Thursday within the Octave of Corpus Christi
OF ST. MICHAEL
9 I will listen for what God, the LORD, has to say; surely he will speak of peace to his people and to his faithful. May they not turn to foolishness! 10 Near indeed is his salvation for those who FEAR him; glory will dwell in our land. 11 Love and truth will meet; justice and peace will kiss.
is drawing near through Mary and the Eucharist. We are to rejoice just as Mary
did in her Canticle of Praise when she entered the house of Zechariah.
“My soul proclaims
the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has
looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me
blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is
his name. His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. He has
shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has
thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The
hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty. He
has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to
his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
The Law of Love
Our Lord Jesus himself clearly taught us the first principles of Catholic morality: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.” (Mt 22:37-40) Love, or charity, is the great commandment of the Lord. Love of God and love of neighbor are the source & summary of Catholic morality. “All the law and the prophets” flow from this starting point. This means that what love requires is the essence of all moral rules, all of the Ten Commandments, and all aspects of morality spoken of by the prophets and even by Christ himself. The only things needed are those things which love makes necessary. It is also important to say that love does, indeed, require many things! In fact, it takes only a few simple steps of logic to deduce the Ten Commandments and most of the rest of Catholic morality from this starting point. Those moral precepts describe the minimum that love requires.
“What do you mean the minimum?”
Catholic morality’s basic moral code describes
the minimum necessary to live in union with Christ. If we fall below
that level, then the life of Christ cannot live within us. That’s the meaning
of mortal sin: an action which shows God that we refuse his offer to become
“children of God” (John 1:12) and “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet 1:4).
So, if that’s the minimum, then what’s the maximum that love requires?
Again, Jesus provides the answer: A new commandment I give to you, that you
love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By
this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one
another.” (John 13:34-35) The maximum, then, is to completely give ourselves
for others, even as Christ did for us. To put it more simply: there is no
maximum! We’ll always find that we can give more.
Love demands we care about human
rights, but we must begin with the protection of the unborn
Apparition of St. Michael
It is evident from Holy Scripture that God is pleased to make frequent use of the ministry of the heavenly spirits in the dispensations of His providence in this world. The Angels are all pure spirits; by a property of their nature, they are immortal, as is every spirit. They have the power of moving or conveying themselves at will from place to place, and such is their activity that it is not easy for us to conceive of it. Among the holy Archangels, Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are particularly distinguished in the Scriptures. Saint Michael, whose name means Who is like unto God? is the prince of the faithful Angels who opposed Lucifer and his followers in their revolt against God. Since the devil is the sworn enemy of God’s holy Church, Saint Michael is given to it by God as its special protector against the demon’s assaults and stratagems.
Various apparitions of this
powerful Angel have proved the protection of Saint Michael over the Church. We
may mention his apparition in Rome, where Saint Gregory the Great saw him in
the air sheathing his sword, to signal the cessation of a pestilence and the
appeasement of God’s wrath. Another apparition to Saint Ausbert, bishop of
Avranches in France, led to the construction of Mont-Saint-Michel in the sea, a
famous pilgrimage site. May 8th, however, is destined to recall
another no less marvelous apparition, occurring near Monte Gargano in the
Kingdom of Naples. In the year 492 a man named Gargan was pasturing his large
herds in the countryside. One day a bull fled to the mountain, where it could
not be found. When its refuge in a cave was discovered, an arrow was shot into
the cave, but the arrow returned to wound the one who had sent it. Faced with
this mysterious occurrence, the persons concerned decided to consult the bishop
of the region. He ordered three days of fasting and prayers. After three days,
the Archangel Michael appeared to the bishop and declared that the cavern where
the bull had taken refuge was under his protection, and that God wanted it to be
consecrated under his name and in honor of all the Holy Angels. Accompanied by
his clergy and people, the pontiff went to that cavern, which he found already
disposed in the form of a church. The divine mysteries were celebrated there,
and there arose in this same place a magnificent temple where the divine Power
has wrought great miracles. To thank God’s adorable goodness for the protection
of the holy Archangel, the effect of His merciful Providence, this feast day
was instituted by the Church in his honor. It is said of this special guardian
and protector of the Church that, during the final persecution of Antichrist,
he will powerfully defend it: “At that time shall Michael rise up, the great
prince who protects the children of thy people.”
