Monthly Archives: October 2009

“Answer Me Now, My Blessed Mother In Heaven!”


Happy Halloween!!

Halloween is a celebration of God’s gift to eternal life, and salvation.  The name is actually ‘old english’ for the eve of ‘All-Saints Day.’  Even the macabre &/or strange aspects of Halloween can be useful.  By surrounding ourselves with images of death and evil, we learn to lessen our fear of it.  A child dressed as a devil may remind us of  the judgement we all will have to endure when our time in this world comes to an end.

Your child will probably not even think of Halloween as a christian holiday;  only a secular “feast” of sugar and fun.  But, parents should try to express limits of good taste on their children’s choice of costume.  This also definitely includes what type of costume the parents wear.  Your child will do as you do!

Just remember to have a good attitude towards this day (and night).  Go out and enjoy yourselves.

 

Humor of the Day:

 Never give the devil a ride – he will always want to drive.

 

 Today’s Meditation:

 From the Memorae Prayer:

 …O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy hear and answer me.  Amen.

 

In multiple apparitions, including one to St. Dominic many, many years ago, Mary has always said that she would be there for us – sinners – in reaching the salvation of God in Heaven.  All she asks, is that we adore Jesus through prayer, especially the recitation of the Rosary. 

Those that follow her direction, she promises to stand by at their deaths, and to escort them out of purgatory.  She also will take any petitions to her son in our name.  It is still up to Jesus about how the petition will be answered, but remember, ‘mommy’ brough it to Him.

 

Pax et Bonum

Dan Halley, SFO

*****

Franciscan Saint of the Day:  Bl. Angelo of Acri

Blessed Angelo was born at Acri, Italy.  He was refused admission to the Capuchins twice, but was accepted on his third attempt in 1690, and was ordained.  He eventually became a famous preacher after a tremendous success preaching in Naples during Lent in 1711.  For the rest of his life he preached missions in Calabria and Naples, converting thousands and performing many miracles of healing. 

He was reputed to have had the gifts of prophecy and bilocation; experienced visions and ecstasies; and was a sought after confessor with the ability to see into men’s souls.  He died in the friary at Acri on October 30, and was beatified in 1825.

(Source: Catholic Online) 

 (From http://www.franciscan-sfo.org website)

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“Woe, Woe, is Me – Sinful and Sorrowful! Mommy, I’m Sorry.”


One day to Halloween and 55 days till CHRIST-mas!

Humor of the Day:

People are funny; they want the front of the bus, the middle of the road, and the back of the church.

 

Today’s Meditation:

 From the  Memorae Prayer:

 …to you do I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. …

 

Who can remember being caught by Their mother doing something wrong.  Or even worse, having to go to your mother and admit you did something wrong.  No one ever went to their dad at these times.  Mom was the best of the two ‘evils.’

I remember as a child of about eight years of age, I was caught shoplifting a candy bar from the neighborhood grocery store.  I was taken to the office and my mother was called.  I stood there crying hysterically.  Then, I had to walk home, thinking of the disaster awaiting me on my arrival home.

When I entered my house, my mother was waiting at the door with her hands on her hips, and displaying a face that was not happy at all.  She took me by my hand and ‘escorted’ me to a wooden kitchen chair.  She asked me to explain myself, and preceded to yell at me, and then punish me.  Interestingly, I do not remember the punishment I received; though I am sure it was severe to say the least.  What I do remember is that after the mental scourging was over, my mother took me into her arms and gave me the biggest hug I can remember; and then said, “I Love You Very Much!”

Would Mary, our heavenly mother, be any different?  Yes, Jesus is our judge, but can’t you picture Mary behind Him with a look of concern and support on her face, while looking at us.

Mary, I love you so much!  Please be with me at all times, but especially at times of need, and at my death and judgement.  Amen.

 

Pax et Bonum

Dan Halley, SFO

*****

From the Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Prologue to the Rule, Chapter 2:

… The devil snatches the soul from his body with such anguish and tribulation that no one can know it except he who endures it, and all the talents and power and “knowledge and wisdom” (2 Chr 1:17) which they thought they had will be taken away from them (cf. Lk 8:18; Mk 4:25), and they leave their goods to relatives and friends who take and divide them and say afterwards, “Cursed be his soul because he could have given us more; he could have acquired more than he did.” The worms eat up the body and so they have lost body and soul during this short earthly life and will go into the inferno where they will suffer torture without end.

All those into whose hands this letter shall have come we ask in the charity that is God (cf. 1 Jn 4:17) to accept kindly and with divine love the fragrant words of our Lord Jesus Christ quoted above. And let those who do not know how to read have them read to them.

And may they keep them in their mind and carry them out, in a holy manner to the end, because they are “spirit and life” (Jn 6:64).

