J.M.J.

 

                                          Meditations by Msgr. Bernard  Powers
                                                        
Priest of the Owensboro, Ky Diocese   
                                  
Passionist Oblate
                                                   
  

 
 Meditations/Homilies: (Click to read)

              The Good Shepherd Meditation          
              Sr. Rose Marie, CP - 1st Profession Homily
              Magnificat
              Diary of St. Paul of the Cross - Meditations
              Solemn Commemoration of the Passion-2009
              Sr. Mary Bernadette, CP - Wake Homily
              Where Are You?
              Reflections:Jeremiah 15:16
              Profession Homily August 6, 2006
             
Homilies on Letters: St Paul of the
              Cross to Mother Mary Crucified
 
             
Blessed Trinity Homily

              The Ascension of Jesus-Homily  
              Grace of Fidelity
           
   Our Lady of Sorrows
              
Paul of the Cross

              Mystical Poem of St. Paul of the Cross
              I Will Lead You Into the Desert
              A Gospel of Suffering 

 

Msgr. Bernard Powers

 

 





 



















The Good Shepherd Meditation (Sr Ann Miriam's Wake Service) -by Msgr. bernard Power

        GOOD SHEPHERD PSALM
                  ( Death of a friend)
 
           May the Lord be your Shepherd
                     picking you up in his arms,
                     carrying you in love,
                     bringing you home.
           May you not want
                     for the fullness of life,
                     full like the Fall’s harvest..
 
                     for the beauties of heaven,
                     nor for the glories of life eternal.
            In verdant pastures…
                     in the company of the saints,
                                     in the presence of the angels,
                                                      in the joyful kingdom of heaven
            May He give you repose:
                     peace before the throne of God…
                     joy in seeing God face to face…
                     celebration with the hosts of heaven.
 
            Beside restful waters may He lead you..
                     Into the splendor of the Father…
                     into the risen life of the Son of God..
                     into the beautiful and fascinating love of God the Holy Spirit.
            May he refresh your soul
                     removing all fear 
                     even the fear of dying…
                     giving exciting joy,
                                      a joy that has a fullness…
                     removing all sin,
                                      even the smallest…
                     giving a fullness of the sacred,
                                      the very gift of God.
 
           May he guide you in right paths
                     guide you into mysteries
                     that open like the beauty of a rose…
                                     guide you into celebrations
                                     that raise your song in song,
                                     greater than the music of the universe.
 
           For His name’s sake
                     for His honor…
                     for His glory…
                                     May your presence before God  glorify God.
 
           Even though you walk in the dark valley
                     or step forth into the unknown
                     and the unexplored…
                                     Even thought you let go
                                     of all material things, even physical life
                                                     or experience the very darkness of death
           May you fear no evil…
                     but know the presence of the Redeeming Christ
                     and the warmth of the Risen Lord….
                                     May you have the protection of the angels
                                     and the personal care of Mary and Joseph.
   
           May he be at your side
                     This Lord Jesus
                     who is the Master of your life..
                                     This Lord Jesus
                                     who is the faithful Friend…
                                                     This Lord Jesus
                                                     who conquers death and opens the riches of holiness…
 
           May he be at your side 
           with his rod and his staff…
                     With the graces of forgiveness
                     and the graces of adornment…
                                     with the victory of the Cross
                                     and the gift of the Resurrection
 
           May he give you courage
                     to leave this world
                     graciously and freely…
                                     to give your life 
                                     generously into his hands..
                                                     to entrust yourself to the Father
                                                     as you experience the Passover.
 
           May he set a table before you
                     A wedding feast, prepared for a bride…
                                     a banquet of love,  prepared for the beloved…
                                                     a heavenly banquet … to which you are invited.
 
                     May he set this table
                     in the sight of your foes..
                                     your suffering and your sorrow…
                                                     your sin and Satan…
                                                                     your dying and even your very death.
           May He anoint your head with oil
                     and crown you with glory
                                     and give you the robe of salvation…
                                                     and adorn you with immortality.
           May your cup overflow
                     with excitement in new discoveries…
                                     with gratitude for the gift of salvation..
                                                     with happiness in seeing friends who have gone before.
           May only goodness and kindness follow you
                     descend upon you
                                     overshadow you…
                                                     embrace you…
                                                                     transform you
           All the days of your life
                     but especially this day,
                     this day of dying and death…
                                     but especially this day,
                                     this day of Passover
                                     from this world to the next…
                                                     Yes, this say,
                                                     this day of beginning, of new creation, of resurrection .
   
           May your dwell in the house of the Lord
                     in freedom beyond suffering..
                                     in love beyond limit…
                                                     in life without end…
                                                                     in the very fullness of the Triune God.
  
           For years to come..
                     Yes, even more,
                     for all eternity where there is no more time…
 
                     Today,
                                     may the Lord be your Shepherd
                                     and hold you lovingly 
                                     in the palm of his hand.   Amen
                                                                                Msgr. Bernard Powers

 




Sister Rose Marie, CP - 1st Profession Homily
  by Msgr. bernard Powers


Introductions:

    Most Reverend Bishop……

        My brother priests…..

        Mother Catherine Marie and community

        Sister Rose Marie and Family

        Relatives and Friends:

Permit me
        to reflect with you
        on the
        beauty and mystery
        of this ceremony,
            This Religious Profession.

            The quiet voice of God
            heard deep within the heart of Sister Rose Marie
            is made audible today
            through the voice of Community
            and the word of God:

                            “I have chosen you.
                             Come !   Come to me !”


            Today she knows the voice is authentic.
            Her presence today
            is her yes……. her fiat… her “ Ad Sum !”

                    We kneel in gratitude to the Blessed Trinity
                    for the gift of Consecrated life.

            We stand in support of Sister Rose Marie
            as she humbly accepts “this gift”.


            Pope Paul VI said of those choosing to become religious:
                “by a free response to the call of the Holy Spirit
                 you have decided to follow Christ
                 consecrating yourselves totally to Him…”
                           
(Apostolic Letter on Religious Life, Pope Paul VI # 7)

           The artist takes light and captures beauty.
           The poet takes sound and captures truth.
           The religious takes life and captures love.
           The fruit of this love is the consecrated life.,

                    She who embraces consecrated life
                    knows union with God and
                    reveals Jesus to the world.

                    She who lives consecrated life
                    is to the Church today
                    what the martyrs were to the early church:
                            Signs of challenging love


            Pope John Paul II wrote:
                “By the profession of the evangelical counsels
                 the characteristic features of Jesus,
                 the chaste, poor, and obedient one ,
                 are made constantly visible to the world
                 and the eyes of the faithful are directed
                 to the mystery of the Kingdom of God…”
                            
 (Consecrated Life, Pope John Paul II # 1)

                    Thus she who embraces religious life
                    reveals a love that
                    “……clearly manifests to mankind
                    the primacy of the love of God.”
                           
(Renewal of Religious life. Pope Paul VI, # 1)

            The religious life
            is a call of God the Father
            to follow Jesus Christ in a radical way
            through the grace of the Holy Spirit……
            It is a call into the life of the Blessed Trinity.

                    The acceptance of this call
                    is most important for the Kingdom of God…. the Church.

                Again Pope Paul VI writes:
                    “Without this concrete sign
                      there would be a danger
                      that the charity which animates the entire church
                      would grow cold,
                      that the salvific paradox of the Gospel would be blunted
                      and that the ‘salt’ of faith
                      would lose its savor
                      in a world undergoing secularization.”
                               
 (Op .cit. Pope Paul VI # 2)

                Oh, the greatness of its presence.
                Oh, the tragedy of its absence.

                        She who accepts religious life
                        accepts a gift …. a life style … a way of life
                        that only God can ask………………
                        that only she ……..who is called ……..can accept…..
                        and only love…… total love can fulfill.


        Consecrated Life is a way of life
        which demands the total gift of self……
        a radical giving….
        a giving that shocks the world
        and mystifies human hearts….. …. even her own.


        It is a gift from God
        that even she …..who accepts ….
        can not explain ….. but can only accept … and live .

            The response to her receiving
            becomes her act of giving……
                    She gives to her God
                    “that capacity to love,……
                    that need to possess,……..
                    and that freedom to regulate her own life
                    which are so precious to men and women…..”
                               
(op. cit Paul VI # 7)

                                    Only God could ask such radical living……
                                    Only God could empower such sacrificial giving.

                                            Today we celebrate the choice of love:

                                                    God chooses Sister Rose Marie
                                                    to reveal Jesus to the world…..
                                                    this Jesus who is
                                                    chaste…….., poor……… obedient

                                                    Sister Rose Marie chooses Jesus
                                                    She chooses to reveal Jesus
                                                    through
                                                    poverty….. chastity and obedience.
                                                    here in this monastery.

                    God designed religious life.
                            God gives meaning to religious life:
                            to consecrated chastity…. …………. divine presence
                            to unconditional obedience……. divine love
                            to radical poverty………….. divine life
                                God designed religious life
                                as an espousal love relationship
                                between God and the soul……
                                between God and Sister Rose Marie..

                          Paul of the Cross writes:
                                “… you are consecrated brides of the Crucified
                                through your holy vows.
                                Now it remains for you
                                to correspond with such a great grace.”
                                       
(Letter 26….. p 47….to Mother Mary Crucified)


            Sister, in your choice
            You stand alone, yet not alone:
                    Your Spouse is the Crucified Christ.
                    Your Mother is Mary, the Sorrowful Mother
                    Your guide is the Holy Spirit.
                    Your mentor is Saint Paul of the Cross.
                    Your companions are the members of this Community.

            Saint Paul writes of your life:
                    “They shall reveal the light of Christ’s charity
                      among themselves
                      by loving one another
                      by sharing their sufferings in community,
                      by being of mutual help to one another in their need,
                        in a word   
                        by being to one another
                        a living witness of the Crucified
                        so that they may be splendor for the world
                        which has grown so cold.”
                                       
(Letter 26 p 47)

            On this day of profession
                          Jesus becomes the center of her life,

            Correction: On this day of profession
                          Jesus becomes her life.

            Her choices in life
                only one …………………. His divine will.

            Her possessions in life
                only one:………………… His divine life

            Her love in life
                only one: …………………. Jesus Himself


        Saint Paul of the Cross wrote:
                “On that day ( of religious profession)
                I shall offer them to the Lord
                as victims of love
                so that all of them,
                in a holocaust of pure spirit
                may offer themselves to their Crucified Bridegroom
                with a strong will
                to follow Him until death.
                This will happen if they will be truly obedient and mortified
                for their well-adjusted interior life
                depends on that.”
                             
(Letter 32, p 54 Letters to Mother Mary Crucified by saint Paul of the Cross.)

                        What a day of honor to God…
                        What an act of love commitment.
        Today
        the one who makes vows
        is offered as a victim of pure love
        and becomes a holocaust of pure spirit
        to the Crucified Christ.

        She who makes vows
        enters a love relationship with Christ
        and becomes a bride of the Crucified Bridegroom.

        Paul of the Cross
        confirms this love relationship:
        “ … all of you are consecrated as Brides of the Crucified
        through your holy vows.”
                                
(Letter 26… p 47)

+++ +++

        Sister Rose Marie,
            …..the Church knows you are entering a spiritual warfare………
            (An Israelite - Philistine battle)----- A David and Goliath battle

            The Church also knows you are too small
            for the armor of Saul
            so she gives you the armor of David,
            five stones to assure your victory:

                    Prayer………… leading to union with God
                        “Consecrated women know that the principal purpose
                         of their lives is the contemplation of divine things
                         and constant union with God in prayer.”
                               
(Ency on charity, Pope Benedict XVI # 81)

                    Silence ……….. leading to intimacy with God
                        “The search for intimacy with God
                          involves the truly vital need of a silence
                          embracing the whole being
                          both for those who must find God
                          in the midst of noise and confusion
                          and for the contemplatives.”
                               
(Apostolic Letter Religious Life Pope Paul VI #46)

                    Devotion to Mary ………Leading to fidelity to your vocation
                         “… a filial relationship to Mary
                          is the royal road to fidelity to one’s vocation
                          and a most effective help
                          for advancing in that vocation and living it fully.”
                               
(The Consecrated Life, Pope John Paul II,, # 28)

                    Devotion to the Cross……. leading to love of God
                         “… Consecrated persons discover that the more they stand
                          at the foot of the Cross of Christ
                          the more immediately and profoundly
                          they experience the truth of God
                          who is love….. It is precisely on the Cross
                          that the One who in death appears to human eyes
                          as disfigured and without beauty…
                          fully reveals the beauty and the power of God’s love.”
                               
(Ibid #24)

                    Devotion to the Eucharist……. leading to friendship with God
                        “Consecrated women,
                         called by that very consecration
                         to more prolonged contemplation,
                         Never forget that Jesus in the Tabernacle
                         wants you to be at his side,
                         so that He can fill your hearts
                         with the experience of his friendship
                         which alone gives meaning and fulfillment to your lives”
                               
(Mane Nobiscum, Pope John Paul II #30)


Conclusion:

            This afternoon
            we are present in a human experience
            that mystifies us.

                If all of us
                or any of us
                would ask of this young woman:
                             “Why are you doing such a thing?”

                The only answer
                that has some credibility is :
                            “Jesus, My Beloved, calls
                             and I must follow the call of love.”











Sister Mary Bernadette, CP - Wake Homily

Greeting:

            Mother Catherine Marie and Sisters….

            Members of Sister Mary Bernadette’s Family:

 

                        We the faith community and friends

                        ask a share in  your sorrow

                        that your sorrow might be lighter.

 

                        We offer a share of our faith

                        that your faith might be greater.

 

Introduction:

 

            The rich Liturgy of Holy Saturday

            helps us in our gathering tonight.

            On Holy Saturday we remember salvation history….. the Passion of Jesus

            and we await the Resurrection.

 

            Tonight we remember the salvation history…. the Passion….

            of Sister Mary Bernadette

            and we await the Resurrection celebration tomorrow.

  

Body

 

To know the Passion of Jesus

is to have divine wisdom .

 

To contemplate the Passion of Jesus

is to be in  mystical prayer.

 

To live the Passion of Jesus

is to live the way of love.

 

To love the Passion of Jesus

is to have union with the Crucified Spouse.

 

 

            Sister Mary Bernadette was a woman of the Passion:

                        For her, the wisdom of the Passion was the science of the Saints.

                                    “In this holy school (of the passion)

 the person learns true wisdom.

                                    Here is where the saints have gained true knowledge.”

                                                                                                Bialas 209  n. 212

 

For her, the Passion was love:

                                    “The passion of Jesus  is

the greatest and most stupendous work of divine love.” 

