- Saturday, 18 November 2017 11:15
St. Rose Philippine Duchesne (1769–1852) was born in Grenoble, France, to a wealthy and prominent family. At the age of 18 she joined the Visitation nuns against the wishes of her family, taking her religious name after St. Rose of Lima and St. Philip Neri. During the anti-religious fervor of French Revolution, the “Reign of Terror,” her convent was shut down. She then took up the work of providing care for the sick, hiding priests from the revolutionaries, and educating homeless children.
When the tensions of the revolution subsided, she rented out her old convent in an attempt to revive her religious order, but the spirit was gone. She and the few remaining nuns of her convent then joined the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (founded in 1800). Since childhood St. Rose Philippine had had a strong desire to be a missionary in the New World, and encouraged by her spiritual father, she wanted to work especially among the Native Americans. Like the Apostles sent by the Lord, she was sent by the Society to go on mission in 1818; she and four nuns traveled across the Atlantic, up the Mississipi river to serve in one of the remotest outposts in the region in St. Charles, Missouri.
The vocation St. Rose had was for a blend of the contemplative life and the missionary life: a contemplative in action, like that of the Society of Jesus. St. Rose Philippine was a hardy pioneer woman ministering in the Midwest during its difficult frontier days. She opened several schools and served the Potawatomi Indians who gave her the name “Quah-kah-ka-num-ad,” meaning, “Woman-who-prays-always.”
St. Rose Philippine followed the example the foundress of the Sacred Heart Society, trusting completely in God with boldness and completeness that would saturate her whole life and mission. Her mission, like that of St Paul, was realized in “the power now at work in us can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:20)
At the age of 83 St. Rose Philippine on this date. She was canonized on July 3, 1988 by St. John Paul II. (edited DG)
- Monday, 13 November 2017 16:30
I have, for many years, admired Mother Cabrini for reasons known and unknown. Today’s feast gives us the space of time to consider the vocation and mission of a great woman called by Jesus to serve Him. The following prayer should keep us focussed.
Prayer of St. Cabrini after Confession
My dearest Jesus, I have told all my sins as well as I could. I tried hard to make a good confession. I feel sure that you have forgiven me. I thank You. It is only because of all Your sufferings that I can go to confession and free myself from my sins. Your Heart is full of love and mercy for poor sinners. I love You because You are so good to me. My loving Saviour, I shall try to keep from sin and to love You more each day. My dear Mother Mary, pray for me and help me to keep my promises. Protect me and do not let me fall back into sin. Almighty God, kneeling before Your Divine Majesty, I adore You and because You command me, I dare approach Your divine Heart. But what shall I say if You do not enlighten me with a ray of Your divine light?
Speak to my soul, O Lord, and command me to listen to Your voice. Enlighten my will to put Your words into practice. Pour Your grace into my heart; lift up my soul weighed down by my sins; raise my mind to heavenly things, so that earthly desires may no longer appeal to me. Speak to my soul with Your divine omnipotence, for You are my salvation, my life, and my peace, in time and in eternity. Strengthen me with the grace of Your Holy Spirit and give Your peace to my soul that I may be free from all needless worry and care. Help me to desire always that which is pleasing and acceptable to You so that Your Will may be my will, Grant that I may rid myself of all unholy desires, and that for Your love I may remain unknown in this world, and be known only to You.
Do not permit me to attribute to myself the good that You perform in me and through me, but rather, referring all honor to Your majesty, may I glory only in my weakness, so that renouncing sincerely all vain glory which comes from the world, I may aspire to the true and lasting glory which comes from you. Amen.
- Wednesday, 18 October 2017 07:41
“Luke’s Gospel is marked by a special concern for the poor, the marginalized, women, and social outcasts. His account of the nativity, with its stress on the faith of Mary, emphasizes the humbleness of Jesus’ birth and its significance in fulfilling the hopes of the poor. It is in Luke’s Gospel that Jesus preaches, “Blessed are the poor” and where we find the parable of the rich man and the poor beggar Lazarus, offering such a striking image of the relation between mercy and justice in this life and in the life to come.”
– Blessed Among Us, by Roger Ellsberg, p. 600.
- Wednesday, 11 October 2017 07:14
Today is the liturgical memorial of St. John XXIII. This is the first time the universal Church is permitted to observe this feast. He was the beloved Servant of the Servants of God.
Here is the opening prayer for the Novus Ordo Liturgy.
Almighty and eternal God, who in the Pope, Saint John XXIII, gave to the whole world the shining example of a good shepherd, grant that, through his intercession, we may with joy spread abroad the fullness of Christian charity.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
- Saturday, 30 September 2017 07:52
St. Jerome was one of those guys who was hard to like and to get to know. I think he was irascible but was serious about his seeking God and had personal holiness. But that was in the fourth century and people had a different way of interpersonal relationships. It is clear from his biographers, Jerome was graced by great talent: priest, biblical scholar, well-travelled, secretary to a Roman Pontiff, ascetic, monastic founder, translator of the Bible and ecclesial writers and an apologist. Of particular note, Jerome was involved the theological controversies of his time: Arianism, the virginity of Mary, and the teachings of Origen.
Jerome studied and was baptized in Rome, then returned to his native Aquileia where he lived the ascetic life. He attended the lectures of Apollinarius and decided to live as a hermit in the Syrian desert around 374. He learned Hebrew, returned to Antioch and was ordained priest.
Jerome spent time in Constantinople before returning to Rome to become the secretary to Pope Damasus. Following the Pope’s death, went to Egypt, Palestine, and Antioch settling in Bethlehem. There he founded a new men’s monastery, and continued his scholar work.
Jerome is a good example of letting the Light shine brightly for the service of the Proclamation of the Gospel. In what ways does St. Jerome inspire you to be of service to Jesus Christ and the Church?