An Amazing Story about the Real Presence!

Nature’s Evidence of the Real Presence.

by  Father Albert J. Byrne

“On the evening of the last day of his October 1995 visit to the United States, Pope John Paul II was scheduled to greet the seminarians at Saint Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. It had been a very full day that began with a Mass at Oriole Park in Camden Yards; a parade through downtown streets; a visit to the Basilica of the Assumption, the first cathedral in the country; lunch at a local soup kitchen run by Catholic Charities; a prayer service at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in North Baltimore; and finally a quick stop at Saint Mary’s Seminary.

The schedule was tight so the plan was simply to greet the seminarians while they stood outside on the steps. But the Pope made his way through their ranks and into the building. His plan was to first make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament. When his wishes were made known, security flew into action. They swept the building, paying close attention to the chapel where the Pope would be praying. For this purpose, highly trained dogs were used to detect any person who might be present.

The dogs are trained to locate survivors in collapsed buildings after earthquakes and other disasters. These highly intelligent and eager dogs quickly went through the halls, offices and classrooms and were then sent to the chapel. They went up and down the aisles, past the pews and finally into the side chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. Upon reaching the tabernacle, the dogs sniffed, whined, pointed, and refused to leave, their attention riveted on the tabernacle, until called by their handlers. They were convinced that they discovered someone there. We Catholics know they were right—they found a real, living Person in the tabernacle!”

 

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33 Days

33 Days to Morning Glory is a great book by Father Michael Gaitley.  If you live in the New Orleans area and are available during the day, you will surely want to take advantage of a “small group retreat”  taking place at Divine Mercy Parish in Kenner.   It is being offered by a wonderful, faith-filled friend of mine! I did the solo – retreat last year and am rereading the book during lent – it’s that good!

 

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Want to Grow in Holiness, But Too Busy?

Want to transform your work, your marriage, your family, and your life, but don’t have time?

 

If you’re looking for a simple way to be spiritually renewed, develop a deeper relationship with Our Merciful Savior, and grow in holiness. Join us for

 

            33 Days to Morning Glory Small-group Retreat

 

Written and developed by popular author and speaker, Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC,

 

Through this retreat St. Louis de Montfort, St. Maximilian Kolbe, Blessed Mother Teresa, and Pope John Paul II will teach us the secrets to drawing closer to the Heart of Jesus through the Heart of Mary.

 

We will meet once per week for five weeks to watch a video presentation by Fr. Gaitley and share in small groups. At the end of the retreat we shall pray the consecration as a group.

 

WHEN –  Wednesday, April 8, 2015 to Wednesday, May 13, 2015

                                    10:00 – 11:30 am

                                   

    WHERE –  Divine Mercy Parish Community Center,

                       4337 Sal Lentini Pkwy., Kenner, LA 70065

 

    COST –  $32.00 per Study set including book and other materials

 

    CONTACT – Anne-Marie d’Abadie via email amdabadie@att.net

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Family Fun at the Aquarium

New Orleans has a beautiful Aquarium on the riverfront.  We go once a year when we’re down in the city at Mardi Gras time.  A wonderful new addition to the attraction is the Mayan Treasures theme and Parakeet Point.  We loved visiting with the birds – what a unique experience!  I hope you enjoy our pictures.IMG_8274 IMG_8269 IMG_8239 IMG_8248 IMG_8262 IMG_8228 IMG_8224 IMG_8271 IMG_0633 IMG_0657 IMG_8306 IMG_0660 IMG_0643 IMG_8251  P.S.  If a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, what is a bird in the boot worth?

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Reflections on the Readings for Sunday, March 8, 2015

Readings for Today

imagesWhile meditating upon the readings for today, the following words from scripture stood out for me:

…but bestowing mercy down to the thousandth generation
on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments.

If we but keep God’s commandments, not only will He be merciful to us but to our children, and our children’s children down to the thousandth generation!  That is one incredible, generous flow of God’s mercy.  Can you think of a better inheritance to leave those you love?

Now, concerning God’s commandments:

“You shall not take the name of the LORD, your God, in vain.
For the LORD will not leave unpunished
the one who takes his name in vain.

