“I have lived for Christ; I want to die for Christ.”

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Today is the feast day of blessed Maria Restituta Kafka, a brave nun who was martyred by the Nazis during WWII.

The following is an article by Brian O’Neel, author of 39 Saints You Should Know,  is from Legatus.org and can be found here.

Sister Maria served the sick and she stood up to the Nazi regime despite the cost . . .

The Nazis’ wickedness cowed many into silence, but not Maria Restituta. Born Helen Kafka, she grew up in Vienna, Austria. After leaving school at 15, Helen tried her hand at various jobs before settling on a nursing career with the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity.

Helen took the name Restituta after a martyr who had been beheaded. She worked as a surgical nurse, and her hospital’s best surgeon was difficult. Nobody wanted to work with him except Restituta. She was soon running his operating room. People called her “Sr. Resolute” because of her stubbornness. Mostly, however, Restituta was easy-going. After work, she’d visit the local pub and order goulash and “a pint of the usual.”

After Restituta hung a crucifix in every room of her hospital’s new wing, the Nazis ordered them taken down. She refused. The crucifixes stayed. However, when the Gestapo found anti-Nazi propaganda on her, she was sentenced to death for treason.

Restituta spent her remaining days ministering to other prisoners. As she approached the guillotine, her last words were, “I have lived for Christ; I want to die for Christ.”


May this Easter Season be fill with Christ’s Joy and Hope!

Thanks to Catholic Saints Guy for his post on Sr. Restituta.

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A light in the midst of darkness

Last week terror attack at Brussels reminded us of the nature of evil but in the middle of such human cruelty a ray of consolation shine through on one unlikely place the womb of a mom who survived the attack at Zaventem international airport.

She penned this touching letter for her unborn baby the day of the attack after visiting a hospital for an ultrasound:

Hi Sweetheart,

I don’t know if we already acknowledged this with you in person, but when you were 16 weeks old, mum and dad were in an explosion at Brussels Airport.
And no matter where humanity is today, I just want to tell you that life is a wonderful thing, and the world is really full of remarkable people.
You didn’t just give mum and dad faith and reasdon to live, you gave the awareness and presence of mind like never before.
I felt more alive than I ever have, and I knew I had to protect you, so I was calm, composed and fully aware that we will survive.
When we reached Sint-Augustinus emergency, and we saw you oblivious and sucking at your thumb at the ultrasound, and doing your general acrobatics, all the mistrust, hate and angst for the terrorist attack vaporized.
I do hope with all my heart that you are born into a better world, and if not, then you do absolute best to make it that.
You are absolutely precious to us and have already been a hero today.
I guess [because] the world has sent so much love and hope your way, you owe your life to reciprocating that goodness.
May you always be brave and healthy.


We love you beyond words,

Mum and Dad

From National Catholic Register article: Brussels Survivor Writes Touching Letter to Unborn Baby.

He is Risen! He is truly Risen!

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Abbreviated form adopted from DivineOffice.org:

“So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory,”

Col 3:1-4

Today we celebrate Easter Sunday, the Resurrection of the Lord. Let us give thanks for Jesus of Nazareth, our Savior, has Risen!

HYMN

The day of resurrection! Earth, tell it out abroad;
The Passover of gladness, the Passover of God.
From death to life eternal, from earth unto the sky,
Our Christ hath brought us over, with hymns of victory.

Our hearts be pure from evil, that we may see aright
The Lord in rays eternal of resurrection light;
And listening to his accents, may hear so calm and plain
His own “All hail!” and, hearing, may raise the victor strain.

Now let the heavens be joyful! Let earth the song begin!
Thy round world keep thy triumph, and all that is therein!
Let all things seen and unseen their notes of gladness blend,
For Christ the Lord hath risen, our joy that hath no end.

Words: John of Damascus (ca. 675-749), ca. 750; Translation: John Mason Neale (1818-1866), 1853

Concluding Prayer

O God,
who on this day,
through your Only Begotten Son,
have conquered death
and unlocked for us the path to eternity,
grant, we pray,
that we who keep the solemnity of the Lord’s Resurrection may,
through the renewal brought by your Spirit,
rise up in the light of life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
— Amen.

DISMISSAL

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life.
— Amen.


Happy Easter everyone!

 

Mental Sufferings of Our Lord in His Passion by Cardinal John Henry Newman

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EVERY passage in the history of our Lord and Saviour is of unfathomable depth, and affords inexhaustible matter of contemplation. All that concerns Him is infinite, and what we first discern is but the surface of that which begins and ends in eternity. It would be presumptuous for any one short of saints and doctors to attempt to comment on His words and deeds, except in the way of meditation; but meditation and mental prayer are so much a duty in all who wish to cherish true faith and love towards Him, that it may be allowed us, my brethren, under the guidance of holy men who have gone before us, to dwell and enlarge upon what otherwise would more fitly be adored than scrutinised. And certain times of the year, this especially [Note], call upon us to consider, as closely and minutely as we can, even the more sacred portions of the Gospel history. I would rather be thought feeble or officious in my treatment of them, than wanting to the Season; and so I now proceed because the religious usage of the Church requires it, {324} and though any individual preacher may well shrink from it, to direct your thoughts to a subject, especially suitable now, and about which many of us perhaps think very little, the sufferings which our Lord endured in His innocent and sinless soul.

