Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost. Amen.
First Fruits; A Series of Short Meditations
By: Sister Mary Philip
God my Father
" I will arise and go to my father" (St. Luke xv. 18).
No earthly father ever loved his child with a love which will even bear comparison with that of God's love for me, His child. I am His own. He has " called me by my name," nay He has " made me and fashioned me," and therefore He understands me through and through. He knows all the circumstances of my life—all the various phases through which I have passed and which have made me what I now am-and knowing all, He understands all. He can make allowances where others see no excuse, and as He loves me with an infinite love, He uses His knowledge to the utmost in my favour.
O God my Father, in whom can I trust as I can trust in Thee, Who knowest all,
seest all, understandest all? Give me the heartfelt love of a child towards Thee, Who, being my God and Creator, art at the same time my most tender Father and Friend.
Am I now, to-day, giving God the love of a child? Do I turn to Him in joy, in sorrow, in disappointment? Do I take all things from His hands, the loving hands of my Father, Who cares with an infinite tenderness for the good of His child? If so, why am I troubled over the circumstances of my daily life? Why do I hesitate when He shows me His Will and asks me to do it? My God, my Father, what can I say to Thee ! Too late, far too late, have I known Thee and loved Thee ; yet, late as it is, to-day at least I can say, " I will arise and go to my Father." I will trust Him with all that concerns me : my body and my soul, my life and my death, my trials, my temptations, my perplexities and uncertainties. He will care for all I love, for all who have any claim on me, for He is m}' Father and I am His child.
God wants my love. No one else can give Him this love if I refuse it to Him. My Father asks something of me, His child. Am I going to hold back ? He says to me,
" My child, give Me thy heart." It is my one treasure, the one thing I can give Him
that will please Him. Is He to turn away sad because of my refusal—He, my Father !
O most tender Father, take, take all from, me. I give Thee my heart, my love, my
affections. Give me Thy love and Thy grace.
Christ, my friend
" I have called you friends" (St. John, xv 15).
Our Lord chooses His own friends. He has chosen me. " You have not chosen Me," He says, " but I have chosen you." What reason this gives me for full love and
confidence. He chose me knowing perfectly all about me; and He is not fickle as so many earthly friends are, He is" Jesus Christ, yesterday, to-day, and the same for ever" (Heb, xiii.). How, knowing all, He can have chosen me, it is impossible for me to understand, but the very mystery of it is sunshine
to my heart.
"How Thou canst think so well of us,
Yet be the God Thou art,
Is darkness to my intellect,
But sunshine to my heart."
How does Our Lord show His friendship? He is " faithful and true." He never misunderstands, never misinterprets my words or my actions, never shows me anything but infinite patience and love. He is continually sending me gifts and messages. He visits me daily Himself. He waits hour by hour for me to visit Him. Sometimes He asks me to help Him to carry His Cross, but He never leaves me to do so alone. He considers me in all the circumstances of my life. He never suffers me to be tried above that which I am able to bear. In all things He shows me nothing but love, disguised sometimes it is true, but if I have faith in Him the veil is almost a transparent one. "Such is my Beloved, and He is my Friend."
On my side, how do I treat my Friend? Do I willfully refuse to do that which I know
He is asking of me? What gifts do I make Him ? Do I love Him in " deed and in
truth," or is my service mere lip-service? How often do I visit my Friend, how much
time do I give Him in the day?
O Christ my Lord, my true and faithful Friend,
Let me be a real friend of Thine.
Grant that I may give Thee love for love.
Grant that, loving Thee above all things and
in all things, I may at last be united to
Thee for ever in heaven.
" I need Thee, gracious Jesus,
I need a friend like Thee,
A friend to soothe and sympathize,
A friend to care for me."
The Holy Ghost the Comforter
"I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Paraclete that He may abide with you for ever'' (St. John xiv. 16).
The Holy Ghost is the Love of the Father and the Son. He is the Spirit of Love. There is nothing the human heart craves for as it does for love. Our desire, then, should be to be filled with the Holy Spirit. If we are in the state of grace, the Holy Ghost abides with us : " Know ye not that ye are the temples of the Holy Spirit?" (i Cor. iii.). Without this Guest of our souls we are restless and unhappy, for, as St. Augustine tells us, " Our hearts are made for Thee, O God, and they can never be at rest until they rest in Thee." This is why the Holy Ghost is called by Holy Church
"True Rest in toil and sweat.
