Tag: Monsignor Florian Kolfhaus

Via Dolorosa: Meditations on the Via Crucis

 Via Dolorosa: Meditations on the Via Crucis

Way of the cross Florian Kolfhaus

by Monsignor Florian Kolfhaus

  I would really like to introduce my readers to  Monsignor Florian Kolfhaus  who serves at the Secretariat of State’s Section for the Relation with States at the Holy See (Vatican). He has a Ph.D in Dogmatic Theology (my kind of teacher) and a Licentiate in Canon Law . His resume goes on and on, and he fulfils so many diplomatic functions at the Holy See ; it’s truly remarkable. He speaks on the radio regularly in Europe, puts on retreats, and has been seen at Steubenville and on EWTN. However, under all of these very impressive titles, degrees, and important positions,  I have found a truly humble servant who loves Our Lord, and has a very special relationship with Our Lady. He has chosen to share some of his beautiful meditations and writings with us right here at Canadian Catechist, and we are very honoured and blessed to be in this  position ; thank you so much Monsignor!  His very profound way of sharing his beautiful spirituality cannot be hidden under a basket. I knew when he sent me his writings and meditations that they would be really great, but I wasn’t expecting for my soul to be touched in the way it was. I am vey pleased to share this with you !

This Lent I have chosen to read Monsignor’s book and it can be found here: Via Dolorosa: Meditations on the Via Crucis

However, Monsignor’s latest book, which I have read, is also masterpiece on Our Lady and the Holy Rosary and it is called :  The School of Mary: Meditations on the Mysteries of the Rosary, it was just released last week and can be found here: http://www.amazon.ca/The-School-Mary-Meditations-Mysteries/dp/1621381625 

   I suggest you pray before reading the meditation below. You can pray a Hail Mary prayer, the Our Father, Glory be, or the Come Holy Ghost prayer! I just suggest that you pray before reading Holy Scripture or spiritual reading in order to open your heart and mind to the voice of God.

  From Monsignor Florian Kolfhaus’s book :  Via Dolorosa: Meditations on the Via Crucis  published by Gracewing

Certainly, there are many ways that lead to God. The greatness and goodness of God can be seen in His creation. His mercy shines in the person of Jesus of whom the Gospels speaks. The Lord Himself speaks to us through His word, through His Church, and through our conscience. But man can indeed ignore all of that. On the subject of error and sin, C.S. Lewis writes, “Its victims seem to see it the least, the more they have fallen into it. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” Suffering that renders us speechless by its injustice burns everything away that is not God. He who suffers then, when no man can help any longer, can only reach out for God. He who suffers experiences in suffering that he is a creature who has not created himself and cannot redeem himself. Indeed, even rebellion, how a good God can allow such pain, is no longer a philosophical question in the hour of need, but a call for a saving hand, which can pull us from the abyss. They say, “Necessity teaches prayer.” And indeed, God is so humble that He does not reproach us when we go to Him, when no one else can help us anymore, when we see no way out, when He is, so to speak, the last choice and there is no other remaining. Oftentimes, we must pass along the painful road to find God, to discover that all the other ways in life were dead-ends.