Bialas 201

 

                        For Sister Mary Bernadette, the passion was prayer:

                                    “the soul that God wants to draw into deepest union with Him

                                    by means of holy prayer must pass through the way of suffering.”

           

                                                                                                Bialas 170     

                       

                        For her, the passion was union:

                                    “I say to you, the best and holiest thing is to think of the

                                    most holy passion of our Lord and to pray over it

                                    because this is the way to arrive at union with God”

                                   

                                    “It is the door through which the soul enters and is sled

                                    to intimate union with God.”                  Bialas 209  n.212…. p 212

 

            Tonight we find ourselves in the memory

            of Sister Mary Bernadette….the Passionist

                        One who lived the Passion…profoundly.

                        One who knew the Crucified Christ….. personally.

           

Tomorrow we celebrate….

            but tonight we remember.

 

As a young woman ( at the age of 19

she stood before the world.

The world, “charged with the grandeur of God”……………..(Gerard M Hopkins)

offered her power, possessions, and pleasure..

She chose the God who created

both the world and the grandeur.

 

In the life and the death of Sister

a woman is seen

in the dignity, honor and greatness

that God has destined  for women…..

a woman with a faith that was the fiber of her being…..

a woman who knew humility  in “yes” to God..

            a woman committed to love that was a joy

                        a woman with a sense of humor

that enabled her to laugh at the funnies of life…

                        and a seriousness

                        that could find the values  in the complexities of life.

 

Here is a woman

with a vision:  to fish in the infinite sea of the Sacred Passion of Jesus.

She embraced this vision

and made it a way of life.

            Like Paul of the Cross

            she shared in the Passion to the depth  of  living it.                    

            Even more,

                        she accepted the Passion as the gift of love.

 

Here is a woman

with a dream:

 to climb the Mountain of Calvary.

 

It tool 87 years to make the ascent.

But once there,

she knelt in the mystery of suffering for seven years…..….

…..the time of fullness.

 

Here is a woman

with a goal:

 to be immersed in the sea of the  most holy passion

which is the greatest and most astounding work

of divine love.                           Bialas p215

 

The attaining of such a goal….

full union with God……

was both gift and acquisition……

She strove well in the acquisition…

                        She received humbly in the giving.

 

A woman of love

so exciting and so captivating

that she gave herself totally

in the mysterious crucible of religious life…

A love that demanded nothing less than total giving…..

absolute trust…. and the surrender of a “fiat.”.

            A love that offered nothing less

            than espousal union with God.

           

A life of love so startling

            that anyone who witnessed it

was brought to an awareness of God….. the God of love.

 

A woman so dedicated to Jesus

that her will would be His will in sacrificial obedience…

her self-emptying would be his radical poverty in self giving…

her love would be His love in consecrated chastity.           

            Dedication was vowed commitment.

 

Here is a woman… a religious…

with such a hunger for God… such a burning desire for the holy…

that only a cloistered life…… here in this monastery…..

with its silence and its solitude…

its recollection and contemplation

would give the freedom  to the soul’s  “ soaring  flight into union with God.”   Bialas 215

 

A woman touched by God

with such a share in charism of Paul of the Cross

that she knew the Suffering Christ

as her Crucified Spouse.

 

As a daughter of the Sorrowful Mother,

she shared in the sorrows of the Virgin Mother by

throwing herself  into the arms of the most holy Mary

and running to her as the Mother of Mercy.”                         Bialas 216

            She knew the fruit of the Maternal love of Mary

            a fruit that transformed her own

“love into sorrow and her sorrow into love.”     …….. Bialas 201

 

Her sharing in the Charism of Paul of the Cross

had the depth of missionary,

a burning zeal for the conversion of sinners….

a spirit of atonement that took her before the Blessed Sacrament

crying for mercy.

            O, and it was this missionary spirit

            that brought her to the Church in Western Kentucky…

            the diocese of Owensboro

 where she helped in founding this community

 

The woman of prayer….        

            prayer:  a spirit gift within the soul

            setting fire… ravaging the soul….

            plaguing the soul with a consuming desire

            for communion and union with God.

 

                        Her prayer was based on the principles of Paul of the Cross:

                        “True detachment…. perfect nakedness of faith…

                        Interiority….. and harmony within.”   ………….            Bialas 128

.                       Her prayer: mystical

            Only by enduring the thirst in the dryness…

            Only by fidelity in the emptiness….

            Only by desire in the darkness…

                        could she find some ease

                        to the burning desire

for the hidden God dwelling within.

 

What a woman.

Beautiful before the world,

but not of the world.

 

            The woman who chose God

            for ninety five years.

 

Today we remember

and share.

 

Tomorrow we remember

and take the cup of salvation

and give thanks.

 

            Amen
 

 

Where Are You?

Sometimes in the Scriptures there are questions
raised by God….. These questions can be rather pointed….
somewhat challenging…. perhaps even put one on the spot. 

               In today’s reading God asked Adam:
                            Where are you ?

               The same can be asked of us:
                            Where are you ?

 
Where are you in your self knowledge?

                        Do you know your greatest desire … that is, the thing you want most  ??????

                                   

                        Are you pleased with it

 

                        Is it God-centered…… Is it God…..

 

                                    (to help you to answer this question,   see where you place your

                                    greatest efforts….. and most consistent efforts.

 

DO  YOU KNOW YOUR TWO BASIC FAULTS… VICES  ?

WHAT ARE YOU AFTER IN THIS LIFE

DO  YOU KNOW WHY YOU DO WHAT YOU DO

WHERE ARE YOU IN REGARDS TO GOD

                         Is He really first?               Is your life a commitment to God?

 

                         Do you feel and act accountable to God ?

 

                        Are you really in love with God :

                              Is your goal to be a living saint….. or just to get to heaven

 

 

WHERE ARE YOU IN REGARDS TO PRAYER

 

            do you really want to pray?

 

            are there sincere practices in your life that enrich prayer ?

 

            are you getting any help in your life of prayer ?

 

            does prayer really affect you life during the day ?

 

            is there some kind of prayer structure in your life?

  

WHERE  ARE YOU IN RELATIONSHIP TO PERSONS AROUND YOU…

             IN RELATIONSHIP TO YOUR PARTNER

                         are all your actions life-giving  ????

 
                                  
DO YOU HAVE MUTUAL INTERESTS YOU SHARE…???

                                   ARE YOU GROWING IN THIS RELATIONSHIP

                                   DO YOU PRAY TOGETHER

 
WHERE ARE YOU AS A PASSIONIST OBLATE

             just something to belong to…… or is it making a difference in your life

                        is it a challenge in your life……

                                    do you know the purpose of the oblate program
 

 

 WHERE ARE YOUR  ATTITUDES

            TOWARD  THE NEEDY IN DAVIESS COUNTY

                         TOWARD SUFFERING…… CROSSES
                                               fighting it…. running from it 
                                                     accepting it in framework of love

                               TOWARD DEATH…..
                                                  denying it….. never addressing it… afraid of it

 

WHAT IS YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARD GOSPEL
                       surface living…. radical living….
                               do you stay in church on Sunday
                                    until you have something definite to take home with you
                                        for the week ahead ?

  
WHERE ARE YOU IN REFERENCE FROM THE OBLIGATIONS THAT FLOW

                        FROM  BAPTISM………..   FROM CONFIRMATION.

           GOD ASKED ADAM;    WHERE ARE YOU    
                                   


 

REFLECTIONS: JEREMIAH 15:16 

Opening Prayer

Loving

 Spirit of God,

You call us into the sacred word,

the inspired word.

 

What an amazing call.

 

Your word is a treasure found in a field,

a treasure of great price.

A treasure worth the selling of all

to purchase the field and have the treasure.

 

How wonderful your words,

so full of life and sweetness.

Indeed a meal.

 

Lead us into this word found.

As we feast on this word

give joy to our hearts.

 

Loving Spirit of God,

because we bear your name,

let us eat well.

                        Amen      

 
Opening the Scroll

 

Loving Spirit of God,

sometimes I find myself standing with John

raising the question: “Who will open the scroll?”

Yet as I question, the scroll is handed to me

for the opening.

In the opening  there is the finding.

 

In humility and faith I accept.

In reverence and attentiveness I open.

With hunger do I eat, I eat of the word.

To my mouth it is sweet, delicate, and tasty.

To my stomach it is bitter and sour.

 

Yet this scroll, this word, handed to me is from the Source of Life,

from the very hand of God.

In opening the scroll, I find the word,

the word for me, the word for my nourishment,

the word I need. I eat; I devour; I consume.

I live.

            There is self surrender of my will

            to this word. There is the dying to myself

            to this word.

            There is an obedience to this word

            is an abandonment,

a submission total and complete.

            There is a dying and a rising. There is resurrection.

 

Where and when the Scroll, God’s word,

becomes the food for my spirit and the food for the journey,

than I  live.

As nature gives the nutrients necessary

for my living and for my temporal journey,

so the Scroll, the Word,

gives light to my mind,

strength to my will,

energy to my heart,

freedom to my spirit

and love to my whole being

for my spiritual journey.

 

I stand with John accepting the Scroll,

finding the word,

I eat.     

                                                Amen 

 

  

Text  of   Jeremiah 15:16

  

“When I found your words,

I devoured them;

they became my joy

and the happiness of my heart’

because I bore your name.

O Lord, God of host.”

                        New American Bible  

 

  

“When your words came,

I devoured them;

Your word was my delight

and the joy of my heart.;

for I was called by your name,

Yahweh, God of Saboath”

                        Jerusalem Bible

 

 

“Your words  are what sustains me;

they are food

to my hungry soul.

They bring joy to my sorrowing heart

and delight to me.

How proud I am to bear your name, O Lord.

                        The Living Bible

 


Finding the word

 

Most Holy Spirit,

my life is in your hands;

my heart is in your love.

You place in me a need,

a hunger… The appetite rages.

You who set me on a journey

as I move through life.

There are the sufferings and the crosses..

There are the joys and the celebrations.

My soul, my spirit, hungers.

Today the hunger is named.

I long for the Word.

I long for your words to empower me

to keep me moving .

I need just one word at a time,

a word that lifts up my heart

and my spirit in song.

 

On many occasions the word is found,

and I eat of it abundantly.  I feast on a banquet.

I find and devour your word.

 

The word is not the roaring, raging thunder,

nor the crashing, falling rocks…

neither is it the earth quake

shaking the mountains to their foundation.

Your word is the whisper of the cave

heard, found deep within me,

deep in my being.

 

            I find your word:

crumb or feast….

           

            I eat… I feast… I devour

            and there is the living.

            I rise and come down the mountain.

 

            The word heard in the whisper

            is the word found and devoured.

                                                   Amen     

 

 Devoured Word

 

            Loving Spirit of God,

            You continually invite me to

            the Table of the Word.

            It is an invitation

            to eat frequently..

            As the stream  can never run dry,

            neither is your word

            completely consumed  by the eating.

 

            It was You, O Lord, who made your words a banquet,

            words giving life and spirit.

            It was You, O Lord, who gave fruit and fruitfulness to your word.

 

                        He who hears my words

                        and keeps them is my mother

                        and my sister and my brother.

 

            How important is the searching;

            How necessary is the finding;

            How essential is the devouring.

 

                        Should we not search for your word?

                        Should we not devour them when found ?

                                    They are life giving.

            As the tree absorbs the rain

            and takes the nutrients from the soil,

            so does my soul take nourishment from your word.

            There is life and refreshment within.

 

            Loving God,

            as I devour your word

            my faith grows…

            charity blooms…

            and hope soars.

            There is union.

 

            My spirit is refined

            and there is courage and perseverance.

            I can walk the journey of the day.

            Yea, even more,

            your word sustains me;

            I walk into the night.

                       

What a banquet!
                                            Amen  

 

  Sometimes the Word

 

            Sometimes the word

            is like a delicate wine,

            an elegant sip is a delight

            and a pleasure to the  palate.

 

                        Let me find this word.

 

            Sometimes the word

            is like a fresh, ripe peach,

            delicious in taste,

            rich with the ray of the sun.

 

                        Let me find this word.

 

            Sometimes the word

            is like a piece of jerky,

            cold, salty, tough, hard

            demanding.

 

                        Let me find this word.

 

            Sometimes the word

            is like salted peanuts,

            one leads to another, two wants more.

            One is not enough, and a handful is not sufficient.

 

                        Let me find this word.

 

            Sometimes the word

            is like a glass of water,

            refreshing, cooling, life-giving,

            quenching the thirst.

            One is alive.

                      

Let me find this word.

                                                     Amen 

 

 The Word

 

            Loving Spirit of God,

            sometimes my soul is in celebration,

            in music, in song.  There is an excitement.

            From Your providence, Loving  Spirit,

            there comes forth a word,

                        a word filled with spirit and life,

                        with energy and aliveness,

                        with melody and rhythm.

 

                        Perhaps form the Canticle of Love

                        or the Gospel of John

                        or a jewel from a minor prophet.

           

                        It is your word, found,

                        that floods the whole experience

                        with the freshness of the spirit,

                        or the touch of a November chill,

                        that floods

                                    with life and living,

                                    with love and loving.

 

                        In the word, found

                        there is an invitation to eat.

                        It is a banquet

                        and I,

                        I was seated at table

                        by the Master

                        and with the Master

                        and we supper together.

                                                           Amen      

 

Words bring joy

 

Loving God,

your words are amazing.

Some bring great joy to the heart.

They are filled with life…

They ring with excitement.

They touch the heart.

 

As I read your word,

some stand out clearly:

 

“today a Savior is born to us.”

 

“Behold the Lamb of God.”

 

I came that you might have life

and have it to the full.

 

Come to me you who labor

and I will give you rest.

 

This is my Body, eat.

 

This is my Blood shed for you.

 

I have loved you with an everlasting love

therefore I have drawn you to myself.

 

My gift to you is

the gift of love.

 

I will speak to your heart.

 

Although your sins be as scarlet,

they shall be white as snow.

 

He who eats this Bread

will life forever.

 

I call you friends.

 

Watch while I pray.

 

Go and sin no more.

 

I will never abandon you.

 

I will be with you always.

 

I am risen

 

Give me a drink

 

Go into the whole world

 

Come, follow me

 

What can I do for you

 

Behold I stand at the door and knock.

  

I Found

            I found your word,

            in a poem, in a letter…

                        in the song of a bird,

                        in the chatter of a squirrel…

 

                                    In the beauty of an apple,

                                    In the simplicity of a grape…

 

                                                in the power of the storm…

                                                in the gentleness of the dew.

            I found your word

            as a fragment,

            old, without a date.

