Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Praying ONLY for the knowledge of His will for us

For the last few months I have been found myself drawn into trying to learn how to discern God's will for me. After all, according to the 11th Step it is the ONLY thing we are supposed to pray for!

A few months ago I came across a tract by St. Alphonsus de Liguori entitled "Uniformity With God's Will". It has had an impact on my life and always digging deeper I had been looking for poem that St. Alphonsus had written that may have been the starting point for this tract.

In the Preface of the tract currently published by TAN it is written:

Prof. Candido M. Romano says this brochure was written probably in 1755, as appears from a letter by the Saint, under date of Nov. 2, 1755, to Sister Giannastasio, at Cava. Romano goes on to say:

“This (i.e. God’s will) was for Alphonsus a theme of predilection, a theme dearest to his heart. Just as St. Ignatius stressed ‘the greater glory of God,’ St. Alphonsus in all his works, gave prominence to ‘the greater good pleasure of God.’ Most likely the occasion that brought forth this treatise was the death, in 1753, of Father Paul Cafaro, C.SS.R., St. Alphonsus’ confessor and director. The death of this worthy priest deeply affected the Saint and he expressed his sentiments in a poem on God’s will. The wide acclaim it received may have suggested to him the thought that a tract on the same subject would be helpful to the souls of others. If this be true, his surmise proved correct, for the appearance of his subsequent pamphlet was greeted with instant favor.”

I am happy to report that I found the poem today and am looking forward to spending some time with it:


'Tis Thy good pleasure, not my own,
In Thee, my God, I love alone;
And nothing I desire of Thee
But what Thy goodness wills for me.
O will of God! O will Divine!
All, all our love be ever thine.

In love no rival canst Thou bear,
But Thou art full of tenderest care;
And fire and sweetness all Divine
To hearts which once are wholly Thine.
O will of God! O will Divine!
All, all our love be ever thine.

In Thee all pure affections live,
To love Thou dost perfection give;
While ever burning with desires
The loving soul to Thee aspires.
O will of God! O will Divine!
All, all our love be ever thine.

Thou makest crosses soft and light
And death itself seem sweet and bright.
No cross nor fear that soul dismays
Whose will to Thee united stays.
O will of God! O will Divine!
All, all our love be ever thine.

To all the glorious choirs of Heaven
Their very bliss by Thee is given;
And Heaven itself deprived of Thee
Would be a land of misery.
O will of God! O will Divine!
All, all our love be ever thine.

Yea, to the lost who burn in hell,
If in their souls Thy love could dwell,
The very flames and torments there
Would seem but sweet and light to bear.
O will of God! O will Divine!
All, all our love be ever thine.

Oh! that one day my life may end
In closest bonds to Thee enchained
For thus to die is not to die,
But live, and live eternally.
O will of God! O will Divine!
All, all our love be ever thine.

To Thee I consecrate and give
My heart and being while I live;
Jesus, Thy Heart alone shall be
My Love for all eternity.
O will of God! O will Divine!
All, all our love be ever thine.

Alike in pleasure and in pain
To please Thee is my joy and gain;
That, O my Love, which pleases Thee
Shall ever more seem best to me.
May heaven and earth with love fulfil,
My God, Thy ever-blessed will!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Matt Talbot Statue arrives in Philly!

After an 8-month wait our 4' statue of Venerable Matt Talbot arrived in Philadelphia yesterday.

Timothy P. Schmalz is the sculptor. The original statue is a 10' one that currently resides at the Pro Cathedral in Dublin. A few weeks ago we received our order of miniatures (11 inch, 2.5 lbs.) that we are currently selling - contact me if you are interested in obtaining one! I will post an updated picture once we finalize the placement of the statue with votive candles, etc.

The Narrow Gate

     Currently reading "The Fulfillment of All Desire" by Ralph Martin (see my "Library Thing" in the left column) and finding it very enlightening, especially the references to St. Catherine and the visions the Father gave her of heaven and hell.
     According to Martin - and proven in many of his quotes of the saints writings - many of the saints often refer to Matthew 7:13-14:

            "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad
            that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How
            narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those
           who find it are few."

     I don't know about you - but that goes against what I hear most people say these days about our loving God who could not possibly send one of his own to hell. Truth is, God does not send us to hell - we choose it!
     More to come.......

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Second Philly Calix Day of Recolletion

     We had a Calix Day of Recollection yesterday (Saturday 3/31) in Grays Gerry that was just outstanding. Radio host Kathleen McCarthy gave two talks, one of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and another on Healing. The talk were great and touched many hearts (and souls!). But the Eucharistic healing service that followed the talk was nothing short of miraculous.
     With the lights turned off , Kathleen prayed out loud, Grays Ferry Calix Unit spiritual director Fr. McKay processed through the attendees with the monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament. Two of us processed with Fr. McKay with candles. We could hear people sobbing as we stood in front of them. Afterwards I am told that the messages that Kathleen provided to a number of individuals were exactly what they needed to hear at this particular time.
     After lunch the Jesuit spiritual directors of the Media Calix unit, Fr. Tom and Brother Jack, gave a talk and fielded questions about the relationship between the 12-step recovery programs and the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius. For many it was the first time they had heard about this. Fr. Jim Harbaugh's book, The Twelve Steps and the "A 12-Step Approach to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius" was recommended as a good way to incorporate the exercises into a person's recovery program.
     We wrapped up with benediction, the Divine Mercy chaplet and confession.
     Thanks to all those who help put this day on!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Matt Talbot Icon

Recently searching the "blogosphere" I came across Terry Nelson's blog, Abbey Roads, where he posts regularly on current Catholic topics. He is also an artist and has created some work that I really, really like. In particular, and apt for this blog, is an icon he painted of Venerable Matt Talbot. Click here to see his blog entry for this painting. The blog where he displays his artwork is Up Your Street

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fr. Z's blog entry regarding Fr. Leo Dolan's funeral

Over at Fr Z's blog, What Does That Prayer Really Say, he passes along some information about Fr. Leo Dolan, author of a little booklet called "The 12 Steps and Catholic Spirituality" which is available from the store at the Calix website. Fr. Z points out that Fr. Dolan was "dedicated to the beatification cause of Matt Talbot"

I also found an entry on the Venerable Matt Talbot Resource Center blog  from April 2009 with addtional information about Fr. Dolan.

And finally a piece of trivia - Fr. Leo Dolan is known for obtaining the only known picture of Matt Talbot as related in this news article from Sydmey, Australia dated June 20, 1974.

Where is Everybody?

I stopped by my parish church yesterday around 4:10 PM. I was to meet someone there at 4:30 so having a few minutes I popped into Church since they have Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on Tuesday's. I walked in and the Church was completely empty. Just our Lord in the monstrance on the altar and two flickering candles. I knelt there for about 10 minutes and the only thing I could think to say to Him was how sorry I was that there was nobody there to spend time with Him. With all that is going on in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (schools closing or merging, trials with priests beginning, and all of the other normal issues that people have) and no one there praying. Everybody has an opinion, everybody wants "somebody" to do "something" to fix it but nobody seems to be praying, at least not at that time in that place.