Veneremur Cernui – Down in Adoration
of The Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of
to Priests, Deacons, Religious and the Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Phoenix
on the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist
My beloved Brothers and Sisters in
What we should humbly and fervently ask from God, then, is a deepening of our
love for Him with our whole heart. We should ask for this gift because love of
God is the only way to God. What rouses us to love God more than the Sacrament
of Love, the Eucharist? But as Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote, the mystery of love
in the Eucharist is available not to our unaided senses but only to faith: “Sight,
touch, taste fail with regard to Thee, but only by hearing does one believe
surely; I believe whatever God’s Son said: nothing is truer than the word of
Truth”. The Church’s ultimate reason to believe in the Eucharist is because
she trusts Jesus. She has faith in her Lord’s words spoken up and down the
centuries on the lips of her priests: “This is My Body given up for you”.
The Blessed Sacrament is thus the greatest sign given by God to stir up love in
the hearts of His people until He comes again. Let us beg God for the grace to
be on fire with the divine love which flows from the heart of Christ in the
Sacrament of His Body and Blood.
My dear sons and daughters in Christ, the Eucharist is the heart of our faith.
It is the center of the faith of the Church for it is Christ Himself. All the
concrete expressions of Eucharistic faith I mention above represent our humble
response to this mystery. If done in trusting surrender to God, they are meant
to draw us closer to the eternal wedding banquet to which every Eucharistic
celebration is a foretaste. May we never tire of discovering that the Eucharist
is the source and summit of Christian life! As from the source of a great
river, everything that matters in life flows from it. As to a great mountain
peak, all the striving and struggle of life seeks it.
For this reason, while we continue this earthly journey towards the eternal
Promised Land, we rejoice that the Eucharistic Christ is our protection against
powerful currents of selfishness and worldly temptations. In all of his
Eucharistic hymns, Aquinas always ends them pointing out the connection between
the Eucharist and heaven. In the hymn “Panis Angelicus”, he gives voice
to the ultimate desire and longing of every human heart: “We ask You, O God
Three and One, to visit us just as we celebrate You; along Your paths, lead us
to where we are headed, to the light where You dwell”. He reminds us that
the most effective way for us to prepare for eternal life is to seek to be
nourished by Jesus in the Eucharist.
To be continued
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART ONE: THE PROFESSION OF FAITH
BELIEVE" - "WE BELIEVE"
RESPONSE TO GOD
Article 2-WE BELIEVE
I. "Lord, Look Upon the Faith of
168 It is
the Church that believes first, and so bears, nourishes and sustains my faith.
Everywhere, it is the Church that first confesses the Lord: "Throughout
the world the holy Church acclaims you", as we sing in the hymn Te Deum;
with her and in her, we are won over and brought to confess: "I
believe", "We believe". It is through the Church that we receive
faith and new life in Christ by Baptism. In the Rituale Romanum, the minister
of Baptism asks the catechumen: "What do you ask of God's Church?"
and the answer is: "Faith." "What does faith offer you?"
Salvation comes from God alone; but because we receive the life of faith
through the Church, she is our mother: "We believe the Church as the
mother of our new birth, and not in the Church as if she were the author of our
salvation." Because she is our mother, she is also our teacher in the
Do not ask everyone’s opinion, but only the opinion of
your confessor; be as frank and simple as a child with him. Simplicity
of life can drive out demons. Honesty is a weapon to defeat Satan, the Liar.
When we lie, we put a foot in his camp, and he will try to seduce us all the
Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting:Unite in the work of the
Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus