Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Ramblins' on the last day of 2008

I just can't believe that this is the last day of 2008 and a New Year is upon us. This year i started with this blog, not knowing how to start and even if i wanted to do this. I may not have been here with some regularity or rhythm. This has been a year of surprises in Politics, finances, and weather around this nation and around the global village.
Having followed the Church's Season's too, i want to share some meaningful passages of these past few days from the Liturgy of the Hours. Passages that reflect our faith in Christ, Col 2:4-15 -Reflections "I tell you all this so that no one my delude you with specious arguments. I may be absent in body but I am with you in spirit, happy to see good order among you and the firmness of your faith in Christ."
" See to it that no one deceives you through any empty, seductive philosophy that follows mere human traditions, a philosophy based on cosmic powers rather than on Christ."
" He canceled the bond that stood against us with all its claims, snatching it up and nailing it to the cross. Thus did God disarm the principalities and powers. "

From a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, Pope
"For every believer regenerated in Christ, no matter in what part of the whole world he may be, breaks with that ancient way of life that derives from original sin, and by rebirth is transformed into a new man."

Friday, December 26, 2008

St. Stephen Martyr

It has been awhile since I last blogged, and many national international events have occurred. I want to share Jesus' words to his disciples that are appropriate to our times.
Matthew 10:17-20 "Beware of people" who will persecute and you and haul you into court. But he moves quickly to God's work in all this: You will be led before governors..for my sake as a witness.""Do not worry,"he counsels,"about how to speak or what you are to say...For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you."

Acts 6:10 "but they could not withstand his wisdom and conviction."

And as a result of his zeal and plain speaking, Stephen was put to death. He too followed Jesus' command not to worry but let the Spirit give him the right words to speak.
We too should listen for the Spirit and do our best to speak as we think he is leading us.
As Stephen and Paul, we know that our lives are in God's hands and that he will never abandon us.

"Holy Spirit, help me discern and welcome the opportunities you give me today to proclaim Jesus, both in the way I live and the words as you inspire."

Monday, November 17, 2008

Feast of St. Elizabeth of Hungary - Patroness of the the Third Order Franciscans

St. Elizabeth of Hungary born 1207 to King Andrew and Queen of Hungary. She was given in marriage to Louis the Count of Thuringia and bore him three children. She erected a hospital next to the castle that she lived in. She cared for the poor, and the sick. She died in 1231 and was canonized. Also she is the Patroness of Nurses.(to be expanded)

Saint Elizabeth did every kind of good work.She recognized Christ in the poor of this world.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Dedication of the Lateran Basilica

This the feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, St. John Lateran commonly called, is situtated on the Caelian hill, Rome Italy. This is a celebration of everything the church is meant to be as the Body of Christ in this world. It can be the place where we meet Almighty God face-to face. It is rightly called St. John being named after the Evangelist. It is the Cathedral Church of the Pope in his role as the Bishop of Rome. It is also regarded as the "Mother Church" for Roman Catholicism, the first among all other churches and dioceses and cathedrals thoughout the world.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

TheSolemnity of the Stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi

The Stigmata of our Holy Father Francis- from the beginning of his conversion our Father St. Francis had a very great devotion and veneration for Christ crucified and never ceased to preach this devotion till his death. While rapt in deep contemplation in the year 1224 on Mt. Alverna, Christ the Lord by a miracle imprinted the marks of his passion on the saint's body. Pope Benedict XI permitted the Franciscan Order to celebrate annually on this day the memory of this extraordinary even attested by reliable witnesses.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Franciscan Martyrs of the French Revolution

They are Fr.John Francis Burte, OFM Conv, Apollinaris Morel de Posat,OFM Cap., and Severin Girault,T.O.R. who along with many other martyrs refused to take the schismatic oath prescribed by civil law. They were unwavering in their loyalty to the Catholic faith. This upheaval of the 18th c. in France wrought havoc in all things sacred and profane and vented its fury against the Church and her servants. Some unscrupulous men came into power who concealed their hatred for the Church under the deceptive guise of philosophy. They wanted to uproot the Christian faith completely. It seemed like the early persecutions had returned. The Church became resplendent with bright new crowns of martyrdom. Fr. John Baptist Triquiere, a Conventual Friar who was renowned for his priestly zeal and Franciscan way of life openly declared himself a follower of St. Francis of Assisi and said "I keep faith with Christ till death."
Some of those martyred were beatified by Pope Pius XI and his successor Pius XII enrolled the rest among the blessed.
Lord, God, grant to us to pursue with fitting devotion the faith of blessed John Francis, Severin and their companion martyrs. They served your Church faithfully till the end and merited to receive the palm of martyrdom. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Patron of the Secular Franciscan Order - St. Louis IX of France

St. Louis, King of France, is a co-patron of the Secular Franciscan Order and TOR, Third Order Regular, along with St. Elizabeth of Hungary, 1214-1270. At the age of 12 yrs. he became king.
His mother, Blanche of Castile, ruled until Louis was 19. He and Margaret of Provence had 11 children to whom Louis gave excellent training. He was particularly noted for his spirit of penance, prayer, and love for the poor. In ruling France, he showed concern for the peace of his people and their spiritual welfare. He had a passion to free the Holy Land from the Moslems by leading a crusade but he died near Carthage.
Earlier in his life, Franciscans friars were among his instructors; eventually he became a Secular Franciscan. He fasted during Advent and on Fridays. He was generous in founding hospitals, building churches and promoting learning.
His greatest achievement was to rule his kingdom in the light of the Gospel. He always considered God's law superior to his own laws.
He died on his second crusade and was canonized in 1297.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Good Advice for Christian Living

May I be no man's enemy, and may I be the friend of that which is eternal and abides. May I never quarrel with those nearest me: and if I do, may I be reconciled quickly. May I love, seek, and attain only that which is good. May I wish for all men's happiness and envy none.
May I never rejoice in the ill-fortune of one who has wronged me. When I have done or said what is wrong, may I never wait for the rebuke of others, but always rebuke myself until I make amends. May I win no victory that harms either me or my opponent. May I reconcile friends who are angry with one another. May I never fail a friend who is in danger.
When visiting those in grief may I be able by gentle and healing words to soften their pain. May I respect myself. May I always keep tame that which rages within me. May I accustom myself to gentle, and never be angry with people because of circumstances.
May I never discuss who is wicked and what things he has done, but know good men and follow in their footsteps. (Eusibius, 3rd century Church father).

