Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 05-02-14, M, St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Posted on 05/01/2014 9:29:34 PM PDT by Salvation
May 2, 2014
Reading 1 Acts 5:34-42
A Pharisee in the Sanhedrin named Gamaliel,
a teacher of the law, respected by all the people,
stood up, ordered the Apostles to be put outside for a short time,
and said to the Sanhedrin, “Fellow children of Israel,
be careful what you are about to do to these men.
Some time ago, Theudas appeared, claiming to be someone important,
and about four hundred men joined him, but he was killed,
and all those who were loyal to him
were disbanded and came to nothing.
After him came Judas the Galilean at the time of the census.
He also drew people after him,
but he too perished and all who were loyal to him were scattered.
So now I tell you,
have nothing to do with these men, and let them go.
For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin,
it will destroy itself.
But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them;
you may even find yourselves fighting against God.”
They were persuaded by him.
After recalling the Apostles, they had them flogged,
ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus,
and dismissed them.
So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin,
rejoicing that they had been found worthy
to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.
And all day long, both at the temple and in their homes,
they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Christ, Jesus.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14
R. (see 4abc) One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
R. One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
One thing I ask of the LORD
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple.
R. One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R. One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
Gospel Jn 6:1-15
Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee.
A large crowd followed him,
because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.
Jesus went up on the mountain,
and there he sat down with his disciples.
The Jewish feast of Passover was near.
When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him,
he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?”
He said this to test him,
because he himself knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered him,
“Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough
for each of them to have a little.”
One of his disciples,
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him,
“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish;
but what good are these for so many?”
Jesus said, “Have the people recline.”
Now there was a great deal of grass in that place.
So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks,
and distributed them to those who were reclining,
and also as much of the fish as they wanted.
When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples,
“Gather the fragments left over,
so that nothing will be wasted.”
So they collected them,
and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments
from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.
When the people saw the sign he had done, they said,
“This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.”
Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off
to make him king,
he withdrew again to the mountain alone.
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From: Acts 5:34-42
The Apostles Are Flogged
34-39. Gamaliel had been St. Paul’s teacher (cf. 22:3). He belonged to a mode-
rate grouping among the Pharisees. He was a prudent man, impartial and reli-
giously minded. The Fathers of the Church often propose him as an example of
an upright man who is awaiting the Kingdom of God and dares to defend the
“Gamaliel does not say that the undertaking is of man or of God; he recom-
mends that they let time decide. [...] By speaking in the absence of the Apostles
he was better able to win over the judges. The gentleness of his word and argu-
ments, based on justice, convinced them. He was almost preaching the Gospel.
Indeed, his language is so correct that he seemed to be saying: Be convinced of
it: you cannot destroy this undertaking. How is it that you do not believe? The
Christian message is so impressive that even its adversaries bear witness to it”
(St. John Chrysostom, “Hom. on Acts”, 14).
This commentary seems to be recalling our Lord’s words, “He that is not against
us is for us” (Mark 9:40). Certainly, Gamaliel’s intervention shows that a person
with good will can discern God’s action in events or at least investigate objective-
ly without prejudging the issue.
The revolts of Theudas and Judas are referred to by Flavius Josephus (cf. “Jew-
ish Antiquities”, XVIII, 4-10; XX, 169-172), but the dates he gives are vague; ap-
parently these events occurred around the time of Jesus’ birth. Both Theudas
and Judas had considerable following; they revolted against the chosen people
having to pay tribute to foreigners such as Herod and Imperial Rome.
40-41. Most members of the Sanhedrin are unimpressed by Gamaliel’s argu-
ments; they simply decide to go as far as they safely can: they do not dare to
condemn the Apostles to death; but, in their stubborn opposition to the Gospel
message, they decree that they be put under the lash in the hope that this will
keep them quiet. However, it has just the opposite effect.
“It is true that Jeremiah was scourged for the word of God, and the Elijah and
other prophets were also threatened, but in this case the Apostles, as they did
earlier by their miracles, showed forth the power of God. He does not say that
they did not suffer, but that they rejoiced over having to suffer. This we can see
from the boldness afterwards: immediately after being beaten they went back to
preaching” (Chrysostom, “Hom. on Acts”, 14).
The Apostles must have remembered our Lord’s words, “Blessed are you when
men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely
on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for so men persecuted the prophets who
were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12).
42. The Apostles and the first disciples of Jesus were forever preaching, with
the result that very soon all Jerusalem was filled with their teaching (cf. verse 28).
These early brethren are an example to Christians in every age: zeal to attract
others to the faith is a characteristic of every true disciple of Jesus and a conse-
quence of love of God and love of others: “You have but little love if you are not
zealous for the salvation of all souls. You have but poor love if you are not eager
to inspire other apostles with your craziness” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way”, 796).
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.
Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States
From: John 6:1-15
The Miracle of the Loaves and Fish
 Perceiving then that they were about to come and take Him by force to make
Him king, Jesus withdrew again to the hills by Himself.
1. This is the second lake formed by the river Jordan. It is sometimes described
in the Gospels as the “Lake of Gennesaret” (Luke 5:1), because that is the name
of the area on the north-eastern bank of the lake, and sometimes as the “Sea of
Galilee” (Matthew 4:18; 15:29; Mark 1:16; 7:31), after the region in which it is lo-
cated. St. John also calls it the “Sea of Tiberias” (cf. 21:1), after the city of that
name which Herod Antipas founded and named after the Emperor Tiberius. In
Jesus’ time there were a number of towns on the shore of this lake — Tiberias,
Magdala, Capernaum, Bethsaida, etc.—and the shore was often the setting for
2. Although St. John refers to only seven miracles and does not mention others
which are reported in the Synoptics, in this verse and more expressly at the end
of the Gospel (20:30; 21:25) he says that the Lord worked many miracles; the
reason why the evangelist, under God’s inspiration, chose these seven must
surely be because they best suited His purpose—to highlight certain facets of
the mystery of Christ. He now goes on to recount the miracle of the multiplica-
tion of the loaves and the fish, a miracle directly connected with the discourses
at Capernaum in which Jesus presents Himself as “the bread of life” (6:35, 48).
4. St. John’s Gospel often mentions Jewish feasts when referring to events in our
Lord’s public ministry — as in the case here (cf. “The Dates of the Life of our Lord
Jesus Christ”, in the “The Navarre Bible: St. Mark”, pp. 49ff, and “Introduction to
the Gospel according to St. John”, pp. 13ff above).
Shortly before this Passover Jesus works the miracle of the multiplication of the
loaves and the fish, which prefigures the Christian Easter and the mystery of the
Blessed Eucharist, as He Himself explains in the discourse, beginning at verse
26 in which He promises Himself as nourishment for our souls.
5-9. Jesus is sensitive to people’s material and spiritual needs. Here we see Him
take the initiative to satisfy the hunger of the crowd of people who have been fol-
Through these conversations and the miracle He is going to work, Jesus also tea-
ches His disciples to trust in Him whenever they meet up with difficulties in their
apostolic endeavors in the future: they should engage in them using whatever re-
sources they have—even if they are plainly inadequate, as was the case with the
five loaves and two fish. He will supply what is lacking. In the Christian life we
must put what we have at the service of our Lord, even if we do not think it
amounts to very much. He can make meager resources productive.
“We must, then, have faith and not be dispirited. We must not be stopped by any
kind of human calculation. To overcome the obstacles we have to throw ourselves
into the task so that the very effort we make will open up new paths” (St. J. Escri-
va, “Christ Is Passing By”, 160).
10. The evangelist gives us an apparently unimportant piece of information: “there
was much grass in the place.” This indicates that the miracle took place in the
height of the Palestinian spring, very near the Passover, as mentioned in verse 4.
There are very few big meadows in Palestine; even today there is one on the eas-
tern bank of the Lake of Gennesaret, called El-Batihah, where five thousand peo-
ple could fit seated: it may have been the site of this miracle.
11. The account of the miracle begins with almost the very same words as those
which the Synoptics and St. Paul use to describe the institution of the Eucharist
(cf. Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:25). This indicates
that the miracle, in addition to being an expression of Jesus’ mercy towards the
needy, is a symbol of the Blessed Eucharist, about which our Lord will speak a
little later on (cf. John 6:26-59).
12-13. The profusion of detail shows how accurate this narrative is—the names
of the Apostles who address our Lord (verses 5,8), the fact that they were barley
loaves (verse 9), the boy who provided the wherewithal (verse 9) and, finally, Je-
sus telling them to gather up the leftovers.
