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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Poem: “L’Envoi” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Ye voices, that arose

After the Evening’s close,

And whispered to my restless heart repose!


Go, breathe it in the ear

Of all who doubt and fear,

And say to them, “Be of good cheer!”


Ye sounds, so low and calm,

That in the groves of balm

Seemed to me like an angel’s psalm!


Go,  mingle yet once more

With the perpetual roar

Of the pine forest, dark and hoar!


Tongues of the dead, not lost

But speaking from death’s frost,

Like fiery tongues at Pentecost!


Glimmer, as funeral lamps,

Amid the chills and damps

Of the vast plain where Death encamps!

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Spirituality: John Howard Griffin (from Black Like Me)

Humanity does not differ in any profound way; there are not essentially different species of human beings. If we could only put ourselves in the shoes of others to see how we would react, then we might become aware of the injustice of discrimination and the tragic inhumanity of every kind of prejudice.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Poem: “Going to Heaven!” By: Emily Dickinson

Going to heaven!
I don’t know when,
Pray do not ask me how,
Indeed, I’m too astonished
To think of answering you!
Going to heaven!
How dim it sounds!
And yet it will be done
As sure as flocks go home at night
Unto the shepherd’s arm!

Perhaps you’re going too!
Who knows!
If you should get there first,
Save just a little place for me
Close to the two I lost!
The smallest “robe” will fit me,
And just a bit of “crown”;
For you know we do not mind our dress
When we are going home.

I’m glad I don’t believe it,
For it would stop my breath,
And I’d like to look a little more
At such a curious earth!
I am glad they did believe it
Whom I have never found
Since the mighty autumn afternoon
I left them in the ground.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Spirituality: St. Columban

Be submissive to good, unbending to evil, gentle in generosity, untiring in love, just in all things.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The Soul’s Most Welcome Guest. Pentecost 2020

   The Soul’s Most Welcome Guest.
Pentecost 2020
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May 31, 2020
Acts 2:1-11; Psalm 104; 1 Corinthians 12:3-13; John 20:19-23

The Sequence that precedes the Gospel passage portrays the characteristics of the Holy Spirit that comes at Pentecost in an endearing phrase: as the soul’s most welcome guest. The Sequence speaks of the ways the Spirit deals with our souls: to comfort us and to find refreshment, to give us solace in the midst of woe, inspiration for our creativity, as a healer of our wounds and bender of our stubborn will, and as the faithful one who guides our steps to keep us from going astray. As we come to live in the Spirit of Christ, we are abundantly blessed with virtues and graces that we often beg for in prayer. The Spirit is as intimate to us as the breath of God that we consume.

In the Acts of the Apostles, the Spirit acts to unify the faithful believers. Notice what happens to the community. They are given the gift to listen to and to hear another believer’s account without any limits, without any barriers, with no unexplored frontiers. The Spirit is powerful in unifying. No human leader has been able to bring people together in a common purpose to the same degree. In our nation, even in our time of misfortune, the hearts of many are hardened so much that we cannot come together for the common good. We experience that sad reality today, and the Sequence reminds us that where the Spirit is not present, base human actions occur. It says: Where you are not, we have naught. Therefore, we strive to welcome the Spirit into our day. Though we Christians see all humanity as our brothers and sisters, not everyone sees us the same way, which is the reason we must stay together as a community of faith and rely upon the Spirit to unify all those who believe in God’s Trinitarian presence.

The Gospel portrays Pentecost occurring through the breath of the Risen Jesus on that first Easter evening. There is nothing as intimate as a sacred breath. Jesus is not breathing onto us, as much as his breath is what we take into our bodies and souls. It is a breath that allays our fears and calls us to live as courageously as Jesus originally intended us to do. Witness the effect the Spirit had upon the once frightened disciples who became transformed boldly into leaders that righteously called for the truth to become known. The breath of Jesus has the effect upon us too if we cooperate. Often we are held back by our own will and self-doubt. We permit ourselves to be underachievers. We stop ourselves from becoming the person we once dreamed we could be. We let the judgments of others shape who we are, even if they hold misperceptions. We are afraid of speaking the words we truly want to say. We do not permit ourselves to move closer in intimacy to a loved one because we protect ourselves from potential harm, embarrassment, or shame it could cause. These are the times we must return to the breath we received by Christ. His breathe removes fear and takes way any obstacle to our greater loving of ourselves or of others. His breath is going to teach us all we have to know because this breath is from an intimate love and it leads us to a more loving place. This breath is our soul’s most welcome guest.

We are born to be in relationship with one another and we seek the love, intimacy, honor, and affection from others as much as we seek it from God. So many people simply want to hear and to know they are loved for who they are from someone meaningful to them. We want to increase those moments of happiness and acceptance. We want a loved one to welcome us, with warts and beauty marks alike, with ridiculous certainty. We want that closeness as if we were sharing the same breath. This is the gift of the Holy Spirit, who shares a breath with us, so that we can share it with others. It brings peace. It brings wholeness. It brings refreshment. It brings us back to our very selves. This intimate breath is undoubtedly a most welcome guest of the soul. Come, Holy Spirit. Come. Share your breath with us once again and bring us closer to you.   

Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading:
Monday: (Genesis 3) After Adam had eaten of the tree, the LORD God called to him and asked him, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself.”

Tuesday: (2 Peter 3) Wait for and hasten the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved in flames and the elements melted by fire. But according to his promise we await new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

Wednesday: (2 Timothy 1) I am grateful to God, whom I worship with a clear conscience as my ancestors did, as I remember you constantly in my prayers, night and day. For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.

Thursday: (2 Timothy 2) f we have died with him we shall also live with him; if we persevere we shall also reign with him. But if we deny him he will deny us. If we are unfaithful he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.

Friday (2 Timothy 3) You have followed my teaching, way of life, purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra, persecutions that I endured. Yet from all these things the Lord delivered me.

Saturday (1 Timothy 4) be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching. For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths. But you, be self-possessed in all circumstances; put up with hardship; perform the work of an evangelist; fulfill your ministry.

Monday: (John 19) When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciples, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

Tuesday: (Mark 12) “Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion. You do not regard a person’s status but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not? Should we pay or should we not pay?”

Wednesday (Mark 12) Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus and put this question to him, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us, If someone’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother. Now there were seven brothers.

Thursday (Mark 12) “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “The first is this: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.

Friday (Mark 12) As Jesus was teaching in the temple area he said, “How do the scribes claim that the Christ is the son of David? David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said: The Lord said to my lord, ‘Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies under your feet.’ David himself calls him ‘lord’; so how is he his son?”

Saturday (Mark 12) “Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces, seats of honor in synagogues, and places of honor at banquets. They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext, recite lengthy prayers. They will receive a very severe condemnation.”

Saints of the Week

May 31: Visitation of the Virgin Mary commemorates the visit of Mary in her early pregnancy to Mary, who is reported to be her elder cousin. Luke writes about the shared rejoicing of the two women - Mary's conception by the Holy Spirit and Elizabeth's surprising pregnancy in her advanced years. Elizabeth calls Mary blessed and Mary sings her song of praise to God, the Magnificat.

June 1: Justin, martyr (100-165), was a Samaritan philosopher who converted to Christianity and explained doctrine through philosophical treatises. His debating opponent reported him to the Roman authorities who tried him and when he refused to sacrifice to the gods, was condemned to death.

June 2: Marcellinus and Peter, martyrs (d. 304) died in Rome during the Diocletian persecution. Peter was an exorcist who ministered under the well-regarded priest, Marcellinus. Stories are told that in jail they converted their jailer and his family. These men are remembered in Eucharistic prayer I.

June 3: Charles Lwanga and 22 companion martyrs from Uganda (18660-1886) felt the wrath of King Mwanga after Lwanga and the White Fathers (Missionaries of Africa) censured him for his cruelty and immorality. The King determined to rid his kingdom of Christians. He persecuted over 100 Christians, but upon their death new converts joined the church.

June 5: Boniface, bishop and martyr (675-754), was born in England and raised in a Benedictine monastery. He became a good preacher and was sent to the northern Netherlands as a missionary. Pope Gregory gave him the name Boniface with an edict to preach to non-Christians. We was made a bishop in Germany and gained many converts when he cut down the famed Oak of Thor and garnered no bad fortune by the Norse gods. Many years later he was killed by non-Christians when he was preparing to confirm many converts. The church referred to him as the "Apostle of Germany."

June 6: Norbert, bishop (1080-1134), a German, became a priest after a near-death experience. He became an itinerant preacher in northern France and established a community founded on strict asceticism. They became the Norbertines and defended the rights of the church against secular authorities.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      May 31, 1900. The new novitiate of the Buffalo Mission, St Stanislaus, in South Brooklyn, Ohio, near Cleveland, is blessed.
·      Jun 1, 1527. Ignatius was thrown into prison after having been accused of having advised two noblewomen to undertake a pilgrimage, on foot, to Compostella.
·      Jun 2, 1566. The Professed House was opened in Toledo. It became well known for the fervor of its residents and the wonderful effects of their labors.
·      Jun 3, 1559. A residence at Frascati, outside of Rome, was purchased for the fathers and brothers of the Roman College.
·      Jun 4, 1667. The death in Rome of Cardinal Sforza Pallavicini, a man of great knowledge and humility. While he was Prefect of Studies of the Roman College he wrote his great work, The History of the Council of Trent.
·      Jun 5, 1546. Paul III, in the document Exponi Nobis, empowered the Society to admit coadjutors, both spiritual and temporal.
·      Jun 6, 1610. At the funeral of Henry IV in Paris, two priests preaching in the Churches of St Eustace and St Gervase denounced the Jesuits as accomplices in his death. This was due primarily to the book De Rege of Father Mariana.

El invitado más bienvenido del alma. Pentecostés 2020

El invitado más bienvenido del alma.

