Category Archives: Sacraments

Infant Jesus: “…in the womb, I knew you…”

At today’s Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Gospel reading was on the Wedding at Cana.  The pastor really “hit home” when he mentioned that, at the prompting of Mother Mary, the good Lord Jesus miraculously made somewhere between 150 and 180 gallons of really, really high-quality wine for the wedding party.  This showed the Lord’s generosity – he did not just respond to Mother Mary’s prompting; He was zealous, providing an overabundance of the best wine!  St. John goes on to demonstrate Jesus’s divine generosity throughout the Gospel.

Now, the pastor used this homily as an occasion to speak about abortion, especially since the National March for Life will be happening next Friday on the 43d anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Infant Jesus

Infant Jesus: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.”

During his homily, he quoted Jeremiah 1:5:

Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.

But, as the priest was saying this, I saw, in my mind, the Infant Jesus standing before me with arm and hand raised, and He was saying the same words.

Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.

The picture to the left does not do it justice.  The Infant Jesus was even younger and He had his right arm up and his hand and finger extended upward – as if He were blessing me.

Now, it is the finger of God which wrote the Ten Commandments onto the two tablets which Moses brought down from Mt. Sinai.  As such, we are reminded that what the Infant Jesus says is God’s Word – His Truth, and it is to be believed as written.  All human life is known and precious to Him, even before they are born.

Let there be no misunderstanding about the reality of the human personage and sacred dignity of all unborn human beings, and let those who have aborted their children or who helped others to do so seek the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary,  repent, seek full rest and mercy and healing in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, join in the overabundance and generosity of the Lord’s Wedding Feast, and then witness to others about the Truth.

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Call to Holy Confession

 

Roses in your Heart

 
I was struggling to pray the Rosary this morning.  I just stopped and looked at Mother Mary in my mind, and she looked at me and said to pray to her Son, Jesus instead.  And then that is what I did, even with words which came to me such as, “Jesus, I am sorry that I have offended you” and more prayers of praise and jubilation.

We had a conversation in my heart.  The most important thing He said to me was – and this is for you, too –

“Come before Me with roses in your heart.”

I could smell the fragrance of roses at that time, and I smell the fragrance even now as I write – a spiritual sensing of the odor of sweetness of a rose.

I think this means that we should confess our sins, often even, so that when we speak with Jesus – when we approach Him at the altar, we are pleasant to Him Who gives us His Very Life in His Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity at every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  This is a mystery.

But I do know He is present with me, as is Mother Mary.  How this can be is a mystery.

Jesus Returns, and the Holy Spirit Departs?

As I was praying the rosary this morning, the Joyful Mysteries, this came to mind:  Jesus said that if He did not leave, the Spirit would not be sent.  

St. John witnessed Jesus say, “But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you.  But if I go, I will send him to you.” [Gospel of John, 16:7, NAB Holy Bible]

We know that the Spirit guides the Church in all truth in matters pertaining to faith and morals.  He has done so for over two millennia.

But as logic would have it, if Jesus is coming back, is not the Holy Spirit leaving?  Would not Jesus say, “But if I return, I will take Him from you, and I will be your sovereign King and ruler.”

Let us be prepared for the possibility of being adrift without the Holy Spirit for a short time…for a short time.  Let us prepare ourselves with frequent participation in the Sacraments. 

Mother Mary’s Thoughts And Presence During the Pentecost

Mary and Apostles as the Holy Spirit descends in tongues of fire

Our Blessed Mother Mary conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and became Theotokos, the Mother of God.  When, after the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into Heaven, and sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost,  Mary was there with the Apostles.  

What might she have been thinking?  She must have been 48 years old at the time, when most women are approaching or are already in menopause.  I can imagine…I did imagine when praying the Glorious Mysteries…her excitement at the thought that upon the overshadowing again of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, that she might conceive once again for God.  Remember the words of Sarah, wife of Abraham after hearing of her future motherhood:

“And she laughed secretly saying: ‘After I am grown old, and my lord is an old man, shall I give myself to pleasure?'”  [Genesis 18:12, Douay-Rheims Holy Bible]

In contrast, what was Mother Mary thinking?  Perhaps she thought as she did upon visiting Spirit-filled Elizabeth:

“And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.”  [Gospel of Luke, 1:47, Douay-Rheims Holy Bible]

Mother Mary is one with the Holy Spirit

 As the spouse of the Holy Spirit, Pentecost must have been a wonderful event for Mother Mary, an event which, perhaps, sealed her future as the spiritual mother of all of God’s children.  Afterall, she did become the future mother of 3,000 on the first day alone.

