In the pink

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I don’t often visit anyone at the hospital but Pat had undergone surgery, and I wanted to spend time with her and Carlos so they’d know that Steven and I had them in our thoughts and prayers.

Fortunately, I made it to eleven-thirty Mass in the chapel so I took some photos afterwards.

Mental note

On my way out I again noticed St. Basil’s picture opposite the table with the book of petitions at which I stopped to write.  I scanned the text above St. Basil’s frame, made a mental note to learn more later on, and quickly forgot by the time I reached Pat’s room.

St. Basil

Updating the church blog on New Year’s Eve almost two months since my visit to the chapel, I came across St. Basil’s name again.  Although I’d previously seen his name in the Word among us around this time of year, I didn’t know anything about him.

I searched the internet and learned that Monday, January 2, is the feast day of not only St. Basil, but also St. Gregory Nazianzen, both of whom were bishops and Church doctors.  Additionally, together with St. John Chrysostom, they were revered as the “three holy hierarchs.”

St. Basil was indeed one of the greatest pillars of the Church.  He loved children and always assisted the sick and the homeless.  He was the first bishop to establish orphanages and hospitals and old age homes.  He first directed the attention of the Church to these unfortunate victims of society (Poulos, 1974, p. 39).

                

    

               

               

Prayers

Almighty God, lord of angels and all creation who dwells on high yet cares for the lowly, who searches the heart and knows every hidden thing, eternal and unchanging light, we trust in your great mercy to hear the prayers offered from our unclean lips.

Forgive the sins we have committed in knowledge or in ignorance, in thought, word, or deed; and cleanse us, body and soul, from every stain.  Allow us to pass through the darkness of this present life watchful and alert, always expecting the coming bright day of your only begotten son, our Lord God and savior, Jesus Christ.  He shall come in glory to judge all people and reward us according to our deeds.

Help us to put away laziness, be full of courage, and be found doing his work ready to enter his glorious kingdom with joy.  You are the true light of every creature, and to you all creation sings.  Amen.

As I rise from sleep I thank you, holy Trinity, for through your great goodness and patience you have not been angry with me, an idler and sinner.  Nor have you destroyed me with my inequities, but have [instead] shown your usual love for mankind.  When I despaired you raised me up to keep the morning watch and glorify your power.  Enlighten my mind’s eye and open my mouth that I may meditate on your words and understand your commandments.  Do your will, and [I will] sing praises to your all-holy name: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.  Amen.

O come let us worship God, our king.  O come let us worship and fall down before Christ, our king and God.  O come let us worship and fall down before Christ himself, our king and God.

Dear St. Basil, you lived among saints: your parents and your best friend, Gregory Nazianzen.  You were an inspirer of true monastic life and a reformer of priests and laity.  Help all who work for moral reform in our turbulent age.  Give them a true knowledge of Jesus so that they will draw all people to him.  Amen.

I bless you, Lord.  Though I am powerless, you strengthen my weakness.  You stretch from above your helping hand and bring me back unto yourself.  What shall I render to you, good master, for all the good things you have done and continue to do for me, the sinner?  I will cease not to bless you all the days of my life, my creator, my benefactor, and my guardian.  Amen.

January 2, 2011

The coloration of the stained-glass windows was stunning during my first visit to the chapel, July 27, 2010, no doubt attributable to the sun’s position mid-afternoon.

        

       

January 2, 2013

“Intimacy with the Lord is not a matter of physical kinship; rather, it is achieved by cheerful readiness to do the will of God” (St. Basil).

October 2, 2013

“Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd, leading him to life” (St. Basil).

January 2, 2014

“The Spirit raises our hearts to heaven, guides the steps of the weak, and brings perfection to those who are making progress” (St. Basil).

June 16, 2014

What is the mark of love for your neighbor?  Not to seek what is for your own benefit, but what is for the benefit of the one loved, both in body and in soul (St. Basil).

January 2, 2015

“Words are truly the image of the soul” (St. Basil).

July 24, 2015

“Prudence must precede every action which we undertake; for, if prudence is wanting, there is nothing, however good it may seem, which is not turned into evil” (St. Basil).

January 2, 2016

“O sinner, be not discouraged but have recourse to Mary in all your necessities” (St. Basil).

April 1, 2016

“Many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head and knows not that it brings abundance to drive away the hunger” (St. Basil).

August 26, 2016

“A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love” (St. Basil).

January 2, 2017

The sun penetrates crystal and makes it more dazzling.  In the same way, the sanctifying Spirit indwells in souls and makes them more radiant.  They become like so many powerhouses beaming grace and love around them (St. Basil).