Pentecostés 2020

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predmoresj@yahoo.com | 617.510.9673

31 de mayo de 2020

Hechos 2: 1-11; Salmo 104; 1 Corintios 12: 3-13; Juan 20: 19-23



La secuencia que precede al pasaje del Evangelio retrata las características del Espíritu Santo que viene en Pentecostés en una frase entrañable: como el invitado más bienvenido del alma. La secuencia habla de las formas en que el Espíritu trata con nuestras almas: para consolarnos y encontrar refrigerio, para consolarnos en medio de la desgracia, inspiración para nuestra creatividad, como sanador de nuestras heridas y bendecido de nuestra testaruda voluntad, y como el fiel que guía nuestros pasos para evitar que nos vayamos por mal camino. Cuando venimos a vivir en el Espíritu de Cristo, somos bendecidos con virtudes y gracias que a menudo pedimos en oración. El Espíritu es tan íntimo para nosotros como el aliento de Dios que consumimos.


En los Hechos de los Apóstoles, el Espíritu actúa para unificar a los fieles creyentes. Note lo que le pasa a la comunidad. Se les da el regalo de escuchar y escuchar la cuenta de otro creyente sin límites, sin barreras, sin fronteras inexploradas. El Espíritu es poderoso en la unificación. Ningún líder humano ha podido reunir a las personas en un propósito común en el mismo grado. En nuestra nación, incluso en nuestro tiempo de desgracia, los corazones de muchos se endurecen tanto que no podemos unirnos por el bien común. Hoy experimentamos esa triste realidad, y la Secuencia nos recuerda que donde el Espíritu no está presente, ocurren acciones humanas básicas. Dice: Donde no estás, no tenemos nada. Por lo tanto, nos esforzamos por acoger al Espíritu en nuestros días. Aunque los cristianos vemos a toda la humanidad como nuestros hermanos y hermanas, no todos nos ven de la misma manera, por lo que debemos permanecer juntos como una comunidad de fe y confiar en el Espíritu para unificar a todos los que creen en la presencia trinitaria de Dios.


El Evangelio retrata el día de Pentecostés que ocurre a través del aliento de Jesús resucitado en esa primera tarde de Pascua. No hay nada tan íntimo como un aliento sagrado. Jesús no está respirando sobre nosotros, tanto como su aliento es lo que tomamos en nuestros cuerpos y almas. Es un soplo que alivia nuestros temores y nos llama a vivir tan valientemente como Jesús originalmente quiso que hiciéramos. Sea testigo del efecto que tuvo el Espíritu sobre los discípulos que una vez estuvieron asustados y que se transformaron audazmente en líderes que con justicia pidieron que se conociera la verdad. El aliento de Jesús también tiene el efecto sobre nosotros si cooperamos. A menudo estamos retenidos por nuestra propia voluntad y dudas. Nos permitimos ser de bajo rendimiento. Nos detenemos de convertirnos en la persona que una vez soñamos que podríamos ser. Dejamos que los juicios de los demás determinen quiénes somos, incluso si tienen percepciones erróneas. Tenemos miedo de decir las palabras que realmente queremos decir. No nos permitimos acercarnos más íntimamente a un ser querido porque nos protegemos de posibles daños, vergüenza o vergüenza que pueda causar. Estos son los momentos en que debemos volver al aliento que recibimos de Cristo. Su respiración elimina el miedo y elimina cualquier obstáculo para nuestro mayor amor hacia nosotros mismos o hacia los demás. Su aliento nos enseñará todo lo que tenemos que saber porque este aliento proviene de un amor íntimo y nos lleva a un lugar más amoroso. Este aliento es el invitado más bienvenido de nuestra alma.


Nacimos para estar en relación unos con otros y buscamos el amor, la intimidad, el honor y el afecto de los demás tanto como lo buscamos de Dios. Muchas personas simplemente quieren escuchar y saber que son amados por quienes son de alguien significativo para ellos. Queremos aumentar esos momentos de felicidad y aceptación. Queremos que un ser querido nos reciba, con verrugas y marcas de belleza por igual, con una certeza ridícula. Queremos esa cercanía como si compartiéramos el mismo aliento. Este es el don del Espíritu Santo, que comparte un aliento con nosotros, para que podamos compartirlo con los demás. Trae paz. Aporta integridad. Trae refresco. Nos devuelve a nosotros mismos. Esta respiración íntima es, sin duda, un invitado muy bienvenido del alma. Ven, espíritu santo. Ven. Comparte tu aliento con nosotros una vez más y llévanos más cerca de ti.


Escritura para la misa diaria


Primera lectura:

Lunes: (Génesis 3) Después de que Adán comió del árbol, el Señor Dios lo llamó y le preguntó: "¿Dónde estás?" Él respondió: “Te escuché en el jardín; pero tenía miedo porque estaba desnudo, así que me escondí ".


Martes: (2 Pedro 3) Espera y acelera la venida del día de Dios, por lo cual los cielos se disolverán en llamas y los elementos se derretirán por el fuego. Pero de acuerdo con su promesa, esperamos nuevos cielos y una nueva tierra en la que mora la justicia.