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Servants of Christ the King Parish: closed @28 yrs. young

Our Charismatic Parish has closed & our Charismatic pastor is gone he had been with us for over 4 years. I sat through the homily of our new Pastor today-mourning or moaning9?) He was sharing his loss of what has been familiar to him in the past 30 yrs. at the tail end or our Diocese. I couldn't help but reflect upon our losses, and I include the people of our parish that was over the past 28yrs. Our losses, "let me count the ways", kept running through my spirit.

1. Out last pastor who was baptized in the Spirit as he came to be our Pastor, on the very 1st day, who came into a more personal relationship with God, was used in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and developed a life in the Holy Spirit, renewed.

2. Prophetic word gifts that came freely & flowing after reception of Holy Communion at different times,which gave direction, consolation and peace, words of comfort, and words of correction.

3. Praise and worship music, spontaneous praise, unity of worship and deeper worship over the years. Gifts of music from three music groups that led praise and worship, mixtures of young children learning to sing the Psalm responses, confidence in singing in front of the congregation,solos. A men's music group that led us into deep worship and praise.

4. Our Liturgy, full of the presence of God, His nearness so tangible.

5. Gifts of Service from so many in music, Cross-bearers, Candle-bearers, altar servers, lectors, and Extra-ordinary Ministers of Communion and Offertory gift-bearers of families taking turns doing this service. Service to our handicapped parishioners, and homebound at times. Taking meals to new-mothers & their families.

6. Monthly Socials with refreshments of various beverages, bagels, and doughnuts, times of fellowships, families volunteering together to serve the rest of the parishioners during the Social. Times of getting to know one another and meeting any new parishioners. Times of gathering for cake and punch, with families whose members celebrated the Sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation each year.

7. Monthly Holy Hours with Confessions; monthly Prayer teams after Mass who would pray with others in need with many various concerns, healings.

8. Visiting Priests to say Mass when our Pastor had to be away, or other priests con-celebrating, joining in with the Praise and Worship, to bring honor & glory to God.

9. Our Yearly Parish Picnic, praying together, eating together, kids enjoying activities such as swimming, volleyball, the older men & younger men playing basketball together. The other adults socializing, family members from out of town reconnecting with others from the Parish.

10. Evangelizing new members in the RCIA program. Celebrating the Sacraments through Baptisms, 1st Holy Communion, Confirmations, Marriage and mourning the loss of dear friends through suffering and death.

11. Our life as Catholics and the Seasons of the Church, sharing our Lent, our Advent, celebrating the Birth of Our Lord, and our Holy Saturday Liturgy with gusto, exuberant Praise and being Easter People.

"O Lord, lead us, console us, it is a bitter & sweet time with the changes in our life, a new Pastor, new parishioners, and different ways in Liturgical celebration, little changes, annoying changes, fill us with understanding of your way."

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Father Junipero Serra 1713-1784 Franciscan Missionary

Fr. Juniper0 Serra is still a well-known figure in California, USA. A virtual icon of the colonial era whose statue stands in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park and the U.S. Capitol's Hall of Fame, the only Franciscan since 1913. Beatified in 1987, by Pope John Paul II. Two centuries after his death, he is still a pivotal figure in California history and the history of the American West.
Who was he? Father Serra was born in Petra on the isle of Mallorca in the Mediterranean Sea. His parents were farmers. In 1729, he became a Franciscan and enrolled in the prominent Franciscan in nearby Palma. He was ordained in 1737 and was 24 yrs. old. He taught Theology at the Franciscan University of Palma. He went onto a professorship at the Lullian University.
He went to Mexico to work in 1750, having joined the missionary College of San Fernando.
In 1767, the Jesuits were expelled by the Spanish Emperor from the Spanish colonies. This led to the government to ask the Franciscans to replace them as missionaries in Lower California. Father Serra was appointed head of these missions. The next year the Spanish governor explored and founded missions in upper California, the area of the now State of California. At age 50, weak and injured in one leg, the undaunting Father Serra founded in 1769 the Mission of San Diego and then founded 9 more Missions along the coast of California by the time of his death in 1784. He had nominally converted nearly 5000 Indians.
He held authority over the Franciscans, the army present there, and over the baptized Indians having increased the financial and military support for expansion of his missions.

"Blessed Father Junipero Serra, pray for the Americas, and in particular for California."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fourth Week & Mass Reflections

I have been away for 4 days, and out of touch, but not out of touch with our Lord.
Many themes and reflections today. Lord, your mercy is my hope, my heart rejoices in your saving power. I will sing to the Lord for his goodness to me.

It can be restful to be away, but it is always great to get back home to the routine of life in our part of the country. Our life style is one of quiet, and peaceful at most times with our daily rhythm of prayer, and attending Mass. One has to make an effort to have what happens on a daily basis here when elsewhere.

2Kings 22:8-13;23:1-3 (The king gathered all the elders of Judah & Jerusalem,priests, prophets and all the people)
"He had the entire contents of the book of the covenant that had been found in the temple of the Lord, read out to them. Standing by the column, the king made a covenant before the Lord that they would follow him and observe his ordinances, statutes, and decrees with their whole hearts and souls, thus reviving the terms of the covenant which were written in this book. And all the people stood as participants in the covenant.

Being people of the Covenant in this day, I am glad to be under his Lordship. Listening to his instructions through Scriptures,and further on in the Mass readings of today, be aware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves, quoting Jesus from Matthew 7:15-20 etc. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them."

