In these last several days of May, the month which it has pleased Our Lord Jesus to see dedicated to His Most Holy Mother, would you please join with me in saying some special prayers for Mary’s Children on the continent of Africa?  There is such great poverty in most areas of that beautiful but harsh corner of the globe, and warfare, violence, and other such evils take many lives every single day.  The people of Africa need the help of their brothers and sisters from Europe, Asia, the Americas, and Oceania, and they need our prayers, also.  Can anyone who loves the Holy Family ever forget that it was the people of Africa who offered hospitality and shelter to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph when their lives were in danger due to King Herod’s hateful envy?  The King of All Kings, the One Master of the Universe, entrusted his Only Begotten Son to the care of the people of Africa, so how can anyone deny that the African people are special to God’s Heart?  The suffering that afflicts the people of Africa afflicts God, also.  Let us dry the tears of the people of those troubled lands, and let them know we love them, for in easing their pain and suffering, we ease the pain and suffering of God Himself, the Loving Father of All People.
Our Lady of Sudan, pray for us!
Our Lady of Sudan, save the people of Africa!
Our Lady of Sudan, help all of us who call on you!
Our Lady of Sudan, with all our hearts, we trust in you!
Our Lady of Sudan, Our Holy Mother, see how much we love you!

In these last several days of May, the month which it has pleased Our Lord Jesus to see dedicated to His Most Holy Mother, would you please join with me in saying some special prayers for Mary’s Children on the continent of Africa?  There is such great poverty in most areas of that beautiful but harsh corner of the globe, and warfare, violence, and other such evils take many lives every single day.  The people of Africa need the help of their brothers and sisters from Europe, Asia, the Americas, and Oceania, and they need our prayers, also.  Can anyone who loves the Holy Family ever forget that it was the people of Africa who offered hospitality and shelter to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph when their lives were in danger due to King Herod’s hateful envy?  The King of All Kings, the One Master of the Universe, entrusted his Only Begotten Son to the care of the people of Africa, so how can anyone deny that the African people are special to God’s Heart?  The suffering that afflicts the people of Africa afflicts God, also.  Let us dry the tears of the people of those troubled lands, and let them know we love them, for in easing their pain and suffering, we ease the pain and suffering of God Himself, the Loving Father of All People.

Our Lady of Sudan, pray for us!

Our Lady of Sudan, save the people of Africa!

Our Lady of Sudan, help all of us who call on you!

Our Lady of Sudan, with all our hearts, we trust in you!

Our Lady of Sudan, Our Holy Mother, see how much we love you!

Greetings to all of my friends here on Tumblr!  I haven’t posted in quite a while, but I would like to share a photograph of a display that I put up a few days ago in honor of Mary, Our Blessed Mother, during her month of May!  Ever since I was a kid, I have collected toy soldiers from a German company called Playmobil: it is one of the largest toy companies in Europe but it is not at all well-known in the United States.  In any event, Playmobil has also produced a few religious figures, and so I added some of them to my collection, and they feature prominently in the display, which I will now explain.
This photo was taken at an outdoor May Crowning ceremony, held outside the city walls of a peaceful little town in old East Prussia.  Four Carmelite friars, in brown robes with white hooded capes, have organized the event.  While one holds high a crucifix, another holds high an icon of the Blessed Mother, and the other two brothers offer lilies to the Queen of Heaven.  The local bishop and two of his priests are bowing down as they honor Jesus Christ, the Son of God, through his Beloved Mother, who is the Mother of all people, as well.  A choir of Benedictine nuns from the local priory is singing, and their number includes not only solemnly professed sisters but two novices in white veils and two postulants with short white veils.  Additional music is being contributed by the drum and bugle corps from the local military post.  The officers from two infantry regiments are offering flowers to the Blessed Mother on behalf of their troops, and representatives from a lancer regiment and a hussar regiment are also taking part in the ceremony.  The local villagers will enjoy their own ceremony later in the day, in front of the village church, so they are not present at the military festivities.
My prayer today is that everyone who sees this display will feel the love of God in their lives, and realize that Mary, the Mother of Jesus, loves all of us fully and unconditionally!  I enjoyed putting up this display and so I will be so glad if it brings smiles to faces all across the world!
Dearest Jesus, thank you so much for your many gifts to your children here on earth.  Thank you for giving us your own precious Mother to be our spiritual Mother.  With her prayers for us, and her maternal love for us, let each one of us come to know you and love you both here on earth, and in the world to come!  Amen.
+ May the Passion of Christ be always in our hearts!

