Tuesday, April 17, 2012

 "And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life." (Jn 3:15)

My Lord, God,
You have led me by a long, dark path,
Rocky and hard.
Often my strength threatened to fail me.
I almost lost all hope of seeing the light.
But when my heart grew numb with deepest grief,
A clear star rose for me.
Steadfast it guided me- I followed,
At first reluctant, but more confidently later.

At last I stood at Church's gate.
It opened. I sought admission.
From your priest's mouth Your blessing greets me.
Within me stars are strung like pearls.
Red blossom stars show me the path to You.
They wait for you at Holy Night.
But your goodness
Allows them to illuminate my path to You.
They lead me on.
The secret which I had to keep in hiding
Deep in my heart,
Now I can shout it out:
I believe, I profess!
The priest accompanies me to the altar:
I bend my face,
Holy water flows over my head.

Lord, is it possible that someone who is past
Midlife can be reborn (Jn 3:4)?
You said so, and for me it was fulfilled,
A long life's burden of guilt and suffering
Fell away from me.
Erect I receive the white cloak,
Which they place round my shoulders,
Radiant image of purity!
In my hand I hold a candle.
Its flame makes known
That deep within me glows your holy life.

My heart has become your manger,
Awaiting you,
But not for long!
Maria, your mother and also mine
Has given me her name.
At midnight she will place her newborn child
Into my heart.

Ah, no one's heart can fathom,
What you've in store for those who love you (1Cor 2:9).
Now you are mine, and I won't let you go.
Wherever my life's road may lead,
You are with me.
Nothing can ever part me from your love (Rm 8:39).
St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, 'Holy Night' Poem)

Text after DGO, picture represents 'Nicodemus seeks Jesus by night' by Alexander Bida

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Low Sunday and Divine Mercy - invitation to spiritual childhood

Today, the newly baptized at the close of Easter week laid aside the white garment which they had received at the baptismal font. To them St Peter (1P2:2) addressed his affectionate recommendation: "As newborn babes, desire the pure spiritual milk". These words are also applied to us, cradle Catholics. Although we were baptised as infants, we can say that every Easter regenerates us in Christ by means of our spiritual resurrection in Him. Therefore, we also must be like "newborn babes", in whom there is no malice, deceit, pride and presumption, but only candour and simplicity, confidence and love. This is wonderful invitation to the spiritual childhood which Jesus told us is indispensable condition for attaining salvation: "Unless you be converted and became as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 18:3). Each wave of grace purifies and cleanses our soul from sin and its roots, giving us rebirth to a new life in Christ, a pure, innocent life, which craves only "the pure spiritual milk" of the doctrine of Christ, His love and His grace. In this spirit we can see connection between Traditional Low Sunday and Divine Mercy Sunday. It is a matter of conversion of heart.

"O Lord, grant me true purity and simplicity: in my looks, words, heart, intentions, works, and in all my interior and exterior acts. I should like to know, O Lord, what there is in me that impedes these virtues. I shall tell you, O my soul, since I cannot make anyone else understand. Do you know that the obstacle is the smallest glance that is not directed to God, and all the words that are not spoken in praise of Him or for the benefit of your neighbour. Do you know how you drive these virtues out of my heart? You banish them every time you fail to have the pure intentions of honouring God or helping your neighbour; you also expel them when you try to cover up and excuse your faults, forgetting that God sees everything, including your heart. O Lord, give me real purity and true simlicity, for You cannot find Your rest in a soul which is without them" (St Mary Magdalen de Pazzi).

Main text adopted from "Divine Intimacy" by Fr Gabriel of St Mary Magdalen, OCD 
The picture represents engraving of St Mary Magdalen de Pazzi.
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