Psalm 19 Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time- Reflections

After the 9 day Novena to St. Anthony of Padua, the Lord blessed our Secular Franciscan Fraternity with a beautiful Mass for the profession of Johnathon & Danielle on June 13, the Feast of St. Anthony. Our celebrant was our Spiritual Assistant, and music by our TOR Sisters. I believe our newly professed have soared to 'new Franciscan' heights. Praise God!

Now to reflect on today's Mass readings. The opening prayer: Almighty God, our hope and our strength, without you we falter, help us to follow Christ and to live according to your will. In the 1st Reading from Exodus, I was struck with the words; "you have seen how I treated the Egyptians and how I bore you up on eagle's wings and brought you here to myself. Therefore, if you hearken to my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my special possession, dearer to me than all other people, though all the earth is mine. You shall be to me a kingdom of priests, a holy nation."

Our God sets us apart for his own, to be his people, how he has guarded us, protected us, and calls us to holiness. From eternity, the Father has longed to gather his children into one body living under the headship of his Son, he works to fulfill this plan. Third Eucharistic Prayer "from age to age you gather a people to yourself so that from east to west a perfect offering may be made to the glory of your name."

Responsorial Psalm 100 R. We are his people: the sheep of his flock.

2nd Reading: Romans 5:6-11
But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.

Gospel: Matthew 9 ------Jesus' heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.

One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
(Ps 27:4)

Have a Blessed Sunday and week!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Day 9 of the Novena to St. Anthony of Padua

St. Anthony, servant of Mary, glory of the Church, pray for our Holy Father, our bishops, our priests, our religious orders, that through their apostolic labors all may be united in faith and give greater glory to God. Please intercede on my own behalf that I too may live my life as a true disciple of Christ. Amen

As we have prayed for Jonathon and Danielle, may the follow the Gospel as they make their final Profession in the Secular Franciscan Order, on Friday, June 13, on the wonderful feast of St. Anthony of Padua.

Evening Prayer
Canticle of Mary
Antiphon: If you hunger for holiness, God will satisfy your longing, good measure, and flowing over. (St. Luke 1:46-55)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Day 8 of Novena St. Anthony of Padua ; Feast of An Apostle St. Barnabas

O holy St. Anthony, you have shown yourself so compassionate toward those who invoke you in suffering and distress, I beseech you most humbly and earnestly to plead my cause before Our Father in Heaven, and through your miraculous intercession please help the lonely, the neglected, and the abused find comfort and strength.

Pray for Johnathon and Danielle.

St. Barnabas, born in Cyprus, he is numbered among the first of the faithful at Jerusalem. He preached the Gospel at Antioch and a companion of St. Paul who journeyed on his first mission. He was also present at the Council of Jerusalem. He spread the Gospel in to his native land and died there.

Blessed are you, St. Barnabas: you were a man faith filled with the Holy Spirit and counted among the Apostles. Help us to proclaim the Gospel by word and deed, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Day 7 of Novena St. Anthony of Padua

O renowned champion of the faith of Christ, most holy St. Anthony, glorious for your many miracles, obtain for me from the bounty of my Lord and God the grace which I ardently seek in this Novena, and intercede for the strength of families and the protection of children.

Pray for Johnathon and Danielle.

Mass Readings of Today
1Kings 17:7-16 "The jar of flour shall not empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, until the day when the Lord sends rain upon the earth."

Psalm 4 You put gladness into my heart, more than when grain and wine abound.

Communion Antiphon
I can rely on the Lord; I can always turn to him for shelter. It was he who gave me my freedom. My God, you are always there to help me! (Ps 18:2)

Meditation Snippets - The Word Among Us magazine- today's meditation.
Quote- God does come through for us in amazing ways. Just when we've come to the end of our own resources, we begin to see the boundless generosity of our heavenly Father---and we are brought to our knees in praise and worship.
Sometimes it may not be easy--but it's usually when obedience is the hardest that He blesses us the most. Indeed, we can never outgive God!

Personally, when I was in a situation of giving to others and it was hurting , I was learning to exercise 'wings of faith' and trust in Him, God came through and from that lesson I learned that you cannot outgive God and He will reward you for the giving if the heart is truly giving out of love and expecting nothing in return. Resources were given to help advance a person who owned a Christian book store and those resources aided in putting up more shelves to display more books, she eventually sold more and was able to move her store to another location which was geographically more profitable and successful. It required listening to God, being obedient and acting upon the word from the Lord. Just as Elijah listened and obeyed in the Scripture readings of the Mass for today.

Prayer-- "Lord, I want to give you more. Open my heart and my hands to the needs of others, and bless my efforts according to the riches of your glory."

Monday, June 9, 2008

Day 6 of the Novena

O glorious St. Anthony, chosen by God to preach His Word, you received from Him the power of working the most extraordinary miracles. I pray that you may help the world find peace from hatred and conflict, and that you may help me obtain the answers I seek in this Novena in your honor.

Please intercede for Johnathon and Danielle.

The time for profession is 'flying'. It just seemed awhile ago that we met and planned when to start the monthly lessons for Candidacy; the readings, our many discussions, our laughs and now here in this week we are preparing for the Mass of Profession, readers, gifts, music, getting out invitations and the reception after. Wow, all to follow Christ in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi. To proclaim the Gospel, in our daily living, being an instrument for the Church.

God Bless us all!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Day 5 of the Novena

I salute you, St. Anthony, lily of purity, ornament and glory of Christianity. I ask you by the love you did feel toward the Infant Jesus as you held Him in your arms to tell Him now of the favor I seek through your intercession. I beseech you to reach out to those who have lost their faith and guide them back to the Church.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22
God is the one who firmly established us along with you in Christ; it is he who anointed us and has sealed us, thereby depositing the first payment, the Spirit, in our hearts.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Day 4 of the Novena

St. Anthony, the world confidently turns to you and experiences your tender compassion and powerful assistance in so many necessities and sufferings. Obtain for me the grace that I desire by obtaining a favorable answer to my request in this Novena, and provide guidance to those who question the sanctity of life.