“They therefore that received his word, were baptized; and there were added in that day about 3,000 souls.”  [Acts of the Apostles, 2:41, Douay-Rheims Holy Bible]

As it was at Pentecost, is how it is today at each celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation: at Baptism to give birth to us, at Confirmation to fortify us, and at Eucharist to nurture us for eternal Life.  She is there with the Holy Spirit.  How is this possible?  How can this be?  This is a mystery, but we know that…

“…Mary said: ‘My soul doth magnify the Lord'” [Gospel of Luke, 1:46, Douay-Rheims Holy Bible]

Indeed, Mother Mary is one with the Lord, Who is the source of all life.  She and the Holy Spirit are the perfect union, for she magnifies the Lord as co-Source of our new Life in Christ.  This is not a priestly function; it is above the priestly function.  She is co-Advocate and co-Redeemer.  She magnifies our Savior.

I Will Know You in Your Wounds

image“Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”

~ The Lord, Jesus Christ to St. Thomas the Apostle, gospel of John, 20:27 NAB

Do you know someone close to you who has deep scars of some type, whether physical or emotional or both, and the circumstances surrounding those scars?  If you know the scars and the circumstances, do you not have a more intimate bond with them than someone else who is acquainted yet hasn’t this knowledge?  You do, and this knowledge draws you closer to them if you have the capacity for compassion and love, and if this compassion and love can flow freely from you to them.  But, these things can become thwarted or blocked by some obstacle – some vice or wrong or injustice, whether actual or perceived, which has been done between you two, where distrust is allowed to grow and fester.   True?

Isn’t this what happens between us and God when we commit sin or become self-absorbed, e.g., through anger, in some way?  By our sins or bad actions, we lose the ability to be tender and we become hardened.  We forget Who our Friend Is, and we inadvertently begin blocking the flow of life-giving love and mercy into our own souls such that we are unable and, eventually, unwilling to allow the love and compassion to continue flowing into and then out from us to others in need.

Is this not what happened to St. Thomas the Apostle?  Yet, when he returned to investigate and touch the Very Wounds of Christ, his spiritual eyes were opened and he knew with faith…the obstacles were removed and he was once again able to believe and hope and love…

“Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!'”

~ Gospel of John, 20:28 NAB

Was this not a miraculous healing of Thomas’ soul which had become hardened?

Ponder the Wounds of Christ during Lent.  Touch His Wounds in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  There is constant, salvific healing there.

Making Eucharist

Pure, Precious, Holy Spiritual Food for Eternal Life

Pure, Precious, Holy Spiritual Food for Eternal Life

When I was praying the Rosary on Monday, I had a wonderful inspiration when thinking about the wonder and beauty of the Annunciation and the Sacrament of Eucharist.

I imagined Divine Wisdom of God, which is flawless, informing the pristine Virtue of the Blessed Virgin Mary and presenting Spiritual Food for our souls.

Precious.

If our souls were not so hardened and encrusted with the tar of sin, we would more easily absorb the precious, living essence of the Eucharist, would we not?

Many do not think they have sin, and so they receive but do not seem to benefit ( noticeably or notably ) from receiving the Holy Eucharist, true?

Call for New Sacrament of Reconciliation: For Marriage

Holy Matrimony in the Presence of the LORD Jesus Christ Who bestows His Grace on their union.

Holy Matrimony in the Presence of the LORD Jesus Christ Who bestows His Grace on their union.

I propose a new form be added to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, but for the help of marriages.

There is the Sacrament of Matrimony in which the husband and wife make a covenant to give themselves to each other for their earthly life and in which Grace is given to help the spouses live out their marriage in accordance with God’s plan.

However, there is absolutely no documented sacramental form or means directly available for the reconciliation and strengthening of that matrimonial bond when it has come under attack leading to the loss of Grace and making possible the deconstruction of a marriage which was meant to prosper and bear earthly fruit for the Kingdom of God.

The Baptized go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation for their reconciliation with God and for the healing of their individual souls, but marriages are relegated to the general help of the wisdom and support of other couples (sinners who are not ordained ministers) in the parish community.

CHURCH: WAITING UNTIL IT IS TOO LATE TO HELP THE COUPLE?

Why aren’t waning marriages handled through a Sacrament of Reconciliation for Marriages?

Why does the Church, in some cases, ill-prepare couples and then wait until the “shipwreck” of the marriage, stepping in late in a reactionary way (instead of proactive way) with programs like Retrouvaille and the long and painful process of deconstructing what was thought to be an irrevocable marriage bond through the canonical Annulment process?!  Far too much damage has been done by this time.

Where is the proactive help which works with young, married couples as they build and strengthen their commitments together – throughout their marriages?  Where do couples go to refresh their matrimonial bonds?