This miracle shows Jesus’ divine power over matter, and His largesse recalls the
abundance of messianic benefits which the prophets had foretold (cf. Jeremiah
Christ’s instruction to pick up the leftovers teaches us that material resources
are gifts of God and should not be wasted: they should be used in a spirit of po-
verty (cf. note on Mark 6:42). In this connection Paul VI pointed out that “after li-
berally feeding the crowds, the Lord told His disciples to gather up what was left
over, lest anything should be lost (cf. John 6:12). What an excellent lesson in
thrift — in the finest and fullest meaning of the term—for our age, given as it is to
wastefulness! It carries with it the condemnation of a whole concept of society
wherein consumption tends to become an end in itself, with contempt for the
needy, and to the detriment, ultimately, of those very people who believed them-
selves to be its beneficiaries, having become incapable of perceiving that man is
called to a higher destiny” (Paul VI, “Address to Participants at the World Food
Conference”, 9 November 1974).
14-15. The faith which the miracle causes in the hearts of these people is still
very imperfect: they recognize Him as the Messiah promised in the Old Testa-
ment (cf. Deuteronomy 18:15), but they are thinking in terms of an earthly, poli-
tical messianism; they want to make Him king because they think the Messiah’s
function is to free them from Roman domination.
Our Lord, who later on (verses 26-27) will explain the true meaning of the multi-
plication of the loaves and the fish, simply goes away, to avoid the people pro-
claiming Him for what He is not. In His dialogue with Pilate (cf. John 18:36) He
will explain that His kingship “is not of this world”: “The Gospels clearly show
that for Jesus anything that would alter His mission as the Servant of Yahweh
was a temptation (cf. Matthew 4:8: Luke 4:5). He does not accept the position
of those who mixed the things of God with merely political attitudes (cf. Matthew
22:21; Mark 12:17; John 18:36). [...] The perspective of His mission is much dee-
per. It consists in complete salvation through transforming, peacemaking, pardo-
ning, and reconciling love. There is no doubt, moreover, that all this makes ma-
ny demands on the Christian who wishes truly to serve his least brethren, the
poor, the needy, the outcast; in a word, all those who in their lives reflect the sor-
rowing face of the Lord (cf. “Lumen Gentium”, 8)” (Bl. John Paul II, “Opening Ad-
dress to the Third General Conference of Latin American Bishops”, 28 January
Christianity, therefore, must not be confused with any social or political ideology,
however excellent. “I do not approve of committed Christians in the world forming
a political-religious movement. That would be madness, even if it were motivated
by a desire to spread the spirit of Christ in all the activities of men. What we have
to do is put God in the heart of every single person, no matter who he is. Let us
try to speak then in such a way that every Christian is able to bear witness to the
faith he professes by example and word in his own circumstances, which are de-
termined alike by his place in the Church and in civil life, as well as by ongoing
“By the very fact of being a man, a Christian has a full right to live in the world. If
he lets Christ live and reign in his heart, he will feel—quite noticeably—the saving
effectiveness of our Lord in everything he does” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.
Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.
Acts 5:34-42 ©
One member of the Sanhedrin, a Pharisee called Gamaliel, who was a doctor of the Law and respected by the whole people, stood up and asked to have the apostles taken outside for a time. Then he addressed the Sanhedrin, ‘Men of Israel, be careful how you deal with these people. There was Theudas who became notorious not so long ago. He claimed to be someone important, and he even collected about four hundred followers; but when he was killed, all his followers scattered and that was the end of them. And then there was Judas the Galilean, at the time of the census, who attracted crowds of supporters; but he got killed too, and all his followers dispersed. What I suggest, therefore, is that you leave these men alone and let them go. If this enterprise, this movement of theirs, is of human origin it will break up of its own accord; but if it does in fact come from God you will not only be unable to destroy them, but you might find yourselves fighting against God.’
His advice was accepted; and they had the apostles called in, gave orders for them to be flogged, warned them not to speak in the name of Jesus and released them. And so they left the presence of the Sanhedrin glad to have had the honour of suffering humiliation for the sake of the name.
They preached every day both in the Temple and in private houses, and their proclamation of the Good News of Christ Jesus was never interrupted.
Psalm 26:1,4,13-14 ©
There is one thing I ask of the Lord, to live in the house of the Lord.
The Lord is my light and my help;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
before whom shall I shrink?
There is one thing I ask of the Lord, to live in the house of the Lord.
There is one thing I ask of the Lord,
for this I long,
to live in the house of the Lord,
all the days of my life,
to savour the sweetness of the Lord,
to behold his temple.
There is one thing I ask of the Lord, to live in the house of the Lord.
I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness
in the land of the living.
Hope in him, hold firm and take heart.
Hope in the Lord!
There is one thing I ask of the Lord, to live in the house of the Lord.
We know that Christ is truly risen from the dead:
have mercy on us, triumphant King.
Man does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
John 6:1-15 ©
Jesus went off to the other side of the Sea of Galilee – or of Tiberias – and a large crowd followed him, impressed by the signs he gave by curing the sick. Jesus climbed the hillside, and sat down there with his disciples. It was shortly before the Jewish feast of Passover.
Looking up, Jesus saw the crowds approaching and said to Philip, ‘Where can we buy some bread for these people to eat?’ He only said this to test Philip; he himself knew exactly what he was going to do. Philip answered, ‘Two hundred denarii would only buy enough to give them a small piece each.’ One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said, ‘There is a small boy here with five barley loaves and two fish; but what is that between so many?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Make the people sit down.’ There was plenty of grass there, and as many as five thousand men sat down. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and gave them out to all who were sitting ready; he then did the same with the fish, giving out as much as was wanted. When they had eaten enough he said to the disciples, ‘Pick up the pieces left over, so that nothing gets wasted.’ So they picked them up, and filled twelve hampers with scraps left over from the meal of five barley loaves. The people, seeing this sign that he had given, said, ‘This really is the prophet who is to come into the world.’ Jesus, who could see they were about to come and take him by force and make him king, escaped back to the hills by himself.
He is Risen! Truly Risen!
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We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.
Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.
Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.
Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.
Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.
Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.
O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.
Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests
This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.
The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.
The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.
Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem. He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.
St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.
1. Sign of the Cross: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
2. The Apostles Creed: II BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
3. The Lord's Prayer: OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
4. (3) Hail Mary: HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)
5. Glory Be: GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.
Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer. Repeat the process with each mystery.
End with the Hail Holy Queen:
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Final step -- The Sign of the Cross
St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:
"Pray for Obama. Psalm 109:8"
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May Devotion: Blessed Virgin Mary
Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. Toward the end of the eighteenth century a zealous Jesuit priest, Father Lalomia, started among the students of the Roman college of his Society the practice of dedicating May to Our Lady. The devotion, which others had promoted in a small way, soon spread to other Jesuit Colleges and to the entire Latin church and since that time it has been a regular feature of Catholic life.
Thou who wast a virgin before thy delivery, pray for us. Hail Mary, etc.
Thou who wast a virgin in thy delivery, pray for us. Hail Mary, etc.
Thou who wast a virgin after thy delivery, pray for us. Hail Mary, etc.
My Mother, deliver me from mortal sin.
Hail Mary (three times).
Mother of love, of sorrow and of mercy, pray for us.
Remember, O Virgin Mother of God, when thou shalt stand before the face of the Lord, that thou speak favorable things in our behalf and that He may turn away His indignation from us.
Thou art my Mother, O Virgin Mary: keep me safe lest I ever offend thy dear Son, and obtain for me the grace to please Him always and in all things.
FOR THE HELP OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
May we be assisted, we beseech Thee, 0 Lord, by the worshipful intercession of Thy glorious Mother, the ever-Virgin Mary; that we, who have been enriched by her perpetual blessings, may be delivered from all dangers, and through her loving kindness made to be of one heart and mind: who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
THE SALVE REGINA
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus! O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!