***

Demons suffer without loving. Angels love without suffering. We men live in this world to suffer and to love. That is our mission. Of course, suffering can lead us to bitterness; suffering without love is hell – in the truest sense of the word. But to suffer and to love are nevertheless a power which can bring heaven down to earth. Suffering and loving means overcoming evil from within, because an evil – suffering – is turned into good. Suffering and choosing to love is to defeat evil with good, to defeat the devastating power of sin and its consequence of death and pain in the world, and to transform it into grace and blessing. The lover who is stricken by the weight of suffering takes on evil and transforms it. He takes it upon His shoulder and goes forward, always in the grace of Christ. He goes up to Golgotha, transforming the cross from a punishment into a sign of life. The bare wooden beams on which the sentenced person is tortured to death become an altar on which the Lamb is slaughtered and sheds His blood for the salvation of the world. Christ did not die the death of a convicted criminal on Calvary, as it may have seemed, but suffered with a human and divine love to the point of sacrificing His life. He is the Lord who handed Himself over to the enemy in order to make His life a sacrifice and to make the corrupter of mankind – in accordance with the Divine plan – the servant of salvation. Victor quia victima. He is the victor because He became the victim, for “the Lamb is stronger than the dragon” (Pope Benedict XVI, December 22, 2005). The devil’s anger nailed the body of Christ to the Cross and pulled His human soul down to the edge of the abyss, where the Lord, who was close to despair, was not even sure about the closeness of the Father: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” But precisely in this way Jesus has won, and the one who thought to govern Him through pain and fear has lost his battle. In a certain sense, Jesus defeated the devil with his own weapons – or better put – by His love He reversed the blow of the sword and forced the blade into the demon himself. In the deepest moment of His anguish, Jesus loved not only God, but also us sinners – we who do not deserve that kind of love – and He pulled us from the abyss and redeemed us. The fire of His love turned the giving of Himself on the Cross into a sacrifice that reconciled God and men. In this fire, Christ offered His own body and blood to the Father in order to bring about everlasting salvation. In this sacrificial flame that still burns on our altars, His love, which He brought to fulfillment on the Cross, shines forth. We are capable of suffering and loving Christ on earth, and that indeed is the great dignity of the baptized, of which – as some mystics have said – even the spirits in heaven are jealous. We can participate in His sacrifice, as unbelievable as this seems, and add what His suffering lacks in order to complete the power of His grace (cf. Col 1:24). Indeed, He wants us to suffer, to love, and to stand with Him on Golgotha: not as people convicted by an unpleasant fate, but as priests and kings, whose toils and sufferings God accepts as worthy offerings, because they come from people in love. All of this naturally remains a mystery; the more pain and fear darken the eye, the more impenetrable and obscure the mystery seems. To love in these moments – even without feeling it or being aware of one’s own love – disarms evil, which has already become weakened from striking a loving soul. This battle, in which our defeats are turned into victories by grace, can only be fought by the One who has taken all of our life’s burdens upon His shoulders. Only the One who has become a believer in love can be a suffering lover. Everyone who, at the end of the painful road, is asked how he could have climbed this steep path and why he did not remain on the ground after so many falls, since everything seems useless, will answer with St. John: “Credidimus Caritati – we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us” (1 Jn 4:16).

  1. Station: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry His cross.

V.: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You

A.: Because by Your holy Cross You have redeemed the world

Everything goes black. I stumble and trip. One of the soldiers clutches me and holds me up cursing in order to keep me from falling. It is not pity, no. Even my executioners, who made a game of striking and humiliating me at the Praetorium, want to finish it. I cannot go any further. Only the sheer strength of the Roman, who will not release his grip of my arm, supports me. He holds me like an animal. He spits at me, disgusted by my wounds. If it were his decision, he would exterminate this piece of filth here and now. Why this big scene for a simple Jewish criminal? He yells to his comrades to fetch a man from the crowd to help Me. They bring a stranger to my side under the wooden beam, one who has given up on protesting against it. He does not bow voluntarily under My cross; he curses this day, the Romans, and Me. We are like two oxen yoked under the same plough. I sense his bitterness, his pain, and his anger. It is unjust to make him carry the cross. But is it not the same for Me? He is innocent. Am I not innocent as well? The soldiers push us further. The weight on my neck has become lighter, while it rests heavily on his. Eventually, he will throw down the cross and go his own way; I will be nailed to it. He will live; I will die. I alone hold the whole universe on My shoulders but could not carry this cross alone. I need him. I need you! Who told you that you must do it by yourself? When my strength fades, how could I expect you not to be crushed under the cross’ weight? He accompanies Me for a short while, and with these steps he shares not only My burden, but also My lot. Does he know how much he is helping Me? Does he know how much it means to Me, that he goes along this Way of the Cross? Where are My friends, the ones who should understand what I am doing here and help Me? A stranger comforts Me more than they do, because he is present and shares My pain. He is moved neither by faith nor by piety, for neither love nor pity he is by My side, and yet he helps Me. He helps Me despite being forced. Would you carry My cross if you had not been forced to carry it? Would you be so close if sheer violence had not cast you under the same yoke? Trust Me, I do not want to see you suffer, but still, you ease my burden. You scream, you curse and rebel, that all of this be loaded upon your shoulders, and at the end you are silent, full of defiance and bitterness. But still you have helped Me more than any of My friends. Do you think that you have no other choice? I turn My head and seek a gaze, I seek your gaze. There is only a hand’s length between our faces, shoulder-to-shoulder we carry the same weight. Now you are closer to Me than anyone else. There was only one moment, but he sees and understands. His muscles flex and his step follows My struggling steps. Would we have become friends if it were not for this cross? Suddenly, everything changes: it is no longer the blows of the soldiers that urge him on, but his pity; not violence, but love. You are clinging to my cross. You cannot throw it down, as much as you convulse against it. I plead with you, let it be done to you. I need your help, and I yearn for your love. Despairingly, you ask, “Why me?”, and wish that everything had happened differently. You would not remain a spectator by the wayside like so many, but go with Me. I would not have been able to endure it if you had turned and gone your own way. If I were to tell you that it was election and not damnation, would you believe me in this instant? Believe me, I did not want your pain, but it has to be so, in order for you to be with me. Why do you not turn your head and look at Me? Do you not realize that you are closer to Me than ever before? I know how hard it is. If you could only fathom that you were not a victim of blind fate, but chosen and loved. Trust me: when you are at the end and look back, you will understand it all.

