Monthly Archives: April 2020

Word by Word


As we walk along and lean more and more on God and less and less on human consolation we discover we are never alone.

When we truly give thanks to God for the human consolation that comes our way we discover just how many angels and saints God has placed along the path.

Everyone and everything is originally from God.

He is the only true creator, at the beginning, and at the end of the day.

If we love only Him we love everyone and everything.

Evil is the denial of such undeniable truth.

Evil is the denial of God’s supreme creativity.

Evil is the absence of good.

And shadows and darkness need spaces and voids in order to exist.

Jesus came to cast providential light.

For as the sun rises toward “straight above” the length of negativity surely disappears.

And at perfect high noon darkness does not stand a chance.

For Jesus was raised up upon the crisscrossed tree of life.

Good squelching evil for all the world to see.

———

The foot of that Cross still remains.

The closer we get the brighter the day.

Spaces and voids fill with pure light.

Absence disappears.

Evil is cast into hell.

For what God creates He intends for good.

———

Will we then live good lives?

Will we allow our absences to be filled with genuine goodness?

Will we speak life?

Will we help build the kingdom?

Let us do so.

One stone at a time.

One flickering light at a time.

One Eucharistic encounter at a time.

———

Let us live “on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.

For when we do,

Stones become bread,

Water becomes wine,

And bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ.

———

Lord Jesus, cover us with Your Blood.

Let us hug the foot of Your Cross.

Let us adore Your feet nailed to the trunk of the tree.

Let us get so close that not even a speck of darkness can get in between.

Let us truly ask this in Your Holy and Perfect Name.

Amen.


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—Howard Hain

http://www.HowardHain.com

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The Greatest Gift

Lord Jesus,
once in the wilderness
your people ate heavenly manna
and they were filled.
And once in a desert place
you fed the hungry 
with blessed bread.

A simple thing, we say,
costing our mighty God
little effort.

But what if bread is
a body offered for all,
and a cup of wine
your own life-blood
given to those who hardly care?

A costly thing, we say,
Is there anything more
God could have done?
Anything more
Love could do
than lay down his life 
for his friends?

From Lent-Easter Meditations and Prayers 
by Fr. Victor Hoagland, C.P.

Joy of Minds Made Pure


The one who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Then he said, “Write these words down, for they are trustworthy and true.”

—Revelation 21:5


There’s a place

Where walls are made of flowers

And petals are made of uncut stones.

Where virtue grows untold

And innocence can simply be itself.

Where earth and water mix

But never make mud.

The rain continually falls,

The sun always shines,

The dew remains sight unseen.

Laughter, joyful laughter

Tills the soil.

Weeds are welcome,

No plant chokes another.

The seasons,

They come and go,

The temperature remains the same.

Innocence. Innocence. Innocence.

The constant refrain.

Such a place exists.

It lowers from the sky

While within a playground

Filled with screaming kids.


Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them as their God.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away.”

—Revelation 21:1-4


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—Howard Hain

http://www.HowardHain.com

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Bread from Heaven

The dark green around the Lake of Galilee you see in the upper part of this Google satellite picture of Palestine says there’s good farmland there now; it was good farmland at the time of Jesus.

Herod the Great and his son Herod Antipas,  Galilee’s rulers then, appreciated the prospects  then and they created a network of roads and large cities – Tiberius, Sepphoris and Caesarea Maritima on the sea– to export goods from Galilee to the rest of the world. Could this information help us appreciate the miracle of Jesus, feeding the crowd bread and some fish?

“I am the bread of life”,  Jesus says in today’s gospel from John. I’m the source of your blessings and everything that is. God the creator works through me.  Moses asked for bread for his people journeying from Egypt.  Jesus says: “I am the bread of life.”

Jesus makes a divine claim in this miraculous sign, feeding a multitude. The crowd  wants to make him king, (John 6, 15) but the kingship they see doesn’t approach the kingship that’s his. It’s much too small. Jesus rejects their plan.

In a wonderful commentary on Jesus as the bread of life, the early theologian Origen says that Jesus calls himself bread because he is “nourishment of every kind,” not just nourishment of our bodies. He nourishes our minds and our souls; he brings life to creation itself.  When we ask “Give us this day our daily bread,” we’re asking for everything that nourishes our “true humanity, made in the image of God.”

Jesus is the bread that helps us “grow in the likeness of our creator.” (On Prayer 27,2) Sometimes– in fact most of the time–we don’t know the nourishment we or our world needs, but God does. “The true bread come down from heaven”  knows how to feed us.

“Give us this day our daily bread.”

Bloodline

Gaddi

Taddeo Gaddi, “Tree of Life, Last Supper and Four Miracle Scenes”, (c. 1360), Refectory, Santa Croce, Florence

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Go to the foot of the Cross, stay at the foot of the Cross, and the Precious Blood of Christ Crucified will drip straight down upon you.

It will mingle with the blood that drips from your open wounds.

This is the “bloodline” that breathes life into “dry bones” and brings forth the new family tree.

It is the Tree of Salvation—the tree watered by His mercy—the mercy he promised “to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever.”

