The most difficult times can produce the greatest spiritual blessings. God truly knows just what we need at every moment!

Friday, June 28, 2013

a good pastor ...

(2 Letter to Timothy 3:1-5)

You may be quite sure that in the last days there will be some difficult times. People will be self-centred and avaricious, boastful, arrogant and rude; disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, irreligious; heartless and intractable; they will be slanderers, profligates, savages and enemies of everything that is good; they will be treacherous and reckless and demented by pride, preferring their own pleasure to God. They will keep up the outward appearance of religion but will have rejected the inner power of it. Keep away from people like that.

And the pertinent question is raising up ... "how to be a good pastor in the times like that?"

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sadness of God ...

What is a sin? Sin is a selfish and egoistic statement when I am saying to God: “I don't need you, I am self-sufficient and I know better what is good for me and what is not, and you will not dictate me what I have to do and what I cannot do”. Every time I am going away from God this is causing a deep sadness to God the Father, Who sees that I am going astray and away from Him and Who knows that I cannot live without Him and at the same time, I won't like to live that with Him and for Him. Even more, going away from God doesn't only men ignoring Him and His love, but it is also a way of creating a Hell for myself. And the Hell is exactly the existence far away from God and His Fatherly love among selfish and egoistic creatures like me. How can one exist far away from the Source itself of all existence?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

XII Sunday in Ordinary Time - C - June 22/23, 2013

Jesus’ question "Who do the crowds say that I am?" had as much relevancy down the centuries as it did when it was first asked in the northeast corner of Palestine. I will even dare to say that this is the crucial question for all Christians, for all who claim to believe in Christ and to believe Christ. Many have attempted to answer that question. In fact, each Christian of every age must give an answer. And today as in the time of Christ we have as many answers as people trying to answer the question. Today however “Many people consider Jesus irrelevant because he proposes a life of self-discipline”, the life of truth and authentic love. For this reason His teaching and His person are rejected and denied or neglected even by some so called Catholics, who are not able to accept God who is not fitting their simplistic and false images of Loving God, who forgot about justice.

If God doesn’t fit my expectations and my conviction He doesn’t exist.

So, this people try to diminish Christ’s role and reduce Him to the mere human dimensions, refusing His divinity and His divine prerogatives and rights. They are creating an image of a false God (Christ) who is weak, insignificant, unimportant and finally useless. We can see it nowadays where the whole -apparently Christian- societies are living as if Jesus doesn’t exist or –as one of the American theologians said: “we are creating and worshipping an idol of God, conform to our ideas and who finally follow or obey us and our projections. This god is not the God of the Bible is not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is not the God of authority and powerful, creative Love. He is a weak idol, who has to obey us and our requests and if not I reject Him.”

Famous German theologian Karl Rahner in his book “Foundations of faith” writes:

True religion, as a religion of the transcendental God and not the religion of my own subjective imagination cannot be rooted only in my subjectivity or depend only on my individual projection. It has to be a religion of objective and indisputable moral and ethical values rooted ultimately in an objective God, Who is always out of me and finally out of my understanding. If the religion is only an expression and interpretation of my personal understanding and my private acceptation, it is always subjective and week, and finally it is a kind of home-made religion. And what is the value of such a home-made religion? The value of such a home-made religion is the same as the value the home-made currency. Means null, literally zero!!

To guarantee, to assure this objectivity of God and objectivity of religion, God gave us two complementary elements: Bible and the Church which is: “the pillar and foundation of truth.” (1 Tim 3:15)

How many of our contemporary Christian communities are creating such a home-made religion, or home-made God, because they reject Jesus Christ as a Messiah, they reject the church instituted by Christ?

More important however is Jesus’ second question: "who do you say that I am?"
Matthew Kelly in his book: “Rediscovering Catholicism” writes:

You can prise Him, disagree with Him, quote Him, disbelieve Him, glorify Him, or criticize Him. The only thing you cannot do is ignore Him.

I agree with him only partially, because -as we can see in our society- … many, even Christians or Catholics ignore Christ, or prefer not to know Him. Ask please one of your relatives or friends a sincere a serious question: “Who is Jesus Christ for you?” … and in many cases the only answer -you will get- will be an embarrassment or an awkward smile of discomfort. They are Christians, they are Catholics …. But the question is awkward … isn’t it?

And if I ask you the same question, what will be your answer? Not a catechetical or neutral "smooth" answer but your personal, the most private, the most secret and most individual answer: “Who is Jesus Christ for me, here and now?

I must decide -as someone has suggested- whether I am His disciple or just only His fan.

If I declare myself a disciple of Christ I have to know that the word disciple comes the word discipline … and it means that as a disciple I suppose to follow the discipline of Christ.

