Saturday, February 28, 2015

Prayer: John Chrysostom

Rejoice, mother and heaven, maiden and cloud, virgin and throne, the boast and foundation of our Church. Plead earnestly for us that through you we may obtain mercy of the day of judgment and attain the good things reserved for those who love God, through the grace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be glory, power, and honor now and forever and all eternity.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Photo: Roman Cistern

Poem: "Dear March" by Emily Dickinson

Dear March, come in!
How glad I am!
I looked for you before,
Put down your hat – You must have walked –
How out of breath you are!
Dear March, how are you?
And the rest?
Did you leave Nature well?
Oh, March, come right upstairs with me,
I have so much to tell!

I got your letter and the bird’s;
The maples never knew
That you were coming till I called;
I declare, how red their faces grew!
But, March, forgive me – And all those hills
You left for me to hue;
There was no purple suitable,
You took it all with you!

Who knocks? That April!
Lock the door!
I will not be pursued!
He stayed away a year, to call
When I am occupied.
But trifles look so trivial
As soon as you have come,
That blame is just as dear as praise
And praise as mere as blame.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Photo: Pope Francis

Spirituality: "Silence as an Alternative Consciousness" by Richard Rohr

For me, the two correctives of all spirituality are silence and service. If either of those is missing, it is not true, healthy spirituality. Without silence, we do not really experience our experiences. We may serve others and have many experiences, but without silence, nothing has the power to change us, to awaken us, to give us that joy that the world cannot give, as Jesus says (John 16:22). And without clear acts of free service (needing no payback of any sort, even “heaven”), a person’s spiritual authenticity can and should be called into question. Divine Love always needs to and must overflow!

To live in this primordial, foundational being itself, which I am calling silence, creates a kind of sympathetic resonance with what is right in front of us. Without it, we just react instead of respond. Without some degree of silence, we are never living, never tasting, as there is not much capacity to enjoy, appreciate, or taste the moment as it purely is. The opposite of contemplation is not action, it is reaction. We must wait for pure action, which always proceeds from a contemplative silence in which we are able to listen anew to truth and to what is really happening. Such spiritual silence demands a deep presence to oneself in the moment, which will probably have the same practical effect as presence to God.

You do not hear silence (precisely!), but it is that by which you do hear. You cannot capture silence. It captures you. Silence is a kind of thinking that is not thinking. It’s a kind of thinking which mostly sees (contemplata). Silence, then, is an alternative consciousness. It is a form of intelligence, a form of knowing beyond bodily reacting or emotion. It is a form of knowing beyond mental analysis, which is what we usually call thinking. All of the great world religions at the higher levels (mystical) discovered that our tyrannical mode of everyday thinking (which is largely compulsive, brain-driven, and based on early patterning and conditioning) has to be relativized and limited, or it takes over, to the loss of our primal being and identity in God and in ourselves. I used to think that mysticism was the eventual fruit of years of contemplation; now I think it all begins with one clear moment of mystic consciousness, which then becomes the constant “spring inside us, welling up unto eternal life” (John 4:14).

Adapted from Letting Go: A Spirituality of Subtraction

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Second Sunday of Lent

Ignatian Spirituality: Set the World Ablaze

The Second Sunday of Lent
March 1, 2015
Genesis 22:1-2, 9-13, 15-18; Psalm 116; Romans 8:31-34; Mark 9:2-10

Scripture presents us with momentous turning points this week. Abraham, though he has been faithful to God in the past, responds to God by being willing to sacrifice his son Isaac, who God acknowledges, as “your only one, the one whom you love, your beloved.” Abraham, because of his prior trust in God, is willing once again to follow the Lord’s commandments, even though it would sadden him greatly. In the Gospel, Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up the mountain to be transfigured in their presence into a dazzling white not seen like anything on earth. Jesus is the one declared beloved by the voice from the cloud, the one whom God loves in a special way. It is Jesus, not Isaac, who is destined to be sacrificed.