                        It was a joy to my heart,\  

                        a truth to my mind.

 

                        Your word preserved in nature,

                        accidentally found…

                                    rich in value…

                                    full of life.

 

                                    a word found

                                    and I devoured your word,

                                    It was a banquet.

 

My spirit

            so long in darkness

            knew an enlightening

            that took me to my knees,

                        adoring and believing.

 

            My heart

            once sad

            felt a joy

that took me to song,

            giving thanks.

 

My spirit

had wondered aimlessly amidst the stuff

now took wings

soaring to the heights…

a contemplative silence, the silence of union.

 Amen

 

 

Found

 

Loving Spirit of God,

Your word states:  “When I found your word…”

This statement startles me.

How is it that I found your word?

Have I not known it before?

Have I not had it before?

Has it been complete lost in my life?

 

How is it that I found your word?

Was I looking for it…. searching for it?

Was it an accident that I found it?

            I am sure it was a grace that I found it.

            The finding was your gift to me.

Did I stumble upon it by accident?

The treasure found in a field probably was just accidental.

Is my experience with your word the same?

Loving God,

I wish to reflect upon this experience of “finding your word.”

 

Life is interesting and surprising.

Sometimes I find things when I am not even looking.

Sometimes I find a special something while looking for something else.

 

Loving God,

there are times when I am reading

and your “word” appears. It is startling, shocking.

It makes me notice.  It grabs like a briar in a forest.

Like a clap of thunder or a bolt of lightening

the word is there.

 

There are other times when it is your word

and I ignore it, treat it as any other word…

I walk away, skip over it,  pay no attention.

But immediately there is a pain,

a hunger, an inner disposition that is different.

                                                                                                                       

Loving Spirit of God, give me an eye and an ear for your word.

As the skilled hunter can see

what does not want to be seen…

so I see.

see your word when it appears.

 

Loving Spirit of God,

help me to notice, to see. to find your word.  

                                                  Amen                  

 


 Finding the Word - Nehemiah

 

            Lord Jesus,

            sometimes it seems I am carried into captivity,

            away from my roots, my homeland,

            my values, my temple, even You, My God.

            What a joy to me

            when the word is found…

            as was the Scroll and Nehemiah

            and your chosen people.

 

            What a joy when the word

            is found in the rummage, among the things,

            in the demolished walls of my plans,

            in my ruined temple

 

            What a joy to my soul when the word

            is found and I am called to come,

            to assemble, to join with others

            to listen and to hear the word.

 

            I come and stand,

            perhaps even kneel

            as the word is read,

            from morning to noon, from noon to evening.

 

            So for my soul

            when I return from the secular experience

            or perhaps from a period of sinful mess…

            I return from my captivity

            and find the scroll, the word,

            buried beneath the stuff in my life.

 

            When found,

            I embrace the word with love.

            I open the word with reverence.

            I listen with faith.

            I feast and devour the word.

 

                        Sorrow touches me;

                        I beg pardon.

                        A spirit of conversion enters my heart.

                        There is an awareness of my sin and my sinfulness.

                        I cry out:  “Depart from me, O Lord, for I am a sinful man.”

 

                        However, your word is the word of mercy.

                        There is the Father, running to me,

                        embracing me,

                        clothing me in a robe, placing a ring on my finger,

                        putting sandals on my feet.

 

                        My heart rises in gratitude

                        for the word found and devoured

                        is a banquet.

                                                                      Amen 

 

Search

  

The search was long,

intense.

The hunger was deep,

an agony.

 

The journey was into the night,

the darkness. 

No answer was given.

No explanation.

Only the emptiness, the dryness, the dark.

 

            The darkness came quickly.

            Feelings raged.

            Thoughts whirled, snowflakes in December..

 

            The journey was toward the source.

            If one could only find,

            there would be plenty,

            but there were miles to go.

 

I listened for the word,

but there was only a piercing silence.

I looked for the word

but only the darkness, emptiness.

I searched for the word,

but only the nothingness.

 

            The listening, disposed the heart.

            The looking purified the soul.

            The searching freed the spirit.

 

            God, who prepares the soul for the finding,

            in his owe time,

would  permitted the finding.

            I would search and wait,

            wait for the finding.

                                                 Amen       

 

 

 Search Continues

  

Loving Spirit of God,

there is a spirit within me

that makes me search;

that set me on a journey of adventure.

Sometimes I have misplaced something

and there is a need for it.

All demands a searching, a seeking.

Sometimes there is an emptiness within…

an emptiness that needs care.

I start the journey of searching, of seeking,

hoping to find… always the hope.

The need has to be met,

the desire has to be addressed.

 

Loving Spirit of God,

help me in identifying my need,

to name my hunger,

help me to submit my need to your guidance

and to your grace.

 

When I am hungry, I am vulnerable.

When I am aware of a need that I can not exactly name,

I am is a very delicate attitude, most vulnerable.

There is a danger of succumbing to pleasure, to gratification.

            Guard me! Guide Me!

 

Loving Spirit of God,

You know me and You know my needs.

You know my potentials and my weaknesses.

 

            Guard Me !  Guide Me!

 

When I am searching,

I am vulnerable.

            Protect me from without. Protect me from within.

            Protect me from myself.

            Help me to find what I need.

                                                              Amen   

 

 

Found Word: Liturgy

 

Lord God,

today I came to the Liturgy.

My feelings were twirling, my thoughts tumbling.

My attitude was yucky.

As You know, Lord God, I didn’t feel like being there,

and perhaps I should not have been,

but I was.

I was not in a good mood…

but we won’t go into that, at least, not now…

 

I came to the Liturgy.

The opening music did nothing for me,

except perhaps add some heat to the fire smoldering within me.

The first reading… I guess you could call it a reading…

meant absolutely nothing.

However, Lord, that was not my fault.

The lector was a complete disaster.

If one could murder the word,

a murdering took place today.

It was awful.

 

Loving God, You amaze me.

Dare I say: “You are sneaky at times.”

In the first reading of which I heard not a word,

you got my attention away from me;

You got it “out there.” You got my attention to an other.

 

What a grace You poured into my being.

I stood for the Gospel with an anger adrenaline alertness.

 

I stood with an awareness.

The Gospel astounded me.

Your words amazed me.

You served a banquet.

I ate well.

I gathered a basket of fragments.

                                          Amen  

 

Found Word in Sacred Liturgy


Most Holy and Loving God,

when I found your words,

what a delight.

 

Today I found your words in the Sacred Liturgy.

They were not what I expected,

but indeed what I needed.

Your care and concern for me

is greater than my care and concern for myself.

You know me better that I know myself,

and your caring and concern is in proportion

to your knowledge of me.

 

Today. in the Liturgy, You gave me words

that we beyond the needs I was aware of within myself.

You gave words that flowed from your gracious love for me.

 

The finding was a shock, a surprise.

Once I was moved out of my day dreaming,

my sleepiness, my drossiness

and became attentive, listening,

what a discovery.

I found your words.

 

Your words touched my heart

for they were words that flowed from love.

They inflamed my spirit.

They enamoured my heart.

 

Your word recreated.

I was different and the difference what your work.

I was in a different world, I was with You.

 

It was not so much that I found your words,

but that your words found me.

 

Today I will live

and my living will be that

of giving flesh and blood to the words.

 

It will be an incarnation.

                                              Amen  

 

The Heart

 

Loving God,

when I find your words

and devour them,

taking them deep within my being,

bless me.

 

When your words become

the food of my journey,

sustaining me in life,

giving energy for my tasks,

bless me.

 

May these words,

these inspired word,

these words filled with life,

filled with spirit and fire

soak in like the rains

in the parched earth.

Even here, bless me.

 

May these sacred words

enter deeply into my heart,

the very core and center of my being.

May these words take me

to this inner depth

where I am most alive,

where I am most myself.

May they take me to the inner center

where You, My God, dwells.

 

May they take me to that point

to which only You can take me.

 

May these words not only give happiness to my heart,

but may they give a union with God

that is most sacred,  most holy.

 

Loving Spirit of God,

as I contemplate your words,

I beg that You

“create in me a clean heart”,

a heart worthy of You.

 

Take me to this deepest point of being

that  I adore.

 

Loving God,

only your word takes me to the

truth of your indwelling.

Only your gift of faith

enables me to believe this amazing truth.

 

May the feasting on  your words

increase my faith.

                                         Amen

 

Your Name

 

What a blessing to the soul

to be plunged into the mystery  of Jesus,

to be baptized.

It is a God action

and the seal of the Holy Spirit is impressed

upon the soul.

 

One belongs to God.

 

God has redeemed in the precious blood of Jesus.

God has reconciled; there is peace between God and Creation.

God has restored fallen man to his sublime dignity.

 

One belongs to God.

 

A seal is set;

one bears the name of the Lord,

the God of hosts. 

One is Christian.

 

Loving God, to bear your name

is to be like You,

to reflect your truth,

to manifest your goodness,

to witness hope.

 

All is possible because your words

are taken into our being,

into our hearts and minds.

There is forgiveness and reconciliation,

there is transformation and union.

All are acts of conversion;

all are acts of redemption.


Gracious loving God,

my heart is your dwelling place.

Feed it on your word.

Seal me with your spirit.

Let me bear your name.

                                 Amen 

 


 

FIRST PROFESSION SR. JEANNE MARIE - Homily August 6, 2006

    Come!
    Let us climb this twofold mountain
    of the Transfiguration of Jesus
    and the Religious Profession of Sister Jeanne Marie
    and say: “It is good for us to be here.”


    The Proclamation of the Gospel

    on this  feast of the Transfiguration

                startles the mind….. and thrills the heart.

                It opens Christ’s profound teaching

                and reveals Christ’s amazing love.

                            So does this Religious Profession.

                            It shocks the world…..

                            It excites the heart…

                            It reveals Christ’s amazing love.

 

    In the Gospel

    Christ speaks to us

                about his Passion

                and he is transfigured before us.

 

                He reveals his Sufferings…. the Cross.

                He shows his glory…. the Transfiguration.

   

                            The life style

                            that Sister Jeanne Marie

                            is accepting in this Monastery

                            through her profession

                                        also reveals Christ’s suffering

                                        and shows His glory.

 

    In the gospel

    we find Jesus at one of his greatest moments:

                “Jesus is thinking of the Cross.

                and in this cross  his virginal love for the Father

                and for all mankind will attain its highest expression.

                In the Cross His poverty will reach complete self-emptying…

                In the Cross His obedience will be the self-giving of his life.”

                                                                                    The Consecrated Life p.37

 

    This gospel of the Transfiguration

    is a proper setting

    for this religious profession.

 

    Both are

                a revelation of the Passion

                and a manifestation of the glory of Jesus.

 

    In the Transfiguration,

                            All is mystery.

                            All demands faith.

                            All is a call to love Jesus.

                                        in his Passion and

                                        in his glory.

 

    So in this Religious Profession:

                            All is mystery.

                            All is faith.

                            All is a call to love Jesus

    in the Passion

                                        and in his glory.

                                   

                                                    Oh yes, how good for us to be here

                                                    present in this two-fold mystery:

                                                    The Transfiguration of Jesus

    and the Religious Profession of Sister Jeanne Marie.

    We are on the mountain of mystery,

    lead here by Jesus.

 

    If you asked Sister Jeanne Marie

    what she is doing today in this Profession,

    she would have to say:

                Mystery covers me like the cloud

                and I am making an act of faith….

 

                Personal graces have been abundantly given

    and I am accepting them.

 

                My heart has been touched with love

                and my response to love is to love.

 

                            All is mystery,

                            and no mystery can be explained.

                            It can only be believed and lived.

                            All is a call;

                            a call of the heart,

                            and the call of the heart is the call of love.

 

                                        And who can explain love?

                                        Love can not be explained.

                                                    Love can only be written about in poetry…

                                                    Love can only be expressed in total gift…

                                                    Love can only be accepted and lived.

                                                                Love takes lovers

    into commitment

                                                                for all time and beyond….

                                                                into a silence

                                                                that is contemplative…

                                                                into a gift

                                                                that is total.

                                               

                                                                Love takes one beyond question

                                                                to admiration…..

                                                                beyond giving

                                                                to complete union.

 

                            It is a grace,

                            and grace is an  action of God.

                            No one can explain a grace of God.

                            It can only be accepted and lived.

 

                                        The person who lets her soul

                                        be seized by love

                                        must abandon everything

                                                    to follow…

    to seek…

    to embrace..                         (Mk 1: 16-20)

                                                    to be with the Lover…

    and the Lover is the Divine Lover, Jesus..

 

 

    How fitting a feast for this Religious Profession.

 

                The Jesus who led Peter, James and John

                up the mountain

                is the same Jesus

                            who leads Sister Jeanne Marie to this Monastery…

                            to this sacred moment of mystery

    … to this Religious Profession.

                Jesus will speaks to her

                            about his Passion and His death

    and reveal to her his glory..

                She will know the goodness as well as the suffering

                of being “here”.

                            For her to be “here”

                            is to be caught up in the Passion….

    is to be with the Crucified Christ….

 

                Such is the call to the Mountain.

 
 

    By the grace of God….

    By the choice of love…

    By the consent of this Community..

                today sister Jeanne Marie makes her vows.

                Hers is the sincere promise

                            to live the Paschal Mystery…

                            to embrace the Crucified Christ…

                            to stand at the foot of the Cross in loving attentiveness…

                            to proclaim the Passion of Jesus to the world….

                                        All this by her life style

                                        as a Passionist Nun.

 

                Today Sister chooses

                            to live, detached from all things,

                            and in a spirit of amazing trust

                            hoping  for eternal life….

                                        She will live in radical poverty.

                                        She will reveal a Christ in complete self-emptying….

                                                    giving  us infinite fullness.

                She chooses

                            to live unselfishly

                            and in complete generosity to each and to all.

                                        She will live in consecrated chastity.

                                        She will reveal a Christ in virginal love for the Father…

    giving us Divine Presence.

   

                She chooses

                            to live in total surrender to God’s will,

                            an unconditional yes to the Cross.

                                        She will live in sacrificial obedience.

                                        She will reveal a Christ in obedience that is the giving of his love..

    giving us eternal love..

                                        Her actions are acts of love

                                        and thus beyond comprehension.

 

                                        Her actions are acts of faith

                                        and thus beyond explanation.

 

                                                    Faith can not be explained.

                                                    And love needs no explanation.

 

                                                    Both are God’s gift.

                                                    Both are acts of the heart.

                                                    Both flow from grace.

 

    Yet if one stills calls for  the meaning and the purpose

    of religious life… the life here at this Monastery…

    the Church says:

                The religious life

                offers to a person the exciting opportunity

                to follow Christ………….