PRAYER TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
O blessed Virgin Mary, who can worthily repay thee thy just dues of praise and thanksgiving, thou who by the wondrous assent of thy will didst rescue a fallen world? What songs of praise can our weak human nature recite in thy honor, since it is by thy intervention alone that it has found
the way to restoration? Accept, then, such poor thanks as we have here to offer, though they be unequal to thy merits; and, receiving our vows, obtain by thy prayers the remission of our offenses. Carry thou our prayers within the sanctuary of the heavenly audience, and bring forth from it the antidote of our reconciliation. May the sins we bring before Almighty God through thee, become pardonable through thee; may what we ask for with sure confidence, through thee be granted. Take our offering, grant us our requests, obtain pardon for what we fear, for thou art the sole hope of sinners. Through thee we hope for the remission of our sins, and in thee, 0 blessed Lady, is our hope of reward. Holy Mary, succour the miserable, help the fainthearted, comfort the sorrowful, pray for thy people, plead for the clergy, intercede for all women consecrated to God; may all who keep thy holy commemoration feel now thy help and protection. Be thou ever ready to assist us when we pray, and bring back to us the answers to our prayers. Make it thy continual care to pray for the people of God, thou who, blessed by God, didst merit to bear the Redeemer of the world, who liveth and reigneth, world without end. Amen.
PETITION TO MARY
Most holy Virgin Immaculate, my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the queen of the universe, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I who am the most miserable of all sinners, have recourse this day. I venerate thee, great queen, and I thank thee for the many graces thou hast bestowed upon me even unto this day; in particular for having delivered me from the hell which I have so often deserved by my sins. I love thee, most dear Lady; and for the love I bear thee, I promise to serve thee willingly for ever and to do what I can to make thee loved by others also. I place in thee all my hopes for salvation; accept me as thy servant and shelter me under thy mantle, thou who art the Mother of mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, deliver me from all temptations, or at least obtain for me the strength to overcome them until death. From thee I implore a true love for Jesus Christ. Through thee I hope to die a holy death. My dear Mother, by the love thou bearest to Almighty God, I pray thee to assist me always, but most of all at the last moment of my life. Forsake me not then, until thou shalt see me safe in heaven, there to bless thee and sing of thy mercies through all eternity. Such is my hope. Amen.
Saint Alphonsus Liguori
My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my savior,
For he has looked upon his servant in her lowliness; all ages to come shall call me blessed.
God who is mighty has done great things for me,
holy is his name; His mercy is from age to age on those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm; he has confused the proud in their inmost thoughts. He has deposed the mighty from their thrones and raised the lowly to high places. The hungry he has given every good thing, while the rich he has sent empty away. He has upheld Israel his servant, ever mindful of his mercy; Even as he promised our fathers, promised Abraham and his descendants forever.
TO MARY, REFUGE OF SINNERS
Hail, most gracious Mother of mercy, hail, Mary, for whom we fondly yearn, through whom we obtain forgiveness! Who would not love thee? Thou art our light in uncertainty, our comfort in sorrow, our solace in the time of trial, our refuge from every peril and temptation. Thou art our sure hope of salvation, second only to thy only-begotten Son; blessed are they who love thee, our Lady! Incline, I beseech thee, thy ears of pity to the entreaties of this thy servant, a miserable sinner; dissipate the darkness of my sins by the bright beams of thy holiness, in order that I may be acceptable in thy sight.
FOR THE GRACE OF LOVE
O Mary, my dear Mother, how much I love thee! And yet in reality how little! Thou dost teach me what I ought to know, for thou teachest me what Jesus is to me and what I ought to be for Jesus. Dearly beloved Mother, how close to God thou art, and how utterly filled with Him! In the measure that we know God, we remind ourselves of thee. Mother of God, obtain for me the grace of loving my Jesus; obtain for me the grace of loving thee!
Cardinal Merry del Val
TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY FOR MAY
O most august and blessed Virgin Mary! Holy Mother of God! glorious Queen of heaven and earth! powerful protectress of those who love thee, and unfailing advocate of all who invoke thee! look down, I beseech thee, from thy throne of glory on thy devoted child; accept the solemn offering I present thee of this month, specially dedicated to thee, and receive my ardent, humble desire, that by my love and fervor I could worthily honor thee, who, next to God, art deserving of all honor. Receive me, 0 Mother of Mercy, among thy best beloved children; extend to me thy maternal tenderness and solicitude; obtain for me a place in the Heart of Jesus, and a special share in the gifts of His grace. 0 deign, I beseech thee, to recognize my claims on thy protection, to watch over my spiritual and temporal interests, as well as those of all who are dear to me; to infuse into my soul the spirit of Christ, and to teach me thyself to become meek, humble, charitable, patient, and submissive to the will of God.
May my heart bum with the love of thy Divine Son, and of thee, His blessed Mother, not for a month alone, but for time and eternity; may I thirst for the promotion of His honor and thine, and contribute, as far as I can, to its extension. Receive me, 0 Mary, the refuge of sinners! Grant me a Mother's blessing and a Mother's care, now, and at the hour of my death. Amen.
TO OUR LADY
Saint John Vianney, better known as the Cure of Ars, when asked how long he had loved Mary, said: "I loved her almost before I could know her." In this prayer he expresses that love.
O thou most holy virgin Mary, who dost evermore stand before the most holy Trinity, and to whom it is granted at all times to pray for us to thy most beloved Son; pray for me in all my necessities; help me, combat for me, and obtain for me the pardon of all my sins. Help me especially at my last hour; and when I can no longer give any sign of the use of reason, then do thou encourage me, make the sign of the cross for me, and fight for me against the enemy. Make in my name a profession of faith; favor me with a testimony of my salvation, and never let me despair of the mercy of God. Help me to overthrow the wicked enemy. When I can no longer say: "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I place my soul in your hands," do thou say it for me; when I can no longer hear human words of consolation, do thou comfort me. Leave me not before I have been judged; and if I have to expiate my sins in purgatory, oh! pray for me earnestly; and admonish my friends to procure for me a speedy enjoyment of the blessed sight of God. Lessen my sufferings, deliver me speedily, and lead my soul into heaven with thee: that, united with all the elect, I may there bless and praise my God and thee for all eternity. Amen.
Saint John Vianney
ACT OF REPARATION
O blessed Virgin, Mother of God, look down in mercy from heaven, where thou art enthroned as Queen, upon me, a miserable sinner, thine unworthy servant. Although I know full well my own unworthiness, yet in order to atone for the offenses that are done to thee by impious and blasphemous
tongues, from the depths of my heart I praise and extol thee as the purest, the fairest, the holiest creature of all God's handiwork. I bless thy holy name, I praise thine exalted privilege of being truly Mother of God, ever virgin, conceived without stain of sin, co-redemptrix of the human race. I bless the Eternal Father who chose thee in an especial way for His daughter; I bless the Word Incarnate who took upon Himself our nature in thy bosom and so made thee His Mother; I bless the Holy Spirit who took thee as His bride. All honor, praise and thanksgiving to the ever-blessed Trinity, who predestined thee and loved thee so exceedingly from all eternity as to exalt thee above all creatures to the most sublime heights. 0 Virgin, holy and merciful, obtain for all who offend thee the grace of repentance, and graciously accept this poor act of homage from me thy servant, obtaining likewise for me from thy divine Son the pardon and remission of all my sins. Amen.
Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954
|Memorare of the Blessed Virgin Mary|
Remember O Most Gracious Virgin Mary!
That never was it known
That anyone who fled to thy protection,
Implored thy help or sought thy intercession
Was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto Thee!
O Virgin of virgins, My Mother!
To Thee I come before Thee I stand,
Sinful and Sorrowful,
Oh Mother of the Word Incarnate,
Despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy,
Hear and answer me.
Who Is Our Lady of Laus? My name is Mary (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
What Happened to the Virgin Mary After Pentecost? [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
Saint Thomas Aquinas on the Hail Mary (Catholic Caucus)
Yes, Mary DOES Know
How Can Mary Hear Thousands Simultaneously?
Fr Paul Schenck: Immaculate Conception Tells us Who Mary Is and Who We Are (Catholic Caucus)
Mary,Our Lady of Quatlasupe,She who crushes the head of the serpent, is leading...(Catholic Caucus)
MARY, MOTHER OF EVANGELIZATION [Cath-Orth caucus]
On Mary, Model of Faith, Charity and Union with Christ [Weekly Audience]
Why Dont You honor Mary?
Columbus and the Virgin Mary [Catholic Caucus]
Pope Francis: Marys faith unties the knot of sin
Pope consecrates world to immaculate heart of Mary
Mary, Mother of God
Mary 'can only bring us to God,' expert says as entrustment nears
Pope Francis: "Mary, look upon us" (Mass in Cagliari)
Devotion to the Most Holy Name of Mary [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Pope Francis: contemplate the suffering humanity of Jesus and the sweetness of Mary
Mary's Nativity Draws Tens of Thousands to Indian Basilica
Veneration of Mary in Luke 11:27-28
Pope at Mass: Learning from Mary to keep the Word of God
Pope: Mary is always in a hurry to help us (first pastoral visit to a diocese in Rome)
Catholic Word of the Day: MARY'S SINLESSNESS, 04-01-13
Letter #47: To Mary (Pope Francis prays at (tomb of Pope St. Pius V) [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Word of the Day: MARY'S VIRGINITY, 02-26-13
Mariaphobic Response Syndrome: Part Two
Mariaphobic Response Syndrome: Part One
A Mothers Love, The Blessed Virgin Mary Saying YES To God
Chesterton on devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary [Ecumenical]
The Perpetual Virginity of Blessed Mary
A Comparison is Instituted Between the Disobedient and Sinning Eve and the Virgin Mary..
Magnificat: The Hymn of the Blessed Virgin Mary [Catholic Caucus]
The Blessed Virgin Mary's Role in the Celibate Priest's Spousal... (Pt 2) (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
The Blessed Virgin Mary's Role in the Celibate Priest's Spousal and Paternal Love (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
Discovering Mary [Excellent New Book For Converts]
Beginning Our Lady's Month [Catholic Caucus]
Give it all to Mary [Catholic Caucus]
JESUS LIVING IN MARY: HANDBOOK, SPIRITUALITY OF ST. LOUIS DE MONTFORT, ROSARY [Ecumenical]
Mary, Tabernacle of the Lord By Archbishop Fulton Sheen(Catholic Caucus)
A Protestant Discovers Mary
Mary is our Mother and Queen of the New Davidic Kingdom (Scriptures Agree With Catholic Church)
Holy Water Silhouette (Virgin Mary -video))
How could Mary be the Mother of God?
Mary, the Mother of God (a defense)
Calling Mary Mother of God Tells Us Who Jesus Is
The Holy Spirit And Mary (Catholic Caucus)
Mary, Our Cause of Rejoicing
Mary in Byzantine Doctrine and Devotion (Catholic / Orthodox Caucus)
Radio Replies First Volume - Devotion to Mary
The Blessed Virgin Mary and the Catholic Discovery of America(Catholic Caucus)
Mary is the star that guides us to holiness, says Holy Father during Angelus [Catholic Caucus]
The Efficacy and Power of One Hail Mary [Ecumenical]
When Did Belief in the Virgin Birth Begin?
Mary, Motherhood, and the Home BY Archbishop Fulton Sheen
On Mary, Mother of Priests
Benedict reflects on Mary and the priesthood [Catholic Caucus]
Radio Replies First Volume - Mary
Scholar says Baptists neglect lessons from Virgin Mary
Mary and the Sword Continued Part #2 by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen
Mary and the Sword by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen(Catholic Caucus)
Why Did Mary Offer a Sin Offering? [Ecumenical]
Mary and Intercessory Prayer
Mary: Holy Mother
Mary not just for Catholics anymore
Pope concludes Month of Mary in the Vatican Gardens
Consecration to Mary(Catholic Caucus)
Marys Marching Orders
Praying the Hail Mary Like Never Before [Ecumenical]
Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Caucus: The Catechism of St. Thomas Aquinas - THE HAIL MARY
Our Jewish Roots: The Immaculate Conception [Ecumenical]
The Blessed Virgin in the History of Christianity [Ecumenical]
Archbishop Sheen Today! -- Mary and the Moslems
Mary Immaculate: Patroness of the United States [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
"The Woman He Loved": Fulton Sheen and the Blessed Mother(Catholic Caucus)
September 12: The Most Holy Name of Mary and Militant Islam
Catholic Devotional: Feast of the Holy Name of Mary
A Homily on the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary
May Devotion: Blessed Virgin Mary
Catholic Caucus: Mary, The Power of Her Name [The Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary]
Universal: That the media may be instruments in the service of truth and peace.
For Evangelization: That Mary, Star of Evangelization, may guide the Church in proclaiming Christ to all nations.
Friday of the Second week of Easter
Commentary of the day
Apostolic Exhortation « Evangelii Gaudium / The Joy of the Gospel » §46-49 (trans. © copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana)
« He broke the loaves and gave them to his disciples who, in turn, gave them to the crowds» (Mt 14,19)
A Church which “goes forth” is a Church whose doors are open... The Church is called to be the house of the Father, with doors always wide open... Everyone can share in some way in the life of the Church; everyone can be part of the community, nor should the doors of the sacraments be closed for simply any reason. This is especially true of the sacrament which is itself “the door”: baptism. The Eucharist, although it is the fullness of sacramental life, is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak... But the Church is not a tollhouse; it is the house of the Father, where there is a place for everyone, with all their problems.
If the whole Church takes up this missionary impulse, she has to go forth to everyone without exception. But to whom should she go first? When we read the Gospel we find a clear indication: not so much our friends and wealthy neighbours, but above all the poor and the sick, those who are usually despised and overlooked, “those who cannot repay you” (Lk 14:14). There can be no room for doubt or for explanations which weaken so clear a message. Today and always, “the poor are the privileged recipients of the Gospel” (Benedict XVI)... We have to state, without mincing words, that there is an inseparable bond between our faith and the poor. May we never abandon them.
Let us go forth, then, let us go forth to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ... If something should rightly disturb us and trouble our consciences, it is the fact that so many of our brothers and sisters are living without the strength, light and consolation born of friendship with Jesus Christ, without a community of faith to support them, without meaning and a goal in life... At our door people are starving and Jesus does not tire of saying to us: “Give them something to eat” (Mt 14,16; Mk 6:37; Lk 9,13).
|Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.
This prayer, which dates from the twelfth century, is substituted for the Angelus during Easter Season.
Regina coeli, laetare, alleluia: Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia. Resurrexit sicut dixit, alleluia. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.
V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, Alleluia,
R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.
Oremus: Deus qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus, ut per eius Genetricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuae capiamus gaudia vitae. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum.
Queen of Heaven rejoice, alleluia: For He whom you merited to bear, alleluia, Has risen as He said, alleluia. Pray for us to God, alleluia.
V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.
R. Because the Lord is truly risen, alleluia.
Let us pray: O God, who by the Resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, granted joy to the whole world: grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may lay hold of the joys of eternal life. Through the same Christ our Lord.
May 2014 Year Pope's Intentions Universal: That the media may be instruments in the service of truth and peace.Plastered up on my Church: "Freedom of religion is human right"
Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Saint Athanasius was the greatest champion of Catholic belief on the subject of the Incarnation that the Church has ever known and in his lifetime earned the characteristic title of "Father of Orthodoxy", by which he has been distinguished every since.
(Principal source - Catholic Encyclopedia - 1913 edition)
Prayer to Mary, Mother of Grace
It becomes you to be mindful of us, as you stand near Him who granted you all graces, for you are the Mother of God and our Queen. Help us for the sake of the King, the Lord God and Master who was born of you. For this reason, you are called full of grace. Remember us, most holy Virgin, and bestow on us gifts from the riches of your graces, Virgin full of graces.
St Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor
First Reading: 1 John 5:1-5
Every one who believes that Jesus is the Christ is a child of God, and every one who loves the parent loves the child. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
Gospel Reading: Matthew 10:22-25
You will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel, before the Son of man comes.
"A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master; it is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Be-elzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.
Related links on the Vatican website: Benedict XVI, General Audience, Paul VI Audience Hall, Wednesday, June 20, 2007, Saint Athanasius of Alexandria
Related links on the New Advent website:
Saint Athanasius writings:
- Against the Heathen
- On the Incarnation of the Word
- Deposition of Arius
- Statement of Faith
- On Luke 10:22 (Matthew 11:27)
- Encyclical Letter
- Apologia Contra Arianos
- De Decretis
- De Sententia Dionysii
- Vita S. Antoni (Life of St. Anthony)
- Ad Episcopus Aegypti et Libyae
- Apologia ad Constantium
- Apologia de Fuga
- Historia Arianorum
- Four Discourses Against the Arians
- De Synodis
- Tomus ad Antiochenos
- Ad Afros Epistola Synodica
- Historia Acephala
The best, the surest , and the most effective way of establishing everlasting peace on the face of the earth is through the great power of perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament." -- Pope John Paul II
The Pope has a great spiritual sense of worship and [importance of] reaching out to every human being, says Msgr. Fazio. In Buenos Aires in recent years, he has spontaneously promoted the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in parishes, and it is bearing spiritual fruit. Furthermore, Msgr. Fazio is sure the Pope will pay particular attention to Eucharistic adoration and the preaching of the word.
Perpetual Eucharistic adoration begins at the Olympics
With Eyes Wide Open -- Encountering the Lord in Adoration [Catholic Caucus]
Reasons for Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration(Catholic Caucus)
'We Are a Church On Fire': Eucharistic Adoration Transforms Acushnet Parish
Eucharistic Adoration [for college students nationwide]
Pray Unceasingly: Perpetual Adoration as a Necessary Antidote to Abortion
[CATHOLIC CAUCUS] There is water here (Eucharistic Adoration)
Eucharistic Adoration is Life Changing
Here is Christ! (Daily Holy Hour) [Catholic Caucus]
Letter to a Brother Priest [on Eucharistic adoration]
NDs McBrien: Eucharistic Adoration is a...spiritual step backward (Catholic Caucus)
Adoration with no end: 24-hour Eucharistic ritual returns to Boston [Catholic Caucus]
Kansas parish opens adoration chapel
Perpetual adoration returns to Boston after 40 year absence [Catholic Caucus]
I Fall To My Knees (A Reflection on Eucharistic Adoration)
A Chinese Girl-True Story That Inspired Bishop Fulton Sheen- Eucharist Adoration (Catholic Caucus)
Eucharistic Adoration increases prayer, vocations in Uganda(Catholic Caucus)
Faithful Invited to Follow Pope, Adore Eucharist [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Caucus: The Hour That Makes My Day | Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
A Shepherd Speaks (Eucharistic Adoration) -- Bishop Edward J. Slattery [Catholic Caucus]
Why Eucharistic Adoration?(Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
The Core of Monasticism Is Adoration [Catholic Caucus](Homily of Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday
Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration: a Parish's Fuel
The History of Eucharistic Adoration Development of Doctrine in the Catholic Church
The Cease-Fire of Prayer and Fasting
Eucharistic Adoration: The Early Years
Catholic Meditation and Devotion: The Holy Hour
Spend Some Time With Jesus Tonight...
The Eucharistic Mystery Calls For Our Response
Pope Backs Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration
Eucharistic adoration is key, but also has drawbacks, bishops say
Eucharistic adoration: Intimacy with Christ
The Gaze [Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament]
St. Francis of Assisi and Eucharistic Adoration
Ancient Roman Catholic ritual making a comeback in Minnesota
Adoration for Vocations to be Promoted Worldwide
POPE GRANTS PLENARY INDULGENCE FOR YEAR OF THE EUCHARIST
New Plenary Indulgence to Mark Year of the Eucharist
The Adoration of the Name of Jesus (El Greco)
Adoration Tally Presented to Pope by Vocation.com
In The Presence Of The Lord
2.2 Million hours of prayer, and counting
Eucharistic Adoration or Abortion?
Bishop Calls for Perpetual Adoration of Eucharist
What I learned about Eucharistic Adoration
Feast Day: May 2
Born: 295 at Alexandria, Egypt
Died: 2 May 373 at Alexandria, Egypt
Major Shrine: Saint Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt
San Zaccaria, Venice, Italy
Feast Day: May 01
Born: (around) 297 :: Died: 373
Athanasius was born at Alexandria, in Egypt. He was very fond of reading books about the Catholic faith and studied the classics and theology at the university in Alexandria.
He became a deacon and secretary to Bishop Alexander of Alexandria, then later a priest. At that time the Arians did not believe that Jesus was God and tried to spread these false teachings. Athanasius attended the council of Nicea, fought against these teachings and got the council to accept the Nicene Creed. He spent his life proving that Jesus is truly God.
This saint became the archbishop of Alexandria when he was not yet thirty years old. For forty-six years, he was a good and brave shepherd of his flock. Four Roman emperors tried but failed to make him stop writing his clear and beautiful explanations of our holy faith.
His enemies did every thing they could to make him suffer. Five times he was sent away from Alexandria. Once, when he was sent to the city of Trier a kind bishop, St. Maximinius, welcomed him warmly.
At other times Athanasius was hunted by people who wanted to kill him. He was kept safe in the desert by some monks for seven years and his enemies just could not find him.
Once when the emperor's soldiers were chasing Athanasius down the Nile River, his friends began to panic as the soldiers began to catch up with them. But Athanasius was not worried. "Turn the boat around," he said calmly, "and row toward them." The soldiers in the other boat shouted, "Have you seen Athanasius?" "You are not far from him!" was the reply. The enemy boat quickly went past them, and the saint was safe!
The people of Alexandria loved St. Athanasius. He was a real father to them. As the years passed, they appreciated more and more how much he had suffered for Jesus and the Church.
Now the people made sure that Athanasius was protected and had some well-deserved peace. He spent the last seven years of his life safe with them. His enemies hunted but could never find him.
During that time, St. Athanasius wrote The Life of St. Anthony the Hermit who had been a close friend when Athanasius was young. St. Athanasius died quietly on May 2, 373. He remains one of the greatest, bravest saints of all time.
Friday, May 2
Liturgical Color: White
Today is the Memorial of St.
Athanasius, bishop and Doctor
of the Church. In 325 A.D.,
St. Athanasius attended the
Council of Nicea helping to
formulate the doctrine stating
Jesus was divine and not a
creation of God the Father.
Who can be confirmed, and what is required of a candidate for Confirmation?
Any Catholic Christian who has received the sacrament of Baptism and is in the "state of grace" can be admitted to Confirmation.
To be "in the state of grace" means not to have committed any serious sin (mortal sin). By a serious sin a person separates himself from God and can be reconciled with God only by making a good confession. A (young) Christian who is preparing for Confirmation finds himself in one of the most important phases of his life. He will do everything possible to grasp the faith with his heart and his understanding; he will pray alone and with others for the Holy Spirit; he will reconcile himself in every way with himself, with the people around him, and with God. Confession is part of this, since it brings one closer to God even if one has not committed a mortal sin.
Who may confirm?
The Sacrament of Confirmation is normally administered by the bishop. For weighty reasons when necessary, the bishop can also delegate a priest to do it. In danger of death, any priest can administer Confirmation. (YOUCAT questions 206-207)
Dig Deeper: CCC section (1306-1314) and other references here.
Part 2: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery (1066 - 1690)
Section 2: The Seven Sacraments of the Church (1210 - 1690)
Chapter 1: The Sacraments of Christian Initiation (1212 - 1419)
Article 2: The Sacrament of Confirmation (1285 - 1321)
IV. WHO CAN RECEIVE THIS SACRAMENT? ⇡
Every baptized person not yet confirmed can and should receive the sacrament of Confirmation.123 Since Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist form a unity, it follows that "the faithful are obliged to receive this sacrament at the appropriate time,"124 for without Confirmation and Eucharist, Baptism is certainly valid and efficacious, but Christian initiation remains incomplete.
Cf. CIC, can. 889 § 1.
CIC, can. 890.
For centuries, Latin custom has indicated "the age of discretion" as the reference point for receiving Confirmation. But in danger of death children should be confirmed even if they have not yet attained the age of discretion.125
Cf. CIC, cann. 891; 883, 3o.
Although Confirmation is sometimes called the "sacrament of Christian maturity," we must not confuse adult faith with the adult age of natural growth, nor forget that the baptismal grace is a grace of free, unmerited election and does not need "ratification" to become effective. St. Thomas reminds us of this: Age of body does not determine age of soul. Even in childhood man can attain spiritual maturity: as the book of Wisdom says: "For old age is not honored for length of time, or measured by number of years. "Many children, through the strength of the Holy Spirit they have received, have bravely fought for Christ even to the shedding of their blood.126
St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III,72,8, ad 2; Cf. Wis 4:8.
Preparation for Confirmation should aim at leading the Christian toward a more intimate union with Christ and a more lively familiarity with the Holy Spirit his actions, his gifts, and his biddings in order to be more capable of assuming the apostolic responsibilities of Christian life. To this end catechesis for Confirmation should strive to awaken a sense of belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ, the universal Church as well as the parish community. The latter bears special responsibility for the preparation of confirmands.127
Cf. OC Introduction 3.
To receive Confirmation one must be in a state of grace. One should receive the sacrament of Penance in order to be cleansed for the gift of the Holy Spirit. More intense prayer should prepare one to receive the strength and graces of the Holy Spirit with docility and readiness to act.128
Cf. Acts 1:14.
Candidates for Confirmation, as for Baptism, fittingly seek the spiritual help of a sponsor. To emphasize the unity of the two sacraments, it is appropriate that this be one of the baptismal godparents.129
Cf. OC Introduction 5; 6; CIC, Can. 893 §§ 1-2.
