The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ

The following meditations will probably rank high among many similar works which the

contemplative love of Jesus has produced; but it is our duty here plainly to affirm that they

have no pretensions whatever to be regarded as history.

They are but intended to take one of

the lowest places among those numerous representations of the Passion which have been

given us by pious writers and artists, and to be considered at the very utmost as the Lenten

meditations of a devout nun, related in all simplicity, and written down in the plainest and

most literal language, from her own dictation. To these meditations, she herself never

attached more than a mere human value, and never related them except through obedience,

and upon the repeated commands of the directors of her conscience.

The writer of the following pages was introduced to this holy religious by Count Leopold

de Stolberg. (The Count de Stolberg is one of the most eminent converts whom the Catholic

Church has made from Protestantism. He died in 1819.)

PDF of the Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ

God’s Plan of Salvation

From the constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council

God’s plan of salvation
In his desire that all men should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, God spoke in former times to our forefathers through the prophets, on many occasions and in different ways. Then, in the fullness of time he sent his Son, the Word made man, anointed by the Holy Spirit, to bring good news to the poor, to heal the broken-hearted as the physician of body and spirit and the mediator between God and men. In the unity of the person of the Word, his human nature was the instrument of our salvation. Thus in Christ there has come to be the perfect atonement that reconciles us with God, and we have been given the power to offer the fullness of divine worship.

This work of man’s redemption and God’s perfect glory was foreshadowed by God’s mighty deeds among the people of the Old Covenant. It was brought to fulfillment by Christ the Lord, especially through the paschal mystery of his blessed passion, resurrection from the dead and ascension in glory: by dying he destroyed our death, and by rising again he restored our life. From his side, as he lay asleep on the cross, was born that wonderful sacrament which is the Church in its entirety.

As Christ was sent by the Father, so in his turn he sent the apostles, filled with the Holy Spirit. They were sent to preach the Gospel to every creature, proclaiming that we had been set free from the power of Satan and from death by the death and resurrection of God’s Son, and brought into the kingdom of the Father. They were sent also to bring into effect this saving work that they proclaimed, by means of the sacrifice and sacraments that are the pivot of the whole life of the liturgy.

So, by baptism men are brought within the paschal mystery. Dead with Christ, buried with Christ, risen with Christ, they receive the Spirit that makes them God’s adopted children, crying out: Abba, Father; and so they become the true adorers that the Father seeks.

In the same way, whenever they eat the supper of the Lord they proclaim his death until he comes. So, on the very day of Pentecost, on which the Church was manifested to the world, those who received the word of Peter were baptized. They remained steadfast in the teaching of the apostles and in the communion of the breaking of bread, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.

From that time onward the Church has never failed to come together to celebrate the paschal mystery, by reading what was written about him in every part of Scripture, by celebrating the Eucharist in which the victory and triumph of his death are shown forth, and also by giving thanks to God for the inexpressible gift he has given in Christ Jesus, to the praise of God’s glory.

The Precious and Life-giving Cross of Christ

From a sermon by Saint Theodore the Studite

The Precious and Life-giving Cross of Christ

How precious the gift of the cross, how splendid to contemplate! In the cross there is no mingling of good and evil, as in the tree of paradise: it is wholly beautiful to behold and good to taste. The fruit of this tree is not death but life, not darkness but light. This tree does not cast us out of paradise, but opens the way for our return.

This was the tree on which Christ, like a king on a chariot, destroyed the devil, the Lord of death, and freed the human race from his tyranny. This was the tree upon which the Lord, like a brave warrior wounded in his hands, feet and side, healed the wounds of sin that the evil serpent had inflicted on our nature. A tree once caused our death, but now a tree brings life. Once deceived by a tree, we have now repelled the cunning serpent by a tree. What an astonishing transformation! That death should become life, that decay should become immortality, that shame should become glory! Well might the holy Apostle exclaim: Far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world! The supreme wisdom that flowered on the cross has shown the folly of worldly wisdom’s pride. The knowledge of all good, which is the fruit of the cross, has cut away the shoots of wickedness. Continue reading

15 Prayers of St. Bridget


Tears For the Feet of Jesus

Drop, drop, slow tears, and bathe those beauteous feet,
which brought from heaven the news and Prince of Peace.