And those who will not do this will have to render “an account on the day of judgment” (cf. Mt 12:36) before the tribunal of our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Rom 14:10).

“Leaving On a Jet Plane – On My Way to the Blessed Virgin, My Mother!”


Humor of the Day:

 God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.

 

 

Today’s Meditation:

From the Memorae Prayer:

…Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto you, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; …

 

 

With all that I have reflected on, the closer I have come to a near agape-type love for our Blessed Virgin Mary.  This young woman of probably 15 years of age when asked to give birth to the Messiah.  Her response was only total and absolute abandonment of herself, for the glory of the lord.

Mary had to endure, in my opinion, true and brutal torture.  Maybe not physically, but definitely mentally.  She had to leave her country with a newborn baby to manage.  She had to witness her own, as well as Jesus’ ridicule and threats during His public ministry.  Mary had to watch as her only son be scrourged and murdered because of His words that threatened the religious-political figures of the time.

There is no reason Mary will not be there for us.  I believe she is there, along with the Holy Spirit at our greatest times of need.  All we have to do is ask her to wrap us in her arms and protect us, as a mother would do for any son.  Between the three in one Godhead and Mary, there is nothing more that anyone could ask for – or want.

 

 

Pax et Bonum

Dan Halley, SFO

*****

From the Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Prologue to the Rule, Chapter 2:

 

Concerning Those Who Do Not Do Penance

But all those men and women who are not doing penance and do not receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and live in vices and sin and yield to evil concupiscence and to the wicked desires of the flesh, and do not observe what they have promised to the Lord, and are slaves to the world, in their bodies, by carnal desires and the anxieties and cares of this life (cf. Jn 8:41).

These are blind, because they do not see the true light, our Lord Jesus Christ; they do not have spiritual wisdom because they do not have the Son of God who is the true wisdom of the Father. Concerning them, it is said, “Their skill was swallowed up” (Ps 107:27) and “cursed are those who turn away from your commands” (Ps 119:21). They see and acknowledge; they know and do bad things and knowingly destroy their own souls.

See, you who are blind, deceived by your enemies, the world, the flesh and the devil, for it is pleasant to the body to commit sin and it is bitter to make it serve God because all vices and sins come out and “proceed from the heart of man” as the Lord says in the gospel (cf. Mt 7:21). And you have nothing in this world and in the next, and you thought you would possess the vanities of this world for a long time.

But you have been deceived, for the day and the hour will come to which you give no thought and which you do not know and of which you are ignorant. The body grows infirm, death approaches, and so it dies a bitter death, and no matter where or when or how man dies, in the guilt of sin, without penance or satisfaction, though he can make satisfaction but does not do it. …

“Oh Blessed Virgin Mary, Please Help Me Mommy!”


I think today’s Humor statement is appropriate since I cannot remember when we had more than 1 day of sunshine at a time, while having MANY days in a row of rain.  In the St. Louis area the meteorologists have said that many, many records have been broken.  I guess we should be thankful for the rain though.  It could be SNOW!

 

Humor of the Day:

 Plan ahead;

It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.

 

 

Today’s Meditation: 

From the Memorae Prayer

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help,  or sought your intercession was left unaided. …

 

Mary IS our mother in heaven.  As Jesus is with us, so is Mary.  All Mary wants is to comfort us during our times of trial, and to smile and laugh with us during our happy times. 

Most people see Mary in flowing gowns of blue and white, with a crown on her head, and in a ‘royal’ posture of a queen.  I see Mary differently.  One of the most beautiful pictures of Mary I have is a very simple portrait of Mary with a bandana type cloth wrapped around her hair; and an apron over her ‘regular’ dress of that period of time.  Mary is hanging the laundry on a line, a basket of clothes next to her on the ground.  Next to Mary, sitting on the ground, is the baby Jesus with His back to you.  Apparently, He is not wearing any clothes as you can see the very top of His ‘backside’ (I call it a plumbers view).  You sense that this is Jesus, as He is holding a small wooden cross.

This view of Mary is comforting to me.  Yes, she is ‘royal’ and the mother of all; ruling with Jesus in heaven as a queen.  But this portrait also reminds me that she is also that loving mother who will jump and come to the aid of her earthly children – US –  the second we yell “MOMMY!”

 

Pax et Bonum

Dan Halley, SFO

*****

From Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Prologue, Chapter 1:

… Oh, how glorious it is to have a great and holy Father in heaven! Oh, how glorious it is to have such a beautiful and admirable Spouse, the Holy Paraclete.