———

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit…

 

—Howard Hain

Readings for the Third Week of Easter

26 SUN THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER

Acts 2:14, 22-33/1 Pt 1:17-21/Lk 24:13-35

27 Mon Easter Weekday

Acts 6:8-15/Jn 6:22-29 

28 Tue Easter Weekday

[Saint Peter Chanel, Priest and Martyr; Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort, Priest]

Acts 7:51—8:1a/Jn 6:30-35

29 Wed Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

Memorial

Acts 8:1b-8/Jn 6:35-40

30 Thu Easter Weekday

[Saint Pius V, Pope]

Acts 8:26-40/Jn 6:44-51

1 Fri Easter Weekday

[Saint Joseph the Worker]

MAY 2020

 Acts 9:1-20/Jn 6:52-59 

or, for the Memorial, Gn 1:26—2:3 or Col 3:14-15, 17, 23-24/Mt 13:54-58 

2 Sat Saint Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Memorial

Acts 9:31-42/Jn 6:60-69 

The Mass readings this week continue from the Acts of the Apostles with the story of the Greek-speaking deacon Stephen. His fiery preaching against temple worship and “stiff-necked” Jewish opposition to Jesus results in his death and a persecution that drives Hellenist Christians out of Jerusalem. (Monday and Tuesday) But Stephen’s death, like the death of Jesus, brings new life. The church grows. “The death of Christians is the seed of Christianity.” (Tertullian )

Philip the Deacon, one of those displaced, preaches to the Samaritans north of Jerusalem. Then, led by the Spirit, he converts the Ethiopian eunuch returning home after his pilgrimage to Jerusalem. (Wednesday and Thursday} Following Philip’s activity, Paul, the persecutor, is converted by Jesus himself. (Friday)

Before Paul’s ministry begins, Peter leaves Jerusalem to bless the new Christian communities near the coast; at Joppa he’s told by God to meet the Roman centurion in Caesarea Maritima. The mission to the gentile world begins with that meeting. (Saturday)

Stephen, Philip, Peter and Paul serve God’s mysterious plan. It’s not human planning. The Holy Spirit is at work.

The gospel readings this week are from St.John’s gospel– segments of Jesus’ long discourse on the Bread of Life to the crowd at Capernaum after the miracle of the loaves. (John 6) In the Eucharist we meet the Risen Christ.  He not only feeds us personally, but a growing church is fed.

An Intercessory Prayer Method

                                                                                                                                In the year 2011 I attended a women’s retreat at the Passionist Retreat House (Bishop Molloy Retreat House) in Jamaica, NY. It was my very first retreat ever! I didn’t know what to expect and how it was going to help me continue my path to our Lord Jesus Christ , you see, in 2011 I met Jesus. It took me over 40 some years to meet Him and fall in love, and I truly believe that I was led by Him to this retreat experience.     The retreat was led by a luminescent being (actually that is the way I saw her). Her name was Sister Maria Regina. She was a sight for my sore eyes and an enlightening to my soul.On the first night we had Evening Prayer in the upstairs chapel of the retreat house and she introduced to us this intercessory prayer that changed the way I pray for others. I’d like to share this with all of you now. It is perfect for this time that we are going through in 2020.     An Intercessory Prayer Method:     There are different ways of making intercession for others. Here is a way that uses no words. Sometimes we don’t even know what to ask for, and this way of interceding leaves it up to God. God knows exactly what is needed. What God wants and is waiting for is our own love and concern to provide an opening for God’s transforming energies to enter into the situation.     Close your eyes lightly, and spend some time becoming aware of the presence of Christ and of getting in touch with Him. Throughout this time of prayer, maintain this strong sense of connection with Christ. Without this, the intercession is in danger of becoming not prayer , but a mere exercise in remembering people. Keep in focus both the people you will be praying for and the presence of Christ.     Imagine Jesus flooding you with His life and light and power…. See the whole of your being, in imagination, lit up by this light that comes from Him.     Now conjure upon in imagination, one by one, the persons you wish to pray for… Lay your hands on each one, communicating to him or her all the life and power that you have just received from Christ… Take your time over each individual… Call down Christ’s love on him or her wordlessly… See the person light up with Christ’s life and love… See the person transformed… Then move on to the next person… and the next.     When you finish come to rest for a few moments in Christ’s presence, drinking in His light and His life, allowing yourself to be filled again with His Spirit, His love and especially His peace. End it with a brief prayer of thanksgiving for the privilege of collaborating in extending God’s reign.
     The beauty of this intercessory prayer is that it can be done for others as well. You can pray for those who are committed to your care… pastors for their people… teachers for their pupils…health care workers for their patients. Isn’t this perfect for our situation now? What about praying for your “enemies”? Didn’t Jesus ask us to do that? You can pray for each one of the persons whom you dislike and have difficulty with… or people who dislike you… or those who have caused you any kind of hurt… Think of the healing and forgiveness that would take place in you and through you to the other person. You can move on to pray for our Church… for whole nations… The treasures of Christ are infinite and you need not fear that you will exhaust them by lavishing them on His people.           At this moment I would like to thank our Lord God for putting people like Sister Maria Regina in my path to Him. She brought His light, His love and His peace into my life that weekend and I am eternally grateful to her. I love you Sister Maria Regina, please pray for us! And to my Beautiful and  Loyal Redeemer and Savior I would like to say thank You for all You have done for me here in the present and throughout my life. I love You my God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit! I praise and adore You! Glory to You! Berta Hernández