As a disciple I have to understand directly the words:

If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.

We must decide eventually WHO IS JESUS CHRIST FOR ME. If my answer is the same as St. Peter's, I have to do something with it and not just pretend that I know Jesus and that I am His disciple.

And this has to be absolutely clear. Otherwise I am creating an idol who has nothing to do with and objective and Almighty God, I am creating my home-made religion and the value of this home-made religion is the same as the value of the home-made currency.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

some biblical quotations

(Letter to the Hebrews 4;12-13)
The word of God is something alive and active: it cuts more incisively than any two-edged sword: it can seek out the place where soul is divided from spirit, or joints from marrow; it can pass judgement on secret emotions and thoughts.
No created thing is hidden from him; everything is uncovered and stretched fully open to the eyes of the one to whom we must give account of ourselves.

(2 Letter to Timothy 4:1-5)

Before God and before Christ Jesus who is to be judge of the living and the dead, I charge you, in the name of his appearing and of his kingdom: proclaim the message and, welcome or unwelcome, insist on it. Refute falsehood, correct error, give encouragement -- but do all with patience and with care to instruct.
The time is sure to come when people will not accept sound teaching, but their ears will be itching for anything new and they will collect themselves a whole series of teachers according to their own tastes; and then they will shut their ears to the truth and will turn to myths. But you must keep steady all the time; put up with suffering; do the work of preaching the gospel; fulfill the service asked of you.
(Ezekiel 3:17-21)
'Son of man, I have appointed you as watchman for the House of Israel. When you hear a word from my mouth, warn them from me.
If I say to someone wicked, "You will die," and you do not warn this person; if you do not speak to warn someone wicked to renounce evil and so save his life, it is the wicked person who will die for the guilt, but I shall hold you responsible for that death.
If, however, you do warn someone wicked who then fails to renounce wickedness and evil ways, the wicked person will die for the guilt, but you yourself will have saved your life.
When someone upright renounces uprightness to do evil and I set a trap for him, it is he who will die; since you failed to warn him, he will die for his guilt, and the uprightness he practiced will no longer be remembered; but I shall hold you responsible for his death.
If, however, you warn someone upright not to sin and this person does not sin, such a one will live, thanks to your warning, and you too will have saved your life.'

Monday, June 17, 2013

From a treatise on the Lord’s Prayer by Saint Cyprian, bishop and martyr

(Nn. 4-6: CSEL 3, 268-270)

Let your prayer come from a humble heart

When we pray, our words should be calm, modest and disciplined. Let us reflect that we are standing before God. We should please him both by our bodily posture and the manner of our speech. It is characteristic of the vulgar to shout and make a noise, not those who are modest. On the contrary, they should employ a quiet tone in their prayer.

Moreover, in the course of this teaching, the Lord instructed us to pray in secret. Hidden and secluded places, even our own rooms, give witness to our belief that God is present everywhere; that he sees and hears all; that in the fullness of his majesty, he penetrates hidden and secret places. This is the teaching of Jeremiah: Am I God when I am near, and not God when I am far away? Can anyone hide in a dark corner without my seeing him? Do I not fill heaven and earth? Another passage of Scripture says: The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, observing both good and wicked men.

The same modesty and discipline should characterize our liturgical prayer as well. When we gather to celebrate the divine mysteries with God’s priest, we should not express our prayer in unruly words; the petition that should be made to God with moderation is not to be shouted out noisily and verbosely. For God hears our heart not our voice. He sees our thoughts; he is not to be shouted at. The Lord showed us this when he asked: Why do you think evil in your hearts? The book of Revelation testifies to this also: And all the churches shall know that I am the one who searches the heart and the desires.

Anna maintained this rule; in her observance of it she is an image of the Church. In the First Book of Kings we are told that she prayed quietly and modestly to God in the recesses of her heart. Her prayer was secret but her faith was evident. She did not pray with her voice, but with her heart, for she knew that in this way the Lord would hear her. She prayed with faith and obtained what she sought. Scripture makes this clear in the words: She was speaking in her heart; her lips were moving but her voice could not be heard; and the Lord heard her prayer. The psalmist also reminds us: Commune within your own hearts, and in the privacy of your room express your remorse. This is the teaching of the Holy Spirit. Through Jeremiah he suggests this: Say in your hearts: Lord, it is you that we have to worship.

My friends, anyone who worships should remember the way in which the tax-collector prayed in the temple alongside the Pharisee. He did not raise his eyes immodestly to heaven or lift up his hands arrogantly. Instead he struck his breast and confessing the sins hidden within his heart he implored the assistance of God’s mercy. While the Pharisee was pleased with himself, the tax-collector deserved to be cleansed much more because of the manner in which he prayed. For he did not place his hope of salvation in the certainty of his own innocence; indeed, no one is innocent. Rather he prayed humbly, confessing his sins. And the Lord who forgives the lowly heard his prayer.