Pray for Johnathon & Danielle.

Morning Prayer
2 Peter 1:10-11 Be solicitous to make your call and election permanent, brothers; surely those who do so will never be lost. On the contrary, your entry into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Day 3 of the Novena

O purest St. Anthony, who through your angelic virtue was made worthy to be caressed by the Divine child Jesus, I beseech you to intercede for me that God may grant my own request, and also to provide comfort to those who are ill and dying.

Pray for Jonathon & Danielle.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Day 2 of the Novena

O most favored friend of the Infant Jesus, bring my humble prayers before the throne of God, strengthen them by your intercession and obtain for me the favor I seek in this Novena. O eloquent preacher of the divine mercy, I also seek in my prayers your intercession on behalf of the poor and homeless, for whom you are the Patron Saint.
Pray for Johnathon and Danielle.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Day 1 of Novena to St. Anthony of Padua

To all SFO Members, our Fraternity started a Novena for our 2 candidates for Profession on June 13, the Feast of St.Anthony of Padua. Their chosen Franciscan names are: Anthony (approp. for the Feast, plus a great preacher to model in life) and Pia, (feminine Italian to live in piety from a pious Franciscan monk, St. Pio. who is now in the news and lying incorrupt). Please pray with us for our 'new members' who will be a great asset to our Franciscan way of life, spirituality, and to our Fraternity. It has been a pleasure working with the Holy Spirit, having his way in them and their lives and seeing them grow over the past year of Candidacy. It has been great working with them as well. May all the Franciscan family living and deceased bless them through their intercession.

Novena Prayer to St. Anthony of Padua
O holy St. Anthony, greatest of Saints, your love for God and Charity for His creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Miracles waited on your word, which you were ever ready to speak for those in trouble or anxiety. Encouraged by this thought, I implore you to obtain for me (request). The answer to my prayer may require a miracle; even so you are the Saint of Miracles. O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the Sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms; and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours. Amen.

St. Anthony and St. Pio pray for us and them.

Day 1 O wonderful St. Anthony, glorious on account of the fame of your miracles, regard not the unworthiness of those who pray to you, but the glory of God that it may be once again magnified by the granting of the request which I now ask for with persevering earnestness, including intercession for my health and the health of my loved ones and for Jonathon & Danielle. Amen.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

"Particles" taken from New This event is spoken about in Luke 1:39-57, when Mary inspired by charity to go to Hebron, south of Jerusalem, to care for her cousin Elizabeth, because her presence and much more at the presence of the Divine Child in her womb, according to the will of God, was to be the source of very great graces to the Blessed John, Christ's Forerunner.
Feeling the presence of his Divine Savior upon the arrival of Mary, John leaped in the womb of his mother, he was therefore cleansed of original sin and filled the grace of the Holy Spirit.
Our Lady now for the first exercised the office which belonged to the Mother of God made man, that He might by her mediation sanctify and glorify us.
St. Joseph may have travelled with Mary to Hebron, returned to Nazareth, and after three months, came again to Hebron to take his wife home, it may have happened that the apparition of the angel, mentioned in Matthew 1:19-25, may have taken place to end the tormenting doubts of Joseph regarding the maternity of Mary.

The earliest evidence of the feast is its adoption by the Franciscan Chapter in 1263, upon the advice of St. Bonaventure. With the Franciscan Breviary, the feast spread to many churches, but was celebrated at various dates.
It was extended to the entire Church by Pope Urban VI, 6 April, 1389, with the hope that Christ and His Mother would visit the Church and put an end to the Great Schism which rent the seamless garment of Christ.

Morning Prayer
Ant. 1 Blessed are you, Mary, because you believed that the Lord's words to you would be fulfilled.

Evening Prayer
Ant. 2 Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

Our Diocese of Steubenville in under the Patronage of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and today is our feast day, please pray for us, pray for unity.
Mary, full of grace, intercede for us.......

Friday, May 30, 2008

Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Extracted from Devotionals
There are two things that must always be found together in the devotion to the Sacred Heart: Christ's Heart of flesh and Christ's love for us. True devotion to the Sacred Heart means devotion to the Divine Heart of Christ insofar as His Heart represents and recalls His Love for us.
The Church approved the devotion on its own merits. There is only one Person in Jesus, and that Person was at the same time God and Man. His Heart, too, is Divine--it is the Heart of God.
This love of Christ for us was the moving force of all he did and suffered for us--in Nazareth, on the Cross, in giving Himself in the Blessed Sacrament, in His teaching and healing, in His praying and working. When we speak of the Sacred Heart, we mean Jesus showing us His heart, Jesus all love for us and all lovable.

Evening Prayer 1
Ant. 1 God has loved us with an everlasting love; therefore, when he was lifted up from the earth, in his mercy he drew us to his heart.

Morning Prayer
Ant. 1 Jesus stood and cried out: if anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.

Ant. 2 Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.

Ant.3 My son, give me your heart; and note carefully the way I point out to you.

Father, we rejoice in the gifts of love
we have received from the heart of Jesus your Son,
Open our hearts to share his life and continue to bless us with his love.

On a personal note, I was burdened in my heart this week in a relationship, and took it to prayer this past Wed. at a Healing Mass, and was prayed with by one of the priests attending. It has been lifted thanks be to God on this day the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Thank you, Sacred Heart of Jesus. Thank you, as I continue to trust in your great love for me and all mankind. Lord, thank you for healing my heart which was laden for a few weeks and on Wednesday past, only to healed this Friday.

