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Tag Archives: Christian Meditation

SERMON FROM THE AQUEDUCT

SERMON FROM THE AQUEDUCT

The word was made flesh and now dwells among us. He dwells in our memory, he dwells in our thoughts. He comes down even to our imagination.

“How?” you ask. By lying in a manner, by nestling at his mother’s breast, preaching on the mountain, praying throughout the night, hanging on the Cross, growing pallid in death, free among the dead, triumphant in hell. He does it by rising on the third day, by showing the Apostles the print of the nails, the marks of his victory, and finally by ascending before their very eyes into the mysterious heights of the heaven. Of which of these can we not think truly, lovingly, piously, holily?

Of whichever one I think, I think of God; and he is my God through them all. I call it wisdom to meditate upon them, I judge it prudent to recall the memory of their sweetness. From such seeds the priestly rod put forth buds; Mary, drawing their nurture from celestial depths, brought forth the flowers. She who received the Word from the heart of the Father himself, was on a supernal plane, higher even than the angels.

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

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O MY LORD JESUS CRUCIFIED

O MY LORD JESUS CRUCIFIED

PRAYER OF POPE ST PIUS V., O. P. 

1. O my Lord Jesus Christ Crucified, Son of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, open thine Ears, and listen to me as thou didst listen to the Eternal Father on Mount Tabor.

Here say the Apostles’ Creed.

2. O my Lord Jesus Christ Crucified, Son of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, open thine Eyes, and look upon me as thou didst look from the Tree of the Cross upon thy dear Mother sorrowing and afflicted.

The Apostles’ Creed as before. 

3. O my Lord Jesus Christ Crucified, Son of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, open thy blessed Mouth, and speak to me as thou didst speak to St John when thou gavest him for son to thine own most beloved Mother.

The Apostles’ Creed. 

4. O my Lord Jesus Christ Crucified, Son of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, open thine Arms and embrace me as thou didst open them upon the Cross to embrace the whole human race.

The Apostles’ Creed. 

5. O my Lord Jesus Christ Crucified, Son of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, open thy Heart and receive therein my heart, and hear me in all that I ask of thee, if so it be agreeable to thy most holy will.

The Apostles’ Creed. 

[Indulgence of 60 days each time, which must be applied according to the intention of the Pope. Plenary once a month.] 

– From: St Anthony’s Treasury, 1916

 

 

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MEDITATIONS FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KING

 

“On this great Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, let us today prayerfully reflect on what some holy people have said about Jesus:

 

• ‘Nothing is mine, I no longer have anything but Jesus. No place, no thing, no person, no thought, no feelings, no suffering can turn me away from Jesus. He is for me honour, delight, heart and soul. He whom I love is fatherland, Heaven already! My treasure! My love! Jesus, and Jesus crucified alone makes my happiness.’ (St Bernadette)

 

• ‘The Lord ate from a common bowl, and asked the disciples to sit on the grass. He washed their feet, with a towel wrapped around his waist – He who is Lord of the universe.’ (St Clement of Alexandria)

 

• ‘Jesus, the very thought of thee with sweetness fills my breast; But sweeter far thy face to see, and in thy presence rest.’ (St Bernard)

 

• ‘To holy people the very name of Jesus is a name to feed upon, a name to transport. His name can raise the dead and transfigure and beautify the living.’ (Blessed John Henry Newman)

 

• ‘Jesus is the sun of our souls, whence they receive all grace, light and influence. And the earth of our hearts should be in continual movement towards him in order to receive in all its parts and powers the favourable aspects and benign influences of this great luminary.’ (Cardinal Pierre de Berulle)

 

• When placed on the rack to be tortured for her faith: ‘Know, tyrant, that you cannot pluck my faith from my heart! Jesus Christ is my all-in-all, He is my treasure, my life, my bliss, my capitol, my temple, my altar, and nothing can separate Him from me.’ (St Macra).

 

• ‘Oh, if everyone were to know how beautiful Jesus is, how amiable He is! They would die from love.’ (St Gemma Galgani)

 

• ‘The violence of Jesus is deep love, not sword or the prison, which is how we always want to resolve the problems which seem insoluble to us.’ (Carlo Corretto – Little Brother of Jesus & spiritual writer)

 

• ‘Nothing restrains anger, curbs pride, heals the wounds of malice, bridles self-indulgence, quenches the passions, checks avarice and puts unclean thoughts to flight as does the name of Jesus.’ (St Bernard).

– From: “Spiritual Thought from Fr Chris”

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2015 in Words of Wisdom

 

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JESUS SAID TO THEM: “WHY ARE YE FEARFUL, YE MEN OF LITTLE FAITH?”