Cohabitation Ceremony ...

Saturday, June 15, 2013

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time – “C”

In today's Gospel from Luke Chapter 7 we are told about the encounter between Jesus and a woman who was a sinner. This takes place in the house of a Pharisee. Jesus has been invited to come and eat with the Pharisee.


The woman of the city, this sinner, has heard that Jesus was eating in the Pharisee's house. So she enters the house and kneels at the feet of Jesus. Weeping, she begins to bathe His feet with her tears and drying His feet with her hair. Then kissing His feet she anoints them with an alabaster jar of ointment.


We can imagine the reaction of the self-righteous Pharisee. He is shocked! How can this woman, who is well known as a sinner dare to touch Jesus? Doesn't Jesus know who she is? If she touches Him then Jesus would be ritually unclean.


Jesus responds by telling a simple story of two debtors, of whom one was forgiven a very small debt and the other was forgiven a very large one. Jesus puts a question to the Pharisee as to which of these two debtors was more grateful, the one who was forgiven little or the one who was forgiven the greater debt?


The point of the parable is that forgiveness always brings the loving response that we call gratitude, and that obviously the more generous the forgiveness is the more intense the response is likely to be. Jesus now applies this lesson to the woman and the Pharisee. The Pharisee gave Jesus no water to wash His feet, whereas the woman bathed His feet in her tears and dried them with her hair. The Pharisee gave Jesus no kiss, but the woman from the time she came in, she has not stopped kissing Jesus' feet. The Pharisee did not anoint Jesus' head with oil, however, the woman anointed His feet.


Jesus said “Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; because she has shown great love.” “ Woman, your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you; go in peace”


What Jesus was saying to the Pharisee was that this woman, despite her sinful past, was much closer to God than the Pharisee was, because she was able to recognize her sinfulness and the necessity of God’s mercy.


Today's first reading tells us about God's prophet Nathan confronting David for adultery and murder.

David had committed adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of one of his soldiers, and then engineered the death of her husband so that he might continue his relationship with Bathsheba. David did what displeased the Lord. David, after being abundantly blessed by God, went from neglect of duty, to lust, to adultery, to deceit, to treachery, to conspiracy, and finally to murder.


Upon being confronted by God’s prophet Nathan, David, sincerely and humbly confesses his guilt. David is profoundly repentant, and having confessed his sin to Nathan with the result that the Lord forgives his sinfulness, and remits the worst, though not all of his punishment.


The entire story is both a severe warning to human pride and, at the same time, a gracious assurance of the availability of divine mercy to those repentant sinners who sincerely confess their sins.


This is the classic Old Testament statement of the pattern of self-examination in the light of God's law. Examination was followed by confession of the sin as an offense against God.


It concludes with the confessor's declaration that because of the person’s repentance and confession - God has put away the sin.


Nathan tells David that God has put away his sin – he is forgiven his sins. However, God tells David through Nathan that there is still a debt to pay even though his sins are forgiven – the Lord tells him that because of his sin – “the sword shall never depart from your house.” The damage must be repaired.


As it was in the Old Testament so it is today. We follow basically the same process when we celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Sacrament of Confession. The Sacrament of Reconciliation given to us by Jesus consists of examination of conscience beforehand, an act of repentance, confession of sins to Jesus through the priest, with the intention to make reparation. The priest then gives us absolution and our sins are taken away and we leave to do whatever penance we have been assigned.


Like David, God has forgiven our sins through the action of the priest and like David we are assigned a penance. Remember, even though David’s sins are forgiven, God told him there is still a price to pay and he is told “Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, for you have despised Me”. Even though God has forgiven David’s sin God still assigns him a punishment – a penance if you will. Why?


Because the reality of God’s Mercy is always connected to the reality of Justice. We really don’t have trueMercy without justice.


The forgiveness of sins is the sign of God’s Mercy but the penance assigned is the expression of God’s Justice. God is a merciful but just God.


God is not vengeful and unforgiving, but the damage caused by sin must be repaired, because the structure of God’s good creation was damaged.


This penance that we have been assigned by the priest of course is only symbolic in that it could never make reparation for our sins. Only Jesus Christ can do that. Jesus came to pay for our sins. We could never pay the price. Only Jesus can.


We are not able to repair the damages caused by our sins since we have sinned against Almighty God, so only the Son of God, the Omnipotent and creative Word of God can “make everything new”, only Christ can re-create the nature broken by our sins.


