see the humanity of Peter and the boys. This was the third time Jesus had to call on them to assure, reassure and otherwise comfort them. I can relate!
In this day of “turning the Bible on its head“ by such influential entities as National Geographic Society and Newsweek, it is good to remember what actual scholars who care about Truth have taught us. Pope Benedict XVI reacting to a misleading 3rd century coptic text on display by the National Geographic Society in 2006, as covered by Cindy Wooden of Catholic New Service, corrected:
Judas was a greedy liar who put his desire for money ahead of his relationship with Jesus and his love for God, Pope Benedict XVI said…
But during his April 13 (2006) homily at the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Pope Benedict said Judas is the clearest example Christians have of someone who refuses God’s saving love.
For Judas, the pope said, “only power and success are real; love does not count.”
“And he is greedy: Money is more important than communion with Jesus, more important than God and his love. He also becomes a liar, a double-crosser who breaks with the truth,” Pope Benedict said.
Purposefully ignoring the truth, he said, Judas “hardens, becoming incapable of conversion … and throws away his destroyed life.”
The next day, the pope’s preacher also weighed in against the recent wave of “pseudohistorical literature” gaining popularity as well as the soon-to-be-released film, “The Da Vinci Code.”
In his April 14  homily during the Good Friday liturgy of the Lord’s Passion, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa said that millions of people today were being “crassly manipulated by the media,” which is more interested in touting the newest fad or insight rather than the truth and, as a consequence, turning a pretty penny for it.
“There is much talk about Judas’ betrayal without realizing that it is being repeated” today, he said during his homily given before the pope and hundreds of people in St. Peter’s Basilica.
“Christ is being sold again,” he said, but this time “to publishers and booksellers” for billions of dollars.
People seem to be always itching for something new, and there are those who take advantage of that by carrying out or promoting “the clever rewriting of ancient legends,” he said.
The fantasies and speculation will only “flare up with the imminent release of a certain film,” the Capuchin friar said, in reference to the movie “The Da Vinci Code,” based on the novel by Dan Brown.
The preacher of the papal household said he felt it was his duty to address the current swirl of controversy surrounding the many interpretations of the life and death of Jesus because “we cannot allow the silence of believers to be mistaken for embarrassment” nor allow the media to manipulate the truth about Christ’s life, his death on the cross and his resurrection.”
Zenit.org reports Fr. Cantalamessa’s closing remark:
The “fantasies” mentioned have an explanation, concluded the Pontifical Household preacher: “We are in the age of the media and the media are more interested in novelty than in truth.”
Words of St. Paul:
“The time is sure to come when people will not accept sound teaching, but their ears will be itching for anything new and they will collect themselves a whole series of teachers according to their own tastes; and then they will shut their ears to the truth and will turn to myths.”
There is no doing justice to one of Fr. Jeff’s homilies, but not to try is to leave you without the tickling touch of heaven. He usually is very personal with bits and pieces from his life, this time as a national guard chaplain. Last week brought the realities of the motor pool to bear on his celebration of the Mass. He went head to head with the jet sounds of an air pump. He eventually had to scrap a “really wonderful sermon” (laughing at his humility) in the loosing battle for volume dominance.
The experience was not without its reward. Fr. Jeff came away thinking of the noisy society that clamors with sound bites and distraction for our conscious attention, while actually driving us to distraction and semi-consciousness.
Morning after morning
he opens my ear that I may hear;
And I have not rebelled, have not turned back. (Isaiah 50:4-5)
With the words from the scripture still echoing in our ears, Fr. Jeff reminded us of the still small voice that morning after morning speaks to us and the Lord who “opens my ear that I may hear.”
All this week, we will be hearing the salvation story retold once again. Will it be received as so much noise, something we’ve heard before with no special clarity of nuance or message. Will we “hear the subtleties of the orchestra for the life of our soul and hearts.”
Here again, Fr. Jeff got personal. This time it was the $40 ear buds he was coaxed to buy with promises of sounds he’d never heard before. “Sure”, he thought somewhat cynically, but took the bait, none-the-less. He sprang for the pricey thingies.
Once wired for sound, Fr. Jeff listened to his music and heard sonorous sounds he’d never heard before, nuances and subtleties, tone and clarity. He’d paid the price, and it was worth every penny ! For us in church this morning, it was a clarion call to listen again, to incline an an open ear. I think of the young apostle John with his ear to our Lord’s heart at the Last Supper.
