Repenting and Forgiven

c. 1632

Image via Wikipedia

How true it is,
That we are wretched sinners,
Dying since our birth,
Condemned by Man’s First Sin.

Yet, we wait, in hope believing,
For what we have begun to be,
Since our Christ died upon a Tree
Shedding His blood at Calvary.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
One of the Holy Three,
All Man, All God, All Given
That for repenting
We become the Forgiven.

Listening to You, O God

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Listening to You, O God

I am listening, O God,
I am listening.

As my ear rests upon Your Breast,
The throbbing of Your Heart, a plaintiff call, 
Sounds a sacred prayer
In unending rhythm, eternal.

Though stopped
In Your willed bodily Death,
It’s steady beat pierced the earth,
As Your Spirit descended to captivate
Those justified by Your Blood,

The prize of Salvation won upon Calvary’s mount.

High ridged mountains of prayer
Span the course of centuries,
As I now in my ordained place,
Offer my will to You in this my time.

As that same once spent Blood,
Now courses through my veins
In sweet Communion,

Speak peace to me.

© 2011 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved.

Good Friday – Passion and Death

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GOOD FRIDAY is the most solemn day of the year, when faithful Christians morn the suffering and death of our dear Lord, and thank God for the salvation we have received through His Passion,

All through the night Jesus has been locked in the dungeon of the high priest’s house. Early this morning he was bought before a Pilate who transferred his case to Herod. Herod sent him back to Pilate who, sometime in the mid-morning, bowed to the pressure of the Temple leadership and the crowds, and condemned Jesus to a horrible death by crucifixion. In the late morning Jesus was taken by the soldiers through the city and up the hillside of Golgotha. By noon he is nailed to the cross where he hangs in agony for some three hours. He dies around three in the afternoon. He is taken down from the cross and placed in the tomb hastily before sundown.

Today is a day of prayer, fasting and abstinence. Whenever possible, Christians are urged to keep today free of work, of social engagements, of entertainment, and to devote themselves to communal prayer and worship.

At noon, the hour He was crucified, we gather quietly in our parish Church to celebrate the Liturgy of the Passion, the most important service on this day. In this Liturgy we first reflect on Jesus’ death on the cross by listening to the singing of the Passion according to St. John. We then pray for the needs of the world. To personally show our love for Jesus Crucified, we one by one come forward to venerate the crucifix with a kiss. Our hunger from this day of fasting is satisfied with Holy Communion distributed at the end of this liturgy.

Consider too how the apostles gathered that night together in fear and prayer reflecting on all that happened. In the same spirit we gather at 7:00 pm for Stations of the Cross and other prayers and meditations on the Passion.Our teens will dramatize the Stations as we pray. They do a wonderful job, and it is very moving. This service is not only for those who could not be at the Liturgy of the Passion at noon, but also for those who wish to wish to add another time of devotion as we in spirit weep at the tomb of our Savior.

I often reflect on how people morn the death of their loved ones, and take care to attend the funerals of every acquaintance. But on the Day that their Savior died for them, how many Christians act as if it were “just another day”, and make no effort to come to Church to attend His funeral – He who is their Friend, their Savior, and their God! How pathetically sad. Let it not be so with us. Comfort your Savior in His suffering by keeping this day with prayer, reflection, and penance, and make every effort, if at all possible, to gather with God’s family in church to worship God the Son who died for you!

Msgr. Douglas A. Raun
Pastor
St. Thomas Aquinas Parish
1502 Sara, Rio Rancho, NM Enhanced by Zemanta

Days of Darkness – Days of Light

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Yup, Word Press congratulated me!  Four years today!  To celebrate, I’m re-blogging my first post with a bit of tweeking to fit the season.

Days of Darkness – Days of Light

We just celebrated the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.  It was he, who said in a letter addressed to the Roman church (Rom.5:20), “Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more”   Well, here’s the vision, as it was told to me. I want you to picture it so that you feel it with your heart:

You and I squeak in,  passing  through those towering Pearly Gates.  People of all ages overwhelm even our enhanced understanding of the generations descended from Adam and Eve.  We can’t wait to embrace them.  We know them intimately. Instantly, we know their stories.  These are those who lived Salvation history.

“What was it like?”,  we ask over and again?   These, after all, are those who walked dry shod through the walls of water escaping Pharaoh’s chariots.  Here, too,  are the masses who had pressed upon the Christ.  They’d witnessed the manner and miracles of Jesus.  Some has eaten the bread and fish He’d multiplied.  Others admitted that they had shouted, “Crucify Him.”  Others had stood along the way as He pushed on to Calvary. The martyrs from all past centuries were among the most joyful.  They now rejoiced that their blood shed for Christ seeded the proceeding eons to bear fruit in such as we.

For all our eagerness to express our gratitude to them and give glory to God, they pressed the more upon us, for their need is to know our stories.  “Tell us,”  they asked, “how black did the times become when men who pretend to knowledge denied life in the womb.  How dark were the days in which the hearts of mothers died, choosing  to bring forth corpses instead of  living children.  You, who lived with blindness and deafness,  how did you survive?  Like Peter, was it repentance that  re-ignited your flame?   How did you find courage walking  the Valley of the Shadow of Death?  How bright was the Light that brought you home?”

That Light is shining now, on everyone. Who will guide the blind and who will lead the thirsty to the Living Water, if not you and me.

Repenting and Forgiven

c. 1632

Image via Wikipedia

How true it is,
That we are wretched sinners,
Dying since our birth,
Condemned by Man’s First Sin.

Yet, we wait, in hope believing,
For what we have begun to be,
Since our Christ died upon a Tree
Shedding His blood at Calvary.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
One of the Holy Three,
All Man, All God, All Given
That for repenting
We become the Forgiven.

Dismiss All Other Loves!

Red draped the Crucifix as it proceeded amidst waving palm branches – blood red! Shouts of “Hail and hosanna” would soon change to “Crucify!” It is so brief a time to reign and be acknowledged as the Holy One of God.  Our homilist, Fr. Michael De Palma asked what happened? For the Church, not many weeks ago, we were gazing on the face of the Christ Child.  Angels sang and Wise Men bowed low. We sang:

Sacred Infant, all Divine,

What a tender love was Thine;

Thus to come from highest bliss

Down to such a world as this !

Teach, oh, teach us, Holy Child,

By Thy face so meek and mild.

Teach us to resemble Thee,

In Thy sweet humility !

What happened?  Have we, too, dismissed Him?  He reigns on our calendars, but what about our hearts? What other loves have replaced Him in our day to day?  Can we bear to look upon His disfigured Face?  Can we “Behold the Man?.”

Father Michael invited us to live this week differently from all others, to banish all other loves and gaze upon one bruised and bloodied Face.  Angels trembled at what we had done to the Son of God.  They trembled, too, at what He accomplished on that Cross for me and you.

We will soon sing with the Church around the world:

O Sacred Head, surrounded
by crown of piercing thorn!
O bleeding head, so wounded,
reviled and put to scorn!
Our sins have marred the glory
of thy most holy face,
yet angel hosts adore thee
and tremble as they gaze

I see thy strength and vigor
all fading in the strife,
and death with cruel rigor,
bereaving thee of life;
O agony and dying!
O love to sinners free!
Jesus, all grace supplying,
O turn thy face on me.

(Words Henry Williams Baker after Bernard of Clairvaux)

One Holy Week remains of Lent.  We are invited to walk these days with our Lord to Calvary.  Without the Cross there is no Resurrection, no Easter glory.  With Christ we, too, can rise again to new Life

“When He is King we will give Him the Kings’ gifts,
Myrrh for its sweetness, and gold for a crown…

When He is King they will clothe Him in grave-sheets,
Myrrh for embalming and wood for a crown..

Bethlehem Down – words by Bruce Blunt