However, it is not possible to do this without our participation. And this is the sense of the penance we receive in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Sacrament of Confession.


This penance allows us to participate in the reparation made by Christ. That is mercy. That is justice.


And what is the reaction of the repentant person whose sins are forgiven? Today’s responsorial psalm tells us about the joy we should feel in our hearts after we have sincerely confessed our sins to the priest and been given absolution – the assurance that God has heard our plea and forgiven our sins.


Psalm 32 tells us about the joy of those whose sins are forgiven, who have confessed their transgressions to the Lord and were forgiven the guilt of their sins and now they find their refuge in the Lord.


“Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven whose sin is covered. Blessed is the one to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity and in whose spirit there is no deceit. I acknowledged my sin to you and I did not hide my iniquity; I said “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord and you forgave the guilt of my sin.


Did David confess his sins directly to the Lord or did David confess his sins to God through God’s representative, Nathan. What does Scripture say? Scripture is very clear. David said to Nathan “I have sinned against the Lord” and then Nathan said to David “Now the Lord has put away your sin; you shall not die”.


In hearing the words of absolution with our own ears from God’s minister, the priest in the confessional - we have the wonderful assurance that God has heard our confession and taken away our sin. God’s knows human nature – He knows of our need to be assured of forgiveness, He knows what comfort it will be to hear those words of forgiveness.


That is why we confess our sins to God’s minister a priest, because according to Holy Scripture that’s the way God wants it to be. That is why the Lord instituted the Sacrament of Reconciliation. So that we might mysteriously participate in Christ’s redemptive action, be forgiven our transgressions and know that we are forgiven when we hear the words of forgiveness and receive our assigned penance.


God does not want to condemn us but rather to give us the opportunity to receive His forgiveness.


In his book “Crossing the Threshold of Hope” the late Great Pope John Paul II wrote and I quote:


“…convincing the world of the existence of sin is not the same as condemning it for sinning.” God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him." Convincing the world of sin means creating the conditions for its salvation. Awareness of our own sinfulness, including that which is inherited, is the first condition for salvation; the next is the confession of this sin before God, who desires only to receive this confession so that He can save man. To save means to embrace and lift up with redemptive love, with love that is always greater than any sin.” Unquote.


We have a choice. We can be like the Pharisee who obviously felt he had no need for forgiveness maybe because he felt he had no sin. Or, we can be like the woman in the Gospel, humbly acknowledging our sinfulness.


David confessed his sin to God’s representative, the prophet Nathan. That is how God wanted David to be forgiven – through the actions and words of His minister Nathan. God’s prophet Nathan spoke to David. David acknowledged his sin to Nathan.


If it was not for that encounter with Nathan, David would never have known for sure that God had forgiven him and that God required more from him namely “that the sword should never leave his house”?


In today’s Scripture readings Jesus places a challenge before us.


God did not speak directly to David but rather spoke to him through His minister Nathan.

God does not speak directly to us either but rather speaks to us through His minister the priest.


And that is the challenge the Lord gives us today.


Do we want to hear with our own ears the words of words of Jesus “Go in peace, your sins are forgiven.”

When was the last time we heard the words of forgiveness spoken to us in the confessional?


God bless you.

Deacon Bernie Ouellette


11th Sunday - 2013

Her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has been shown great love. 
Again love has prevailed.

This woman had great courage. Surely, she was aware that by coming to Jesus, He could have ignored her and shown disdain.

However, she wanted to change her life but even more she wanted to taste true love and forgiveness.
Full of tears of desire flooded her eyes when she met the warm eyes of Jesus. Everything changed.
She suddenly saw that someone respected her as a human being and looked at her with love. She saw that she had a chance to begin again.
She desired forgiveness and waited for Jesus' words -"Your sins are forgiven".

Love and forgiveness is the central theme of actions of God.
This theme should also be the goal for Christians.

Why forgive?
Because forgiveness brings peace and agreement. It brings joy to the heart of the one who is forgiving and greater joy to the heart of the one who is forgiven.
God loves us and He is still forgiving.

We cannot speak of true love until we forgive.

Until we learn this our heart will  be open only to someone. It will never be an open and loving heart.

It will be hard if partially closed growing in aversion, suspicion, jealousy, and even a desire for revenge.
It will be a restless heart, not peaceful because we cannot love God and hate man.

Today, we can come to Christ, crying or weeping and touch His feet and ask for His forgiveness.

Let us pray also for His love to transform us and give us the courage and strength to forgive.

 Fr. Tom

Friday, June 14, 2013

Do I trust God?

