No, Jesus is NOT an Ascended Master

Mosaïque d’une des chapelles de la Basilique Notre-Dame du Rosaire (niveau inférieur) : l’Ascension. I think this says, The Ascension Mosaic in the Rosary Chapel in the Basilica of Notre Dame. From Wikimedia, public domain.

We interrupt our reguarly scheduled programming to bring you this important announcement: There are no ascended masters. There is the Ascended Lord, the One Christ Jesus Who ascended into Heaven. He was begotten not made, True God and True Man, One in being with the Father, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, crucified under Pontius Pilate, suffered, died and was buried. For us men and for our salvation He came down from heaven, and no one—and I mean NO ONE—goes to the Father except through Him. 

Continue reading “No, Jesus is NOT an Ascended Master”

Happy and Blessed Divine Mercy Sunday!

Divine Mercy 3 O'Clock Prayer, Hyla version

For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have Mercy on us and on the whole world.

Miss Lucy Dawg and I are about to sit down to lunch and we wanted to take a moment to say, Happy and Blessed Divine Mercy Sunday, y’all! God bless you, each and every one. I’ll be here on site working on the Rosary Project later on. Need to do a couple of things around the house, then pray the Rosary and the Divine Mercy chaplet, which I’ll be adding to the site soon in a new Devotions section. Stay tuned.

May His peace be always with you and yours.

O soul whoever you may be in this world, even if your sins were as black as night, do not fear God, weak child that you are, for great is the power of God's mercy.
“[G]reat is the power of God’s mercy.” Diary, 1652.

Surrexit Dominus vere, ALLELUIA!* Happy Easter!

Christ in Glory, by Giovanni Battista Gaulli (Il-Baciccio).
Adapted from a copy found at rev-artistry.

Happy Easter, friends! I hope your Lenten season was fruitful and that your Easter season will be richly blessed. My own recovery continues and I’m feeling more and more like myself again. And happy to be back here and active on the site, too.

I’m logged in tonight, building the pages for the Rosary Project. So if you see anything going all wonky, it’s probably not you, it’s probably me, trying something out and discovering that it doesn’t work. ;) I’m going to build the pages, text first, then add the images. Still debating on whether to put several large images on one page or smaller ones linked to larger ones, or just use a gallery for them instead. I dunno. We’ll see what happens. Say a prayer for me that I don’t mess up the entire site somehow and have to start over. I think I’d close it down and go hide in a corner if that happened. Or not. Twitter has made me bolder and more thick-skinned. (That place can be brutal!)

Have a great Easter weekend, y’all. God bless you. May His peace be always with you.

Prayerful study and (Christian) meditation on the Word of God with the Rosary.
The Holy Rosary has been called “the Bible on a string.” In the Rosary we pray and meditate on the Life of Christ, coming face to face with the True God and True Man, Jesus.
Image: Bible and Rosary from user jclk8888 at Morguefile.

*Translation: The Lord is risen indeed. Praise the Lord!

Vigil

Twenty-three years ago I experienced my first Holy Thursday liturgy. I remember parts of it, other parts are beginning to fade. I decided to record what I still remember and post it here tonight on this Holy Thursday. Technically, it’s Good Friday now but only by five minutes.

After the Holy Thursday liturgy a few people stayed in the pews to watch with Him. Fr. — had stripped the altar, had set up the tabernacle, palm fronds around it in the dimly lit, darkened nave. Hushed voices became softer and softer until they fell silent as the last stragglers left, leaving just three of us there. In the tabernacle the Lord was preparing to face the ordeal of ordeals. In the pews were His three disciples, fighting to stay awake, nodding off, not understanding what was taking place then, having no idea what would be taking place in a matter of hours. 

I couldn’t sleep. I wanted to take in everything, everything I saw or heard or felt. I wanted to hold onto it, to remember. I heard snores behind me. I grew more determined to stay awake and watch.

