Sunday, April 30, 2017

Thirty First Visit to Jesus and Mary


Source of Grace, I come to drink from your divine waters.
Langlume (handcolored in watercolors)





JESUS AT JACOB'S WELL


"Jesus, therefore, sat thus by the well." (John 4).
A beautiful sight it was that day―the sight of Our Sweet Redeemer as He sat beside the well, tired from His journey. Gentle and loving, He was waiting there for the Samaritan woman to convert her and to save her. 

But now the very same Jesus comes from Heaven down on our altar
―this same altar becomes a well of grace. There He waits the whole day long in all His meekness, lingering in our midst. His invitation goes out to all to come and share His company even though it be for only a little while―He wants to draw you to His perfect love. 

Jesus speaks from every altar where He dwells in the Most Holy Sacrament and this is what He says; 
"Why do you keep away from me? Why do you not come close to me? I have come to you in lowliness because I love you, and I want to do you good. What are you afraid of? It is not to judge you that I come down to earth now; but I have come hidden in this Sacrament of love. I want only to be of help to you―to give salvation to every one who comes to me: 'I have come not to judge, but to save the world.' " (John 12). 

In Heaven, Jesus is "always living to intercede for us." (Heb. 7). In the Sacrament of the Altar, without interruption, night and day He is taking on Himself the office of our merciful Advocate; He is offering Himself to the Eternal Father as our Victim to obtain mercy and numberless graces for us. Let us understand this well. 


Thomas à Kempis says that we should come near to Jesus in this Sacrament; that we should speak to Him at our ease and with no fear
―as a friend speaks to the friend he loves; "As a loved one speaks to the one who loves him, as friend to friend." 

My hidden King, my Master, I will open my heart to you and I will say: O my Jesus, O you who love souls with such a great love, I know well the wrong that men do you. You love them: and you are not loved. You do good: you receive contempt. You want them to hear your voice: they will not listen. You offer them graces: they refuse to take them.
 

My Jesus, it is true that I also at one time was among those ungrateful ones who treat you so. Yes, my God, it is only too true, but I want to make up for it now. For the rest of my days I want to do something to make amends for the pain that I have given you; now I want to give you pleasure and joy as far as lies in my power. Tell me, dear Master, what do you want me to do? I want to do it―to do it all and without reservation. Let me know, by means of holy obedience, what it is, and then I hope to do it. 

My God, firmly I promise you now, that never any more
―from this day forward―will I leave any thing undone, once I know that it is for your greater glory; even though in doing this I should lose everything―my parents, my friends, my reputation, my health, or even my life itself. 

O God of my heart, if I lose everything, and in doing so I give joy to you, it will be a happy loss indeed; for such a loss, and such a sacrifice, will have only one aim
―to give joy to your loving Heart. 

My God, my Supreme Good, you are more lovely than any other good, and to an extent that is boundless: and it is you I love. My heart is only small, and it is poor; but in loving you I join with the great ones who love you
―with  the Seraphim, with the Heart of Mary, with the Heart of Jesus: and now, my God, I love you with my whole being. I want to love you only; I want to love you always. 
    
Aspiration―O God, I am yours; and you are mine; and you are my God.   



SPIRITUAL COMMUNION  

Jesus, I believe you are in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you; I want you to come to me. Come into my heart; I embrace you; O never depart from me.  
 

A VISIT TO MARY 

WATCHFUL MOTHER 



THE EVENING 
 O Jesus and Mary, 
You are my first and my last thought.




Blessed Amadeus tells us: The Most Blessed Virgin, face to face with the Creator, is always interceding for us in prayer that is of mighty power. Mary our Queen, high in heaven, is always in the Divine Presence; there she acts as our advocate praying for us, and her prayer is most powerful with God. "This sweet and gentle Lady," he says, "sees our perils and she looks down on us with a mother's love." She sees our unhappy state, our dangers: with the kindness and love of a mother she is filled with compassion and comes to help us. 

My advocate, my most loving Mother, at this very moment you can see the poverty, the needs of my soul. You can see the dangers in which I am placed and you are praying for me. Pray; keep on praying; never cease to pray until you see me safe and thanking you in Heaven. 


Your servant Blosius says of you, "After your Son you are the sure hope of all the faithful." Most sweet Mary, after your Son you are the sure salvation of those who are your faithful servants. To be your faithful servant even until death
―this is the grace I ask from you today; so that when I reach Heaven I will bless you in the security of never any more being parted from you―safe at your feet as long as God is God.

Aspiration
―Mary my Mother, make me yours forever. 

My Good, my God, you are already mine; To you I give my heart and all I have: From you I ask for nothing but yourself.
     