Cease not, wet eyes, his mercies to entreat;
to cry for vengeance sin doth never cease.

In your deep floods drown all my faults and fears;
nor let his eye see sin, but through my tears.

Words: Phineas Fletcher (1582-1650)

Making a Palm Cross

I’ve watched a bunch of these videos and here are two that are pretty clear and easy to follow.

Mazel tov!

or

or for the ambitious, try it in glass!

Where You There When They Crucified My Lord

Marion  Williams sings Where You There When They Crucified My Lord.

Who Do You Worship?

Can’t say it any better than Mel Gibson, Tim Hughes and Jim Caviezel:

"The Truth that Teaches Within"

From My Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis:


I WILL hear what the Lord God will speak in me. “Blessed is the soul who hears the Lord speaking within her, who receives the word of consolation from His lips. Blessed are the ears that catch the accents of divine whispering, and pay no heed to the murmurings of this world. Blessed indeed are the ears that listen, not to the voice which sounds without, but to the truth which teaches within. Blessed are the eyes which are closed to exterior things and are fixed upon those which are interior. Blessed are they who penetrate inwardly, who try daily to prepare themselves more and more to understand mysteries. Blessed are they who long to give their time to God, and who cut themselves off from the hindrances of the world. Consider these things, my soul, and close the door of your senses, so that you can hear what the Lord your God speaks within you. “I am your salvation,” says your Beloved. “I am your peace and your life. Remain with Me and you will find peace. Dismiss all passing things and seek the eternal. What are all temporal things but snares? And what help will all creatures be able to give you if you are deserted by the Creator?” Leave all these things, therefore, and make yourself pleasing and faithful to your Creator so that you may attain to true happiness.”

THE SIDE OF JESUS OPENED

My day began with a the passage I quote below from The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ by Venerable Catherine Anne Emmerich.  I marvel at the mercy  of God revealed once again in the conversion of the soldier who opened the side of Jesus. In my meditation, that wound in the side of Jesus is my refuge washing me in the blood and water that poured out upon the world.

