- Thursday, 23 November 2017 11:18
Clement was a disciple of Ss. Peter and Paul from whom he learned about Jesus and the new Way. Much of what we know about Clement comes from his epistle to the Church at Corinth (an example of pastoral concern and paternal prudence). Yet, our knowledge of Clement comes through the witness of St. Irenaeus spent significant time with the Church at Rome, before serving as bishop of Lyon from approximately AD 177. Irenaeus was a pupil of Polycarp. The Roman Christians chose him as their bishop to succeed Linus and Cletus who briefly held that office before being martyred.
Its antiquity ranks Clement as the first of the great Apostolic Fathers. Tradition holds that after being tried for his faith Clement was exiled to hard labor in the Crimea, where he was believed to have been martyred. His relics were returned to Rome by St. Cyril, who reportedly discovered them on one of his early missionary journeys to the region. The relics were placed in what is now called St. Clement’s church in Rome (now under the direction of the Order of Preachers), where Cyril himself was buried when he died while he and Methodius were in Rome preparing for their mission among the Slavs.
The importance of St. Clement is his understanding of ecclesial authority and the life of the Christian in the face of said authority. As St. Irenaeus says, Clement had “the preaching of the apostles … echoing [in his ears], and their traditions before his eyes.” Is this true for us today? Do we have the preaching of the apostles echoing in my ears, and the traditions of the apostles before my eyes?
- Wednesday, 22 November 2017 06:36
St. Cecilia, one of the venerated Virgin Martyrs of the early Church. Known as the patron saint of church musicians, she is the object of many a poet and has the affection of many even today.
Orpheus could lead the savage race;
And trees unrooted left their place;
Sequacious of the lyre:
But bright Cecilia rais’d the wonder high’r;
When to her organ, vocal breath was giv’n,
An angel heard, and straight appear’d
Mistaking earth for Heav’n. (John Dryden)
- 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.