"What have I in Heaven, and besides you what do I desire upon earth? You are the God of my heart, and the God that is my portion for ever." (Psalm 72:62)

Prayer After Each Visit




Alphonsus Liguori's Little Visits―1745

17. The Mutual Indwelling of The Divine Persons


Young Catholic Boys, Medellin, Colombia, 1947.
Photo by Dmitri Kessel

Index to Older Meditations
 
You are substantial in God and God is substantially in you when you are in the state of grace; and the three Divine Persons are with you, as Our Lord promised: "If any one love Me . . . My Father will love him, and We will come to him and will make Our abode with him" (John xiv. 23). 

Let nothing separate you from the love of God.  This completes your union with Him in this life and in the next. 


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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Today's Homily by Bishop Robert Barron

THE PATTERN OF LOVE

Like the two disciples walking towards Emmaus, a symbol of worldly power and security, and away from Jerusalem, the center of sacrifice, we need to be stopped in our tracks. Christ appears to them, but they do not recognize him. They do not recognize him because they are walking the wrong way. The recognition of the pattern of Christ’s life does come until the Eucharistic act which presents the pattern of sacrificial love. Then they immediately go back to Jerusalem, the place of suffering love

April 30 - Thirtieth Visit to Jesus and Mary

Speak, Lord, your servant listens:
Open my secret ear and say to my soul:
I AM THE SOURCE OF YOUR SALVATION




"Why do you hide your face?" (Job 14). Job was afraid because God seemed to hide His face from him. But when Jesus Christ hides His Majesty in the Most Holy Sacrament, it is not to bring fear to our hearts but confidence. He does it only that He might show us His love more clearly; so He comes upon the altar hidden under the species of bread. This is what Novarinus tells us"When God hides His face in this Sacrament, He makes us see His love." 

If the King of Heaven showed us the Splendors of His Glory, who amongst us would be so daring as to come up close to Him in all confidence, and lay bare before Him his feelings and his longings? My Jesus, this Sacrament is indeed a marvelous plan of your love.  You have thought out a way of hiding yourself under the appearance of bread, so that whoever wants to find you and to love you on this earth can do so. 

The Prophet had very good reason to say that men should lift up their voices, and cry aloud in the whole world to tell of the marvels God's love has invented for us: "Proclaim His inventions among the nations." (Is. 12). O most loving Heart of my Jesus, take to yourself the hearts of all your creatures. Heart full to overflowing; always full, and pouring over like a fountain with the purest waters of love. O devouring fire, set me all aflame; and give me a new life of love and grace! Bring about such a union between you and me that never again will I be parted from you. O open Heart into which souls can enter to find shelter there, receive me into your depths. O Heart, so saddened on the Cross for the sins of the world, give to me deep sorrow for my sins. 

Those same deep feelings of love that were in your Heart as you died for me on Calvary, the same are there now in this Divine Sacrament; and so too is your great longing to unite me wholly to yourself. How can it possibly be then, that I will resist your love, and not give myself up entirely to it? O my loved Jesus, wound me, draw me, bind me to yourself; unite me wholly to your Heartand do it through the merits of your Passion. 

Today I am resolved by your grace to give you every possible joy. I will put beneath my feet all human respect; every inclination, every repugnance, and all those likes and dislikes, that can in any way stop me from giving you all possible pleasure. My beloved Master, see to it yourself that I proceed now, and from this day forward, to direct all my works, my feelings and affections, in complete conformity with your Holy Will. O Love of God, put out of my heart all other love. O Mary, my hope, through God there is nothing at all that you cannot do. Get me the grace to be the faithful servant of the pure love of Jesus even unto death. This is my hope. So let it be in time and in eternity.  
    
AspirationWho shall separate me from the love of Christ.


SPIRITUAL COMMUNION  

Jesus, I believe you are in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you; I want you to come to me. Come into my heart; I embrace you; O never depart from me.  
 

A VISIT TO MARY 

GENTLE POWER



 
St. Bernard bears me witness when he says: "The love of the Mother of God is most powerful and it is most gentle. It abounds as it flows into action to soothe with compassion and to aid with power. In both of these she is equally rich." The charity of Mary cannot be anything else but what it is. It is superabundant and it is very powerful. When it brings solace it comes in rich bounty. When it brings aid it comes in mighty force. O Queen most pure, you are rich in mighty power; you are rich in gentle sweetness. You are able to bring salvation, and you are longing to save each one of us. 

This day and for all time I shall pray to you in the words of your devoted servant, Blosius: "O Lady, when I am in battle protect me. When I am feeble give me strength." O Mary most holy, come, be my help always. When I am engaged in combat in the great battle against the powers of hell, if you see me weakening and ready to fall stretch forth your hand; in that moment support me with still more power. Even until my death there are fierce combats that await me; and in all these I must win the victory. My hope, my refuge, my strength, O never let me lose the grace of God. And here is my resolution―always and immediately in danger to fly to you and to say:

Aspiration
―Help me, Mary; come quickly to my aid.

