Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lord - Age of the Blessed Sacrament

THROUGH THE GREAT MERCY OF GOD, we happen to live in the age of the Blessed Sacrament ...

The hatred that once reached out to fling the visible Christ into the plot of the Passion we have seen reach out once again to obliterate His priesthood, destroy the Mass, and make impossible the Eucharistic presence of the Incarnate God in His world. After all persecution is an act of perverted faith. Men cannot attack what they believe does not exist. The vicious persecution against the Catholic priesthood is the attack upon Christ and the Mass, the method by which He ordained He should enter the world. An age of persecution, like ours, is a glorious age of faith - angelic and demoniac - in the real presence ...

This is a great age, the age of the Eucharist and the age of Mary. The Eucharist and the Mother of the Savior are inseparable. The age that loves and honors one must love and honor the other. Our age gratefully and deeply loves them both, virgin Mother and virgin Son.

- Daniel A. Lord, S.J.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Christian Friendship - Close to Heaven

What a wonderful occasion of providential faith and hope and charity. After an hour and one-half of dealing with a "home health nurse" and my apparent prime directive, who should show up at my doorstep but fellow Mass'keteer, young D'Artagnan, (graphic artist of the above) and Lady Dawn Eden! Each bore not only lunch-for-one (for herself; D'Art and I had eaten) but other fine, fine gifts and delights.

And for the next two and one-half hours, old Athos was bathed and swathed in such milk of human kindness, Christian friendship, and called-out-of-the-world-of-woes extradition that he thought he had somehow missed that rending of soul from body and been taken directly to the third heaven of what our brother Saint Paul speaks:

"I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell." (2 Corinthians 12:2-4)

We chatted about books (ours and others') and new projects, one of which will take one of us far afield. We walked down to a nearby park and strolled next to a meandering stream. And then - the ceremonial exchanging of gifts!

Goodness! Lady Dawn, ever a keeper of what Tolkien called in hobbit terminology, mathom, brought out from her storehouse things old and new. And let us say, gentle reader, that D'Artagnan and Lady Dawn did not leave Athos' humble dwelling empty-handed. The former received in token of the chivalry which all of the Mass'keteers share in common brotherhood, and the latter is covered, though not yet blessed, in four-ways most blessed for her continuous deeds of errantry and pitched battle against the wicked and snares of the devil.

Can heaven come down and touch earth in any way more acceptably and nobly all of a Monday afternoon? Answer: Yes. For, before D'Artagnan and Lady Dawn left, we joined in prayer under the divine sign of the Most Holy Trinity and - gasp! - blessedly in the reliquarial presence (1st order) of Saint Dominic, compliments of a religious' gift to Lady Dawn in the wee hours at Notre Dame. D'Artagnan said he felt the great saint's hand on his shoulder as we knelt and prayed ...

May you have such an encounter with the true, good, and beautiful, gentle reader. And I will recount the deeds of two great friends and their superabundance of charity for long ages to come.

P. S. - Life is sweet and good if besides hosting friends like the above, one can field a phone call of concern on a Sunday afternoon, too, from a great friend, mentor, and all round great guy who now, again, lives in California.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Knox - Audacious Friendship

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends ... (Jn 15, 15)

(T)HE BEST WAY OF ALL is to serve (God) because he is our friend, because we want to protest our love for him by our actions, and are sorry, sometimes, that he gives us so little chance of proving ourselves worthy of his friendship.

That is what God made us for, his human creatures, to be his friends, his personal friends. Not that he has need of our friendship; for his infinite beatitude would have remained unaltered if no soul had ever been breathed into a human body. But his overflowing Love is constantly forming new reservoirs, as it were, which it can fill with a human love that makes a response, however poor a response, to itself. As the single orb of the sun is reflected anew, whole and complete, by every puddle on the road-side, so in each insignificant human life that all-embracing love of God shines down, as if it had no other scope or aim for its self-fulfillment, and desires as far as our human imperfections will allow it to find its won image reflected there.

- Ronald A. Knox