Reflection by Father Guardini
As a result of my poor technical skills, a very long article by Father Cassian Folsom, OSB, was posted yesterday on the Feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross. Father Cassian’s article is very good, and I heartily recommend it!
So as a bonus, today, I post the reflection by Father Guardini I intended to post yesterday.
Enjoy and glean from them both very important insights into the spiritual life and the Sacred Liturgy.
Peace and blessing,
“The Sign of the Cross”
By Romano Guardini
When we cross ourselves, let it be with a real sign of the cross. Instead of a small, cramped gesture that gives no notion of its meaning, let us make a large unhurried sign, from forehead to breast, from shoulder to shoulder, consciously feeling how it includes the whole of us, our thoughts, our attitudes, our body and soul, every part of us at once. How it consecrates and sanctifies us.
It does so because it is the Sign of the universe and the Sign of our redemption. On the cross Christ redeemed mankind. By the cross he sanctifies man to the last shred and fiber of his being. We make the sign of the cross before we pray to collect and compose ourselves and to fix our minds and hearts and wills upon God. We make it when we finish praying in order that we may hold fast the gift we have received form God. In temptations we sign ourselves to be strengthened; in dangers to be protected. The cross is signed upon us in blessings in order that the fulness of God’s life may flow into the soul and fructify and sanctify us wholly.
Think of these things when you make the sign of the cross. It is the holiest of all signs. Make a large cross, taking time, thinking what you do. Let it take in your whole being—body, soul, mind, will, thoughts, feelings, your doing and your not doing—and by signing it with the cross strengthen and consecrate the whole in the strength of Christ, in the name of the Triune God.
Hail Our One Hope!
Today, September 14, the Church celebrates The Exaltation of the Holy Cross. This feast commemorates the finding of the relics of the true cross and other relics of the Passion of Christ around the year 327 in Jerusalem by Saint Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine.
While Good Friday celebrates the Passion of Jesus and his sacrifice on the Cross for our salvation, today’s festival celebrates the Cross, itself.
The making of the Sign of the Cross is an important act of faith and piety and is used many times in personal prayer and in the celebration of the Mass, the other sacraments and sacred celebrations.
Perhaps we become too familiar with this beloved gesture and fail to fully appreciate its importance.
May I suggest you take a moment to read and reflect on the following article by Father Romano Guardini, to appreciate the Sign of the Cross as an act of our own personal faith in the Lord Jesus and as a sign of our devotion to Christ and the Sacred liturgy,
From my heart to yours,
In the hearts of Jesus and Mary,
Peace and blessing,
“The Sign of the Cross”
By Romano Guardini
Exalted Above the Choirs of Angels
The celebration of the Assumption, body and soul, of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the end of her earthly life into the Glory of Heaven is one of the Church’s oldest celebrations in honor of the Mother of God.
The Assumption declares that as her life ended, Mary received the fullness of her Son’s triumph over sin and death by his Resurrection, and was taken up, by the power of the Blessed Trinity, into the glory of heaven. Mary’s Assumption into Heaven is the first fruits of those who fallen asleep in Christ and profess faith in his promise of Eternal life. In the Assumption God’s promise is fulfilled, as we hope one day to share in the fulness of heaven with Jesus and Mary!
Many different devotions have surrounded the celebration of the Assumption throughout the Christian millennia. In some places, even today, wine is blessed in honor of Mary’s Assumption being the “first fruits” of the Resurrection of Christ. In other places herbs, because of their fragrance, are blessed and placed in the homes of the Christian faithful to remind them of the sweetness of Mary’s life and faith. And in some other places portable tombs, filled with the most fragrant roses, are erected in parish church yards, and other places of devotion, celebrating Our Lady did not rest in the tomb, but was taken up to the glory of Heaven.
At Saint Thomas Aquinas we will celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary with Masses on Saturday, August 14, at 4:30 pm and Sunday, August 15, at 7:45 and 11 am.
After the Saturday Mass we will process with a statue of Our Lady of Fatima around our parish block and pray the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary. The celebration will conclude with an Ice Cream Social, provided by Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl, in the Rectory Garden.
Plenary Indulgence of The Forgiveness of Assisi
August 2 is the Feast of Saint Clare of Assisi, the young lady, who inspired by the witness of Saint Francis, left the world and entered a monastery to embrace a life of radical poverty, chastity and obedience after the example of Jesus and Francis. The life of prayer and forgiveness is honored throughout the Church with the opportunity to obtain a Plenary Indulgence on this day.
A Plenary Indulgence, which remits the temporal punishment due to sin, is granted by the Church through the application of the infinite merits of Christ and His saints to a particular request of the Christian faithful by means of prescribed prayers and the celebration of sacramental Confession in a specified period of time. This Indulgence may be applied to yourself or for a departed soul.
On special occasions during the year, the Church offers the Plenary Indulgence to increase devotion to God’s mercy and to turn hearts in prayer to Jesus in thanksgiving for his sacrifice on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins and the gift of eternal life as revealed in the Resurrection.
The Plenary Indulgence of the Forgiveness of Assisi can be obtained by visiting any Franciscan church or oratory or any parish church. The chapel at the Genesis Hospital is named in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi in honor of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity who have long ministered in our community in education and health care.
To gain the Plenary Indulgence on August 2:
- Visit the Saint Francis Chapel at Genesis Hospital
- Sacramental Confession to be in God’s grace (during the eight days before or after)
- Participate in Holy Mass andEucharistic Communion
- Pray the Apostles Creedto reaffirm one’s own Christian identity
- Pray the Our Father to reaffirm the dignity as a Child of God received in Baptism
- Prayfor the Pope’s August Prayer Intention to reaffirm membership in the Church, of which the Roman Pontiff is the foundation and sign of visible unity:
“For the Church. Let us pray for the Church, that she may receive from the Holy Spirit the grace and strength to reform herself in the light of the Gospel.”
Weekly Update 7/21/2021
Behold Saint Christopher And Be On Thy Way In Safety!
As a young boy my grandmother, quite anti-Catholic in her upbringing and outlook, gave me a Saint Christopher medal. When he was a boy, my grandmother had also given a Saint Christopher medal to my father. She even had a Saint Christopher statue on the dashboard of her automobile!
“Christopher” is my given middle name, and I wore the medal she gave me proudly for many years and “religiously” invoked his assistance in my every need.
At the time of the renewal of the Sacred Liturgy in the late 1960s, the Calendar of Saints was also renewed. The desire was to add new Saint celebrations and commemorations from around the world, making the obligatory celebration of saints’ feast days reflect the universal character of Christ’s Church. The former calendar was top heavy with local and obscure Italian saints. A number of very popular intercessors were removed from universal observance…Valentine, Barbara, Philomena…and now are considered local celebrations. This is the category Saint Christopher fell into after the renewal. Christopher is still a saint! Saint Christopher Churches are still Saint Christopher Churches and Saint Christopher medals are still prayers in medal form asking the good traveler’s intercession!
This weekend at the Saturday and Sunday Masses we will commemorate Saint Christopher, Martyr, patron of travelers. I will preach about him and after the homily bless Saint Christopher medals which can be displayed in your varying modes of transportation. Immediately following Mass I will invoke God’s blessing and sprinkle your vehicles with Holy Water, as you drive them by the side entrance of the Rectory on the south side of the Church.