Greetings to all of my friends here on Tumblr!  I haven’t posted in quite a while, but I would like to share a photograph of a display that I put up a few days ago in honor of Mary, Our Blessed Mother, during her month of May!  Ever since I was a kid, I have collected toy soldiers from a German company called Playmobil: it is one of the largest toy companies in Europe but it is not at all well-known in the United States.  In any event, Playmobil has also produced a few religious figures, and so I added some of them to my collection, and they feature prominently in the display, which I will now explain.

This photo was taken at an outdoor May Crowning ceremony, held outside the city walls of a peaceful little town in old East Prussia.  Four Carmelite friars, in brown robes with white hooded capes, have organized the event.  While one holds high a crucifix, another holds high an icon of the Blessed Mother, and the other two brothers offer lilies to the Queen of Heaven.  The local bishop and two of his priests are bowing down as they honor Jesus Christ, the Son of God, through his Beloved Mother, who is the Mother of all people, as well.  A choir of Benedictine nuns from the local priory is singing, and their number includes not only solemnly professed sisters but two novices in white veils and two postulants with short white veils.  Additional music is being contributed by the drum and bugle corps from the local military post.  The officers from two infantry regiments are offering flowers to the Blessed Mother on behalf of their troops, and representatives from a lancer regiment and a hussar regiment are also taking part in the ceremony.  The local villagers will enjoy their own ceremony later in the day, in front of the village church, so they are not present at the military festivities.

My prayer today is that everyone who sees this display will feel the love of God in their lives, and realize that Mary, the Mother of Jesus, loves all of us fully and unconditionally!  I enjoyed putting up this display and so I will be so glad if it brings smiles to faces all across the world!

Dearest Jesus, thank you so much for your many gifts to your children here on earth.  Thank you for giving us your own precious Mother to be our spiritual Mother.  With her prayers for us, and her maternal love for us, let each one of us come to know you and love you both here on earth, and in the world to come!  Amen.

+ May the Passion of Christ be always in our hearts!

A friend of mine who is a graphic designer recently showed me an idea he had for a Christmas card.  It is a colored-pencil drawing of the Denver Broncos football player, Tim Tebow, “Tebowing” before the Child Jesus.  I think that it is a beautiful image: I like the smile on the face of Our Lord!  My friend is selling his cards on eBay, the online auction site, and so I told him that I’d mention that here.  I also said that I only have about two dozen followers so I don’t think I’ll help his sales much!  But I admire Tim Tebow, because from what I know about him, he is a very sincere and good-hearted young Christian.  He is receiving enormous criticism and abuse in the media and in many parts of the country because he is so outspoken about bearing witness to his Faith in Christ.  But I think that these attacks are totally unfair.  Tebow is not condemning other paths, or saying this his path alone is right: he is just saying that Jesus is his Lord, whom he loves and serves, and he wants to tell the whole world about the joy that comes from knowing Jesus.  So I pray that God will continue to bless this young man in every way, and that he will inspire other Christians to speak out about our love for Jesus.  Jesus, how little we love you, and how little we do for you!  I beg you, fill us with your Spirit, that we might love you, and each other, as you love us, and that your Light will shine through us and relieve the darkness that surrounds us!

A friend of mine who is a graphic designer recently showed me an idea he had for a Christmas card.  It is a colored-pencil drawing of the Denver Broncos football player, Tim Tebow, “Tebowing” before the Child Jesus.  I think that it is a beautiful image: I like the smile on the face of Our Lord!  My friend is selling his cards on eBay, the online auction site, and so I told him that I’d mention that here.  I also said that I only have about two dozen followers so I don’t think I’ll help his sales much!  But I admire Tim Tebow, because from what I know about him, he is a very sincere and good-hearted young Christian.  He is receiving enormous criticism and abuse in the media and in many parts of the country because he is so outspoken about bearing witness to his Faith in Christ.  But I think that these attacks are totally unfair.  Tebow is not condemning other paths, or saying this his path alone is right: he is just saying that Jesus is his Lord, whom he loves and serves, and he wants to tell the whole world about the joy that comes from knowing Jesus.  So I pray that God will continue to bless this young man in every way, and that he will inspire other Christians to speak out about our love for Jesus.  Jesus, how little we love you, and how little we do for you!  I beg you, fill us with your Spirit, that we might love you, and each other, as you love us, and that your Light will shine through us and relieve the darkness that surrounds us!

