Tag Archives: Precious Blood

St. Vincent Strambi

St. Vincent Strambi, CP

We know the saints best when we see them as part of their time. Saints don’t withdraw from the time they live in. They engage it. The world we live in is the path we take when we’re born and our companion through our lifespan. It’s the cross we carry, the calvary on which we find ourselves. Our blood, mingled with the blood of Christ, must fall on it to redeem it.

I’m thinking of St. Vincent Strambi, a Passionist who lived in Italy as the 18th century gave way to the 19th century. His cross was a world convulsed by Napoleon’s dreams of world conquest and a society increasingly influenced by the Enlightenment.

Strambi had a great devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus, which was inspired by the sufferings he saw in the world around him.Some say over 4 million people were killed in the Napoleonic wars, military and civilians. So much innocent blood was shed then.

Strambi was part of that world; his blood was being shed too, not literally, but in the crucifying events of war, confusion, famine, sickness and change that affected his church, his community, his diocese, his country and the people he served. His devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus came mainly from his experience of his time, I think.

Father Fabiano Giorgini, a fine historian, wrote a short biography of Strambi which we’re going to translate into English. Someday I hope it will be an ebook.

Room of St. Vincent Strambi, Saints John and Paul, Rome

Morning Thoughts: 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.


.

—Howard Hain

.

Friday Thoughts: Pray the Mass

Paul Cézanne Bathers (Les Grandes Baigneuses) 1895-1905

Paul Cezanne, “Bathers” (Les Grandes Baigneuses), 1895-1905 

.

“Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”

—1 Thessalonians 5:17


.
Come with me. I love to go. I so love to go. The Mass in its abundant overflow.
 .
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son…” (John 3:16)
.

Come with me. It doesn’t matter what language you speak, nor what color skin your flesh happens to wear. Come. Be one with the Lord.

Pray the great prayer of the Church. Pray with sinners like me. Pray with all God’s Angels and Saints.

Pray the Mass. O, how God loves for us to share, to participate in Christ’s salvation of the world!

Living sacrifices. Gifts of bread and wine.

Come. Come. He is so very real. So much love. His Liturgy kisses each individual brow.

Begin your day by adjusting your ear…

If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” (Psalm 95)

Pray the Mass. Live it at home. Hour by hour. Minute by minute. Work through the Mass as you work through your day—knowing that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is being celebrated at every moment throughout the entire world.

———
 .
“The Lord be with you. And with your spirit.”
.

Antiphon to Antiphon. Introductory to Concluding Rites. Let the Mass order your day.

The Sign of the Cross upon opening your eyes.

“Kyrie, eleison…”, as you rise from bed.

A morning shower beneath God’s infinite reign of mercy: “Wash me, O Lord, from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.”

Read. Confess. Sing. Proclaim.

Wash the dishes. Run to the store.

Always praise. Yes, always praise: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will.”

Head to work. Attend a meeting. Go for a run.

“Alleluia, alleluia”:  The Gospel Acclamation.

It’s almost high noon. Enjoy the Sun. The light of God’s face. Hear the Holy Spirit’s instruction and inspiration for the day. Hold up your wounds, pray in union with God’s Crucified Child…

Offer the Universal Prayer while waiting for the bus…

Intercede for the entire world: the salvation of souls, the conversion of sinners, a unified church, the remembered and forgotten souls in purgatorial fire…

…for the sick, the persecuted, the poor, the imprisoned, the hungry, the thirsty…for every single soul for whom God wills us to pray…

For all the intentions of Jesus’ Most Sacred Heart.

———

“I believe in one God…”

Time for lunch.

Prepare the table. Acknowledge God’s goodness. Accept His gifts:

“By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ…”

Live. Breathe. Be free and at ease.

Let the Eucharistic Prayer flow into the core of your being:

“Lift up your hearts. We lift them up to the Lord…”

“…Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts…”

Watch as angels ascend and descend…your gifts borne “by the hands of God’s holy Angel to His altar on high…”

A priest at this very moment lifts the hands of Christ:

“Through him, and with him, and in him…”

———

Afternoon arrives:

“Behold the Lamb of God.”

Ask Jesus to come into your soul. Properly position yourself at the foot of the table:

“Lord, I am not worthy…but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”

Jesus thirsts to enter. Learn to open wide. Beg God on bended knee. Beg Him for the grace to generously give and graciously receive:

“The Body of Christ.

The Blood of Christ.”

“Amen.

Amen.”

———

Sitting in traffic. Waiting on a call. Wanting to get home.

“Period of silence or song of praise.”

Rest beneath the external chaos, enter the internal peace of the Kingdom that resides deep within. Remember that Jesus—Body, Blood, Soul, Divinity—continues to transform your entire being.

Stop and go. Almost home. Evening approaches.

The prayers the priest says quietly at the altar—pray them too—ceaselessly in the silence of your consecrated heart.

“Lord Jesus Christ…free me by this, your most holy Body and Blood…

…keep me always faithful…never let me be parted from you.”

Park the car. Say hello to a man who’s homeless. Briefly visit a confused elderly neighbor. Prepare to sit peacefully around your kitchen table. Practice patience. Hug and kiss the kids. Allow the joy of Christ to radiate outward from the eternal spring within.

At the close of supper, give great thanks, and call to mind an after-communion prayer:

“What has passed our lips as food, O Lord, may we possess in purity of heart, that what has been given to us in time may be our healing for eternity.”

———

Now circle around and approach the end of this blessed day much like the way you began—for somewhere out there—Mass is just about to begin:

“The Lord be with you. And with your spirit.”

Brush your teeth. Prepare to sleep the sleep of a most blessed mystical death. Ask Mother Mary to help you dress for the flight.

“May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

———

Kiss your wife goodnight.

Turn off the lamp.

Close your eyes in God’s perfect peace. The Mass at your right hand. Its liturgical rhythm steadily beating within your sacred heart.

Darkness descends.

“Go forth, the Mass is ended.”

The best is yet to come.

Faith. Hope. Love.

Eternal Life.

And as always: “Thanks be to God.”


.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son…”

—John 3:16


 

—Howard Hain
.
.
(Note: All italicized quotations are from The Order of Mass, unless otherwise indicated.)
.