Friday, March 14, 2014

You lost the box of relics??

Come, relive a moment of my life with me.  This goes all the way back to 7 minutes ago.


After finishing a late dinner I realized that it was now time to locate the box of relics that was no longer where I last place it.  I knew the time had come because I was full.  When I feel full that means it's time to do something else besides eating.  So, I went searching for the misplaced, irreplaceable, invaluable box of sacred relics.

I went to the only place that made sense - the office downstairs.  That's where the parish business happens.  That's where the computer is. I like to call that room "The Computer Room.  I entered said Computer Room.  Not finding the box of relics I turned to leave through the open door and through the doorway walked the man who had given me charge of the box of Relics; my superior, Fr. Florian.

Hey, Father, you seen the box of relics?


"You lost the box of relics??!"

(A simply "no" would have worked, too.)

Thinking he was playing a trick on me I laughed.  But this was no joking matter. A box of relics was missing.  Luckily, the French seminarian in the computer room (he happened to be on the computer when I walked in searching for the box of relics) said to Fr. Florian - in French - "The box of relics? I put it in your room!"

Turning to Father I should have said, "You stole the box of relics??!"

But I think I just laughed at the irony.  We both laughed.  It was funny.  But I wish I would have said "You stole the box of relics??!" ... That would have been more funny.

I went up to Father's room and, behold, the box of relics!

That's the outside of the box of relics.  It's not as exciting as the inside of the box of relics.

Now that's cool.

The blue booklets on the top corners of the above picture are certificates of authentication from various ecclesiastical authorities.  

That's one of the certificates up close.  It's all in latin and it's from the year MDCCCLXXV.  Maybe that means something to you.  I don't know the roman numerals that go above the current Superbowl number.  

The certificate is authenticating as relics worthy of veneration those of the Holy Apostles.

There's two sets of relics of the 12 Apostles.

"That's way cool, Matt!"

I know faithful blog reader... I know.

I get to catologue all of these.  What a gift, huh?  I just wanted to share it with you.

(Just don't lose it.)


Invoking the intercession of the Saints in Heaven is asking for the prayers of a friend who you know is close to God (in fact, the Saints see Him face to face - you can't get any closer than that!)  They want to help us.  They want us to seek intercession.  God does, too. There are many graces they can obtain for us if we but ask.  They will bring our petitions before the Lord.  They are our elder brothers and sisters in Christ.  May the Saints be as real in your life as your best friends on earth are.  Let us realize that "God is not the God of the dead but of the living" as Jesus said.  The God of Abraham, the God of Jacob, and the God of Isaac is the same as the God and Father of Jesus Christ.  The God of St. Peter, of St. Paul, of St. Benedict, of St. Francis, of St. Dominic, of St. Rose, of St. Therese, of St. Padre Pio... He is the same God of the soon to be canonized Pope John Paull II (and Pope John XXIII) and He is also my God, and your God, your friend's God and anyone else who you might ask to pray for you.  There is only one God and the Saints show us how to live like the One Who reveals this one God.  The Saints show us Jesus and, through their intercession, the Saints bring us to Jesus.

May the Saints bring you (and all of your needs) to Jesus, too.

"...the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders (Saints in Heaven) fell down in the Lamb's presence.  Each bore a harp and they had golden bowls full of incense, the prayers of the Saints (on earth.") - Revelation 5:8


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"Show Me What You're Made of!" ... Well, nothing really

"Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return."

Such were the words which began Lent for us last week on Ash Wednesday.  We received the sign of the ashes on our foreheads to remind us - and others - that we are creatures formed of no more than dirt.  We're worse than dirt actually - we're fallen dirt.  We are lowly creatures and, because of sin, have made ourselves even lower.

Our sins never surprise God.  In our pride we can sometimes be surprised by our sins (as if "How could 'I' as great as I am have done such a thing!") Our sins never surprise Him because He knows what we're made of.  Theologically speaking (with a bit of poetic license) we are, in all honesty, made of nothing (and you can't expect much from nothing.)

Theologians say God created all thing "ex nihilo" or "out of/from nothing."

I don't even think Lucifer's sin surprised God (though it must have saddened Him terribly) because he, too, was made from nothing.

And you can't expect much from nothing.

Ah, but sin doesn't have the final say does it? No, God's Word - in the form of Incarnate Mercy, Jesus Christ - does.  God's stance towards us is always mercy. We need it.  He knows that.  

