holiness

Do not think to found holiness upon doing; holiness must be founded upon being. Works do not make us holy. It is we who must make works holy. For no matter how holy works may be, they do not make us holy because we do them, but in so far as we within ourselves are as we should be, we make holy all that we do, whether it be eating, or sleeping, or working or what it may.
Meister Eckhart

keep us safe

In the dark of the midnight have I oft hid my face, while the storm howls above me, and there’s no hiding place. ‘Mid the crash of the thunder, precious Lord, hear my cry, keep me safe till the storm passes by. Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more, till the clouds roll forever from the sky. Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of thy hand, keep me safe till the storm passes by. Many times Satan whispered, “There is no need to try, for there’s no end of sorrow, there’s no hope by and by.” But I know thou art with me, and tomorrow I’ll rise, where the storms never darken the skies. Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more, till the clouds roll forever from the sky. Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of thy hand. Keep me safe till the storm passes by. When the long night has ended and the storms come no more, let me stand in thy presence on the bright peaceful shore. In that land where the tempest never comes, Lord, may I dwell with thee when the storm passes by. Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more, till the clouds roll forever from the sky. Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of thy hand keep me safe till the storm passes by.
Thomas Mosie Lister
Listen:

our salvation

Precious Blood of Jesus, shed in the circumcision, make me pure of mind, heart and body. Precious Blood, oozing from every pore of Jesus in the Agony, enable me to love God’s holy will above all. Precious Blood, flowing from the scourging at the pillar, inspire me with a sorrow for my sins, and a tolerance for suffering. Precious Blood, falling in profusion from the crown of thorns, grant me a ready acceptance of humiliations. Precious Blood, shed profusely in the crucifixion of our Lord, make me die entirely to self love. Precious Blood, shed to the very last drop by the opening of Christ’s Sacred Heart, give me that generous love which sacrifices all for God. Precious Blood, sacred price of my redemption, apply to me your infinite merits. Precious Blood, I adore you from the depths of my heart; I invoke you ardently, for you are my salvation, and by you I hope to obtain the joys of heaven.
Amen.
Catholic Online

parody

Then Jesus took his disciples up on the mountain, and when they had gathered around him, he taught them saying, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Blessed are the merciful, the pure of heart. Blessed the peacemakers. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Then Simon Peter said, “Are we suppose to learn this?” And Andrew said, “Do we have to write this down?” And James said, “Will we get a test on this?” And Philip said, “I don’t have any paper.” And Bartholomew said, “Do we have to turn it in?” And John said, “The other disciples don’t have to learn this.” And Matthew said, “I have to go to the bathroom.” And Judas said, “What does this have to do with real life?” And one of the Pharisees present asked to see Jesus’ lesson plan, and inquired of Jesus, “What is your terminal objective? Have you completed a task analysis? What about a diagnostic survey?”
And Jesus wept.
author unknown

true grit

Winston Churchill wrote: “Never give up! Never give in! Never, Never, Never, Never—-in anything great or small, large or petty—-never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.”
Father Patrick Rager lived these words of Winston Churchill. Affectionately known as Father Paddy, he loved everything Irish, and was a man of many talents. Born on August 14, 1959, in West Homestead Pennsylvania, he attended St Mary Magdalene School where he served as an altar boy. At Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, Paddy excelled in both athletics and academics. Today his picture hangs in their alumni hall of fame. In 1981, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Duquesne University where he studied theology and psychology. While attending Duquesne, he earned his emergency medical technician certificate and served in the Air Force Reserves for two years achieving the rank of lieutenant. In the same year, he earned a master’s degree in theology from Christ the King Seminary in New York and a master’s degree in clinical psychopathology from St Bonaventure University in New York. On May 11, 1985, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Anthony Bevilacqua at St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh. His first assignment was as parochial vicar at St Sylvester in Brentwood, a Pittsburgh suburb, where he served from 1985 to 1987.
The first sign of illness appeared when he was a seminarian. His knee gave out during a baseball game. More falls and weakening lead to many medical tests and several misdiagnoses. Finally, after fifteen years, a diagnosis of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, a slow and fatal paralysis, was made. Father Paddy’s condition deteriorated and in 1987, he moved into an apartment in his parent’s home. His priesthood changed direction there. Although he was confined to a wheelchair and eventually bedridden, he did not stop serving others. He wrote articles for Catholic publications. He developed a telephone and mail ministry that offered prayer, support, encouragement and counseling for persons with disabilities. After an article about him appeared in a national Catholic newsweekly, this ministry expanded to people in different areas of the world. Even with his many physical limitations, Father Paddy’s priesthood was incredibly alive and strong. His great love for Jesus showed in Father Paddy’s joyful attitude. He would flash a radiant smile and his dark eyes lit up when a joke or funny story was afoot. He enjoyed watching football games on TV, especially when his favorite team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, played. He focused on the lighter side of things, the goodness of life, and rarely complained. He was more concerned about hearing what others had to say than talking about himself. His strong devotion to Mary was revealed in his attentiveness and readiness to offer hope. He wrote: “Storms arrive in all of our lives with some regularity. Many times they arrive without warning. They test our strength and resolve. In these difficult circumstances, we must remember that Jesus is in the boat with us on this chaotic, turbulent sea of life, just as he was in the boat with the apostles, calming them as he rebuked the winds and the waters. For the moment, he may appear silent, but he never forsakes us.” A priest wrote to him: “Perhaps you have been selected as a martyr witness to many of the rest of us who should be better priests.” When he could no longer speak, he wrote using eye movements and a computer screen. Father Paddy’s priesthood was used in a way he could not have imagined at ordination. On the 20th of July 2010, at the age of fifty, he went home to Jesus from the home where he was born and raised.
Father Paddy’s former bishop, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington D.C, said: “He really was an example of heroic virtue.” Indeed, Father Paddy never gave up. He exemplified everyday holiness in prayer, in service and in suffering. Along with Paul the apostle, he could write: “I rejoice in my sufferings. In my body I do all that I can to fill up what has yet to be endured by Christ for the sake of his body, the Church.” (Col 1:24) Testimonies are being gathered to support a potential cause for his sainthood.
From the book: Everyday Holiness, A Guide to Living Here and Getting to Eternity

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Mary is honored with many beloved titles. On July 16th, we celebrate her with the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. In the thirteenth century a small band of lay hermits settled on Mount Carmel in Israel. They were former pilgrims, merchants, penitents and soldiers who wanted to live a simple, quiet life centered on the gospels and consecrated to Christ. They built a chapel to honor his mother, Mary, and took her for their patroness. They became known as the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel. Around 1209 a rule was written for them by their bishop Albert, Patriarch of Jerusalem, which put together the elements of the life they were living. Thus the Carmelites became the first order dedicated to Mary in the Catholic Church.
When Teresa of Avila fashioned a new form of life in Carmel, she placed a statue of Mary above the prioress’ stall in the choir in order to remind her sisters who the real prioress of the house was. The choir is the place where the sisters gather several times a day for prayer. Teresa tells her nuns and us, “Imitate Mary and consider how great she must be and what a good thing it is that we have her for our patroness.”
We can follow Teresa’s example by having a statue of Mary in a prayer corner of our home. Her statue reminds us that Mary is at the heart of our family. Mary’s corner can be a special place of prayer, peace, quiet and reflection for family members and a reminder of holiness in our home.
For centuries, a beautiful sign of Mary’s love has been the brown scapular. An enduring and endearing tradition in the Catholic Church tells us that at Cambridge, England in 1251, Mary appeared to Simon Stock, the prior general of the Carmelite Order. She gave him the scapular which is an important part of the Carmelite habit. Lay people can wear a smaller version of the brown scapular, a sign of Mary’s compassion for all her children. It reminds us to imitate Mary wherever we are and to always keep her Son at the center of whatever we do. The scapular is a sign that Mary treasures us, keeps us in her loving care, and prompts us to do what is right and good. We need tangible and visible daily reminders of God’s grace to help us live holy lives.
‘Our Gift from Mary,’ a booklet written by this blogger, contains short lessons from the life of Mary, the origin and use of the brown scapular, and a collection of time honored prayers that we hold dear. Copies of the booklet and/or the brown scapular are available at The Lourdes Center, 698 Beacon Street, P.O. Box 15575, Boston, MA 02215-2594 (617) 536-2761 http://www.lourdescenter.org. The best way to order is by mail and prepaid check. A booklet is $3.00, scapular $3.00, booklet and scapular together $5.00.

true comfort

Jesus awaits us, not to magically solve problems, but to strengthen us amid our problems. He does not lift the burdens from our life, but the anguish from our hearts. He does not take away our cross, but carries it with us. And with him every burden becomes light, because he is the comfort we seek.
Pope Francis

forgiveness

The greatest thing I can do for anybody is to pray for them. To say, “Lord, I have forgiven her and please look after her,” that is not enough. The person has to be in my heart, in my mind for a little while. Then I hand him or her over to God, clad in the white garment of my forgiveness. That is when I forget them in the sense of forgiveness, but I remember them in the uniqueness of their person. Now they are just like they were before. It can be done. I think love can do what is impossible.

Catherine Doherty

Sacred Heart

O heart of Jesus, treasure of tenderness, you, yourself, are my happiness, my only hope. You who knew how to charm my tender youth, stay near me ‘til the last light. Lord, to you alone, I’ve given my life, and all my desires are well known to you. It is in your ever infinite goodness that I want to lose myself, O heart of Jesus.
Therese of Lisieux

Body and Blood of Christ

In the Eucharist we have Jesus, we have his redemptive sacrifice, we have his resurrection, we have the gift of the Holy Spirit, we have adoration, obedience and love of the Father. Were we to disregard the Eucharist how could we overcome our own deficiency?  In the humble signs of bread and wine changed into his body and blood, Christ walks beside us as our strength and is our food for the journey.  And he enables us to become, for everyone, witnesses to hope.

John Paul II