                            through sufferings and joys,

                            through darkness and light…

                            through dryness and refreshing waters…

                to follow Christ

                into the fullness of life in the Triune God.

 

                            If  Sister Jeanne Marie’s desire

                            is to follow Christ alone,………… and in such a radical way,

                            who can question her choice?

                            who would dare?

 

                The Religious Life here in this monastery

                offers a person a way of life

                            to be with Christ ,

                            to devote oneself completely to Him…

                            to live with Him… to die with Him…

                            and to rise with him.

 

                            One comes to religious life

                            to live intimately with Jesus,

                            to open one’s heart and one’s conscience to Him…

    to live a sacrificial life as holocaust… an immolated victim of love.

                                                                         Consecrated Life pp.283 ff

 

                One comes into Religious Life

                to live a life style

                            that is an expressive and emphatic way of saying to the world

                            that Jesus Christ is the whole meaning of life….

                            that Jesus is worth it all.

                                                                                    Consecrated Life p. 38

 

                            Sister Jeanne Marie

                            comes to this Monastery

                                        “to stand at the foot of the Cross of Christ

                                        and there more immediately and more profoundly

                                        experience the truth of God

                                        who is love.

 

                                        And her standing is not in vain

                                        for “to the one

                                        standing beneath the Cross

                                        the beauty and the power of God’s love

    is revealed.

Consecrated Life p 38

 
   
Just as one can not stay on the Mountain

    caught up in the glory of the Transfiguration,

                but must come down the Mountain

                and enter into the Passion of Jesus,

 

                Neither can  Sister Jeanne Marie

                stay caught up in this celebration.

                She too must come down the Mountain

                and enter into the living of the Passion of Jesus Christ.

 

                            Let us come down the mountain with her

                            as she enters her religious profession.

 

                                                                            Finis.



BLESSED TRINITY - Homily June 11, 2006


        “O the depth of the riches and the wisdom of God!

        How inscrutable  his judgments,

        How unsearchable  his ways.

 

        For who has known the mind of the Lord?

        Or who has been his counselor?

 

        Who has given Him anything so as to deserve return/ ?

        For from Him and through Him and in Him are all things.

        To him be glory forever.”

                                                Romans  1:33-36

 

                    These words of Saint Paul proclaim the mystery of the Blessed Trinity

                    And we are caught up in the love of a God whom we can not see.

 

                    Today on this feast of the Trinity

                    The church calls us in adoration, praise and honor

                    And we find ourselves saying:

                    “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.”

 

                    To God alone be honor and praise:

                    To God who is Father, praise.

                    To God who is Son. praise.

        To God who is Spirit, praise.

 

        All hail, adored Trinity!

        All praise, eternal Unity.

        O God the Father,  God the Son

        And God the Spirit, ever One.

         

        Blessed be God the Father

        And His Only begotten Son

        And the Holy Spirit

        May our Triune God be praised and glorified..

     

 

        On this feast of the Blessed Trinity

        We find ourselves with Moses

        Who plunges us into the question

                                “Did anything so great ever happen before?

                                “Did a people ever hear  the voice of God

                                speaking from such depth…….from such fire….and live?

                       

 

        Today we answer the question of Moses

        And say:

                  “yes, we have heard the voice of God

                  and we live… we live beyond our greatest expectations,

                  we live in the Blessed Trinity.

  

        The revelation of the Trinity gives meaning to all life.

                  It assures us of eternal communion…

                  It opens to us everlasting joy’

                  It embraces us in infinite love.

 

        Saint Paul the Apostle assures us”

                  The Holy Spirit pours into us the grace of adoption

                  And we become children of God

                  Crying out:  Abba, Father!

                  We become heirs of God and God’s riches,

                  Joint heirs with Christ, His Son

                  Through whose sufferings we enter into the life of this Triune God.

 

        How humbly, yet how profoundly do we proclaim:

        “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

        To this Triune God be honor and praise and glory and worship.”

 

 

++

        We are a people of God, a people of the Blessed Trinity.

                    We are embraced in the love of the Trinity.

                    We share in the life of the Trinity.

                    We partake of the fellowship of the Trinity.

                                It is God the Father who gives life.

                                It is God the Son who shares life.

                                It is God the Holy Spirit who breathes life.

 

        In Baptism we are given life in the Blessed Trinity.

        The sacred waters are poured and the priest proclaims and prays:

                    I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

 

                    What a life we are to live:

                       

        We are to grow in life

                                Because we have God the Son.

 

                                We are to celebrate life

                                Because we have God the Holy Spirit.

 

                                We are to reach fullness of life

                                Because we have God the Father.

 

                                            As the air around us sustains us.

                                            Much more does the life of the Blessed Trinity sustain us..

 

                    In daily living,

                                If we want to step from this  mundane world

                                Into the world of the spirit, the world of God,

                                We do so in the name of the Trinity..

                                Through the Sign of the Cross.

 

                     If we want a fullness in prayer

                                We go to the Trinity in the doxology::

                                            Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

 

                     If we want the greatest in prayer

                                We go to the sacred Liturgy. .

                                            Our going is in the name
                             
of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…

         And we are greeted in the fullness of the Trinity:

                    “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ

                    and the Love of God

                    and the fellowship of the Holy Sprit be yours.”

 

If we want the fullest of worship

        We take the Body and the Blood of the Son

        And  through the power of the Spirit

        We offer infinite sacrifice to the Father.

 

                    We are a people of the Trinity.

                    We believe in Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

 

        We say to the world:

        If you want to know of our noble beginning

        Look to Baptism;  we are plunged into the life of the Trinity.

   

        If you want to know the dignity of our lives

        Look at our life style,

                    We live in communion with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

        If you want to see us at our greatest,

        Come to our liturgy

                    Where we in worship of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

 

        If you want to know our faith at the end of our lives on earth

        Come, stand at the bed side of the dying.

        You will hear:...

                    Go forth O Christian soul

                                In the name of God the Father who created you….

                                In the name of God the Son who redeemed you…..

                                In the name of  God the Holy Spirit who sanctified you.

 

In the first reading today Moses asked his people

        if there was ever a people who had heard truths greater than

        they had heard.

 

        Today we answer Moses: We say “yes”

                  We have heard a greater teaching than they heard.

                  We have heard the revelation …

                            God is Father… God is Son… God is Spirit.

                            God is one God and Three Divine Persons.

 

        We believe!  We adore! 

        We pick up the poetic proclamation of George Herbert:

                  

        Trinity Sunday

 

        Lord, who hast form’d me out of mud,

        And has redeem’d me through thy blood,

        And sanctifi’d me to do good;

 

                  Purge all my sins done heretofore;

                  For I confess my heavy score,

                  And I will strive to sin no more.

 

                            Enrich my heart, mouth, hands in me,

                            With faith, with hope, with charity;

                            That I may run, rise, rest in thee.

 

                                          Amen…………….Msgr. Bernard Powers

 


 

THE ASCENSION OF JESUS - Homily May 28, 2006 

            The graces of the Ascension of Jesus, the Risen Lord,

            Embraces us,

                        Filling our being with faith

                        And our hearts with gratitude and wonder and assurance.

                        Ascension=Jesus Returning to the Father with the

                        Redeemed Creation.     Ascension is the Leading into

                        The Kingdom of Heaven

 

            Jesus, the Son of God,

            Born the Son of Man at Bethlehem,

            Born of the race of Adam, born of the Virgin Mary

            A man like us in all thing but sin

                        Is now seated at the right hand of God the Father

                        In glory, equal….. in honor, equal… in holiness, equal.

 

                        To the Jesus, ascended and seated at the right hand of the Father

                        Be honor and glory…. Be praise and thanksgiving…

                        Be worship and adoration.

 

            Jesus, the Son of Man

            Who walked the hills of Palestine…

            Who knew the agony of thirst….

            And hardships of human living,

                        Now is seated at the right hand of God the Father

                        In praise and honor and glory.

                        We can get to Heaven too.

 

            The suffering and crucified Christ,

            The Man of sorrows, the Man of the Cross

            Who knew death in crucifixion

                        Is now ascended and is seated at the Right Hand of God the Father

                        In honor and glory…. The Lamb once slain is now raised to the right hand

                        Of the Father in blessing and praise and glory.

            Today Jesus leads All Creation before the throne of God

            In worship and praise – in this Feast of Ascension Jesus leads the

            Souls of the Just into the Eternal Kingdom.

 

            Jesus revealed the Father

            And is now at his Right hand in glory.

                        Therefore, we must believe.

 

            Jesus promised the fullness of eternal life

            And is now at the right hand of the Father,

                        Therefore we must hope.

 

            Jesus offered the way of love and union with God

            And is now at the right hand of the Father,

                        Therefore we must love.

 

                                The Ascension of Jesus

                                Is the absolute assurance to the authenticity of Jesus.

                                Truthfulness

                                Goodness

                                WE need this feast and these graces,

 

 

            If you question the value of sufferings in life,

            Look to the Ascension.

 

            If you question the importance of prayer in life.

            Look to the Ascension.

 

            If you question commitment and loyalty to Jesus in life,

            Look to the Ascension.

 

            If you question your Catholic Faith

            Look to the Ascension.

 

                                What does the Ascension prove?

                                It proves that Jesus is right, necessary, loving.

 

 

            Before Jesus ascended

            He called his disciples together and gave them some directions and assignments.

                        ( My dad was something like this.  When he was going to be away from the farm

                        for a few hours or half a day, he would call us together and give us enough work

                        to keep us busy for four days…)

 

            Before Ascending

            Jesus gives his apostles something to do;

                        Go into the whole world…..

                        Proclaim the gospel….

                        Cast out devils….

                        Cure the sick

                        Exercise power in the church….

 

                                Jesus gave these directions to his disciples on the day of Ascension.

                                He gives you the same directions and commands today:

        You are to go into the whole world…Whitesville…Owensboro...
                       …Fordsville….Louisville….Jamaica

                                            You are to proclaim the gospel… whether you like it or not.

                                            You are to cast out devils. By prayer and fasting

                                            You are to cure the sick…. Though love and care and attention

 

                                            Jesus is ascended…..  but He has left you with responsibility.

 

            Jesus ascended into heaven:

                        At the right hand of God the Father.

                        Above principalities, powers, authorities….Choirs and classes of angels…

                        This human nature at the right hand of God.

 

            What does he do:

                        Intercedes for us…

                        Acts as high priest..

                        Leads All to the Heavenly Kingdom…

                        Brings all the blessings of God to us…

 

            I think the prayer of St Paul in the second reading today

            Is also the prayer on the lips of Jesus at the right hand of the Father;

 

            Jesus prays

                        That we have the spirit of wisdom…  and perception

 

                        That we have a full knowledge of God….

 

                        That the eyes of our hearts and minds be enlightened…so we hope

 

                        That we know the power of the Gospel…

 

                        That we know the power that raised Jesus from the dead..

 

=========================================================

 

            This is a great day for us….a great feast we celebrate…. A day of graces..

 

                    We congratulate Jesus.

                    We look to where he is.

                    We have hope to be with him.

                    We raise our minds and our hearts to heaven, to things above.

 

                                    Help us to follow Christ

                                    Into the fullness of eternal life.

    

                                                                            Amen


 

GRACE OF FIDELITY

                For a long time

                        the daily time with God

                        was a joy.

                        I felt He was present.

                        We shared much.

                        All was delightful.

                        My heart felt sorrow

                        when duty called

 

                        For a long time

                        it was that way.

 

            One day time was long,

                        this daily time with God

                        was no longer a joy.

                        I felt abandoned.

                        He shared nothing;

                        He said nothing.

                        My heart felt a joy

                        when duty called.

 

                        For a long time

                        it was that way.

 

            Even though time was long

                        this daily time with God,

                        there was a fidelity.

                        I felt I had lost something

                        but the only way I could find what seemed lost

                        was to go back

                        to where I had found it in the first place.

 

                        I went back to that time,

                        that time set aside for God,

                        time given to God,

                        time dedicated to God.

 

            For a long time

                        that daily time with God

                        was so empty, so silent,

                        even cold .

                        The silence was piercing.

                        The emptiness was draining.

                        The cold was agonizing.

 

 

                        My words bounced off a wall.

                        My heart ached for

                        one word… one touch…

                        one sensible sign…

                        anything.

 

            For a long time I went

                        to the time for God…

                        to the emptiness where once there had been presence…

                        to the experience which now was nothing…

 

                        For a long time I went

                        to this hour of coldness, emptiness.

                        He was gone…

                        No reason why… No good-bye.

                        Just gone.

 

            For a long time

            He was gone.

 

            For a long time

            I went back day after day.

 

            For a long time

            I stayed faithful.

                        If He was going to abandon me,

                        I was not going to abandon Him.

                        What I had found was both love and life.

 

                        I would continue to go…

                        go to my time of prayer

                        even if I didn’t feel like I prayed….

                        go to that place

                        where we had shared much…

                        even made promises.

 

                        I would not stay away

                        even when every fiber of my being

                        except my heart

                        said it was so useless.

 

                         My heart was set.

                        Perhaps that is what love is:

                        a heart set on a Lover

                        and once set

                        would be faithful in loving

                        even if loving meant

                        coming without meeting,

                        searching without finding,

                        being faithful even if the other were not.

 

                        I would be faithful in coming

                        because I had promised

                        even though He may not come.

                        Even if He had not promised

                        I had.

                        I would be faithful to my promise

                        and if per chance

                        one day

                        He did come,

                        I would be there, for I had promised.

 

            Today

            after a long time

                        He came.

                        Awesome!

 

                        I was there.

                        He came.

                        It was as if

                        He had never left, never been gone.

 

            No,

            it wasn’t as if he had left

and  that today He came;

           

            Rather

            it was  that

            today

            I became aware

            that He was there all the time.

 

                        I bowed

                        in gratitude that He had given to me

                        the grace of fidelity.

 

                                                Finis.

 

                                                            Msgr Bernard Powers…

                                                            1/27/2000

 


 

 

Our Lady of Sorrows

 

The Solemnity of the Holy Cross

flows into the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows

as the ocean into a river.

Christ who suffers the crucifixion welcomes

his Mother Mary so deeply into his sufferings

that she is one with Him.

            The ocean and the river become one.

 

            Jesus anoints his Mother Queen of Martyrs

            and people of faith name Our Mother Our Lady of Sorrows.

 

                        What intense suffering: Queen of Martyrs.

                        What mystical sharing:  Our Lady of Sorrows.

 

To celebrate this mystery

of Our Lady of Sorrows

            is to unite ourselves with her

to such a depth

that our hearts are filled with compassion

                        and out spirits are alive in celebration.