V. THE MINISTER OF CONFIRMATION ⇡
The original minister of Confirmation is the bishop.130
In the East, ordinarily the priest who baptizes also immediately confers Confirmation in one and the same celebration. But he does so with sacred chrism consecrated by the patriarch or the bishop, thus expressing the apostolic unity of the Church whose bonds are strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation. In the Latin Church, the same discipline applies to the Baptism of adults or to the reception into full communion with the Church of a person baptized in another Christian community that does not have valid Confirmation.131
Cf. LG 26.
Cf. CIC, Can. 883 § 2.
In the Latin Rite, the ordinary minister of Confirmation is the bishop.132 If the need arises, the bishop may grant the faculty of administering Confirmation to priests,133 although it is fitting that he confer it himself, mindful that the celebration of Confirmation has been temporally separated from Baptism for this reason. Bishops are the successors of the apostles. They have received the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders. The administration of this sacrament by them demonstrates clearly that its effect is to unite those who receive it more closely to the Church, to her apostolic origins, and to her mission of bearing witness to Christ.
Cf. CIC, Can. 882.
Cf. CIC, Can. 884 § 2.
If a Christian is in danger of death, any priest can give him Confirmation.134 Indeed the Church desires that none of her children, even the youngest, should depart this world without having been perfected by the Holy Spirit with the gift of Christ's fullness.
|English: Douay-Rheims||Latin: Vulgata Clementina||Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)|
|1.||AFTER these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is that of Tiberias.||Post hæc abiit Jesus trans mare Galilææ, quod est Tiberiadis :||μετα ταυτα απηλθεν ο ιησους περαν της θαλασσης της γαλιλαιας της τιβεριαδος|
|2.||And a great multitude followed him, because they saw the miracles which he did on them that were diseased.||et sequebatur eum multitudo magna, quia videbant signa quæ faciebat super his qui infirmabantur.||και ηκολουθει αυτω οχλος πολυς οτι εωρων αυτου τα σημεια α εποιει επι των ασθενουντων|
|3.||Jesus therefore went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples.||Subiit ergo in montem Jesus et ibi sedebat cum discipulis suis.||ανηλθεν δε εις το ορος ο ιησους και εκει εκαθητο μετα των μαθητων αυτου|
|4.||Now the pasch, the festival day of the Jews, was near at hand.||Erat autem proximum Pascha dies festus Judæorum.||ην δε εγγυς το πασχα η εορτη των ιουδαιων|
|5.||When Jesus therefore had lifted up his eyes, and seen that a very great multitude cometh to him, he said to Philip: Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?||Cum sublevasset ergo oculos Jesus, et vidisset quia multitudo maxima venit ad eum, dixit ad Philippum : Unde ememus panes, ut manducent hi ?||επαρας ουν ο ιησους τους οφθαλμους και θεασαμενος οτι πολυς οχλος ερχεται προς αυτον λεγει προς τον φιλιππον ποθεν αγορασομεν αρτους ινα φαγωσιν ουτοι|
|6.||And this he said to try him; for he himself knew what he would do.||Hoc autem dicebat tentans eum : ipse enim sciebat quid esset facturus.||τουτο δε ελεγεν πειραζων αυτον αυτος γαρ ηδει τι εμελλεν ποιειν|
|7.||Philip answered him: Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one may take a little.||Respondit ei Philippus : Ducentorum denariorum panes non sufficiunt eis, ut unusquisque modicum quid accipiat.||απεκριθη αυτω φιλιππος διακοσιων δηναριων αρτοι ουκ αρκουσιν αυτοις ινα εκαστος αυτων βραχυ τι λαβη|
|8.||One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, saith to him:||Dicit ei unus ex discipulis ejus, Andreas, frater Simonis Petri :||λεγει αυτω εις εκ των μαθητων αυτου ανδρεας ο αδελφος σιμωνος πετρου|
|9.||There is a boy here that hath five barley loaves, and two fishes; but what are these among so many?||Est puer unus hic qui habet quinque panes hordeaceos et duos pisces : sed hæc quid sunt inter tantos ?||εστιν παιδαριον εν ωδε ο εχει πεντε αρτους κριθινους και δυο οψαρια αλλα ταυτα τι εστιν εις τοσουτους|
|10.||Then Jesus said: Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. The men therefore sat down, in number about five thousand.||Dixit ergo Jesus : Facite homines discumbere. Erat autem fnum multum in loco. Discumberunt ergo viri, numero quasi quinque millia.||ειπεν δε ο ιησους ποιησατε τους ανθρωπους αναπεσειν ην δε χορτος πολυς εν τω τοπω ανεπεσον ουν οι ανδρες τον αριθμον ωσει πεντακισχιλιοι|
|11.||And Jesus took the loaves: and when he had given thanks, he distributed to them that were set down. In like manner also of the fishes, as much as they would.||Accepit ergo Jesus panes : et cum gratias egisset, distribuit discumbentibus : similiter et ex piscibus quantum volebant.||ελαβεν δε τους αρτους ο ιησους και ευχαριστησας διεδωκεν τοις μαθηταις οι δε μαθηται τοις ανακειμενοις ομοιως και εκ των οψαριων οσον ηθελον|
|12.||And when they were filled, he said to his disciples: Gather up the fragments that remain, lest they be lost.||Ut autem impleti sunt, dixit discipulis suis : Colligite quæ superaverunt fragmenta, ne pereant.||ως δε ενεπλησθησαν λεγει τοις μαθηταις αυτου συναγαγετε τα περισσευσαντα κλασματα ινα μη τι αποληται|
|13.||They gathered up therefore, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above to them that had eaten.||Collegerunt ergo, et impleverunt duodecim cophinos fragmentorum ex quinque panibus hordeaceis, quæ superfuerunt his qui manducaverant.||συνηγαγον ουν και εγεμισαν δωδεκα κοφινους κλασματων εκ των πεντε αρτων των κριθινων α επερισσευσεν τοις βεβρωκοσιν|
|14.||Now those men, when they had seen what a miracle Jesus had done, said: This is of a truth the prophet, that is to come into the world.||Illi ergo homines cum vidissent quod Jesus fecerat signum, dicebant : Quia hic est vere propheta, qui venturus est in mundum.||οι ουν ανθρωποι ιδοντες ο εποιησεν σημειον ο ιησους ελεγον οτι ουτος εστιν αληθως ο προφητης ο ερχομενος εις τον κοσμον|
|15.||Jesus therefore, when he knew that they would come to take him by force, and make him king, fled again into the mountain himself alone.||Jesus ergo cum cognovisset quia venturi essent ut raperent eum, et facerent eum regem, fugit iterum in montem ipse solus.||ιησους ουν γνους οτι μελλουσιν ερχεσθαι και αρπαζειν αυτον ινα ποιησωσιν αυτον βασιλεα ανεχωρησεν εις το ορος αυτος μονος|
(The inscription in Old Slavonic, "contrary wind", is part of the text nearest to the illumination and refers to the next episode).
Daily Readings for:May 02, 2014
(Readings on USCCB website)
Collect: Almighty ever-living God, who raised up the Bishop Saint Athanasius as an outstanding champion of your Son's divinity, mercifully grant, that, rejoicing in his teaching and his protection, we may never cease to grow in knowledge and love of you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
· Easter: May 2nd
· Memorial of St. Athanasius, bishop and doctor
Old Calendar: St. Athanasius
St. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria and a great defender of the orthodox faith, throughout his life opposed the Arian heresy. By denying the Godhead of the Word the Arians turned Christ into a mere man, only higher in grace than others in the eyes of God. St. Athanasius took part in the Council of Nicea in 325 and until the end remained a champion of the faith as it was defined by the Council. In him the Church venerates one of her great Doctors. He was subjected to persecutions for upholding the true teaching concerning the person of Christ and was sent into exile from his see no less than five times. He died at Alexandria in 373 after an episcopate of forty-six years.
A champion of orthodoxy! He did not die a martyr, but his life was martyrdom in the truest sense. Athanasius was the Church's greatest hero in the battle against Arianism (a heresy that denied Christ's divinity). Even as a young deacon at the Council of Nicea (325), he was recognized as "Arius' ablest enemy" and the foremost defender of the Church's faith. After the death of his bishop (328), "the entire Catholic congregation with one accord, as one soul and body, voiced the wish of the dying bishop Alexander that Athanasius should succeed him. Everyone esteemed him as a virtuous, holy man, an ascetic, a true bishop."