To continue reading click here.

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“O Heart of Jesus, all Love, I offer Thee these humble prayers for myself, and for all those who unite themselves with me in Spirit to adore Thee. O holiest Heart of Jesus most lovely, I intend to renew and to offer to Thee these acts of adoration and these prayers, for myself a wretched sinner, and for all those who are associated with me in Thy adoration, through all moments while I breathe, even to the end of my life. I recommend to Thee, O my Jesus, Holy Church, Thy dear spouse and our true Mother, all just souls and all poor sinners, the afflicted, the dying, and all mankind. Let not Thy Blood be shed for them in vain. Finally, deign to apply it in relief of the souls in Purgatory, of those in particular who have practised in the course of their life this holy devotion of adoring Thee.”

Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman
Discourse 16

A Meditation on Baptism by St. Basil the Great

Today’s office of the reading shines a light on the importance of baptism.

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“When mankind was estranged from him by disobedience, God our Savior made a plan for raising us from our fall and restoring us to friendship with himself”.

St. Basil, bishop

By one death and resurrection the world was saved

When mankind was estranged from him by disobedience, God our Savior made a plan for raising us from our fall and restoring us to friendship with himself. According to this plan Christ came in the flesh, he showed us the gospel way of life, he suffered, died on the cross, was buried and rose from the dead. He did this so that we could be saved by imitation of him, and recover our original status as sons of God by adoption.

“To attain holiness, then, we must not only pattern our lives on Christ’s by being gentle, humble and patient, we must also imitate him in his death. 

… we have to begin a new life, and we cannot do so until our previous life has been brought to an end”.

To attain holiness, then, we must not only pattern our lives on Christ’s by being gentle, humble and patient, we must also imitate him in his death. Taking Christ for his model, Paul said that he wanted to become like him in his death in the hope that he too would be raised from death to life.

We imitate Christ’s death by being buried with him in baptism. If we ask what this kind of burial means and what benefit we may hope to derive from it, it means first of all making a complete break with our former way of life, and our Lord himself said that this cannot be done unless a man is born again. In other words, we have to begin a new life, and we cannot do so until our previous life has been brought to an end. When runners reach the turning point on a racecourse, they have to pause briefly before they can go back in the opposite direction. So also when we wish to reverse the direction of our lives there must be a pause, or a death, to mark the end of one life and the beginning of another.

“We receive this saving baptism only once because there was only one death and one resurrection for the salvation of the world, and baptism is its symbol”.

Our descent into hell takes place when we imitate the burial of Christ by our baptism. The bodies of the baptized are in a sense buried in the water as a symbol of their renunciation of the sins of their unregenerate nature. As the Apostle says: The circumcision you have undergone is not an operation performed by human hands, but the complete stripping away of your unregenerate nature. This is the circumcision that Christ gave us, and it is accomplished by our burial with him in baptism. Baptism cleanses the soul from the pollution of worldly thoughts and inclinations: You will wash me, says the psalmist, and I shall be whiter than snow. We receive this saving baptism only once because there was only one death and one resurrection for the salvation of the world, and baptism is its symbol.

From the book On the Holy Spirit by Saint Basil, bishop

RESPONSORY Romans 6:3, 5, 4

By being baptized into Christ Jesus, we have all shared in his death.
— We became one with him by dying as he did; therefore we shall be one with him also in rising to new life.

By our baptism we were buried with him; we shared in his death.
— We became one with him by dying as he did; therefore we shall be one with him also in rising to new life.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Almighty ever-living God,
grant us so to celebrate
the mysteries of the Lord’s Passion
that we may merit to receive your pardon.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

— Amen.

ACCLAMATION (only added when praying in community)

Let us praise the Lord.

— And give him thanks.

From the Office of the Reading for Holy Tuesday


My prayers and thoughts for the Belgium people in this hour of need.

Here is my little tribute to the City of Bruges:

Bruges

Boys ridding through streets
chasing smiles

buzzing and whistling
imbuing life

curious expectations
dancing and playing

with the lingering morning dew
as the sun affirms the skies.

Caleb
GTG

May the joy and hope of a safe future return to the streets of Belgium.

-Godseed

Deep into Scriptures: Palm Sunday

Hello,

I hope everyone is having a great lent and looking forward to Easter. I hope everyone has a blessed Holy Week in anticipation to the days of days Easter. I found this video by Bishop Robert Barron explicating some very interesting biblical nuances of Palm Sunday.

Cheers,

Caleb

More from Bishop Robert Barron: Word of Fire