 

                        Our whole being knows a prayer

                        that is contemplative.

                        For us to contemplate this mystery

                        is to enter into union

                        with Christ crucified

                        and Our Lady suffering.

                       

                                    Here we drink deeply of the wounds of Jesus

                                    from the wellsprings of salvation.

 

                                    Oh, what union ! Mystical.

                                    Oh, what refreshment! Life giving!

                                                To be in union through suffering

                                                is to be in union with the source of life.

                                                As Paul of the Cross says:

“Lose yourself completely

in the sea of the sufferings of your Spouse.”

                                   

Page 204  The Mysticism of the Passion

 

 

                                    Oh, what a blessing!

                                                To be one with Our Lady of Sorrows

                                                is to one with the Suffering Christ.

                                    Oh, what a journey,

                                    this journey of sorrow and suffering.

                                    It is redemptive.

 

            One of the greatest sorrows  to touch the heart of a young Mother

            is a sorrow that comes

            when the heart is full of joy.

            The Virgin Mother knew this sorrow

            when she took her Son

            to offer Him in the temple.

 

                        Simeon, the man of God,

                        accepted this Incarnate Word from the Virgin Mother

                        and offered Him to God.

                        At the same time

                        Simeon accepted the Divine word form God

                        and gave it to this Virgin Mother:

                                    “ Your own heart a sword shall pierce.”

           

                                    At the moment when the sword pierced her heart

                                    Mary knew a union with her Son

                                    that would reach its climax on Calvary.

                                    Her journey would be His journey,

                                    the journey of suffering and sorrow.

                                   

A similar experience was yours,

O Daughters of the Passion,

on the day of your solemn profession.

when your heart was filled with joy

the Spirit gave you the Passion of Jesus Crucified.

You entered upon the journey of suffering

whose summit would be Calvary

a journey to the  feet of the Crucified.

There you are to stand with Our Lady of Sorrows.

 

                        Oh, Daughters of the Passion,

                        know the grace of your call

                        and the depth of your union;           

                        it is nothing other

                        than the heart of the Crucified Christ

                        with  Our Lady of Sorrows.

 

                                   

                        In the words of Saint Paul of the Cross:

“ I say to you the best and holiest thing is to think

                                    of the most holy passion of  our Lord

                                    and to pray over it, because this is the way to arrive

                                    at union with God…”

                                                                                    page 209

 

            The tender delicate love of a young mother

            finds joyful expression in caring and protecting

            a Baby’s welfare and life. 

            The Baby depends on the mother.

            When danger threatens,

            a maternal heart knows a fear

            that is a suffering.

 

            Such were the sufferings of the Virgin Mother

            when Herod commanded the killing of babies

            and forced the flight into Egypt.

 

                       

                                    Oh what suffering

                                    in leaving a home at Nazareth.

 

                                    Oh what suffering

                                    in making an unmapped journey.

 

                                    Oh what suffering

                                    in journeying into the unknown.

 

                                                You, women of the Passion,

daughters of the Sorrowful Mother,

                                                know a similar suffering.

                                                One can not stay  at the point of comfort

                                                on the spiritual journey.

 

                                                One must suffer

                                                as one is called 

into the unmapped journey of the Spirit.

 

One  must suffer as one leaves

the security of the known

and moves into the unknown.

 

The soul must accept

as did Mary

and make the Journey of suffering,

entering the “Cloud of Unknowing.”

 

Mutual suffering bonds.

In the company of  the Sorrowful Mother

you make the journey of the Spiritual…

a journey beyond the senses.

                                               

One must go beyond the physical presence

and travel the journey of the spiritual presence.

….. A journey of suffering…  suffering the absence.

 

            Mary, our Mother,

            walks before us on the journey

            of suffering the absence of the one loved.

            The suffering journey of faith.

 

                        When Jesus was twelve,

                        a physical separation happened.

                        Mary lost Jesus.

                        Pain, suffering, sorrow

                        filled a Mother’s heart…

a raging wildfire.

.

                        For three days there was a searching,

                        three days of sorrow, suffering, pain.

                        The sword of sorrow pierced

                        her heart and tore at its fibers.

                        “ Son, why have you done this?

                        Your father and I have been seeking you,

                        sorrowing?”

 

                                    Oh, the suffering of a soul

                                    when the Lover hides,

                                    when the Lover seems to abandon…

                                    when the Lover wounds the soul and flees.

 

                                    Such a suffering heart

                                    has the company of Mary,

                                    the Lady of Sorrows.

                                    There is the suffering of absence,

                                    the suffering of searching,

                                    and the suffering of not knowing why.

 

 

                                    “ Why, O Lord, do you abandon me?

                                    Why do You go into hiding.”

 

                                                “Where have You hidden,

                                                Beloved, and left me moaning?

                                                You fled like the stag

                                                after wounding me;

                                                I went out calling You, and You were gone.”

 

                                                                        Spiritual Canticle,  Stanza 1

                                                                        John of the Cross.

 

 

The prophecy of sorrow

poured sufferings into the heart

filled with joy.

The flight into Egypt

            filled a heart

            with the suffering of fears

The three days’ loss of a Son

            filled a loving heart

            with the suffering of absence.

 

                        What more could a Mother take?

                        What more could love ask?

 

                        Yet Mary is the Woman;

                        she must walk not only the journey,

                        but must take each step of the journey.

 

The meeting of her Son

on his way to Calvary

tore at the fibers of her motherhood.

 

            Her son was suffering.

            She could not touch to console;

            She could not bathe to comfort.

            Only in spirit and love

            could she reach toward Him

 

                        On your journey

                        you see others suffering

                        but you can not touch.

                                   

                        You stand at a distance, even though close,

                        and you can neither heal

                        nor stop the suffering.

 

                        What an awesome suffering,

                        yet a suffering that brings forth from the depth of your being

                        supportive love

                        and compassionate presence.

 

+ + + +

 

All time centers around the “hour” of Jesus.

Mary had called Him toward this hour at Cana.

Now Jesus calls her into it,

this hour of his crucifixion and death.

 

            Beneath the Cross stood Mary his Mother,

            her sufferings so intense,

            her union so deep

            that she shared in the immolation of her Son.

 

“The Blessed Mother faithfully persevered

in her union with her Son unto the Cross,

where she stood, in keeping with the divine plan,

enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering, associated herself with his sacrifice in her mother’s heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim

which was born of her.”

                                                The Church # 58

 

                        Woman, this is my hour

                        and your hour.

 

            Mary is present in suffering at the Cross

            because Mary is present in love.

            Saint Paul of the Cross says:

                        “ The passion of Jesus is the most stupendous work

                        of divine love. 

                         It is the infinite sea of love

                        and at the same time an infinite sea of sorrow.

                        Immersion of self in the passion

                        effects twofold suffering  in the passion:

                        the pain of compassion

                        and the pain derived from the awareness of the connection

                        between the Passion of Jesus and Sin.

 

                        Love is permeated with sorrow

                        and sorrow with love.

                        Love and sorrow are blended, mingled with each other.”

 

            Such was the sufferings of Mary, the Mother

            for such was her love.

 

                                    You, O Daughters of the Passion,

                                    know a union with this Crucified Christ

                                    and this Sorrowful Mother.

 

                                    St Paul of the Cross says:

“Just as the passion of Jesus is a sea of love

                                                and of sorrow, allow yourself ‘

                                                when you are entirely penetrates with love

                                                to become a mixture of sorrowing love

                                                and loving sorrow.

 

The Mother of  Jesus stood beneath the Cross

and immersed herself in the sea of love and the sea of sorrow

and she became “ a mixture of sorrowing love and loving sorrow.”

 

                                                                        Page 201

 

                        You, O Daughters of the passion

                        are invited into the sufferings of your Mother.

                        The grace that filled the soul of Paul of the Cross

                        will fills yours.

 

                                                “ In  my own soul there was the mingling of sorrow

                                                and love, with many tears and delight.

 

                        If Paul of the Cross could write:

                        “ the soul, seeing the suffering Jesus,

                        remains in loving and sorrowful contemplation.”   ….. page 200

                        What can our Sorrowful Lady tell you?

 

Love must touch.

Love must embrace.

            They took the body of Jesus from the Cross

            and placed the lifeless body in the arms of his Mother.

            What loving embrace!

            What an embrace of sorrow.!..

           

                        A sorrow

                        that gave love to the heart of Jesus;

                        A love that gave support

                        to the suffering Mother.

 

                        So frequently have each of you

                        knelt before the “Pieta”

                        in loving sorrow and sorrowing love.

 

                                    The heart must embrace suffering.

We are finite beings.

We must have closure

lest the human heart be crushed.

            With death there must be burial.

            Burial too have its sufferings.

 

Mary with the others

placed the body of Jesus

in a tomb, in a borrowed tomb,

and a stone was rolled across the entrance.

 

            Mary the Mother

            must know the suffering of separation in death.

 

            We are finite beings;

            we know sorrow and suffering.

                        We also know that

                        sorrow and suffering

                        give birth to hope.

 

                        We join Our Lady of Sorrows

                        and walk toward the resurrection of Jesus.

 

 

                                                Amen…  Msgr. Bernard Powers

 


 


Paul of the Cross:  Feast Day Homily

 

To celebrate this feast of St Paul of the Cross with you

is to share deeply in your rich heritage.

 

I stand on the fringe;

You are in the center.

 

For me, Paul is a name

and his teachings an instruction.

 

For you, Paul is a Father

and his teachings are a way of life.

 

On this feast of St Paul of the Cross

I call attention to phases of his life

to encourage you

to follow more faithfully...

to live more deeply...

to love more generously...

 

I call to your memory

some of his teachings

to affirm you in your quest for God

and console you in your struggles.

to set before you a depth to be plunged....

                  a heights to be scaled.....

 

Paul always takes you to Jesus:

 

" To make this wonderful flight of love

you must pass through the Door which is Christ."

 

"If you wish to be secure,

enter into that divine solitude by the Door

which is Jesus Christ

and His most holy Passion.....

 

Allow the soul to repose in God

with loving attention,

in the sacred silence of faith and love.

The Holy Spirit will teach you everything."    p. 50

 

Paul takes you to Jesus in the Passion:

"... In the Passion there is everything."

 

Tauler:  " ... if all teachers were dead and buried,

and if all books were burnt,

we would find enough wisdom and discretion

in the example and life of the Lord and Savior,

no matter what the necessity,

if only we observed Him carefully

and earnestly,

how He has gone before us ...

in every kind of most bitter affliction,

cross and sorrow."    pp.53

 


            Paul sets the example:

"In his life Paul hungered for only two things,

Communion and suffering. "

 

" If the soul is faithful in suffering

with patience, meekness, and deep resignation

the trials of body and spirit

that God permits,

accepting them immediately from His divine hands,

it is certain that the Divine Majesty will grant it the grace

to know how to contemplate

and to meditate on the sacred sufferings of Jesus Christ,

and to imitate His divine virtues.

This is a most perfect kind of contemplation."  p. 57

 

Paul had daily attacks of

aridity... suffering.... desolation.

Yet remains aware of the purification of spirit

and loving union with the

suffering Christ.

 

The soul that God wants to draw to a lofty union  with
                                                Himself by holy prayer

must pass through this way of suffering in prayer.....

and I mean

suffering without any sensible consolation..."

p. 59

 

 

One great teaching of St Paul of the Cross

that gives an insight into his spirituality is his

 

MYSTICAL DEATH AND DIVINE NATIVITY.

 

This is a phase of his teaching

that deals with the interior life...

the way of perfection....

the spiritual and contemplative union of the soul with God.

 

His teaching on Mystical death and Divine nativity

contains the doctrine of highest perfection and sanctity.

 

" In deepest humility and centered on your nothingness...

but with a lofty and filial confidence in the Lord,

lose all in the abyss of the infinite love of God...

and be reborn to a new divine life,

a life of total love,

and an all -holy life,

and let the Divine Nativity be in the Divine word,

Christ Our Lord."            p. 23.

 

This most wise teaching of St Paul of the Cross

flowed from the Sacred Scripture:

" The kingdom of God is within"

" You are the temple of the Living god."

 

 

Mystical Death and Divine Birth

is a dedication of one's whole life to God.

 

This great spiritual experience

at a moment called " introversion "..

 

is the act of withdrawal from all

to enter into the fullness of God.

 

It is an interior withdrawal,

" a quickening of faith

which makes the soul plunge into the abyss of the Divinity."

 

Here, death means

the highest grade of abstraction from                                                                             everything created,

 

and birth means

the mysterious new life

which the soul

finds in God,

or receives from Him as if by a

mystical infusion."

 

This Mystical Death

signifies a transition

to a life of pure love;

It enables one to say that the soul is deified:

 

"You must die in Christ

with the mystical death of pure and holy love,

in order that your may rise again with Him to a

new, defied life,

and live a life of holy love,

in the purest love of the great King of hearts

and holy love."

 

This new life

takes place in the very depth of the soul:

 

" May Jesus cause you to be reborn

to a new life of holy love;

 

and if you are faithful...

this spiritual divine birth

will take place

in the interior temple of your Soul,

not only now,

but always....

 

You are the temple of the Living God.

Adore God within."

  

 

In the very depth of your soul;

 

" Immerse yourself in blind faith

in the interior depth of your soul,

at the very summit of the mind,

for there

you will find God;

there you will find peace

and all riches. "

 

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

 

The sacred path into union with God

is meditation on the Passion of Our Lord.

 

Here we learn true wisdom.

 

Here you find joy .

 

Here the Heart comes to rejoicing.

 

            Love is a virtue that takes upon itself

the torments of its beloved Lord.

 

Love is a fire

reaching through to the inmost soul

 

Love transforms the lover

into the one Loved.

 

Love intermingles with grief

and grief with love so that a blending occurs.

 

The loving heart rejoices in its sorrow

and exults in its grieving love.

 

Conceal yourselves in Jesus Crucified

and hope for nothing except

that all men

                                                be thoroughly converted to his will.     

 


 


Mystical Poem of St. Paul of the Cross

                                    

Verse One

        In pure faith’s dim vision only

        Soul enamoured finds true joy

        In the ever-present Being

        Where it cleanses all alloy

 

                Pure faith

“ Still the pinnacle of perfection is to nourish yourself on the divine will

in a spirit of pure faith and love.”

                                                Bialas p.156

 

St Paul of the Cross emphasizes two principles:

“his intense Christ-centeredness and his emphasis on faith and love.”

                                                Bialas p.157

 

“In all things may the divine will be your food; even more, take the gentle,

most holy will of God as you spouse and wed her this moment with the

ring of faith in which are set the other jewels of hope and love.”