The more you trust God the more you will be given out of His bounty and His love. He is THE GIVER an He is a very generous Giver, He loves to give and He is giving even Himself in the Sacramnet of the Body and Blood. He is the Generous Giver and the most precious Gift. And you will never be able to embrace the generosity and the beauty of this Gift. The whole eternity will be not enough to reach the end of this Gift.

But once you stop to trust, once you start to trust yourself or anything, or anybody else .... He retires because He cannot compete with any other things or person, who is only His creation. There is no competition between the Creator and the creation. So the basic attitude toward God is the attitude of full, absolute trustfulness, childlike attitude of trust, honesty and faith.

Unhappily so many people even Catholics are rejecting this attitude because of the mentality of "immediate gratification", or selfishness ...  They don't trust God, because they cannot reject the substitutes of happiness, the ersatz of good, the apparences of value.

And this is why they are not able to receive all the treasures God prepared for them because their heart is full of junk, and there is no place for God's far more precious gifts.

And this is the sad, very sad reality of so many contemporary people. They are running and searching and they are constantly unhappy, non satisfied, restless and they don't know why ...
What is blocking any kind of help is the boastful attitude of pride expressed in the conviction "I know better what is good and what is not good for me. Even God will not dictate me what is good and what is evil!" 

This is a kind of self condemnation, because even God is not able to pierce,to penetrate this kind of shield ...

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Church of Jesus Christ ...

Catholic Church will certainly stay true to its faith because it is (or she is) protected by the Holy Spirit !!!! and the promise of the Lord that the gates of Hell will not prevail.
What doesn't necessarily mean that all members of the Church will stay true ...
Sadly we can rather notice the opposite process in certain areas of the world. But it is only a question or problem of a part of the Church and not of the whole Church.

We have rather to pray so that those who are going astray can convert and repent. Or maybe for those who are faithful so they don't abandon the true faith and Jesus Christ … and be strengthened.
But the Church as such will certainly not abandon the Lord even if it should be only a few faithful disciples.

For me what is going on now is not the warning for the Church but rather the warning for those who try to manipulate the Church according to their caprices.
This is rather the process of "sifting the chaff" …

Those who are capable of understanding and (more important) of accepting it will have no problem. But what is the most difficult is the fact that this demands the simplicity of heart and absolute trustfulness to the Lord, what isn’t necessary the attitude of our contemporaries …

And this is the saddest reality … that so many Catholics were misguided for so many years (and they are constantly misguided in many parishes) that it is extremely difficult to convince them that they are on the slippery slope …
Every time you try to show them this dangerous situation you are accused of fanaticism, fundamentalism, negativism, rudeness, impoliteness etc.
But that don't understand because they are stubbornly persisting in their errors, accusing God and not themselves ...

Society of the Divine Saviour - Salvatorians

Father Francis Mary of the Cross Jordan (The Founder of the Salvatorians), wrote in December 1894 in his work “Exhortations and Admonitions”, “As long as there is one person on earth who does not know God and does not love Him above all things, you dare not allow yourself a moment’s rest. As long as God is not everywhere glorified, you dare not allow yourself a moment’s rest.

Salvatorians in Canada -

Sunday, June 09, 2013

10th Sunday

Right now we are a witness to a very difficult moment in the life of every person.
The farewell to a loved one. In today's gospel, it is not difficult to imagine a mother's despair. The death of her son was a huge disaster..... Losing her son,... she lost all,.... becoming quite lonely.

Witnessing this misfortune, Jesus stood at the side of the road and seeing the despair, said, " Do not cry", and then touching the pallet, He said, "Young man, rise up." Restoring the boy to life. 

Life is for living that is our goal.

The desire to live is something natural. Death is something contradictory and contrary to our nature. While at each and every moment we are approaching our departure from this world we must be sure that in the Resurrection of Christ we see the empty tomb.

Often we say, we are born to die but, as believers in God, we add we must die to be born into eternal life.

At the time of our Baptism, we entered the same road as Jesus. So we have the opportunity to meet Him now and after death.

The problem is, that very often we choose a different way, which seems to us to be better.

Unfortunately, this is the risk when we do not meet with  Jesus.
Only Jesus is the Lord of life and death  and only He can restore us back to life.

Why not choose this path?

We must choose the way by which He will have the opportunity to touch the pallet restoring us to life.

 Fr. Tom

Monday, June 03, 2013

Eucharistic Procession

First Eucharistic Procession in Sankt-Petersburg since 1918 ....

World Priest Day

The Annual Global Rosary Relay idea is a simple one: in that each of the 60 participating shrines prays a particular mystery of the Rosary at a particular half hour on the day in thanksgiving to God for our priests and to implore the protection and loving care of Our Lady, Mother of all priests, for all her priestly sons. With the coming of midnight on the 7th June 2013, the entire world, by then, will have been encircled in prayer for our priests on this The Annual Rosary Relay Day.

