Category Archives: Teaching & Living the Faith

The risks the fire

A fantasy [that people have] property takes no account of the fact that, for the great majority of mankind, life is a struggle. On those grounds I would see this idea of choosing one’s own path in life as a selfish attitude and as a waste of one’s vocation. Anyone who thinks he already has it all, so that he can take what he wants and center everything on himself is depriving himself of giving what he otherwise could.

Man is not there to make himself, but to respond to demands made upon him. We all stand in a great arena of history and are dependent upon each other. A man ought not, therefore, just try to figure out what he would like, but to ask what he can do, and how he can help. Then he will see that fulfillment does not lie in comfort, ease and following one’s inclinations, but precisely in allowing demands to be made upon one, in taking the harder path. Everything else turns out somehow boring, anyway. Only the man who “risks the fire”, who recognizes a calling within himself, a vocation, and ideal he must satisfy, who takes on real responsibility, will find fulfillment. It is not in taking, not on the path of comfort that we become rich, but only in giving.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

 God and the World, p. 258

Washed in Christ’s blood St Catherine’s parishioners take to NYC streets for Corpus Christi


Corpus Christi wc.jpgYesterday was the great feast of The Solemnity of the
Body and Blood of Christ. At Saint Catherine of Siena Church in New York City
the parish community with the Dominican Friars led by Father Jordan Kelly
celebrated a Solemn Mass for the feast and then took to the streets with the Monstrance containing Our Lord and Savior. For the
first time in years Our Lord in His Eucharistic Presence was carried in
procession in the neighborhood of the church. Imagine the faces of Catholics, Christians, Jews, Muslims and those who do not share our Eucharistic faith seeing such display of faith and devotion! 


Graces beyond imagining:
beautiful weather, lots of people, terrific sacred music given to our worship
by Daniel B. Sañez and his superb choir, an insightful homily and a rededication to the Sacred Heart with Benediction after an extended period of adoration. 

I
came across this reflection from Saint John Chrysostom: 

If we wish to
understand the power of Christ’s blood, we should go back to the ancient
account of its prefiguration in Egypt. ‘Sacrifice a lamb without blemish’,
commanded Moses, ‘and sprinkle its blood on your doors’. If we were to ask him
what he meant, and how the blood of an irrational beast could possibly save
people endowed with reason, his answer would be that the saving power lies not
in the blood itself, but in the fact that it is a sign of the Lord’s blood. In
those days, when the destroying angel saw the blood on the doors he did not
dare to enter, so how much less will the devil approach now when he sees, not
that figurative blood on the doors, but the true blood on the lips of
believers, the doors of the temple of Christ.

Indeed, washed in Chris’s blood,
and not that of a animal is what saves, and we ought to scream this from the
roof tops. Well, we actually didn’t yell anything but we walked together in
professing our faith.

The Church of Saint Catherine of Siena NYC will never be the same! Thanks be to God.

Can’t be called a Theist if you don’t believe in a Personal God

trinity MASTER of the Votive Picture of Sankt Lambrech.jpg

No one is to be called a Theist, who does not believe in a Personal God, whatever difficulty there may be in defining the word “Personal.” Now it is the belief of Catholics about the Supreme Being, that this essential characteristic of His Nature is reiterated in three distinct ways or modes; so that the Almighty God, instead of being One Person only, which is the teaching of Natural Religion, has Three Personalities, and is at once, according as we view him in the one or the other of them, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit–a Divine Three, who bear towards Each Other the several relations which those names indicate, and are {125} in that respect distinct from Each Other, and in that alone.


John Henry Newman

An Essay in aid of a Grammar of Assent, Chapter 5

The Feast of the Most Holy Trinity


Holy-Trinity-Peredea.jpgIn the Sacraments of Initiation, God invites us to
share in the life of the Most Blessed Trinity: we become recreated in the image
of Jesus Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit, and adopted as sons and daughters
of the Father.


In Pope Benedict’s Porta Fidei, the Letter opening the Year of
Faith later in 2012, wrote: To profess faith in the Trinity – Father, Son and
Holy Spirit – is to believe in one God who is Love (cf. 1 Jn 4:8): the Father,
who in the fullness of time sent his Son for our salvation; Jesus Christ, who
in the mystery of his death and resurrection redeemed the world; the Holy
Spirit, who leads the Church across the centuries as we await the Lord’s
glorious return.

Be living sacraments of Christ’s presence in the world leading all to eternal life

I am slowly reading a book written by Dom Michael Casey, a Cistercian monk from the Abbey of Tarrawara (Australia), The Road to Eternal Life, a series of reflections on the Prologue of the Rue of St Benedict. With all the talk of being a good witness and yesterday’s emphasis on our destiny in Christ, I thought Dom Michael’s reflection on boasting in the Lord makes some sense for us today. I recommend the book.

“And again he says, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord’.” (2 Cor 10:17 quoted in the Rule of St Benedict, Prologue v. 32)

The one in the New Testament who speaks most about boastfulness is Saint Paul. He sees boasting as an expression of an autonomy that weakens a person’s total reliance on God-that is, it weakens faith. Those who think that religion is simply a matter of conforming to the precepts of the law, or perhaps so twisting the precepts of the law so that they are comfortable, have not yet learned the art of putting their trust in God, relying on God’s mercy. They are locked into the schemes of self-perfection that they themselves have crafted. The end of such self-assurance can be only disaster. As Saint Ignatius of Antioch wrote to Polycarp, “The one who boasts has already come to nothing”.

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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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