These are crucial turning points in the story of these men. Abraham long practiced fidelity to God and he survived the crucial test of giving up his only son. His other son, Ishmael, was born to a servant woman, and not born of the free marriage to Sarah. Abraham’s “yes” validated God’s trust in him, which bestowed the fatherly blessing upon his descendants. While the fate of Jesus was becoming clearer, he took his inner circle of friends up the holy mountain where he Moses and Elijah appeared alongside him. God revealed Jesus to be more special than the lawgiver and the prophets. Jesus is identified the one whose faithfulness will lead to salvation. He tells his friends that he will rise from the dead.

Abraham’s turning point allowed the blessing of God to transfer from himself to his son and his descendants. In other words, his fidelity was no longer a personal response, but one that affected everyone who followed. Through Isaac and Israel, God’s promises continued. After the Transfiguration of Jesus, his mission changed drastically. His eyes looked firmly forward to Jerusalem, the destination of his journey where the great prophet would be rejected, reviled, and killed. His mission became clear. He was truly God’s beloved, the one who would be sacrificed as the extreme test of fidelity.

In the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola, a retreatant’s turning point follows a period of fidelity where Jesus personally asks for this faithfulness to increase. After being with Jesus, watching him, listening to him, learning from him, Jesus, as the eternal king, asks a person, “Will you come with me and imitate me as I make my way to the cross? Just be with me, and feel with me, as I endure the final events of my day.” Typically, a retreatant resists because of the pain he or she will experience, but the only possible answer is “yes.” This is the turning point, when the heart, the mind, and the will are united by the imagination and one’s whole being says “yes” to Jesus. This is the magis, the more. Our lives are no longer are own because we live for a higher purpose.

Do you have a moment in your personal history that you consider a turning point in faith? We assent to God in small ways that strengthen our commitment, but is there a time when you felt your resolve to God become unmistakable so that a new path opened up for you? It involves giving a more thoughtful, deeper response to Christ that comes from knowing that he is your beloved as well. Your love for him reflects his affectionate care for you based on a whole lifetime of memories. It is a time when silence takes root together because you have stood by each other. Nothing more needs to be proven; you are in this together.

Lent is a time to tell ourselves again our stories of faith and to see how the friendship with Christ has developed. Let Christ remind you of those times that are significant to him. Let him choose you once again and call you his Beloved, the one whom he loves. We need these times of loving remembrance because this is the time of our magis, the more, because the Cross looms ahead, however we go into it knowing that our friendship has endured all trials and tribulations. His death lives on in us. We can go forth – onward and upward – secure in our faith, transfigured because Christ’s love forever changes us.

Themes for this Week’s Masses

First Reading:
Monday: (Daniel 9) We have rebelled against you God and sinned, but you have remained faithful to us in the covenant. You, O Lord, have justice on your side.
Tuesday: (Isaiah 1) Wash yourselves clean and make justice your aim. Obey the commandments and take care of your neighbor.
Wednesday: (Jeremiah 18) The people of Judah contrived against Jeremiah to destroy him by his own words.
Thursday: (Jeremiah 17) Cursed is the one who trusts in human beings. More tortuous than all else is the human heart. The Lord alone probes the mind and tests the heart.  
Friday: (Genesis 37) Israel loved Joseph best of all, which created resentment among his brothers, who later sold him into slavery for twenty pieces of silver.
Saturday: (Micah 7) God removes guilt and pardons sins and does not persist in anger.

Monday: (Luke 6) Jesus said, “Be merciful,” and “Stop judging because you will be judged by the way you judge.”
Tuesday: (Matthew 23) The scribes and Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Be wary of someone’s teaching if they have no integrity between their words and actions.
Wednesday: (Matthew 20) As Jesus went up to Jerusalem, he told his disciples, “Behold. The Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests, condemned to death, handed over to Gentiles, an crucified, and will be raised on the third day.”
Thursday: (Luke 16) A rich man dressed in purple garments died shortly after Lazarus, a beggar. In heaven, Lazarus was rewarded and the rich man was tormented in hell. He appealed to God to spare his family, but was told that they would not listen to Moses or to anyone who was raised from the dead.
Friday: (Matthew 21) Jesus told the parable of a vineyard owner, who entrusted the land to servants, but these men seized the land and possessed it. They killed the servants and the heir. When the owner returned, he cast the wretched men into a tormented death.
Saturday: (Luke 15) Jesus is accused of welcoming sinners and eats with them. He then tells the story of the prodigal one who was well received by his father upon his return. The one who was lost has been found.

