Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Confraternity of Priest Adorers of the Eucharistic Face of Jesus

From Fr. Mark:
The crisis that continues to shake the Church and to burden the hearts of priests with sorrow and uncertainty, requires a powerful spiritual antidote. Our Lord is calling His priests to tarry in His presence. He invites them to abide in the radiance of His Eucharistic Face, close to His Heart. There they will recover the joy of their youth and the certainty of being loved by Christ with an everlasting love.

Eucharistic adoration is a wellspring of priestly happiness. It is by daily adoration that the priest begins to say, in all truth, with the psalmist: “To be near God is my happiness” (Psalm 72:28) and, “My happiness lies in Thee alone” (Psalm 15:2). There is a correlation between happiness and holiness. A priest faithful to his daily hour of adoration will, like Saint John the Baptist, be a friend of the Bridegroom, “rejoicing with joy” (John 3:29) because of the Bridegroom’s voice, and capable of winning souls for Christ.
The centrality of the Eucharist should be apparent not only in the worthy celebration of the Sacrifice, but also in the proper adoration of the Sacrament, so that the priest might be the model for the faithful also in devote attention and diligent meditation — whenever possible — done in the presence of our Lord in the tabernacle. It is hoped that the priests entrusted with the guidance of communities dedicate long periods of time for communal adoration and reserve the greatest attention and honour for the Most Blessed Sacrament of the altar, also outside of Holy Mass, over any other rite or gesture. “Faith and love for the Eucharist will not allow Christ to remain alone in his presence in the tabernacle”. (Congregation for the Clergy, Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests, 31 January 1994)
The 19th and early 20th centuries saw, in fact, the birth of a number of movements for the promotion of Eucharistic adoration, reparation, and priestly holiness. The best known of these is, without doubt, the Association of Priest-Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament, founded by Saint Peter Julian, and canonically erected in Rome on 16 June 1887.

The second half of the last century saw many of these fine movements fall into decline, leaving a void in the spiritual life of new generations of priests. The Year of the Eucharist proclaimed by Saint John Paul II in 2004, and the Year of the Priesthood proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009 were an invitation to rediscover and refresh the benefits that accrue to priests who commit themselves to prayer for and with one another, and in particular, to Eucharistic adoration.

In his Encyclical Letter of Holy Thursday, 17 April 2003, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, Saint John Paul II drew the eyes of the Church to the Face of Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist. He coined a new phrase, one not encountered before in his writings or in the teachings of his predecessors, “the Eucharistic Face of Christ.” Thus did Saint John Paul II share with the Church his own experience of seeking, finding, and adoring the Face of Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. The human face is a mysterious icon of the heart. It signifies, among other things, a personal presence open to relationship with another. In the Sacrament of His Love, the Face of Christ, the Human Face of God, is turned towards those who seek Him, ready to draw them into a healing and life-giving communion of love with His Sacred Heart. (Read more.)

 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Passion of St. John the Baptist

From Nobility:
John, in his fetters, was attended by some of his disciples, who kept him in touch with the events of the day. He thus learned of the wonders wrought by Jesus. At this point it cannot be supposed that John’s faith wavered in the least. Some of his disciples, however, would not be convinced by his words that Jesus was the Messias. Accordingly, he sent them to Jesus, bidding them say: “John the Baptist hath sent us to thee, saying: Art thou he that art to come; or look we for another? (And in that same hour, he cured many of their [the people’s] diseases, and hurts, and evil spirits; and to many that were blind he gave sight.) And answering, he said to them: Go and relate to John what you have hard and seen: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are made clean, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, to the poor the gospel is preached: and blessed is he whosoever shall not be scandalized in me” (Luke, vii, 20-23; Matt., xi, 3-6). (Read more.)