There followed fifty years of constant conflict. Under five emperors and by exile on five different occasions, he gave testimony to the truth of the Catholic position. His allegiance to the Church never wavered, his courage never weakened. As consolation in the face of horrendous calumnies and cruel persecution, Athanasius looked to the unwavering love of his Catholic people. Even time brought no mitigation in Arian hatred. For five years he hid in a deep, dry cistern to be safe from their raging wrath and their attempts to assassinate him. The place was known only to one trusted friend who secretly supplied necessary food.
That Athanasius enjoyed God's special protection should have been obvious to all. On one occasion when the emperor's assassins were pursuing him, Athanasius ordered the ship on which he was fleeing to double-back and sail upstream so that he might meet and by-pass his persecutors. Not recognizing the boat upon meeting in semi-darkness, they naively asked whether the ship carrying Athanasius was still far ahead. Calmly and truthfully Athanasius himself called back, "He is not far from here." So his persecutors kept sailing on in the same direction, allowing the saint to complete his escape.
Preserved by divine Providence through a lifetime of trial and danger, he finally died in his own quarters at Alexandria during the reign of the Emperor Valens (373). Athanasius enriched Christian literature with many important works, some pointed toward piety and edification, others polemical and dogmatic in nature. He ruled the Church of Alexandria for forty-six years.
Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch
Symbols: open book; two columns; boat on the Nile; equilateral triangle; open book between two Greek Doric columns; archbishop's pallium; scroll with quotation from his writings.
Often Portrayed As: Bishop arguing with a pagan; bishop holding an open book; bishop standing over a defeated heretic.
Things to Do:
Also known as
Studied the classics and theology in Alexandria, Egypt. Deacon, secretary, and student of bishop Alexander of Alexandria. Attended the Council of Nicea in 325 where he fought for the defeat of Arianism and acceptance of the divinity of Jesus. Formulated the doctrine of homo-ousianism which says that Christ is the same substance as the Father; Arianism taught that Christ was different from and a creation of the Father, a creature and not part of God. Bishop of Alexandria c.328; he served for 46 years. When the dispute over Arianism spilled over from theology to politics, Athanasius got exiled five times, spending more than a third of his episcopate in exile. Biographer of Saint Anthony the Abbot and Saint Potamon of Heraclea. Confessor of the faith and Doctor of the Church, he fought for the acceptance of the Nicene Creed.
Saint Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
They did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Messiah. (Acts 5:42)
In 2011, Italian scientists announced a new finding about the Shroud of Turin, which many have claimed to be Christ’s burial cloth. The scientists stated that the image on the shroud, which resembled a crucified man, was not painted on. So how did it get there? They tried to produce a similar effect on another piece of cloth using lasers. They succeeded only partially, speculating that at least thirty-four thousand billion watts of energy would be needed to produce such an image.
That would make sense if the man on the shroud had really been raised from the dead—for the power of God is certainly greater than anything man-made!
The scribe Gamaliel may have sensed this power when he heard the preaching of the apostles. Why didn’t he simply join the rest of the Sanhedrin in condemning them? He was obviously trying to be objective: If these men were telling the truth, it would be of no use to try to stop them. Indeed, this small group of disciples couldn’t have had the impact they were having without some powerful assistance!
Both the story of the shroud and Gamaliel’s reasoning tell us that Christianity is more than just a set of ideas. It is “the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). There is a dynamic force in the message of salvation that can reach into hearts and lives and change people from the inside out—you as well as the people in your life who don’t yet believe in Christ!
So don’t shortchange yourself—or God, for that matter—by thinking that only extra-holy people can be effective witnesses for Christ. If you can find just one opportunity today to share something about your faith, you will be making a difference. It’s not about you anyway; it’s about Jesus and his power! Surely you can rely on him as you share your story. And when you do, know that it’s not just you speaking. The Holy Spirit is there, in your words, adding his grace to your witness.
“Lord, I rejoice that your Spirit is alive in me. May he shine through me today, and may I be courageous in bearing witness to you in all that I say and do.”
Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14; John 6:1-15
Daily Marriage Tip for May 2, 2014:
May is traditionally a month dedicated to the Blessed Mother. Consider praying a rosary today, or even just a decade, and entrusting your spouse and family to Marys maternal care.
Friday, 02 May 2014 07:44
Here are some “jottings in the margin of the Missal” as Dom Marmion would call them: just a few random thoughts on the Propers of today’s Mass. I don’t treat of the Gregorian melodies that clothe the Introit, Offertory, and Communion with a particularly penetrating grace; one has to sing them or hear them sung in order to experience them in all their richness.
Looking at today’s Mass
In the midst of the Church
the Lord opened his mouth,
and He filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding;
He clothed him with a robe of glory, alleluia (cf. Sir 15:5).
Wisdom and Understanding
In the midst of His Church, Our Lord Jesus Christ raised up Saint Athanasius, and opened his mouth. He filled Athanasius with the Spirit, that is the Divine Breath of wisdom and understanding. Wisdom is the gift of the Holy Ghost by which a soul tastes God and the things that are God’s; understanding is the gift of the Holy Ghost by which one enters into the plan of God, rejoicing in His providence, in His mercy, and in the truth of all that He has revealed and promised. The robe of grace, given in Baptism, becomes for all the saints a robe of glory.
Almighty and ever-living God,
Who didst raise up the blessed bishop Athanasius
as the wonderful champion of the divinity of Thy Son,
mercifully grant that we,
rejoicing in his doctrine and protection,
may grow ceaselessly in the knowledge and love of Thee.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son,
who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost,
God, forever and ever.
Saint Athanasius holds the title, “Father of Orthodoxy.” The Collect calls him “the wonderful champion of the divinity of your Son.” A champion he was: unafraid of engaging in battle, intransigent and stalwart when it came to the defense of catholic truth.
The Strength of the Saints
I have found David my servant,
with my holy oil I have anointed him;
my hand shall help him,
and my arm shall make him strong, alleluia (Ps 88:21-22).|
The Offertory Antiphon applies to Saint Athanasius the prophecy concerning David: “My hand shall help him, and my arms shall make him strong” (Ps 88:22). Athanasius needed the hand of God and the might of his arms; he suffered no less than five periods of exile, almost sixteen years in all, for his uncompromising support of the Nicene Orthodox doctrine of the Trinity.
The Splendour of the Faith
Prayer Over the Oblations
Look, O Lord,
upon the offerings that we set before Thee
in commemoration of Saint Athanasius,
that his witness to the truth
may be for the salvation of those
who profess untainted the faith he taught.
Through Christ our Lord.
In the Prayer Over the Oblations we will ask that Saint Athanasius’ witness to the truth may be “for the salvation of those who profess untainted the faith he taught.” The untainted faith of the saints is not old, dusty, and boring; it is a splendid thing, a living reality. “Its flashes are flashes of fire, a most vehement flame” (Ct 8:6).
The liturgy offers two Communion Antiphons for today’s Mass. The first, given in the reformed Roman Missal, has to be heard in the mouth of Athanasius:
Communion Antiphon in the Roman Missal
No other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid,
which is Jesus Christ, alleluia. (1 Cor 3:11)
The Church wants us to hear this at the very moment we approach the mysteries of Christ’s Body and Blood. The foundation of the Church, the foundation of the doctrine that nourishes life is given whole, entire, unchanging and ever new in the mystery of the Eucharist: “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb 13:8).
Listening in the Night
Communion Antiphon in the 1974 Graduale Romanum
That which I tell you in the dark, speak in the light, says the Lord;
and that which you hear in the ear,
preach upon the housetops, alleluia (Mt 10:27).
The Communion Antiphon given in the Roman Gradual has the Lord Jesus Himself speak to us, saying, “That which I tell you in the dark, speak in the light, and that which you hear in the ear, preach upon the housetops, alleluia” (Mt 10:27). The darkness here is the obscurity of faith, the prayer in the night by which God comes closer to us than He does in what we take for light. The secrets whispered in the ear are those of the Holy Ghost, secrets that only the listening heart can hear. It is of this that Jesus speaks in today’s Gospel: “When the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, Who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness to me” (Jn 15:26). Saint Athanasius, receiving the witness of the Holy Ghost concerning Christ, was compelled to preach it from the housetops and, even today, his voice resounds in the Church.
Quickened and Protected
Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God,
that we who, together with Saint Athanasius,
steadfastly confess the divinity of Thine Only-Begotten Son,
may ever be enlivened and protected by this sacrament.
Through Christ our Lord.