More to follow soon ! Please get yourself a copy of this beautiful book at your nearest Catholic Bookstore or right  here . I am sure Branches Catholic Bookstore  will have these stocked soon!

In JM+JT,

Lee

ps   It is important that we pray for and support the faithful, solid, and orthodox priests that stand up for our Faith and Church through these crazy times. This is one of the reasons why I am suggesting Monsignor Florian’s books. They are faithful and orthodox. We need to support these priests in any way we can, and one way is to share and purchase their books.

An Introduction to Totus Tuus by Monsignor Florian Kolfhaus

An Introduction to Totus Tuus by Monsignor Florian Kolfhaus

St Louis Marie DeMonfort

St Louis Marie de Monfort and Consecration to Jesus through Mary

   Hi Everyone, I hope and pray that all are having a blessed and safe summer season. Our family has had many blessings and a few trials as of late, so I am not posting as much as I would like to ; I apologize for this, but I assure you that this site is here to stay. I appreciate all the feedback and comments from all over the Catholic World. Never could I have ever imagined that this little site from Canada would have so many visitors from so many places. All for the praise of God’s Glory! That’s my little adaptation to St Ignatius of Loyola and Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity. Oh ! By the way, Pope Francis can you please look at Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity’s cause for canonization! I doubt he will ever see this but who knows :-).

  Once again I would like to welcome back our guest contributor Monsignor Florian Kolfhaus who serves at the Secretariat of State’s Section for the Relation with States  at the Holy See (Vatican). Monsignor Florian Kolfhaus is a diplomat of the Holy See and he has a Ph.D in Dogmatic Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University (my kind of teacher), and a Licentiate in Canon Law. We are in very good company here folks, I hope we are paying attention. Monsignor’s posts couldn’t have come at a better time ; Thank you Monsignor. God’s timing is unbelievable, He is never late. Please keep Monsignor Kolfhaus in your daily prayers. Now more than ever we need to pray for our priests ! Our Lady of Mount Carmel pray for priests !

  This post is a small segment from his book called   Totus Tuus Maria an Introduction to Our Lady Following  the Spiritual Teaching of St. Louis Marie Grignon de Monfort

Totus Tuus Monsignor Florian Kolfhaus

“There is only one tragedy,” said the French poet Léon Bloy, “and that is to not be a saint.” Becoming a saint is indeed our life’s goal; we are created for this. God has called the universe into being so that man might exist. He has breathed His breath into Adam and Eve, making them the progenitors of His family. In order to fulfill His plan, He sent His own son, born of a woman (cf. Gal 4:4). He was crucified to free us from our sins, and He rose again that we might also live. Yes, the Father sent us the Son, who continues to be present in the Church throughout time, so as to give Him brothers and sisters. All that is, the whole cosmos, and all that God has done and continues to do, exists in order to make saints. Yes, only in them, the children of the heavenly Father, does the universe find meaning for its existence. As St. Paul states, “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God” (Rom 8:19).[1]

 

The world needs saints. Without them, without men and women for whom it was made, it loses its most fundamental sense. Holiness, the life of God’s children in communion with Him, is the goal of our entire existence; it is the goal of the whole cosmos. Indeed, there is no greater sorrow than to not become a saint. The success of all Nobel Prize winners and politicians, the glamour of Hollywood celebrities, and the victories of Olympic athletes wane in the light of even a single saint, as unknown and hidden as he might be. That is why our world needs one thing above all else: holy men, women, and children who give God first place in their lives, and who give order and meaning not only to their own lives but to the whole of creation as well.

 

It is the tragedy of our time that the saints are often caricatured as bigots and pious actors, as people who do not know life and thus cannot enjoy it. The saint seems to be the moralizing ascetic, unworldly pariah, or naive dreamer. How wrong this is! Saint Teresa Benedicta a Cruce (Edith Stein) wrote to her sister, “By the way, it is my conviction that it is not necessary for a saint to renounce all wishes and hopes of the world. Quite the opposite: man is in this world to live, and he is supposed to accept all the beautiful things that are given to him with gratitude.” If holiness is the goal of our being, then the saints are indeed the ones who know this world and can rejoice in it because they have found the meaning for their existence and are aware of it. They are the ones who are truly happy in this world and in the next. The Latin word “beatus,” blessed or saint, indicates this: sanctity is a synonym of true and lasting happiness for which God has created us. In order not to lose sight of this goal, the world needs saints, men and women who have both of their feet on the ground but who have their gaze directed to heaven.