The Tempest

“Jesus had entered into a boat, with his disciples. And behold a storm began to upheave the sea, and the bark, invaded by the waves, seemed on the point of being engulfed. But He slept. ‘Lord,’ cried out the terrified disciples, ‘Lord save us, we perish!’ Jesus said to them: ‘Why are ye fearful, ye men of little faith?’ Then, rising, He commanded the winds and the sea, and immediately there was a great calm.

Lord, save us, we perish!

Alas! that bark, those heaving waves, those raging winds, are they not an image of man here below?

A vivid description of our lives here below

As a bark launched on the waves encounters are thousand perils, and struggles with the storm, so man, on the stormy sea of this life is exposed to all kinds of perils and dangers: temptations, scandals, bad advice, dangerous occasions, human respect [the fear of what people might think or say about oneself]: then there are our passions, like furious winds, tossing our bark, and threatening to upset it, in order to engulf it in the waves of sin.

I have lifted up my eyes towards the holy mountains, from thence comes my help

What are we to do, in the midst of a storm, and amidst all those dangers? – “I have lifted up my eyes towards the holy mountains,’ said David ‘it is thence that help will come to me.’ Just as the pilot keeps his eyes fixed on the star which will guide him to the port, so must we always look to Jesus, and address to Him always our cry of distress, and of confidence: ‘Lord, save us, we perish!’

Lord, save me!

No, Lord, I do not rely on myself; for You have said: ‘Cursed is the man who puts his trust in man.’ Let me then always say to You: ‘Lord, save me!’

– Laverty & Sons (eds), 1905

 

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“INEVITABLY GOD’S LOVE MEETS WITH A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF ABUSE”

‘LATER ON, WHEN I’VE HAD MY FUN, I CAN DEPEND UPON GOD TO SAVE ME’

“What should be my parting word? … Obviously, our Lord Himself has already answered that question. ‘Love God,’ He tells us, ‘and love your neighbour as yourself.’

THE NEED FOR TRUST IN GOD

This is the grand, the total view. All theology flows from this, and all religious instruction and exhortation must converge on this.

However, if there is one small area of this over-all mandate which calls for emphasis and re-emphasis, it surely is the need for trust in God, for an unshakeable confidence in His care for us.

TRUST IS ONE OF THE FINEST TRIBUTES OF LOVE WHICH WE CAN OFFER GOD

Trust is one of the finest tributes of love which we can offer God. We know that there is no more touching evidence of a child’s love for his parents, than the absolute confidence with which he raises his eyes to mother or dad. Similarly there is no more expressive act of love which we can show God than figuratively to put our hand in His hand and say, ‘Lead me, God; I know that I am safe with You.’

‘LEAD ME, GOD; I KNOW THAT I AM SAFE WITH YOU’

God wants us with Himself in heaven. Oh how He wants us! Through all the years of our life He surrounds us with His grace, respecting our free will, yet all the while trying to steer us toward Himself. Even when we try to run from Him, His grace still pursues us.

HE NEVER GIVES UP

He never gives up. We sometimes, in oratorical excess, speak of God as having abandoned a sinner to his fate. What we mean by this figure of speech is only that it is possible for a sinner to erect an impenetrable shell of self-love between himself and God. As far as God is concerned, He never gives up as long as there is enough life left in the sinner to whisper, ‘I am sorry, God, I want to love You again.’

Inevitably God’s love meets with a certain amount of abuse. There always will be some who reason, ‘If God loves me so much, then I can do as I please. Later on, when I’ve had my fun, I can depend upon God to save me.’

‘LATER ON, WHEN I’VE HAD MY FUN, I CAN DEPEND UPON GOD TO SAVE ME’

This, as we know, is the sin of presumption. It is the act of beating God over the head with His own gift of love. It is a horribly dangerous attitude. Because, while God’s forgiving love is always at the ready, the presumptuous sinner easily becomes complacent in his sin and loses his capacity to turn back to God.

LOSING ONE’S CAPACITY TO TURN BACK TO GOD

However, for every person who is guilty of presumption there are a thousand of us who sincerely do wish to do God’s will. We try to keep His commandments and to show a decent concern for the needs of our neighbour.

At the same time we are acutely aware of our weakness and imperfection. In life’s hustle and bustle we so easily lose sight of eternal values.

IN LIFE’S HUSTLE AND BUSTLE WE SO EASILY LOSE SIGHT OF ETERNAL VALUES

We are ashamed that our prayers are so sketchy and so full of distractions; ashamed, too, that we so often are unrecollected at Mass. Sometimes the Consecration has passed and we hardly have adverted to the fact that Jesus has reached out to us for an expression of our love and fealty.

We have sworn to be more charitable, and still we have indulged in rash judgements and in harsh criticisms. We resolved to control our temper, yet see how we still flare up at times! We had an opportunity to do a kindness for someone and we let the opportunity pass. We were ‘too busy’, too involved in our own interest.

‘LEAD THOU ME ON!’

