Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Enrico Saiz -- A Noteworthy Spanish Martyr

95 Members of the Salesian Family were martyred during the Spanish Civil War.

The Groups at Seville and Madrid were headed by Father Enrico Saiz Aparicio.

Father Enrico was the courageous Rector of the Salesian Minor Seminary at Carabanchel Alto on the outskirts of Madrid.

When the Militia burst into the institution, He said "If You want Blood, Here I am. But don't harm the Boys".

The Boys were released while Father Enrico was captured and killed.

A short time before, He died He confided to a Friend : "What is better than dying for the Glory of God ??

He offered His Life in exchange for the lives of His Boys who had been entrusted to him by Divine Providence.

He gave Himself for them, till His Last Breath.

Credits and References :

Enrico Saiz
Salesian Saint of the Month
Page 8
Don Bosco's Madonna, Mumbai
September 2013, Vol - 15, No -5

Saint Cherbel Makhlouf -- A Maronite Monk Par Excellence

Introduction :

Saint Cherbel Makhlouf was a Messenger Sent By God Himself to the Maronite People in the 19th Century in Lebanon.

He was born on May 8, 1828 into a Pious Maronite Catholic Family who were proud of their God Given Faith and practiced it without the Fear of People's Judgement.

Saint Charbel Makhlouf was a Pious Man who followed the Lord's Commands to the nth Degree.

He was an ardent lover of the Rosary and a ardent lover of nature too.

He marvelled at Trees, Flowers, and Birds, the Handiwork of God's Creation.

Monastic Life :

When He was a Young Man He entered the Monastery of Our Lady of Mayfouk -- A Beautiful Monastery of the Lebanese Maronite Order where He was received as a Postulant.

In 1853, He took the Vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience and received the Habit of a Professed Monk. He was 25 years old.

In 1859, He was ordained to the Priesthood.

In His Monastic Superiors, He saw the Person of Jesus Christ.

He practiced Poverty of Body and Soul vigorously.

As, The Years went by He felt called to the Life of a Hermit and joined a Hermitage nearby under the guidance of a local hermit.

Conclusion :

Living for God became Saint Charbel Makhlouf's Mission in Life.

He celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in Syriac -- The Liturgical Language of the Maronite Rite.

After a brief illness, He passed away on the night of December 24, with the names of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph on his Lips.

After His Death, Extraordinary Miracles and Events started to take place that led to his Beatification and ultimately to his Canonization in 1977.

Credits :

Saint Cherbel Makhlouf
By the Monks of Saint Joseph of Clairval, France
Don Bosco's Madonna, December 2012 Vol - 14, No -8
Pages 12-14

Sunday, 25 June 2017

The Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Sheshan

The Month of May is a Month dedicated to Our Lady.

Catholics Don the Robe of Pilgrims and Flock to Marian Shrines all over the world.

May is Our Mother Mary's Special Time in China. It is the time when Chinese Catholics from all walks of life visit Shrines of Our Lady in various parts of China.

An Outstanding part of Devotion to Our Lady is the Faith of Chinese Catholic Fishermen who make the time to visit Sheshan faithfully Year in and Year Out.

In 1989, Pope Saint John Paul the Great, had said that through his prayers Our Lady of Sheshan also known as Our Lady Help of Christians would be a "Benevolent Mother" to the Chinese People.

Sheshan surrounded by Nine Peaks is some 35 Kilometres from the City of Shanghai.

Its Bamboo Forests, Winding Paths, and Running and Flowing Streams of Water make it an excellent location for praying to the Mother of God.

According to various Legends, The Mountain surrounding Sheshan gets its name from a Hermit by the name of She -- who lived on the Mountain.

In 1866, The Catholic Church in Shanghai built a beautiful pavilion and consecrated an Altar and a Statue to Our Lady within its precincts.

A few years later, Jesuit Priests built a Beautiful Shrine -- Church at the top of the Mountain and consecrated it to Our Lady Help of Christians.

This Shrine Church was for a number of years the First Catholic Basilica in the Far East and became a popular pilgrimage site for Chinese Catholics.

Credits : China's Marian Shrines

Do I Appreciate the Gift of the Real Presence ??

A) Awareness of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament :

Are We as Catholic Christians truly aware of the Real Presence of Christ in the Tabernacle and on the Altar ??

Every Sunday, When We attend Mass Do We acknowledge this "Great Gift" or do we just go through the motions of attending Mass like any other "Mundane Matter".

Are We Sensitive to the Real Presence ??

Do we know who is it that we are receiving Sunday After Sunday.

Is Jesus Christ, The King of Our Soul and of Our Heart ??

B) Do we love the Person of Jesus Christ ??

The Person of Jesus Christ is Compassionate towards one and all.

See His Merciful Love in Action when He healed a Large Number of Lepers as well as when He raised a number of persons to Life.

I cannot stress this enough.

The Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ is available to us 24-7-365.

I will end by quoting a statement from my favourite author, Father Faber from his Book -- The Blessed Sacrament.

"The Blessed Sacrament is the Property of the Souls of Men".

Page 404 The Blessed Sacrament by Father Faber.

Monday, 19 June 2017

The Eucharistic Heart of Jesus Christ -- An All Encompassing Heart

Introduction :

The Blessed Sacrament is the "Great Work" of God's Love for Christ and His Presence and Evangelical Mysteries continue in this most Holy Sacrament.

Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the everlasting "Rock" because he gives strength to us.

In Him, only we are secure and can decipher our authentic identity.

There is definitely "No Wrong" in Jesus Christ because He is totally loving and totally good. Evil comes from Satan and a Pagan World.

When we come before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, His expression is to open the floodgates of His Divine Mercy upon us and upon the whole world.

We ask for God's Mercy not only for ourselves but for all Humanity too.

We see God face to face in the Holy Eucharist when we make an act of belief in His Real Presence -- Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity and truly believe that he is "Living Bread" from Paradise giving his flesh for the sake of sinful humanity.

God so loved the world that he sent His only begotten Son -- Jesus, the Christ.

God continues to so love the world that he continues to send us Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.

To see, the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus is to cherish the words of the Eternal Father -- I have loved you always and my affection for you is never changing.

Jesus Christ, is the most Appreciative Person who ever lived. His Eucharistic Heart was deeply moved by the Leper who returned to thank him and give him glory.

Our Belief in Him will console His Eucharistic Heart for those who reject Him.

Today, In an everchanging world -- People and Humanity at large are constantly searching for a "Sense of Belonging". The Eucharistic Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is a permanent sign that we belong to Him and are His people in more ways than one.

The Natural Condition of Man is to feel that God is far away. To feel distant and not in sync with God is a normal feeling which has to be overcome with God - Given -Grace and Faith.

God is constantly speaking to us that he cares for us and that he deeply loves us.

The Proof of His Love is in the Blessed Sacrament where He is with us Day and Night.

We live in a "Pagan World" which wants satisfaction from carnal pleasures. But Jesus, teaches us that it is "His Divine Spirit" working within each one of us that can give only Life and Fulfillment as Jesus sees best.

There is no better place to get "Super - Human" strength to overcome the World's Temptations than in the Eucharistic Heart of Our Divine Saviour.

Jesus chooses each one of us, to Praise Him, Thank Him, and Adore Him so that He may refill us with Blessings from His "Divine Temple" -- namely His Eucharistic Heart.

We should have "Confidence" in the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus. It matters to Jesus what tragedy is taking place in our 'Personal Life' or the calamities that take place in the world simply because His Eucharistic Heart is faithful to the end.

A Day will come soon, when Evil and the Evil One will be conquered victoriously by Jesus.

Jesus Christ will reign through the "All Powerful Love" of His Eucharistic Heart.

Conclusion :

The Blessed Sacrament is the "Holiest of all Holies" where God himself made Man dwells.

It cannot be destroyed simply because Jesus Christ is more powerful than all the Powers of Hell put together.

When we look at the "Sacred Host", we are invited by Jesus to make a "Spiritual Communion" in more ways than one.

The Blessed Sacrament is Jesus Christ crying out in every possible way that our happiness in life is "Possession of Him" and all that He stands for.

Our "Home" is within the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus. Every Human Being that comes to worship Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is embraced by Him with unfathomable enthusiasm and delight.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

The Divine Office and Gregorian Chant

1) The Divine Office :

All over the world, Benedictine Monks and Trappist Monks rise from their sleep in the middle of the night or towards early morning to chant the Divine Office.

They have been doing this for 900 years or more. The Divine Office is the singing of Psalms by Monks on a daily basis.

The First Office to be sung is known as Vigils. During Vigils, a set of Psalms are chanted by Monks for 30 minutes or so followed by a break which involves listening to some anecdotes written by a Monk during the early years of the Church.

After this another set of Psalms is chanted by the Monks. Vigils chanted on a early Sunday Morning is my favourite office as it involves the singing of the Resurrection Office which is so beautiful which no words can express.

After 2-3 Hours, the next Divine Office chanted is known as Lauds or Matins followed by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Lauds is a Beautiful Divine Office as it is chanted when things are bright in the morning and the Sun's Rays seem to be everywhere.

The next 2 Divine Offices to be chanted by Monks are known as Prime and Terce respectively.

Prime is chanted before Lunch while Terce is chanted after Lunch.

In the evening, when Monks get together after a Hard Day's Work -- Vespers are chanted in the Abbey Church followed by a light supper.

The Final Office of the Day that is chanted is known as Compline. This Divine Office is chanted when everything is silent in and around the Monastery in the night before the Monks retire for the night. It ends with the Hail Holy Queen which is chanted by the Monks in Latin.

2) Gregorian Chant :

Gregorian Chant is the Unique Singing of Hymns and Masses by Benedictine Monks. In Gregorian Chant, Monks sing with one voice without the help of musical instruments.

This has been going on for 500 years or more in Benedictine Abbeys in Europe.

The Benedictine Monastery of the Abbey of Solesmes in France has specialised in the singing of Masses and Hymns in Latin.

My favourite Masses sung by them are -- Mass for the Feast of Christ the King, Mass in Honour of the Immaculate Conception, and Mass for the Annunciation.

The Benedictine Monastery of the Abbey of Saint Michael of Montserrate specializes in the singing of Good Friday Vespers.

Gregorian Chant Music during Holy Week is their speciality.

Holy Week 2018 -- Jesus Christ Faced Terrible Evil

As, We enter Holy Week in 2018 I believe that we should discuss the "Issue Of Betrayal". To Discuss The Issue of Betrayal -- it...