In the history of the Church, one can find many instances when the Saints or friends of God were able to change the course of history and have a positive impact on thousands or even millions of lives.  Then there are other Saints, who in their lives did very little of value in the world’s eyes, yet who still contributed greatly to the building of the Kingdom of God.  Today, my friends, it seems that those of us who wish to do God’s Work are few in number, and that the sheer number of tasks that confront us are beyond our power.  Perhaps that is so, but as Christians, we can never surrender to the world around us, the fallen world, without denying Christ.  So what can we do?  If we live during a time when the night is dark, we can’t coax the sun into rising.  Relying on limited resources, at least in an earthly sense, illuminating vast areas artificially is not possible, either.  But at the very least, we can light a candle, and see to it that our own lives are not passed entirely in darkness.  We can share that light with our family and loved ones, and those who journey with us for a time.  In time, we might see other candles off in the distance, and we can call to these neighbors and join our light with theirs.  Perhaps we will not be able to totally overcome the darkness, but we can at least be sure that the darkness will not overcome us.  We can instead be sure that when the Son of Man returns in glory, when Christ shall come again, he will find a worldwide community of souls on fire with love for their Savior.  Let us pray that the light of these tiny candles, so small when set against the blackness of the night, will shine so fiercely that God, moved by such love and faithfulness, will see all souls through the soft light of the Divine Mercy, and not the glare of the Divine Justice.

In the history of the Church, one can find many instances when the Saints or friends of God were able to change the course of history and have a positive impact on thousands or even millions of lives.  Then there are other Saints, who in their lives did very little of value in the world’s eyes, yet who still contributed greatly to the building of the Kingdom of God.  Today, my friends, it seems that those of us who wish to do God’s Work are few in number, and that the sheer number of tasks that confront us are beyond our power.  Perhaps that is so, but as Christians, we can never surrender to the world around us, the fallen world, without denying Christ.  So what can we do?  If we live during a time when the night is dark, we can’t coax the sun into rising.  Relying on limited resources, at least in an earthly sense, illuminating vast areas artificially is not possible, either.  But at the very least, we can light a candle, and see to it that our own lives are not passed entirely in darkness.  We can share that light with our family and loved ones, and those who journey with us for a time.  In time, we might see other candles off in the distance, and we can call to these neighbors and join our light with theirs.  Perhaps we will not be able to totally overcome the darkness, but we can at least be sure that the darkness will not overcome us.  We can instead be sure that when the Son of Man returns in glory, when Christ shall come again, he will find a worldwide community of souls on fire with love for their Savior.  Let us pray that the light of these tiny candles, so small when set against the blackness of the night, will shine so fiercely that God, moved by such love and faithfulness, will see all souls through the soft light of the Divine Mercy, and not the glare of the Divine Justice.

A number of years ago, when I was living in a city in California with a very high crime rate, I found myself in a dangerous situation at an ATM machine and I had to run for it.  I tripped over the curb, and when I fell down, I injured my left hand.  When I with some difficulty drove to the emergency room, I found out that my wrist had been broken in three places.  A few days later a surgeon informed me that I would need to have two steel plates and four screws inserted into my wrist to keep my hand, wrist, and lower arm together.  I went home to my apartment and cried, because at that time, I did not have any scars on my body of any kind, and the idea of having a three inch scar on my wrist, and steel plates inside of my body for the rest of my life, made me feel sad.  But over the years, I have come to accept these wounds, and the others that I have picked up over time.  They no longer trouble me, because when I look at Jesus, my Lord and Redeemer, I see that he bears scars, also.  Even in his Resurrected Body, Jesus bears the marks of his suffering on Good Friday, that for all Eternity, every soul will know of his limitless love for each one of us.  My friends, today, when you consider your own scars and wounds, whether physical, or emotional, or spiritual, take comfort in the knowledge that the Savior of the World is also wounded.  And just as God drew Infinite Glory and Beauty out of the Wounds of Christ, so shall God take every wound of every soul, and make of it something of indescribable loveliness!  How good you are, O God!  You are so very good!
+ May the Passion of Christ be always in our hearts!

A number of years ago, when I was living in a city in California with a very high crime rate, I found myself in a dangerous situation at an ATM machine and I had to run for it.  I tripped over the curb, and when I fell down, I injured my left hand.  When I with some difficulty drove to the emergency room, I found out that my wrist had been broken in three places.  A few days later a surgeon informed me that I would need to have two steel plates and four screws inserted into my wrist to keep my hand, wrist, and lower arm together.  I went home to my apartment and cried, because at that time, I did not have any scars on my body of any kind, and the idea of having a three inch scar on my wrist, and steel plates inside of my body for the rest of my life, made me feel sad.  But over the years, I have come to accept these wounds, and the others that I have picked up over time.  They no longer trouble me, because when I look at Jesus, my Lord and Redeemer, I see that he bears scars, also.  Even in his Resurrected Body, Jesus bears the marks of his suffering on Good Friday, that for all Eternity, every soul will know of his limitless love for each one of us.  My friends, today, when you consider your own scars and wounds, whether physical, or emotional, or spiritual, take comfort in the knowledge that the Savior of the World is also wounded.  And just as God drew Infinite Glory and Beauty out of the Wounds of Christ, so shall God take every wound of every soul, and make of it something of indescribable loveliness!  How good you are, O God!  You are so very good!

+ May the Passion of Christ be always in our hearts!

"There is but one sadness, and that is for us not be saints." Leon Bloy
Holy Mary, Queen of All Saints, pray for us!
St. Maurice, pray for us!
St. Erasmus, pray for us!
All You Saints in Heaven, pray for us!

"There is but one sadness, and that is for us not be saints." Leon Bloy

Holy Mary, Queen of All Saints, pray for us!

St. Maurice, pray for us!

St. Erasmus, pray for us!

All You Saints in Heaven, pray for us!

As Hurricane Irene continues to slowly make its way up the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, I would like to ask you, my friends, to say some special prayers for the people in the path of this terrible storm.  Let us also pray that well-intentioned but misguided religious people will stop preaching nonsense like, “This storm is being sent as punishment by God.”  We know from Sacred Scripture, from Church tradition, from the testimony of the Saints, and from the spiritual experiences of contemporary mystics that the Living God, the One True God, the God of Love revealed by Jesus Christ, does not act in this way.  It is true, suffering and hardship can help the individual soul mature and reject selfishness and embrace God instead, but God never punishes the innocent along with the guilty.  If you want to see the Face of God in this storm, do not look at the destruction it is leaving behind, but look at the faces of the policemen who are rescuing stranded people, the hospital workers who are putting in long hours, the National Guard members who are assisting in making evacuations, and the countless others who are in some way seeking to repair the storm damage.  Wherever you see acts of kindness and compassion, there God is present, and through those who are seeking to comfort and protect and save, God’s grace is flowing.  Yes, Hurricane Irene is powerful, but it is insignificant when set against the power of Christ’s Love.  So let us all trust in Him, the One Who Alone deserves our trust.  Jesus, be with us!

As Hurricane Irene continues to slowly make its way up the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, I would like to ask you, my friends, to say some special prayers for the people in the path of this terrible storm.  Let us also pray that well-intentioned but misguided religious people will stop preaching nonsense like, “This storm is being sent as punishment by God.”  We know from Sacred Scripture, from Church tradition, from the testimony of the Saints, and from the spiritual experiences of contemporary mystics that the Living God, the One True God, the God of Love revealed by Jesus Christ, does not act in this way.  It is true, suffering and hardship can help the individual soul mature and reject selfishness and embrace God instead, but God never punishes the innocent along with the guilty.  If you want to see the Face of God in this storm, do not look at the destruction it is leaving behind, but look at the faces of the policemen who are rescuing stranded people, the hospital workers who are putting in long hours, the National Guard members who are assisting in making evacuations, and the countless others who are in some way seeking to repair the storm damage.  Wherever you see acts of kindness and compassion, there God is present, and through those who are seeking to comfort and protect and save, God’s grace is flowing.  Yes, Hurricane Irene is powerful, but it is insignificant when set against the power of Christ’s Love.  So let us all trust in Him, the One Who Alone deserves our trust.  Jesus, be with us!

St. Paul of the Cross, the founder of the Passionist Family, devoted over fifty years of his life to praying for the conversion of England; that is, for the return of the bulk of the English people to full communion with the See of St. Peter.  On his deathbed, he entrusted the religious community he was leaving behind with continuing this work of spiritual mercy.  Today, my friends, let us pray in a special way for the noble people of England.  Let us ask for a spectacular growth in that ancient land of the number of souls who honor and love the Holy Father, for a rebirth of devotion and enthusiasm among all English Christians, and for a deeper relationship with God for all believers and truth-seekers in that kingdom which has St. George as its Heavenly Patron.  Jesus, Our Sweet Lord, bless the people of England, and indeed, all the people of the British Isles, and let every soul in that beautiful and historic corner of the world one day find eternal life in your Divine Presence!  Oh, Jesus, how good you are to us!  Let us never cease to thank you for your mercy and compassion!
Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us!
St. George the Dragonslayer, pray for us!
St. Alban, Proto-Martyr of England, pray for us!
St. Edward the Confessor, pray for us!
St. Paul of the Cross, Our Holy Founder, pray for us!

St. Paul of the Cross, the founder of the Passionist Family, devoted over fifty years of his life to praying for the conversion of England; that is, for the return of the bulk of the English people to full communion with the See of St. Peter.  On his deathbed, he entrusted the religious community he was leaving behind with continuing this work of spiritual mercy.  Today, my friends, let us pray in a special way for the noble people of England.  Let us ask for a spectacular growth in that ancient land of the number of souls who honor and love the Holy Father, for a rebirth of devotion and enthusiasm among all English Christians, and for a deeper relationship with God for all believers and truth-seekers in that kingdom which has St. George as its Heavenly Patron.  Jesus, Our Sweet Lord, bless the people of England, and indeed, all the people of the British Isles, and let every soul in that beautiful and historic corner of the world one day find eternal life in your Divine Presence!  Oh, Jesus, how good you are to us!  Let us never cease to thank you for your mercy and compassion!

Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us!

St. George the Dragonslayer, pray for us!

St. Alban, Proto-Martyr of England, pray for us!

St. Edward the Confessor, pray for us!

St. Paul of the Cross, Our Holy Founder, pray for us!

Jesus, you are so good to us.  Before Creation came to be, you saw each one of us, and you loved us, and you wanted to give us the joy of eternal life in your presence.  You are always there for us; you will never turn us away when we run to your arms.  You will never ignore us when we call on your Holy Name.  Jesus, you are so good to us, but how do we repay you?  So many people on earth hate you, or ignore you, or fight against you.  Even among your friends, there are many who break your heart with their ingratitude and their indifference.  My Jesus, give me the grace to love you always.  Help me to avoid sin and to live as you would have me live.  My soul will never be totally pure and spotless as I make my way through this fallen world, but I beg you for the grace to never cease loving you.  Jesus, I love you!  Help me to love you more and more!
(Thank you, Jesus, for these beautiful flowers that adorned my late Grandmother’s beloved Mock Orange bush this Spring: I offer them to you, in her memory, with all my love!)

Jesus, you are so good to us.  Before Creation came to be, you saw each one of us, and you loved us, and you wanted to give us the joy of eternal life in your presence.  You are always there for us; you will never turn us away when we run to your arms.  You will never ignore us when we call on your Holy Name.  Jesus, you are so good to us, but how do we repay you?  So many people on earth hate you, or ignore you, or fight against you.  Even among your friends, there are many who break your heart with their ingratitude and their indifference.  My Jesus, give me the grace to love you always.  Help me to avoid sin and to live as you would have me live.  My soul will never be totally pure and spotless as I make my way through this fallen world, but I beg you for the grace to never cease loving you.  Jesus, I love you!  Help me to love you more and more!

(Thank you, Jesus, for these beautiful flowers that adorned my late Grandmother’s beloved Mock Orange bush this Spring: I offer them to you, in her memory, with all my love!)

In the year 1798, during a fierce persecution against Christians in Vietnam, a group of believers fled to a forest in the Quang Tri province.  While in hiding, Mary, the Mother of Jesus, appeared to them, holding her Infant Son, and she encouraged them to remain faithful to their Lord and Savior.  She promised to watch over the people of that beautiful land in a special way, and over the centuries, Mary’s love for her children in that part of the world has never diminished.  This beautiful contemporary image by Nguyen Thi Hop shows the loveliness, compassion, and heavenly radiance of Our Lady of La Vang and the Christ Child.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!
Queen of the Vietnamese Martyrs, pray for us!
Our Lady of La Vang, pray for us!
Most Precious Jesus, Savior of the World, have mercy on us!

In the year 1798, during a fierce persecution against Christians in Vietnam, a group of believers fled to a forest in the Quang Tri province.  While in hiding, Mary, the Mother of Jesus, appeared to them, holding her Infant Son, and she encouraged them to remain faithful to their Lord and Savior.  She promised to watch over the people of that beautiful land in a special way, and over the centuries, Mary’s love for her children in that part of the world has never diminished.  This beautiful contemporary image by Nguyen Thi Hop shows the loveliness, compassion, and heavenly radiance of Our Lady of La Vang and the Christ Child.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!

Queen of the Vietnamese Martyrs, pray for us!

Our Lady of La Vang, pray for us!

Most Precious Jesus, Savior of the World, have mercy on us!