Prayer After Visit





16. The Equality of The Divine Persons


Pyrenees Sunset near Lourdes, France, 1952
Photo by Dmitri Kessel

Index to Older Meditations


A ray of bright sunlight was long supposed to be a unity only: now it is proved to be a trinity of three rays, each having a different color and a different effect on vegetation.  These act as one principle.  They occur in a certain order, but one does not exist before the other nor apart from another.  Each is equally sunlight, and is equally necessary to constitute the glowing unity of the sunbeam and to maintain life on earth.  
   Attach great importance to right thinking about doctrines. But this requires right living and right worship. Each of this trinity is essential to make up the unity of full religiousness. 


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April 29 - Twenty Ninth Visit to Jesus ad Mary

Visit of the Good Master



"I stand at the gate and knock." (Apoc. 5). 

Most loving Shepherd, you have laid down your life for your sheep, a Victim on the altar of the Cross. Now you want to be always close by so that you can knock at the door of our hearts and find entrance therein; for this you remain hidden in the Blessed Sacrament on the altars of our Churches. O if I had only the wisdom to find my joy there so close to you. 


It was this nearness to her Beloved that gave such joy to the Spouse in the Canticles when she exclaimed, "I sat down in the shadow of Him whom I loved." (Cant. 2). O my Most Beloved, if I only loved you and loved you truly, how I too would be filled with longing desire to remain inseparable from you, night and day at your feet, close to the Tabernacle! There at your very side with your glory and your majesty veiled by the shadow of the Sacred Species, I would find those delights that are divine, and the inexpressible happiness that is found only by the souls that love you. 


O draw me to you by the sweet odors of your beauty and by the boundless love opened up to me in this Sacrament. "Draw me. We will run after you in the odors of you ointments." 
(Cant. 1). 

Yes, my Saviour, at last I will turn away from created things and everything that is pleasant on earth, to run to you in the Blessed Sacrament. "As tender olive branches round about your altar." (Ps. 127). Those souls who remain close to Jesus burning with His love are like young olive plants; they bring forth abundant fruits of all the virtues as their offerings to God. 


But my Jesus, my soul is naked and empty of virtue; and so I am ashamed to appear before you. It has been decreed that those who come to adore at the altar must not come unless they have a gift to offer; "You shall not appear empty-handed in my sight." (Exod. 23). What then am I to do? Am I not allowed to come before you and to pay you my visit? No; it is not in this way I would please you. But the gift you want from me will be supplied by yourself, because I am very poor. I know this―that you remain in the Blessed Sacrament not only to reward those who love you, but also to give to the needy precious gifts from your own rich store. 


So now without any more delay I am going to begin: King of my heart, true Lover of Mankind, I adore you. Today I come beside the throne of your love, for you are the Good Shepherd, and your love for your sheep is exceeding great. I have nothing else to offer, so I give you my own poor heart. I want it to be consecrated all to your love and to your good-pleasure. I can love you with this heart because you made it for yourself
―and I want to love you with this heart as much as I possibly can. Take it. Bind it close to your own. And so from this day forward, like your beloved Apostle Paul, I too can proclaim with joy that I am bound with the bonds of your love; "Ego Paulus vinctus Christi." (Eph. 3). "I, Paul, in the bonds of Christ." 

Bring about the closest union between yourself and me, my dear Master. Let me forget myself, so that the day will come when I shall lose everything
―even my own self: but only to find you and to love you forever. Master, I love you―I love you in the Blessed Sacrament―and I bind myself to you; I want ever to be one with you. My Beloved, let me find you; and when I have found you let me never leave you again.

Aspiration
―My Jesus, you are all that I need, you alone.

SPIRITUAL COMMUNION  


Jesus, I believe you are in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you; I want you to come to me. Come into my heart; I embrace you; O never depart from me.  


A VISIT TO MARY 

THE ROYAL ROAD AND THE VEHICLE 




Faith enlightens us, 
Hope supports us, Love draws us.

"The Royal Road to the Saviour"―This is the name that St. Bernard gives to Mary: the safe road to the place where the Saviour and salvation are found. The same Saint tells us that she is the vehicle that carries our souls to God. If that is true, O Lady, do not wait for me to walk towards God. Take me in your arms and carry me.  If I show resistance then use force with me; but the force that you will use will be the sweet attractions of your love for me. With this same force compel my wayward will to leave created things; and to seek only for God, my Creator, and His Divine Will. 