Blessed John Paul II has established that on the solemnity of the Sacred Heart the Church will observe the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests. We encourage each and every one of the faithful to pray for our priests today, this very moment, in preparation through prayer, celebration of the Mass and Eucharistic Adoration, so that the 7th June 2013 will be an even greater celebration of the priesthood of Jesus Christ worldwide.

see more here

Triumphalism in the Church

Pope Francis: Triumphalism in the Church Halts the Church
Pontiff Warns of Risk of Succumbing 'To A Christianity Without a Cross'
By Junno Arocho Esteves
VATICAN CITY, May 30, 2013 ( - During last Thursday’s daily Mass homily, Pope Francis warned of the risk of succumbing to a “Christianity without a cross.”

Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel according to St. Mark, which speaks of Christ walking ahead of the disciples who were “dismayed” and “fearful”. The Holy Father noted Christ’s conduct, who chose to tell them the truth. “The Son of man will be handed over to  the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and kill him; but on the third day he will rise,” the Gospel reads.

According to the L’Osservatore Romano, the Holy Father told the faithful that the disciples went through the same temptations as Christ did in the desert, “when the devil challenged him to to work a miracle.”
Today, we risk succumbing to the temptation of a Christianity without a cross. And there is another temptation: that of a Christianity with the cross but without Jesus,” Pope Francis said. This, he continued, was the “temptation of triumphalism. We want triumph now, without going to the cross, a worldly triumph, a reasonable triumph."

The Holy Father concluded his homily speaking on the danger of triumphalism in the Church and of Christians, saying that a “triumphalist Church is a halfway Church.”

“A Church content with being “well organized and with [...] everything lovely and efficient”, but which denied the martyrs would be a Church which thought only of  triumphs and successes; which did not have Jesus’ rule of triumph through failure. Human failure, the failure of the cross. And this is a temptation to us all.”

Read it online

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Corpus Christi Solemnity - history

The miracle of Bolsena-Orvieto/Italy

In 1263 a German priest, Peter of Prague stopped at Bolsena while on a pilgrimage to Rome. He is described as being a pious priest, but one who found it difficult to believe that Christ was actually present in the consecrated Host. While celebrating Holy Mass above the tomb of St. Christina (located in the church named for this martyr) he had barely spoken the words of Consecration when blood started to seep from the Consecrated Host and trickle over his hands onto the altar and the corporal.

The priest was immediately confused. At first he attempted to hide the blood, but then he interrupted the Mass and asked to be taken to the neighboring city of Orvieto, the city where Pope Urban IV was then residing.
The Pope listened to the priest's account and absolved him. He then sent emissaries for an immediate investigation. When all the facts were ascertained, he ordered the Bishop of the diocese to bring to Orvieto the Host and the linen cloth bearing the stains of blood. With archbishops, cardinals, and other church dignitaries in attendance, the Pope met the procession and, amid great pomp, had the relics placed in the cathedral. The linen corporal bearing the spots of blood is still reverently enshrined and exhibited in the Cathedral of Orvieto.

It is said that Pope Urban IV was prompted by this miracle to commission St. Thomas Aquinas to compose the Proper for a Mass and an Office honoring the Holy Eucharist as the Body of Christ. One year after the miracle, in August of 1264, Pope Urban IV introduced the saint's composition and by means of a papal bull instituted the Feast of Corpus Christi.

After visiting the Cathedral of Orvieto, many pilgrims and tourists journey to St. Christina's church in Bolsena to see for themselves the place where the miracle occurred. From the north aisle of the church one can enter the Chapel of the Miracle, where the stains on the paved floor are said to have been made by the blood from the miraculous Host. The altar of the miracle, which is surmounted by a 9th century canopy, is now situated in the grotto of St. Christina.

In 1964, on the 700th anniversary of the institution of the feast of Corpus Christi, Pope Paul VI celebrated Holy Mass at the altar where the holy corporal is kept in its golden shrine in the Cathedral of Orvieto.
Pope Paul VI later spoke of the Eucharist as being ...."a mystery great and inexhaustible."

Corpus Christi Sunday

The miracle of multiplying bread is symbolized at the Eucharist.

Jesus Christ gives man this meal but in today’s gospel Jesus not only feeds the crowds... but He wants to show us that everybody who calls out to Him will be heard.


It is not just about physical hunger, but also for every other kind of hunger. Daily bread gives us strength. The people fed in the desert have the strength to be with Jesus and hear His voice.

 So, what is the power of Spirtual bread? Eucharistic bread?


It not only gives us physical strength but above all it strengthens our spiritual power.