Saints of the Week

March 1: Katherine Drexel (1858-1955), was from a wealthy Philadelphian banking family and she and her two sisters inherited a great sum of money when her parents died. She joined the Sisters of Mercy and wanted to found her own order called the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament to work among the African and Native Americans. Her inheritance funded schools and missions throughout the South and on reservations. A heart attack in 1935 sent her into retirement.

March 7: Perpetua and Felicity (d. 203), were two catechumens arrest and killed during a persecution in North Africa. Perpetua was a young noblewoman who was killed alongside her husband, their young son, and their pregnant slave, Felicity. They were baptized while under arrest and would not renounce their faith. Felicity was excused from death because it was unlawful to kill a pregnant woman, but she gave birth prematurely three days before the planned execution. They were flogged, taunted by wild beasts, and then beheaded. They appear in the First Eucharistic Prayer.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      Mar 1, 1549. At Gandia, the opening of a college of the Society founded by St Francis Borgia.
·      Mar 2, 1606. The martyrdom in the Tower of London of St Nicholas Owen, a brother nicknamed "Little John." For 26 years he constructed hiding places for priests in homes throughout England. Despite severe torture he never revealed the location of these safe places.
·      Mar 3, 1595. Clement VIII raised Fr. Robert Bellarmine to the Cardinalate, saying that the Church had not his equal in learning.
·      Mar 4, 1873. At Rome, the government officials presented themselves at the Professed House of the Gesu for the purpose of appropriating the greater part of the building.
·      Mar 5, 1887. At Rome, the obsequies of Fr. Beckx who died on the previous day. He was 91 years of age and had governed the Society as General for 34 years. He is buried at San Lorenzo in Campo Verano.
·      Mar 6, 1643. Arnauld, the Jansenist, published his famous tract against Frequent Communion. Fifteen French bishops gave it their approval, whereas the Jesuit fathers at once exposed the dangers in it.

·      Mar 7, 1581. The Fifth General Congregation of the Society bound the professors of the Society to adhere to the doctrine of St Thomas Aquinas.

El Segundo Domingo de Cuaresma

El Segundo Domingo de Cuaresma
01 de marzo 2015
Génesis 22: 1-2, 9-13, 15-18; Salmo 116; Romanos 8: 31-34; Marcos 9: 2-10

Vemos puntos de inflexión trascendentales en la escritura esta semana. Abraham responde a Dios por estar dispuesto a sacrificar a su hijo Isaac, que Dios dice que es "el único, el único a quien amas, tu amado." Abraham está dispuesto a seguir la ley del Señor, aunque le entristece mucho. En el Evangelio, Jesús se transfiguró delante de sus amigos y se declara "amado" por la voz de la nube, el que Dios ama de una manera especial. Es Jesús, no Isaac, que ha de ser sacrificado.

Estos son momentos decisivos para estos hombres. Abraham sobrevivió a la prueba crucial de renunciar a su único hijo. Abraham el "sí" valida la confianza de Dios en él, que otorga la bendición paternal sobre sus hijos. Jesús tomó a sus amigos cercanos a la montaña donde él Moisés y Elías aparecen junto a él. Jesús es más especial que el legislador y los profetas. Jesús es el que nos conducirá a la salvación.

Punto de inflexión de Abraham ya no era una respuesta personal, pero uno que afectó a todo el que le siguió. Después de la Transfiguración, Jesús miró firmemente a Jerusalén, el destino donde será rechazado y asesinado. Él será sacrificado como la prueba extrema de la fidelidad.

En los Ejercicios Espirituales de San Ignacio de Loyola, un punto de inflexión en la oración se produce después de un tiempo de estar con Jesús, mirándolo, escuchándolo, aprendiendo de él, Jesús, como rey eterno. Él pregunta: "¿Quieres venir conmigo a medida que avanzo en la cruz? Estar conmigo, siento conmigo, como yo soporto mis eventos finales. "Nos resistimos porque experimentamos dolor, pero nuestra única respuesta es" sí ". Este es el punto de inflexión, cuando nuestro corazón, mente, y están unidos por nuestra imaginación y toda nuestra alma dice "sí" a Jesús. Este es el magis, el más. Nuestras vidas ya no son son propios porque vivimos para un propósito superior.

