The Faithful Echo of God

The Faithful Echo of God

  Visitation  1434-1435 Jacques Daret   …you never think of Mary without Mary thinking of God for you. You never praise or honor Mary without without Mary joining you in praising and honoring God.   Mary is entirely relative to God. Indeed I would say that she was relative only to God, because she exists uniquely in reference to Him. She is an echo of God, speaking and repeating only God.   If you say “Mary” she says “God”. When St Elizabeth praised Mary, calling her blessed because she had believed, Mary, the faithful echo of God, responded with her Canticle,   “My soul glorifies the Lord.”   What Mary did on that day, she does every day. When we praise her, when we love and honor her, when...

No Compromise

No Compromise

St Paul Writing His Epistles Valentin de Boulogne (c. 1618 – 1620)   I had a kitchen disaster last night; the kind that makes me wonder why, after a challenging day, I would see fit to take on a recipe I’ve never tried before. By eight o’clock the kitchen was still a mess, dinner was in the garbage and I was more than a bit frazzled when the phone rang.   It was a call from a dear friend in law enforcement. We have many of these late night calls that remind me what it was like growing up with a father who was a homicide detective. They see humanity at it’s worst and there comes a time when they must find a way to not lose heart, they must find a way to see beyond the disgraceful condition of a world gone astray from it’s...

The Holy Trinity

The Holy Trinity

  Holy Trinity  Sandro Botticelli 1491-1493     “The Holy Trinity or Pala delle Convertite is an altarpiece by the Italian Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli, dating to c. 1491-1493. It is housed in Courtauld Institute Galleries of London.   It was originally commissioned by the Arte dei Medici e degli Speziali (guild of the Doctors and Pharmacists) for the church of Santa Elisabetta delle Convertite in Florence, a church/monastery housing former prostitutes or fallen women, who had converted from the licentious life to one of honesty, and whose patron saint was Mary Magdalene.   The picture shows the Trinity (Jesus Crucified, God and the Holy Spirit’s Dove) within an almond with seraphim.   In the background is a blue sky within two...

World Day of Prayer for the Church in China

World Day of Prayer for the Church in China

    (news.va) Pope Francis has called Christians worldwide to prayer this Friday for our brothers and sisters in China. Speaking at the end of his general audience in Italian, the Holy Father noted that Friday, May 24th, is the day dedicated to the liturgical memory of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Help of Christians, who is venerated with great devotion at the Shrine of Sheshan in Shanghai. Emer McCarthy reports:     He said : “I urge all Catholics around the world to join in prayer with our brothers and sisters who are in China, to implore from God the grace to proclaim with humility and joy Christ, who died and rose again; to be faithful to His Church and the Successor of Peter and to live everyday life in service to their country and their fellow...

Saint of Impossible Causes

Saint of Impossible Causes

    Saint Rita come to my aid! Faithful, loving wife and mother, Humble, prayerful widow and nun, Because of my need, answer my call.   Saint Rita, come to my aid! Beautiful rose born from the Savior’s thorns, Lead me far from anger and hate; Guide my heart on peaceful paths with charity to all.   Saint Rita, come to my aid! Helper, healer, holy friend Hear my petition (make request). To Christ take this prayer, For He is my Lord, my God, my All, My hope in despair, My strength when afraid. Saint Rita, come to my aid! Saint Rita, answer my call. Amen.   Blessed feast day. It’s never too late to pray a novena. St Rita, I thank you in advance for the answered prayers you will obtain on our behalf.  ...

“IHS”

“IHS”

  St Bernadine of Sienna, OFM  Priest    St Bernadine of Sienna came from a noble family, but was orphaned at the age of six. Through the gracious love and provision of  relatives, he received an excellent education completing a degree in canon law by the age of twenty-three.   For years he lived a quiet unremarkable life as a Franciscan Friar of the Strict Observance, until in 1417, a novice prophesied to him three times:   “Brother Bernadino,”, he exclaimed, “go to Lombardy where all await you.”   He went to Milan obediently on faith, unsure for a time exactly what he was supposed to do, until he began to preach. Then it became clear when thousands across northern and central Italy came to hear this friars...

The Spirit of Truth and Love

The Spirit of Truth and Love

  There’s so much I’m asking the Spirit for this Pentecost. I hope to be filled anew, that I may learn to love as He loves;   and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us. —Romans 5:5   With a renewed presence of the Holy Spirit, I long to understand what it means to abide in Christ..Such a strange word to modern ears, that apart from it’s use in the gospels, one might consider it obsolete. Nothing much continues or perseveres these days; promises kept, once the foundation of our human community, have all but vanished. No matter, I am still called to abide and I pray the Holy Spirit anchor me to Christ, that it be more that just an...

Spiritual Warfare…Fight Like a Knight

Spiritual Warfare…Fight Like a Knight

    In Notebook VI of Divine Mercy In My Soul, the Lord instructs St Faustina to undertake a three day retreat in the days preceding Pentecost and that He Himself will conduct the retreat. He tells her,   You shall not follow any of the rules required for retreats or use any books for meditation . Your task is to listen attentively to my words. For spiritual reading you shall read one chapter from the Gospel of John. —1709   On the first day, after her second meditation, the Lord gives her a “Conference on Spiritual Warfare“, which I found particularly interesting and helpful;   “My daughter, I want to teach you about spiritual warfare. Never trust in yourself, but abandon yourself totally to My will. In...

How Long Will You Grieve Over…..

How Long Will You Grieve Over…..

      I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day. She told me that transition is something she looks forward to ~ anticipating what new thing God is championing in her life. After a long silence she asked,   “Are you still there? ” “Yes, I just don’t think I’ve ever had a woman tell me she loves transition and change.”   We continued our discussion, but after I hung up, I gave thought to what she said. I recalled the many times transition came to my young life; changes I had no control over, people who decided things I didn’t approve of, things God decided were best, but only wild horses could drag me to the departing station.  And the older I get, it doesn’t seem any...

Catholic Woman’s Almanac

Catholic Woman’s Almanac

   The Faith of the  Syrophoenician Woman   Now brethren, we urge you to praise God. That is what we are all telling each other when we say,  Alleluia.   —St Augustine         It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these with the ladies at Suscipio   Thankful for   :: my lungs ~ each inhale and exhale reminds me it was a gift from  The Breath of Life   :: my heart ~ each involuntary pump reminds me …it didn’t start with me   :: my hands ~ I can type out all my inconsequential thoughts   :: my teeth ~ if I can’t see my teeth when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I know I’m not smiling   :: nature ~ which many times is my best teacher   :: books ~ can never have enough of...

The Orchid Resurrection

The Orchid Resurrection

    There’s an orchid perched on a small green table on my porch. It was a Mother’s Day present from my oldest son several years ago, which he vaguely remembers.   When he first gave it to me, my joy in the delicate beauty of those lavish purple and white striped blooms was tempered by fears attributed to my limited green thumb skills. I was concerned. Could I mother such a delicate plant? I left it on the porch and followed some basic orchid care instructions for dummies I found on the internet.   Next to the green table is a chair worn by years of Florida rainstorms that have left it’s feet shaky from erosion and from the many days, weeks and months I sat in prayer surrendering concerns for my son to the Lord. Those were...