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And here are some of our resources that you might find helpful:

  • Reconciled to God, a daily devotional from Creative Communications for the parish.  You can buy it individually, in bulk for the parish our your group, or get a digital version.

"amy welborn"

"amy welborn"

 

 

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She was, after the Blessed Virgin herself, the most widely-venerated saint of the Medieval period, and today is her feast day.

As Pope St. Gregory the Great said of her (as is quoted in the Office of Readings today)

 We should reflect on Mary’s attitude and the great love she felt for Christ; for though the disciples had left the tomb, she remained. She was still seeking the one she had not found, and while she sought she wept; burning with the fire of love, she longed for him who she thought had been taken away. And so it happened that the woman who stayed behind to seek Christ was the only one to see him. For perseverance is essential to any good deed, as the voice of truth tells us: Whoever perseveres to the end will be saved.
 
  At first she sought but did not find, but when she persevered it happened that she found what she was looking for. When our desires are not satisfied, they grow stronger, and becoming stronger they take hold of their object. Holy desires likewise grow with anticipation, and if they do not grow they are not really desires. Anyone who succeeds in attaining the truth has burned with such a great love. As David says: My soul has thirsted for the living God; when shall I come and appear before the face of God? And so also in the Song of Songs the Church says: I was wounded by love; and again: My soul is melted with love.
 
  Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek? She is asked why she is sorrowing so that her desire might be strengthened; for when she mentions whom she is seeking, her love is kindled all the more ardently.
 
  Jesus says to her: Mary. Jesus is not recognised when he calls her “woman”; so he calls her by name, as though he were saying: Recognise me as I recognise you; for I do not know you as I know others; I know you as yourself. And so Mary, once addressed by name, recognises who is speaking. She immediately calls him rabboni, that is to say, teacher,because the one whom she sought outwardly was the one who inwardly taught her to keep on searching.
 
I wrote a book about St. Mary Magdalene, rather horribly titled De-Coding Mary Magdalene (an allusion to the "Amy Welborn"previous DVC-related book…I argued against it, but…lost)…but I did enjoy researching and writing the book – the history of MM’s cultus is quite revealing about both Western and Eastern Christianity.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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— 1 —

What a strange week.  I would say “sad,” but – well, okay, I’ll go ahead and say “sad” – but let me qualify that.     I will miss Pope Benedict.  His resignation is really quite a sobering moment.  This is not a normal transition and I think it says quite a bit about the Church in 2013. I’m really interested to see how the College of Cardinals respond.

So, “sad” on a few different levels, but not a crisis or a tragedy.  It’s not time to wallow, it’s time to listen and look forward.  Eyes on Christ, just as he’s been telling us to do all this time.

THAT SAID – I’m going to fill up most of the rest of this space with a smattering  of some of my favorite quotes.  There are loads, and more to discover as I continue reading his work for years to come, but here are a few:

— 2 —

 But the Lord also knocks with his Cross from the other side:  he knocks at the door of the world, at the doors of our hearts, so many of which are so frequently closed to God. And he says to us something like this:  if the proof that God gives you of his existence in creation does not succeed in opening you to him, if the words of Scripture and the Church’s message leave you indifferent, then look at me – the God who let himself suffer for you, who personally suffers with you – and open yourself to me, your Lord and your God. (source)

— 3 —

To pray is not to step outside history and withdraw to our own private corner of happiness. When we pray properly we undergo a process of inner purification which opens us up to God and thus to our fellow human beings as well. In prayer we must learn what we can truly ask of God—what is worthy of God. We must learn that we cannot pray against others. We must learn that we cannot ask for the superficial and comfortable things that we desire at this moment—that meagre, misplaced hope that leads us away from God. We must learn to purify our desires and our hopes. We must free ourselves from the hidden lies with which we deceive ourselves. God sees through them, and when we come before God, we too are forced to recognize them. “But who can discern his errors? Clear me from hidden faults” prays the Psalmist (Ps 19:12 [18:13]). Failure to recognize my guilt, the illusion of my innocence, does not justify me and does not save me, because I am culpable for the numbness of my conscience and my incapacity to recognize the evil in me for what it is. If God does not exist, perhaps I have to seek refuge in these lies, because there is no one who can forgive me; no one who is the true criterion. Yet my encounter with God awakens my conscience in such a way that it no longer aims at self-justification, and is no longer a mere reflection of me and those of my contemporaries who shape my thinking, but it becomes a capacity for listening to the Good itself. (source)

— 4 —

In the procession we follow this sign and in this way we follow Christ himself. And we ask of him: Guide us on the paths of our history! Show the Church and her Pastors again and again the right path! Look at suffering humanity, cautiously seeking a way through so much doubt; look upon the physical and mental hunger that torments it! Give men and women bread for body and soul! Give them work! Give them light! Give them yourself! Purify and sanctify all of us! Make us understand that only through participation in your Passion, through “yes” to the cross, to self-denial, to the purifications that you impose upon us, our lives can mature and arrive at true fulfilment. Gather us together from all corners of the earth. Unite your Church, unite wounded humanity! Give us your salvation! Amen. (source)

— 5 —

Dear friends, life is not governed by chance; it is not random. Your very existence has been willed by God, blessed and given a purpose  ! Life is not just a succession of events or experiences, helpful though many of them are. It is a search for the true, the good and the beautiful. It is to this end that we make our choices; it is for this that we exercise our freedom; it is in this – in truth, in goodness, and in beauty – that we find happiness and joy. Do not be fooled by those who see you as just another consumer in a market of undifferentiated possibilities, where choice itself becomes the good, novelty usurps beauty, and subjective experience displaces truth.

Christ offers more! Indeed he offers everything! Only he who is the Truth can be the Way and hence also the Life. (source)

— 6 —

Friends, again I ask you, what about today? What are you seeking? What is God whispering to you? The hope which never disappoints is Jesus Christ. (source)

— 7 —

I will simply be a pilgrim who is beginning the last part of his pilgrimage on earth. (source)

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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I thought this was appropriate:

Lent

Lent

Name at the top indicates that it was my mother’s.  Dates attached to the indulgences on the back indicate post-1934.  What interests me is that this is a photograph – I’ve never seen a card like this.  Is this a famous crucifix? Was it from a particular shrine?  I don’t know.

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Today’s Vintage Catholic posting is a little booklet commemorating a young woman’s reception of the sacraments.  It says “Juliette” on the back, so I’m thinking it belonged to my great aunt’s – my mother’s mother’s sister.  It’s in English, which is interesting to me because while they were living in the United States by that time (having emigrated from Quebec), almost all of the devotional material I have from that side is in French, they were all French speakers, and I know from my mother that Catholic life was conducted in French (and Latin).  (My mother went to both Catholic and public grammar schools in Maine during the 1930′s – the public school days were all in English, the Catholic, half in French, half in English).

Click on covers for larger views. Feel free to share images. 

"amy welborn"

(more…)

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