 

In essence, all men long for sanctity, for communion with God for whom they were created. A deep longing burns in all of us to understand the deepest roots of our being and to encounter the One who is Love. To love and to be loved – that is, in full offering, which is in God and possible for Him – is the deepest human longing; it is the fulfillment of that which we hope for as happiness and beatitude. The human heart is too large to be filled with anything less than God.

 

But what is a saint? There are many unfortunate misunderstandings that distort the image of true sanctity. Sanctity is not a question of moral over-achievement or, even less, philistine philanthropy. To be holy, is – even before we start with our laborious task – a gift from God. “In baptism the Lord, as it were, sets our life alight with what the Catechism calls sanctifying grace. Those who watch over this light, who live by grace, are holy” (Benedict XVI, September 24, 2011). This task of our lives consists in saving that grace and increasing it. Yes, Baptism makes us Christian and demands of us that we live like Christ, that is, that we be saints.

 

St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort understood this truth and did all he could to remind us of this glorious and great calling to sanctity. His “True Devotion to Mary,” which quickly became known as the “Golden Book,” is nothing other than a manual for becoming a saint. Louis-Marie Grignion is convinced that being a saint means living in the grace of Baptism, following Christ as a Christian. Who would be better suited to guide this journey than Mary, who – as a good mother – knows how she can help her children to live day by day as sons and daughters of Christ, and how to become ever more like her Son?

 

In this sense St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort writes that saints are formed in Mary. In her, the greatest miracle happened: God became man. In her, as in a living tabernacle, Christ can be found. Everyone who trustfully consecrates himself to her will be formed in the image of the God-Man. She is, St. Louis-Marie writes, the easiest, quickest, most secure, and most perfect way to become a saint. Consecration to the Mother of God as a conscious renewal of one’s baptismal vows was always highly recommended by the Church. St. Maximilian Kolbe declares, “Undoubtedly, all saints must be formed by the hands of the Virgin Mary. Why? Because all graces flow through the hands of this Most Holy Mother.” The Curé of Ars is firmly convinced that all the saints, without exception, “have a great veneration for the Virgin, since no grace comes down from heaven, except through her very hands.”

 

The Statue of Our Lady of Quito (Ecuador) depicts the Mother of God as if dancing on the devil in the form of a snake, while crushing its head, as foretold in the first book of the Bible (cf. Gen 3:15). It is indeed extraordinary to depict the Our Lady dancing. What does this image want to tell us? She who is “full of grace” defeats evil effortlessly and joyfully. It is God’s grace in Mary’s life, as in ours, which works great things, if we only declare our fiat with the Virgin of Nazareth. It is all about following Jesus by the hand of His Mother, Mary. Even if we are not spared the Cross, it is not a life of sadness and despair that awaits us, but a life of true joy and hope. Consecrating oneself to Mary means making reference to the image of Quito, that is, being led by this dance, which begins in this world, but already follows the melody of something that is not of this world. This is the core message of the “Golden Book”: whoever consecrates himself to Mary, as carefree as in dancing, will make quicker and easier progress in the spiritual life and in the struggle against one’s faults, as with any other form of piety. Consecration to Mary is, as it were, the prelude to a dance in a truly Christian life, in which three steps are repeated over and over again, and which the Mother teaches her children: to know Jesus, to love Jesus, and to serve Jesus. Veneration of Mary is not by any means secondary and, as some think, not even really necessary. No! “Being Catholic means being Marian” (Pope Benedict XVI, May 28, 2011).

 

Time and again voices are heard which criticize consecration to Mary as an exaggeration or see in it nothing other than sentimental piety. “De Maria numquam satis,” the Church replies. There can never be enough said about Mary; she can never be honored enough. To God belongs our worship. Mary is and always remains a creature, but she is the masterpiece of the Divine Artist, who mirrors His perfection as nothing and no one in the entire universe. Mary is that which no other creature can say about itself: daughter, mother, and spouse of God. She is the only one who can call God “my child”! Consecrating oneself to Mary means nothing other than entering this dynamic of love and following the logic of the Incarnation. The saints have never feared to exaggerate veneration of Mary. Those who have consecrated themselves to the Mother of God call themselves – as if competing with one another – children of Mary, her servants, her slaves, her own property. Saint John Eudes says, “If I were to know someone who loves Mary more than I do, then I would hasten to that person – even hundred miles I would hasten – to learn how the Mother of God can be loved even more.” Impressed by the Virgin Mary’s beauty, Padre Pio, too, did not hesitate to declare, “Ah, my beautiful mommy, my dear mommy,… Jesus was right… Yes, you are beautiful… without the faith, men would call you a goddess… your eyes are more radiant than the sun… you are beautiful, mommy, it is my honor to love you.”[2] Consecration to Mary is not “Catholic kitsch” or a questionable form of piety, but the imitation of Christ through the hands of His mother, who safely guides anyone who entrusts himself to her. Therefore, the strong Catholic conviction is, “Servus Mariae numquam peribit,” that is, “a servant of Mary will never perish.”

