A Model of Joyful Praise

 

Our best model of prayer, praise, and joy is Our Lady, and today we celebrate the feast of her Queenship.  She is the model of true joy, for she was the Mother of Our Lord, Who is the source of all our hope and joy.  Her joy and gratitude to God overflow from her soul so beautifully in the Magnificat that Christians have repeated her words in praise of God since the earliest days of the Church.

Our beautiful Mother is a Queen because she is the Mother of the King of Kings, and she loves to teach us how to praise her Son.  Today we want to share this video from the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament’s Facebook page (our old home) – it is guaranteed to lift your spirit and bring joy to your heart.  Like Our Lady with her hymn of praise to God, these radiant ladies are overflowing with love for Jesus.  They made our day, and we hope you enjoy them, too.

Inviolate and Incorruptible

The Assumption of the Virgin Bergognone, Ambrogio di Stefano da Fossano, Italian, Milan ca. 1453–1523

The Assumption of the Virgin by Bergognone (Ambrogio di Stefano da Fossano), c1453-1523 

This painting is so beautiful, we can’t stop looking at it.  Click on it and you’ll be taken to the Metropolitan Museum website where you can zoom in super close to see all the beautiful details .

 

Picture 6

 

Gratitude and joy – those are the emotions that define this day for us.  Gratitude to God for the gift of Our Lady, and joy because we feel her maternal solicitude each day.

The second reading today from the Office of Readings is taken from Pope Pius XII’s Apostolic Constitution defining the dogma of the Assumption.  It’s a beautiful explanation of why we celebrate the Assumption of Our Lady.  To read the entire document click here.

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Look into that Mirror Daily

stclareassisi

Happy Feast of St. Clare to all! Although it’s nearly over, we wanted to share with you the second reading from today’s Office of Readings.  We enjoyed a delicious feast day dinner (technically, it’s a solemnity for us, so we celebrate with extra special festivity), and our day is nearing it’s end, but we didn’t want to close up shop without sharing this with all of you.

Just to warn you, our Holy Mother Clare uses lots of romantic (and scriptural) language when Continue reading

Trust Amidst the Storm

Christ Rescuing Peter from Drowning by Lorenzo Veneziano, 1370Then he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was many furlongs distant from the land, beaten by the waves; for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately he spoke to them, saying, “Take heart, it is I; have no fear.” And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus; but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” (Matt 14:22-33)

No sooner had Peter cried out to Jesus in desperation and terror than Jesus reaches down to save him. Whatever the translation might be – immediately, instantly, at once, at that very moment – Jesus straightaway responds to Peter. He doesn’t hesitate.
He reaches down and grasps Peter’s hand, holding on to His flailing and terror-stricken disciple.  Peter, in his utter helplessness and fear, suddenly feels the strong hand of his Lord on him, pulling him out of the churning waves. As Jesus pulls him out of those waves He reproaches him, “…O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Perhaps the greatest hurt we can cause our Lord is to doubt Him, to be fearful and not believe He can, or will, save us.  Jesus walks into the storms of our lives, which we encounter from time to time, to rescue us and bring us His peace.  But He waits for us to recognize our own fear and helplessness, to turn to Him, to cry out to Him, to trust Him. If we do, His response will always be swift, and sure. He will grasp us, pull us to Himself, and never let us go.

A Generous Heart

multiplication of loaves

I don’t know about you, but I think that generosity is such an attractive virtue, so appealing, so inspiring.

The Gospel reading today with the miracle of the multiplication of the five loaves and two fish, shows the generosity of a little boy, and then, the inexhaustible generosity of God, who not only multiplies the gift, but for good measure, leaves some to spare!

As Jesus in another part of the Gospels pulls a child aside as an example of simplicity and humility, it is again a child who displays a generosity that the rest of those present in the crowd seem to lack. He offers the little that he has, all that he has, and with wonder watches Jesus multiply it.

Obviously in this Gospel there are so many different meanings on so many different levels.  Of course this is a prefigurement of the Eucharist, and here Jesus is demonstrating His power over creation.  But perhaps for today think also on that virtue of generosity: Of my generosity of heart towards God, and God’s generosity to me in return.

He won’t be outdone.

What mighty things Our Lord wants to, waits to, accomplish in us, through us, if only we let Him. He doesn’t want us to be embarrassed by the littleness of our offering.

He can make it into something great!  All He needs is our generosity of heart, just like that little child so long ago.

 

The Little Portion

porciuncola copy

From the writings of Friar Thomas of Celano

The servant of God, Francis, an unassuming humble person, a man of no importance in his own opinion, while dwelling on earth chose for himself and his followers a small place.  Without this small place he would not have been able to render service to Christ in this world.  It was not, however, without some knowledge of the Scriptures that the place long ago was named Small Portion (Portiuncula), a place destined for those who desired to own Continue reading

The Great War

Gassed, by John Singer Sargent

The world marks a sad anniversary today, the beginning of the Great War.  Tragically, the war to end all wars was not.  World War II gets a lot of attention in the media, being fresher in our minds, but World War is worth pondering.  This excellent video from Catholic News Service, which we first found here at Rorate Coeli, sheds a lot of light on the role the Great War played in the disintegration of Europe and Christianity.  Then, as in recent wars, the lone voice of the pope, crying out for peace, went unheeded. If hindsight is 20/20, the century that has passed since the outbreak of the war has given us ample time to understand its far-reaching effects, and often unanticipated, effects.