Christ’s passion

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When we visit a church, new or familiar, I photograph the stations of the cross with relish.  Sometimes the end result includes dark, fuzzy, and/or cropped pictures that make me long for do-overs.  Other times I’m simply amazed at the beauties that pop out at me unexpectedly as I search my ever-expanding photo files for visuals that complement my writing.  But, always, I’m so drawn to the stations that I wonder how they were chosen to begin with.  And, if they could tell their story, what would they say?

Christ’s passion

July 2014, I fell head over heels in love with the stations of the cross during our eight-day silent retreat.  And, just last month, I serendipitously discovered why.

Thanks to a lifelong lingering memory, I can trace my initial fascination with the story of Christ’s passion to a long-ago prayer that mom recited nightly for my baby brother and me as we would “go to sleep with the angels.”

“Hortelanito, por Dios, dime la pura verdad: si Jesús de Nazaret por aquí lo has visto pasar” (Mendoza, 1939).

Powerful devotion

Life never has seemed so full of trouble and strife as now.  But, amid our daily anxieties, we never lose hope.  God’s help is near at hand.  With it we look forward to a share in Christ’s victory over sin and death.

Our present sufferings cannot be compared to the glory that one day will be revealed in us.  All we need do is remain faithful and constant.  In our daily cares and preoccupations we must keep our heart steadily fixed on our true goal.

We will find it much easier to do so when we perform our work with the spirit and outlook of Christ.  In his sacred passion and death our Savior opened the way for us to follow.  There is no other path to God, our father.

The stations, [Christ’s] way of the cross, are our way to salvation, too.  We must often apply their power to our own life situation.  This can be done anywhere: at home, on a park bench, waiting for a train or a friend.  When our schedule is crowded, we can think and pray at least one station a day.

Our Lord doesn’t expect long or eloquent prayers.  We need not even use words; a brief silent lifting of our hearts to him suffices (Franciscan Mission Associates, B-8/14, p. 2).

Opening prayer

God, our heavenly father, we raise our minds and hearts to you in praise and thanksgiving.  Though weak and sinful, we wish to follow your only son, our Lord Jesus, on the way of the cross.  May your Holy Spirit help us use our Savior’s strength effectively in our place in life.  We ask the special aid of our blessed Lady, ever virgin and mother, in following Christ and in making his way of the cross our way of life.  Amen.

1: Jesus is condemned.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
Because, by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.

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2: Jesus takes his cross.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
Because, by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.

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3: Jesus falls the first time.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
Because, by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.

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4: Jesus meets his mother.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
Because, by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.

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5: Simon helps Jesus carry the cross.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
Because, by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.

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6: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
Because, by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.

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7: Jesus falls the second time.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
Because, by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.

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8: Jesus speaks to the women.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
Because, by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.

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9: Jesus falls the third time.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
Because, by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.

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10: Jesus is stripped of his clothes.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
Because, by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.

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11: Jesus is nailed to the cross.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
Because, by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.

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12: Jesus dies on the cross.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
Because, by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.

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13: Jesus is taken down from the cross.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
Because, by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.

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14: Jesus is laid in the tomb.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
Because, by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.

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Concluding prayer

O God, our heavenly father, by your great mercy we are born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, your son.  We look forward to the inheritance, imperishable and unfading, which you have reserved for us in heaven.  We thank you for calling us to eternal glory in Jesus, our savior.  We ask your forgiveness for the many times we have failed in following Christ.  May the remembrance of his life, passion, and resurrection sustain us on our earthly way of the cross.  May his example strengthen us in faith, hope, and love.  And when we come to die, may we, by your gracious goodness, be born again to eternal life.  Amen.

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Contact information

Prayers are from Your Way of the Cross (FMA, B-13R, pp. 3 & 11, respectively).  Your Way of the Cross leaflets and the Retreat Booklet are from Franciscan Mission Associates, P.O. Box 598, Mt. Vernon, NY 10551-0598; and A Prayer in Honor of Our Lady of Sorrows is from the Servants of Mary, The Servite Order, 1439 South Harlem Avenue, Berwyn, IL 60402-0712.