At nearly midnight, the priest entered the sanctuary with two altar servers, one on either side of him, holding long-handled candle lighters which, in the dimlit darkness, looked exactly like spears. They’ve come to arrest Him! I watched, unable to stop them. I looked around to see if anyone else saw what I did, but they were sound asleep. I was alone, beholding the unfolding scene. 

The altar servers stood holding their spear-candlelighters while the priest stepped forward and bent down to open the tabernacle door and lifted the Lord from His place of repose. Then he walked slowly away, the two trailing behind with their spears. They left through the sacristy door. The tabernacle door was left open, exposing the emptiness within. All was silent—except for the snores behind me. I wanted to turn and shake them awake. They arrested Him! They took Him away! Did you not see? Why didn’t you help me? Why didn’t we stop them, why didn’t we help Him?

Ah, get behind me, Satan! “Christ was obedient unto death.” And so must we all be. 

I’ve been Catholic now since April 1996 and all I can say is thanks be to God and praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ! Lord, have mercy on us. Make our hearts like unto Thine. Amen!

Image credits: The Agony in the Garden, Luca Giordano; The Taking of Christ, Caravaggio, c. 1602. Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Praying for the Holy Souls, Praying for Despairing Souls

Tonight I watched EWTN Live on Ash Wednesday as Fr. Mitch Pacwa interviewed Susan Tassone, author of many books about the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Her latest book, The Saint Faustina Prayer Book for the Holy Souls, is due to be released in April. Tassone made a study of Saint Faustina’s writings on Purgatory in her Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul, and collects them in her book, along with prayers and novenas. I’m looking forward to getting a copy of this.

Whenever I hear a train whistle I will think of this article

After watching the show I searched the internet for more about the Holy Souls and stumbled across this article at the Divine Mercy website and I want to share it with you: This is the Sound of a Lost Soul. I will never again hear a train whistle without thinking of this article and of all the despairing souls all over the world, so much in need of our prayers. Lord, have mercy.

Thanks for reading and may your Lenten season be one of deepening holiness, prayer, and interior life. God bless.

The Jewish Roots of the Eucharist, a video by Dr. Brant Pitre

Taking a break from collecting some thoughts for writing, watching this wonderful talk by Dr. Brant Pitre: Jesus & the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist. This is a good video to watch during Lent, preparing for Passover. Will also be watching The Passion of the Christ with the study guide this time, a first for me.

Thank you for stopping by. Lent continues and I’m staying off of social media except for posting here at the blog and answering necessary emails. May this season of preparation bring you closer to our Lord. God bless you! Peace be with you.

PS: Hey, see that tabernacle? It’s empty during Dr. Pitre’s talk. Would that more parishes would take care to do this when holding non-liturgical events in the worship space, if no more suitable space is available, such as a parish hall.

emptytabernacle

Into the desert, Lent begins

Into the desertI used to think of a desert as a flat sandy place with some dunes thrown in because when I thought desert, I thought Sahara. But I know now that a desert is not flat but uneven, always changing, hard to move through. There may be mountains, valleys, canyons that sneak up on you. There may be no rain. There may be rain so sudden and violent that riverbeds that seem dry from ancient times suddenly become raging torrents. Rocks may be sharp as razors. Snakes may be waiting to strike. Scorpions waiting to sting. A devil waiting to tempt.

A devil is always waiting to tempt. The devil himself was waiting for Christ; for someone as weak and insignificant as myself, there is probably only a minor demon. Maybe only a minor minor minor demon. Maybe I don’t even rate a demon of low estate but am left to my own weakness and weaknessses.

Easter will mark the beginning of my nineteenth year as a Catholic. There have been ups and downs. I have felt close to the Lord, I have felt, if not far away, then not as close. I have been faithful in my prayer life, I have let my prayer life slip, and that slipping has made itself known in every aspect of my life. I have felt strong, and I have been brought face to face with what weakness really means and with the realization that, indeed and contrary to what I had always secretly believed, I am a mere mortal, after all. (Okay, I know our souls are immortal. I just mean, I used to think I’d live forever. In this life. I was indestructible. I’d always be young, never sick, always strong, never weak. Ya know?)

