To the one from whom much was despoiled and plundered, the gaze of God goes most directly, and the holiest help He gives. ~Marie Hosdil~

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Pope Francis Warns Catholic That They Need to Know What It Is To Be Saved

Thirteen years ago on Divine Mercy Sunday

I will never forget, nor stop praising God for what He showed me on the evening of Divine Mercy Sunday.  It was 2000 and Jubilee Year.  The flood gates were wide open and so was my heart.  Out of curiosity I sat at Mass in a tiny Catholic Church for the first time in my life.  I wasn't sure if I should expect lightning from heaven to strike me for daring to be in such a foreign and formerly detestable place as a Catholic Church.  But when the Eucharist began, I had a life changing encounter with Jesus Christ.  I had known Him before, but never like this.  His very Presence in that place overwhelmed me to the point I could do nothing but sit and soak Him in and be in awe of such a powerful and intimate encounter.  My prayers had never brought me this close before.  My meditations had never brought Him this close to where I could almost feel His breath on my face!

Divine Mercy was most definitely poured out on me that day and as I prepare to head off to Mass in a while, I am so thankful that He had pity on this poor, ignorant Baptist girl and came after me in the land of Geneva and led me by the hand home to His Holy Catholic Church.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Twelve Easter Vigils Ago

I love this picture.  I remember the moment clearly.  After counting down the days for the better part of a year, I had finally been able to receive Christ in the Eucharist, the way He has always longed for me to receive Him.  I could not contain the tears of joy.  My sponsor, who was almost as thrilled as I was, jumped up and snapped a picture when he heard the tears start.  I was a bit embarrassed  but I'm thankful for this frozen moment in time to look back on.

As I look forward to my thirteenth Easter Vigil as a Catholic, I am reminded of something my poor brother said to me before I was received into the Catholic Church.  He claimed that I would grow tired of the liturgy and the ritual and I'd go back to where I came from.  Well, I'm happier here than I've ever been and I cherish the ancient Liturgy that connects me over and over again here in time and space with the Holy Liturgy in Heaven and provides me with the One Flesh Union with my Lord, Master and Spouse, Jesus Christ.  How could one ever tire of that?  Wouldn't that be the very same as tiring of Heaven?  Like growing weary of the Beatific Vision?  No, dear one, I'm not the least bit tired of close encounters with Jesus Christ.  You really have no idea what you are missing.  That would explain why I am the only one who sheds tears over your rejection of His invitation to the Supper of the Lamb.

Blessed Easter my friends.  He is Risen!!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

B16 and F1 Praying Together

In the chapel where they prayed together, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI offered Pope Francis the traditional kneeler used by the pope. Pope Francis refused to take it alone, saying "We're brothers," and the two prayed together on the same one.

God Bless them both!

Cherie Peacock

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Thank You, Saint Patrick

I arise today Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, Through a belief in the Threeness, Through confession of the Oneness Of the Creator of creation.
I arise today Through the strength of Christ's birth and His baptism, Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial, Through the strength of His resurrection and His ascension, Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.
I arise today Through the strength of the love of cherubim, In obedience of angels, In service of archangels, In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward, In the prayers of patriarchs, In preachings of the apostles, In faiths of confessors, In innocence of virgins, In deeds of righteous men.
I arise today through the strength of Heaven the rays of the sun, the radiance of the moon, the splendor of fire, the speed of lightening, the swiftness of the wind, the depth of the sea, the stability of the earth the firmness of rock.
I arise today through the power of God: God's might to comfort me, God's wisdom to guide me, God's eye to look before me, God's ear to hear me, God's word to speak for me, God's hand to lead me, God's way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me, God's Heavenly Host to save me from the snares of the devil, from temptations to sin, from all who wish me ill, from near and afar, alone and with others.
May Christ shield me today against poison and fire, against drowning and wounding, so that I may fulfill my mission and bear fruit in abundance. Christ behind and before me, Christ behind and above me, Christ with me and in me, Christ around and about me, Christ on my right and on my left, Christ when I lie down at night, Christ when I rise in the morning, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone that speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.

Thank you, Saint Patrick. I am eternally in your debt.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Practicing the Presence of God

During our work and other activities, during our spiritual reading or study, yes, even in our set devotions and vocal prayer, we ought to stop for a moment, as often as we can, in order to worship God in our hearts, to touch Him as it were by stealth as He passes. Since you know that God is with you in all your actions, that He is at the very depth and center of your soul, why not then pause an instant in your external occupations, and even in your prayers, to worship Him inwardly, to praise Him, to petition Him, to offer Him your heart and to thank Him!? What can be more pleasing to God than this quitting many times a day of material things, in order to withdraw within ourselves and worship Him!? Furthermore, these moments of recollection little by little purge us of those things of sense, among which alone self-love can flourish. Indeed, we can give God no more convincing evidence of our faithfulness than often to put aside and avoid the creature, that we may rejoice for one moment in the Creator. I am not proposing to you to give up material things entirely; that is impossible: Prudence, the queen of virtues, must be your guide. Nevertheless, I maintain that it is a common mistake among religious people to neglect this periodical recollection in which they may worship God inwardly and enjoy for a few moments the peace of His holy presence’.
Blessed Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Skull Cathedral

The Skull Cathedral, Otranto, Italy. On August 12, 800 citizens were taken to the hill of Minerva, now called the Hill of the Martyrs, and beheaded by the Ottoman Conqueror's because they refused to renounce their Catholic faith. Their remains were taken to the cathedral and the skulls preserved in the altar piece as a prominent reminder of these 800 martyrs. The Madonna in front of the skulls.

The year was 1480 and the fateful day July 28 when a fleet of 70 to 200 Ottoman ships reached the city of Otranto, then part of the Kingdom of Naples. It was the beginning of the Ottoman wars (1453-1683) in Europe and invader Mohammed II had conquered Constantinople just 28 years earlier. The garrison and the citizens took cover in the Castle of Otranto but as it had no cannons for defense, it was soon conquered and the garrison killed.
 — with Joseph Ruo Se Tsang.

My well intentioned, but misguided brother made fun of this Church on Twitter recently.  It was a perfect example to me of how differently Catholics and those of the modern pseudo-Christianity look at the very same thing.  I see hundreds of remains of people who stood the final test of martyrdom.  I see mothers and fathers and children and grandparents who loved one another and wanted to protect one another, but who sacrificed even their togetherness for their Catholic faith.  They paid the ultimate price and in so doing will stand before Christ and all the Saints as Holy Martyrs.  My brother's followers see "creepy."  My heart aches over what they are too blind to see.  Someday these people, whose remains are entombed in the altar of this Church, will stand in judgement of the angels.  Take a good look.  You will see them again someday.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Mystical Marriage of St. Catherine

This beautiful painting graces my prayer wall. St. Catherine taught me that it was possible to find the greatest of all loves in Christ's love for us. And as always appears in painting of her Mystical Marriage to Christ, the Blessed Mother is there assisting St. Catherine to accept Christ's call. How often I call on her to help me be the spouse He wants me to be.