Miércoles: (2 Timoteo 1) Estoy agradecido con Dios, a quien adoro con la conciencia tranquila como lo hicieron mis antepasados, ya que te recuerdo constantemente en mis oraciones, día y noche. Por esta razón, te recuerdo que enciendas en llamas el don de Dios que tienes a través de la imposición de mis manos. Porque Dios no nos dio un espíritu de cobardía, sino más bien de poder, amor y autocontrol.


Jueves: (2 Timoteo 2) Si hemos muerto con él, también viviremos con él; Si perseveramos, también reinaremos con él. Pero si lo negamos, él nos negará. Si somos infieles, él permanece fiel, porque no puede negarse a sí mismo.


Viernes (2 Timoteo 3) Has seguido mis enseñanzas, forma de vida, propósito, fe, paciencia, amor, resistencia, persecuciones y sufrimientos, como me sucedió en Antioquía, Iconio y Listra, persecuciones que soporté. Sin embargo, de todas estas cosas, el Señor me libró.


El sábado (1 Timoteo 4) sea persistente ya sea conveniente o inconveniente; convencer, reprender, alentar con paciencia y enseñanza. Llegará el momento en que las personas no tolerarán la sana doctrina pero, siguiendo sus propios deseos y su curiosidad insaciable, acumularán maestros y dejarán de escuchar la verdad y se desviarán a los mitos. Pero tú, sé dueño de ti mismo en todas las circunstancias; soportar las dificultades; realizar el trabajo de un evangelista; Cumple tu ministerio.



Lunes: (Juan 19) Cuando Jesús vio a su madre y al discípulo a quien amaba, le dijo a su madre: "Mujer, mira, tu hijo". Luego dijo a los discípulos: "He aquí tu madre". Y a partir de esa hora el discípulo la llevó a su casa.


Martes: (Marcos 12) “Maestro, sabemos que eres un hombre sincero y que no te preocupa la opinión de nadie. No considera el estado de una persona, sino que enseña el camino de Dios de acuerdo con la verdad. ¿Es legal pagar el impuesto del censo a César o no? ¿Deberíamos pagar o no deberíamos pagar?


Miércoles (Marcos 12) Algunos saduceos, que dicen que no hay resurrección, se acercaron a Jesús y le hicieron esta pregunta, diciendo: “Maestro, Moisés escribió para nosotros, si el hermano de alguien muere, dejando una esposa pero no un hijo, su hermano debe toma a la esposa y cría descendientes para su hermano. Ahora había siete hermanos.


Jueves (Marcos 12) "¿Cuál es el primero de todos los mandamientos?" Jesús respondió: "Lo primero es esto: ¡Escucha, Israel! ¡El Señor nuestro Dios es el Señor solo! Amarás al Señor tu Dios con todo tu corazón, con toda tu alma, con toda tu mente y con todas tus fuerzas. La segunda es esta: amarás a tu prójimo como a ti mismo. No hay otro mandamiento mayor que estos.


Viernes (Marcos 12) Mientras Jesús enseñaba en el área del templo, dijo: “¿Cómo afirman los escribas que el Cristo es el hijo de David? El mismo David, inspirado por el Espíritu Santo, dijo: El Señor le dijo a mi señor: "Siéntate a mi derecha hasta que ponga a tus enemigos debajo de tus pies". David mismo lo llama "señor"; Entonces, ¿cómo es él su hijo?


Sábado (Marcos 12) “Cuidado con los escribas, a quienes les gusta andar con túnicas largas y aceptar saludos en los mercados, asientos de honor en las sinagogas y lugares de honor en los banquetes. Devoran las casas de las viudas y, como pretexto, recitan largas oraciones. Recibirán una condena muy severa ".


Santos de la semana


31 de mayo: La visita de la Virgen María conmemora la visita de María en su embarazo temprano a María, quien según se informa es su prima mayor. Luke escribe sobre el regocijo compartido de las dos mujeres: la concepción de María por el Espíritu Santo y el sorprendente embarazo de Isabel en sus años avanzados. Elizabeth llama a María bendecida y María canta su canción de alabanza a Dios, el Magníficat.


1 de junio: Justino, mártir (100-165), fue un filósofo samaritano que se convirtió al cristianismo y explicó la doctrina a través de tratados filosóficos. Su oponente en debate lo denunció a las autoridades romanas que lo juzgaron y cuando se negó a sacrificarse a los dioses, fue condenado a muerte.


2 de junio: Marcelino y Pedro, mártires (m. 304) murieron en Roma durante la persecución de Diocleciano. Peter era un exorcista que ministraba bajo el bien considerado sacerdote Marcelino. Se cuentan historias que en la cárcel convirtieron a su carcelero y a su familia. Estos hombres son recordados en la oración eucarística I.


3 de junio: Charles Lwanga y 22 mártires compañeros de Uganda (18660-1886) sintieron la ira del rey Mwanga después de que Lwanga y los Padres Blancos (Misioneros de África) lo censuraron por su crueldad e inmoralidad. El rey decidió librar a su reino de cristianos. Persiguió a más de 100 cristianos, pero a su muerte nuevos conversos se unieron a la iglesia.