O show what power you have to all Heaven: you―who have done many wonderful things. Show us one more marvel of your mercy―draw entirely to God one who has been very far from Him.  

Aspiration
―Mary, you can make me holy; I hope for this from you.

Prayer After Visit





Friday, April 28, 2017

15. Jesus Christ and The Holy Ghost


Classroom Confession, 
Great Falls, Montana, 1953.



Index to Older Meditations

The Holy Ghost is the great treasure of the Church, His presence will confer upon it an indestructible life, and that presence will never be withdrawn. 
That which the Holy Ghost is to the Church, the same He is to you. In the words of the sacred liturgy He will be to you rest in labour, coolness in the heat, consoler in anguish, strength in conflict, sweetest refreshment, and most blessed light.


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Thursday, April 27, 2017

April 28 - Twenty Eighth Visit to Jesus and Mary

You are truly the hidden God, the 
God of Israel, the Saviour.




JESUS, MY GOD AND MY ALL  


God in His love for us has given us His very Son, says St. Paul. After this can we possibly have any fear that He will refuse us any other good thing? "Can it be otherwise but that together with Him He has given us everything?" (Rom. 8). We are all aware that the Eternal Father has given everything He has to Jesus Christ, "The Father has given everything into His hands." (John 13:3). 

Let us always show our gratitude for the goodness, the mercy, the generosity, of our most loving God. He wanted to make us rich in every good, in every grace; so He has given us Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Altar: "Through Him you have become rich in every way . . . . so that now there is no grace at all that you do not have." (1 Cor. 1). 


Saviour of the World, Eternal Word made Man, I now know that you are mine, and all mine if I wish it. But is it also true that I am all yours, as you want me to be? Dear Master, do not let it ever happen that the world should witness such a monstrous thing, such an example of ingratitude as this―that you wanted to be all mine, and that I did not want to be all yours. 


Let it never happen any more. If it has happened in the past do not let it ever happen again in the future. With all the resolution of which I am capable, today I surrender my whole self to you; I consecrate my life to you
―all, my will, my thoughts, my actions, and my sufferings; in time and in eternity. 

Look on me now in your loving kindness: I am all yours. I am now a victim dedicated to you; and so I dismiss every creature, and I surrender myself totally into your hands. Now let the flames of your Divine Love consume me. No longer do I want any created thing to share the least part of my heart. The proofs you gave me of your love, even when I did not love you, make me hope that you will most certainly accept me now
―for now I love you, and now I unite myself to you.  

Now, Eternal Father, I offer you all the virtues, the acts, the affections of the Heart of your beloved Jesus. Accept them from me
―for they are mine because He has given them to me; through their merits grant me the graces which Jesus asks of you for me.        

With these merits I give you thanks for the very great mercy with which you have treated me. With them too I make satisfaction for all the debts of my sins. Through them I hope for every grace from you―for pardon, perseverance, paradise; and most of all for the highest of all gifts―the gift of your pure love.  

It is clear to me already that I am the one who is placing obstacles in the way of all these good things; but you can remedy this too. I beg you to do so in the Name of Jesus Christ. He has promised me, "If you ask the Father anything in my Name He will give it to you." (John 14). So you cannot deny me. Lord, I do not want anything but to love you, to surrender my whole being to you, not to see myself ungrateful as I have been up to this time. O give me your attention, and in your loving kindness hear me. Let this be the day of my complete conversion to you: never again to leave off loving you. I love you, my God, I love you. O Love that is Boundless, my love, I love you
―my Heaven, my Good, my Life, my All!
    
Aspiration―My Jesus, my All, you want me and I want you.


SPIRITUAL COMMUNION  

Jesus, I believe you are in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you; I want you to come to me. Come into my heart; I embrace you; O never depart from me.    
         

A VISIT TO MARY 

THE HARBOR IN TIME OF DISTRESS


I will sail in peace under the guard of Mary. 


O Mary, most sweet and loving Mother, St. Ephrem tells me that you are "The harbor of those in distress" and the one who "Rebuilds the shattered vessel after the storms." St. Bonaventure tells me you are "Our Solace in the midst of suffering," and St. Germanus that you are "Peace in the midst of grief." Great indeed is the solace you bring me when I am afflicted; great is the consolation you give me when I am troubled; great is the strength you give me in temptation if I come to you and ask your aid. Yes, the Saints had good reason indeed to call Mary the harbor of those in distress.    

Mary, console me, for you are mine, my Mother. I find myself over-burdened with sin; I lack virtue, and in God's love I am cold. Give me consolation; give me peace. Let the consolation you give me take the form of a new life, a new beginning: a life that will be in all reality pleasing to your Son and to you.  


Aspiration
―Mary, my Mother, change my life: make me different from what I have been. You are able to do it.

Prayer After Visit