Stations of the cross (left to right, top to bottom) can be found in the following sacred spaces: Sts. Cyril & Methodius (Corpus Christi, TX), St. Anthony of Padua (Rockford, IL), Most Holy Trinity (Covington, LA), St. Mary Cathedral (Austin, TX), St. Anselm (Madisonville, LA), St. Mary’s (Brownsville, TX), Christus Spohn Hospital Chapel (Corpus Christi, TX), Oblate School of Theology (San Antonio, TX), and St. Joseph (Port Aransas, TX), respectively.

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February 25, 2016

Many who would willingly let themselves be nailed to a cross before the astonished gaze of a thousand onlookers cannot bear with a Christian spirit the pinpricks of each day!  Think, then, which is the more heroic
(St. Josemaría Escrivá).

February 29, 2016

“We must not seek the cross in extraordinary sufferings seldom, if ever, encountered; we must look for it in the duties, the life, the difficulties, and the sacrifices of each day and of each moment” (Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, Divine Intimacy).

March 9, 2016

“We could not go to Calvary to offer ourselves with him and thus share in the fruits of his sacrifice, so Jesus brought Calvary to us” (Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik, The Basic Book of the Eucharist).

November 10, 2016

“No one should be ashamed of the cross of Christ through which the world has been redeemed” (St. Leo the Great).

March 20, 2017

Christ’s whole being must ring in our hearts with blood and bone.  We must follow him.  We must strive to penetrate into the heart of his mystery, to what he really is.  Then things be­come plain to us, as we have found them here (Romano Guardini in Meditations on the Christ).

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St. Anthony of Padua Church – Rockford, IL

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Grounds at the Oblate School of Theology – San Antonio, TX

Links of interest…  Disciples’ diary (Peter & Judas)…  Franciscan Mission Associates: contact / devotional saintslight a candle / prayer requests / quarterly newsletter / saint & prayer of the month / who we are…  Majesty of Christ crucified…  Prayer before the cross / a crucifix…  Relics from the crucifixion…  Roaring lion, mourning dove, word of God…  Signs & symbols…  Stations of the Cross: about / devotion / fish eaters / for families (more) / for kids (coloring pages) / how to do / making them worthwhile / on your block / origin / prayers (video & music) / printables / puppet show (YT) / scriptural (JPII) / significance / way of the cross…  Ten lessons from the agony in the garden…  Via Crucis at the Colosseum with Pope Francis…  Videos: intro & street stations for commuters & bikers….  Way of the cross (Artola, 2005; preview)…  What Jesus saw from the cross…  the Word among us

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Oh, happy day!

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As I worked on this week’s post for our church blog, I wondered when exactly Ordinary Time would start.  Not Sunday.  That’s the Epiphany of the Lord.  Monday?  Even though it’s the baptism of the Lord?  Probably.

I was looking at the Word among us and found that Tuesday prayers reflect the first week in Ordinary Time.  So when does Christmas officially end? I wondered, and off I went into search and find mode.  So I googled when does Christmas start and end but round and round I went taking longer than anticipated until, finally, I was enlightened.

Then I read, Christmas begins at sundown on Christmas Eve and ends with the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord.

Major epiphany

Woohoo!  Great response.  Now I know for sure.

Funny that I’d never stopped to wonder why it was that, back home, folks celebrate Three Kings Day in a very big way.  It’s a rather complicated story to me related to finding the baby in cake served and then having to pay it forward by hosting another party for everyone.  I don’t even recall when the initial baby cake is served, so I guess this is a story for another time when I’ve checked it out.

Our principal used to do that to the faculty and staff at our public school.  But, while it was always fun to eat cake, it wasn’t so much fun to host a party ’cause I’ve always been a party pooper.  Still, it worked out well, since she’d have the baker place ten babies in the initial cake so that the expense and the responsibility would be shared, which was fine.

Oh, the memories!  But, while I’m at it, what is Epiphany?

I continued my searches.  And when I was nearly frustrated I remembered the source that never disappoints.

Fish eaters have the most gorgeous pictures with their explanations on the various topics!  I love their site!  And I found lots to read and share so, last night when Steven asked for this month’s issue of the Word among us to prepare for today’s readings, I waxed eloquent on the topic of Epiphany.