5 de junio: Bonifacio, obispo y mártir (675-754), nació en Inglaterra y se crió en un monasterio benedictino. Se convirtió en un buen predicador y fue enviado al norte de los Países Bajos como misionero. El papa Gregorio le dio el nombre de Bonifacio con un edicto para predicar a los no cristianos. Fuimos obispos en Alemania y obtuvimos muchos conversos cuando cortó el famoso Roble de Thor y no obtuvo mala fortuna de los dioses nórdicos. Muchos años después fue asesinado por no cristianos cuando se estaba preparando para confirmar muchos conversos. La iglesia se refirió a él como el "Apóstol de Alemania".


6 de junio: Norbert, obispo (1080-1134), un alemán, se convirtió en sacerdote después de una experiencia cercana a la muerte. Se convirtió en un predicador itinerante en el norte de Francia y estableció una comunidad fundada en el estricto ascetismo. Se convirtieron en norbertinos y defendieron los derechos de la iglesia contra las autoridades seculares.


Esta semana en la historia de los jesuitas


• 31 de mayo de 1900. El nuevo noviciado de la Misión Buffalo, St Stanislaus, en el sur de Brooklyn, Ohio, cerca de Cleveland, ha sido bendecido.

• 1 de junio de 1527. Ignacio fue encarcelado después de haber sido acusado de haber aconsejado a dos mujeres nobles que emprendieran una peregrinación, a pie, a Compostela.

• 2 de junio de 1566. La casa profesa se abrió en Toledo. Se hizo conocido por el fervor de sus residentes y los maravillosos efectos de sus labores.

• 3 de junio de 1559. Se compró una residencia en Frascati, en las afueras de Roma, para los padres y hermanos del Colegio Romano.

• 4 de junio de 1667. La muerte en Roma del cardenal Sforza Pallavicini, un hombre de gran conocimiento y humildad. Mientras era Prefecto de Estudios del Colegio Romano, escribió su gran trabajo, La historia del Concilio de Trento.

• 5 de junio de 1546. Pablo III, en el documento Exponi Nobis, autorizó a la Sociedad a admitir coadjutores, tanto espirituales como temporales.

• 6 de junio de 1610. En el funeral de Enrique IV en París, dos sacerdotes que predicaban en las Iglesias de San Eustaquio y San Gervasio denunciaron a los jesuitas como cómplices de su muerte. Esto se debió principalmente al libro De Rege del Padre Mariana.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Mass. Bay Colony Bans Roman Catholic Priests

May 26, 1647

Massachusetts Bay Colony Bans Catholic Priests

On this day in 1647, Massachusetts Bay banned Jesuit priests from the colony on penalty of death. The English Puritans who settled the colony feared the Jesuits for several reasons. First, simply because they were Catholic. To Puritans, Catholicism was nothing less than idolatrous blasphemy, and Catholics were destined for eternal damnation. Second, because the Jesuits were French, and France and England were engaged in a bitter struggle for control of North America. Finally, Jesuit missionaries had converted large numbers of Indians in Canada to Catholicism. Indian converts were potential allies of France and enemies of the English. Although no Jesuit was executed for defying the ban, the legacy of anti-Catholicism in Massachusetts survived for generations.

Samuel Adams proclaimed that "the growth of Popery" posed an even greater threat than the hated Stamp Act.

The English Puritans who settled Massachusetts in the 1630s feared dangers lurking in the vast new land. What frightened them most was not hostile Indians or wild animals. In the woods to the north and west were people they perceived as "devils" — Roman Catholic Frenchmen and their Jesuit missionary priests.

The Puritans were horrified to find that Jesuit missionaries working in the French provinces were successfully converting Indians and, even worse, English captives to Catholicism. Puritans believed that Catholic converts were destined for eternal damnation. To prevent the spread of Catholicism into Massachusetts Bay, the General Court banned Jesuit priests from entering the colony.

While the Puritans were inhospitable to anyone who did not share their religious views, they were particularly hostile to Roman Catholics. Puritans had originally separated from the Church of England because they believed it had not cleansed itself fully of "corrupt" Catholic practices. They "purified" worship by eliminating rites, rituals, and outward signs of religion such as crucifixes, holy water, statues, priestly vestments, and stained glass. They also rejected church hierarchy and abolished the priesthood. To them, the Pope was the "Antichrist," and the "Papists" who followed him were in league with the devil.

Puritans had originally separated from the Church of England because they believed it had not cleansed itself fully of "corrupt" Catholic practices.

The French had begun staking out claims even before the English arrived in Plymouth. Like their countrymen at home, the French who established trading posts at Quebec in 1608 and Montreal in 1642 were Roman Catholics. They brought with them Jesuit priests, members of a Catholic order that promoted education as the best way to spread Catholicism. The Jesuits had considerable success converting Huron and Algonquin Indians. As the French missionaries pushed south as far as the Kennebec River in present-day Maine, the Puritans saw a double threat on their border. These men were not only Catholic, they were French, and France and England were already struggling for dominance of the North American continent. With its territory in Maine, Massachusetts was the northernmost English colony. The French Catholics were an all-too-real threat.