 

St. Louis-Marie leads whomever wishes to consecrate himself to the Mother of God, and through her to her Divine Son, over thirty-three days toward the consecration. During this time, the faithful must decide to turn away from sin and strive to learn to love Jesus and Mary more. The fruit of this endeavor is supposed to be the conscious renewal of one’s Baptismal vows, a complete giving of self to Jesus through Mary. The present work hopes to trace the steps of St. Louis-Marie Grignion and help the reader prepare himself for the consecration to Mary. In a conscious effort, the thirty-three days of this consecration have been reduced to twelve: three should serve as an in-depth examination of conscience and a renewal of life, and nine should serve as a novena to directly prepare for the consecration and to present the most important stages of Mary’s life to the faithful.

 

At the end of the first three days a thorough confession is recommended, in which one tries to look deeper into his life than in a typical confession. Hence, it is suggested to answer the questions of the examinations of conscience in written form and to prepare an in-depth confession with these written notes, perhaps even of one’s entire past life. At the same time, one’s gaze must be directed toward the future along with the question of fighting one’s central flaw more effectively. The firm will to repent and concrete resolutions for the spiritual life are fruit of the first three days.

 

Each day of the Novena as a preparation for the consecration consists of two parts: one concerning prayer and one concerning reading. The part concerning prayer should serve as an opportunity to become closer to the Virgin Mother by meditating on her life and by entrusting oneself to her in prayer. To this end, the most common Marian prayers have been chosen in order for the faithful to acquire an array of prayers during this time. The principal part concerning prayer is one decade of the Rosary that should be prayed slowly and while meditating upon the images, which means meditating upon each mystery with one reason and heart. Obviously, it can be useful to pray the whole Rosary every day, but beginners in the spiritual life especially should avoid pushing themselves too hard. Someone who has never has done sports cannot run a marathon. However, one who trains regularly and proceeds with reasonable steps can perform excellently without risking bruises or sprains. The same is true of the spiritual life, in which it is not principally our own doing and working, but the effective grace of God.

 

Appended to the prayers and meditations for each day of the Novena is a reading with an excerpt taken from the “Golden Book” by St. Louis-Marie de Montfort. These readings contain a short introduction of the principal idea of the given meditation before the text. At the end of the text, there is a short biographical note of a saint and a prayer. The reading of these spiritual texts does not necessarily have to follow each meditation. It might be recommended to postpone this until another part of the day with time and inspiration. It is very reasonable to pause between the reading of these texts in order to consider and understand the thoughts of the different saints, and to make them one’s own in prayer. It is also recommended to take notes of one’s thoughts and comments in a “spiritual diary.”

 

This book has no other goal in mind than that of St. Marie-Louis Grignion de Montfort: that is, to be the quickest and most secure way to sanctity. Nevertheless, it simply lends a helping hand in order to deepen one’s spiritual life. The countless hidden treasures that are contained in the Biblical texts and the writings of the saints must be uncovered and appropriated for oneself. One who has already been consecrated to Mary can fruitfully use this novena to prepare for the annual renewal of the consecration and to deepen his spiritual life.

 

It is left to hope that through this preparation for the consecration many faithful might give themselves generously to the Mother of God, so that she in turn might give our era many saints. This book supports the main principle with which St. Louis-Marie Grignion began his book: “Through Mary Christ came into this world; through Mary He wants to reign in this world!”

 

May Almighty God Bless us all and protect us from the World, the devil, and ourselves !

 

In  JM+JT,

Lee

 

[1] English Standard Version.

[2] Padre A, Da San Marco in Lamis, Diario, p. 53: “Ah, Mammina bella, Mammina cara… Aveva ragione Gesù…Sì, sei bella…Se non ci fosse la fede, gli uomini ti direbbero Dea… Gli occhi tuoi sono più splendenti del sole… Sei bella Mammina, me ne glorio, ti amo…”.