Thank you for the reconcilation that has taken place, thank you for your personal, deep love for me. I am grateful for the homilist today and the sharings he had to offer on the 'fleshly' heart of Jesus as a physical person, and the 'spiritual' heart of God, who loves with a deep, abiding Love.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

" The Apostle of England"- St. Augustine of Canterbury

Not much is known of St. Augustine before 596,his origins are obscure. In the year 596, from Rome a party of 40 Benedictine monks set out to evangelize the Anglo-Saxons in England. They were sent by Pope Gregory the Greaat. They crossed the English Channel and landed in the territory of Kent.This area was ruled by King Ethelbert, a pagan married to a Christian. He received them kindly, set up a residence for them in Canterbury and within one year, on Pentecost Sunday, of 576 was himslelf baptized. Augustine was consecrated a Bishop in France, and returned to Canterbury, where he founded his see. He constructed a church and a monastery near where the present cathedral, begun in 1070, now stands.

As the faith spread, additional sees were founded in London and Rochester.
Laboring patiently, Augustine heeded the wise missionary principles--suggested by the Pope: purify rather than destroy pagan temples and customs, let pagan rites and festivals be taken over into Christian feasts; retain local customs as far as possible. The limited success Augustine achieved in England before his death in 605, a short eight years after he arrived in England, would eventually bear fruit long after in the conversion of England. Truly Augustine of Canterbury can be called the "Apostle of England."

This blogger has been to Canterbury, England on an Easter pilgrimage in May 1974,and returned to visit relatives in May of 2007, visiting London, Greenwich, Cambridge,Chelmsford, Colchester, Brentwood, and other family villages in Essex County, Norfolk County and the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. I did not go to Walsingham in 1974, but have since sensed a call to return to England and visit the Shrine at Walsingham. Much suffering occurred in the Roman Church in the 16th and 17th centuries, with many English Martyrs, of whom were canonized by the late Pope Leo and Pope John Paul II.

Pray for the conversion of England, and the intercession of the English Martyrs!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day - a day to remember those who died for Freedom

This day was originally called 'Decoration day', a day of remembrance for those who died in our nation's service. There is evidence of women's groups in the South decorating graves before the end of the Civil War.
Memorial day was proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, National Command of the Grand Army of the Republic in his General Order No. 11, "...gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mound above them with the choicest flowers of springtime..let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation's gratitude, ..the soldiers and sailors' widow and orphan.
It was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of the Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. Government at one time declared the holiday on the last Monday of May. But since 1999 a bill was introduced to restore the day back to the date of May 30th, and has not been acted upon.
For other interesting information about the US Memorial Day, one can visit

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Feast of the Dedication of the Basicila of St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis of Assisi died in 1226 and a short 2 years later in 1228, he was canonized. His body rested in the Church of St. George which is now part of the Basilica of St. Clare, which was built after the Basilica of St. Francis.
The Basilica is two churches, the original built in the Romanesque, the Lower Church. The upper church is Gothic and built with large stained windows, with the frescoes of Giotto painted on the walls. The scenes of course are the Life of St. Francis of Assisi.

Pope Gregory 9th laid the cornerstone of the church in honor of St. Francis the day after the saint's canonization in Assisi in 1228 at the Church of St. George. Pope Innocent IV solemnly consecrated the Church on May 25, 1253. The remains of St. Francis were taken in solemn procession from the chapel of St. George to the Basilica on May 25, 1230.
This property was once the 'garbage dump' of Assisi, outside the walls of Assisi. It is a Patriarchal Basilica raised to its dignity by Pope Benedict 14th. It is a Papal Chapel and as special as the Vatican grounds with Papal protection.
Outside on the lawn is a 'Tau' cross in red/purple bushes and also Pax. which is Latin for peace, symbolic of St. Francis' way of life of Peace. His remains are at rest in the lower crypt of the Lower Church, and a walking transition can be made easily between the two churches.
As the Basilica of St. John Latern in Rome is the 'Mother church of all Christian Churches, so the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi is designated the 'Mother church of all the Churches of the Order of Friars Minor. There too, is the large monastery of the Friars attached to the Basilica, with an inner courtyard/cloister.
This penitnent/blogger had the privilege of being in Assisi for 5 days to visit this Basilica, and the other many Franciscan churches in Assisi and the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels with the Portiuncula inside
Quote from the Constitution of Pope Benedict 14th on the Basilica: " following the example of so many of our predessors we, too, have been willingly led to add to the splendor and honor of this Church. This is the chief reason that motivated us: We concluded that the more the Apostolic See honored the memory of St. Francis, the more could the Roman Church hope for the greater protection through his intercession. Therefore, by means of this our constitution, valid in perpetuity, we raise the aforesaid church to the dignity of a Patriarchal Basilica and Papel Chapel."

Office of Readings Responsory
God sanctified his dwelling---and glorified his servant Francis.

May our loving Seraphic Father, St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"the Apostle of Italy"

St. Bernadine of Siena, earned this title Apostle of Italy as he was a great Franciscan preacher, missionary, and a reformer of the Friars Minor during his time.
He was born of a noble family of Siena, his father was the governor. But Bernadine was orphaned at the age of 6yrs; he was brought up by his pious aunts. He held the name of Jesus as being 'sacred'. When he was young his fellow playmates saw Bernadine advancing they would watch their language in the presence of Bernadine.
He developed a great devotion to the Blessed Mother and when he entered the Franciscans, a monastery named after the Blessed Mother. he received his habit on the feast of the Nativity of Mary, Sept. 8 of 1402. In one year on the same date in September, he professed into the Order 1403.
He was ordained on September 8, 1404. He travelled about Italy, preaching the name of Jesus, until he died. He is one of Italy's favorite Saints.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Saints, Sunshine and Cycling

Gee! it has been 5 days since i last published, much has transpired. I attended to two events with my volunteer situation. Both were fruitful. I have been cycling since obtaining 'my red bike', and getting out when the days have been sunny. There were a couple of days of cool weather, cloudy and raining. Good for the flowers, but not for my need to just ride and have some solitude flying up hills and down dales. I love the wind blowing against me, i imagine the Holy Spirit blowing off the crud of negativity in some life experiences that we are currently facing.
I watch the advancement of the flowering bushes, and the receding of the spring flowers who take their turns appearing for their short time given to them to bring all Creation to full blossom, and honoring our great Creator!
Pentecost has come gone, then Holy Trinity Sunday. The Liturgical season is just flooding my heart with grace and images. Many great homilists dishing up thoughts to ponder, and assist in advancing in our spiritual walk.
Had the privilege of giving a short talk on the great Penitent of the Third Order of St. Francis.
St. Margaret Cortona holds the name of 'the Magdela of the Seraphic Order'. One can surely rely on her for intercession for spiritual healing, and imitate her great contrition of personal sin.

