Friday, April 18, 2014

On this priestly Thursday

"On this priestly Thursday I ask the Lord Jesus to enable many young people to discover that burning zeal which joy kindles in our hearts as soon as we have the stroke of boldness needed to respond willingly to his call.

"On this priestly Thursday I ask the Lord Jesus to preserve the joy sparkling in the eyes of the recently ordained who go forth to devour the world, to spend themselves fully in the midst of God's faithful people, rejoicing as they prepare their first homily, their first Mass, their first Baptism, their first confession… It is the joy of being able to share with wonder, and for the first time as God’s anointed, the treasure of the Gospel and to feel the faithful people anointing you again and in yet another way: by their requests, by bowing their heads for your blessing, by taking your hands, by bringing you their children, by pleading for their sick… Preserve, Lord, in your young priests the joy of going forth, of doing everything as if for the first time, the joy of spending their lives fully for you.

"On this priestly Thursday I ask the Lord Jesus to confirm the priestly joy of those who have already ministered for some years. The joy which, without leaving their eyes, is also found on the shoulders of those who bear the burden of the ministry, those priests who, having experienced the labours of the apostolate, gather their strength and rearm themselves: 'get a second wind', as the athletes say. Lord, preserve the depth, wisdom and maturity of the joy felt by these older priests. May they be able to pray with Nehemiah: 'the joy of the Lord is my strength' (cf. Neh 8:10).

"Finally, on this priestly Thursday I ask the Lord Jesus to make better known the joy of elderly priests, whether healthy or infirm. It is the joy of the Cross, which springs from the knowledge that we possess an imperishable treasure in perishable earthen vessels. May these priests find happiness wherever they are; may they experience already, in the passage of the years, a taste of eternity (Guardini). May they know the joy of handing on the torch, the joy of seeing new generations of their spiritual children, and of hailing the promises from afar, smiling and at peace, in that hope which does not disappoint."

Pope Francis

Chrism Mass Homily
Holy Thursday
17 April 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

He is the One

"There was much proclaimed by the prophets about the mystery of the Passover: that mystery is Christ, and to him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

"For the sake of suffering humanity he came down from heaven to earth, clothed himself in that humanity in the Virgin’s womb, and was born a man. Having then a body capable of suffering, he took the pain of fallen man upon himself; he triumphed over the diseases of soul and body that were its cause, and by his Spirit, which was incapable of dying, he dealt man’s destroyer, death, a fatal blow.

"He was led forth like a lamb; he was slaughtered like a sheep. He ransomed us from our servitude to the world, as he had ransomed Israel from the land of Egypt; he freed us from our slavery to the devil, as he had freed Israel from the hand of Pharaoh. He sealed our souls with his own Spirit, and the members of our body with his own blood.

"He is the One who covered death with shame and cast the devil into mourning, as Moses cast Pharaoh into mourning. He is the One who smote sin and robbed iniquity of offspring. He is the One who brought us out of slavery into freedom, out of darkness into light, out of death into life, out of tyranny into an eternal kingdom; who made us a new priesthood, a people chosen to be his own for ever. He is the Passover that is our salvation.

"It is he who endured every kind of suffering in all those who foreshadowed him. In Abel he was slain, in Isaac bound, in Jacob exiled, in Joseph sold, in Moses exposed to die. He was sacrificed in the Passover lamb, persecuted in David, dishonored in the prophets.

"It is he who was made man of the Virgin, he who was hung on the tree; it is he who was buried in the earth, raised from the dead, and taken up to the heights of heaven. He is the mute lamb, the slain lamb, the lamb born of Mary, the fair ewe. He was seized from the flock, dragged off to be slaughtered, sacrificed in the evening, and buried at night. On the tree no bone of his was broken; in the earth his body knew no decay. He is the One who rose from the dead, and who raised man from the depths of the tomb."

Saint Melito of Sardis

from the Office of Readings
for the Thursday of Holy Week
17 April 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you, before I suffer"

I turn to this video each Holy Thursday. It moves me every time

Monday, March 31, 2014

Happiness and humility

"The happiest of priests are also the most humble, the most generous....The last thing the Church needs is another angry, unhappy priest."

Dcn. Shayne DuVall

Homily on Lk 18:9-14

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Pope Francis: "Reconciliation transmits the new life of the Risen Lord"

"You are called to always be “men of the Holy Spirit,” witnesses and heralds, joyful and strong, of the resurrection of the Lord. This testimony is read on the face, is heard in the voice of the priest who administers with faith and with “unction” the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He welcomes penitents not with the attitude of a judge, not even with that of a simple man, but with the charity of God, with the love of a father who sees the son returning and goes to meet him, [with the love] of the shepherd who has found the lost sheep. The heart of the priest is a heart that knows how to be moved, not by sentimentality or mere emotion, but to the 'tender mercy' [viscere di misericordia] of the Lord! If it is true that tradition points out the dual role of doctor and judge for confessors, we must never forget that as a doctor he is called to heal and as a judge, to absolve.

"The second aspect: if Reconciliation transmits the new life of the Risen Lord and renews baptismal grace, then your task is to give it generously to others. A priest who does not attend to this part of his ministry, both in the amount of time spent and in the spiritual quality, is like a shepherd who does not take care of the sheep that were lost; he is like a father who forgets the lost son and neglects waiting for him. But mercy is the heart of the Gospel! It is the good news that God loves us, that He always loves the sinner, and with this love draws him to Himself and invites him to conversion. We must not forget that the faithful often have difficulty approaching the sacrament, whether for practical reasons, or because of the natural difficulty of confessing one’s sins to another person. For this reason it is necessary to work hard on ourselves, on our humanity, never to be an obstacle but always to favour drawing near to mercy and forgiveness.

"Here we must guard against two extremes: rigorism and laxism. Neither is good, because in reality they don’t take charge of the person of the penitent. Instead, mercy truly listens with the heart of God and wants to accompany the soul on the path of reconciliation. Confession is not a court of condemnation, but an experience of forgiveness and mercy!"

Pope Francis

Discourse on Sacrament 
of Reconciliation
28 March 2014

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Father Malloy

YOU are over there, Father Malloy,  
Where holy ground is, and the cross marks every grave,  
Not here with us on the hill—  
Us of wavering faith, and clouded vision  
And drifting hope, and unforgiven sins.
You were so human, Father Malloy,  
Taking a friendly glass sometimes with us,  
Siding with us who would rescue Spoon River  
From the coldness and the dreariness of village morality.  
You were like a traveler who brings a little box of sand
From the wastes about the pyramids  
And makes them real and Egypt real.  
You were a part of and related to a great past,  
And yet you were so close to many of us.  
You believed in the joy of life.
You did not seem to be ashamed of the flesh.  
You faced life as it is,  
And as it changes.  
Some of us almost came to you, Father Malloy,  
Seeing how your church had divined the heart,
And provided for it,  
Through Peter the Flame,  
Peter the Rock.

Edgar Lee Masters

Spoon River Anthology

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

"We often sow seeds that we ourselves will not be able to reap"

"Jesus goes on to say, 'For here the saying is verified that One sows and another reaps. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for; others have done the work, and you are sharing the fruits of their work." (Jn 4:37-38)

"And here too is another very important lesson about sowing and reaping. We often sow seeds that we ourselves will not be able to reap, others will. And we too reap the harvests of seeds that others have sown and tended.


"Never give up. Harvests come, but there is time between the sowing of the seeds and the reaping of the harvest. Too many today are easily discouraged by any delay, any separation in time between the sowing and the harvesting. But we must learn to accept this delay; any harvest takes time."

Msgr. Charles Pope

View post
24 March 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014