Refreshment in excess of heat,
And Solace in our grief."
The Holy Ghost is called the Paraclete, that is the Comforter. His special mission is
to enlighten, teach, and comfort the soul. If I ask Him, He will enlighten me to know
His Will, and will teach me how to accomplish it in spite of all difficulties. Then, too, He is ever near to console and strengthen me in all my trials and anxieties. The Hoi}'
Ghost comes to us first at our Baptism, then in a very special way in the Sacrament of Confirmation, and He comes "to abide with us for ever." At all times, in all difficulties, in all my doubts and fears, I can count on the guidance of the Holy Spirit Who dwells within me.
Am I faithful to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit? St Paul says: "Grieve not the Holy Spirit within you." Is my conduct ever a source of displeasure to my Heavenly Guest? Do I beg His light and guidance before every important action that I do, and
before every choice that I make? Do I ask Him to guide me into the path along which He wishes me to tread? O Holy Spirit of God, take possession of me wholly. Guide me, enlighten me, instruct me. Give me the grace never to be deaf to
Thy warnings, never to leave Thy inspirations unnoticed and unattended to, but make me so faithful to Thee that even in small things I may never swerve from Thy
"Dear Paraclete! how hast Thou waited,
While our hearts were slowly turned I
How often has Thy love been slighted,
While for us it grieved and burned I
Now if our hearts do not deceive us,
We would take Thee for our Lord !
O dearest Spirit ! make us faithful
To Thy least and lightest word."
"From the Holy Spirit springs a never-ending joy,
the likening unto God."
- St. Basil
Catholic Life - Imprimatur 1908
Pentecost with the Jews was a feast in memory of the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai, amidst thunder and lightning, fifty days after their deliverance out of Egypt. Their feast was a type of ours, for on this day the Holy Ghost wrote the New Law, amidst a new kind of noise and fire, in the hearts of the faithful disciples, and by their mouths published it to the world. "When the days of Pentecost were accomplished, they were all together in one place: and suddenly there came a sound from Heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them: and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak. Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men out of every nation under Heaven. And when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded in mind, because that every man heard them speak in his own tongue. And they were all amazed and wondered, saying: Behold, are not all these, that speak, Galileans? and how have we heard, every man our own tongue wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, Egypt, and the parts of Lybia about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews also, and proselytes, Cretes, and Arabians: we have heard them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God" (Acts ii. 1-11).
The Holy Ghost came in the form of fire to denote that He is a spiritual fire which enlightens the soul, purifies and inflames the heart, consumes what is vicious in it, and raises, consecrates, and sacrifices it to God.
He assumed the shape of tongues to express how He inspired the Apostles with knowledge and zeal, in order to enlighten and inflame the minds of men, and to preach the Gospel of Christ to all the world.
Three thousand were converted by St. Peter's first sermon, and five thousand by his second. These first-fruits of the Gospel gave themselves at once to the practice of the evangelical doctrine of Christ, and so became models of sanctity. They loved one another so that they all seemed to have one heart and soul.
The pagans, astonished at this, exclaimed: "See how the Christians love one another!" They lived in common, selling all they had, and giving the price to the Apostles to be distributed according to each one's necessities. They rejoiced in sufferings and privations for the sake of Christ. They met daily to pray, to receive instruction, and to partake of the Body and Blood of our Lord.
Not less remarkable was the change in the Apostles themselves. Before the descent of the Holy Ghost they were ignorant and fearful, but after, they were so enlightened as to be able to explain all the Scriptures and Divine mysteries; so courageous as to proclaim openly Christ's Resurrection, which they confirmed by astonishing miracles, and by suffering persecution and death itself in testimony of the truths they preached.
We ought, on this great feast, to beg the Holy Ghost to imprint on our hearts the Law of God and the maxims of Jesus Christ; to give us a lively faith, in and a great love for, them, and courage to confess them by a life in conformity with their teaching. We ought also to resolve to imitate the lives of the first Christians by resignation in suffering, sincere love of our neighbour, assiduity in prayer, attention to the Word of God, alms-giving, and the frequentation of the Sacraments, and thus show ourselves worthy children of our Holy Mother the Church.
“Refine and purge our earthly parts:
But, O, inflame and fire our hearts!
