Sunday, May 15, 2011

We are pilgrims

Jesus Taking Leave of His Apostles

Today's Epistle in the Extraordinary Form reminds us that we are pilgrims and strangers on this earth.

Jesus, in His Last Discourse to His disciples, reminds them that He will leave them and yet return.

During this Easter season, we have joy and the sorrow of being "in this vale of tears" awaiting our true home, the Kingdom of Heaven.

Is not this the real yearning of the human heart?

We are pilgrims and strangers as those who follow Christ; so much sorrow, so much pain, so many separations...and yet...

His Risen Life...His Easter the beginning of our life with Him in Heaven.

For wherever He is, Heaven is.

I read something to the effect that if the "signs and outer appearances" of the Sacred Host were made apparent to us we would see Heaven.

May we receive, in a deep way, the Easter Gift of our Lord's Presence, Heaven Itself,
to give us courage in the midst of all the sin, darkness, evil and suffering this present life offer us.

"I leave and yet I remain."


Come, Lord Jesus!

Image source:

Friday, May 13, 2011

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Today is the anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima in 1917.
May we heed her call to pray the daily rosary, make reparation for sin and live the Gospel of Her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ!


Theology of the Body

Pope Benedict XVI extolled his predecessor, Blessed John Paul II, for introducing the “theology of the body,” as he met on May 13 with participants in a conference organized by the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family.

Offering his own reflections on the subject, Pope Benedict noted that with a proper knowledge of human nature “we can understand that our bodies are not inert, heavy material but, if we know how to listen, they speak the language of true love.”

With the Incarnation, the Pope said, “God takes on the body and revealed himself in it.” In his short talk, the Holy Father extended his predecessor’s meditation on the language of the body.


As an anecdotal aside, I was asked, when teaching at a Northeastern seminary, to teach a class on the the "Theology of the Body".

I opted for a focus upon the "foundations" of this particular teaching of Blessed John Paul II rather than the "popular" Christopher West material, which has come under critique and criticism from people such as David L. Schindler, a renowned theologian, and Alice von Hildebrand, a philosopher and wife of the heroic Dietrich von Hildebrand, a man that Pope Pius XII called "a 20th century doctor of the Church".

I am most grateful that Pope Benedict XVI has made the "authentic" teaching of his predecessor a positive thing. Unfortunately this whole issue has become polemical in the last two years because of a lack of proper understanding.

The Incarnation is truly the point of reference. The authentic interpretation of the "Theology of the Body" absolutely must be seen in the light of "The Word made Flesh";
every other interpretation fails when it is grounded in the mere material aspects of human existence. Christ reveals who man is (from Lumen gentium, Second Vatican Ecumenical Council). It is not the other way round. We do not know Who Christ Is from our human experience: He, and only He, reveals who we are. That is fundamental.

There are all kinds of "interpretations" out there...unfortunately, there are those who either dismiss this as some kind of "modernism" or those who try to make the love between man and wife in marriage something it is not meant to be.

Our Lord Jesus Christ in His Revelation reveals to us our inherent dignity, our mission/vocation to a love that is completely self-giving (in marriage or in virginity/celibacy) and He is the only reference-point. Marital union is an aspect of the Sacrament of Marriage; it must always be held within the moral law of God and in the sacred "reserve" of intimacy/secret (as the von Hildebrands emphasize) that upholds both the dignity of the partners and the dignity of the marital union.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Open Wide the Doors to Christ! Beatification Hymn of Blessed John Paul II

Rit. Open the doors to Christ!
Do not be afraid:
Open wide your hearts
Love of God

Witness to Hope
for those who await salvation
pilgrim of love
on the roads of the world. Chorus.

Father to the young
You sent it to the world,
sentinels of the morning,
living sign of hope. Chorus.

Witnesses to Faith
annunciasti that with life,
firm and strong in the test
confermasti your neighbor. Rit.

Insegnasti to every man
the beauty of life
indicating the family
as a sign of love. Chorus.

Bringer of Peace
and herald of justice,
you made between people
nuncio of mercy. Chorus.

In pain betrayed
the power of the Cross.
Always drive your brothers
love on the streets. Chorus.

In the Mother of the Lord
indicasti us a guide,
in her intercession
the power of grace. Chorus.

Father of mercy,
Son, our Redeemer,
Holy Spirit of Love
to you, Trinity, glory be. Amen. Chorus.

(google translated it from the site, so it may not be perfect)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Kieran, the wonder dog\!

This is just like our "kieran"...he's a fiesty Jack Russell Terrier...he'd go to the death for us...he's a wonder dog, just like this JRT. We love him so much!!

Blessed John Paul II, pray for us!

The Beautification of Blessed John Paul II is a tremendous moment for the Church.
Whether or not some people like it, this man died in the odor of sanctity before the entire world. His obvious suffering, his complete commitment to Christ and to the Church until the very end give a great testament to a life given to God.

His numerous writings, especially the encyclicals, pave the way for the Church in the New Millenium. I had the fortunate grace to study the writings of John Paul II and the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council with teachers who knew how to present the perennial teachings of the Church with the insight and direction that Blessed John Paul II gave.

History will give us the real story. For now, we must attempt to follow Christ in the teachings of Pope Benedict XVI, who is continuing the legacy of his predecessor.
Open wide the doors to Christ! Be not afraid!

Thank you, dear Lord, for Blessed Pope John Paul II!


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Blood and Water Flowing From the Side of Jesus, Have Mercy on Us!

Today, three important things converge: it is the final day of the Octave of Easter, Low Sunday; it is the Feast of Divine Mercy, initiated by Jesus' revelations of Divine Mercy to St. Faustina and confirmed by Pope John Paul II; it is the day of Beautification of the Venerable Servant of God, John Paul II.

The Gospel, in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, is the "showing" of Jesus' glorified wounds to the gathered disciples...He enters through the closed doors to confirm their faith and to encounter St. Thomas who places his hands in the wounded side and wounds of the hands of His Crucified and Glorified Lord.

It is a great day of rejoicing for the Church, for the world.

The Divine Mercy was a prominent and central focus of the pontificate of Blessed John Paul II. He made present to the world his own encounter with Jesus, the Divine Mercy. Without his intervention, the devotion to the Divine Mercy and the liturgical commemoration of the Divine Mercy on this Low Sunday, the last day of the Easter Octave would not have been.

Divine Providence led the Blessed Pope John Paul II to make this message clear throughout his pontificate.

Jesus, I trust in You!

Could any other message be more poignant, more clear, more necessary in this age of darkness?

Deo gratias!
Again and again!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Holy Week, the Devil and Easter Octave

Easter Monday I was hit with an awful case of bronchitis.

I was in bed until today, coughing myself silly.

We had a very beautiful Holy Week; we celebrated the Sacred Liturgy of Holy Thursday and Good Friday with much zeal, attention and the good graces of assistance from Fr. Joseph Redfern (Pastor of St. Mary, Altoona) and Br. Mark, an Oblate of the Camaldolese.

The chant and liturgical actions, assisted by Br. Mark, Br. Joseph and on Good Friday, Patrick (Paddy) Phillips and Greg (a college student from the University of Eau Claire), were indeed inspiring.

That's why I'm sick as a dog this week.

I'm paying for it, so to speak. I'm always suspect that the Devil will pay "his due" whenever something good happens here. And, this, is just another example of that.

It's okay.

Dying and rising with Jesus make a considerable cost. I'm just paying the price, so to speak.

I'll be okay in a week or two.

I'm just so very grateful that we were able to celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord with the kind of reverence, care, and total dedication that He deserves.

In addition, last Monday of Holy Week I was hit with a horrendous virus/worm, you name it.

Put me out of business for a good week.

I was Googling info about "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" which I had viewed in the previous day.

Go figure.

The Volto Santo (Holy Face) of Manoppello

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday in Holy Week: Mary Anoints the Feet of Jesus

"Mary therefore took a pound of ointment of right spikenard, of great price,a nd anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment." (John 12,3)

What Mary performs here is the gesture of absolute extravagant giving. It is the deed of contemplation. Nothing has prepared this act. But still, the ointment is there. It is present in the house of the contemplative, who has renounced everything for the Lord. In the house in which one assuredly does not know any special wealth. Nor is it something that belongs to the house; it is rather something that belongs to Mary alone. It is only the symbol of her extravagant giving. And she uses the whole of the precious ointment, she uses it only for the Lord's feet, and she pours it out still more lavishly in that she dries the anointed feet again with her hair and lets the perfume spread in this ordinary house...Mary much she has lavished the gift of her own self. She no longer knows what calculation and proportion are. Her entire relationship to the Lord is expressed through one single word: everything. Everything for him.