Words of Our Lord to St. Margaret of Cortona

"Thou art the third light in the Order of my beloved, Francis. He was the first among the Friars Minor, Clare was the second light among the nuns; thou shalt be the third, in the Order of Penance.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Feast of St. Matthias - Apostle. Chosen by the Eleven

He had been a witness to the Lord's Resurrection, St. Matthias was chosen by the other Apostles to take the place of Judas, who denied Christ. Acts 1:15-26 tells of how he was numbered among the Twelve.
Canticle of Zechariah
Antiphon We must choose someone who was with us all the time that the Lord Jesus lived among us; he will take his place with us in giving witness to the Lord's Resurrection.

Father you called St. Matthias to share in the mission of the Apostles, By the help of his prayers may we receive with joy the love you share with us and be counted among those you have chosen.

St. Matthias, pray for us!

Monday, May 12, 2008

"Franciscan In America"

Mother Teresa O'Neil , Third Order of St. Francis. 1843-1926
Mary Anne O'Neil was born January1, 1843 in New York City and grew up in Fort Lee, New Jersey. There Father Pamfilo da Magliano,OSF a missionary from Italy, visited in 1859 under the direction of the 1st Bishop of Buffalo, John Timon CM. He invited her to join a newly-established community of Franciscan Sisters in Allegany, New York. She was invested in the habit on December 8, 1859 at 16 yrs. old. The new congregation was established on April 25, 1859 by Father Pamfilo, this was the first congregation of religious women founded in the Diocese of Buffalo.
The Civil War made life difficult in the academy in which she lived. The generosity of the townspeople and the farmers enabled the sisters to keep the convent and St. Elizabeth's Academy going. She became certified as a public school teacher. In 1864 she was appointed superior of the community; she held the position for 55 yrs.(2 by appointiment and 53 by election). The Allegany sisters expanded their apostolate to education and health care, while Mother Teresa was the General Superior.
She was concerned that the sisters show the fraternal charity so prized by St. Francis. She weathered many trials trusting in God and his Mother to help her solve her problems.
Her funeral on May 17,1926 was held at St. Bonaventure Church, then on the campus of St. Bonaventure College. Stores and businesses in Allehany closed, out of respect for her. In this civic and religious funeral, all walked in the procession stretching from the church to the Chapel in St. Bonaventure Cemetery. The Sisters of the Allegany remain strong due to the missionary zeal of Bishop Timon, Father Pamfilo and Mother Teresa O'Neil.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Solemnity of Pentecost!!

Holy Spirit Tension Prayer
Come, Holy Spirit
replace the tension within me
with Your holy relaxation.
replace the turbulence within me
with Your sacred calm.
replace the anxiety within me
with Your quiet confidence.
replace the fear within me
with Your strong faith.
replace the bitterness within me
with Your sweet grace.
replace the darkness within me
with Your gentle light.
replace the coldness within me
with Your loving warmth.
replace the night within me
with Your Light.
replace the winter within me
with Your Spring.

Straighten my crookedness.
Fill my emptiness.
Dull the edge of my pride.
Sharpen the edge of my humility.
Light the fires of my love.
Quench the flames of my lust.
Let me see myself as You see me
That I may see You
as You have promised, for
"Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God," Mt. 5:8. "

Lord send your consoling Spirit into Your Church.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Not Much at the end of the Day!

This day started out with much squeezing of time & pressures. Brief preparation with Mass readings and attending Mass after my volunteer situation. Meeting new faces & people in the volunteer situation has made this a rewarding day. It has been a day of changes and waiting too, and patient efforts . Family from out of town to arrive, then decided to stay with a sibling before coming for Mother's Day. More to arrive in the Am. I got a bike today, I can't ride it yet because it needs another pedal, nice shiny red bike. I obtained it from the Police Dept. it was stolen & has not been claimed. So after some weeks they are given away, if asked for. How great a gift, I haven't ridden a bike in over 2oyrs. Why now you ask?, AGE & some Overwt. issues. Also, I also have signed up for laptop wireless services.
I believe I will put it and the bike to good use, thanks be to God. It feels as though I am in an Upper Room experience--waiting for the Holy Spirit, the greatest gift from the Father and the Son. I shall wait with the Apostles and Our Lady for the rush of the Spirit's power. Come Holy Spirit, come. And waiting for the bike to be repaired.
I had hoped to share more on Blessed Elena. Now you will have to experience waiting too.