The first Jesuit missionary made several trips along the coast of what is now Maine in 1611, almost 20 years before the Puritans settled in Boston. Others followed. In 1646 a French ship visited Boston with two priests on board, and the colonial governor entertained them at his home. The General Court did not approve of the governor's hospitality. The next year lawmakers banned Jesuit priests from the colony.

Only a handful of Roman Catholics resided in Boston in these years. According to a 1689 report, there was not a single "Papist" living in New England. But in the early 1700s, stories began circulating that there were "a considerable number" of Catholics in the colonial capital. During the winter of 1732 a newspaper reported that an Irish priest had celebrated Mass "for some of his own nation" on St. Patrick's Day. Bostonians were alarmed enough for the governor to order the sheriff and constables to break into homes and shops and arrest any "Popish Priest and other Papists of his Faith and Persuasion." While English and French soldiers were fighting in what came to be called the French and Indian War, authorities in Boston arrested 100 French Catholics "to prevent any danger the town may be in."

Bostonians were alarmed enough for the governor to order the sheriff and constables to break into homes and shops and arrest any "Popish Priest and other Papists of his Faith and Persuasion."

Even after the end of the war, Bostonians did not let down their guard. Each year, Harvard College sponsored a lecture against "popery." In 1765, the lector prayed, "May this seminary of learning, may the people, ministers, and churches of New England ever be preserved from popish and all other pernicious errors." Three years later, Samuel Adams proclaimed that "the growth of Popery" posed an even greater threat than the hated Stamp Act. As late as 1772 Boston specifically prohibited "Roman Catholicks" from practicing their religion because it was "subversive to society."

The Revolution forced Massachusetts to change its stance towards, if not its view of, Catholics. An alliance with France was critical to the success of the American cause. From his Cambridge headquarters in 1775, George Washington objected to the celebration of "Guy Fawkes Day" — the anniversary of a failed 1644 Catholic uprising in England. Washington was incensed that there should be "officers and soldiers in this army so void of Common sense" as to insult the Canadians and French, the new nation's potential allies. After independence, some French soldiers chose to remain in Boston, creating the core of the first Catholic congregation in New England. Mass was celebrated publicly in the city for the first time on November 1, 1788.

". . . it is wonderful to tell what great civilities have been done to me in this town, where a few years ago a Popish priest was thought to be the greatest monster in the creation."

When Rev. Fr. John Carroll, the Bishop of Maryland, visited Boston in the spring of 1791, he wrote home that "it is wonderful to tell what great civilities have been done to me in this town, where a few years ago a Popish priest was thought to be the greatest monster in the creation." The Bishop estimated that there were then about 120 Catholics then living in Boston.

Under the leadership of two French priests who arrived in the 1790s, the Catholic Church took root in New England. Over the next ten years, the Catholic population of Boston grew to about 500. When John Carroll visited again in 1805, he decided it was time for the city to have its own bishop. In April 1808, he appointed the Rev. John Louis de Cheverus the first Bishop of Boston.

Anti-Catholic sentiment did not disappear with the growth of the Catholic population. Indeed, the huge wave of Irish Catholic immigration after 1840 brought a renewal of prejudice, discrimination, and even violence against Catholics. It would be more than a century before anti-Catholic sentiment would finally begin to fade. Eventually, a son of Massachusetts would become the nation's first Roman Catholic president.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Poem: “Rouge Bouquet” by Joyce Kilmer

In a wood they call the Rouge Bouquet
There is a new man-made grave to-day,
Built by never a spade nor pick
Yet covered with earth ten meters thick.
There lie many fighting men,
Dead in their youthful prime,
Never to laugh or love again
Nor taste the Summertime.
For Death came flying through the air
And stopped his flight at the dugout stair,
Clay to clay.

He hid their bodies stealthily
In the soil of the land they fought to free
And fled away.
Now over the grave abrupt and clear
Three volleys ring;
And perhaps their brave young spirits hear
The bugle sing:
“Go to sleep!
Go to sleep!

Slumber well where the shell screamed and fell,
Let your rifles rest on the muddy floor,
You will not need them any more.”
There is on earth no worthier grave
To hold the bodies of the brave
Than this place of pain and pride
Where they nobly fought and nobly died.
Never fear but in the skies
Saints and angels stand
Smiling with their holy eyes
On this new-come band.

St. Michael’s sword darts through the air
And touches the aureole on his hair
As he sees them stand saluting there,
His stalwart sons;
And Patrick, Brigid, Columbkille
Rejoice that in veins of warriors still
The Gael’s blood runs.
And up to Heaven’s doorway floats,
From the wood called Rouge Bouquet,
A delicate cloud of bugle notes
That softly say:

Comrades true, born anew, peace to you!
And your memory shine like the morning star.
Brave and dear,
Shield us here,

Poem: “When Death Comes” by Mary Oliver

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering;
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Poem: "Ascension" by John Donne

Salute the last, and everlasting day.

Joy at the uprising of this Sun, and Son,

Ye whose true tears, or tribulation

Have purely wash’d, or burnt your drossy clay.

Behold, the Highest, parting hence away,

Lightens the dark clouds, which He treads upon;

Nor doth he by ascending show alone,

But first He, and He first enters the way.