Prayer to Jesus for an ever-growing love to his Mother Mary

Prayer to Jesus for an ever-growing love to his Mother Mary

2_Titular-Statue-of-Our-Lady-of-Mount-Carmel1

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Pray for us !!!

  This is a beautiful prayer sent to us from Monsignor Florian Kolfhaus who serves at the Secretariat of State’s Section for the Relation with States at the Holy See (Vatican). He is our guest contributor to Canadian Catechist. We are so very grateful for his wonderful contributions to our little web page. Here is the prayer that the good Monsignor wrote and that I have said myself. You can find his books here.

Prayer to Jesus for an ever-growing love to his Mother Mary 

 Blessed are You, Jesus, for having Mary!

She, beautiful as the moon and radiant as the sun, is Your Mother.

Her eyes are like those of an innocent child,

Her lips overflow with words of love,

Her radiant smile banishes all shadows of fear and sadness.

How often have You repeated:

“You are all beautiful Mary, no blemish is in You.”

Blessed are You, Jesus, for having Mary!

You are the only Son, that the woman could have chosen,

To be conceived and carried under Her heart,

To nourish You with Her bosom and to caress You in Her embrace.

You have left heaven to live in this earthly paradise;

That You Yourself had prepared.

She is truly Your joy and Your beatitude.

Blessed are You, Jesus, for having Mary!

30 long years You could live in the house of the Virgin

And experience the joy of Her familiarity;

Even though You are the omniscient God, You were pleased,

To be by Her side and to learn from Her.

Yes, because You are the Holy God, You took joy in

Seeing Her virtues day by day

And to marvel at the purity of Her life.

Blessed are You, Jesus, for having Mary!

When You climbed up Golgotha, she was by Your side!

Just as the first man sought companionship,

So You as the new Adam have found a companion

To fulfill Your work of salvation.

As You called for Your Father in the darkness of the cross,

Your Mother was there.

As the devil wounded Your heel, She crushed his head;

Just as a worried woman crushes the head of a scorpion,

That stalks Her child.

And just in this moment, when they took all from You,

You gave to me the most precious treasure of Your life,

By giving me this wonderful woman as Mother.

Blessed am I, Jesus, to have Mary!

Through Her, o God, You became my brother.

With Her, o Lord, You have redeemed me a sinner.

She is, o Jesus, our paradise, our beatitude our true joy.

Both of us – me and You – are truly Her children.

 I wished I were You, o Jesus.

I do not long for raising the dead, healing the sick

And walking on water, as You did.

I do not wish to reign over angels and men,

And to judge the nations one day.

I do not want to be praised and exulted

Or worshipped and glorified as God.

No, I just wish to be Jesus,

To love our Mother, as You did.

The two of us are Her children, but only You love Her, as She deserves it,

Only You give Her the honor that fits Her.

I wish, I were You, o Jesus,

To love Her with the infinite power of God,

Who became himself recipient of Mary’s love and tenderness.

I wish I were You, o Jesus,

To crown Her with all the glory of the heavens,

Since whatever I think and say about Her

Is much too little in vision of Her beauty and greatness.

Yes, I wish so dearly to be You, o Jesus,

To never hurt the heart of my Mother by my sins.

Jesus,

You have kept Mary from the sins of the forefathers

And have given Her the plenitude of graces;

You have adorned Her soul with all divine and human virtues

And never allowed for the evil adversary to come close to Her, even though he tempted You

You have died to lead Her, the immaculate one, to heaven without death.

You have raised Her to be queen of angels and men,

To have Her enthroned in eternity by Your side.

How can I not rejoice about all the great, that You have done unto Mary?

Jesus, let me love my and Your Mother, as You love Her.

Give me the crown in my hand that You want to place on Her head.

Speak through my mouth all of the loving words, that You want to tell Her.

Use me as Your means to honor Her the way, that You alone are able to.

Teach me to imitate You in everything fully,

With what You want to make Her happy.

Lend me Your divine heart, to love Mary,

And give Her my heart

That she shall own just as it belongs to You.

Jesus; grant me the great grace to be truly a child of Your Mother.

Amen.

        In JM+JT,

             Lee

   Happy Feast Day of   Our Lady of Mount Carmel !!!