Lord send your consoling Spirit into your Church.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

More on Blessed Elena Guerra

Blessed Elena Guerra, foundress of the Oblate Sisters of the Holy Spirit in Lucca, Italy at the end of the nineteenth century. She urged Pope Leo XIII to lead the Church back to the Cenacle/Upper Room. From 1895-1903, she wrote as led by the Holy Spirit to write 12 confidental letters requesting a renewed preaching on the Holy Spirit.
She exhorted the Pontiff to invite the faithful to rediscover life lived according to the Holy Spirit. She called and prayed for a renewal in the Church, the reunion of Christianity, a renewed society, and thereby "a renewal of the face of the earth". In her heart throbbed the idea of a permanent Pentecost: she said,
"Pentecost is not over. In fact it is continually going on in every time and in every place, because the Holy Spirit desired to give himself to all men and all who want him can always receive him, so we do not have to envy the apostles and the first believers; we only have to dispose ourselves like them to receive him well, and He will come to us as he did to them.
On the promptings of Sr. Elena, Pope XIII issued several documents concerning the Holy Spirit, 1895 Provida Matris Caritate, apostolic letter which asked for all the faithful to celebrate a solemn novena ( 9 days of prayer ) to the Holy Spirit between the feasts of Ascencion and Pentecost for the intention of the reunion of Christianity. At this time, the Pope requested that the novena was to be a perpetual novena, done every year between the two feasts mentioned.
Another important event, at the request of Sr. Elena, the Pope invoked the Holy Spirit on January 1, 1901 with the singing of the Veni Creator Spiritus, in the name of the whole Church.
On the that very day, in Topeka, Kansas, USA, at the Bethel College and Bible School, an outpouring of the Holy Spirit occurred, which has been generally accepted as the beginning of Pentecostalism in this era as it did at Pentecost with the Apostles. Then in 1906 a revival on Azusa Street, I believe in Los Angelis, California broke out and with this within 2 years it was across all continents.
Slowly it came to the Catholic Church in 1967, when the Catholic Charismatic Renewal began just 2 years after the end of Vatican II and 70 yrs. after Pope XIII 's encyclical letter on the Holy Spirit. .. to be continued.....

Lord send your consoling Spirit into your Church!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Come Holy Ghost, Creator Blessed

The scripture readings today are about unity. May the great gift of the Holy Spirit be active in our hearts and the whole Church. Come Holy Spirit, come bring Unity.
I want to share about the turn of the Century-1908-1914 to be exact and how the Holy Spirit worked in two souls at that time. The first will be familiar, Pope Leo the 13th ( for lack of finding the roman numerals on this key board) and the other less familiar to many is Blessed Elena Guerra. I had hoped to visit Lucca, Italy on my trip to Rome and Assisi a few yrs. back as was learning about her at that time,where Blessed Elena lived. She was the powerhouse at that time and I am most assured a great intercessor for our age. Now I want to give website address and hope that it works for those interested, because this is vital. If not one can do a 'search' on google as i did. She had amazing spiritual insights and courage.
Happy reading!! Now please don't go 'bananas' at this site, and say "oh no, not one of those." Take it seriously, God started the whole thing on Pentecost and it survives today, it is the life of the Church. It is not a man-made movement and not one to soon die out- despite the 'nayers' inside and outside the Church. Have a blessed Pentecost and praying these last days before the great feast this Sunday--Pentecost. Accept the Holy Spirit more fully into your life.
That's my blog for today, I didn't know that all this would come forth at the end of the day.

Lord send your consoling Spirit into your Church.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Franciscans in America

Firstly, I want to reflect upon the Scriptures from today's Mass before talking about a Franciscan woman who came to America.
These are proclamations of Jesus and St. Paul in 'farewell' speeches. Jesus is talking about returning to the Father, this phrase caught me; "I glorified you on earth by completing the work you gave me to do." "Now glorify me, Father with you, with the glory I had before the world began."
Then St. Paul "and now behold, I am going to Jerusalem, compelled by the Spirit, not knowing what shall befall me there; except that the Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and trials await."...and further on he says "if only I may accomplish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God." This is where I follow intoline with Jesus and St. Paul, and want to exemplify Mother Ignatius Hayes, Third Order.
She was the 8th child of an Anglican clergyman in England. She joined the Church of Rome after being influenced by the Oxford Movement there. Under directions of Dr. Manning, later the Archbishop of Westminster, she entered a community dedicated to the care of the poor. Later, she became a sister in the Third Order of St. Francis of Assisi. She obtained permission to come to America, as she had desires of founding a congregation of her own.
Under a bishop in Minnesota, she worked with the children of the poor Canadian settlers.
In 1872, she began the first Franciscan convent in Minnesota. Other convents began to grow in other states. In 1880 she visited Rome, now Mother Ignatius, and at the suggestion of Pope Leo X111, a community of sisters was formed. A year later she moved the motherhouse to Rome from Minnesota. In 1893, she wanted to visit her sisters in America, but became ill in Naples but died in Rome on her return on this day May 6,1894.
Her community would become three groups: Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception in Rome, Minnesota, and Rock Island, Illinois.

As I reflect on the readings and the work entrusted to St. Paul and Jesus, I can see the movement of the Holy Spirit in the life of Mother Ignatius. I can hear her saying something like, "I am on my way to America, I don't know what will befall me". But she accepted the work that God had entrusted to her far away from her native England. May we listen, too, to the Holy Spirit and follow Our Lord in the vocation he has called us to and be brought to the Glory of Heaven; just as Jesus and St. Paul.

O Lord send your consoling Spirit into the Church.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Time between Ascension & Pentecost

During this week in personal prayer time, I want to focus on the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, and prepare my heart for more of the Holy Spirit, more of His power, and invite Him into my life. Asking for the charisms to grown in the life of the Spirit, and be of service to the Church. I am praying for more of the Holy Spirit to come into the Church, for renewal & revival to empower and heal where healing needs to take place, deliverance from personal sin.

Paul said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?"

and when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. - Acts19:1-8

Ant. The Spirit, the Advocate, will remain with you and live in you, alleluia

Lord, send your consoling Spirit into your Church.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Christ's Ascension

Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up in the sky?
The Lord will return, just as you have seen him ascend, alleluia!

God mounts his throne to shouts of joy; a blare of trumpets for the Lord.

Well what do we do until he returns,.."go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations and baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

"I am with you always."