So what do I plan to do for Lent? Nothing heroic, as you will see.

What will I do for Lent?

Prayer

I plan to pray daily, using ONE of the numerous devotionals I’ve collected. And pray the rosary and the chaplet of Divine Mercy. All readers of and visitors to the blog and all Twitter contacts are included in my prayers. Even those whose names I do not know; the One Who needs to know knows who you all are already.

Fasting

I’ve already cut down on the amount I eat, elimnated much I don’t need, and will be following the Church’s guidelines for fasting. But there are other appetites: the internet and social media. I won’t be interacting on social media during Lent (I will pass along prayer requests), though I plan to post at the blog, and those posts will be tweeted automatically.

Almsgiving

And I will be choosing a charity or a cause and will set aside or donate money each week for that cause. I may choose a different cause or charity each week. That’s something to ponder on and pray about.

Into the desert

Looking up at the desert hills,
knowing danger lurks in this place,
listening for the Voice not easily heard,
feeding my soul upon His Word,
praying to meet Him face to Face,
bending my will to what He wills.

Ash Wednesday 2015

Merry Christmas! God bless you, whoever and wherever you are!

Merry Christmas to all of you out there from all of us in here. Us, meaning The Pack™, the dogs and me; and in here, meaning here at the house where we are all snug in our beds with visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads. Well, not really. The dogs are snoring and probably not dreaming of sugarplums, not having the foggiest notion of what those might be and I’m not sure I do, either. ;) And I’m obviously not sleeping or dreaming, I’m tapping away on the keyboard and annoying said dogs as they try to sleep. But not annoying them too much as they long ago learned how to ignore me at any time of day or night.

All blither-blathering aside, I just wanted to say Merry Christmas to you and since I already have, I’ll bid you good night! Good night!

Merry Christmas

The photo above is of my nativity set from years past. Took the photo in 2012. Since then a friend has given me a Fontanini set and she and my sister have given me more figures. But have I taken a proper photo of that one and edited it for Christmas? Why, thank you for asking, and no, I have not. I’ll put that on my list right now for next year. That way I might have it done by, oh, I don’t know, the turn of next century. Sigh. ;)

Now that I am recovering from the plague

In Conversation with God, Lent, Holy Week, EasterNow that I’m recovering from the plague (ugh!) I hope do some writing. Oh, I’ve been posting to Twitter but that’s about it. (Funny how much time one can waste–er, I mean, how time can fly when arguing–er, discussing things on Twitter.) I’ll be spending some time digging out from the clutter and mess that amassed while I was indisposed, then I’ll be tackling some projects I’ve been itching to work on. Itching, I say! (Or that could be the codeine. Double ugh!) Have some things I want to share with you, some things I’ve learned, some (more) books I’ve found. Also getting ready for another session of Camp NaNoWriMo coming up in April. Hopefully I’ll be able to participate. Planning to, anyway. Well, perhaps “planning” is too strong a word for what I’ve been doing. Perhaps “procrastinating” would be nearer the mark. ;)

Meditations for Lent by Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet Hope you’re having a blessed Lenten season. I’ve been enjoying some meditation books: my old standby, In Conversation with God for Lent, Holy Week and Eastertide; and also Meditations for Lent by Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet. And this year I’m also receiving Fr. Robert Barron’s Lent Reflections. Am I behind in all of this reading and reflecting? Heck, yeah, you know I am! But I’m still enjoying it. Tend to get more out of it every year, too. Every year I see something I missed before even when I use the same book over and over, year after year. And I do. That In Conversation with God series is wonderful. Highly recommended!

Author Francis Fernandez-Carvajal makes generous use of the writings of the great saints as he brings you focused and moving meditations on themes taken from the Mass readings for that day, the liturgical season, and more. This work is rich and extensive enough to serve as your spiritual reading for a lifetime, as it helps you relate the particulars of the message of Christ to the ordinary circumstances of your day. Each volume is small enough for you to carry to Adoration or some other suitable place for meditation. The whole set comes with a handsome slipcase that prevents wear-and-tear on the individual volumes.