Via Dolorosa: Meditations on the Via Crucis by Monsignor Florian Kolfhaus

Via Dolorosa: Meditations on the Via Crucis

Way of the cross Florian Kolfhaus

by Monsignor Florian Kolfhaus

  I would really like to introduce my readers to  Monsignor Florian Kolfhaus  who serves at the Secretariat of State’s Section for the Relation with States at the Holy See (Vatican). He has a Ph.D in Dogmatic Theology (my kind of teacher) and a Licentiate in Canon Law . His resume goes on and on, and he fulfils so many diplomatic functions at the Holy See ; it’s truly remarkable. He speaks on the radio regularly in Europe, puts on retreats, and has been seen at Steubenville and on EWTN. However, under all of these very impressive titles, degrees, and important positions,  I have found a truly humble servant who loves Our Lord, and has a very special relationship with Our Lady. He has chosen to share some of his beautiful meditations and writings with us right here at Canadian Catechist, and we are very honoured and blessed to be in this  position ; thank you so much Monsignor!  His very profound way of sharing his beautiful spirituality cannot be hidden under a basket. I knew when he sent me his writings and meditations that they would be really great, but I wasn’t expecting for my soul to be touched in the way it was. I am vey pleased to share this with you !

Monsignor’s latest book, which I have read, is a masterpiece on Our Lady and is called :  The School of Mary: Meditations on the Mysteries of the Rosary, it was just released last week and can be found here: http://www.amazon.ca/The-School-Mary-Meditations-Mysteries/dp/1621381625 

   I suggest you pray before reading the meditation below. You can pray a Hail Mary prayer, the Our Father, Glory be, or the Come Holy Ghost prayer! I just suggest that you pray before reading Holy Scripture or spiritual reading in order to open your heart and mind to the voice of God.

  From Monsignor Florian Kolfhaus’s book :  Via Dolorosa: Meditations on the Via Crucis  published by Gracewing

Certainly, there are many ways that lead to God. The greatness and goodness of God can be seen in His creation. His mercy shines in the person of Jesus of whom the Gospels speaks. The Lord Himself speaks to us through His word, through His Church, and through our conscience. But man can indeed ignore all of that. On the subject of error and sin, C.S. Lewis writes, “Its victims seem to see it the least, the more they have fallen into it. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” Suffering that renders us speechless by its injustice burns everything away that is not God. He who suffers then, when no man can help any longer, can only reach out for God. He who suffers experiences in suffering that he is a creature who has not created himself and cannot redeem himself. Indeed, even rebellion, how a good God can allow such pain, is no longer a philosophical question in the hour of need, but a call for a saving hand, which can pull us from the abyss. They say, “Necessity teaches prayer.” And indeed, God is so humble that He does not reproach us when we go to Him, when no one else can help us anymore, when we see no way out, when He is, so to speak, the last choice and there is no other remaining. Oftentimes, we must pass along the painful road to find God, to discover that all the other ways in life were dead-ends.

 

***

 

Demons suffer without loving. Angels love without suffering. We men live in this world to suffer and to love. That is our mission. Of course, suffering can lead us to bitterness; suffering without love is hell – in the truest sense of the word. But to suffer and to love are nevertheless a power which can bring heaven down to earth. Suffering and loving means overcoming evil from within, because an evil – suffering – is turned into good. Suffering and choosing to love is to defeat evil with good, to defeat the devastating power of sin and its consequence of death and pain in the world, and to transform it into grace and blessing. The lover who is stricken by the weight of suffering takes on evil and transforms it. He takes it upon His shoulder and goes forward, always in the grace of Christ. He goes up to Golgotha, transforming the cross from a punishment into a sign of life. The bare wooden beams on which the sentenced person is tortured to death become an altar on which the Lamb is slaughtered and sheds His blood for the salvation of the world. Christ did not die the death of a convicted criminal on Calvary, as it may have seemed, but suffered with a human and divine love to the point of sacrificing His life. He is the Lord who handed Himself over to the enemy in order to make His life a sacrifice and to make the corrupter of mankind – in accordance with the Divine plan – the servant of salvation. Victor quia victima. He is the victor because He became the victim, for “the Lamb is stronger than the dragon” (Pope Benedict XVI, December 22, 2005). The devil’s anger nailed the body of Christ to the Cross and pulled His human soul down to the edge of the abyss, where the Lord, who was close to despair, was not even sure about the closeness of the Father: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” But precisely in this way Jesus has won, and the one who thought to govern Him through pain and fear has lost his battle. In a certain sense, Jesus defeated the devil with his own weapons – or better put – by His love He reversed the blow of the sword and forced the blade into the demon himself. In the deepest moment of His anguish, Jesus loved not only God, but also us sinners – we who do not deserve that kind of love – and He pulled us from the abyss and redeemed us. The fire of His love turned the giving of Himself on the Cross into a sacrifice that reconciled God and men. In this fire, Christ offered His own body and blood to the Father in order to bring about everlasting salvation. In this sacrificial flame that still burns on our altars, His love, which He brought to fulfillment on the Cross, shines forth. We are capable of suffering and loving Christ on earth, and that indeed is the great dignity of the baptized, of which – as some mystics have said – even the spirits in heaven are jealous. We can participate in His sacrifice, as unbelievable as this seems, and add what His suffering lacks in order to complete the power of His grace (cf. Col 1:24). Indeed, He wants us to suffer, to love, and to stand with Him on Golgotha: not as people convicted by an unpleasant fate, but as priests and kings, whose toils and sufferings God accepts as worthy offerings, because they come from people in love. All of this naturally remains a mystery; the more pain and fear darken the eye, the more impenetrable and obscure the mystery seems. To love in these moments – even without feeling it or being aware of one’s own love – disarms evil, which has already become weakened from striking a loving soul. This battle, in which our defeats are turned into victories by grace, can only be fought by the One who has taken all of our life’s burdens upon His shoulders. Only the One who has become a believer in love can be a suffering lover. Everyone who, at the end of the painful road, is asked how he could have climbed this steep path and why he did not remain on the ground after so many falls, since everything seems useless, will answer with St. John: “Credidimus Caritati – we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us” (1 Jn 4:16).