THE SIDE OF JESUS OPENED. THE LEGS OF THE THIEVES BROKEN. Whilst these events were taking place in Jerusalem, silence reigned around Calvary. The crowd which had been for a time so noisy and tumultuous was dispersed; all were panic-stricken; in scene that panic had produced sincere repentance, but on others it had had no beneficial effects. Mary, John, Magdalen, Mary of Cleophas, and Salome had remained, either standing or sitting before the Cross, closely veiled and weeping silently. A few soldiers were leaning over the terrace which enclosed the platform; Cassius rode up and down; the sky was lowering, and all nature wore a garb of mourning. Six archers soon after made their appearance, bringing with them ladders, spades, ropes, and large iron staves for the purpose of breaking the legs of the criminals, in order to hasten their deaths. When they approached our Lord’s Cross, his friends retired a few paces back, and the Blessed Virgin was seized with fear lest they should indulge their hatred of Jesus by insulting even his dead body. Her fears were not quite unfounded, for when they first placed their ladders against the Cross they declared that he was only pretending to be dead; in a few moments, however, seeing that he was cold and stiff, they left him, and removed their ladders to the crosses on which the two thieves were still hanging alive. They took up their iron staves and broke the arms of the thieves above and below the elbow; while another archer at the same moment broke their legs, both above and below the knee. Gesmas uttered frightful cries, therefore the executioner finished him off by three heavy blows of a cudgel on his chest. Dismas gave a deep groan, and expired: he was the first among mortals who had the happiness of rejoining his Redeemer. The cords were then loosened, the two bodies fell to the ground, and the executioners dragged them to a deep morass, which was between Calvary and the walls of the town, and buried them there. The archers still appeared doubtful whether Jesus was really dead, and the brutality they had shown in breaking the legs of the thieves made the holy women tremble as to what outrage they might next perpetrate on the body of our Lord. But Cassius, the subaltern officer, a young man of about five-and-twenty, whose weak squinting eyes and nervous manner had often excited the derision of his companions, was suddenly illuminated by grace, and being quite overcome at the sight of the cruel conduct of the soldiers, and the deep sorrow of the holy women, determined to relieve their anxiety by proving beyond dispute that Jesus was really dead. The kindness of his heart prompted him, but unconsciously to himself he fulfilled a prophecy. He seized his lance and rode quickly up to the mound on which the Cross was planted, stopped just between the cross of the good thief and that of our Lord, and taking his lance in both hands, thrust it so completely into the right side of Jesus that the point went through the heart, and appeared on the left side. When Cassius drew his lance out of the wound a quantity of blood and water rushed from it, and flowed over his face and body. This species of washing produced effects somewhat similar to the vivifying waters of Baptism: grace and salvation at once entered his soul. He leaped from his horse, threw himself upon his knees, struck his breast, and confessed loudly before all his firm belief in the divinity of Jesus. The Blessed Virgin and her companions were still standing near, with their eyes fixed upon the Cross, but when Cassius thrust his lance into the side of Jesus they were much startled, and rushed with one accord up to it. Mary looked as if the lance had transfixed her heart instead of that of her Divine Son, and could scarcely support herself. Cassius meantime remained kneeling and thanking God, not only for the graces he had received but likewise for the cure of the complaint in his eyes, which had caused the weakness and the squint. This cure had been effected at the same moment that the darkness with which his soul was previously filled was removed. Every heart was overcome at the sight of the blood of our Lord, which ran into a hollow in the rock at the foot of the Cross. Mary, John, the holy women, and Cassius, gathered up the blood and water in flasks, and wiped up the remainder with pieces of linen.* Cassius, whose sight was perfectly restored at the same moment that the eyes of his soul were opened, was deeply moved, and continued his humble prayer of thanksgiving. The soldiers were struck with astonishment at the miracle which had taken place, and cast themselves on their knees by his side, at the same time striking their breasts and confessing to Jesus. The water and blood continued to flow from the large wound in the side of our Lord; it ran into the hollow in the rock, and the holy women put it in vases, while Mary and Magdalen mingled their tears. (Chapter 48)

St. Faustina gave us this prayer from Jesus:

“O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You.”

Enter by the Gate

“I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture” John 10:9

“I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11

Looking at the large image, that hangs in my church during the Easter season,  of the Resurrected Christ with His wounds visible, the wound in Jesus’ chest captured me.  Jesus had called Himself the Good Shepherd and also referred to Himself as the gate.  I wondered at the two positions He took in this discourse in John 10.  It could be confusing, but as I looked at Christ’s side, the open wound was like an open invitation.  It became my gate into the Heart of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.

Weapons of War – Hot Coals

The Anchoress got some disparaging email in response to”See How These Christians Shove One Another.  She was articulating “that we Christians are being ‘way too “earthbound” and over-worldly in the way we process and engage in politics.” The response of readers prompted her to print an email that she thought made her point, He says it so much better than I. In a nutshell, the writer said, in citing the story of Joshua and the battle of Jericho, “The Israelites did not attack Jericho head-on in a conventional way but chose instead the mystical path and gave the Holy Spirit room to do His work.

I’ve been struggling along these same lines.  Blogging makes me painfully aware of it.  I start the day with Mass and the Divine Office and come home to enter the fray.  I bounce between the spiritual and not so spiritual with my own war of words.  I read Archbishop Charles J. Chaput’s “Render Unto Caesar” hoping to gain some footing.  He confirmed the battle for me but didn’t give me my marching orders.  I believe I need to use all the tools God has placed at hand.