This truth is very difficult to understand, only because, it is a "Great Truth".

Jesus Christ in Holy Communion is true God and true Man. This is the source of our spiritual strength.

So often we feel weak spiritually. We feel ill and lack the desire to live. We are afraid of the present and the future.

So we must reach out for this bread because every hour of worry and anxiety is due to the fact that we think that God does not participate in our life. That He is far away from our problems.  However, He  is  with us, He  WANTS  to be with us. In a moment He will change bread into His body...for us to be one with Him. For He who loves wants to be close to the beloved.


I wonder, how much does He love us?

He wants very much to be present in our lives in our daily food the Holy  Eucharist.

This is so amazing. God wants to be easily reachable  and available as our daily bread.


Eucharist is not only Communion for us, but it guides us to unity, to sharing, and to love like God does for us.

We can see now that He needs us to build His church.


Let us go back to our homes today with the belief that Christ wants us to rebuild our spiritual strength, but, by our hands He wants to rebuild His Body which is His church.

Fr. Thomas

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Worldwide Eucharistic Adoration

On the Solemnity of Corpus Christi (mans today), the Holy Father will preside over a special Eucharistic Adoration that will extend at the same time all over the world involving the cathedrals and parishes in each diocese. For an hour, at 5pm. (Rome time 9 am. our time), the whole world will be united in prayer and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Corpus Christi Sunday – 2013 – C

The Solemnity of the Body and Blood of the Lord was established in the thirteenth century to promote respect and reverence for the Eucharist. Today’s solemnity has retained this purpose. We need to stop today and consider our reception of Holy Communion. We need to ask God to rekindle in us and in all our people the awe, the respect, and the reverence that is fundamental to understanding the reality of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

Sometimes we say: “I believe in God and that is all that matters." But the problem with this argument is that there is no place for God’s greatest gift, the Eucharist, in our lives. Because the respect, the reverence for the Eucharist is –very often- is missing from our lives.

But I do not have to look to others. There are times that the reverence for the Eucharist is not all it should be in my life, as perhaps also in yours. Too often I prepare for Mass focusing on the homily while not remembering that far more important than the homily is the reception of the Word Made Flesh in Communion. Perhaps, too often you join the line to receive Holy Communion without taking the time to consider what you are doing or Whom you are receiving. Too often people receive Communion and they don’t even know that instead of saying “Thank you” they have to say Amen. Too often people receive Communion and they then head for the doors to beat the parking lot traffic. It's too bad, but that is the reality we very often see here.

The lack of reverence for the Eucharist is rooted -most probably- in our lack of reverence for our daily bread. How many times we can see the bread, or the food in general thrown out into the garbage, despised, disrespected … How often we don’t respect what we have, but instead we starve for more money, for more luxurious things? Maybe the lack of reverence for the Eucharist is rooted also in our lack of reverence and respect for others. Maybe we don’t respect the Eucharist because we do not respect our brothers and sisters, our neighbors?

Or there is maybe another, more direct cause of the lack of reverence for the Eucharist? It is maybe the fact that actually we don’t believe that this white piece of bread is truly the Body of Christ. In such a situation it will be perhaps better to read the continuation of today’s second reading from the 1 letter to the Corinthians, where St. Paul writes very clearly: “Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. Examine yourself, and only then eat the bread and drink the cup.  For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body and blood, eats and drinks judgment against himself.”

"Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.  Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day: for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.  Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them."

"The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ?  The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ?  Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake (share in) one bread."

"As often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.  Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord. Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgement against themselves" (1 Cor 11:26-29)

Eucharist the center of our life - Teaching of the Church about receiving Communion

Eucharistic Communion is both an expression and an intensifier of communion with the Church. As a result, there are limits to who can receive Communion. In Ecclesia de Eucharistia, John Paul II points out that communion with the Church is both visible and invisible, and both are needed to receive the Eucharist.

Visible communion with the Church “entails communion in the teaching of the apostles, in the sacraments, and in the Church’s hierarchical order” (35)—in other words, accepting Catholic doctrine, receiving the Church’s sacraments, and being subject to its governance. In short, being a faithful Catholic.

Invisible communion with the Church, “in Christ and through the working of the Holy Spirit, unites us to the Father and among ourselves.” Union with God is achieved through the state of grace, which is thus indispensable to receiving Eucharistic Communion. Though some have tried to deny this or to water down the fact that every mortal sin destroys the state of grace, it remains true.

Thus the pontiff states that “along these same lines, the Catechism of the Catholic Church rightly stipulates that ‘anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of reconciliation before coming to communion. ’ I therefore desire to reaffirm that in the Church there remains in force, now and in the future, the rule by which the Council of Trent . . . affirmed that, in order to receive the Eucharist in a worthy manner, ‘one must first confess one’s sins, when one is aware of mortal sin’” (36; cf. CCC 1385).