Saturday, August 25, 2018

The Little Arab


Today on the Carmelite calendar it is the feast of Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified, Miriam Baouardy, known as the "Little Arab." Miraculous phenomena surrounded her. Let us pray to her for Christians who are suffering persecution in Moslem countries. She said:

“Everything passes here on earth. What are we? Nothing but dust, nothingness, and God is so great, so beautiful, so lovable and He is not loved.”

More HERE.


At the Carmelite chapel in San Jose, CA

God, France, and Marguerite


Saint Louis IX, King of France, whose feast we celebrate today, is the epitome of the Christian knight, king and crusader. He is the patron saint of Franciscan tertiaries. In addition to his administrative duties as king, he prayed the daily Mass and Divine Office. His strong interior life aided him in being a competent ruler and a father to his people.

While still a teenager, St. Louis married a beautiful princess from the south of France, Marguerite de Provence. She was also pious, although not as devout as Louis. Inside his wedding ring, he had three words inscribed: "God, France, and Marguerite." They had eleven children. King Louis had a secret staircase built from his study to his wife's parlor above so that he could visit her during the day without his mother knowing it. Louis' mother, Queen Blanche, thought that Louis should concentrate solely upon his work. She also may have feared that Marguerite might gain too much political influence over Louis, and so tried to keep the young lovers/spouses apart as much as possible.

Blanche went to extremes by making young Louis leave Marguerite when she was suffering after a particularly difficult childbirth and wanted her husband to hold her hand. Blanche told Louis that it was not his place to be in the birthing room and Louis obeyed his mother. Marguerite was quite distressed although she forgave Louis.

Louis and Marguerite lost children to sickness and had their share of domestic misunderstandings. At one point, Louis thought Marguerite focused too much on her clothes, and later on Marguerite complained that Louis would not look at her. To his friend Jean de Joinville, Louis confided, "A man should not behold that which he can never fully possess." I assume it was soon before he left on his second crusade on which he would die; perhaps he was trying to detach himself from everything he loved in this world, especially his beloved wife.

Marguerite shared her husband's sorrows and joys. When his mother died, she wept copiously. Joinville asked her in amazement how she could weep over someone who had caused her so much suffering. Marguerite replied that it was because her husband was so deeply grieved and she shared his grief.

Greatly devoted to Our Lady, St. Louis was responsible for bringing the Carmelite Order to France. While on a crusade in the Holy Land, King Louis’ ship ran into a violent storm within view of Mt. Carmel. The sound of the bells from the chapel of Our Lady on Mt. Carmel pierced the roar of the wind and the waves. The king, kneeling in prayer, begged Our Lady to save his ship, promising in return a pilgrimage to Carmel. The ship was saved. King Louis climbed the slopes of Carmel to visit the holy hermits who lived near the chapel. Greatly edified by their life of prayer and solitude, he asked several of them to come to France, where he established a monastery for them. This was a great help to the Carmelites, who were finding life in Palestine very difficult due to the hostility of the Moslems.

St. Louis of France had a busy schedule and a multitude of duties. Through the Eucharist, the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony and devotion to Our Lady, he attained a life of union with God. Power and riches had no hold on his heart. Let us seek his intercession in this often disorienting time we live in.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

St. Helena the Empress


My patron saint. She discovered the True Cross. Don Marco says:
Saint Helena was not merely collecting relics for posterity. Her discovery of the True Cross saved the Orthodox Catholic faith from being submerged in a sea of speculative philosophies that denied the true Flesh and Blood of Christ. Saint Helena’s discovery points to the God who became man and suffered death on a real cross in a particular place at a precise moment in history. Mary Magdalene, the Apostle to the Apostles was the herald of Christ’s resurrection; Saint Helena became the herald of the mystery of the Cross. (Read more.)


Sunday, August 12, 2018

The Current Crisis in the Catholic Church

From Fr. Heilman:
On October 7, 2017, over one million Catholics in Poland rose up and grabbed their rosaries and, mainly on their borders, called out to God with the powerful intercession of Our Lady....This was a grassroots effort that was, in essence, saying, “The demonic secular forces of this world are not welcome on our soil!” While not immune to the infiltration of modernism in Poland’s Catholic Church, they remain one of the strongest on the planet. In St. Faustina’s diary, she relates how our Lord told her,
“I bear a special love for Poland, and if she will be obedient to My will, I will exalt her in might and holiness. From her will come forth the spark that will prepare the world for My final coming” (Diary, 1732)
Inspired by Poland — Ireland, the British Isles and Australia followed suit in praying for their respective countries with rosaries in hand (all “grassroots” efforts of the laity). The United States has been praying this way since 2016 (and the lead up to the Presidential election), with Novena for Our Nation, with over 40,000 USA Catholics praying the miraculous 54 Day Rosary Novena from August 15 (Feast of the Assumption) to October 7 (Our Lady of the Rosary). With the inspiration of Poland, we (USA) have reframed the concluding October 7 prayer campaign with the new title of “Rosary Coast to Coast” (Go to rosarycoasttocoast.com). Now, many nations have accepted the clarion call, and will be praying together on October 7, 2018 in what we now call the “Holy League of Nations” (Go to holyleagueofnations.com).
In the lead up to our launch of this 2018 enormous “Rosary Coast to Coast” nation-wide (now worldwide) prayer campaign (We launched on March 31, 2018), our planning team sought the support of all of the USA bishops. I warned the team that we would not get many to respond, much less support. And, as I predicted, only a handful responded and what support we received was timid (barring a few, including my own Bishop Morlino, Bishop Conley and Cardinal Burke). Why did I accurately predict this? Because I knew full well the “condition of our prelates in America.” I knew we would be received as more “dangerous” than “beneficial” to the Church in America. Why? Let me explain …
There was one reply, in particular, that still rings (stings) in my mind and heart, nearly on a daily basis, that, sadly, truly expressed this “condition of our prelates.” It came from a very prominent prelate who will remain nameless. Here was his reply …
“Father, I’m not fond of these national campaigns.  I don’t know that they accomplish a whole lot and because of that, I just haven’t been willing to offer endorsements.”
Yes, you read that correctly. Tens of thousands of people joined together in prayer to call out to God, through the powerful intercession of our Lady, to protect and heal our nation does not “accomplish a whole lot.” St. Louis de Montfort once wrote:
“When people say the Rosary together, it is far more formidable to the devil, than one said privately. Because in this public prayer, it is an army that is attacking him. He can often overcome the prayer of an individual, but if this prayer is joined to other Christians, the devil has much more trouble in getting the best of it.” -St Louis de Montfort.
You see? This is the “problem” … this is the “condition” of the vast majority of our prelates. To them, St. Louis de Montfort and all of those crazy saints were just that … “crazy.” You see? WE have arrived on the scene and, thank God, WE are here now to take the “crazy” out of Catholicism. No more of this silly hocus pocus superstitious nonsense, under our watch. No more of this ridiculous belief in the supernatural power of God and the power of prayer, as long as we are here. In fact, those who advocate “the supernatural” are to be considered “dangerous” in our Church. Also, anyone who would actually defend the teachings of the Church is to be considered “dangerous.”
(Read more.)

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Saint Clare

Today is the feast of the great Holy Mother St. Clare. Fr. Mark reflects:
There is something singularly appealing about Saint Clare of Assisi. In many ways she resembles her brother and father in Christ, Saint Francis, and yet Clare is Clare . . . fearless, spontaneous, unconventional, and strong-willed. She could have satisfied the expectations of her family and of society by marrying some promising young nobleman. Or she could have entered some respectable and established monastery; with her family background and her personal gifts, she would certainly have become a grand Lady Abbess and wielded the crosier over a comfortable little monastic domain, but Clare cared little for conventions and respectability. She did not hesitate to put behind her “houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children and land” (Mt 19:29) for the sake of Jesus Christ and of His Gospel. (Read more.)
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