"The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church" (Tertullian)
NOW IS THE TIME OF MERCY
"The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church" (Tertullian)
NOW IS THE TIME OF MERCY
Pillar and scourge,
Crown of thorn,
Hammer and nails,
Pain upon pain,
Thirst and abandonment,
Death and sword,
Blood and Water,
All that Blood,
©2013 Joann Nelander
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To Greater Heights
Lift me to Your shoulder;
Carry me, henceforth.
I can see all things in a new way,
From my throne above the world.
Your Shepherd’s crook in view,
A sign of assurance,
Calming the sea, defeating the flesh,
Vanquishing the Foe.
Perched in Paradise,
I ride above the storm.
Battles won by stillness,
Flames quenched by Water from the Rock.
Carrying the one You love,
Bearing Your burden,
Loving Your labor,
I see the wound of Your Cross.
I see Blood,and Bone,
And I see me,
Carved in Your bruised
And beaten flesh,
Lifted to Your shoulder,
You carry me,
Onward and upward,
Unto greater heights,
Cross and throne,
One in God alone.
© 2012 Joann Nelander
Upon the cross,
Your blood flowed
from Crown to Foot,
in streams upon Your Body,
so that there was not one space
that was not touched by Your Blood.
Your Body, the Church,
covered in Your Blood;
saved throughout Time
and for all Time
covered by Your Blood.
by Joann Nelander
From the treatise On the Trinity by Saint Hilary, bishop
The unity of the faithful in God through the incarnation of the Word and the sacrament of the eucharist
We believe that the Word became flesh and that we receive his flesh in the Lord’s Supper. How then can we fail to believe that he really dwells within us? When he became man, he actually clothed himself in our flesh, uniting it to himself for ever. In the sacrament of his body he actually gives us his own flesh, which he has united to his divinity. This is why we are all one, because the Father is in Christ, and Christ is in us. He is in us through his flesh and we are in him. With him we form a unity which is in God.
The manner of our indwelling in him through the sacrament of his body and blood is evident from the Lord’s own words: This world will see me no longer but you shall see me. Because I live you shall live also, for I am in my Father, you are in me, and I am in you. If it had been a question of mere unity of will, why should he have given us this explanation of the steps by which it is achieved? He is in the Father by reason of his divine nature, we are in him by reason of his human birth, and he is in us through the mystery of the sacraments. This, surely, is what he wished us to believe; this is how he wanted us to understand the perfect unity that is achieved through our Mediator, who lives in the Father while we live in him, and who, while living in the Father, lives also in us. This is how we attain to unity with the Father. Christ is in very truth in the Father by his eternal generation; we are in very truth in Christ, and he likewise is in us.
Christ himself bore witness to the reality of his unity when he said: He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I in him. No one will be in Christ unless Christ himself has been in him; Christ will take to himself only the flesh of those who have received his flesh.
He had already explained the mystery of this perfect unity when he said: As the living Father sent me and I draw life from the Father, so he who eats my flesh will draw life from me. We draw life from his flesh just as he draws life from the Father. Such comparisons aid our understanding, since we can grasp a point more easily when we have an analogy. And the point is that Christ is the wellspring of our life. Since we who are in the flesh have Christ dwelling in us through his flesh, we shall draw life from him in the same way he draws life from the Father.
The Moral Reflections on Job by Pope St Gregory the Great
The mystery of our new life in Christ
Holy Job is a type of the Church. At one time he speaks for the body, at another for the head. As he speaks of its members he is suddenly caught up to speak in the name of their head. So it is here, where he says: I have suffered this without sin on my hands, for my prayer to God was pure.
Christ suffered without sin on his hands, for he committed no sin and deceit was not found on his lips. Yet he suffered the pain of the cross for our redemption. His prayer to God was pure, his alone out of all mankind, for in the midst of his suffering he prayed for his persecutors: Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.
Is it possible to offer, or even to imagine, a purer kind of prayer than that which shows mercy to one’s torturers by making intercession for them? It was thanks to this kind of prayer that the frenzied persecutors who shed the blood of our Redeemer drank it afterward in faith and proclaimed him to be the Son of God.
The text goes on fittingly to speak of Christ’s blood: Earth, do not cover over my blood, do not let my cry find a hiding place in you. When man sinned, God had said: Earth you are, and to earth you will return. Earth does not cover over the blood of our Redeemer, for every sinner, as he drinks the blood that is the price of his redemption, offers praise and thanksgiving, and to the best of his power makes that blood known to all around him.
Earth has not hidden away his blood, for holy Church has preached in every corner of the world the mystery of its redemption.
Notice what follows: Do not let my cry find a hiding place in you. The blood that is drunk, the blood of redemption, is itself the cry of our Redeemer. Paul speaks of the sprinkled blood that calls out more eloquently than Abel’s. Of Abel’s blood Scripture had written: The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to me from the earth. The blood of Jesus calls out more eloquently than Abel’s, for the blood of Abel asked for the death of Cain, the fratricide, while the blood of the Lord has asked for, and obtained, life for his persecutors.
If the sacrament of the Lord’s passion is to work its effect in us, we must imitate what we receive and proclaim to mankind what we revere. The cry of the Lord finds a hiding place in us if our lips fail to speak of this, though our hearts believe in it. So that his cry may not lie concealed in us it remains for us all, each in his own measure, to make known to those around us the mystery of our new life in Christ.
Thomas A’ Kempis’words in My Imitation of Christ are ever new speaking to the heart. Preparations of a soul are often given little regard in the world, so let’s draw apart from the world to consider the gift, the soul and the benefits of our Faith received:
Here in the Sacrament of the altar You are wholly present, my God, the man Christ Jesus, whence is obtained the full realization of eternal salvation, as often as You are worthily and devoutly received. To this, indeed, we are not drawn by levity, or curiosity, or sensuality, but by firm faith, devout hope, and sincere love. O God, hidden Creator of the world, how wonderfully You deal with us! How sweetly and graciously You dispose of things with Your elect to whom You offer Yourself to be received in this Sacrament! This, indeed, surpasses all understanding. This in a special manner attracts the hearts of the devout and inflames their love. Your truly faithful servants, who give their whole life to amendment, often receive in Holy Communion the great grace of devotion and love of virtue. Oh, the wonderful and hidden grace of this Sacrament which only the faithful of Christ understand, which unbelievers and slaves of sin cannot experience! In it spiritual grace is conferred, lost virtue restored, and the beauty, marred by sin, repaired. At times, indeed, its grace is so great that, from the fullness of the devotion, not only the mind but also the frail body feels filled with greater strength. Nevertheless, our neglect and coldness is much to be deplored and pitied, when we are not moved to receive with greater fervor Christ in Whom is the hope and merit of all who will be saved. He is our sanctification and redemption. He is our consolation in this life and the eternal joy of the blessed in heaven. This being true, it is lamentable that many pay so little heed to the salutary Mystery which fills the heavens with joy and maintains the whole universe in being. Oh, the blindness and the hardness of the heart of man that does not show more regard for so wonderful a gift, but rather falls into carelessness from its daily use! If this most holy Sacrament were celebrated in only one place and consecrated by only one priest in the whole world, with what great desire, do you think, would men be attracted to that place, to that priest of God, in order to witness the celebration of the divine Mysteries! But now there are many priests and Mass is offered in many places, that God’s grace and love for men may appear the more clearly as the Sacred Communion is spread more widely through the world. Thanks be to You, Jesus, everlasting Good Shepherd, Who have seen fit to feed us poor exiled people with Your precious Body and Blood, and to invite us with words from Your own lips to partake of these sacred Mysteries: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you.” Book 4: chapter 1
The Voice of Christ:
“COME to Me, all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you.
The bread which I will give is My Flesh, for the life of the world.
Take you and eat: this is My Body, which shall be delivered for you. Do this for the commemoration of Me.
He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, abideth in Me, and I in him.
The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”
The Offering of Christ on the Cross; Our Offering
The Voice of Christ:
AS I offered Myself willingly to God the Father for your sins with hands outstretched and body naked on the cross, so that nothing remained in Me that had not become a complete sacrifice to appease the divine wrath, so ought you to be willing to offer yourself to Me day by day in the Mass as a pure and holy oblation, together with all your faculties and affections, with as much inward devotion as you can. What more do I ask than that you give yourself entirely to Me? I care not for anything else you may give Me, for I seek not your gift but you. Just as it would not be enough for you to have everything if you did not have Me, so whatever you give cannot please Me if you do not give yourself. Offer yourself to Me, therefore, and give yourself entirely for God — your offering will be accepted. Behold, I offered Myself wholly to the Father for you, I even gave My whole Body and Blood for food that I might be all yours, and you Mine forever. But if you rely upon self, and do not offer your free will to Mine, your offering will be incomplete and the union between us imperfect. Hence, if you desire to attain grace and freedom of heart, let the free offering of yourself into the hands of God precede your every action. This is why so few are inwardly free and enlightened — they know not how to renounce themselves entirely. My word stands:”Everyone of you that doth not renounce all that he possesseth, cannot be My disciple.” If, therefore, you wish to be My disciple, offer yourself to Me with all your heart.
“When you awake, enter at once into My Heart, and when you are in it, offer My Father all your actions united to the pulsations of My Heart . . . If engaged in work of no value in itself, if she bathes it in My Blood or unites it to the work I Myself did during My mortal life, it will greatly profit souls . . . more, perhaps, than if she had preached to the whole world. You will be able to save many souls that way.” Our Lord to Sr. Josefa Menendez (1890-1923)
When you awake in the morning, let your first act be to salute My Heart, and to offer Me your own . . . Whoever shall breathe a sigh toward Me from the bottom of his heart when he awakes in the morning and shall ask Me to work all his works in him throughout the day, will draw Me to him . . . For never does a man breathe a sigh of longing aspiration toward Me without drawing Me nearer to him than I was before.” Our Lord to St. Mechtilde (1241-1298)
“It is not merely by praying that souls are saved, but through the actions of even the most ordinary lives lived for God . . . Offer Me everything united to My life on earth.
. . . Offer Me all the crosses of the world. There are so many, and few think of offering them to Me in expiation for sins . . .”
Our Lord to Gabrielle Bossis (874-1950)
My prayer for this day:
Here I am Lord. My heart is all “Fiat.” Draw me and hide me in Your Heart. Bathe all my desires, my thoughts, my doings in Your Blood, that united to the beating of Your Most Sacred Heart, they may bear fruit to Your service and Your glory. Even my sighs, embraced by Your Holy Spirit, will flower infinitely beyond the power of the dust and ashes that I am. Amen
My God, I believe and I adore You. Be ever before the eyes of my heart and mind that I may see You in all circumstances and look for You in those I meet today. I place Your blood over my heart, before my lips and around my mind as I pray and before I venture forth into this day. May Your good angels, and Your saints assist me, especially in drawing my thoughts to You. Be glorified, My Love, in the Church, in the world and in me.
And they all said…….AMEN!
Particular to this day: May I remember that it’s Sunday and spend lots of time with You. Amen