Ant. O Victor King, Lord of power and might, today you have ascended in glory above the heavens. Do not leave us orphans, but send the Father's promised gift, the Spirit of truth, alleluia.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Built on the Foundations of the Apostles

I first want to say something again about words, from a previous blog, maybe the initial one.
Words form prayers and our prayers bring us insight to the Will of God, his desires for us. Words (prayers) for strength, peace, grace to live our Christian calling.
Today the feast of the Apostles, Phillip & James, thank God for these 'two living stones.' Abit exhausted from two days of my Volunteer situation & travelling some distances, I slept past 9AMMass, but recalled my friend was going to her grandson's 1st Holy Communion & Confirmation.
After a quick call, I attended the 1130 AM Mass of our parish. What a blessing today, always learning new things about the Church. One young boy, J-A Tarcisius S. (his new confirmation name) received Our Lord today & was confirmed. As I looked over the program I was reading the names chosen for confirmation, Tarcisius was different & unheard of by this blogger who celebrates his forty-ninth anniversary of receiving Jesus in the gift of the Holy Eucharist as a convert to the Church at about 18yrs. of age( I was flooded with memories, of my 1st Communion of course).
At the reception, I asked about Tarcisius & was informed by J-A that the saint is the Patron of First Communicants, and he chose it from a book of saints as he had died guarding the Blessed Sacrament on his way to be given to local prisoners. For the rest of the story I am including further reading at these websites. O' Blessed reading...He is not in the Roman Calendar but is in the book of Roman Martyrs. and
Hope these addresses work for you if not leave a comment for correction or do a 'search'.
O St. Tarcisius pray for all 1st Holy Communicants during this month & always!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Saints & early Heresy

Today was like no other as of late. I was driving to myVolunteer situation, early in the 'wee' hours without any chance to attend Mass today. I tried to make the best of the prayer time allotted for this day, I played & prayed the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet per CD.
Now at this late time of the day I decided to see the friends of God listed for today. Well, we have one of the first great champions of the Faith- St. Athanasius, Bishop & Doctor of the Church. He was born about 295 of Christian parents. Educated under Alexander, later Bishop of his native city.
In 315, Athanasius became a hermit in the desert with the great hermit St. Anthony & remained in the desert about 2 yrs. He became a Deacon and even in this capacity he was called upon to be active against the rising heresy of Arius. Arius an ambitious priest in the Alexandrian Church denied the Divinity of Christ ( sounds like many today). For St. Athanasius this battle was for his lifetime.
At the Council of Nicaea, 325, his influence began to be felt. St. Athanasius became Bishop after the death of Alexander. Many trials & persecutions came to St. Athanasius because of his refusal to tolerate the Arian heresy. He spent 17 years in exile during his 46 yrs. of his Episcopate. He died May 2, 373 after a life of trials, sufferings and gaining a life of virtue.
How we need the intercession of St. Athanasius in this era & champions of the Faith to stand up.
Lord bless me with a portion of this Saint's faith for today and always!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Welcome May..showers & May Flowers

It is the end of the day, at last 70 degrees & sunny. The homilist today said maybe we can 'put the snow shovel' away, I agree but not the jackets, yet! Today is the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, and this blogger retired on this day 2yrs. ago-yippee. St. Joseph was not known for any 'words' in Scripture, but known as the Virgin-Father and his spouse Mary the Virgin -Mother. He was obedient to God's Word. He had to be young to travel into Egypt, why do we picture him as an 'old' man? He had to have energy to do the things he had to do.
This month is dedicated to Mary in our Church with expressions of devotion to her, many events of May Crownings . This month is full of youngsters receiving their 1st Holy Communion, Confirmations, High School and College Graduations. Also, Mother's Day- how can we forget this 'vocation' patterned after the model par excellence,the Blessed Virgin Mary.
This a month of 'celebrations', and why not after the winter season, celebrating Spring and the Popes have told us of the 'New Spring-time' in the Church. Yes, let it come Holy Spirit.
In my family we have some Birthdays of special folks to me; my dear wife and my oldest brother.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Let's Get Started"....

Well the past 24 hrs. has given me time to think about words & what to say.'let's get started.......a familiar word by those voice robots when phoning for services from major companies, can't i speak to a human ( one of like as I am) not to a machine. Webter's dictionary defines word n.remark, brief expression, a promise, a password, a unit of language. Words communicate. We can string letters to form sentences, paragraphs, tales, stories, 'gossip'. Our words can build up or tear down. have words with, to argue, man of his word, a person who keeps his promises. Then there is the 'ultimate' word, the Word, 1. the Logos, 2. the Bible. The word spoken by the Father - Jesus.
He came to give us many words, words of promise, faith, love, hope, words of truth.
Today I heard from a homilist & I took it to heart concerning this new venture in blogging, " if you fall & stumble, don't grumble or mumble, be humble. Of course, I also applied to my spiritual life. If one falls get up again, even Jesus fell three times in his walk to the Father, doing His Will.
Words have made this month and it ends with numbers 30. Looking forward to May.

Let's Get Started....

Well, the last 24 hrs. has brought many ideas and words thinking about the blog site that has been created here. Let's get the voice robot tells us when we call for outsourced services, or in-country services. My friend & I for that matter just get frustrated not talking to a human, ( one of like kind) and not to machines.
I want to start with Webster's dictionary definition with word n. to say, to speak 1. a brief expression, 2. a promise,, 4. a password, 5. usually talk, speech. Well going on one can do so much with letters as to form a letter, a sentence, and on until one has paragraphs, stories, tales, books, novels, and volumes. One could say at a word, a quick response to a request or command, break one's word, failure to keep one's promise, have words with
Further there is the ultimate word that I subscribe to.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Friend's Ideas about Blogging

I have had a few discussions recently about blogging, a blog site vs. a website, and how to maintain it.
Should I do this? Why do I want to do this? I'm a little scared to do this! What have I got to say? When I think about it-- Lots! With much to share about life, Franciscan spirituality, living and travels. Well, here goes guys, with your encouragment. Salute!!

Friends Idea about Blogging

In the past days and even hours I've had discussions about doing this. Even wondered why?
Should I