It is at such times that we must remind ourselves, ‘God loves me. He knows that I am trying. He also knows that I am weak. In spite of my failures, He will bring me safely through.’

And so, with Cardinal Newman we confess our need: ‘The night is dark and I am far from home’; then raise our eyes with childlike trust as we pray, ‘Lead Thou me on!'”
– Fr Leo J. Trese, 1966

 

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HOW TO LIVE YOUR LIFE STRICTLY IN THE PRESENT (RATHER THAN THE PAST OR FUTURE) AND TO MAKE EVERY MOMENT COUNT

“A farmer plowed his field. He disliked the field. He fertilised the field. He planted the field to corn. Then he moved on to other tasks as he waited for the harvest.

Unknown to the farmer, however, the seed corn had been exposed to radiation. The germ of life was dead within it. The seed rotted in the ground.

When it became evident that there would be no harvest, the farmer’s disappointment was bitter. ‘All that work gone for nothing,’ he grieved; ‘all for nothing!’

The wasted labour of the farmer in this little parable is pitiable enough. Yet, it is only a dim figure of the squandered efforts of the person who lives his life, or any part of it, cut off from God by grievous sin.

ONE OF THE GREAT TRAGEDIES OF LIFE

‘Without Me you can do nothing,’ Jesus has said. His meaning is plain. Unless we are united with Jesus in faith and in love, nothing that we do has any significance as far as God is concerned. A day which is spent apart from God might as well have been given to sleep.

Even the ‘good’ actions which we do at such a time go unrecorded by God. We may give alms, we may help a neighbour, we may even say a prayer (unless it be a prayer of repentant love) and not one bit of it counts for eternity. It cannot count, because the line of communication between God and man, which is love, has been severed.

This is one of the great tragedies of life – that so many people should be living respectable lives, yet be sowing their field with dead seed from which there can be no harvest. These are the persons whose virtue remains on the natural level. They are honest and truthful and chaste and neighbourly, not to please God but to please themselves. They feel that they owe it to themselves as human beings to be decent and upright persons.

They are right, up to that point. But they do not go the one step further and see their goodness as something which they owe to God even more than to themselves.

Their natural virtue does have a value. It keeps their spiritual faculties from becoming completely atrophied and makes more hopeful their eventual acceptance of God’s grace. Until then, however, their virtue is of this world only.

THE VITAL STEP

By baptism we have been elevated to a supernatural level of being. We are sharers in God’s own life. We no longer have the right to do anything, however noble, solely for own satisfaction or solely for humanitarian motives. All that we do, even such a homely act as blowing our nose, must be done in union with Christ, must be His activity as well as our own.

This is what it means to live a supernatural life – to be united with Jesus by grace, and in Him and with Him to live for God. Under these circumstances our commonest deeds, such as washing a diaper or washing the car, have an eternal value. They add to our merit in heaven and win new grace for us here and now.

‘ALL FOR YOU, GOD!’

It is not humanely possible, of course, to make a specific offering to God of each individual bit of activity. However, such moment-to-moment dedications of self are not necessary. It is enough that we have the habitual intention to direct all that we do to God.

The intention does need renewal, of course, if it is to be vivid and strong. This is why we begin our day with an offering of the day to God. The words do not matter but the meaning is, “All that I do, say, think and suffer today, I want to do, say, think and suffer for You, my God.’ It will help to keep our day more sharply in focus if, at one or the other time during the day, we can pause long enough to repeat, ‘All for You, God!’

Whether we like it or not, we have to live, work, recreate, eat, drink, sleep and suffer. It would be the most woeful waste to do all this and have it count for nothing in the end. It need not to be so if we make sure that it is living seed which we are planting.”
– Fr Leo J. Trese

 

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IN THIS WORLDLY EXISTENCE MEN MOVE ABOUT SURROUNDED BY A THICK FOG, BUT FAITH MAKES THE VISION CLEAR

“Those who have not faith are much more blind in soul than those who have not bodily sight… In the world, we are, as it were, in a mist; but faith is the wind which scatters the mist, and restores sunshine to the soul. See how sad and cold everything is in the Protestant religion! But with us, everything is bright, joyous, and consoling.

Do not heed what worldly people say. Alas! how can they see? They are blind. If Our Lord Jesus were to repeat today all the miracles He worked in Judea, they would not believe in Him. When we say ‘My God, I believe, I believe firmly, that is, without the least hesitation,’ oh! if we really understood the import of these words – I believe firmly that You are present everywhere, that You see me, that I am under Your eyes, that I in turn will one day clearly behold You, and enjoy the happiness You have promised me… I hope to be rewarded for all I have done for love of You to please You, for I wish to love You for ever! … Then this act of faith, which is also an act of love, would suffice for all.”
– Blessed Cure d’Ars

 
 

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