Saturday, July 4, 2015

Verso l'alto - "To the heights!"

...everlasting joy will crown their heads. 
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away. - Isaiah 35: 10

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 When Pier Giorgio Frassati  was only 22 years old
he wrote in a letter to the Catholic Action group to...

"...approach the Eucharist Table
as often as possible.
When you become totally consumed
with the Eucharistic Fire
you will be able to taste that happiness 
which people of the world have never tasted."

Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati
Italy ~ 1901-1925
"Man of the Eight Beatitudes"
Patron of World Youth Days
Motto:  Verso l'alto - "To the heights!"
FEAST DAY – July 4

“To live without faith, without a patrimony to defend,
without a steady struggle for truth, that is not living,
but merely existing; we must never just "exist". - Bl Pier-Giorgio

 *To this day, Frassati´s body remains incorrupt: "When they opened
Pier Giorgio´s tomb in 1981, his body was perfectly preserved,"
recalled one witness. "He had a smile on his face and a rosary in his hands.
It was like meeting him for the first time."

 Bl Pier Giorgio Frassati, pray for us!

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"Be free people! What do I mean? Perhaps it is thought that freedom means doing everything one likes, or seeing how far one can go.... This is not freedom.
Freedom means being able to think about what we do, being able to assess what
is good and what is bad, these are the types of conduct that lead to development;
it means always opting for the good. Let us be free for goodness.

And in this do not be afraid to go against the tide, even if it is not easy!
Always being free to choose goodness is demanding, but it will make you
into people with a backbone who can face life, people with courage and patience....

Be men and women with others and for others:
true champions at the service of others." - Pope Francis

Friday, July 3, 2015

"My Lord and my God!"

How right they are to adore you! - Song of Songs 1:4

Jesus and Holy Father Pope Francis

“Is not this gazing upon the Eucharistic Saviour
a magnificent profession of our faith in the
Divinity of Christ, such as was made by
the incredulous Thomas?  When St. Thomas said,
‘My Lord and my God!’ (see John 20:24-28)
we may be sure he did not keep
his eyes cast down, but looked with open
and sincere gaze into the eyes of his Master.”

Servant of God, Fr. Lukas Etlin, O.S.B. (+1927)
Detail - The Incredulity of Saint Thomas (Caravaggio)

St. Thomas the Apostle
Martyr (d. 74)
Carried and fearlessly preached the Gospel to India
SW coast of India call themselves 'Christians of St. Thomas'
Martyred in India with piercing from swords of four soldiers
FEAST DAY - July 3

Besides tradition, we have the witness of Saints and Fathers of the Church that St. Thomas preached in India. The following powerful quote is from St. Ephraim the Syrian, in a writing on the devil. He discusses the power of the Apostles through Christ from the devil's perspective:

"The evil one wails, "Where then can I flee from the righteous? I incited Death to kill the apostles as if to escape from their scourges by their death. More than ever now I am scourged harshly. The apostle I killed in India (has come) to Edessa before me. Here is he and also there. I went there, there he is. Here and there I found him, and I am gloomy. Did that merchant carry the bones? Or perhaps, indeed, they carried him!"

 St Thomas the Apostle, pray for us!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Taking the chalice of salvation...

You are ransomed... not with perishable things
like silver and gold but with
the precious blood of Christ. - I Peter 1:18-19

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"'What shall I render unto the Lord
for all that He has rendered unto me?  
I shall take the chalice of salvation.'

Yes, O my God, if I take this Chalice, crimsoned with the
Blood of my Master, and in utterly joyous thanksgiving,
mingle my blood with that of the sacred Victim,
He will impart to it something of His own infinity,
and it will give You, O Father, wonderful praise. ... 

O Jesus, grant that I may become so identified with You 
that I may ceaselessly express You in the sight of Your Father."

Bl Elizabeth of the Trinity (+1906)
Excerpt from Last Retreat

ORDAINED to the Holy Priesthood of Jesus Christ
Thursday, July 2, 2015
Oh, day of Love Divine, all loves excelling!
An Old German saying:
It is worth wearing out a pair of shoes to walk
to receive a priest's First Blessing!
Rev Mr Mark Horn ~ Diocese of Rapid City (South Dakota)
Rev Mr John Paul Trask~ Diocese of Rapid City
Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help ~ 7:00 PM Mass
Let us hold them in prayer and offer thanksgiving for each 'YES'!

"Whatever else you forget, do not forget the word - priest.
In every language in history, in every religion ancient and living, 
the word, priest, means the one who sacrifices." - Fr John A Hardon, S.J.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

“Always forward, never back.”

Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord. 
Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
- Romans 12:11-12

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"How could the Church fulfill her vocation 
without cultivating a constant relationship with the Eucharist,
without nourishing herself with this food which sanctifies,without founding her missionary activity 
on this indispensable support?" - St John Paul II

San Charles of Borremeo - California Franciscan mission

Bl Junipero Serra*
*To be canonized Sept 23, 2015
Nee Spain ~ Franciscan Priest
Zealous preacher, Professor, Untiring Missionary
Known as "Father of California"
Motto:  “Always forward, never back.”
Deep Eucharistic devotion.  Baptized over 6000.
Founded numerous missions in California.
Introduced many varieties of fruits and vegetables, including grapes,
and laid the foundation for the agriculture industry in California.
He also introduced dairy cows and cheese making. 
FEAST DAY - July 1

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"All my life I have wanted to be a missionary. I have wanted
to carry the Gospel message to those who have never heard of God
and the kingdom He has prepared for them." ~ Bl. Junipero

Read about Bl. Junipero Serra and the California Missions here and here.

Bl Junipero Serra, pray for us!

Through the inspiration of Bl Junipero Serra's life and work,
a lay apostolate that fosters and promotes vocations exists.
Consider joining this fruitful endeavor - on this, the Feast of Bl Junipero!

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Serran Prayer For Vocations

O God, Who wills not the death of a sinner, but rather that he be converted and live, grant we beseech You, through the intercession of the Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, Saint Joseph, her spouse, Blessed Junipero Serra and all the saints, an increase of laborers for your Church, fellow laborers with Christ to spend and consume themselves for souls, through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. Amen Via Serra USA.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I belong to Jesus!

Ring out your joy to the Lord, O you just;
for praise is fitting for loyal hearts.
 - Psalm 33:1

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"Jesus, for You I live.  
Jesus, for You I die. 
Jesus, I am Yours in life and death."

 From Reflections and Prayers
for Visits with our Eucharistic Lord,
John J. Cardinal Carberry


FEAST of the First Roman Martyrs JUNE 30
 The First Martyrs of the Church of Rome were Christians martyred 
in Rome during Nero's persecution in the year 64.
“This dreadful conflagration continued nine days; when Nero, finding that his conduct was greatly blamed, and a severe odium cast upon him, determined to lay the whole upon the Christians, at once to excuse himself and have an opportunity of glutting his sight with new cruelties. This was the occasion of the first persecution ... 
Nero even refined upon cruelty, and contrived all manner of punishments for them that the most infernal imagination could design.  In particular, he had some sewed up in the skins of wild beasts, and then worried by dogs till they expired; and others dressed in shirts made stiff with wax, fixed to axle-trees, and set on fire in his gardens in order to illuminate them.  This persecution was general throughout the whole Roman empire; but it rather increased than diminished the spirit of Christianity."

A. Wright
A History of the Principal
and Most Distinguished Martyrs