God’s silence is a consuming fire for the man who approaches him. Through this divine silence, man becomes a bit estranged from this world. He is separated from this earth and from himself. Silence impels us toward an unknown land that is God. And this land becomes our true homeland. Through silence, we return to our heavenly origin, where there is nothing but calm, peace, repose, silent contemplation, and adoration of the radiant face of God.

 

The Power of Silence – Against the Dictatorship of Noise    (#70, page 54)
by Cardinal Robert Sarah – Ignatius Press 2017

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A short prayer from St. Catherine of Siena in her book “The Dialogue”.

“You, eternal Trinity, are the craftsman; and I your handiwork have come to know that you are in love with the beauty of what you have made, since you made of me a new creation in the blood of your Son. O abyss! O eternal Godhead! O deep sea! What more could you have given me than the gift of your very self?”

My notes: What is the beauty of what God has made? Me, you, all humanity.

I recently finished leading an 8-week Bible study on the Gospel of St. John. As part of that study, I recorded a 4-part talk I did on the Devotion Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Part 1 is how we find the origins of the Devotion in the Bible
Part 2 is on the Pope’s writings on the Sacred Heart
Part 3 is on the Saints writings on the Sacred Heart
Part 4 is on the modern day practice of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The videos are about 25 minutes each and can be found on my parish’s youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckDzODY6f1c&list=PLX4LFSTGB9yjqecBOnyiEWowXdphQaUjY

 

June 8, 2018, Solemnity of the Sacred Heart
Peace be with you,
Antonius

For while gentle silence enveloped all things,
and night in its swift course was now half gone,
your all-powerful word leaped from heaven, from the royal throne…
Wisdom 18:14–15.

My notes: The Word of God has come to us in silence, and He remains here in silence. For us to encounter Him, we must enter into His silence.

I recently consecrated myself the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The typical way to do this is by doing a 33-day Novena in which there are both prayers and reading so that one can prepare for the consecration.  The 33-day novena is also started on specific dates so that the final day and the consecration prayer takes place on a Marian Feast day.  I tried doing that, and I was not successful.  So I just decided to do the consecration without the 33-day Novena.  Also, I did not use any of the formal prayers (that can be found on the Internet).  I composed a simple prayer that is easy to remember and that I pray every day, as soon as I wake up.

My Mother Mary, I consecrate myself to your Immaculate Heart,
for today and for all eternity.

Tony_portrate5

So what does it mean to consecrate oneself to Mary or Jesus? To consecrate means to make holy. So next, what does it mean to make oneself holy? Holiness has a two-part definition: first to be set apart, second to be good.

So in a consecration to Mary, we would strive to live a life set apart for her and let Mary help us. The most important thing Mary wants is for people to have an encounter with her son Jesus.

The mountain. What does this mountain signify? If we read the Gospel, we find various meanings. The mountain is, above all, the place where Jesus prayed, the place where he was alone with the Father. The mountain is his word.

To go to the mountain of Jesus means, then, to wander on the majestic mountain of his words.

Joseph Ratzinger, Co-Workers of the Truth: Meditations for Every Day of the Year, ed. Irene Grassl, trans. Mary Frances McCarthy and Lothar Krauth (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1992), page 316.

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My notes:  Where is your mountain? The place you go to to get away from the noise and business of the world and be alone with God.
How often do you go there? Once in a while, rarely, or on a regular basis?

I live in the Archdiocese of Detroit, there are no mountains anywhere near me. I suspect this is true for most people. So where shall we go?
To pray in an Adoration Chapel or Church, before the Most Blessed Sacrament is the highest mountain we could hope to climb. Praying before the Real Presence of Jesus is to be present with Him, in a way that is not possible anywhere else.

On days when this is not possible, some other place or time would be fine to encounter Jesus. I prefer the early morning, 5:30 am. At that time the house is quiet and still, as is the neighborhood and even the city. Find your place, your time and pray to Jesus on your mountain.

My picture above is from the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, North Carolina.

PadrePio

My wife and I went to the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption in the Diocese of Saginaw, Michigan today, to venerate the relics of St. Padre Pio. It was a grace-filled experience.  In honor of this event, I have a passage from the book “Praying the Psalms with St. Padre Pio” by Eileen Dunn Bertanzetti

“The most afflicted souls are those who are closest to the divine Heart. And you can be sure that Jesus has chosen your soul as that which is most dear to His adorable Heart. You must hide yourself in this Heart; you must pour out your most ardent desires there, and in this Heart, you must still live those remaining days which Providence grants you; you must die in this Heart when the Lord wishes.

Without fully understanding it you are hidden in this Heart. …In this Heart you are, you live, and you move.”

 

For my review of this book, please see the following link:

https://stagesofprayer.wordpress.com/2010/12/02/praying-the-psalms-with-st-padre-pio/