LET THE LORD GIVE THE CHURCH A NEW HELP:  SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION AND REJUVENATION OF MARRIAGE

I propose a draft outline for the new Matter/Form the married couple, to be added within the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Rejuvenation of Marriage.  I do not propose a new Sacrament, but a new form for the healing and strengthening of marriages:

Matter

  1. Sins against the gift of marital unity
  2. Sins against the gift of marital fidelity
  3. Sins against the gift of marital fertility

Form

  1. Act of Contrition unique to the Marriage Covenant and what it means for eternal salvation.
  2. Absolution for sins committed.
  3. Mutual recommitment of the couple to their original marriage covenant, witnessed by a priest.
  4. Blessing of the restatement of the marriage covenant.

Means

  1. Grace which strengthens the desire for the gift and attainment of deeper marital unity in which the two indeed become one in Christ.
  2. Grace which heals damage to the gift of the irrevocable marital / conjugal bond.
  3. Grace which strengthens the prudent and temperate desire for the gift of marital fertility.

Credit for picture:  Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals, http://catholicharboroffaithandmorals.com/

Be Reconciled to the Lord – the Sacrament of Healing

Come to Jesus in the Sacrament of Healing. Tell the Lord you are sorry and love Him.

Theo-Logis

Be reconciled to Me. I love you. Sin no more.
Be reconciled to Me. I love you. Sin no more.

Come to Me.  Be one with Me again.  Touch My Holy Wounds and place your sins inside my Holy Wounds and be healed.

When we sin, it is as if Christ’s wounds open anew for us.  His Precious Blood heals, but we are distant – far from His reach and are not healed.  We must approach Him, face His Holy Wounds and our own wounds in the Sacrament of Reconciliation in order to be healed.

jesus-manofsorrows Come to Me. Place your sins inside my Holy Wounds and be healed.

When we sin, we should relate that sin to those wounds inflicted upon Jesus Christ and take full responsibility for our actions. If there is no greater love and compassion than that Love and Compassion which come from your Lord in His Forgiveness, then consider just how tender and sensitive your Lord, our Living…

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In Mortally Sinning, We Crucify Anew the Lord Within Us

The Lord, Jesus Christ reminds you, “My heart bleeds for you.” He does this for YOU because He loves you and desires to cleanse you and make you whole for eternal life with Him in Heaven.

Theo-Logis

crucifixionspike17 Roman crucifixion spikes

Consider the harm.  Choose instead to kiss, caress and heal His Holy Wounds.  You don’t know what you do, but you do.  To your caresses, your heart-felt confession, He will respond with grace and peace.  He will love you and ask you, “Will you love me now?  Will you not sin again?”  Return to Him to bandage His Wound.  He will help you grow stronger.

“Nor did demons crucify him; it is you who have crucified him and crucify him still, when you delight in your vices and sins.”

— St. Francis of Assisi (cf, Catechism of the Catholic Church #598.)

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Be Reconciled to the Lord – the Sacrament of Healing

Be reconciled to Me. I love you. Sin no more.
Be reconciled to Me. I love you. Sin no more.

Come to Me.  Be one with Me again.  Touch My Holy Wounds and place your sins inside my Holy Wounds and be healed.

When we sin, it is as if Christ’s wounds open anew for us.  His Precious Blood heals, but we are distant – far from His reach and are not healed.  We must approach Him, face His Holy Wounds and our own wounds in the Sacrament of Reconciliation in order to be healed.

jesus-manofsorrows

Come to Me. Place your sins inside my Holy Wounds and be healed.

When we sin, we should relate that sin to those wounds inflicted upon Jesus Christ and take full responsibility for our actions. If there is no greater love and compassion than that Love and Compassion which come from your Lord in His Forgiveness, then consider just how tender and sensitive your Lord, our Living Sacrifice, is to your sins. Do you think He does not notice? Do you think He is not wounded? Do you think YOU are not wounded by your own sins? Consider that when you yell at your spouse (or best friend), your spouse is emotionally wounded. And now overlay your spouse (or best friend) onto your Lord whose capacity for love and compassion are even greater. Is not your relationship with your Lord personal and intimate? Then, if it is, go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and say you’re sorry, be reconciled and commit to never committing the sin again.

anointing-jesus-feet

Your contrition and compassion are like a perfumed ointment on My Holy Wounds.

Doing so will be like a soothing and perfumed ointment upon His Most Holy Wounds and, as a result, your own wounds. “I did this to my spouse. In doing so, I did this to You, my Lord, Who are all good and loving. I’m sorry. Heal my shame. Heal my sorrow. I love you. Let me anoint your Wounds. Let us be reconciled in love that I may be open again to your Love and then love truly as You love.”