Wow.  I couldn’t believe I’d gone all these years without fully grasping the meaning of the twelve days of Christmas.

What an epiphany!  Yes.  I couldn’t resist the pun.  The ol’ pea brain is always blown away with every little (and big) morsel of knowledge gleaned.

Epiphany

The Epiphany of the Lord is celebrated in ways I never knew!  I couldn’t believe we’ve never discussed these traditions at church, so I kept my ears and eyes open during this morning’s Mass.

Yes, Father Xaviour talked about the Magi.  Yes, Jay Masterson had us sing We Three Kings.  But where was the tradition of the chalk and the gifts of the Magi, not to mention the Epiphany water that one takes home to bless every room in the house?

Customs and traditions

For families who practice traditions involving “the Magi” or “La Befana” leaving gifts for children, the day begins with the wee ones discovering what was left for them while they slept on Twelfth Night.

At today’s Mass, there will be a blessing of gold, frankincense, myrrh, Epiphany Water, and, after Communion, a blessing of chalk.  Bring small special items of gold to have with you during the Mass, and they will be blessed if they are exposed as you sit in your pew with them (wedding rings, rosaries, an heirloom piece of gold jewelry, for example).

When Mass is over, you will take some of the blessed chalk, frankincense, myrrh, and Epiphany Water home with you, so it’s good to bring a container to transport Holy Water and one to put some grains of incense and a piece of chalk into.  (Note: if you can, take and keep [five] pieces of blessed incense for your Paschal Candle this Easter).

When you get home, sprinkle some Epiphany water (otherwise and afterwards used as regular Holy Water) in the rooms of your house to protect it and bring blessings.  This Holy Water recalls the waters of the Jordan, and is a visible reminder of Christ’s Divinity, of Jesus’s revealing Himself as God at His Baptism, when were heard the words from the Father: “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.” This rite of blessing the home [is] led by a priest, if possible, or the father of the house if no priest is available… (Fish eaters, n. d.).

Gifts of the Magi

SJC122513-2While I love the idea of baking a Three Kings cake now that I have the recipe, what matters more is that I understand the meaning of Epiphany and the significance of the gifts of the Magi.

Although Steven and I like to keep Christmas year ’round, I find myself eagerly awaiting the Epiphany of the Lord again so that I can participate more fully.  Additionally, I look forward to being present at a Mass during which gold, frankincense, myrrh, water, and chalk are blessed and subsequently shared with the church community.

I want to live my faith by bringing home the gifts of the Magi, reciting the prayers, and blessing every room in the house!  After all, Epiphany is an extraordinary tradition with countless blessings for the entire year.

January 22, 2012

After Mass, Ly Vu gave me the Epiphany prayer and a piece of pink chalk from the service she attended at St. Louis Cathedral in Austin.  What a thoughtful surprise!

       

January 5, 2014

In choosing to be born for us God chose to be known by us.  He therefore reveals himself in this way in order that this great sacrament of his love may not be an occasion for us of great misunderstanding.

Today the Magi find, crying in a manger, the one they have followed as he shone in the sky.  Today the Magi see clearly, in swaddling clothes, the one they have long awaited as he lay hidden among the stars.

Today the Magi gaze in deep wonder at what they see: Heaven on earth, earth in heaven, man in God, God in man, one whom the whole universe cannot contain now enclosed in a tiny body.  As they look they believe and do not question as their symbolic gifts bear witness: Incense for God, gold for a king, myrrh for one who is to die.

So the Gentiles who were the last become the first: The faith of the Magi is the first fruits of the belief of the Gentiles (St. Peter Chrysologus).

December 24, 2015

The whole round earth is thirsting for your birthday, Lord.  In that one happy day are contained all the ages to come (St. Ephrem of Syria).

January 3, 2016

The star beckoned the three wise men out of their distant country and led them to recognize and adore the king of heaven and earth.  The obedience of the star calls us to imitate its humble service: to be servants, as best we can, of the grace that invites all men to find Christ (St. Leo the Great).

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Links of interest…  Baptism of the Lord…  Christmas novena (Nov 30-Dec 24)…  Christmastide: customs / days / foods / octave (more) / other countries & cultures / overview / prayers (guide) / twelve days (more) / why celebrate…  Epiphany: about / feast (more) / five inspirational quotesfour beautiful traditionsglory of God revealed / meaningprayers & customs (more) / saints / season / “three kings day“…  Las posadas & the 2nd Christmas novena (Dec 16-24)…  Sermons of St. Peter Chrysologus…  T. S. Eliot & dreading Christmas…  Three wise men: who werewhere are the relics…  We three kings (YouTube)…  What became of the Magi after visiting Jesus…  What stars can teach us…  Where are the relics of the three wise men (great searchers of truth)…  the Word among us

WP posts…  Advent prayers…  Blue heaven…  Budding relationships…  Christmas blessings…  Christmas year ’round…  Church time blues…  Concrete abstraction…  Faith and prayer…  Golden…  On being Christian…  Our Lady…  Powerful intercessor
…  Promise of hope…  Santo Niño…  Sweet Jesus…  Thanksgiving prayers

Blue heaven

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This past Sunday I walked into church and inwardly rejoiced at seeing the unexpected: A new Advent tradition! 

Finally we have blue instead of purple on the altar!  Truly appropriate, considering we’re eagerly awaiting the birth of a newborn child— a boy.  Jesus!

Links of interest…  Advent: about / anticipation & hope (more) / calendar / celebration of saints / celebrating the season / colors / customs / prayers / preparing for the coming king / seasonal customs / surprise calendar / time of preparation / wreath (YouTube)…  American Catholic…  Baby’s coming to shake up our world…  Catholic online…  Franciscan media…  National Shrine of St. Jude: blog / home page / meditations / prayers & petitions…  Nunc dimittis: about / canticle of Simeon / song (YouTube)…  Our Lady of Advent

WP posts…  Advent prayers…  Call of service…  Capuchin Christmas…  Christmas blessings…  Christmas scenes…  Christmas year ’round…  Church time blues…  Oh, happy day!…  On being Christian…  Our Lady…  Prayer power…  Prayerful ways…  San Giuseppe…  Sweet Jesus

May flowers

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Unperturbed by Sunday morning visitors, bees and butterflies in the meditation garden feast on floral delicacies basking in the sun as we honor Mary within our sacred space.

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“The flowers appear on the earth, the time of pruning the vines has come, and the song of the dove is heard in our land” (Song of Songs 2:12).

If God can clothe in such splendor the grass of the field, which blooms today and is thrown on the fire tomorrow, will he not provide much more for you….  Stop worrying, then….  Your heavenly Father knows all that you need.  Seek first his kingship over you, his way of business, and all these things will be given you besides (Matthew 6:30-32).

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Prayers

Child’s prayer…  Dear blessed Mother Mary, help my mom to be a good mother.  Give her peace and wisdom, strength and courage, grace and happiness.  Be nearby when she needs help.  Keep her close to your son, Jesus.  Help me to always show my mom how very much I love her.  Amen.

Mary, our mother, I come to you with my needs and beg you to help me.  I honor you as my mother and helper and trust in your love for me.  Lead me on the path of virtue and preserve me from every evil.  Let me enjoy your protection and walk in your love and peace.  Guide me closer to Jesus who gave you to me to be my mother.  Amen.

Oración del niño  Querida y bendita Madre María, ayuda a mi madre a ser una buena madre.  Dale paz y sabiduría, fuerza y ​​coraje, gracia y felicidad.  Esté cerca cuando necesite ayuda.  Mantenla cerca de tu hijo, Jesús.  Ayúdame a mostrarle a mi mamá siempre cuánto la amo.  Amén.

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Contact information…  The May Procession leaflet is from the Association of the Miraculous Medal, 1811 West Saint Joseph Street, Perryville, MO 63775-1598; the prayer card, gifted by Fr. Acosta at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Brownsville, TX from James A. Doherty Company, 1416 Penn Avenue, Scranton, PA 18509-2327; and the leaflet with the litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary (and the prayer for the beatification of Fr. Casey), from the Fr. Solanus Guild, 1780 Mt. Elliot, Detroit, MI 48207-3485.

May 15, 2015

“When we see a beautiful object, a beautiful garden, or a beautiful flower, let us think that there we behold a ray of the infinite beauty of God, who has given existence to that object” (St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori).

