Sunday, May 26, 2019

Six Sundays

It's still Easter! Yes, the Easter bunny hopped off into his rabbit hole several weeks ago. Yes, the Easter eggs have all been eaten (or have rotted!). Yes, the Easter candy has long since been devoured. But it's still Easter!

The Church, in her wisdom, gives us six whole Sundays (not to mention all the weekdays in between) to celebrate Christ's Resurrection. Depending on where we live, some of us even get a seventh Sunday while the rest of us celebrate the Ascension of the Lord.

Six Sundays to remember that Jesus conquered death... Six Sundays to reflect that the grave could not hold Jesus... Six Sundays to rejoice that Jesus is risen and alive...

Jesus' Resurrection stands at the very heart of our Catholic faith. As the Catechism reminds us, “The Resurrection above all constitutes the confirmation of all Christ's works and teachings” (#651), and “Christ's Resurrection is the fulfillment of the promises both of the Old Testament and of Jesus Himself during His earthly life” (#652).

By His Resurrection, Jesus proves His divinity. At the same time, the risen Jesus opens a path to new life for us, giving us the opportunity to be immersed in His grace and to become adopted children of the Father who may one day share in Jesus' resurrection and receive resurrected bodies of our own (CCC #653-655).

No wonder we have just celebrated Easter for six Sundays! And we still have two more weeks of the Easter season, so may our Alleluias be extra joyful and may the Resurrection never fail to fill us with awe and wonder as we gaze upon our risen Lord.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Lost Prayers #15

A Covenant with God by St. Gertrude

O Lord God, my Creator, all my desire is before Thee, and my groaning is not hidden from Thee; but inasmuch as the necessities of this life prevent the constant application of my mind to Thy praise, I make with Thee this covenant, earnestly desiring that it may remain in force throughout this week.

Whenever I look up toward Heaven, I desire and intend to rejoice with Thee in Thine infinite perfections; that Thou art what Thou art, supremely strong and wise and loving and just.

As often as I open or close my eyes, I desire and intend to approve and concur in all the holy actions which Thine only-begotten Son, and all the Saints in Heaven and just on earth, have ever done, or shall ever hereafter do, for Thy glory and desire to be held a partaker in them all.

As often as I draw my breath I offer to Thee the Life and Passion and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the merits and sufferings of all the Saints, to Thine eternal glory, for the welfare and peace of the whole world, and in satisfaction for the sins of all men.

Whenever I sigh I intend to detest and abhor every sin, as well my own sins as those which have ever been committed from the beginning of the world against the honor of Thy name. Would that the slight and worthless offering of my blood might be accepted as satisfaction for them!

Lastly, as often as I move my hand or my foot, so often do I cast myself with entire resignation upon Thy most holy will, desiring that Thou wouldst dispose of me in time and in eternity, according to Thine adorable good pleasure.

And lest this five-fold covenant should be in any way made void, I seal it with the seals of Thy five most Sacred Wounds, earnestly desiring that it may have its full force with Thee, even though in any one of these actions it be not actually present in my mind.


From Catholic's Manuel, 1905

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Interacting with Samuel, Part 2

Let's continue our journey through the First Book of Samuel. Remember, these questions are designed to help us interact deeply with the text, and more importantly with the Author of the text, i.e., God. They are meant to start up a meditation and a conversation that begin with God's Word and lead into a personal encounter with our Lord.

1 Samuel 3

*Why was the word of the Lord rare in the days of Samuel's youth?

*The young Samuel is sleeping in God's own temple; what does this tell us about Samuel?

*Why does Samuel mistakenly think Eli is calling him? Why is Eli slow to realize that God is calling Samuel?

*How does Samuel's obedience assist him in his ministry at Shiloh and prepare him for his role as God's judge, prophet, and priest?

*How does Samuel's response, “Speak, for Your servant hears,” put Samuel in the right mode for the young man to receive God's revelation?

*What does God reveal to Samuel? Why would God tell Samuel these things?

*How does Eli respond to Samuel's recitation of God's revelation? What does this response tell us about Eli?

1 Samuel 4

*Why does God allow the Philistines to defeat Israel in battle?

*The Israelites decide to bring the Ark of the Covenant up from Shiloh; why is this such a horrible idea (and not just because the Ark is captured)? What does this tell us about the Israelites' attitude toward God and toward holy things?

*What point is God trying to make by permitting the Philistines to capture the Ark?

*How does the prophecy against Eli and his family begin to be fulfilled?

*Just before she dies, Phinehas' wife declares that the “glory has departed from Israel”; what does she mean? How else might we interpret that statement?