No work may be done then either by you, or your son or daughter,
or your male or female slave, or your beast,
or by the alien who lives with you.
In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth,
the sea and all that is in them;
but on the seventh day he rested.
That is why the LORD has blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

In today’s world, it seems to me that these are two commandments that are sometimes hard for the average, “good citizen” to keep.  I hear “OMG” quite often.  Occasionally, in a fit of anger, I have been known to say it and have had to avail myself of the sacrament of confession.  We use God’s name WAY too casually.   For many, it has become a bad habit.  In Old Testament days, God’s name was considered so Holy that it could not even be written – and to say it was literally unheard of!  Our level of respect for God’s Holy Name has sadly plummeted.  In our entertainment – television, movies, and music, His name is tossed about like an adjective and even used as a curse word.  We must take a stand for God’s Holy Name!  If those who love God won’t, then who will?

The sabbath being a day of rest is another commandment that used to be respected, but is now quite frequently dismissed.  Who are we to decide that it is unimportant?  Does not the God who made us know what is good for us?  Our world of dual working parents and children being involved in a myriad of extracurricular activities has made the sabbath nearly impossible to keep as the Lord commanded – a day of rest.  One day a week – Saturday – is often simply not enough to get the household chores done for dual working families.  This is something that I struggle with often.  Our world has squeezed out God time and rest time.  We will surely reap what we sow in this country.

The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;

A lot of people think that Catholics have too many rules – that the rules somehow steal our freedom as individuals.  In fact, I find the opposite to be true.  The more we honor God’s commandments and align ourselves with the teachings of the Church –  The more we avail ourselves of the sacraments, the “freer” we become – the more joy we possess, the more fulfilled we are, the more peace we come to know.

For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom,
and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

I have no words to add to this passage – I just thought, “Wow!”

But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all,
and did not need anyone to testify about human nature.
He himself understood it well.

We have a King like no other.  He didn’t decide to rule from a throne off in the distance somewhere and be satisfied to be waited upon.  No!  He came down to earth as a baby in the humblest of circumstances.  He came to experience this life as a human (though still God) and to serve.  He understands our human nature because He experienced it (though without sin).  There is nothing we can’t bring to Jesus!  How beautiful is that?

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A final note – In the gospel today, some are shocked by Jesus’ anger.  How could a God who is all good show such a display of anger?  God is all good, but He is also all justice.  Righteous fury is being angry because of injustice.  Righteous fury is being angry at blatant disrespect for God.  Jesus was surely right to be furious at those who were making a mockery of God’s house.

Where is the righteous fury in our world today?  We get furious about a lot of things, but do we feel righteous fury over the way that God and His commandments are dismissed?  Are we righteously furious over the right things?

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Gospel Reflection for Sunday, March 1, 2015

imagesReadings for Sunday, March 1, 2015

The second reading today forms a perfect bridge between the first reading and the gospel.  Parallels are drawn between Isaac not withholding his only son, and God not withholding his only son.  This is another example of how so much of the Gospel is foreshadowed in the Old Testament.  Jesus is the fulfillment and perfection of all covenants formed with God and His people in the B.C. years.  Jesus is the New and Everlasting Covenant!

In order to understand this Sunday’s gospel, the story of the Transfiguration, we  have to understand a bit about the Jewish feast of Sukkot.  This feast is also known as the feast of Tabernacles (meaning tent) or booths.  It was the last feast that God asked the  Israelites to observe.  It took place for seven days during the fall, and marked the end of the agricultural year.  The Jewish people would build temporary booths, or tents in which they would eat celebratory meals during the observance.  These “tents” were built to remind them of their forty years in the desert before entering the Promised Land.

In Sunday’s gospel, Jesus takes three of his apostles, Peter, James and John up a mountain.  Often times when something “momentous” happens in the bible, it involved a trek up a mountain, perhaps because the “height” makes one feel as though he is closer to heaven – closer to God.  It is undoubtedly symbolic – perhaps it is “the climb” itself that is transforming.

There, Jesus is transformed before his friends’ very eyes.  His body begins to glow, and his clothes became “dazzling white.”  Jesus, loved his apostles, and his followers.  He knew that soon they would witness his torturous death on the cross, and that they would need a “beatific vision” to get them through it all – something to hold onto!  He instructs them not to tell what they had seen until after the resurrection.  At that moment, they had no idea what “resurrection” meant.  But when all was said and done, they would look back upon the heavenly sight of the transfiguration and put the pieces to the puzzle together.  Jesus loved them so much that he wanted to give them hope – hope for His resurrection and hope for their own.

