Let all the devout, all who love God rejoice in this beautiful, bright Feast. Let the wise servants be glad and enter into the joy of their Lord. Let those who have borne the burden of the Fast, now receive their pay. And those who have toiled since the 1st hour, now receive their just reward. Let any who came after the third hour, gratefully join in the fast. And those who have come after the sixth hour, let them not doubt, for they shall suffer no loss. If any have delayed to the ninth hour, let them not hesitate, but also come. And they who have arrived only at the 11th hour, let them not be afraid because they delayed, for the Lord is gracious and He receives the last even as the first. He gives rest to those who come at the eleventh hour as well to those who have worked from the first. [Read more…] about Easter Sunday Reflection: St. John Chrysostom’s Easter Sermon
You may not know that one of the promises clergy & religious make upon entering their vocation is to pray the Liturgy of the Hours (AKA Divine office.) This is a routine of prayers that they pray at various times throughout the day to make sure that they don’t lose sight of their relationship with God within their service to His Church. One of the hours they pray is called the Office of Readings, which includes both a selection from the Bible and something from one of the saints. The following is the reading for Good Friday, taken from the Catecheses by St. John Chrysostom, one of the early Church fathers. I moved it back to the front of the blog in honor of what we celebrate today, because Chrysostom says it all so much better than I ever could. If you’re looking for the readings for the day, click here to get them from the USCCB website.
If we wish to understand the power of Christ’s blood, we should go back to the ancient account of its prefiguration in Egypt. Sacrifice a lamb without blemish, commanded Moses, and sprinkle its blood on your doors. If we were to ask him what he meant, and how the blood of an irrational beast could possibly save men endowed with reason, his answer would be that the saving power lies not in the blood itself but in the fact that it is a sign of the Lord’s blood. In those days, when the destroying angel saw the blood on the doors he did not dare to enter, so much less will the devil approach now when he sees, no tthat figurative blood on the doors, but the true blood on the lips of believers, the doors of the temple of Christ. [Read more…] about Good Friday Reflection: The Power of Christ’s Blood (St. John Chrysostom)
St. Maximilian Kolbe is one of my heroes… so every year I “bump” this post in his honor.
If you’ve ever studied World War II, you’ve probably heard of Auschwitz. Auschwitz was initially a concentration camp that later became the largest of the Nazi death camps, where almost 1.1 million people -mostly Jewish- died.
One of these 1.1 million was a Franciscan priest named Maximilian Kolbe (prisoner #16670.) His story is an incredible one of loving God and neighbor, and is one I often like to share. [Read more…] about Prisoner #16670
When I began to seriously investigate my faith, one of the things I was really struck by was Pope St. John Paul II’s devotion to Mary. It seemed like every homily he gave and every letter or book he wrote ended with some sort of recourse to the Mother of God. When I began to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, I realized how fitting this was – the Church’s official prayer ends each day with a prayer dedicated to Mary.
Arguably the most recognizable Catholic prayer is the Hail Mary:
Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death, amen.
The prayer itself is quite simple and has a history going back several centuries. The form by which we pray it today found its final form in the sixteenth century – concluding a journey that took centuries. [Read more…] about Hail Mary
When I attended Bible School in 1998-99, I began an incredible journey discovering the depth and the beauty of my Catholic faith. While I have always been Catholic, the second half of my life has offered me an opportunity to begin to understand what that really means and what my faith was all about.
One of the first people I began to read was the late, great Pope John Paul II. JPII was an incredibly holy man with a brilliant mind, and one of the things that struck me was that when he wrote, it seemed as if all of it finished with a dedication or an prayer to Mary.
[Read more…] about Mary, the Mother of God