Sunday, April 29, 2012

Miriam the Scripture Scholar

After a long two days of retreat, crowned with the intensity of her first Confession, Miriam sat in the back of the van as I drove her home alone. She was exhausted, but happy, and watched out the window in her usual dreamy state of contemplation.

"Mummy. I was thinking."


"I get to receive these two sacraments for my whole life!"

"Yes, Miriam, they are the greatest gift!"

"And, Mummy," she continued, "They must always go together."

I thought she was just parroting back Todd and my own mantras to her (and to each other!). The two go together.

"Good, Mim," I smiled. "That's right."

But she continued.

"Because, Mummy, it reminds me of two parables Our Lord gave us."


"Yes. The parable of the 10 Wise Virgins and the parable of the Unworthy Guest. The Virgins who were ready for the bridegroom to come were like having Confession before the Communion. And the unworthy guest did not."

Huh. Did not see that one coming. She's been spending hours with the Good Shepherd, the True Vine, and the Found Coin, but she remembers the virgins and the unworthy guest. There is no guile in her interpretation of the Word--the Scripture clarify for her and give her a picture with which to understand what is happening in her soul these two glorious days and for the rest of her life.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

St. Gianna Molla and Miriam

Happy Feast Day to our Miriam Gianna Ahern! Gianna has been a dear friend to you thus far and will be for many years to come and in eternity. Remember, beautiful girl:

"Our body is a cenacle, a monstrance: through its crystal the world should see God." ~St. Gianna

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Quo vadis, mater?

There's a Big Project brewing here in the Philosophical Arena, and it has displaced the time for writing in this space.

Regina Caeli Academy is coming to the Nutmeg State this fall, and there are many brave families putting their hearts on the line to make it happen. The academy is a homeschool assistance program that meets twice per week and has already enjoyed growth and joy in Georgia--now it's expanding!

This is a great program--it combines the joys and strengths of the classroom with a rigorous home education. Moms and dads get to teach, enjoy the friendship and company of others adults with the same heart for the Church. Their children have the opportunity form deep friendships in a deeply faithful culture and receive the very best tutelage in the challenging Mother of Divine Grace curriculum.

I have seen this model bear great fruit in many families, parishes, and individuals. It only happens because of their utter devotion and fidelity to Jesus Christ, as He is known most fully through the Holy Father, the Magisterium, and the Holy Scriptures.

Please pray for this new adventure--which is both very philosophical and terrifyingly practical! 

Heart, mind, and body. Amen.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Resurrection: Love we can recognize.

"If God wishes to reveal the love that he harbors for the world, this love has to be something that the world can recognize... The inner reality of love can be recognized only by love."
~Hans Urs von Balthasar, Love Alone is Credible

Who among us cannot imagine coming home to find a long-dead loved one sitting at our table--alive, laughing, well again?

Our hearts' desire to see and be always with one who has loved us, to be always in a beloved country or land--this is the promise that love has not entirely died in us.

Can you imagine the face of Mary Magdalen when she turned to see her Beloved alive and whole? Can you feel the astonishment and joy breaking in on the heart of His Mother when he first stepped into her room?

God has revealed his love to the world, because He has given us what we most recognize, although we had never before seen it. Life, light, and unfailing love. We recognize Him as our only desire, because He has never left us alone.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Harrowing of Hell.

"Something strange is happening - there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.

"He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all”. Christ answered him: “And with your spirit”. He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light”."

~from "an ancient homily," in the Office of Readings for Holy Saturday

Friday, April 6, 2012

Love and sin have met.

"When I become immersed in the Lord's Passion, I often see the Lord Jesus, during adoration, in this manner: after the scourging, the torturers took the Lord and stripped Him of His own garment, which had already adhered to the wounds; as they took it off, His wounds reopened; then they threw a dirty and tattered scarlet cloak over the fresh wounds of the Lord. The cloak, in some places, barely reached His knees. They made Him sit on a piece of beam. And then they wove a crown of thorns, which they put on His sacred head. They put a reed in His hand and made fun of Him, bowing to Him as to a king. Some spat in His face, while others took the reed and struck Him on the head with it. Others caused him pain by slapping Him; still others covered His face and struck Him with their fists. Jesus bore all this with meekness. Who can comprehend Him - comprehend His suffering? Jesus' eyes were downcast. I sensed what was happening in the most sweet Heart of Jesus at that time. Let every soul reflect on what Jesus was suffering at that moment. They tried to outdo each other in insulting the Lord. I reflected: Where does such malice in man come from? It is caused by sin. Love and sin have met." (Divine Mercy in My Soul, no. 408)

Ted Neeley as Jesus.

My favorite part of Jesus Christ Superstar is Judas' opening song.

It's actually the only part I like--I'm not only a stickler for truth, but the whole Mary Magdelen thing is an artistic cop-out.

But here's a 63-year-old Ted Neeley (he played the original JC Superstar in the film). It's worth a gander:

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Holy Thursday 2012 and a Russian

Where have you gone, my Beloved? Do not leave us alone.

He did not leave us alone. He gives us his own self, whole and entire, in a little host.

And then we abandon him to his tears in the Garden.

The Garden of Gethsemane
~Boris Pasternak (in Dr. Zhivago), trans. John Stallworthy and Peter France

Indifferently, the glimmer of stars
Lit up the turning in the road.
The road went round the Mount of Olives,
Below it the Kedron flowed.

The meadow suddenly stopped half-way.
The Milky Way went on from there.
The grey and silver olive trees
Were trying to march into thin air.

There was a garden at the meadow’s end.
And leaving the disciples by the wall,
He said: ‘My soul is sorrowful unto death,
Tarry ye here, and watch with Me awhile.’

Without a struggle He renounced
Omnipotence and miracles
As if they had been borrowed things,
And now He was a mortal among mortals.

The night’s far reaches seemed a region
Of nothing and annihilation. All
The universe was uninhabited.
There was no life outside the garden wall.

And looking at those dark abysses,
Empty and endless, bottomless deeps,
He prayed the Father, in a bloody sweat,
To let this cup pass from His lips.

Assuaging mortal agony with prayer,
He left the garden. By the road he found
Disciples, overcome by drowsiness,
Asleep spreadeagled on the ground.

He wakened them: ‘The Lord has deemed you worthy
To live in My time. Is it worthiness
To sleep in the hour when the Son of Man
Must give Himself into the hands of sinners?’
The course of centuries is like a parable
And, passing, can catch fire. Now, in the name
Of its dread majesty, I am content
To suffer and descend into the tomb.

I shall descend and on the third day rise,
And as the river rafts float into sight,
Towards My Judgement like a string of barges
The centuries will float out of the night.’