(Adrienne von Speyr, The Discourses of Controversy, Meditations on John 6-12, San Francisco: Ignatius Press)

Let Thy holy Mysteries, O Lord, impart to us divine fervour; that we may delight both in their celebration and in their fruit. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen. (Postcommunion Prayer, Monday in Holy Week, 1962 Missale Romano)

Image: Mary Anoints of the Feet of Jesus by Frank Wesley

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Passion/Palm Sunday at Cor Jesu Oratory

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament before the Conventual Missa cantata

Woven palms and pussy willows

The singing of the Passion Gospel

Elevation of the Chalice

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ecce Homo--Behold the Man

Ecce homo--"Here is the man!" (John 19,5)

Ecce homo--the expression spontaneously takes on a depth of meaning that reaches far beyond this moment in history. In Jesus, it is man himself that is manifested. In Him is displayed the suffering of all who are subjected to violence, all the downtrodden. His suffering mirrors the inhumanity of worldly power, which so ruthlessly crushes the powerless. In Him is reflected what we call "sin": this is what happens when man turns his back upon God and takes control over the world into his own hands.

There is another side to all this, though: Jesus' innermost dignity cannot be taken from Him. The hidden God remains present within Him. Even the man subjected to violence and vilification remains the image of God. Ever since Jesus submitted to violence, it has been the wounded, the victims of violence, who have been the image of the God who chose to suffer for us. So Jesus in the throes of His Passion is an image of hope: God is on the side of those who suffer.
--Pope Benedict XVI
From Jesus of Nazareth-Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection (2011. San Francisco: Ignatius Press).

Holy Week Schedule at Cor Jesu

17 April 2011
Passion Sunday (2nd)/Palm Sunday

10:30 AM Blessing of Palms
Missa cantata (1962 Missal)

21 April 2011
Holy Thursday

4PM Missa cantata of the Lord's Supper (1962 Missal)
Tenebrae (Extraordinary Form)
Adoration until midnight
9 PM Sung Compline (Extraordinary Form)

22 April 2011
Good Friday

4PM Liturgy of the Lord's Passion (1962 Missal)
Tenebrae (Extraordinary Form)

The community will attend the Easter Vigil and Mass at St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Chippewa Falls--no Easter Vigil at Cor Jesu Oratory

Easter Sunday
10:30 AM Missa cantata (1962 Missal)

Cor Jesu Oratory is at Sacred Heart Church, Edson. Directions found at

Monday, February 28, 2011

Soul of My Saviour

Cor Jesu Oratory

A story about Cor Jesu Oratory was in the Sunday Eau Claire Leader Telegram. This is just a short summary on their website.

Cor Jesu Oratory, also known as the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, is undergoing a makeover

A church that was built in the 1860s, stood empty for decades and is now being turned into a monastery stands as a testament to ...

The Cor Jesu Oratory, also known as the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, is undergoing a makeover, and part of the building constructed in the 1860s will be used as a monastery for monks and nuns. The inside of the church is well-preserved. The town of Edson church has a new roof, but windows and flooring need to be replaced and it lacks handicap-accessible restrooms. The interior of the church remains much as it was when built, with hand-carved altars and other intricate woodwork.

Posted: Saturday, February 26, 2011 11:00 pm

Cor Jesu Oratory, also known as the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, is undergoing a makeover By Chris Vetter Chippewa Falls News Bureau Leader-Telegram | 0 comments

BOYD - After sitting empty for more than a decade, the Cor Jesu Oratory, also known as the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, is seeing new life.

The church, at 31350 Highway MM in the town of Edson, was built in the 1860s, but activity in the building died down in the 1970s as the congregation shrunk. Continuing services there proved difficult when no priest was assigned to the church, Sister Petra Gwidt said.

[One correction: The sisters will live in the former school convent and the monks will live in the former rectory.]