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Links of interest…  How to plumb the depths of scripture…  Prayers: anaphora / after communion / liturgy…  St. Basil: about (more) / analogy (forty martyrs) /  blessing of the bread (Vasilopita) / cathedral / distinctions / doctor (more) / feast / founder / innovative / life / memorial (more) / patron saint / some writings / “three holy hierarchs”works…  the Word among us

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Prayerful messages

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“Prayer is a treasure undiminished, a mine never exhausted, a sky unobstructed by clouds, a haven unruffled by storm” (St. John Chrysostom, c. 347-407).

Prayerful messages

Yesterday someone from Lent & beyond linked to my “Lenten resources” post so, naturally, I checked out the site.

What a wonderful website!   The beauty of its prayers, devotions, and resources stems from its inclusivity among Christians— certainly, a fine example of community building.

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Contact information

The prayer leaflet is from Franciscan Mission Associates, P. O. Box 598, Mt. Vernon, NY 10551-0598.

March 27, 2014

Prayer is an offering that belongs to God and is acceptable to him.  It is the offering he has asked for, the offering he planned as his own.

We must dedicate this offering with our whole heart.  We must fatten it on faith, tend it by truth, keep it unblemished through innocence and clean through chastity, and crown it with love.  We must escort it to the altar of God in a procession of good works to the sound of psalms and hymns.  Then it will gain for us all that we ask of God (“Prayer;” Tertullian, c. 160-225).

June 3, 2014

Prayer should be continuous, waking and sleeping, walking and standing, working and resting.  Such prayer is made in the deepest part of the sacred interior desert (our baptized soul), in deepest solitude, in loving interior repose in God, totally absorbed and lost in that sea of infinite love (Passionist Nuns, 2014).

Prayer is never more perfect than when it ascends from the very depth and essence of the soul; we pray, then, in the spirit of God.  This is a sublime language, but when God wills, he makes even the stones speak.  Let the sovereign God reign in your spirit; there ought to be a reciprocal repose: God in you, and you in God.  O sweet, O divine operation! (St. Paul of the Cross quote; Agonisant, 1893, p. 63).

June 9, 2014

Virtues are formed by prayer.  Prayer preserves temperance.  Prayer suppresses anger.  Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy.  Prayer draws into the soul the Holy Spirit, and raises man to heaven (St. Ephrem of Syria).

June 20, 2014

“It is simply impossible to lead, without the aid of prayer, a virtuous life” (St. John Chrysostom).

July 19, 2014

Prayer is an aspiration of the heart; it is a simple glance directed to heaven; it is a cry of gratitude and love in the midst of trail as well as joy; finally, it is something great, supernatural, which expands my soul and unites me to Jesus (St Thérèse of Lisieux).

December 4, 2014

“Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God” (St. John Damascene).

December 16, 2014

I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping.  It doesn’t change God; it changes me (C. S. Lewis).

December 22, 2014

We must pray without tiring, for the salvation of mankind does not depend on material success nor on sciences that cloud the intellect.  Neither does it depend on arms and human industries, but on Jesus alone (St. Frances Xavier Cabrini).

December 29, 2014

“Grace can do nothing without the will, and the will can do nothing without grace”
(St. John Chrysostom).

July 22, 2015

Mental prayer, in my opinion, is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with him whom we know loves us.  The important thing is not to think much, but to love much and so do that which best stirs you to love.  Love is not great delight, but desire to please God in everything (St. Teresa of Avila).

July 28, 2016

“What prayer could be more true before God the Father than that which the Son, who is truth, uttered with his own lips” (St. John Chrysostom).

August 7, 2016

“Prayer is the place of refuge for every worry, a foundation for cheerfulness, a source of constant happiness, a protection against sadness” (St. John Chrysostom).

August 22, 2016

Christian prayer is meant to be profoundly whole— body and soul, affection and thought, heart and understanding.  Such prayer leads to courage, the movement toward reconciliation with God, the beginning of a pilgrimage to our Father’s house (Dr. Anthony Lillies, Fire from Above: Christian Contemplation and Mystical Wisdom).

August 31, 2016

Every Christian is called to become a strong athlete of Christ, that is, a faithful and courageous witness to his gospel.  But to succeed in this he must persevere in prayer, be trained in virtue, and follow the divine Master in everything (St. John Paul II).

November 13, 2016

Prayer is powerful!  It fills the earth with mercy, it makes the divine clemency pass from generation to generation.  Right along the course of the centuries, wonderful works have been achieved through prayer (St. Frances Xavier Cabrini).

