Today’s Gospel reading gives some of my favorite Christ imagery—Jesus as a grain of wheat. As Catholics we understand Christ’s continual bread allusions as pointing toward the Eucharist, toward the Bread of Life we consume at every Mass. This Gospel is also a reminder of the reality of the sacrificial nature of Mass, where we are at the foot of Jesus’ cross. Continue reading
Happy Psalm Saturday everyone! Today we compare Psalm 9, “God’s Power and Justice.” Oh, I love this one! (By now you realize I love all of them…) But, I’m still very excited for today because we’ve finally reached the psalm. I know, I’m being cryptic. What is “the psalm,” you ask? Keep reading, and perhaps you’ll notice before I tell you…
Today’s psalm is one of my favorites. Many of us could probably use a little cheering up, with all this bad weather and sickness going on. Thankfully, this psalm on “Divine Majesty and Human Dignity” has us covered. I know this post is a little late; I’ve been very sick and unable to work for the past few days. Continue reading
As a person, and especially a Catholic, with a permanent and sometimes painful physical disability, the doctrine of redemptive suffering resonates with me very deeply. And this idea of patient suffering made me love John Paul II, even before I was Catholic—underneath that slouching, frail body was an indomitable Spirit that even non-religious folks noticed. I think of John Paul II, and I see the fruit Jesus’ words when he said, “Do not be afraid.” This man was to me so brave, and I’m glad he’s interceding for us now in Heaven, asking God to help us patiently bear our own crosses; what a reassurance! And what a reassurance and grace that we have a God who still speaks to us in the Sacraments and from the pages of Holy Scripture proclaiming, “Do not fear, greatly beloved, you are safe! Be strong and courageous!” (Dan. 10:19) Because Friday is traditionally a day of penance and reflection on Jesus’ sacrifice, I’d like to share with you all this excerpt from St. John Paul II’s apostolic letter Salvifici Doloris:
As a result of Christ’s salvific work, man exists on earth with the hope of eternal life and holiness. And even though the victory over sin and death achieved by Christ in his Cross and Resurrection does not abolish temporal suffering from human life…it nevertheless throws a new light upon this dimension and upon every suffering: the light of salvation… This truth radically changes the picture of man’s history and his earthly situation: in spite of the sin that took root in this history both as an original inheritance and as the “sin of the world” and as the sum of personal sins, God the Father has loved the only-begotten Son, that is, he loves him in a lasting way; and then in time, precisely through this all-surpassing love, he “gives” this Son, that he may strike at the very roots of human evil and thus draw close in a salvific way to the whole world of suffering in which man shares…
The Redeemer suffered in place of man and for man. Every man has his own share in the Redemption. Each one is also called to share in that suffering through which the Redemption was accomplished. He is called to share in that suffering through which all human suffering has also been redeemed. In bringing about the Redemption through suffering, Christ has also raised human suffering to the level of the Redemption. Thus each man, in his suffering, can also become a sharer in the redemptive suffering of Christ…
You can read the entire thing here. It’s a beautiful letter, and a reminder of the truth—”See, I am making all things new.” (Rev. 21:5) Even our suffering can become beautiful and good when illuminated by the Gospel and united to the cross. Have a blessed and safe weekend, everyone!
It is no strain of music, no tinsel of vestment, no pomp of ceremonial which attracts us to our churches, which holds us captive in them. No! For Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament offers the same attractions, commands the same reverent attention, elicits the same humble adoration, whether we assist at His worship amid the poverty and simplicity of an Indian chapel, or assist at it amid the wealth and grandeur of a stately cathedral; it is Christ in the Eucharist Who holds us captive. It matters not to us whether He is worshipped amid the squalor of a stable, as at Bethlehem, by the lowly and the illiterate, or as afterward when offered gold and incense, He is adored by the hIgh-born and learned, by kings and wise men.
This is the Sacrament of His incredible, infinite Love. The Eucharist is no symbol; He is our reality, our everyday miracle. Every day Jesus gives Himself to the Church in the Eucharist and cries out,
“Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.”
Praise this Heart which has so loved men!
Lent started Wednesday of this week, and I’m excited to share my Lenten resolutions, The first one is to get well and take the history exam I missed Thursday. I’m also working out law school issues, but beyond the very obvious school hopes, I have a few more things in mind. Continue reading
Psalm Saturday is here again! It follows hot on the heels of “Sleep Thursday” and “Sick Friday.” Unfortunately, I have a virus. Fortunately, said virus is not the flu. Since I’m a little more alive this morning, let’s compare Psalm 7, “A Plea for Help Against Enemies,” otherwise known as “a shiggaion of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning Cush, a Benjamite.” I’m not sure what a shiggaion is, but David’s not exactly having a great time while writing it.