                                                Bialas 158

 

“The person , on his own part, must be interiorly opened to God and,

‘in pure faith’ wholly immersed in the sea of Jesus’ passion.”

                                                Bialas 204

 

“When completely immersed in pure love, without images, in a most pure and naked faith , and … the soul in an instant finds itself wholly immersed in the sea of suffering of our Savior.”

                                                Bialas 204

 

“When the founder  begins to speak of these deep interior relationships ,

which may scarcely be described in words, he stresses again and again that the happenings occur in ‘pure faith’ and ‘without images.’…..

All this is done with a simple glance in pure faith.”

                                                Bialas 215

 

“ Paul asks them to enter into ‘the interior solitude’ devoid of all images,

and to ‘plunge into God’ in pure faith and holy love.”

                                                Bialas 183

                Vision:

                        What is your vision of Jesus, crucified… of soul suffering…

                        that which is seen

 

                Soul enamoured

                        to inflame with love.

 

                        “O living flame of love,

                        that tenderly wounds the soul.”   
                                    John of the Cross: Living Flame of Love

 

                        “ the soul feels that it is all inflamed in the divine union…

                        it is the fire of the Holy Spirit.:

                                       John of the Cross   ,,,p579

 

                        Jeremiah  23:29 “Is not my word like fire, says the Lord;

                        like a hammer shattering the rocks?”

                        The soul is filled with a burning love…

 

                        The soul passionately in love… the soul loving with fire..

 

                        A fire in the soul

 

                Joy a disposition of the soul … an excitement.

                        Joy is a gift of Jesus to the soul

 

                        Mother Teresa’s reflection on joy 

 

                        “Surely the loving person continuously experiences a kind of joy, too,

                        when he abandons itself to the beloved,

                        when he is lost in another,.

                        Nevertheless, this love is necessarily painful ever if it is experienced as a joyful

                        pain.”

                                            Bialas  p. 202

 

            “ In fact Saint Paul was so convinced of God’s goodness that suffering effected in   him a ‘kind of joy’ and he ‘embraced them’ because he knew they represented the will of God.”

                                Bialas 159-160

 

            What brings joy to your soul…  your spirit… into your life….

 

            See references to joy in

                                Spirituality  page 93—94

 

            “ In a practical way he met the call to contemplation by plunging the soul into a  continual loving memory of the Passion, and stripped it of every accessory element of taste for prayer, concentrating its attention on the ‘Joy of joys,’ the supremely lovable God in His sorrowful humiliations.“

                               Spirituality  73

 

                 Ever-present Being

                    Never without God…..

                         Present in darkness, in  suffering, in striving.. in the situations and things of life.

 

                        In the uncontrolled things in our life.   ( Bialas p. 154)

 

                Cleanses

                        “This spirit and life is perceived by souls who have ears to hear it,

                        those souls, as I say, that are cleansed and enamoured>”

                                               Living Flame…page 581

 

                        “Before the divine fire is introduced into and united to the substance of the soul

                        through a person’s perfect and complete  purgation and purity, its flame,

                        which is the Holy Spirit, wounds it by destroying and consuming

                        the imperfections and its bad habits. And this is the work of the Holy Spirit

                        in which He disposes it for the divine union and transformation in God

                        through love.”

                                              Living Flame of Love… page 586

 

                Alloy

                        Impurity         Psalm 12 speaks of alloy…”The words of the Lord are without alloy.”

 

                        Lent calls us to purification… to cleansing…

 

                        Cleansed of all that is not God… from all that is in the way of authenticity..

 

                        Cleansing from all that is false.

 

 

                    
Verse Two 

        Burning sweetly in that furnace

        Held by hope above earth’s plane,

        Humbled in His holy presence

        Sweet abandonment she claims

 

                Burning  is a purification.  No growth takes place in prayer or spiritual development

                        without some kind of purification from faults.

 

                        There are illusions within…  improper desires…  complaining to God when

                        trials strike…

 

                        Purification is a necessity. 
 

                        Dryness… aridity…  emptiness is a form of burning…

 

                        Any seeking of self or thing calls for the burning…

 

            Any thing-seeking is an obstacle to transforming union with God, thus the burning.

 

            There must be this burning in the senses  and in the spirit.

            We do some and God does some purifying.

 

            The dark nights are the burning and the purification

 

                                    Cf. Fire Within  of Dubay, pp 159-160

 

            “O living flame of love

            that tenderly wounds my soul

            in its deepest center! Since

            now you are not oppressive,

            not consummate if it be Your will:

            tear through the veil of this sweet encounter!”

 

                                    The Living Frame of Love… John of the Cross

 

                Furnace is a trial….  the living of the vocation….  the Cross of Jesus…

            caught up in a mystery…. a sickness or suffering…

 

            an inner conflict with God where there is submission to God

 

            God’s pure love………..  The Action of the Holy Spirit

 

            The Living Flame of Love of John of the Cross speaks of burning and fire.

                         “The lamps of fire are living waters of the spirit”
                                                        John of the Cross  page 613

 

                        Deut 4:24  “Our God is a consuming fire.”

 

            “Empty prayer is valuable, indeed indispensable, because in it and by it many imperfections  are burned away: impatience, worldly inclinations, vanities, laxness.”

                                              Fire Within…Thomas Dubay,  page 22

  

                Hope has to do with trust…. with vow of poverty… with submission to God.

 

                        Has to do with setting the heart on things above… on God…

                                   

                        Hope has to do with the faculty of the imagination.

 

                        Hope flows from the power of God and the goodness of God…promises of God.

 

                Humility

                         “In this vast sea of the most holy passion, fish for the pearls of all the virtues of Jesus Christ.  The divine fishing trip in the vast sea of the sorrows of the Son of  God is made, however, without leaving solitude or interior silence.

                        Jesus will teach you everything, if you remain humble and dead to all”

                                                Paul of the Cross……………….. Bialas    p. 207

 

                        “First he wrote of the necessary humility one must have before God

                        and of entering into one’s own nothingness, a nothingness that must then become lost in the ‘all’ of God who is love.

                                                   Bialas    208

 

                        “ The tereseian triad of indispensables:  love of neighbor, detachment from all that is not God and a genuine humility.”

                                                  Dubay…. page 117

 

                        Saint Teresa: “ The foundation of this whole edifice, as I have said, is humility.”

                                                  Dubay  p.117

 

                        Humility is honesty.

 

                        Humility is knowing who you are in the presence of God.

                        A created being…  a finite being… one totally dependent…. 

 

                        “ A deeper humility and abnegation will be the most certain means disposing the soul for mystical grace.”

                                                 Spirituality  …78

 

                        Humility is allowing God to act in the soul.  It is admitting the need of God thus allowing God to prepare the soul for the graces that God wishes to give.

 

                 Holy Presence:

                        Indwelling….  God abiding within

 

                Abandonment

                         “I feel that you are despoiled of every consolation, and I thank God for it, because now you will be more conformed to the Divine Spouse who was deprived             of every consolation which he remained dying  on the Cross.  But in such                 abandonment, He made a great sacrifice, and perfected it with the final words                 which He spoke; and these were: ‘ Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.’”

                                              Spirituality:  Page 89

 

“Purity of intention is easily discernible, and in prayer it is enough simply to say, “Father.” The full grace of abandonment and of the blessedness of the Passion

floods the soul of faith, and love, keeping it in serenity and peace.”

                                              Spirituality  page 89

 

“ In such a state you must remain in prayer in prefect nakedness and poverty of spirit, with the superior part of the soul attentive to God… in peaceful silence, without interior or exterior complaint, except I be an infant’s cry . as for example, ‘O my Father, Eternal Father, thus it is, whatever is pleasing to you is also pleasing to me…’ And having said this with Jesus Christ, breathe and die in Christ the mystical death of holy and pure love.”

                                             Spirituality p.90

 

“ Oh, blessed is the soul that remains crucified with Jesus Christ, without relishing o seeing Him, because it is deprived of every sensible consolation!

Oh, fortunate that soul which, in such abandonment of every consolation within and without , feeds itself on the divine will, bows its head and says with Jesus:

“Father into your hands I commend my spirit,’ and dies mystically to all that is not God, in order to live the divine life in God in the very bosom of the Heavenly Father, entirely clothed with Jesus Christ Crucified, that is, entirely united to His sufferings, which the Loving soul makes its own through the union of charity with the Highest Good.”

                                             Spirituality 90

                                             Introduction To the Spirituality of Saint Paul of the Cross

                                                            Constante Brovetto  

                                                See Section III:  Abandonment to the Father and

                                                Full Mystical Death…….. page 84 ff

 

“The Lord will teach the soul what  ‘ to be surrendered to Him’ means.

                                            Spirituality  page 85

  

“St. Paul of the Cross, once he is certain that fidelity in the exercise of virtue is not lessened, encourages and teaches the soul how to apply itself to the prayer of introversion, which is enriched with greater light, by revealing  a new degree of configuration to Jesus Crucified:  abandonment in the hands of the Father.”

                                             Spirituality  page 86

 

“Abandon your spirit, then, into the hands of God, and they you will see the marvels of love His Divine Majesty will work in it.”

                                            Spirituality  86

 

“ Abandon yourself in the deep sea of divine Love, entering through the door of the most pure Heart of Jesus, in pure faith, without images.  Hide yourself totally in that great Holy of Holies, and there lose yourself completely in the bottomless sea of the infinite love of God.  Rise to the contemplation of the divine wonders, beauties and riches of the Highest Good;  Take pleasure in Him, melt into the great fire like a small piece of wax; put yourself upon the bundle of spices which are the sufferings of Jesus, and there burn everything, reduce the whole holocaustal victim to ashes.”

                                            Spirituality  97

 

“The greatest perfection of a soul consists in a true abandonment of one’s entire self into the hands of the greatest Good.  This abandonment embraces a perfect resignation to the divine will is all the events which befall it.”

                     ( The phrase in all events is understood to mean those occurrences

                                    that are beyond the control of an individual.”

                                            Bialas 154

 

“Great perfection is found in resigning yourself in all things to the divine will:

an even greater perfection is to live abandoned with complete indifference to the divine good pleasure. Still, the pinnacle of perfection is to nourish yourself on the divine will in the spirit of pure faith and love. “

                                            Bialas  p156

 

Paul of the Cross states three different degrees  of fulfilling God’s will:

resignation to the divine will………

living abandoned to the divine good pleasure…..

to have as food the divine will  in a pure spirit of faith and love.”

                                           Bialas  156-157

 

 “Oh, what a noble exercise it is indeed to annihilate one’s self before God in pure faith without images, so that this nothingness of ours may be cast into that ‘all’

that is God and thus be lost in that immense sea of never ending love…”

                                           Bialas  167-168

 

“ In a life that is properly mystical, the soul is already conformed to the Passion of Christ by the complete offering of its own spiritual riches in order to attain true poverty of spirit and by  the complete abandonment of itself to the Cross in order that it can  quietly  repose in the bosom off the Father…..

 

The passion is to be imposed upon the soul as a divine seal  thus it becomes a personal

vocation…

                                          Spirituality  page 93

 

                 
 
Verse Three

        As her ever-blessed portion

        There, reposing in His love,

        Heart and life and all she offers,

        Brave detachment as a dove

 

                Portion

                        That which God wishes to give

                        A sharing in something

                        One’s part  of something

                        a dowry

                        a share received by a gift or inheritance

 

                        What God has given……. a share in the Passion

                                           a love fore Jesus Crucified

                                            a vocation….

                                            a desire for God…

 

                        Your portion:  To live in the Crucified Christ

                                    to live in the mystery of the Passion of Jesus

 

                Reposing

                         “In holy interior solitude… the soul, reposing in sinu Dei,

                        loses sight of the temporal and immerses itself in the eternal infinite Good

            which it adores in spirit and in truth, and all its duties thus become permeated with holy love.”

                             Spirituality  page 48

 

            “ The ultimate goals of St Paul of the Cross’ spiritual doctrine were

            ‘ rest in the bosom of the heavenly Father

            immersed in the infinite ocean of Divinity

            in union with God through he mystery of the Crucified Christ.

                             Bialas  p.213

 

            “ There is only one way, only one door  through which the soul can attain

            ‘to God.’ 

This way is Jesus, better said, Christus patiens and crucifixus.”

                             Bialas p2215

 

 “God rests in you and: God penetrates your whole being and you are entirely in God , and you are completely transformed in his love.>.”

                            Spirituality  99

 

         Detachment

                “ For you are dead and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

                Consequently, being dead to everything with is not God,

                keep yourself in deepest detachment  from created thing,

                in true poverty and nakedness of spirit with the greatest detachment from every sensible consolation in which our spoiled nature gets too entangled and becomes a robber of the gifts of God, a thing that is very dangerous and pernicious.”

                          Spirituality  p.79

 

                “The first mystical death, effected by total detachment

                from all creatures, has certain dispositions.:

 

                ‘Prayer must be made in a mode that is not our own,

                but that of the Holy Spirit  who is the true Sovereign Master.’

 

                Dispositions for this prayer are:

                            Total detachment

                            Complete nakedness of spirit

                            self-possession and unity of the interior man.

 

                Enter into this divine solitude through the door that is  Jesus Christ,

                and his most holy Passion, but without images, in pure faith…

 

                The Holy Spirit will teach your everything…”

                                     Spirituality  84

 

                “This total detachment from every created thing already merits the             name of mystical death.”

                                     Spirituality  74

                                   

 

                    
Verse Four
        Whole, entire upon the altar

       To the Spouse herself she gives,

        Lost within that Sea unbounded

        She finds rest and for Him lives.

 

                 

                      Sea

                        “Is it nothing to you , all you who pass by ?

                        Stop and see, if there is any sorrow like my sorrow.”

           Lamentations 1:12

 

                        “For great as the sea is your sorrow.”

                                                Lamentations  2:13

 

                        Saint Paul of the Cross used the symbol of 'the sea' many times.

                        It signifies charity, God’s love for us, the Passion of Jesus, the new Red Sea,…”

                                                Jude Mead  Source Book    page 180

 

                       “I thank the Divine Mercy that He never withdraws the memory of the        sufferings of the heavenly Spouse from your spirit.  I wish that you would be entirely filled with the love by which He has suffered.

                        The short road  is to become entirely lost in the sea of his sufferings, for,    as the prophet says, the Passion of Jesus is a sea of love and of sorrow.”

 

                        “Ah, daughter, this is a great secret known only to the humble of heart.  In this great sea the soul fishes for the pearls of virtues and makes its own the sufferings of its Beloved.

