These two symbols placed on the crucifix help us to remember that our Lord’s sacrifice on the Cross is the greatest act of love God has shown to us.
Through many dark days and nights, Jesus the Eternal High Priest carried me through tumultuous waters. My encounters with Jesus during daily Holy Hours undoubtedly saved my family as the cross bore down upon us. Regrettably, the practice of my faith was mediocre at best during the first seven years of my marriage because my …
Prayer for the feast of St Maximilian Kolbe. Feast day August 14.
In your close conformity to Our Divine Saviour,
you reached such an intense degree of charity that you offered
your life to save that of a fellow prisoner.
Implore God that we, inflamed by such ardent charity,
may, through our faith and good works,
witness Christ’s love for the world
and thus merit to join you
in the blessed vision of God.
Juan de Valdés Leal, “Apparition of Christ to Saint Ignatius on his Way to Rome”
Looking to Jesus, as St Ignatius teaches us in the First Week, and especially looking at Christ crucified, we feel that sentiment, so human and so noble, that is the shame of not being able to measure up; … and this leads us always, as individuals and as a Society, to humility, to living this great virtue. Humility makes us aware every day that it is not we who build the Kingdom of God, but rather it is always the grace of the Lord that acts in us; humility that urges us to give ourselves not in service to ourselves or our ideas, but in the service of Christ and the Church, like clay vases – fragile, inadequate, insufficient, but inside which there is an immense treasure we carry and communicate.
We realized that seriousness is not a fruit of the spirit, but joy is.
You see, there is an irrepressible laughter in the heart of God. The whole universe cannot contain it. He is the one who invented celebrations and feasting and holidays. He is the one who sings and dances over us.
When He suffered the cross, He did it for the joy set before Him. And that joy was knowing that you and I would be fully free. No longer captive to our sin.
Yes, the whole human story is described in terms of a celebration. The marriage of Christ to His bride, the Church. Our God is the ultimate artist of celebration, the inventor of the party, and the healer of the broken.
|—||St. Catherine of Siena (via imaginesisters)|
“Since Christ Himself has said, “This is My Body” who shall dare to doubt that It is His Body?"
— St. Cyril of Jerusalem
hahaha! Yea, that’s true. I guess he was emphasising how precious redemptive suffering is =) our normal human inclination is to seek ease and comfort, which can make us attached to the transient things of this world — things which are hollow reeds that will pierce the hearts of those who lean upon them.
As he says, “Never to suffer would be the greatest danger for us." That’s like living without being able to feel pain — it would be really dangerous!
"Sorrows… are sent to wean us from the earth."
— Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (Ch. IX)
"Sufferings gladly borne for others convert more people than sermons.”
~St. Thérèse of Lisieux~
Churches destroyed in Syria
Lord have mercy…
Everyone, please, pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters!
"There used to be widespread sharing of sacred space. I have seen Syrian Christians coming to sacrifice sheep at the Muslim shrine of Nebi Uri, while at the nearby Christian convent of Seidnaya, I found the congregation in the church consisted not principally of Christians but instead of heavily bearded Muslim men and their shrouded wives. As the priest circled the altar with his thurible, the men prayed as if in the middle of Friday prayers at a great mosque. Their women, some dressed in full black chador, mouthed prayers from the shadows of the narthex. A few, closely watching the Christian women, went up to the icons and kissed them. They had come, so they told me, to Our Lady of Seidnaya, to ask her for children. Now that precious multi-ethnic and multi-religious patchwork is in danger of being destroyed forever."
— William Dalrymple, A Point of View: A long winter for Christians in the Middle East
Let us be afraid of being deprived of sufferings more than a miser is of his treasure. Sufferings are the jewels of Jesus Crucified… The more painful the cross, the greater our advantage. The more contradictory creatures are with us, the dearer we will be to our Creator. A single moment of tribulation assures an immense weight of glory. Never to suffer would be the greatest danger for us.
—St Paul of the Cross
The Epistle to the Hebrews tells us something truly astounding: Christ’s prayer at His incarnation. The inspired author heard His prayer captured in the words of Psalm 40, “When Christ came into the world, he said, ‘Sacrifices and [sin] offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me … I have come to do your will, O God” (Heb.10:5-7; Ps. 40:6-8). He then explains the incredible benefit we derive from Christ’s prayer and His doing of the Father’s will, “By this ‘will,’ we have been consecrated through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb.10:10).
“Christ suffered for sins once… that He might lead you to God.” … The sufferings of Christ, as well as His glorification, freed us from sin and make it possible for us to journey back to God along the very same path that Christ has travelled in His journey to the Father. … We came from God and we are returning to God ultimately; it is full unending communion with God and not earthly bliss that is our destiny.
In that seemingly dismal specter that was Golgotha, the Church has always seen hints of the Garden of Eden. Just as the entire human race sinned and died in Adam, so also all were redeemed and restored to new life, St. Paul writes (Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15). Taking its cue from St. Paul, Taking its cue from St. Paul, the Church has drawn further parallels. Just as Christ was a second Adam, so also Mary was a second Eve. And just as a tree was once the scene of so much sin, a tree (the cross) became the source of so much grace. Each figure or element from the Genesis account is annulled by a greater reality in the gospels, so the thinking goes.
So what about the forbidden fruit?