O strong Ram, which hast batter’d heaven for me!

Mild lamb, which with thy Blood hast mark’d the path!

Bright Torch, which shinest, that I the way may see!

O, with Thy own Blood quench Thy own just wrath;

And if Thy Holy spirit my Muse did raise,

Deign at my hands this crown of prayer and praise

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Poem: “Learning from the Seagulls” by Flor McCarthy, S.D.B.

It’s a chilly day by the seaside,
far too windy for my comfort.
But the gulls don’t seem to mind the wind.
In fact, they seem to enjoy it.
I watch them fly about:
they go with it, they go against it,
they soar into the shy, they plunge back to earth.
All the time they are using the wind,
they are availing of its power.
And I reflect on how we, the disciples of Jesus,
are so easily blown off course by the winds of adversity.
Lord, send us the Holy Spirit who will enable us
to turn the hard and easy to our advantage,
so that everything that happens to us
may bear us along the road to your Kingdom.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Poem: "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads back on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Prayer: Thomas Merton

The American racial crisis which grows more serious every day offers the American Christian a change to face a reality about himself and recover his fidelity to orthodox truth, not merely in institutional loyalties and doctrinal orthodoxies… but in recanting a more basic heresy: the loss of that Christian sense which sees every other man [sic] as Christ and treats him as Christ.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The Company we Keep. The Seventh Sunday of Easter 2020.

   The Company we Keep.
The Seventh Sunday of Easter 2020
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May 24, 2020
Acts 1:12-14; Psalm 27; 1 Peter 4:13-16; John 17:1-11

It seems fitting in these liminal times when we are transitioning from stay-in-place orders to moving about more freely that our readings guide us to a period of increased prayer. It is better to err on the side of caution and safety and to remember the havoc the virus has wreaked on certain families. Scripture helps us remain focused on coming together in a community, both as an act of thanksgiving, but also as a precautionary move to keeps us safe and united in purpose. Measured prudence is our way forward, as it was for the disciples.

In the first reading, after the Ascension, the disciples returned to the upper room where there gathered so often and then came together in prayer. They deliberated how they were to move forward without the physical presence of Jesus, and they patiently waited for the arrival of the Advocate, who would usher in Pentecost. Their business was to pray in one accord for the community. Psalm 27, The Lord is My Shepherd, is a type of prayer that they might have prayed – to be in the presence of the Lord with great trust and to know that God will hear the prayers.

The Gospel passage relays the heart-felt prayer that Jesus offered for the protection of his disciples as he was going to depart from them. He prays for their deliverance from evil forces, and he prays for their unity. His life, his words, his actions will remain in the consciousness of his believers, and, as he knows our concerns, fears, and worries, he will tell them to the Father with whom he shall find glory. Through his loving concern and God’s radical love for him, due to the creative energy they generate, the disciples will be able to feel the intimate nearness of God, and this felt knowledge will sustain them. The power of this love will keep the community united. Prayer is a power that binds us, and our love for another person has a ripple effect.

As we open up our lifestyle once again, many people will choose not to wear masks that protect other people. Some will think about the infringement upon their civil liberties and will not act prudently to support the common good. Others will think that they are young and healthy and will withstand the illness if they by slim chance contract it. Some want to take the risks to jumpstart the economy, while others just want to get back to church. Still others are just impatient and do not know what more to do with this idle time. Then there are those who want to recover slowly and take whatever time is needed to regain good health for everyone, especially those who are vulnerable. It is difficult for us to be a community of common purpose with these varied motivations. It seems like even prayer won’t work.

Prayer does work. Prayer helps us to be mindful of the needs of others; prayer helps us serve other people and thank those who are working for the common good. Prayer gives us wisdom and understanding, and it helps us listen to the needs of others and the voice of God. Prayer will help us endure people who have different opinions and different worldviews. Prayer changes us. We help the world evolve when we unite ourselves with the resurrected Christ by becoming more loving.

Let’s spend these days in prayer waiting for the Spirit to come anew into our lives. The Spirit will help us keep our ears open to the words and counsel of Jesus. The Spirit will guide us during these perplexing times and will keeps us patient with those who think differently than us. This Spirit will work overtime to keep us together as a community, not just to endure, but to become strengthened because we will remain united, not just with the risen Jesus of Nazareth, but with the cosmic Christ who sits with the Creator of the Universe. You, me, the Spirit, the cosmic Christ, and the Creator of the Universe. That’s pretty good company to keep, and it makes me very happy.

Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading:
Monday: (Acts 19) Paul went through the interior of Greece and down to Ephesus to introduce the believers to the Holy Spirit. The community was baptized into the Body of Christ. 

Tuesday: (Acts 20) The presbyters at Ephesus summoned Paul, who told them that he was going to an uncertain fate in Jerusalem. Paul recounts the ways he served the Lord with humility, tears, and trials, but imprisonment and hardships await him.

Wednesday: (Acts 20) Paul prays for the whole flock and he prays for them because he knows adversaries will take advantage of Paul’s absence. When Paul finished speaking, the people wept loudly and threw their arms around him and kissed him. 