                        I have great confidence that the Spouse will teach you this divine fishing, and you will be taught by staying in interior solitude, removing all images, far from every earthly affection, inattentive to every created thing in pure faith and holy love.“

                                                    Spirituality  77

 

                        “… While the loving soul is swimming in this sea ( of God’s love)

it will be penetrated from within and without  by infinite love and completely united with and transformed  in Jesus Christ,; more than that, by love the soul becomes one with Jesus Christ.”

                                                    Bialas   … p 168

 

                        St Paul uses the image of sea referring to God  ( Bialas p. 199)

 

                        “Sea of infinite charity” 

                        “the sea of the most holy Passion of Jesus Christ.  and these two seas become one for both are filled with the same water which is love.

 

                        There is the admonition of St Paul to the soul to “fish in the sea of love.”

 

                        “Besides, I want you to go fishing sometimes.  How?  I will tell you,

                        The most holy passion of Jesus is a sea of sorrow but at the same time a sea of love.

                        Pray to God that He teach you to fish in this sea. then dive into its depths.

                        No matter how deep you go, you will never reach the bottom.

                        Allow yourself to be penetrated completely by sorrow and love.  In this       way you will thoroughly appropriate the passion of Christ and make his sufferings your own.

Fish for the pearls of the virtues of Jesus.  The divine fishing is done without words.; faith and love will teach you this.”

                                       Bialas    p.200

 

                        “Even more, lose yourself completely in the sea of the sufferings

                           of your Spouse.”

                                    Bialas  p 204

 

                        “ participate in the virtues of the suffering of Jesus.. thus to fish in the sea of the passion of Jesus.

                                    Bialas  p. 205

 

                        “And if , in such solitude. you are reborn o a new deiform life, that is, to a   holy life, the Divine Spouse will lead you to fish in the sea of his most holy passion:

fish there, my daughter, allowing yourself to be wholly penetrated by love and sorrow and make your own the pains of Jesus.”

                                    Bialas  p 208

 

                        “ … immersion of the soul in the sea of his most holy passion which is the greatest and most astounding work of divine love.”

                                     Bialas  214-215

 

                        “Stay alone in your solitude , despoiled of all created things (let) your nothingness be cast by the gentle breeze of the Holy Spirit into the immense sea of the most holy life, passion and death of our Jesus.”

                                    Bialas  215

 

                        “ … the best way to arrive at greater union with God is meditative self-immersion in the sea of the passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.”

                                     Bialas  216

 

                        “… the great sea of the pains of Jesus and of the sorrows of the most holy Mary…”

                                     Bialas   216

 

                Spouse

                        “The soul remains thus , languishing with a deep delight mingled

                        with tears and with the sufferings of her Spouse

                        infused into her.”

                                      Bialas  p. 230

 

                        “Oh a thousand times  fortunate is the soul , if, espoused to God’s will,

            she cherishes this Sovereign Spouse in naked suffering within and without”

                                      Mother Mary of the Crucified…. p 10

 

                        “As brides of the Crucified, their most profound longing

            is to “know Christ and the power flowing from his resurrection…”

                                      Rule  page 58

 

                        Consecrated as Brides of the Crucified through holy vows..

                                       Mother Mary of the Crucified… p 47

                                   

                       “Even more, lose yourself completely in the sea of sufferings of your     Spouse.”

                                       Bialas … 204

 

                        “And if in such solitude you are reborn to a new deiform life, that is,

            to a holy life, the Divine Spouse will lead you to fish in the sea of his most holy

            Passion ;  fish there, my daughter, allowing yourself to be wholly penetrated

            by love and sorrow and make your own the pains of Jesus.”

                                       Bialas     208

 

                Holocaust

                        “Prayer then should be continual, day and night, walking and standing, working and resting, etc.  Such prayer is made in the deepest part of the sacred interior desert, in deepest solitude, in loving interior repose in God, totally absorbed  and lost in that sea of Infinite Charity.  You should never abandon  the holocaustal  sacrifice of  your whole being to the Supreme and Infinite Good.

                        Such a sacrifice is to be made in the fire of Divine Charity…”

                                     Letters to Mother Mary Crucified  p.12-13      

 

                Rest:

                        She finds rest in the Sea Unbounded,

                        the sea of his Passion;  There suffering with Him she finds a rest

                        that flows from sharing and from unity and from compassionate contemplation

                        …Just being with the Crucified.

 

                She lives in Him:

                        Christ is her life……..her conversation…… her breathing…. her love…      her all.

 

                        He is in those she serves… His will  is in the superior… His call is in the needs of the  community…

 

                       Hers is to come

                        when He calls and where there is no call,

                        hers is to listen and wait,

                        to be in readiness, to be humble.. as the eyes of the handmaid are on the eyes of her master…

 

                To the Spouse she gives herself;

                        Her gift is the gift of her body

                        that she suffer with him and the body becomes a sacrifice..

 

                        Her gift is the gift of the heart

                        which is only to love Him..

                        She is handmaid, she is spouse.  she is lover.

 

                        She gives herself in surrender to be purified,,, transformed.

                        She gives herself in attentive presence, in longing for him..

           

           
                            

Verse Five

        O, that in this fire so holy,

        I, by Love, might be consumed,                         ( Great verse; Action of Love on

        And by this be changed entirely                                      on the Soul)        

        To Christ’s Passion be transformed.

 

                Fire

                     “Abandon yourself in the deep sea of divine love, entering through  the door of the most pure Heart of Jesus, in pure faith, without  images.  Hide yourself totally in that great Holy of Holies, and there lose yourself completely in the bottomless sea of the infinite love of God. 

                    Rise to the contemplation of the divine wonders, beauties and riches of the     Highest Good; take pleasure in Him.

                    Melt into the great fire like a small piece of wax;

                    put yourself upon the bundle of spices which are the sufferings of Jesus

                    and there burn everything,

                    reduce the whole holocaust victim to ashes.”

                                     Spirituality  97

 

                    “I desire that your heart will be more and more consumed as a holocaust to   the Supreme Good in that Holy of Holies, the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus,

letting the ashes of the holocaust fall into the infinite sea of God’s love… Your sufferings  are compassionated in the Heart of Jesus, and the soul is bathed in His Blood which ahs the power of setting one on fire with love.”

                                     Spirituality  99

 

                    “Hence these wounds are flames of tender touches;

                    arising from the fire of love, which is not idle,

                    they suddenly touch the soul.

                    These, it says, occur inwardly and wound the soul in its deepest center.”

                                     Living Frame of Love  … 582  ( John of the Cross)

 

                    “When He wills to touch somewhat vehemently

                     the soul’s burning reaches such a high degree of love that it seems to             surpass that of all the fires of the world.

                    For He is an infinite fire of love.”

                                     Living Flame of Love   p.596

                                     See Living Frame of Love,  stanza 2

 

                     “I want you to make your prayer twenty four hours a day.

                     What do I mean by this”  That you always remain within yourself,

                    totally annihilated in God, giving the soul freedom to make flights of the         spirit as the loving breath of the Holy Spirit moves it…

                    Fly in spirit to the beautiful Heart of Jesus and place yourself there as a         victim on the divine Altar on which the fire of holy love is always burning.

 

                    Let yourself be penetrated with those sacred flames to the very marrow of your bones; let yourself be completely consumed.”

                                   Spirituality  p 103-104

 

                Be consumed:

                    to be taken totally into the Lover;

                    to become completely one.

 

                Be changed entirely

                    in ways of praying

                    in ways of loving

                    in ways of thinking

                    in degrees of believing

 

                Be changed by the Lover.. so that one is made more pleasing.

 

                Be changed and become new… a new creation

                   from sinner to saint… from isolation to union… reconciled…

 

                Be transformed to Christ’s passion  and victimhood..

 

                Fire

                    Fire is the love of Jesus

 

                    the mystery of the cross and suffering is a fire…

                                 Idea of  “O”…. Look to John of the Cross

 

Verbs are passive, thus action on the Soul by Burning Love.: Consumes, changes,

transforms.

                   In Holy Communion we consume the Body and Blood,

                   yet we are consumed by Jesus and become one with Him.

 

Changes in Attitude… thinking… conversion…

 

Transformed:  (Look to John of the Cross for further information.)

 

                Fire of Sacrifice:

                    Fire from heaven in Old Testament that came from heaven and consumed      the sacrifice or offering and made it a holy offering to God.

           

                    Isaias is cleansed with the burning  ember…

 

                    Pentecost is Fire………………..  Exodus is Pillar of Fire.

 

                    Sacred Fire in the Temple kept burning…

 

                    Ezekiel and the False Prophets and their altar was consumed even by              Ezekiel ‘s God.

 

                    Five great verses…..  God acts on the Soul..

 

            “Maya the Love that is Holy Fire

                    consume me and change me and transform me

                    into the Passion.”

 

               Prayer:  “Change me as I need to be changed.”

 

              Consume:  to take into and make one with self… Participate in …

  

These verses speak of God ‘s action on the Soul..

 

The Passion is a Loving Action of Suffering  

 

            Transformation:

                    John of the Cross:  Spiritual canticle:  497—498—512—547—548

                             Living Frame of Love 589--- 638—641--642

 


                            
Verse Six

        Ah, that His most sacred suffering

        Could be always in my heart!

        Ah, could I be ever praying,

        Burning love my only part.

 

                Ah     WOW!

                    Sometimes the meditations of St Paul of the Cross end with the

                    expressive “ Ah…” which paves the way for contemplation, for memory,

                    for inquiry.  And this is the next step when the soul endeavors to eliminate

                    from its own life every imperfection and attachment to the world.”

                                      Spirituality   73

 

                    Exclamations are used to express dispositions in the heart that the heart

                    does not seem to have words for.

                                      John of the Cross:  The Living Flame of Love   p.597

 

                a great desire:

                        that the sacred suffering be always in my heart..

 

                a great request , petition:

                        that the sacred suffering be always in my heart

                        by memory,   by fruits.. by participation… by union..

 

                a request that

                the suffering be always in my heart

                        in remembering  through the vow devoted to the Passion…,

                        transforming and uniting…

                        be in the will

 

                        Desire for Passion be in the heart and from there pulsating

                        through one’s whole being as one’s own blood.

 

                Sacred Suffering

                        sacred because he is God

                        sacred because God is in them

                        Sacred because they take to God.  and they are filled with God.

 

                Would that I be ever praying :

                        O how the soul longs for communion with God…

  

                        There is the desire to be in communion with God

                        by having the sacred sufferings in one;s heart.

 

                        Oh, the value of remembering the passion..

 

                    “Suffering is the means of her penetrating further, deep into the thicket of the delectable wisdom of God. The purest suffering brings with it the purest and the most

intimate knowing, and consequently the purest and highest joy, because it is a knowing from further within.  Not being content with jut any kind of suffering, she insists:

“And further ,deep into the thicket, that is , even to the agony of death in order to see God.”

 

                     “The gate entering into these riches of His wisdom is the Cross, which is narrow, and few desire to enter by it, but many desire the delights obtained from it.”

                               John of the Cross  The Spiritual Canticle  page 549

 

                Burning love

                    The soul desires to pray

                    by burning with love..

                    “Would that my heart was

                     filled with a burning love.”

                Paul of the Cross speaks of burning love:

                        Love of the Passion..

                        Love as a raging fire…consuming

                              yet bringing to new life as it burns.

 

                        New growth in Yellowstone Park..

 

                        Oh, if one could pray the prayer of burning love,

                        a prayer which is awareness of the sacred suffering.

                        Oh, to pray as Paul of the Cross.

                        May he help me to pray

                        the sacred suffering.  Help me to give my heart in the gift of burning love.

 

                What is in my heart

                        that keeps the sufferings of Jesus out?

 

            My own desires………………  my own wants………  my own needs,

                        my own will

             Pride……….selfishness……….Indifference……….materialism…possessiveness…..              

            Not caring  ..not thinking like Jesus…

 

            Dispositions that nourish my ego…

 

            My need to prove my point…. to show I am right…

 

Amazing Truth:  Christ’s sufferings can always be in my heart.

 

            Christ’s Sufferings are :  Love,

                           generosity… honor to the Father,   love for Mary… forgivness

 

            Dispositions from the Cross

                           Therefore I know how to live and how to die

                            if I have the passion of Jesus in my heart…

                           Therefore,  Listen to the words of the Passion in my heart…

 

            Ask Jesus to help !

  

References from Living Wisdom Every Day   by Kelley

            Preparation for prayer…. p 39

            Prayer during sickness… 32

            Be Practical at prayer… 182

            When prayer does not satisfy…. 165

            Praying always… 145

            Unconscious Prayer…  139

            Yield to the Spirit in prayer…  135

            Let Spirit vary your prayer… 121

            Swim in the Passion… 99

            Prayer when busy…  96

            Constant prayer….  94

            Letting Go of the Past….  25

            Lose self in prayer….  65




                          
       
Verse Seven
        Gaze upon your Savior Jesus

        Love’s sweet victim crucified,

        Lovingly He pleads for comfort,

        for you love He sweetly died.

 

                Gaze

                     “In the first mystical death, the gifts were separated from the Giver

                      in the contemplative gaze.”

                                      Spirituality  90

 

                     St. Paul  speaks of a special grace and the understanding of this grace

                     brings the soul “ in God with such a loving and sorrowing gaze.”

                                      Spirituality  p 59

 

                “Jesus Christ will teach you how to pray.

                    Put yourself at his feet like a poor, wounded beggar… and say to Him

                    with reverence and humility, ‘ Dear Jesus, teach me how to pray.’

                    Then approach His most holy wounds  with faith and holy love, and with          simplicity this about his most holy Passion, gently without forcing the mind.  Jesus will teach it to you.”

                                      Spirituality  72

 

                    “Go before the Crucified more to listen than to speak.”

                                      Spirituality 72

 

                    “… the God who abides in the depth of one’s heart revealing Himself to

                    the gaze of faith with  His divine crucified face.”

                                      Spirituality   73

 

                    “… the gaze of the soul is still fixed on Christ Crucified in order to  share in   His inexpressible sorrow. We find again, it is true, the sorrowful cry: ‘ My God, My God, who has You forsaken me?’

                    But the gaze of the soul lifting itself to the Crucified no longer brings it gaze back to itself….”

                                   Spirituality 88

 

                    “Consequently the gaze of the church is constantly turned to her Lord, present in the sacrament of the Altar, in which she discovers the full manifestation of his boundless love.”