September 12, 2016

“All my own perception of beauty, both in majesty and simplicity, is founded upon Our Lady” (J. R. R. Tolkien).

December 14, 2016

“God passes through the thicket of the world; and, wherever his glance falls, he turns all things to beauty” (St. John of the Cross).

St. Jude Shrine – Pallottines – Baltimore, MD

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Mother Julia’s chapel & museum – 408 East Richard Avenue – Kingsville, TX

Links of interest…  Behold your Mother…  Blue: May tribute to Our Lady…  Five commonplace sights to remind you of Our Lady this May / flowers connected to the Virgin Mary…  For beauty & prayer plant a Mary garden (more)…  God’s favorite garden…  Mary: beloved of the Trinity / celebrating May / corner / devotion / everyday things named in her honor / flower of Maygate of heaven / litany /  meditations / mother (of the church) / page / prayers (miracles – more –   novena –  queen of angels) /untier of knots…  May: crowning, corniness, & the 4-H fairfive ways to honor Mary / for Mary…  Our Lady of Corpus Christi (OLCC) website…  Powerful crown of thorns…  Prayers to the Blessed Virgin for every day of the week…  Prepare your garden…  Rosary: album treasure / best prayer for men…  True mark of a great mother…  the Word among us

WP posts…  Faces of Mary…  Lady of sorrows…  Lingering memory…  Little gifts…  Lourdes novenas…  Marian devotions…  Mary’s miraculous medal…  Mary’s seven joys…  Marytown shrine…  My Franciscan Crown…  Our Lady…  Repeated prayers…  St. Mary Cathedral…  St. Mary revisited…  St. Mary’s

Call of service

In one of his homilies last month, Father Xaviour said that the life of a missionary, like that of a priest, is difficult because his life is determined by those to whom he’s sent.

Acceptance

This reminded me of a jellyfish, floating from place to place in the ocean’s waters, its survival contingent on its ability to withstand the tides and the waves that can wash the jellyfish onto the seashore where it’ll wither and die. Like the jellyfish, the missionary has no control over his environment.

Similarly, a priest goes obediently wherever his superior sends him, wherever the spiritual call beckons.  Then, depending on the spirit of the people to whom he’s sent, he either grows faithful followers who gladly share his vision or evokes apathy and resentment.  Therefore, the priest, like the missionary, either thrives in his call of service or depletes his usefulness within the community to which he’s been assigned.

Dependence

Some consider religious leaders to be parasites.  A child stays in the womb for nine months, but the mother never considers her child a parasite.  [On the other hand,] a missionary’s life is worthless and meaningless.  To be dependent is very difficult.  To be a missionary is to be dependent on others.  This is why Pope Benedict named this the year of the priest, to strengthen the bond [among us] so [that] young kids can know the joy of the priest, to consider the walk of our footsteps.  Continue to pray for priests to inspire us, to strengthen our faith, to empower us so that faith may be meaningful in our lives (Father Xaviour, 2009).

       

       

Faithfulness

On this feast day of the priests’ patron saint, we’re reminded of the countless hardships and obstacles that St. John Vianney overcame to answer the call of service.  His is a story of perseverance, faithfulness, courage, and love.

Today, like all the days since meeting Father Xaviour for the very first time at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Flour Bluff (2007), Steven and I are grateful for his being part of our lives; for his presence at St. Joseph’s; and, most especially, for his graciously accepting our support of him through our church blog.

You’re a blessing to us all, Father Xaviour!

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Prayers

Absolution…  May the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints— whatever good you do and suffering you endure— heal your sins, help you to grow in holiness, and reward you with eternal life.  Go in peace.

For missionaries…  Heavenly Father, you so loved the world that you sent  your only son, Jesus, to bring us eternal life.  We join him in his prayer for laborers in your harvest. May your Holy Spirit inspire and strengthen generous men and women to continue his mission in the world.  May this same Spirit make known to me your will in my life.  Where you lead I will follow.  Let it be done to me according to your word.  I make this prayer through Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

For missions…  Remember our missionaries who give up all they have to testify to your gospel and love.  Strengthen them in moments of difficulty.  Crown their labors with the victories of the Holy Spirit.  Through their endeavors may your blessed Name be made known throughout the world.  Surrounded by an ever growing number of your children, may they [offer] to you the hymn of thankfulness, redemption, and glory.  Amen.