This means that some Catholics are not allowed to receive Communion. This is a particularly sensitive issue when it comes to those who live in objectively immoral situations, such as invalid marriages. These can arise when a Catholic marries outside the Church without a dispensation or remarries after divorce without an annulment.

In regard to such cases, the Pope stresses: “The judgment of one’s state of grace obviously belongs only to the person involved, since it is a question of examining one’s conscience. However, in cases of outward conduct that is seriously, clearly, and steadfastly contrary to the moral norm, the Church, in her pastoral concern for the good order of the community and out of respect for the sacrament, cannot fail to feel directly involved. The Code of Canon Law refers to this situation of a manifest lack of proper moral disposition when it states that those who ‘obstinately persist in manifest grave sin’ are not to be admitted to Eucharistic communion” (EDE 37; cf. CIC 915).

Incoherence, inconsistency of our life

While we cannot judge another person's soul, still we recognize that those involved in certain actions should not come forward for Communion.

You may have heard about bishops admonishing certain politicians not to receive Communion. In this instance the politicians had taken public stands promoting abortion. Since one is Democrat and the other Republican, clearly the bishops are not acting in a partisan manner. Still, the bishops' action surprised some people. What business, they ask, do the bishops have telling someone they should not receive Communion?

The popular perception sees caring liberal bishops welcoming Catholic politicians regardless of their abortion orientation to receive Communion while heartless conservative bishops use confrontation at the altar rail as an opportunity to embarrass and harass political leaders who cross them on their hobbyhorse of opposing a woman's 'right to choose'.

From the earliest days of the Church, receiving Holy Communion unworthily has been forbidden; forbidden out of concern for those who would make such unworthy communions.  St. Paul in the eleventh chapter of First Corinthians wrote: "Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord." (1 Cor. 11:27-29)

From this perspective, Bishops who treat Catholic politicians who support abortion as if they were in full communion with the Church are neglecting their pastoral concern and charity for their wayward spiritual children.


Actually, the bishops were acting out of a long tradition. St. Paul told the Corinthians to examine themselves carefully before receiving Communion. Otherwise instead of receiving a blessing they might bring condemnation upon themselves. And St. Paul identified at least one person who should not be part of the Church's communion. St. Paul was not acting on his own. Jesus practiced a similar tough love.

Part of our problem - at least in the United States - is that we have lost the sense of coherence between Communion and the rest of one's life. I would like to mention this Sunday that other acts also exclude a person from Communion. For example, a couple living together without sacramental marriage should not come forward for Communion. If someone has missed Sunday Mass without a sufficient reason, they should not receive Communion until they have gone to confession. At their annual meeting, the American bishops published a document titled "'Happy Are Those Who Are Called to His Supper': On Preparing to Receive Christ Worthily in the Eucharist." It gives specific guidance on who may receive Communion and when a person should refrain.

The bishops were careful to stress that you and I should not set ourselves as judges of those who come forward for Communion. For example, a couple may not be in a sacramental marriage, but they may have made a special pledge to live as brother and sister. That would between them and their pastor. If one does have a concern about whether someone else should refrain from Communion, the first thing to do is to pray. Maybe you are not the right one to approach that other person. Maybe God will sense someone else on account of your prayer. And maybe he will open a door for you to gently guide the other person. It would be a great act of love.

In today's Sequence, St. Thomas mentions that some receive Communion for salvation, others to their damnation. The greatest thing you can do for another person is to be an instrument setting them on the path to salvation. That is what the bishops were doing when they admonished Catholic politicians who are promoting abortion. We are not here to make people into Democrats or Republicans. We are here to help people become saints. Someday the Republicans and Democrats will be as long forgotten as the Whigs and the Know Nothings. But the saints will shine like unquenchable stars.

This Sunday we celebrate the great gift of Communion. Let's humbly ask the Lord that we may receive him in a way that will lead us to salvation.

The Church is the Body of Christ - For the Child:

Thanksgiving after Receiving Holy Communion

Dear Jesus, I believe that You are present within my heart.
You said, "This is My Body and My Blood."
And I know You love me and want to be with me.
From my heart, I thank You for all You have given to me: my life, my parents, my health, Baptism, protection, and all that I have.
Make me more grateful still.

Generous Lord, I ask for still more: Protect my soul and body.
Be good to those I love. Grant me this special favor. (mention it here)
Watch over me and make me good and happy.
Jesus, I promise to receive You often in Holy Communion.
Remain with me, dear Jesus, today and always.
Never leave me in life and be with me in the hour of my death.