The Rosary is called “a weapon” by those who know its power. Mass and the Divine Office are like heavenly dynamite empowered by the Holy Spirit.  Faith turns up that power and places it in the hands of the angels to do battle in the realm the Apostle Paul tells us about. “For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evils spirits in the heavens.” Ephesian 6: 12

I know, too,  I have other tools at my disposal: thoughts, words, deeds.  I know I mess up and will mess up, leading me back to prayer and repentance to begin again. Like Jesus on the Way of the Cross, I have to keep getting up and get myself up the mountain of Calvary for the Battle that wins the war. I don’t feel like a warrior, I think of myself as the little donkey carrying the Christ into Jerusalem for the climactic encounter between Good and Evil.  That’s were I am and I am tired.

When I complained of being tired though the battle has hardly begun, a friend wrote me saying,

“Remember the Narnia series?
Remember in “The Witch, The Lion and The Wardrobe”
how the children were confused, frightened, at the end
of their resources……..when they heard that Aslyn was
“on the move”.  Of course, they still had great battles
ahead but Aslyn had arrived…..  Have you had any such thoughts/feelings?  I hope that it is not wishful thinking on my part.”
I don’t think it is wishful thinking.  I think Aslyn is on the move.  It doesn’t really matter if I fall on the battlefield.  I’m on the right side and Christ is more than a Conqueror.  He is a Savior and in His hands our efforts and prayers strike at the hearts of enemies with the same Mercy that bought me to His side.
The side of Christ is pierced that we all may enter.  Today, Mercy Sunday, is a good day to think about that and the signature “Jesus I trust in you” that signs the Divine Mercy Image.  I think of that signature as my name confirming Christ’s image in me.
With my weapons in hand, all I need is a battle cry.  Semper Fidelis is a worthy battle cry. Cam Beck says,
What is left unsaid in the motto is also notable. The phrase is “Always faithful.” It isn’t “Sometimes Faithful.” Nor is it “Usually Faithful,” but always. It is not negotiable. It is not relative, but absolute.
For me, it’s Jesus Christ who is Always Faithful.

Prepared by Repentance -Enabled by Faith

At Easter, we see the Resurrected Lord and are bathed in the Light of His conquering Love.  The Church places Jesus before the eyes of our hearts.  It is precisely because, only a few days ago, we beheld His pain and suffering, His Love unto Death, that we can grasp the triumph of His Love, this Agape.

Carmel is a reminder that Love  must be lived to be authentic.  Not that we can live it with perfection, though that is the Call, but that we try day by day in all humility.  For me, it is always beginning anew.  Repentance prepares us and faith enables us.

The Secular Carmelites share in Meditations from Carnel the words of  Pere Jacques:

“We are at Carmel only for this:  to love!
To love, of course, requires that we give proof of our love.  This love expresses itself in constant prayer.  I say “constant,” because this state of prayer must be our life not for only two hours a day, but all day long.  Our life must be a constant, silent prayer that rises unceasingly to God.  That is what constitutes our duty in life.
We must not confuse this state of prayer with religious sentimentality, or with pious feelings unrelated to authentic prayer, which can sometimes be piercingly painful.  That love, which is our life’s duty, must express itself in vibrant, zealous deeds, all aspects of which compel our careful consideration.
Only with deepest humility can we recognize how far we are from our goal.  Only those souls who have attained a lofty level of holiness can truly acknowledge how far they still are from their total fulfillment.  For example, the Cure of Ars considered himself more wretched than the notorious sinners to whom he ministered.  He realized that many of these fallen souls, had they received the same graces that he had received, would perhaps surpass him in holiness.  Only with humility can we recognize the torpor of our love.
Prayer is our primary duty.  Prayer is the reason why God has placed us on earth.  We learn truly to prayer, when we are in the presence and company of Christ.  Therefore, we must contemplate Christ for long periods of a time and seek him our persistently.  Consider those closest to Christ.  Saint John the Apostle grasped what was indispensable for a clear understanding of his master.  John never tired of probing and querying Christ.  We can see how John thus gained richer insights and fuller explanations, precisely because he went to the bother of approaching and asking Christ to clarify each day’s lesson.  I picture John, walking close behind Christ, as he made his way about the Holy Land.  Thus, John came to gain a wealth of intimate knowledge, which the other apostles did not acquire.  Herein lies the explanation for the special character of the fourth Gospel.  While the other apostles traveled across the then known world on their missionary journeys, John’s unique apostolate was to remain close to the Virgin Mary, whom Christ had entrusted to him.  Thus were these two great souls conjoined in love and prayer”.
In silent solitude, let us seek to realize that we truly can be in contact with God.  It is God whom we should aim to encounter in prayer.  It is God who is both the breath and the fulfillment of our life.  Amen.”

Good Friday

Lenten Reading Plan – Apr 11

crucificionicon12Day40 Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 4/11/09

St. Leo the Great: Sermon LXXII (On the Lord’s Resurrection): complete

Day 40Lite Version

St. Leo the Great: Sermon LXXII (On the Lord’s Resurrection): complete

Compilation of Lenten readings

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The Crucified

H/T  Nice Deb New Revelations about the Shroud of Turin

Lenten Reading Plan – Apr 10

crucificionicon12Day39 Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 4/10/09

St. Leo the Great: Sermon XLIX(On Lent XI) : complete

Day 39Lite Version

St. Leo the Great: Sermon XLIX (On Lent XI) complete

Compilation of Lenten readings

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Lenten Reading Plan – Apr 9

crucificionicon12Day38 Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 4/9/09

St. Leo the Great: Sermon XXI (On the Feast of the Nativity I) : complete

Day 38Lite Version

St. Ambrose of Milan: Concerning the Mysteries:5-9

Compilation of Lenten readings

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Lenten Reading Plan – Apr 8

crucificionicon12Day37 Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 4/8/09

St. Leo the Great: Sermon XXVIII (called the Tome”): complete

Day 37Lite Version

St. Ambrose of Milan: Concerning the Mysteries:1-4

Compilation of Lenten readings

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My Desires Are Infinite – Carmel

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!”

Meditations from Carmel:

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

Lenten Reading Plan – Apr 7

crucificionicon12Day36 Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 4/7/09

St. Ambrose of Milan: Concerning the Mysteries: 5-9

Day 36 Lite Version

St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Catechetical Lectures: Lecture XXIII (12-23)

Compilation of Lenten readings

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Lenten Reading Plan – Apr 6

crucificionicon12Day35 Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 4/6/09

St. Ambrose of Milan: Concerning the Mysteries: 1-4

Day 35 Lite Version

St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Catechetical Lectures: Lecture XXIII (1-11)

Compilation of Lenten readings

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Dismiss All Other Loves!

Red draped the Crucifix as it proceeded amidst waving palm branches – blood red! Shouts of “Hail and hosanna” would soon change to “Crucify!” It is so brief a time to reign and be acknowledged as the Holy One of God.  Our homilist, Fr. Michael De Palma asked what happened? For the Church, not many weeks ago, we were gazing on the face of the Christ Child.  Angels sang and Wise Men bowed low. We sang:

Sacred Infant, all Divine,

What a tender love was Thine;

Thus to come from highest bliss

Down to such a world as this !

Teach, oh, teach us, Holy Child,

By Thy face so meek and mild.

Teach us to resemble Thee,

In Thy sweet humility !

What happened?  Have we, too, dismissed Him?  He reigns on our calendars, but what about our hearts? What other loves have replaced Him in our day to day?  Can we bear to look upon His disfigured Face?  Can we “Behold the Man?.”

Father Michael invited us to live this week differently from all others, to banish all other loves and gaze upon one bruised and bloodied Face.  Angels trembled at what we had done to the Son of God.  They trembled, too, at what He accomplished on that Cross for me and you.

We will soon sing with the Church around the world:

O Sacred Head, surrounded
by crown of piercing thorn!
O bleeding head, so wounded,
reviled and put to scorn!
Our sins have marred the glory
of thy most holy face,
yet angel hosts adore thee
and tremble as they gaze

I see thy strength and vigor
all fading in the strife,
and death with cruel rigor,
bereaving thee of life;
O agony and dying!
O love to sinners free!
Jesus, all grace supplying,
O turn thy face on me.

(Words Henry Williams Baker after Bernard of Clairvaux)

One Holy Week remains of Lent.  We are invited to walk these days with our Lord to Calvary.  Without the Cross there is no Resurrection, no Easter glory.  With Christ we, too, can rise again to new Life

“When He is King we will give Him the Kings’ gifts,
Myrrh for its sweetness, and gold for a crown…

When He is King they will clothe Him in grave-sheets,
Myrrh for embalming and wood for a crown..

Bethlehem Down – words by Bruce Blunt

Lenten Reading Plan – Apr 4

crucificionicon12Day34 Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 4/4/09

St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Catechetical Lectures: Lecture XXIII

Day 34 Lite Version

St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Catechetical Lectures: Lecture XXII

Compilation of Lenten readings

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Lenten Reading Plan – Apr 3

crucificionicon12Day33 Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 4/3/09

St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Catechetical Lectures: Lecture XXII

Day 33 Lite Version

St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Catechetical Lectures: Lecture XX

Compilation of Lenten readings

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Lenten Reading Plan – Apr 2

crucificionicon12Day32Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 4/2/09

St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Catechetical Lectures: Lecture XXI

Day 32Lite Version

St. Athanasius: Life of Anthony: 90-94

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Lenten Reading Plan – Apr 1

crucificionicon12Day31Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 4/1/09

St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Catechetical Lectures: Lecture XX

Day 31 Lite Version

St. Athanasius: Life of Anthony: 82-89

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An Urgent Appeal-Fr. Groeschel

Purifying the Church is a work of the Spirit in all ages.  The Church is the home of sinners working on being saints.  Like the disciples that needed Jesus to wash their feet although they had already been cleansed by Christ, Christians in contact with the world do find that the dust and dirt does stick.

Here I want to repeat a message and spread an appeal made by Fr. Benedict Groeschel, of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.  He says, some of the very liberal Catholic are calling for all kinds of changes that will leave the Catholic Church no longer the Catholic Church.  Fr. Groeschel says, that the Church has be humiliated.  It has been demoralized. We are asking what will happen.  He says, “Pray! Pray! Pray!………Pray for the Church, pray for the victims and pray for our enemies?”

In an urgent appeal Fr. Groeschel joins EWTN in asking, “What can we do as Catholics and Christians to bring something good out to these most vicious attacks on the Church in the media and society?……Otherwise, we will have what Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen calls ‘wasted suffering’.”

Fr. Groeschel calls for reform; vigilance and reform to carry us forward from this point of humiliation, betrayal and defamation. Here are some areas which need reformation:

1. Liturgy and prayer

It should be reverent devout and worthy. Worship of God is a serious business.  Prepare for it! Dress for it!

2. Eucharistic celebration and Reconciliation

Mass should be presented in a manner that supports prayer with appropriate music for all ages that lifts the heart and spirit. It should be prayerful.

3. Catholic education

Many Catholic schools of higher education should not be called Catholic. Many are simply trying to make money – greed!

4. Catholic Social Service and Hospitals

Many Catholic Hospital and Social Services are lacking in areas of Catholic sexual morality and catholic medical ethics. How do you make changes?  Write letters!…  Begin your letter to schools and hospitals the need change in these areas like this: “Before we do anything else, we thought it was only fair to contact you.”

5. Religious life

According to Fr. Benedict, Catholics can be very stupid. They don’t know how to deal with a theory. They let themselves be influenced by every passing fad. This is what has destroyed people; taking too much from psychology and not enough from the Gospel and from the Tradition of the Found. Give them a theory and they think they have to believe it.  Something comes along, call it psychology, call it the ennegram and Catholics have to pick it up and play with it.   For His part, Father Groeschel knows what he believes.  He believes in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  He doesn’t need to believe in psychology or the creations of pop-culture.  Psychology or things masquerading as modern thought have have far too much influence on Catholic thinking. Many Catholic communities are completely lacking in prayer life, in witness to the Gospel.  They are openly open disloyalty to Catholic teaching and especially to the Holy Father.

Speak up! Cause trouble! Do not accept the false and mediocre.  Resurrect the wonderful  spirit of your community’s founder or foundress.  Read the Gospel. Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Watch out for the influence of psychology. Some things are effective as tools but not as Creed.

6. Issues of Life

Finally, Fr. Groseschel says, “Speak out for Life.” We are not a loud voice.  There are millions of Catholics and so far our voice is still a whisper.  Get with it. Discover your Catholic heart and passion!

Don’t be surprised that the Church is being crucified.  The Church is the Body of Christ.  It is going to the Cross.  As you call it on it’s sinfulness, don’t exempt yourself.  Don’t be afraid of a Crucified Christ.  Turn to Christ!  Where Satan reigns; the Crucified Conquers! Christ conqueror! Christ captain! Christ command! The Church will come forth purified and one with its Lord.

Lenten Reading Plan – Mar 31

crucificionicon12Day30Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 3/31/09

St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Catechetical Lectures: Lecture XIX

Day 30 Lite Version

St. Athanasius: Life of Anthony:74-81

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Our Lady of Kibeho – Continued

In a recent post, I wrote about the vengeance of Jesus.  He took Satan and Sin to task on the Cross with the shedding of His Blood, not the blood of others.  The God-Man suffered the punishment due our sins. All sin leads to lies, betrayal, murder, and war.  Sin percolates and then escalates. It is as though the force of our sins hides beneath the surface of our daily existence and when its ready to show its ugly face, it appears as a  slum, a dysfunctional society, a dysfunctional family or a war.  Sin with its pride, lust, sloth, greed,envy and the like, ultimately brings havoc in its wake. However, it can be stopped. We know and have the remedy.  Like the discovery of a vaccine or cure, it only has to be made known and available, applied and administered. There’s  the rub.  We are an  important part of the remedy.  The Good News of Jesus is here and at hand! Where are the penitents?

Monsignor recently gave a sermon in which he spoke of a conversation between a repentant prostitute and St. Francis De Sales.  The Saint heard the confession of the woman.  It was heartfelt and thorough, leaving out nothing of her past life.  Afterwards she asked the Saint, “Now that you have heard my confession, what do you call me?  Without hesitation, St. Francis de Sales said, “I call you a saint.” He went on to say that no matter how others saw her or what they called her, God saw her as she now was; as if her past sins never happened.  The woman told the story again and again throughout her life.  The Saint’s response of the mercy, love and pardon of God came back to her again and again, and strengthened her whenever she was tempted to return to her past way of life.

I tell that story because Rwanda is a nation soaked in the blood of its own people.  Finding a way into a future full of hope rests on the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Mother Mary as Our Lady of Kibeho predicted the catastrophes that would befall their nation.  She also showed them the way back to unity and wholeness. In her numerous apparitions, she showed them that the Mother of God lived with them, cared for them and prayed for them. Her healing presence among them was  constant and intimate. Her message is always the same, “Jesus.”

Jesus have mercy on me a sinner.