Jesus’ story is the same year after year but there are subtleties and an ever newness for us this brand new day. Be conscious, by a prayer and an act of the will! “Morning after morning, he opens my ear that I may hear; And I have not rebelled, have not turned back”
This is a learning experience for me, you might as well come along.
Ever since the night before the Exodus Jews have celebrated a Seder, a supper before the Lord and a story told, the Haggadah.
More Happy Passover from the Anchoress
Here is a site with much to offer by secular Carmelites . Their calling: “to listen to hear the whisper of God in the silence of our hearts. We seek Him, who we know loves us, and contemplate His wonders…… The meditations (& podcasts) are taken directly from the writings of the Church Doctors of Prayer, Mysticism, Confidence and Missionaries (Saints Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross and Thérèse of Lisieux) as well as many other Carmelites you may not have known before!”
Mother Isabel of the Sacred Heart
“My desires are infinite. . . I have often made them known: firstly, the salvation of souls, of all the souls now on earth and of those which will exist until the end of the world; then that divine love may reign in every soul; that those consecrated to God, especially priests, may reach the height of sanctity to which their vocation calls them; to obtain baptism for infants; that Purgatory may free its captives and may be closed for ever by souls being taught how to fly straight to heaven on leaving this world; that physical and bodily pain may be consoled, soothed, and to a great extent abolished. Yet these desires, like Saint Teresa’s become very grievous when I reflect that Jesus Himself could not obtain the salvation of all souls, nor make Himself loved by all, nor save them all from the tortures of Purgatory or from Limbo. I am troubled by the profound mystery of God s will being frustrated in His wishes by the contrary designs of His creatures, and I pray: “Father, since this is so, I entreat Thee to grant as far as possible the longings of the Heart of Jesus, for all His desires are mine,” and this brings me peace.
This was, for a long time, my only way of hearing Mass. When the sacred Host was up raised after the words of Consecration, I used to say: “Father, behold Thy beloved Son in “Whom Thou has set all Thy pleasure; hear Him!” This “Hear Him!” which expressed all my longings, meant: “Grant all He asks; realize all His desires!”
– Mother Isabel of the Sacred Heart
Teresa Tomeo of Ave Maria Radio took time to answer this pro-choice/pro-life Catholic educator. She’d really like it shared.
Here is the initial letter Kathy wrote to Teresa.
Dear Ms. Tomeo,
I was discouraged and even angered at your comments about President Obama. He is one of the most inspirational figures of recent times. As a Catholic educator for over 30 years, I am proud that we gave each student a book about Barack Obama on Inauguration Day. Most teachers have his picture in our Catholic classrooms and talk about his thoughtful, open, and integrity‐based life. He cares about LIFE ‐ education and health care are life issues, how we handle war and the economy are life issues. How we talk with people in dialogue is a life issue. Measuring all life issues through the lens of abortion is outrageous to say the least. Obama’s commitment to prevent abortion and to support healthy life for all is a critical moral issue. God created us to be able to choose. It is our job in churches to help form conscience so that we may choose life.
Working on his campaign in the fall, and the Catholics for Obama campaign, was one of the most important times I have experienced in my 55 years of life.
It is clearly deeply Christian to be PRO‐LIFE and PRO‐CHOICE both.
It is offensive to promote such negativity toward the president of the United States.
Peace and grace,
Hi Kathy. Thanks for writing. I hope you will take the time to read this e mail and really pray and think about what I am laying out before you. I will be discussing this e mail exchange on my radio show this week so I hope you tune in and even call in if possible. I have attached an article that is coming out this week on a major Catholic web site regarding the Obama administration. As a woman I thought you would be interested in this and this will help you understand why I
feel so strongly about this issue. I was so disappointed to see that you call yourself a “Catholic educator” and a “proud member” of the Catholic Church and yet you express only emotion and no fact to back up your claims that it is okay for Christians to be both pro life and pro choice as well as your claims that the
president is “for life” as you put it. As the old Wendy’s commercial use to say “where’s the beef?” I normally don’t spend this much time on e mails but the Holy Spirit is prompting me to reach out to you in hopes that you will really re‐consider and really truly study what our Church and the Bible have to say about abortion. I am also very concerned because you are in a position to influence young people.