Print copy: In Conversation with God, Vol 2 Lent, Holy Week and Eastertide. (Amazon’s description says paperback but mine is some sort of vinyl with a pretty dust cover and I suspect that’s what this is, too. Third party sellers.) Also available (for less $) at the EWTN Religious Catalogue for $19, item #213. Or get the full set: Amazon (starting at $96.97 from third party sellers), EWTN #6138 (for $130).

eBooks: Please note that the Kindle ebook Vol 2 is split into two separate books: Part 1 Lent & Holy Week and Part 2 Eastertide.

Meditations for Lent by Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, Amazon print or Kindle.

And, no, I don’t make one red cent for recommending any of these books or anything else here on the site. I just like sharing what I’ve found, what I like, what I love. (Sometimes I have to share things I’m not so wild about, too, but that’s a post for another time.) Thanks for visiting and for reading. Leave me a comment, recommend prayer and meditation books that have helped you (Catholic Christian, please) or say Hi. I look forward to hearing from you. (And you guys who keep emailing me with messages for Scott Hahn, I wish I could pass them along but I only met him once, we’re not best buds, ya know. Track him down yourselves or I’ll be forced to figure out how to filter you out!) ;) Peace!

Prayer for the Feast of Christ the King

Feast of Christ the KingSunday, November 24, is the Feast of Christ the King, the last Sunday of Ordinary Time in the liturgical year. Next Sunday will be the first Sunday of Advent. (I’m all set to start decorating for Christmas on that day. More on that later.) Here’s a prayer to pray tomorrow when you go to Mass. I’m going to print this out and take it with me. H/T to @annie3592. God bless you, every one, and may the peace of Christ be with you always.

Act of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus Christ King.

Prayer:

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before you. We are yours, and yours we wish to be; but to be more surely united with you, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to your Most Sacred Heart. Many indeed have never known you; many, too, despising your precepts, have rejected you. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to your Sacred Heart. Be King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken you, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned you; grant that they may quickly return to their Father’s house, lest they die of wretchedness and hunger. Be King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and the unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd. Grant, O Lord, to your Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give tranquility of order to all nations; make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to it be glory and honor for ever. Amen.

Prayer Source: Enchiridion of Indulgences , June 29, 1968

Feast of Christ the King

Original post at Catholic Culture.

Happy Fourth of July!

I hope you’ll have a happy Fourth of July. Enjoy the fireworks, remember the little doggies who don’t enjoy the loud noises so much. Take some time to pray for our country, we’re in the middle of a spiritual war and our enemy is prowling around like a hungry lion seeking our souls to devour. And please, if you will, pray a prayer for my Dad who spent the last few days in the hospital with heart problems. Well, pray for my whole family while you’re at it. And know that I pray for every one who reads the blog or follows on Twitter. Thank you. You all mean a lot to me. Even if we don’t agree about something, you matter to me. Thank you for being there.

fireworks_600x375

Happy New Year, Y’all!

Happy New Year! I’ve been celebrating by dragging out my good old MIDI keyboard and composing some instrumental music in GarageBand since I still don’t have my voice back yet. Argh. But I’m really fond of what I’m working on right now, so maybe there’s a silver lining in all of this after all. Of all the things I’ve composed via MIDI this is by far the best sounding. Almost sounds like I know what I’m doing. Almost. I even came up with a bass line for once and the guitars sound like guitars. Mostly. Sort of. I keep hearing more parts for it and I know if I work on this for a few days instead of hours I’ll hear even more. But I really want to sing! Argh!

Hope you’re having a marvelous (or peaceful) New Year’s celebration wherever you are. I’m going back to listening to my new song over and over to see what other parts I can come up with. Yes, this is how I party. I am a nerd. ;)