It’s funny how Peter sees Elijah and Moses in the vision with Jesus.  Though the two had long since died, the vision of these Old Testament patriarchs must have been very convincing and real, because Peter immediately offered to pitch a tent for the two due to the festival that was being observed.  How human!  I could definitely see myself in Peter’s shoes in that situation!

Lastly, and probably most importantly, it is during the Transfiguration, that God reveals Jesus as His Son and commands the apostles to “Listen to Him.”  How can we better “listen to Jesus” during this Lenten season?  How can we transfigure/transform our lives so that we can be more like Him?

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Lord Jesus, Stay With Us

imagesStay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over. Luke 24: 29

Jesus is a very interesting person. His words are full of wisdom. His presence is heart warming. His gentleness and kindness are deeply moving. His message is very challenging. But do we invite him into our home? Do we want him to come to know us behind the walls of our most intimate life? Do we want to introduce him to all of the people we live with? Do we want him to see us in our everyday lives? Do we want him to touch us where we are most vulnerable? Do we want him to enter into the back rooms of our homes, rooms that we ourselves prefer to keep safely locked? Do we truly want him to stay with us when it is nearly evening and the day is almost over?

Henri J.M. Nouwen

Enter into my home, dear Lord Jesus. I give myself to you.

I read this Lenten reflection this morning and it gave me cause to ponder, so I wanted to share it with you. If you have not done so already, consider making Jesus the King of your heart and of your home this lent. Nothing can make as profound a change in your life as this. Invite Him in, and don’t be afraid to let go! Trust in the Lord with all your heart!! Proverbs 3:5

I know that many of you are experiencing extreme cold and blizzard-like conditions. If you can’t make it out to church to participate in the stations of the cross, I came across this neat idea: Light 14 tealights. As you pray the stations, extinguish a candle representing the station. By the time you get to “burying Jesus in the tomb,” the last candle will have been extinguished and you will be in darkness. This is a great visual for children.

Also, a neat, easy thing to add to your Lenten observances is stopping what you are doing at 3 p.m. everyday for one 60 seconds of stillness and silence. This is easy to do almost anywhere, and serves as a daily reminder of the sacrifice Jesus made for our sins. You can add a simple prayer to say in that moment of silence like, “Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on me!”

Have a blessed day.  Try to stay warm!

 

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A Great 3 Minute Lenten Meditation

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My Apologies

This website building stuff is tougher than I thought!   After some technical tweaking, I think that you will see the right homepage now.  Thank you to those of you who let me know there was a problem & to those of you who shared the link ( even though it was a bad one –  Yikes!!)    Praying for all of my family and friends, viewers and subscribers!  May God bless you and yours!

Website link

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Forty Days

This is a great, short video on lent and the historical significance of 40 days in the bible by Scott Hahn.  Scott is so knowledgeable and so smart, yet he explains things at my level!  I hope that you enjoy the video and learn something new!  Have a blessed lenten journey!

Scott Hahn Video

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My Life Story in Houses

Last weekend, we crossed two bridges to visit our hometown for the first time in a few years.  My husband and I grew up in Terrytown, Louisiana.  We wanted to show our 10 year old where we came from, as he was born until after we moved to the town where we now live.  We enjoyed our little stroll down memory lane, but the thing I really gained from the trip was a profound sense of gratitude – for where we have come to where we are presently.  God has provided so faithfully.  May we never take His love and providence for granted!

IMG_0812                                 the Mississippi River Bridge headed toward the Westbank

 

 

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the little one bathroom house where I was born in 1966  (actually I was born in a hospital, but this was our first family home)  My room was the window to the far left.IMG_0832This is a two bedroom, two car garage house where my family moved when I was 7 – same town – several blocks away –  It looked so much warmer when we lived there – with bushes and trees – looks a bit cold now:(

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This was Eric and my first house – a cottage about 10 minutes away from our parents’ homes.  Great memories – where we brought our first two babies home from the hospital:) When we owned it, there was a tree in the front yard, and the grey and white colors were reversed.101_1989The “Cardinal” house where we lived for 12 years after moving to the Northshore – Covington.  A wonderful neighborhood!

101_3117Our latest abode – with an extra room for our youngest.  Blessed!

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