Oh, how glorious it is to have such a Brother and such a Son, loved, beloved, humble, peaceful, sweet, lovable, and desirable above all: Our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave up his life for his sheep (cf. Jn 10:15) and prayed to the Father saying:

… “Oh, holy Father, protect them with your name (cf. Jn 17:11) whom you gave me out of the world. I entrusted to them the message you entrusted to me and they received it. They have known that in truth I came from you; they have believed that it was you who sent me. For these I pray, not for the world (cf. Jn 17:9). Bless and consecrate them, and I consecrate myself for their sakes. I do not pray for them alone; I pray also for those who will believe in me through their word (cf. Jn 17:20) that they may be holy by being one, as we are (cf. Jn 17:11). And I desire, Father, to have them in my company where I am to see this glory of mine in your kingdom” (cf. Jn 17:6-24).

“It’s Not Just the British – Catholics Have a ‘Queen Mother’ Also!”


Humor of the Day:

 If God is watching us, the least we can do is be entertaining

 

Today’s Meditation:   

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin

into Heaven and Her Coronation as

Queen of Heaven,

The 7th Joy of Mary  –  (Rev. 11:19) (Rev. 12:1,5)

Taken up body and soul to the glory of heaven where, as Queen, she sits in splendor at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages.
 
 

What was interesting for me to learn in my biblical studies, that the queen was NOT the wife of the king of the land.  The queen was actually the mother who would sit next to her son, the king, and whisper opinions and suggestions to him.  Jesus and Mary were use to this model of ruling families, as it was the norm at their time.

So, with that in mind; seeing Mary next to her son Jesus, in heaven, only seems natural.  He ascended into heaven ‘ body and soul,’ and he assumed Mary into heaven “body and soul,’ to rule over His kingdom.  From heaven, Mary, our Queen, is sitting next to Jesus whispering her opinions and suggestions to Him.  What a better reason to pray to Mary for your intentions.  Jesus will hear it from you, and from her!

 

Pax et Bonum

Dan Halley, SFO

*****

From Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Prologue, Chapter #1:

All who love the Lord with their whole heart, with their whole soul and mind, with all their strength (cf. Mk 12:30), and love their neighbors as themselves (cf. Mt 22:39) and hate their bodies with their vices and sins, and receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and produce worthy fruits of penance.

Oh, how happy and blessed are these men and women when they do these things and persevere in doing them, because “the spirit of the Lord will rest upon them” (cf. Is 11:2) and he will make “his home and dwelling among them” (cf Jn 14:23), and they are the sons of the heavenly Father (cf. Mt 5:45), whose works they do, and they are the spouses, brothers, and mothers of our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Mt 12:50).

We are spouses, when by the Holy Spirit the faithful soul is united with our Lord Jesus Christ; we are brothers to him when we fulfill “the will of the Father who is in heaven” (Mt 12:50).

We are mothers, when we carry him in our heart and body (cf. 1 Cor 6:20) through divine love and a pure and sincere conscience; we give birth to him through a holy life which must give life to others by example (cf. Mt 5:16).

“Oly, Oly, Ots-In-Free; Come On Out Jesus!”


Congratulations to Deacon Tom Bello, SFO and Elaine Hedtke, SFO for being named the National Minister and National Vice Minister for the United States Secular Franciscan Order.  They each have many years experience.  May God be with them in their duties. 

 

Humor of the Day:

 Forbidden fruits create many jams.

  

Today’s Meditation:  

The Resurrection,

The 6th Joy of Mary – (Luke 24:1–8)

At daybreak on the first day of the week they  found the stone rolled away from the tomb; but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.  

The Son of Man must be handed over to sinners and be crucified, and rise on the third day.” And they remembered his words.

 

Jesus said that the church could be destroyed and He will rise it again in three days.  Nobody at that time thought of the church as ‘Jesus.’  But Jesus is the church; he is the high priest; he is the almighty.  Jesus died for our sins, and proved that through Him, we can rise again in fulfillment of the scriptures. 

Mary, upon seeing the stone moved away, and Jesus no longer there, had to be petrified that someone had stolen His body.  That would only be a natural thought.  That fear instantly turned to exhilaration after hearing and seeing her son risen in glory. 

Mary’s prayers were answered!  Jesus’ prayers were answered!  God’s prayers were answered.  What prayers were these?  That sin would be redeemed: that all could find happiness and everlasting joy with Jesus in heaven; and that we all will rise again.

Mary, I thank you for giving birth to our Savior.  I want so much to live with you and Jesus in peace and harmony.  You stayed with Jesus though good and bad times.  Please help me to do the same.  Amen.