In the Postcommunion Prayer we ask that, “we who steadfastly confess the divinity of Thine only-begotten Son, may ever be enlivened and protected by this sacrament.” Note the two parts to the petition: we ask both to be enlivened (or quickened) and to be protected. This is why we go to the altar today: for an infusion of divine vitality, and for the divine protection without which the life we bear in ourselves, as in earthen vessels, is fragile and at every moment threatened.
Saint Anthony of Egypt
Saint Athanasius gave us, we must not forget, the Life of the Father of Monks in East and West, Saint Anthony of Egypt. Nothing better illustrates the principle of the Postcommunion Prayer at work. Anthony was a man fully alive in Christ. He was, at the same time, thrust into fierce spiritual combat where his only recourse was the protection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Anthony’s triumph was the triumph of Christ in him. Saint Athanasius wants us to understand this above all else. That same triumph of Christ over sin, the flesh, and the devil, the glorious triumph of Christ over death, is given us in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Finding the Cross in Paschaltide
Friday, 02 May 2014 17:00
The Passion and Cross in Paschaltide
The oldest liturgical traditions in the Church contemplate, celebrate, and adore the life-giving Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Paschaltide. Some benighted souls object to recalling the mysteries of the Passion and Cross after Pascha. Such an opinion betrays little knowledge of the Church’s living and abiding tradition in this regard.
The Lamb That Was Slain
In the brightness of the Resurrection, the contemplation of the Passion and Cross becomes suffused with glory; the celebration of the Passion and Cross — above all in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass — becomes a foretaste of the triumph of the Prince of Life; the adoration of the Lamb that was slain becomes a real participation, here and now, in the liturgy of heaven described by Saint John in the book of the Apocalypse:
And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the living creatures, and the ancients; and the number of them was thousands of thousands, Saying with a loud voice: The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power, and divinity, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and benediction. And every creature, which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them: I heard all saying: To him that sitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb, benediction, and honour, and glory, and power, for ever and ever. (Apocalypse 5:11-13).
By His Holy and Glorious Wounds
At the very beginning of the Great Paschal Vigil, as grains of incense are being inserted into the Paschal Candle, this prayer evokes the Five Wounds of Christ: By His holy and glorious wounds, may Christ the Lord guard and protect us. This liturgical formula is a fitting invocation at all times, but in Paschaltide it holds a particular resonance. The contemplation of the Wounds of Christ began with His apparitions to the Apostles after the Resurrection. The origin and impetus thus given to devotion to the Five Wounds is essentially biblical and liturgical. I have written elsewhere of the devotion to the Five Wounds as revealed to Sister Marie-Marthe Chambon, a humble religious of the Visitation Order.
It would be fitting, during Paschaltide, to close family prayers with the above-mentioned liturgical formula. Children might be invited to learn the prayer by heart and recite it after kissing the five wounds of Our Lord depicted on the crucifix or in an icon of the Risen Saviour.
Commemoration of the Cross
In our Benedictine Antiphonal (1934 edition, Solesmes) there is a commemoration of the Holy Cross at Lauds and Vespers during Paschaltide. This liturgical practice keeps the mystery of the Cross present to the eyes, the ears, and the heart. The liturgy of Paschaltide does not obliterate the Church’s focus on the Passion and Cross; it transforms it.
Antiphon: The Crucified is risen from the dead, and hath redeemed us, alleluia.
Antiphon: He who suffered the Holy Cross and shattered hell, rose on the third day, robed in power, alleluia.
At both Hours:
V. Tell ye among the nations, alleluia.
R. That the Lord hath reigned from the tree, alleluia.
Let us pray.
O GOD, who for our sake
didst will Thy Son to undergo the torments of the Cross,
that Thou mightest drive far from us the power of the enemy;
grant unto us Thy servants
that we may attain to the grace of His Resurrection.
Through the same Christ our Lord.
The Feast of the Finding of the Holy Cross
Although the Feast of the Finding (or Invention) of the Holy Cross on 3 May was removed from more recent liturgical books, it remains in the 1934 edition of the Benedictine Antiphonale that is still widely used, and continues to be celebrated in not a few Benedictine monasteries. While the Office is substantially the same as on 14 September (The Exaltation of the Holy Cross), on 3 May it is shot through and through with alleluias. It presents a vision of the Passion and Cross of the Lord in the light of the Resurrection. Theologically, mystically, and catechetically the Feast of the Finding of the Holy Cross on 3 May is a liturgical piece of genius.
The feast commemorates Saint Helena’s finding of the Cross in Jerusalem, and the signs and wonders that accompanied it and verified its authenticity. Saint Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine, carried part of the Cross back to Rome, where it was enshrined in the Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, on the site of the Sessorian palace.
The entire Mass and Office of the Finding of the Holy Cross deserve to be meditated and held in the heart. The liturgical texts of the feast demonstrate and support that, far from being inappropriate during Paschaltide, the contemplation and celebration of the mysteries of the Lord’s Passion and Cross emerge, in the light of these fifty days of jubilation, as an inexhaustible wellspring of healing and of hope.
With joy we keep the feast
of the Finding of the Cross,
whose light shineth over all the world, alleluia.
(Antiphon at Matins)
In Personal Devotion
Blessed Abbot Columba Marmion, whose knowledge and love of Sacred Scripture and of the Church’s liturgy transformed the piety of generations of priests and layfolk in the last century, made the Way of the Cross every day of his life, including all through Paschaltide. While some would object that the Way of the Cross has no place in a “Resurrection Spirituality”, Blessed Marmion and countless other saints demonstrate that there is, in fact, no better time during which to return to the loving consideration of the Passion of the Lord than Paschaltide, for it is only in the light of the Paschal Candle that one can begin to read rightly the Verbum Crucis, the Word of the Cross.
There are other Passion-centred practices of devotion that harmonize fully with the liturgy of Paschaltide. Among them are the Chaplet of Divine Mercy made known by Saint Faustina Maria Kowalska, the Chaplet of the Five Wounds prayed by Sister Marie-Marthe Chambon, and devotions to the Precious Blood, the Holy Face, and the Sacred Heart.
A personal piety that is directed and nourished by the Sacred Liturgy will never become unbalanced or bizarre. The liturgy of Mother Church is broader and deeper than some proponents of a shortsighted and shallow “liturgical fundamentalism” would want us to believe.
Christ, the Crucified King,
O come, let us adore, alleluia.
(Invitatory at Matins of the Finding of the Holy Cross, 3 May)
|Our Meager Gifts to God|
Memorial of Saint Athanasius, bishop and doctor of the Church
After this, Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, "Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?" He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, "Two hundred days´ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little." One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?" Jesus said, "Have the people recline." Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, "Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted." So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, "This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world." Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.
Introductory Prayer: I come before you, Lord, poor and unworthy. Yet you welcome me with such love. With my effort during this meditation I want to make a small return on your great kindness.
Petition: Lord, help me to understand the trials you send me and to value your gift of grace.
1. The Trials of Life: The Gospel tells us that Jesus “tests” the disciples, watching the reaction they have to seemingly impossible situations. This test in the shortage of food may well have induced a panic. As the apostles looked out at the vast crowd, they felt totally inadequate in the face of such need. Perhaps in that sense, they passed the test. Christ wanted them to experience that human ingenuity alone could not be the foundation of the Church. No matter how smart the apostles or their successors are, the needs of the souls and the world will always vastly outstrip our human capacity. So what’s the answer? There’s only one: the Lord!
2. The Insufficient Gift: While the disciples are confused, a little boy is generous. With innocence and simplicity, he walks up with his basket. With this food, the Lord will do something wonderful. Perhaps Our Lord was thinking about this boy when he said, “Unless you become like a child, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” The disciples are being given a beautiful lesson in this trusting child: give everything over to Christ; it doesn’t matter how little it may seem to you or others — with his divine power, great things can happen with our five loaves and two fish.
3. Let Nothing Be Wasted: It’s interesting that Our Lord sends out the disciples as a cleanup crew after this big meal. One insight that we can draw from this is the value of God’s grace. Even though the Lord’s power is infinite, we should not become complacent and view his grace as some commodity in oversupply. It is precious and should not be wasted. Yet, that would seem to be exactly what happens. We have received so many sacraments, but we are far from being saints. This speaks to us again of the marvelous patience of the Lord. Even when we don’t fully appreciate the value of his gifts, he doesn’t stop giving them.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, I see the compassion in your eyes when you look out at the vast crowd. They are hungry, but I am poor and weak in the face of such need. Come to my aid! Give the grace I need to cooperate generously with you in the ongoing work of redemption.
Resolution: I will be generous in helping others, trusting more in God’s grace than in myself.
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