Tuesday, January 9, 2018

St. Angela of Foligno: Pray

No one can be saved without divine light. Divine light causes us to begin and to make progress, and it leads us to the summit of perfection. Therefore if you want to begin and to receive this divine light, pray. If you have begun to make progress and want this light to be intensified within you, pray. And if you have reached the summit of perfection, and want to be superillumined so as to remain in that state, pray.

- St. Angela of Foligno

Pax et bonum

Monday, January 1, 2018

Pope on New Year’s Day: Devotion to Mary is a must

Pope on New Year’s Day: Devotion to Mary is a must: At the start of the new year, Pope Francis said that having a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary isn’t just something that is nice or good to do, but is an obligation in the life of a Christian.

Pax et bonum

Thursday, December 21, 2017

St. Francis and the First Creche

With ox and ass and manger and hay
St. Francis recalled that holy day.
But before that Greccio scene was done
The Father again provided his Son.

Pax et bonum

Friday, December 15, 2017

Advent of the New Covenant

By: Jeffrey R. Keyes, C.PP.S.

We prepare to enter another celebration of the Advent of the New Covenant. God dwells among us in this new Covenant in a way so full of promise, that after centuries of celebration we are still compelled to call this "new."  Table fellowship and feet washing are THE heights and depths and breadth of divine presence. God is no longer watching "from a distance." The veil has been lifted and all the barriers are down.  Being human has changed for us because God has taken flesh and lived among us. God has appeared, not with power, privilege or strength, but as a helpless, homeless infant.

God, in redeeming and calling Israel, prepared for the time when the covenant was to be open to all.  This was the desire of God from the beginning.   In order to approach us, God called a particular people and entered into their history.  After freeing them from their bondage God invited them into a continuing relationship, expressed in the Sinai covenant. Again and again and again God offered a covenant to them and through the prophets our ancestors were taught to long for salvation. Every generation was a recipient of the promise.

Later prophets described this promise in idyllic terms.  The word appears, coming gently from God, never intending to remain suspended like a cloud in mid-air, but to soak the earth and to be drawn back toward God like plants and trees.  God's spirit is planted within a human heart where it bears fruit.  God's word is less a message and more an event.  All the world, all of creation, breaks into song as God brings home the people, as God brings back the nations, as God makes room even for us.  The curse of darkness is removed forever, and in its place grow the trees of paradise that join in the song and clap their hands in the rhythm of the celebration (Isaiah 55:12).

Love is no longer distant and abstract.  The covenant between God and human beings is no longer a legal contract. The new covenant has now been written in human flesh and blood, recorded on every heart. Everyone, from the least to the greatest, is the beneficiary of this gift (Jeremiah 31:31-34).   The new covenant is now a communion of the whole of life; it is now this person, this friend and companion, this beloved, this family, this community, these children.

This vision has borne fruit in the person of Jesus, and in all who bear his name. Flesh and blood now becomes the vehicle for the real presence of God. All those who once were considered to be far off, or simply far out, have been brought near by the Blood of Christ

Pax et bonum

Friday, December 1, 2017

Franciscan Day of Reflection (11/4/17)

Purgatory is not normally spoken of in positive ways - but Father Anthony Baetzold, CFR, did indeed offer a positive spin.
Speaking November 4 at St. Leo’s Church in Hilton for a day of reflection for local Secular Franciscans, Father Baetzold cited St. Catherine of Genoa.
“I believe no happiness can be found worthy to be compared with that of a soul in Purgatory except that of the saints in Paradise; and day by day this happiness grows as God flows into these souls, more and more as the hindrance to His entrance is consumed,” she said. “Sin's rust is the hindrance, and the fire burns the rust away so that more and more the soul opens itself up to the divine inflowing.”
Thus, Father Baetzold noted in his homily that day, those in Purgatory, even if they are viewed as “poor souls,” are indeed undergoing their final preparation for Heaven.
He also cited Proverbs 16: 6 (“By faithful love and constancy sinis expiated”) and 1 Peter 4: 8 (Above all, let your love for one another be intense, because love covers a multitude of sins”).
After  the positive message of his homily, he also delivered a talk about then-Venerable Solanus Casey, a Franciscan priest and porter who died in 1957 after a life of calling for constant thankfulness for the blessings of God, and who would be beatified November 19. Father Baetzold summarized Blessed Solanus’s life and ministry, his humility in accepting slights and seemingly menial assignments, and the  joyful holiness he shared with the world.
The day included fellowship, Adoration, Benediction, and opportunities for Confession.
A wonderful day for Franciscans to renew and celebrate their vocation..
As Blessed Solanus once said, “We should ever be grateful for and love the vocation to which God has called us. This applies to every vocation because, after all, what a privilege it is to serve God, even in the least capacity!”
Pax et bonum