31 March 2010

Of needles and thorns

Dear friends, beloved in the Lord, Thank you for your prayers. The biopsy of the right eye with the puncture and injection of antibiotics was successful, and the surgeon was very pleased with the samples obtained. Now we wait for the Methodist Hospital Pathology Department's report.

Before my MRI some days prior we spent time in the beautiful Ascension of the Lord Methodist Chapel at the hospital with its beautiful stained glass window above the Altar and to the side a beautiful Roman Catholic tabernacle where the Eucharistic Lord was present. I am deeply grateful to the Methodists for granting Roman Catholics a space in their beautiful chapel. For my part, I was almost overwhelmed by the sense of the Lord's Presence which stayed with me through the MRI of my eyes and brain and late into the day.

How shall I praise God for all the good He has done for me? He has brought me to the best and brightest of doctors, and God has held me so close to Him that His presence has overshadowed every fear, anxiety or concern. And during the tapping of the right eye with the various needles used, He held my hand and comforted me throughout the procedure.

From my heart I thank all of you for your prayers bidding the Lord to come and help me.
While the result of the most recent MRI was the subject of many tears for me, I have had my confidence renewed (not by denial) but by the experience of the Divine Presence with me. I am not an orphan, nor am I without a people I call my own. You are that people who pray for me and gather me into your family of faith, and for that I pray God's blessings for you in every area of your life.

There is also a certain grace to having such procedures done in the early part of Holy Week. As my eye was pierced by the first needle, I could not help but think of our sinless Lord being pierced by thorn and by nail, and I asked Him to unite my experience to His, that it become something much more in His hands for the spread of the Gospel and the building up of His Kingdom.

May His Peace, given to us at such great cost, abide in all our hearts this Holy Week and Blessed Triduum.

+Laus Deo!

25 March 2010

Blessèd Miguel Pro, Martyr

Blessed Miguel Pro wrote the following prayer to Our Lady of Sorrows ten days before his death, when he instinctively sensed what was going to happen to him:

Let me live beside you, my Mother,
to keep you company in your solitude and your deepest grief!

Let me feel again in my soul
the sadness of your eyes and the abandonment of your heart!

On the road of my life I do not want
to taste the joy of Bethlehem,
the infant Jesus in your virginal arms.
I do not want to enjoy the dear presence of Jesus Christ
in your humble house of Nazareth.

Nor do I wish to unite myself

with the choir of angels

in your glorious Assumption!

In my life I want the jeers

and the derision of Calvary;

I want the slow agony of your Son,

the contempt, the ignominy,
the infamy of the Cross.

My wish, O Sorrowful Virgin,
is to
stand beside you, to strengthen my spirit through your tears,
to consume my sacrifice through your martyrdom,

to sustain my heart with your solitude,
to love my God and your God
through the immolation of my whole being.

Through the intercession of Blessed Miguel Pro, I pray for the miracle of complete healing and restoration of my body by the healing virtue of Christ the King.

I stand in grave need of your prayers, gentle reader, and I beg you to pray to the Lord for my healing through the intercession of Blessed Miguel Pro. God be praised.
+Laus Deo!

14 March 2010

Humility and Prayer

I have thought a great deal this last week about the treasury of prayer found in the collects of the Church. They do what most of us would like to do when we pray: address God, confident that He is listening, recalling some aspect of the life of Jesus and the Sacred Scriptures and relating those to a need that we have, and finally offering up the prayer in God's Name and to the Glory of the Holy Trinity. Below are 2 collects I treasure and pray often throughout the year, one for Palm Sunday and the other usually paired with Maundy Thursday in Holy Week and every Thursday each week of the year:

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who, of thy tender love towards mankind, hast sent thy Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, to take upon him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant, that we may both follow the example of his patience, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O GOD, who in a wonderful Sacrament hast left unto us a memorial of thy passion: Grant us so to reverence the Holy Mysteries of thy Body and Blood, that we may ever know within ourselves the fruit of thy redemption; who livest and reignest with the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

+Laus Deo.

11 March 2010

Take Courage, Take Heart

I left the following as a comment on Vultus Christi, Father Mark Daniel Kirby's blog, and thought it was worth repeating here:

Courage, dear brothers and sisters! Even if our Holy Father Pope Benedict were the only light in the darkness, that darkness cannot overcome that light nor can it diminish it. And in addition to our Holy Father there remain among the clergy and religious many brilliant lights burning with the glory of Heaven. Think for a moment of those lights and the lights among the laity and how the darkness can never overcome the Light of Christ all over this beautiful and troubled world. Father Mark is one of these great lights, and even though some of us may feel like a dimly burning wick, Christ promises never to put out even a dimly burning wick. Remember, the darkness cannot diminish even a dimly burning wick.

Let us shine before the Lord with His Light, and let us do so in confidence. And everywhere we go let us leave the encouragement of the Holy Ghost with friend and stranger, priest and pauper, bishop and Pope!

O Christ our Light, the one true Eternal Flame, behold thy Bride the Church, surrounded and assaulted, infiltrated and distressed, and visit Her with the radiance of thy Holy Face that all darkness and every evil be cast out from Her good company of faithful people, devout religious and her anointed priests so that She be ready at thy soon-appearing with lamps alight and hearts raised up; for thy tender mercies' sake. Amen.

+Laus Deo