December 20, 2016

Any desire for holiness is a prayer, says Saint Augustine.  We are drawn to the fullness of grace for which we were created.  The root meaning of the word grace is Latin “a favor, a kindness”— a gift.  A gift is an unasked favor above and beyond deserving.  If this natural human meaning means an undeserved gift, “how much more will the heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11).  God the Father finds it irresistible to give a gift such as grace when we ask for it.  He will fill our hearts with grace “pressed down, shaken together, running over… into your lap” (Luke 6:38).  He will not fail us.  “Hope does not disappoint us, for God’s love has been poured into our hearts.”

Saint Dominic, Preacher of Grace, pray for us! (Aquinas College, 2016).

March 14, 2017

It is a foolish mistake to expect to lead a recollected life that is not also a life of prayer.  The best method of learning to pray always is to pray whenever it is possible, and as well as is possible (Fr. Raoul Plus, SJ in How to Pray Always).

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Valley Nature Center – Weslaco, TX

Links of interest…  Art of verbal prayer…  Explore faith…  Lent & beyond…  Miracle prayer (YouTube)…  Passionist Nuns (KY): blog / on prayer / saints & feastswebsite…  Prayer advice: Ten important tips to grow (more)…  St. John Chrysostom: about / biographydoctor / hierarch / homilies (more) / life / prayers (more) / quotessaint / vegan…  St. Ephrem of Syria: about (more) / life (more) / memorial (more) / poet theologian / prayer (more) / writings…  St. Paul of the Cross: aboutFlowers of the Passion (free ebook) / words & quotes…  Twelve prayers to help you receive all the gifts God has for you…  Why we must pray…  the Word among us

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Golden

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Reading this morning’s American Catholic email, I experienced a déjà vu moment that whisked me back to October 2005, when I serendipitously stumbled across a quote that encapsulated my proposed study for dissertation.

Unintended consequences are when you had the intention of providing one service or message, and users interpret and practice it in ways you didn’t think of.  The unintended consequences often have more significance than one might think (Claude Bernard, French psychologist, 1813-1878).

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Tangible connections

Similarly, St. Peter Chrysologus, a church doctor, delivered succinct yet powerful homilies that “[produced] results far beyond his expectations and his intentions.”  His heartfelt words and commonsensical approach were so enthusiastically delivered that people had no difficulty understanding the message: Faithfulness to God’s word is achieved through prayer, mercy, and fasting— lessons so simple that anyone, then and now, could easily follow.

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Golden

On a slightly different note, though, I immediately made the obvious connection between Chrysologus, the golden worded, and Chrysostom, the golden tongued.  My wild imagination, coupled with my love of words, nuances, interpretations, and all things taxonomically Bloom, had me chuckling at the thought of both saints hosting websites and blogging to their hearts’ content to spread the good news in this lifetime.

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March 14, 2014

There are three things by which faith stands firm, devotion remains constant, and virtue endures.  They are prayer, fasting, and mercy.  Prayer knocks at the door, fasting obtains, mercy receives.  Prayer, mercy, and fasting: These three are one, and they give life to each other (St. Peter Chrysologus).

May 13, 2014

Listen to the Lord’s appeal: In me I want you to see your own body, your members, your heart, your bones, your blood.  You may fear what is divine, but why not love what is human?  You may run away from me as the Lord, but why not run to me as your father?  Perhaps you are filled with shame for causing my bitter passion.  Do not be afraid.  This cross inflicts a mortal injury, not on me, but on death.  These nails no longer pain me, but only deepen your love for me.  I do not cry out because of these wounds, but through them I draw you into my heart.  My body was stretched on the cross as a symbol not of how much I suffered, but of my all-embracing love.  I count it no less to shed my blood: It is the price I have paid for your ransom.  Come, then, return to me and learn to know me as your father who repays good for evil, love for injury, and boundless charity for piercing wounds.

Listen now to what the Apostle urges us to do.  I appeal to you, he says, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice.  By this exhortation of his, Paul has raised all men to priestly status.

How marvelous is the priesthood of the Christian, for he is both the victim that is offered on his own behalf and the priest who makes the offering.  He does not need to go beyond himself to seek what he is to immolate to God: with himself and in himself he brings the sacrifice he is to offer God for himself.  The victim remains and the priest remains, always one and the same.  Immolated, the victim still lives: the priest who immolates cannot kill.  Truly it is an amazing sacrifice in which a body is offered without being slain and blood is offered without being shed (St. Peter Chrysologus in his sermon: Each one of us is called to be both a sacrifice to God and his priest).

July 30, 2014

“Mildness overcomes anger, meekness extinguishes fury… patience is the scourge of impatience, gentle words vanquish quarrelsomeness, and humility prostrates pride”
(St. Peter Chrysologus).

