Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Photo: Abundance

Literature: C.S. Lewis - On Baptism

I knew it was a well because you could see the water bubbling up from the bottom of it: but it was a lot bigger than most wells – like a very big, round bath with marble steps going down into it. The water was clear as anything and I thought if I could get in there and bathe it would ease the pain in my leg. But the lion told me I must undress first. Mind you, I don’t know if he said any words out loud or not.

I was just going to say that I couldn’t undress because I hadn’t any clothes on when I suddenly thought that dragons are snaky sort of things and snakes can cast their skins. Oh, of course, thought I, that’s what the lion means. So I started scratching myself and my scales began coming off all over the place. And then I scratched a little deeper and, instead of just scales coming off here and there, my whole skin starting peeling off beautifully, like it does after an illness, or as if I was a banana. In a minute of two I just stepped out of it. I could see it lying there beside me, looking rather nasty. It was a most lovely feeling. So I started to go down into the well for my bath.

But just as I was going to put my foot into the water I looked down and saw that it was all hard and rough and wrinkled and scaly just as it had been before. Oh, that’s all right, said I, it only means I had another smaller suit on underneath the first one, and I’ll have to get out of it too. So I scratched and tore again and this under skin peeled off beautifully and out I stepped and left it lying beside the other one and went down to the well for my bath.

Well, exactly the same thing happened again. And I thought to myself, oh dear, how ever many skins have I go to take off? For I was longing to bathe my leg. So I scratched away for the third time and got off a third skin, just like the two others, and stepped out of it. But as soon as I looked at myself in the water I knew it had been no good.

Then the lion said – but I don’t know if it spoke – You will have to let me undress you. I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back and let him do it.

The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse that anything I’ve ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off. You know – if you’ve ever picked the scab of a sore place. It hurts like a billy-oh but it is fun to see it coming away.

Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off – just as I thought I’d done it myself the three other times, only they hadn’t hurt – and there it was lying on the grass: only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobby looking than the others had been. And there was I as smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me – I didn’t like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I’d no skin on – and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone from my arm. And then I saw why, I’d turned into a boy again. You’d think me simply phony if I told you how I felt about my own arms. I know they’ve no muscle and are pretty moldy compared with Caspian’s, but I was so glad to see them.

After a bit the lion took me out and dressed me.

C.S. Lewis

Monday, May 2, 2016

Photo: Brilliant

Prayer: John XXIII

Lord Jesus Christ, the prince of peace, make all men and women witnesses of truth, justice, and neighborly love. Banish from their hearts whatever might endanger peace. Enlighten our rulers that they may guarantee and defend the great gift of peace. May all peoples of the earth become as brothers and sisters. May longed-for peace blossom forth and reign always over us all.

Prayer: “To Joseph” from Pius X

O, St. Joseph, model of all those devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously, to work with gratitude and joy, in a spirit of penance for the remission of my sins, considering it an honor to employ and develop by means of labor the gifts received from God. May I work with order, peace, moderation, and patience without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all after your example.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Photo: The Gesu Church in Detroit

Spirituality: The Life of St. Joseph” By Pope St. John XXIII

Whoever wishes to save himself, find shelter in his Father’s house, and preserve the precious gifts of nature and grace which God has bestowed upon him, has only to model his soul according to the eternal doctrine of the Gospel and the Church, thus following the beloved example of St. Joseph’s humble life.

To learn to obey, to learn to keep silence, to speak when need arises with moderation and courtesy – this is what St. Joseph teaches us. Think of him – setting out at once for Bethlehem, in obedience to the divine command; seeking a lodging for Our Lady, guarding the stable. A week after the birth of Jesus he presided over the Hebrew rite that marked the newborn male children as belonging to the chosen race. And we see him receiving with due honor the Magi kings, those splendid ambassadors from the East; then on the road to Egypt, and once more back home in Nazareth, always obeying in silence.

He was there to show Jesus to the world, and to hide him when need arose, to protect and nourish him, and then to follow him at a distance and remain in the shadows of the Lord’s mysteries, shadows which were every now and then lit with heavenly radiance by the light touch of a passing angel.

Source: Prayers and Devotions from Pope John XXIII, pp. 84-85.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Photo: Against the odds

Prayer: Bonaventure

Jesus, pierce my soul with your love so that I may always long for you alone, the fulfillment of the soul’s deepest desires. May my heart always hunger and feed on you, my soul thirst for you, the source of life, wisdom, knowledge, light, and all the riches of God. May I always seek and find you, think about you, speak about you, and do everything for your honor and glory. Be always my hope, my peace, my refuge, and my help, in whom my heart is rooted so that I may never be separated from you.