Our frailties help, our vice control,
Submit and senses to the soul;
And when rebellious they are grown,
Then lay Thy hand, and hold them down:
Make us eternal truths receive,
And practice all that we believe."
Example.- St. Polycarp.
St. Polycarp, disciple of the Apostle St. John, and Bishop of Smyrna, suffered martyrdom under Marcus Aurelius. The Proconsul Quadratus caused him to be arrested and brought before him as being a chief propagator of a religion prohibited by the Emperor. He had his tribunal erected in an amphitheater. Polycarp stood before him, in the presence of an immense multitude of pagans, who, in spite of their hatred for the Christians, could not help admiring him, being so venerable, and having such a sweet majesty and holy joy in his features.
"Polycarp!" said the Proconsul, "swear by the fortune of Cæsar, and curse Christ." The holy man replied, smiling: "For eighty-six years I have served this good Master, and I have received nothing but benefits from Him. What odious ingratitude it would be, then, to blaspheme Him! Ah! I will bless Him till my last sigh, and I am happy to be able to glorify Him by declaring that I am a Christian."
A few minutes later the public crier said: "Polycarp has confessed that he is a Christian." All the multitude demanded that he should be burned alive. In a short time the stake and fire were ready. Polycarp divested himself of his principal garments, and then, mounting the faggots, he offered himself to God as a holocaust, and recited the following prayer: "Receive, O Father Eternal, the life which Thou hast given me. I thank Thee for deigning to number me among Thy martyrs, and for making me a sharer in the chalice and sufferings of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. I praise Thee, I glorify Thee, I bless Thee with Thy only Son, Who is the sovereign Priest and Eternal Pontiff, who livest and reignest with Thee and the Holy Ghost for ever and ever."
Amidst wonderful miracles, and the admiration of the spectators, his glorious soul went unto the bosom of the Eternal Father, January 26, A.D. 169.
What better way to teach kids about the Trinity as Saint Patrick did using the Shamrock! This mobile has one Shamrock for each person of the Blessed Trinity along with a fourth Shamrock for a picture of all 3 persons representing the One Triune God.
What you will need:
2 Green Pieces of Construction Paper or other Green Paper (per mobile)
2 pieces of white card stock/color printer (or print at printing shop)
Bottle of blue and/or Glue Stick
4 craft/Popsicle sticks
About 7 ft of green ribbon (or as show here florist tape)
1.) Print out the file below on white card stock (2 pages with enough images for 3 mobiles, it will take 2 pieces of paper).
|File Size: ||425 kb|
|File Type: || pdf|
2.) If using construction paper, print out one page of the Shamrock pattern below and trace out on your green construction paper, four shamrocks for each mobile. Two should fit on one page. Then cut out traced shamrocks.
If using a paper that will fit in your printer, print 2 copies (per mobile) onto your green paper stock and then cut out shamrocks.
|File Size: ||523 kb|
|File Type: || pdf|
3.) Glue 3 of the crafting sticks/ Popsicle sticks into a triangle and then glue the 4th down the middle of the triangle. Set aside and let dry. Once this drys color both sides with a green marker.
4.) Next glue the picture of the father, son, holy spirit and the whole picture of the Blessed Trinity on their own individual shamrock using a glue stick or bottled glue if you have no glue stick. Punch a single punch at the top of each shamrock using a single hole puncher. Tie a ribbon about 24 inches long to the shamrocks that have the individual persons of the trinity on them. One the shamrock with the Triune God tie a 18 inch ribbon. Tie the longer ribbons to each corner of the triangle piece (after the triangle is dried well). Then tie the shorter shamrock inside on the craft stick that goes through the triangle. Tie another 12-19 inch piece of ribbon on the middle craft stick in the opposite direction, this piece will be what you hang your mobile up with.
Feel free to add glitter to your shamrocks or dip your triangle piece in glue and then glitter for some extra shimmer. Also the foam shamrock stickers they have out would go beautifully along the ribbon parts. Get creative and please share pictures of your mobiles by leaving a comment with a link on this blog! May you have a blessed Saint Patrick's Day, remembering the true reason for this holy day!
We are not only gearing up for Lent but for Saint Patrick's Feast Day as well, here is a little word find we will be doing in school the week of the Feast. There should be more St. Patrick's and Lenten post shortly :)
"St. Patrick plucked a shamrock
Out of Ireland's sweet, green sod,
"Behold a symbol of the Trinity of God!"