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Showing posts from September, 2012

Charioteer of the Virtues! Prudence

In which the Pilgrim seeks out the Lamp-bearer of the Virtues—Prudence—to be his unerring guide and friend along the way.

For everything there is a season, and time for every matter under heaven.
—Ecclesiastes 3:1, from the Readings for Friday of the 25th Week of the Year

Behold! He makes all things new!

In which the Pilgrim lights a mini bonfire of vanities and sets his sights toward the New Heaven and Earth.

What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done;
and there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new"?
It has been already,
in the ages before us.
Ecc 1:9-10, from the Mass Readings for Thursday of the 25th Week of the Year

The Beauty of Lady Poverty

In which the Pilgrim confesses a bit of a crush on Lady Poverty, considers the via media, and venerates the true poverty of self in the martyrs Cosmas and Damian.

They counted all as loss in order to know Christ and to have a share in his sufferings, conforming himself themselves to his death.
—Cf. Phil 3:8, 10, Entrance Antiphon, Mass for a Single Martyr

Here are my mother and my brethren!

In which the Pilgrim venerates Mary as mother of Jesus in every sense, dwells on family and faith, and longs to be a true Brother of Christ.

Then his mother and his brethren came to him, but they could not reach him for the crowd. And he was told, "Your mother and your brethren are standing outside, desiring to see you." But he said to them, "My mother and my brethren are those who hear the word of God and do it."
—Lk 8:19-21, Gospel for Tuesday of the 25th Week of the Year

Happiness in Slavery: Our Lady of Ransom

In which the pilgrim on this, the Feast of Our Lady of Ransom, considers the price paid for his soul, the joy of Mary's intercessory aide, and what it might mean to be a slave of Christ and a son of God.

Grant, we pray, almighty God, that your faithful,
who rejoice under the patronage of the most holy Virgin Mary,
may be freed by her motherly intercession
from all evils on earth
and merit the attainment of eternal joys in heaven.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
—Collect from the Commons of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Ordinary Time

Te Deum Laudamus

Raised in Glory: like the stars, forever and ever.

What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable.
It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory.
It is sown in weakness it is raised in power.
It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body.
1 Cor 15:42-44

In which the Pilgrim dwells on the Resurrection at the End of Days in the New Heaven and Earth and the infinite potential of God's promises.

St Matthew, Prince of the Church, Oremus!

In which the Pilgrim tells a fable about the Call of Christ, enters into the Gospel through prayer and meditation, and prays for the strength to leave everything for Him who came not to call the righteous but sinners.

Sharing in that saving joy, O Lord,
with which Saint Matthew welcomed
the Savior as a guest in his home, we pray:
grant that we may always be renewed
by the food we receive from Christ,
who came to call not the just, but sinners to salvation.
—Prayer after Communion, Feast of the Apostle Matthew

Noisy Gongs and Clashing Cymbals

To what shall I compare the men of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the market place and calling to one another,
'We piped to you, and you did not dance;
we wailed and you did not weep.'
For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine; and you say 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man has come eating and drinking; and you say, 'Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.
Luke 7:31-35, Gospel for the Wednesday of the 24th Week of the Year

In which the Pilgrim tries to quiet his heart of all the noise of criticism and complaint against Mother Church and learn to dwell in silence and love listening only for the Voice of God.

Fear and Trembling

[The LORD] called to the man clothed in linen, who had the writing case at his side. And the LORD said to him, "Go through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it." And to the others he said in my hearing, "Pass through the city after him, and kill; your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity; slay old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one upon whom is the mark. And begin at my sanctuary."
—Ezekiel 9:3-6, Office of Readings for Tuesday of the 24th Week of the Year

In which the Pilgrim meditates on the Last Things—Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell—and the Fear of the LORD.

Power of the Word

"Say the word, and let my servant be healed. For I am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it."
When Jesus heard this he marveled at him, and turned and said to the multitude that followed him, "I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith."
Luke 7:7-9, from the Gospel for Monday of the 24th Week of the Year

In which the pilgrim meditates on today's readings and the power of the word of Jesus Christ, the Word made Flesh.

True Prophets, Courageous Disciples

Give peace, O Lord, to those who wait for you,
that your prophets be found true.
Hear the prayers of your servant,
and of your people Israel.
—Cf. Sir 36: 18-22, Introit, 24 Sunday of the Year

In which the pilgrim sketches a portrait of a Christian imbued with the Virtue of Courage.

Mater Dolorosa

Simeon said to Mary: Behold, this child is destined
for the ruin and rising of many in Israel,
and to be a sign of contradiction;
and your own soul a sword will pierce.
—Cf. Lk 2: 34-35, Introit, Our Lady of Sorrows

In which the pilgrim lets St Bernard of Clairvaux say almost all that needs to be said ...

Crux Fidelis: The Tree of Life

Faithful Cross! Above all other,
one and only noble Tree!
None in foliage, none in blossom,
none in fruit thy peers may be;
sweetest wood and sweetest iron!
Sweetest Weight is hung on thee!
—Crux Fidelis

In which the pilgrim, on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, meditates on the Crucified Christ as the Tree of Life.

St. John Chrysostom, Oremus!

Those who are wise will shine brightly 
like the splendor of the firmament 
and those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars for ever.
—cf. Dan 12:3, Introit of the Memorial of St. John Chrysostom

St John Chyrsostom, the "golden mouthed" Doctor of the Church, Holy Hierarch of the Eastern Churches, was Archbishop of Constantinople, ascetic, liturgist, homilist non pareil, social justice fighter, social critic, and though he is not declared so, in dying while suffering in exile, the man was a martyr of the faith.

Should I stay or should I go now ...

In which the pilgrim addresses those who consider leaving the Catholic Church. Darling you gotta let me know Should I stay or should I go? If you say that you are mine I'll be here til the end of time So you got to let know Should I stay or should I go?—The Clash, "Should I Stay or Should I Go?"

But now ...

Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the Kingdom of God? ...That is what some of you used to be; but now you have had yourselves washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
—St Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 6:11

"But now ..." what words of comfort to us sinners. St. Paul reminds us that before we were plunged into the death of Christ by Baptism, we were defined by our sins. "That is what some of you used to be." But now, though sinners we remain and continue to sin the face of grace, we are no longer defined by them. Rather than conforming to an image of death, we have been restored to the image of Christ in which we were made.

Reaching for Christ: "Stretch out your hand."

Looking around at them all, he then said to him, "Stretch out your hand." Gospel of Luke 6:10

When Jesus healed the man with the withered hand, he was answering a silent challenge made by the Pharisees: would Jesus dare to heal on the Sabbath breaking the mitzvah? Jesus shows by his response "I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?" that it's not a question of keeping or breaking the mitzvah, is a question of can you "Love your neighbor"? But we should notice that when Jesus commands "Stretch your your hand" he's not looking at the man to be healed, he's "looking around at them all" ... which means he's looking at us.

Christ's Resurrection and the Four Senses of Scripture

Today's reading from Isaiah, contains a promise:
"Then the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing. Streams will burst forth in the desert, and rivers in the steppe. The burning sands will become pools, and the thirsty ground, springs of water." At first reading, this concerns the renewal of Israel after the Babylonian exile, but at other levels, it speaks to the Cross, the Resurrection, and the Promise of Salvation. Levels we can see when we learn to read with spiritual eyes using the four senses of Scripture.