For priests (John Cardinal O’Connor)…  Lord Jesus, we, your people, pray to you for our priests.  You have given them to us for our needs.  We pray for them in their needs.

We know that you have made them priests in the likeness of your own priesthood.  You have consecrated them, set them aside, anointed them, filled them with the Holy Spirit, appointed them to teach, to preach, to minister, to console, to forgive, and to feed us with your Body and Blood.

Yet, we know, too, that they are one with us and share our human weaknesses.  We know, too, that they are tempted to sin and discouragement as are we, needing to be ministered to as do we, to be consoled and forgiven as do we.  Indeed, we thank you for choosing them from among us so that they understand us as we understand them, suffer with us and rejoice with us, worry with us and trust with us, share our beings, our lives, our faith.

We ask that you give them, this day, the gift you gave your chosen ones on the way to Emmaus: your presence in their hearts, your holiness in their souls, your joy in their spirits.  And let them see you face to face in the breaking of the Eucharistic bread.

We pray to you, O Lord, through Mary, the mother of all priests, for your priests and for ours.  Amen.

For vocations…  Jesus, you are the Good Shepherd.  You know each of us and you call us by name to serve in faith.  Help us respond generously to your voice.  Give courage and guidance to those you call to the priesthood and the diaconate, to religious life and to lay ministry so that they may respond wholeheartedly and serve devotedly.  We ask this through Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

Queen of Missions…  Holy Mary, our mother, today, each day, and in our last hour, we entrust ourselves entirely to you loving and singular care.  We place in your hands our entire hope and happiness, our every anxiety and difficulty, our whole lives.  May our every endeavor be directed and guided according to the will of your Son, which is your will by the aid of your prayer and special favor with God.  Amen.

August 4, 2013

When we walk without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, and when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord.  We are worldly; we are bishops, priests, cardinals, popes but not disciples of the Lord (Pope Francis, 2013).

January 24, 2014

“There is nothing small in the service of God” (St. Francis de Sales).

April 17, 2013

“Nothing afflicts the heart of Jesus so much as to see all his sufferings of no avail to so many” (St. John Vianney).

May 6, 2014

“Every vocation to the priesthood comes from the heart of God, but it passes through the heart of a mother” (Pope St. Pius X).

May 8, 2014

One should preach not from one’s rational mind but, rather from the heart.  Only that which is from the heart can touch another heart (Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica).

August 4, 2014

“You either belong wholly to the world or wholly to God” (St. John Vianney).

November 13, 2014

“I will go anywhere and do anything in order to communicate the love of Jesus to those who do not know him or have forgotten him” (St. Frances Xavier Cabrini).

November 14, 2014

My God, I do not know what must come to me today.  But I am certain that nothing can happen to me that you have not foreseen, decreed, and ordained from all eternity.  That is sufficient for me (St. Joseph Pignatelli).

January 17, 2015

A religious should imitate the bees gathering honey among the blossoms of the meadows.  From each of his companions, he should gather some good lessons— from one, modesty; from another, silence; from a third, patience; from a fourth, resignation and indifference (St. Anthony the Great)

January 23, 2015

The rediscovery of the value of one’s baptism is the basis of the missionary commitment of every Christian because we see in the gospel that he who lets himself be fascinated by Christ cannot do without witnessing the joy of following in his footsteps….  We understand even more that, in virtue of baptism, we have an inherent missionary vocation (Pope Benedict XVI).

January 25, 2015

As we follow Christ in this mission to be fishers of men, we must bring men and women out of the sea that is salted with so many forms of alienation and onto the land of life, into the light of God (Pope Benedict XVI).

March 31, 2015

We’re up against a great mystery here.  We are called to announce the good news to everyone, but not everyone will listen.  Once we’ve done our work, we should move on and not obsess about those who won’t listen.  Why do some respond and some don’t?  Finally, that’s up to God (Fr. Robert Barron).

May 21, 2015

You cannot please both God and the world at the same time.  They are utterly opposed to each other in their thoughts, their desires, and their actions (St. John Vianney).