 

 

  1. Station: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry His cross.

 

V.: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You

A.: Because by Your holy Cross You have redeemed the world

 

Everything goes black. I stumble and trip. One of the soldiers clutches me and holds me up cursing in order to keep me from falling. It is not pity, no. Even my executioners, who made a game of striking and humiliating me at the Praetorium, want to finish it. I cannot go any further. Only the sheer strength of the Roman, who will not release his grip of my arm, supports me. He holds me like an animal. He spits at me, disgusted by my wounds. If it were his decision, he would exterminate this piece of filth here and now. Why this big scene for a simple Jewish criminal? He yells to his comrades to fetch a man from the crowd to help Me. They bring a stranger to my side under the wooden beam, one who has given up on protesting against it. He does not bow voluntarily under My cross; he curses this day, the Romans, and Me. We are like two oxen yoked under the same plough. I sense his bitterness, his pain, and his anger. It is unjust to make him carry the cross. But is it not the same for Me? He is innocent. Am I not innocent as well? The soldiers push us further. The weight on my neck has become lighter, while it rests heavily on his. Eventually, he will throw down the cross and go his own way; I will be nailed to it. He will live; I will die. I alone hold the whole universe on My shoulders but could not carry this cross alone. I need him. I need you! Who told you that you must do it by yourself? When my strength fades, how could I expect you not to be crushed under the cross’ weight? He accompanies Me for a short while, and with these steps he shares not only My burden, but also My lot. Does he know how much he is helping Me? Does he know how much it means to Me, that he goes along this Way of the Cross? Where are My friends, the ones who should understand what I am doing here and help Me? A stranger comforts Me more than they do, because he is present and shares My pain. He is moved neither by faith nor by piety, for neither love nor pity he is by My side, and yet he helps Me. He helps Me despite being forced. Would you carry My cross if you had not been forced to carry it? Would you be so close if sheer violence had not cast you under the same yoke? Trust Me, I do not want to see you suffer, but still, you ease my burden. You scream, you curse and rebel, that all of this be loaded upon your shoulders, and at the end you are silent, full of defiance and bitterness. But still you have helped Me more than any of My friends. Do you think that you have no other choice? I turn My head and seek a gaze, I seek your gaze. There is only a hand’s length between our faces, shoulder-to-shoulder we carry the same weight. Now you are closer to Me than anyone else. There was only one moment, but he sees and understands. His muscles flex and his step follows My struggling steps. Would we have become friends if it were not for this cross? Suddenly, everything changes: it is no longer the blows of the soldiers that urge him on, but his pity; not violence, but love. You are clinging to my cross. You cannot throw it down, as much as you convulse against it. I plead with you, let it be done to you. I need your help, and I yearn for your love. Despairingly, you ask, “Why me?”, and wish that everything had happened differently. You would not remain a spectator by the wayside like so many, but go with Me. I would not have been able to endure it if you had turned and gone your own way. If I were to tell you that it was election and not damnation, would you believe me in this instant? Believe me, I did not want your pain, but it has to be so, in order for you to be with me. Why do you not turn your head and look at Me? Do you not realize that you are closer to Me than ever before? I know how hard it is. If you could only fathom that you were not a victim of blind fate, but chosen and loved. Trust me: when you are at the end and look back, you will understand it all.

 

More to follow soon ! Please get yourself a copy of this beautiful book at your nearest Catholic Bookstore or right  here . I am sure Branches Catholic Bookstore  will have these stocked soon!

 

In JM+JT,

Lee