 

Pax et Bonum

Dan Halley, SFO

*****

Franciscan Saint of the Day:  Bl Bonaventure of Potenza -1711

Bonaventure was born of poor but virtuous parents in Potenza in the kingdom of Naples. A pious priest gave the boy instructions in Latin. At the age of 15, Bonaventure received the Franciscan habit among the Conventuals. After his profession, he resumed his studies with great ardor, but his zeal for perfection was less ardent.

His superiors sent him to Amalfi, where he lived eight years under the guidance of an eminent director of souls. This spiritual director trained his pupil above all in humility, self abnegation, and obedience, and Bonaventure achieved a high degree of perfection in these virtues.

One day Bonaventure told his master that the key to the sacristy was lost. “Well,” said his master with a smile, “then you will have to look for it in the well; get a rod and fish it out.” Promptly Bonaventure went to the well and with rod and line fished for the key. It was not long before he actually drew it out. God rewarded him in a miraculous manner for his blind obedience.

As a priest he labored with remarkable success. His words, conduct, prayer, and mortification combined to produce blessed results. His simple sermons made a deep impression on all hearts. At times a single word of his was enough to move the most hardened sinner to contrition.

At various times he was appointed guardian of a convent, but his humble pleas were always successful in changing the mind of his superiors. Obedience at length compelled him to accept the position of novice master. In this office he sought to inculcate in his pupils above all the practice of humility and obedience.

An epidemic broke out among the townsfolk, and Bonaventure at once sacrificed himself. Fearless of contracting the disease, he hastened from end to end of the town, rendering every possible service to the stricken, even the lowliest, and administering the sacraments to them. He cured many miraculously; he multiplied their insufficient provisions by his blessing, and he foretold future events.

After Bonaventure had been a shining model of virtue among his brethren for 45 years, he felt that his last hour was at hand. While the community gathered about his bed during the administration of the last sacraments, the dying man in touching words begged pardon of his superior and the community for his many faults and infractions of the rule, as he called them.

Deeply moved, the superior handed him the crucifix, and amid abundant tears the servant of God kissed the feet of the Savior, and then died peacefully on October 26, 1711. Pope Pius VI beatified him in 1775.

from: The Franciscan Book of Saints, ed. by Marion Habig, ofm., © 1959 Franciscan Herald Press

 (From http://www.franciscan-sfo.org website)

“The Burial of Jesus”


Humor of the Day:

 Don’t wait for six strong men to take you to church.

 

 

Today’s Meditation:

The Burial of Jesus,

The 7th Sorrow of Mary –  Mark 15: 46-47

The lifeless body of Jesus was locked in the tomb for three days.

 

The closest I have ever come to burying an immediate family member is my Mother this past April.  It was a devastating, and highly emotional, event for me and my brothers.  I am sure this would be magnified many times when it comes to a son.

Mary saw her beloved son tortured beyond what can even be imagined.  She saw her son carrying a cross through the city streets while being ridiculed and mocked by those that hated Him.  She saw her son hanging on the cross, in pure and total agony.  And finally, she saw her son being impaled with a spear in order to hasten His death.

Picture Mary holding the lifeless body of Jesus, covered head-to-toe with blood, sweat, and other body fluids.  His body pierced and torn by thorns, whips, nails the size of railroad spikes, and a large spearhead.  The pure agony Mary had to go through in witnessing, experiencing, and ‘feeling’ all that had happened to her only earthly son.

Mary, we love you.  Please love us the way you loved your son, Jesus.  Mary, our heavenly mother, be with us now and at the time of our deaths, as you were with your beloved son.  Amen.

 

Pax et Bonum

Dan Halley, SFO

*****

Franciscan Saint of the Day:  FREI GALVAO, THE FIRST BRAZILIAN SAINT

Antonio de Santa Ana (ne Antonio Galvao de Franca, 1739-1822), a Franciscan priest who founded the “Recolhimento” (Retreat) of Our Lady of the Conception and Divine Providence, today known as the Convent of Light.

The Franciscan charism, lived out in the spirit of the Gospel has borne significant fruits through [Frei Galvao’s] witness as an ardent adorer of the Eucharist, as a prudent and wise guide of the souls who sought his counsel, and as a man with a great devotion to the Immaculate Conception of Mary, whose ‘son and perpetual servant’ he considered himself to be.

Frei Galvao prophetically affirmed the truth of the Immaculate Conception. … The Virgin Most Pure, who conceived in her womb the Redeemer of mankind and was preserved from all stain of original sin, wishes to be the definitive seal of our encounter with God our Saviour. There is no fruit of grace in the history of salvation that does not have as its necessary instrument the mediation of Our Lady. In fact, the saint gave himself irrevocably to the Mother of Jesus from his youth, desiring to belong to her for ever, and he chose the Virgin Mary to be the Mother and Protector of his spiritual daughters.

(From http://www.franciscan-sfo.org website)