¿Cuál es su punto de inflexión personal en la fe? Decimos sí a Dios en cosas pequeñas, pero ¿hay un momento en que un nuevo camino abierto para ti? Le damos una respuesta más reflexiva, más profundo a Cristo porque sabemos que es nuestro querido y somos suyos. Su amor refleja su afectuoso cuidado basado de una vida de recuerdos. En silencio, mantenemos uno al otro. Nada necesita ser probada; estamos en esto juntos.

La Cuaresma es un tiempo para decirnos a nosotros mismos de nuevo nuestras historias de fe y de ver cómo ha cambiado nuestra amistad con Cristo. Que Cristo te recuerda aquellos tiempos importantes para él. Él escogerá de nuevo y llamar a su Amado, al que él ama. Necesitamos estos momentos de recuerdo amoroso porque esto es de nuestra magis, más, porque la Cruz es que tenemos ante nosotros. Sabemos que nuestra amistad soportó muchas pruebas. Su muerte sigue vivo en nosotros. Podemos ir hacia adelante - adelante y hacia arriba - Seguro en nuestra fe, transfigurado, porque el amor de Cristo nos cambia para siempre.

Temas para las misas de esta semana

Primera Lectura:
Lunes: (Daniel 9) nos hemos rebelado contra ti Dios y pecaron, sino que se han mantenido fieles a nosotros en el pacto. Tú, oh Señor, tiene la justicia de su lado.
Martes: (Isaías 1) Lavar límpiense y hacer justicia a su objetivo. Obedecer los mandamientos y cuidar de tu prójimo.
Miércoles: (Jeremías 18) El pueblo de Judá ideó contra Jeremías para destruirlo por sus propias palabras.
Jueves: (Jeremías 17) Maldito el varón que confía en los seres humanos. Más tortuoso que todo lo demás es el corazón humano. Sólo el Señor sondea la mente y prueba el corazón.
Viernes: (Génesis 37) Israel amaba a José lo mejor de todo, que creó resentimiento entre sus hermanos, que más tarde lo vendieron como esclavo por veinte piezas de plata.
Sábado: (Miqueas 7) Dios quita de culpa y perdona los pecados y no persiste en la ira.

Lunes: (Lucas 6) Jesús dijo: "Sed misericordiosos," y "Stop a juzgar porque seréis juzgados por la forma de juzgar."
Martes: (Mateo 23) Los escribas y fariseos han ocupado su asiento en la silla de Moisés. Tenga cuidado con las enseñanzas de alguien si no tienen integridad entre sus palabras y acciones.
Miércoles: (Mateo 20) Cuando Jesús subió a Jerusalén, dijo a sus discípulos: "He aquí. El Hijo del Hombre será entregado a los principales sacerdotes, condenados a muerte, entregado a los gentiles, un crucificado, y se resucitó al tercer día. "
Jueves: (Lucas 16) Un hombre rico se vestía de púrpura murió poco después de Lázaro, un mendigo. En el cielo, Lázaro fue recompensado y el hombre rico fue atormentado en el infierno. Hizo un llamamiento a Dios para salvar a su familia, pero le dijeron que no iban a escuchar a Moisés ni a nadie que resucitó de entre los muertos.
Viernes: (Mateo 21) Jesús contó la parábola del dueño de una viña, que confió la tierra a los funcionarios, pero estos hombres se apoderó de la tierra y la poseía. Ellos mataron a los criados y el heredero. Cuando el dueño regresó, echó los hombres miserables en una muerte atormentada.
Sábado: (Lucas 15) Jesús es acusado de dar la bienvenida a los pecadores y come con ellos. Luego cuenta la historia de un pródigo que fue bien recibido por su padre a su regreso. El que se había perdido ha sido encontrado.

