Saturday, January 31, 2015

Christ's Agony in the Garden: A Meditation From St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Tomorrow being Septuagesima Sunday, I thought it would be a good time to think about what Lenten reflections to offer on the blog this year.  I have decided that as time permits, I will post brief excerpts from St.Padre Pio's  meditations on Christ's agony in the Garden.  I picked this up at Christmas and have been trying to read it during Friday Holy Hours.  I highly recommend it.   Here are two excerpts.

"He most clothe Himself with the this entire unclean mass of human corruption and present Himself before the Sanctity of His Father, to expiate everything with individual pains, to render Him all that glory of which they have robbed Him; to cleanse the human cesspool in which man wallows with contemptible indifference."

"But what a spectacle must He represent?  That of a man soiled with the filth of humanity.  He, essential sanctity, to see Himself filthy with sin, even if only in outward appearance?  This, No!  This terrifies Him, makes Him tremble, crushes 

-The Agony of Jesus:  A meditation on Our Lord's Agony in the Garden by Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, OFM, Cap. (Available from Tan Books).

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Resolve to Love Him More

A happy and blessed New Year in Our Lord to all of you!

I have been enjoying an unusual sense of peace during this Holy Season of Christmas.  It is my gift from the Savior.  It came to me during Adoration one day that instead of asking for individual favors, I should just ask for peace.  When you have that, you have everything.  When I rely on Him entirely, there is nothing to fear.  My immediate world has been falling down around me at times, but I simply walk through it, confident that God will see us through.

For awhile, I have taken a bit of a hiatus from the TLM.  I still love the Mass, but I think 12 Noon is too late for the principal Mass of the day.   I'm also not pleased that after more than a year in our current church building, we're still not permitted to burn incense and our access to the church is very restricted.  So, for the time being, I'm dividing my time on Sundays and Holy Days between the Maronite Rite and an early-morning Novus Ordo, followed by Adoration.  I have gone to the TLM at other churches and plan to continue to do so.  I also pray that our little congregation might finally have a home where the liturgy may be celebrated fully and where we are not subjected to the hostilities of small-minded people.

I don't know if it is because of my interior state or what the reason is, but the churches I have visited this year seem more exquisitely decorated for Christmas than I can ever remember.  The Maronite church in particular is one where you could literally sit all day in wonder at the beautiful Creche and adoring angels that kneel before the Blessed Sacrament.  I have taken great delight in decorating my own home this Christmas and as I was admiring my handiwork - my Carmelite shrine with St. Joseph - a voice reminded me that as lovely as all the scenes are, there is nothing more pleasing to the Infant King  than a soul adorned with His graces.  After all, isn't that the point?  So that is what I resolve to do in the coming year by more frequent reception of the sacraments, especially Reconciliation,  and hopefully a kinder, gentler more patient me.

God bless us everyone!