Thursday: (Acts 22) Paul is brought to trial. The Pharisees and Sadducees are sharply divided; armed forces rescue Paul from their midst. The Lord tells Paul he must go to Rome and be faithful there the same way he was faithful in Jerusalem. 

Friday (Acts 25) King Agrippa hears Paul’s case and determines that Paul is to be tried in Jerusalem, but Paul, as a Roman citizen, appeals for the Emperor’s decision. 

Saturday (Acts 28) When Paul entered Rome, he was allowed to live by himself. He called together the leaders of the Jews to let them know the charges brought against them. He told them his story. He remained for two years in his lodgings and received all who came to him without hindrance as he proclaimed the Kingdom of God.

Monday: (John 16) The disciples realize Jesus is returning to the Father and that he is strengthening them for the time when he will not longer be physically with them.  

Tuesday: (John 17) Jesus raises his eyes to heaven and realizes it is time to glorify the Father through his death so he may give eternal life to all that we given to him. He revealed God’s name to them and now it is time to see the glory of God revealed.

Wednesday (John 17) Jesus prays for the safety of those given to him. He wants them to be safe as they testify to God’s steadfastness in a harsh world. He prays for unity, “so that they may be one just as we, Father, are one.”

Thursday (John 17) Jesus consecrates them to the truth and wards off the Evil One. He also prays for those given to him through the testimony of others. The love Jesus and the Father share is available to future disciples.

Friday (John 21) After the Farewell Discourse ends, Jesus appears at the seashore with Simon Peter who professes his three-fold love of Jesus. Jesus forgives him and asks him to care for his people even though the authorities of this world will eventually have their day with him.

Saturday (John 21) Peter turns to Jesus and asks about the Beloved Disciple. Jesus retorts, “What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours?” This disciple is the one who wrote the testimony about Jesus and can attest to its truth.

Saints of the Week

May 24: Our Lady of the Way or in Italian, Madonna della Strada, is a painting enshrined at the Church of the Gesu in Rome, the mother church of the Society of Jesus. The Madonna Della Strada is the patroness of the Society of Jesus. In 1568, Cardinal Farnese erected the Gesu in place of the former church of Santa Maria della Strada. 

May 25: Bede the Venerable, priest and doctor, (673-735), is the only English doctor of the church. As a child, he was sent to a Benedictine monastery where he studied theology and was ordained. He wrote thorough commentaries on scripture and history as well as poetry and biographies. His famous work is the "Ecclesiastical History of the English People," the source for much of Anglo-Saxon history.

May 25: Gregory VII, pope (1020-1085), was a Tuscan who was sent to a monastery to study under John Gratian, who became Gregory VI. He served the next few popes as chaplain, treasurer, chancellor and counselor before he became Gregory VII. He introduced strong reforms over civil authorities that caused much consternation. Eventually, the Romans turned against him when the Normans sacked Rome.

May 25: Mary Magdalene de'Pazzi (1566-1607), a Florentine, chose to become a Carmelite nun instead of getting married. Her biography, written by her confessor, gives accounts of intense bouts of desolation and joy. She is reputed to have gifts of prophecy and healing.

May 26: Philip Neri, priest (1515-1595), is known as the "Apostle of Rome." A Florentine who was educated by the Dominicans, he re-evangelized Roe by establishing confraternities of laymen to minister to pilgrims and the sick in hospitals. He founded the Oratorians when he gathered a sufficient following because of his spiritual wisdom.

May 27: Augustine of Canterbury, bishop (d. 604) was sent to England with 40 monks from St. Andrew's monastery to evangelize the pagans. They were well-received. Augustine was made bishop, established a hierarchy, and changed many pagans feasts to religious ones. Wales did not accept the mission; Scotland took St. Andrew's cross as their national symbol. Augustine began a Benedictine monastery at Canterbury and was Canterbury's first archbishop.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      May 24, 1834. Don Pedro IV expelled the Society from Brazil.
·      May 25, 1569. At Rome Pope St Pius V installed the Society in the College of Penitentiaries. Priests of various nationalities who were resident in Rome were required to act as confessors in St Peter's.
·      May 26, 1673. Ching Wei‑San (Emmanuel de Sigueira) dies, the first Chinese Jesuit priest.
·      May 27, 1555. The Viceroy of India sent an embassy to Claudius, Emperor of Ethiopia, hoping to win him and his subjects over to Catholic unity. Nothing came of this venture, but Fr. Goncalvo de Silveira, who would become the Society's first martyr on the Africa soil, remained in the country.
·      May 28, 1962. The death of Bernard Hubbard famous Alaskan missionary. He was the author of the book Mush, You Malemutes! and wrote a number of articles on the Alaska mission.
·      May 29,1991. Pope John Paul II announces that Paulo Dezza, SJ is to become a Cardinal, as well as Jan Korec, in Slovakia.
·      May 30, 1849. Vincent Gioberti's book Il Gesuita Moderno was put on the Index. Gioberti had applied to be admitted into the Society, and on being refused became its bitter enemy and calumniator.