July 1, 2015

All my life I have wanted to be a missioner.  I have wanted to carry the gospel teachings to those who have never heard of God and the kingdom he has prepared for them (Blessed Junipero Serra).

August 4, 2015

Everything is a reminder of the Cross.  We ourselves are made in the shape of a cross (St. Jean Marie Baptist Vianney).

“Our faults are like a grain of sand beside the great mountain of the mercies of God”
(St. John Vianney).

August 10, 2015

“You pray, you love— that is the happiness of man upon the earth” (St. John Vianney).

August 27, 2015

Let us take care only to have a good intention; then let us go wherever duty calls us, and let us be sure that God is kind enough and indulgent enough to pardon us all the faults to which his faithful service and the desire of pleasing him may expose us (Fr. Jean Nicolas Grou in The Spiritual Life).

October 16, 2015

To love God much; always to be united with God; to do all things for the sake of God; to love everything for God’s sake; to suffer much for God.  My only business is to do the will of God (St. Gerard Majella).

December 2, 2015

“All perfection consists in the love of God; and the perfection of divine love consists in the union of our will with that of God” (St. Alphonsus).

February 4, 2016

Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two.  According to Mark, this is what Jesus did in response to being rejected in Nazareth: He increased his efforts.  He continued his ministry in other villages; but instead of taking his disciples with him, he sent them out on their own.  They are told to take nothing for the journey but to depend on the hospitality of those who receive them.  If a particular village doesn’t welcome them, they should simply move on.  Like the disciples, we, too, have been called and sent out to continue the work of Jesus in the world today.  We are to be missionaries, disciples, builders of the kingdom of God in this time and place.  Here I am, Lord; send me (Jeanne Lischer).

March 14, 2016

What should give us strength and consolation is the thought that we may have recourse to our dear Father in heaven who will never allow us to be tempted beyond our strength and who will always help those to victory who come to him with confidence and prayer.  Watch and pray, there, and you will conquer (St. John Marie Vianney).

March 24, 2016

Service is the rent we pay to be living.  It is the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time (Marian Wright Edelman).

May 11, 2016

“Labor without stopping; do all the good works you can while you still have the time”
(St. John of God).

June 1, 2016

“Without lay people nothing would happen” (Archbishop Peter Leo Gerety).

June 16, 2016

“Each of us has a personal calling from God, which is our unique part to play in the building of an earthly liturgical city that is a foretaste of the heavenly liturgical city”
(David Clayton and Leila Lawler in The Little Oratory).

June 27, 2016

“If the poison of pride is swelling up in you, turn to the Eucharist; and that bread, which is your God humbling and disguising himself, will teach you humility” (St. Cyril of Alexandria).

June 29, 2016

I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands.  For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather of power and love and self-control.  So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God (St. Paul; 2 Timothy 1:6–8).

July 11, 2016

“He should know that whomever undertakes the government of souls must prepare himself to account for them” (St. Benedict).

January 29, 2017

“We will either accuse ourselves or excuse ourselves” (St. John Vianney).

February 3, 2017

“If I were worthy of such a favor from my God, I would ask that he grant me this one miracle: that by his grace he would make of me a good man” (St. Ansgar).

May 5, 2017

O God, who gives your missionaries the zeal to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to the nations, give us the desire to advance your kingdom wherever we may be.  May we share a deep desire to show you more clearly to others, to love you more dearly in others, and to follow you more closely in all that we do each day of our lives.  Amen (Stephen J. Binz in Saint Junipero Serra’s Camino: A Pilgrimage Guide to the California Missions).

July 18, 2017

“The priesthood requires a great soul, for the priest has many harassing troubles of his own and has need of innumerable eyes on all sides” (St. John Chrysostom).

December 22, 2017

“Ministry means the ongoing attempt to put one’s own search for God, with all the moments of pain and joy, despair and hope, at the disposal of those who want to join this search but do not know how” (Henri J.M. Nouwen).

June 3, 2019

“Each of us has a personal calling from God, which is our unique part to play in the building of an earthly liturgical city that is a foretaste of the heavenly liturgical city” (David Clayton & Leila Lawler in The Little Oratory).

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Pdf file…  Father Xaviour’s homily (7.12.09)…

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