                                   Encyclical on Eucharist   Pope John Paul II  # 1

 

 To gaze upon the Savior… the Victim… the Crucified Victim…

                 To gaze

                    is to be so attentively present that there is a staying,

                    a searching, a looking, a hungering…

                 to gaze

                    is to be drawn into the reality before you,

                    to enter into it and become a part of it.

                    to drink of its life and beauty and goodness..

                    to become so present that one is moved by it..

                 to gaze

                    is to come alive to our Savior

                    where we hear his pleading, his pleading for comfort…

                    his pleading for my love, my attention, 

                    even my begging for mercy…

                    yes, even his  pleading for my sins…

                           Encyclical of on Redeemer #

 

                   “As is evident, this is also a right on Christ’s part with regards to every

                   human being redeemed by Hi: His right to meet each one of us  in that key

                   moment in the soul’s life  constituted by the moment of conversion and

                   forgiveness.”  

                             Ency # 20.6  

 

                   Jesus pleads for comfort:

                        We  bring sins and he forgives..

                        and in the forgiving there is joy in the heart of Jesus

                        because we are filled with love and redeemed… and made holy.

  

                Victim

                       “… fish intently for pearls and all other precious stones, since they are the virtues of the divine Crucified Bridegroom, in order to adorn yourself well for the purpose of being always a victim sacrificed in the holocaust of the fire of holy love.”

                            Bialas  p.206

 

                       “the cross of Jesus is a complete surrender of the will to God.

                        or better still of total transformation in the divine good pleasure.”

                             Bialas 207

 

 


                             
                    

Verse Eight

        “Have you understood My pleading,

         Have you learned the lesson well!

         Look upon your Jesus dying,

         Live in Me, My Heart your cell.”

 

            This verse is the prayer of the Crucified Jesus

            to the soul .

                     “Jesus, Crucified, I humbly pray for the grace to understand your pleading.

                        You are pleading that I understand the lesson of the Cross.

 

                      Holy Spirit of God, help me to understand the pleading of Jesus

                        as He prays that I look upon Him dying.  Let me enter this crucified Jesus

                        and live in Him.

 

               Have you heard my pleading:

                      Piercing question..

 

               I have some answers:
                     
You plead for my love… my sins.. my loyalty..

                       my presence… my praise.. my commitment..

 

                     There is silence needed at the foot of the Cross

                        even to hear the pleading…/// the  gazing is needed.

 

                    Jesus pleads: “Give me your heart, your love.  Come to me with your heart.

                                    Give me your sins.”

 

                    Jesus pleads for

                        compassionate presence… contemplative presence… sacrificial presence,

                        unitive presence… conversion, atonement, love.

 

 Have you learned well

 

            No, not too well….

 

            Sometimes I don’t know the lesson…

            Sometimes I don’t know what I should learn..

 

            Learn well the lesson:

                    of obedience..

                    of love for the Father

                    of the evil of sin

                    of the meaning of suffering

 

           Learn well the lesson of the Passion:

                    Sit before the Cross

                    Gaze upon the crucified Lord,,

                    Ask for the grace to believe..

                    Live the life of the Passionist..

 

           Daily meditate on the Passion

                   “It’s true that the memory of the most holy passion of Jesus Christ

                    with the imitation of his holy virtues never be left aside,

                    even if you have a great degree of recollection and the highest gift

                    of prayer, since it is the door through which the soul enters and is

                    led to intimate union with God, to interior recollection,

                    and to the most sublime contemplation.”

                                Bialas  210

 

          Paul of the Cross asked of his followers daily meditation on the Passion………        
                                Bialas 211

 

          Self-giving………  total trust of the Father,,, union with the Crucified..  see the complete Paschal mystery…  total love…   evil of sin… depth of God’s love.

  

         Look upon

                  “throw one self into the arms of Mary…” 

       with childlike simplicity and true humility…
                              .  Bialas… 216

 

       Sometimes I look and turn away for it is too painful….

 

       Sometimes I look and fall in adoration and worship and atonement…

 

       Sometimes I look with compassion, love and comfort…

 

                Live in me…

                    Think as Christ thinks

                    act out of love

                    act in his Spirit

                    Obey the Father.

 

               Live in Christ… the Crucified..

                    The only way to live in Jesus  is through His sufferings and crucifixion.

 

                    “I also want to know whether the soul made her flight into God with

                    wings of faith and the fire of love, and also whether that flight was made

                    through the door that is Christ, our Lord, by the immersion of the soul

                    in the sea of his most holy passion, which is the greatest and most

                    astounding work of divine Love.”

                                 Bialas.  214-15

 

            “The Father must draw him..”  John 6:44

 

            “Consequently, the person who wills to undertake this ‘flight to the heights’

            in God can best accomplish it through meditation and contemplation upon

                Christus crucifixus.”

                                 Bialas .. 214

 

             “Love lends virtue a ‘transcendental power’ and the practice of virtue becomes

             a necessity, a sharing of  the action of love.”

                                 Bialas  206

           

    His Heart your cell..

                Dwelling place..

 


 

I Will Lead You Into The Desert

 

 Many readings of the Sacred Scriptures speak of God’s great love for you:

 

“I will lead you into the desert;

there I will speak to your heart.”

 

God will lead you into the desert,

there He will speak and you will

experience what it is to be a woman

and

there you will establish your identity as a vowed woman.

 

There you will stand alone,

wondering if any companionship can fill the emptiness

 

There you will experience a dryness beyond description

wondering if any reality can refresh you.

 

There you will suffer the urge to live,

yet wondering if life is possible.

 

You will know sorrow,

wondering if there can be joy.

 

                        You will know conflict

                                    wondering if there can be peace.

 

You will know sinfulness

wondering if there can be holiness.

 

Your food will be locust from the heights

or honey from the depths.

 

The Silence of this desert will be shattered by a dynamic word,

and God will speak.

God will speak to your heart

God will rescue you

God will set you free.

 

God will speak to your heart:

I will be present with you always.

 I will share a life that is ever lasting

  I will give living water     

   I will give a joy that is full

and a peace that no one can take from you.

    I will give you a holiness that will make you

a child of God.


 

What greater words does a human heart long to hear!

 

What more personal words could a woman want to hear!

 

To your womanly heart He speaks:

I will be faithful

I will never forsake you

I will be with you always

I will never abandon you.

What is mine, I will share.

Where I am, I want you to be.

 

God never ceases to speak to your heart:

I know that you need to possess,

come and share riches  through poverty.

I know your capacity to love

come and give yourself  through chastity.

I know your freedom to choose

come and share the work of Redemption 

through obedience.

 

Your heart longs for mysteries to ponder,

                                    here is the mystery of my love.

Your heart longs for relationships to share,

                                    here is my relationship with the Father,

                                                            both the love and the life.

Your heart longs for union,

                                    “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.

                                      If any man listens to my voice

                                      and opens the door to me,

                                      I will come in to him and will supper with him

                                      and He with me.” (Revelation 3:20)

 

When He speaks, you shall respond as in the days of your youth

                                    with generosity and blindness

                                    with courage and faith

                                    with a commitment that will make all stand in amazement.

 

                        Like Ruth, you will respond:

                                 “Wherever You go, I will go.

                                    wherever You lodge, I will lodge.

                                    Your people will be my people.

                                    wherever you die, I will die.

                                    Your God will be my God.”

 

The words that Christ speaks to your heart are words of Love:

                                   “I will espouse you to Myself forever.

                                     You will be my people

                                     I will be your God”


 

This will be a love relationship

This will be a life relationship.

                                    It will be a presence

                                    It will be a sharing.

                                                It will be a life permeated with love.

                                                It will be a union that is personal.

                                                It will be a bond that not even death can break.

 

I will espouse you to Myself

                        in a commitment that is for all times

                                                            and even for eternity.

                                    in a relationship that involves total persons…..

                        in a self-giving that knows no restrictions

                                                            and no reservations.

                                    I will be your God.

                                    You will be My People, My Religious.

 

I will espouse you to Myself

                                    You will be “My Word”---“My Letter” to my people.

 

                                    Through you they will come to know

                                                            the primacy of the love of God

                                                            the power of the Spirit

                                                            the reality of the Resurrection

                                                            the greatness of the Spiritual

 

                        Through you they will understand:

                                                            kindness rather than coldness

                                                            rejoicing rather than revenge

                                    compassion rather than complaining     

                                                            courage rather than cowardness.

 

You are written by the Spirit

                                    sent by the Spirit.

                                    Your message is authentic and vital.

 

May your whole message

                                    be accepted by God’s people.

 

You are a word,

                                    personally spoken.

You are a word

                                    filled with the spirit

You are a word

                                    expressive of love

In the words of Saint Paul ( 2 Cor. 3:1-6)

                                    You are my letter,

                                                            known and read by all.

                        You are my letter

                                                            written by the Spirit of the Living God.


 


 

 

                        When He leads you into the desert

                                         may you follow.

                        When He speaks to your heart,

                                       may you hear.

                        When He sends you as His “letter”

                                                            may the whole world know

                                                                        “That the Word is made flesh

                                                                             and dwells among us.”

 

                                                                                                                                            Finis

 

 


 

A Gospel of Suffering  by Msgr. Bernard Powers May, 2013

Pope John Paul II says

that there is a Gospel of Suffering....

a Gospel to be proclaimed..... to be believed...,to be lived.

 

            Jesus revealed this Gospel

            Jesus lived this Gospel

            Jesus placed this Gospel of Suffering            

                        in the hearts and hands of his disciples.

                        The first among these disciples was His Mother, Mary,

                        the Virgin of Nazareth and the Woman of Calvary.

 

                                    The Virgin of Nazareth knew this Gospel of Suffering.

She shared fully in its  fruits ....  she is “full of Grace”

                                   

The Woman of Calvary knew this Gospel of Suffering.

           It was on Calvary that Mary’s suffering reached

            an intensity which can hardly be imagined

            from a human point of view

            but which was mysteriously and supernaturally

            fruitful for the redemption of the world.”

                                    Pope John Paul  II   AL suffering # 25

           

Mary supplemented the Sufferings of Jesus

 

                        Mary, then, is a Herald of the Gospel of suffering.

                        We listen to her proclamation...... and believe.

                        We see her example..................    and follow.

+++

The Blessed Virgin Mary.... being the first disciple of Jesus....

heard the Gospel of Suffering and lived this Gospel....

 

At the Annunciation the Virgin Mary said “yes”

            to God’s plan of redeeming the world.....

            a plan that was filled with suffering.

 

            Pope John Paul II says that Mary’s “Yes”

            at the Annunciation  was a “yes” to the mission of the suffering of Jesus.

            In her “fiat” she embraced the complete Gospel of Suffering.

            Yes to the Annunciation was “yes” to the whole mission of Jesus,

            even to his suffering and death on the Cross.

 

            The “yes” to your vocation was and is a “yes” to the Gospel of Suffering.

 

 

The Gospel of Suffering flows like a powerful, lazy river.

 

In the Temple, Simeon’s words pierced the heart of  the Virgin Mother Mary.

            Pope Benedict XVI  wrote:

           The Mater Dolorosa, the mother whose heart is pierced

            by a sword is an iconic image of this fundamental attitude

            of compassion of Christian Faith.”      Infancy Narratives   p 87

 

In the Temple........as her First Born Son is offered to God

Mary hears the Gospel of Suffering:

      “a sword will pierce her heart.”

From that moment, the Gospel of suffering  

immersed her more deeply in the Cross and Passion of her Son...

… Mary knew a deeper union with Jesus, the union of suffering ...

   Perhaps too this word of Simeon brought to the memory of this

Jewish woman the Song of the Suffering Servant in the Prophet Isaiah

 

            Her heart knew to a greater depth the Gospel of Suffering.

+++

The Gospel of Suffering had a physical dimension.

In this suffering the Young Mother Mary would be

the first to know this truth of the Gospel of Suffering.

            Her Infant Son was in danger.

            She must flee immediately into Egypt.

                        There would be a leaving.....

                        there would be detachment......

                        there would be the unknown.

 

                                    Every soul on the spiritual journey

                                    hears and lives this Gospel of Suffering.....

                                                Detachment......   adjustment to the unknown.

+++

The Gospel of Suffering has an inner dimension..... and inner suffering.

Jesus is lost at the age of twelve.

 Mary is without Jesus......There is separation....

 There is darkness......Mary is in sorrow...

 Mary is living the Gospel of apparent absence......the Gospel of the Hidden God.

 

                                    Every soul on the spiritual journey

                                    hears and lives this dimension of the Gospel of Suffering/

                                                a soul knows a dryness....

                                                a soul knows an absence.....

                                                a soul is in darkness....

 God is hidden

 

+++

  

Mary’s greatest proclamation of the Gospel of Suffering is on Calvary.

 

Pope John Paul II writes.   

            “It was  on Calvary that Mary’s suffering.....  reached an intensity,

which can hardly be  imagined from a human point of view

but which was  mysteriously and supernaturally fruitful

for the redemption of the world.

 

“Her ascent of Calvary

and her standing at the foot of the Cross

together with the beloved disciple

were a special sort of sharing in the redeeming death of her Son.

“As a witness of her Son’s passion

and a sharing in it by her compassion,

Mary offered a unique contribution for the Gospel of suffering.”

                                 Apostolic Letter on Suffering....Pope John Paul II....# 25

 

 

The Gospel of Suffering  blossoms through Mary

at the foot of the Cross.

Paul of the Cross advised his followers to:

 “run to her and throw yourself into her arms…”

 

            There would be no better time to run to Mary

            than at the time of the Crucifixion.

            There would be no better place to run to Mary

            than at the foot of the Cross.                          

                        Once we are in the arms of Mary

her proclamation  is amazing….. refreshing…… life giving....

filled with love..... and loving.

           

  

At the Cross Mary proclaims the Gospel of Suffering:

 

            She  tells you that the meaning of suffering  is LOVE

           

            She  proclaims that suffering has  BEAUTY

 

            She shows you that suffering brings    UNION

 

            She inspires you to respond to suffering with   YES

 

            She stands by you in suffering as   MOTHER

 

 

Indeed at the Cross Mary proclaims the Gospel of Suffering:

 

The Crucifixion of Jesus is God’s greatest act of love to us.

The suffering and dying of Jesus glorifies the Father.

            The Man nailed to the Cross is Giving the Holy Spirit to the world.

            This Victim on the Cross is giving Salvation to the world

            This Lamb of God is offered in eternal worship of the Father.

 

And Mary goes on and on proclaiming the Gospel of the Passion

           

However, to you, the Daughters of the Passion....

she proclaims the Gospel of Suffering as the Gospel of Love:

 

            “This Jesus on the Cross

            is your Beloved......  Your Bridegroom......your Beloved Spouse.

 

                        Embrace Him in love!

  

                                                                         Amen    Msgr.  Bernard Powers

 

 

 


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