From your note I get the sense that you have very little awareness of the fallout from abortion on women, men, families, the economy, increased rates of drug abuse, the connection to abortion and breast cancer, increased suicide attempts with post abortive women etc. and most importantly the loss of life with 50 million babies lost in this country (17 million of whom are African Americans) yes Barack Obama’s own people have suffered the greatest causalities since the legalization of abortion in this country.
Regarding all the above issues here are some web sites for you‐www.afterabortion.org , www.abortionbreastcancer.com and one of the best of course www.priestsforlife.org Are you aware that most abortion centers are unregulated and that there have been many cases, several recently, of statutory rape that have gone unreported by these abortion centers? Are you also
aware that the majority of women having abortions say they feel they are being forced to do so and that there was little “choice” involved but threats and coercion? A great amount of research has been done in all of these areas although it rarely gets any attention. Have you ever heard of the Silent No More Awareness campaign? www.silentnomoreawareness.org where women and men tell their painful post abortive stories?
Go here for the rest of the article.
For those of us who are small at heart, ill equipped for great undertakings, yet desiring to fulfill in perfection the Will of God in our little lives simply to please Him, take heart. There is a Little Way.
From Story of a Soul by St. Theresa of Lisieux – Manuscript B, Chapter IX – MY VOCATION IS LOVE:
St. Theresa of Lisieux, “I feel the vocation of the WARRIOR, THE PRIEST, THE APOSTLE, THE DOCTOR, THE MARTYR. finally I feel the need and the desire of carrying out the most heroic deeds for You, O Jesus. I feel within my the courage of the crusader, the Papal Guard, and I would want to die on the field of battle in defense of the Church………….
At prayer these desires made me suffer a true martydom. I opened the Epistles of St. Paul to seek some relief. The 12th and 13th chapters of the First Epistle to the Corinthians fell before my eyes. I read, in the first, that not all can be apostles, prophets, and doctors, etc., that the Church is composed of different members, and that the eye cannot also be at the same time the hand.
The answer was clear, but it did not satisfy my desires, it did not give me peace…. Without being discouraged I continued my reading, and this phrase comforted me: “Earnestly desire the more perfect gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way” (1 Cor 12:31). And the Apostle explains how all gifts, even the most perfect, are nothing without Love… that charity is the excellent way that leads surely to God. At last I had found rest…. Considering the mystical Body of the Church, I had not recognized myself in any of the members described by St. Paul, or rather, I wanted to recognize myself in all… Charity gave me the key to my vocation. I understood that if the Church has a body composed of different members, the noblest and most necessary of all the members would not be lacking to her. I understood that the Church has a heart, and that this heart burns with Love. I understood that Love alone makes its members act, that if this Love were to be extinguished, the Apostles would no longer preach the Gospel, the Martyrs would refuse to shed their blood… I understood that Love embraces all vocations, that Love is all things, that it embraces all times and all places… in a word, that it is eternal!
Then in the excess of my delirious joy, I cried out: “O Jesus, my Love, at last I have found my vocation, my vocation is Love!… Yes, I have found my place in the Church, and it is you, O my God, who have given me this place… in the heart of the Church, my Mother, I will be Love!…. Thus I shall be all things: thus my dream shall be realized!!!”
I am a child… It is not riches or glory (not even the glory of Heaven) that this child asks for… No, she asks for Love. She knows but one desire: to love you, Jesus. Glorious deeds are forbidden her; she cannot preach the Gospel or shed her blood… But what does that matter, her brothers work in her place, and she, a little child, stays close to the throne of the King and Queen, and loves for her brothers who are in the combat… But how shall she show her love, since love proves itself by deeds? Well! the little child will strew flowers, she will embalm the royal throne with their fragrance, she will sing with a silver voice the canticle of Love.
Yes, my Beloved, I wish to spend my life thus… I have no other means of proving my love except by strewing flowers, that is to say, letting no little sacrifice pass, no look, no word–profiting by the littlest actions, and doing them out of love. I wish to suffer out of love and to rejoice out of love; thus I shall strew flowers before your throne. I shall not find one without scattering its petals before you… and in strewing my flowers I will sing (can one weep in doing so joyous an action?) I will sing, even if my roses must be gathered from among thorns; and the longer and sharper the thorns, the sweeter shall be my song.
Begin today with a desire and a prayer, looking not at yourself but at the generous Heart of Jesus.
Do I hear an, “Amen” ?