September 12, 2014

The name of Mary is a name of salvation for those who are regenerated; it is the insignia of virtue, the honor of chastity, the sacrifice agreeable to God, the virtue of hospitality, the school of sanctity, a name altogether maternal (St. Peter Chrysologus).

January 10, 2015

“The poor stretch forth the hand, but God receives what is offered” (St. Peter Chrysologus).

July 17, 2015

When you fast, see the fasting of others.  If you want God to know that you are hungry, know that another is hungry.  If you hope for mercy, show mercy.  If you look for kindness, show kindness.  If you want to receive, give.  If you ask for yourself what you deny to others, your asking is a mockery (St. Peter Chrysologus).

July 30, 2015

“Let this be the pattern for all men when they practice mercy: Show mercy to others in the same way, with the same generosity, with the same promptness as you want others to show mercy to you” (St. Peter Chrysologus).

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Links of interest…  St. Peter Chrysologus: about (more) / feast / golden speech / memorial / prayer, fasting, mercy / profile (more) / sermons (book / more)…  St. John Chrysostom: about (more) / biography / church / doctor / feast (more) / golden mouth (more) / hierarch / homilies (more) / hourly prayers / life (more) / memorial / on the Jesus prayer / prayers (more) / quotes (more) / saint / skullvegan / writings…  Visits to Jesus in the tabernacle: Hours & half-hours of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament (1898)…  the Word among us

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St. Chrysostom

September 13th is the feast day of St. John Chrysostom, one of the doctors of the Church.  Born in Antioch, Syria in 347, he was a prolific writer until his death in 407.

Peace and justice

A consummate believer in peace and justice, his last words were, “Glory be to God for all things.”  When his remains were returned from exile, his relics were said to have uttered, “Peace be with you.”

Prayerful insight

??????????Until today, I’d never heard of St. John Chrysostom.  But, on reading the Word among us, I was moved by the beauty of his sentiment, which resonates strongly with Isaiah’s “treasures in secret places” (45:3).

“Prayer,” St. John Chrysostom wrote, “is a treasure undiminished, a mine never exhausted, a sky unobstructed by clouds, a haven unruffled by storm” (the Word among us, September 2008, p. M35).

May 19, 2013

“Prayer draws into the soul the Holy Spirit and raises man to heaven”
(St. Ephrem).

September 13, 2013

“Nothing makes us so God-like as our willingness to forgive” (St. John Chrysostom).

April 18, 2014

Do you fast?  Give me proof of it by your works.  By what kind of works?  If you see a poor man, take pity on him.  If you see an enemy, be reconciled with him. If you see a friend gaining honor, do not be jealous of him.  If you see a beautiful woman, pass her by.  And let not only the mouth fast, but also the eye and the ear and the feet and the hands and all members of your bodies (St. John Chrysostom).

April 26, 2015

We have a Shepherd who so loves us that he gave even his life for us.  When, therefore, he is both powerful and loves us, what is there to hinder us from being saved?  Nothing, unless we ourselves revolt from him (St. John Chrysostom).

September 13, 2015

“Happiness can only be achieved by looking inward and learning to enjoy whatever life has, and this requires transforming greed into gratitude” (St. John Chrysostom).

July 8, 2016

“If there were no tribulation, there would be no rest; if there were no winter, there would be no summer” (St. John Chrysostom).

September 13, 2016

Our soul should be directed in God, not merely when we suddenly think of prayer, but even when we are concerned with something else.  If we are looking after the poor, if we are busy in some other way, or if we are doing any type of good work, we should season our actions with the desire and the remembrance of God.  Through this salt of the love of God we can all become a sweet dish for the Lord.  If we are generous in giving time to prayer, we will experience its benefits throughout our life (St. John Chrysostom, Prayer is the light of the soul).

October 25, 2016

“The parable of the mustard seed encourages the disciples to have faith and shows them that the gospel preaching will spread in spite of everything” (St. John Chrysostom).

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Garden at St. Mary Star of the Sea Church – Aransas Pass, TX

Links of interest…  Lazarus the hero…  St. John Chrysostom: about (more) / biography / church / commonality with Pope Francis / doctor / feast (more) / gift of eloquent teaching / golden mouth (more) / hierarch / homilies (more) / hourly prayers / life (more) / memorial / on the Jesus prayer / prayers (more) / quotes (more) / saint / skull / vegan / writings…  Prayer is the light of the soul…  Spiritual reading arms us for battle…  Treasures in heaven…  Visits to Jesus in the tabernacle: Hours & half-hours of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament (1898)…  With God all things are possible…  the Word among us

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