Santos de la Semana

01 de Marzo: Katherine Drexel (1858-1955), fue de una familia de banqueros de Filadelfia rico y ella y sus dos hermanas heredan una gran suma de dinero cuando sus padres murieron. Se unió a las Hermanas de la Misericordia y quería fundar su propia orden llamado las Hermanas del Santísimo Sacramento para trabajar entre los africanos y los nativos americanos. Sus herencias financiado escuelas y misiones en todo el Sur y en reservas. Un ataque al corazón en 1935 le envió a la jubilación.

07 de Marzo: Perpetua y Felicidad (. 203 d), fueron dos catecúmenos arrestan y asesinados durante una persecución en el norte de África. Perpetua era un joven noble que fue asesinado junto a su marido, su hijo pequeño, y su esclavo embarazada, Felicity. Fueron bautizados durante su detención y no renunciar a su fe. Felicity fue excusado de la muerte porque era ilegal matar a una mujer embarazada, pero ella dio a luz prematuramente tres días antes de la ejecución prevista. Ellos fueron azotados, burlado por las fieras, y luego decapitado. Aparecen en la Primera Plegaria Eucarística.

Esta semana en la historia de los Jesuitas

• 01 de Marzo de 1549. En Gandia, la apertura de un colegio de la Compañía fundada por San Francisco de Borja.
• 02 de Marzo de 1606. El martirio en la Torre de Londres de San Nicolás Owen, un hermano apodado "Little John". Durante 26 años, construyó escondites para los sacerdotes en los hogares de toda Inglaterra. A pesar de graves torturas nunca reveló la ubicación de estos lugares seguros.
• 03 de Marzo de 1595. Clemente VIII elevó P. Roberto Belarmino al cardenalato, diciendo que la Iglesia no tuvo su igual en el aprendizaje.
• 04 de Marzo de 1873. En Roma, los funcionarios del gobierno se presentaron en la Casa Profesa de la Gesu con el fin de apropiarse de la mayor parte del edificio.
• 05 de Marzo de 1887. En Roma, las exequias del P. Beckx que murió el día anterior. Él tenía 91 años de edad y había gobernado la sociedad en general por 34 años. Fue enterrado en San Lorenzo en Campo Verano.
• 06 de Marzo de 1643. Arnauld, el jansenista, publicó su famoso tratado contra la Comunión frecuente. Quince obispos franceses que dieron su aprobación, mientras que los padres jesuitas a la vez expuestos los peligros en el mismo.
• 07 de Marzo de 1581. La quinta Congregación General de la Compañía vinculada a los profesores de la Sociedad a que se adhieran a la doctrina de Santo Tomás de Aquino.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Photo: Branch Berries

The Immediate Experience of God from "Ignatius Speaks to a Jesuit Today" by Karl Rahner, SJ:

As you know, I wanted - as I used to say then - to "help souls": in other words, to say something to people about God and God's grace, and about Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen one, that would open up and redeem their freedom into God's. I wanted to say this just as it had always been said in the Church, and yet I thought - and this opinion was true - that I could say what was old in a new way. Why? I was convinced that I had encountered God, at first incipiently during my sickness at Loyola and then decisively during my time as a hermit at Manresa; and I wanted to communicate such experience to others as best one could.

When I make this sort of claim to have experienced God immediately, this assertion does not need to be linked to a theological disquisition on the essence of this kind of immediate experience of God. Nor do I want to talk about all the phenomena that accompany such experiences - phenomena that of course have their own histories and their own distinctive God and human experience characteristics. I'm not talking about pictorial visions, symbols, words heard; I'm not talking about the gift of tears and the like.

I'm just saying that I experienced God, the nameless and un-searchable one, silent yet near, in the Trinity that is His turning to me. I have also experienced God - and indeed principally - beyond all pictorial imagining. God, who, when He comes to us out of His own self in grace, just cannot be mistaken for anything else. Such a conviction perhaps sounds innocuous in your pious trade, working as it does with the most elevated words available. 

But fundamentally it is outrageous: outrageous for me from where I am, in the past-all-graspness of God that is experienced here in a quite different way again; outrageous for the godlessness of your own time, a godlessness that is actually in the end only doing away with the idols - idols that the previous age, with an innocence that was at the same time appalling, equated with the ineffable God. Why shouldn't I say that this godlessness extends right into the Church? After all, the Church throughout its history, in union with the crucified one, is meant to be what happens when the gods are abolished.