The trick is in US coming to know that; to fully realize that "I am in great need of God's mercy."  In fact, we are in such need of God's mercy, that it is our only hope.  There is no other way into Heaven, no other path to salvation, than by humbly acknowledging our poverty, our misery, our sin and nothingness, and then accepting the gift which is already being handed out to us: forgiveness, mercy.

So never be surprised by your sins.  Simply tell God, "Well you can't expect much out of nothing! That's the kind of thing you can expect out of me! Apart from You I can't do anything except be selfish."  He loves that kind of thing.  He'll then fill you with even greater graces than if you had never sinned at all! 

"O, happy fault!" as St. Augustine says. Yes, truly... but only if we acknowledge our faults and ask forgiveness will God not only "refill" the cup of your soul with His grace but He'll cause it to "overflow" (Psalm 23) more so than before.  He is that good - He IS!

God loves humility because it is, in the last analysis, simply the acknowledgement of truth.  Humility is truth and God wants to help us acknowledge the truth of our "nothingness," our sinfulness, our inability to do good apart from His grace (read "to truly love as God loves - unconditionally and totally") so that, from there He can fill our "nothingness" with Himself.

How does that old hymn go?

"Jesus, my Lord, my God, my ALL.  How can I love Thee as I ought?..."

Lord, fill our nothingness with your ALL.  Help us to love You as we ought because, apart from You, we can do nothing.


We are sinners... but God loves sinners.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Interview with International News Agency

The following is an interview with our community's Bishop on the subject of the Eucharistic/Divine Mercy Congress we will be hosting in July.  For more information please visit

  Hope to see you there! 


Congress on Adoration to Help Humanity Embrace The Divine Mercy
July Meeting Seeks to Show How Adoration is a Way to End Attacks on Life and Freedom Around the World

Rome, March 11, 2014 (

“Society will be disfigured by consumerism if it is not transfigured by adoration.” The words of Bishop Dominque Rey of Fréjus-Toulon in south eastern France, who is organizing a congress on the theme of "Divine Mercy and Adoration" from July 19 to 24 this year.

The meeting is open to anyone who would like to have a new experience of Divine Mercy through the grace of the Eucharist, the organizers say. It will be held in the Basilica of Saint Mary-Magdalene, known as the "third tomb of Christendom", in the town of Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume. The majority of the participants will come from France and English-speaking countries.

Bishop Rey explains more about the congress and its significance in the life of the Church today:

Can you tell us more about this congress?

Our society will be saved by Divine Mercy! The attacks against life and freedom, the inhumane pressures suffered in the workplace, religious fundamentalism, the economic and social crises, all generate much suffering and despair. This state of affairs reveals that our society is afflicted by a profound problem that man cannot remedy on his own, neither by his science nor by any other kind of progress. Yes, society will be disfigured by consumerism if it is not transfigured by adoration, which puts human beings back into a true filial attitude. Returning to the Father of All Mercies is the only hope for the world. Only by embracing the Divine Mercy can the human soul be freed from despair and filled with true joy. This is the reason for this Congress.

Jesus once said to St. Faustina: "Humanity will not find peace until it turns with confidence to My Mercy". "The Throne of Mercy is the Tabernacle". (Diary 300, 1484) Thus there will be no true peace in hearts, in families or in the world unless we turn to the Tabernacle. Adoration and Divine Mercy will be the two pillars of "Adoratio 2014".

Why is the location of Saint-Maximin so important? What message can Mary-Magdalene give to our Church and our society today?

According to the Gospels, Mary-Magdalene was liberated from seven demons and had a radical experience of Divine Mercy as she fell at the feet of Christ. Deeply wounded at the Cross, her tears turned into unimaginable joy when she met the Risen Lord. She then ran to announce the Good News to the Apostles. The Risen Jesus remains alive today in the Eucharist and He still pours out torrents of mercy upon us, making us experience his victory over evil and death.

The diocese of Fréjus-Toulon has been placed under the patronage of Saint Mary-Magdalene. According to tradition, Mary-Magdalene spent the last thirty years of her life in a grotto in Sainte-Baume. In her last days she received Holy Viaticum and was buried in the place which would become Saint-Maximin. A basilica has been erected there in her honor. In this revered place of pilgrimage, known as the Third Tomb of Christendom, the intercession of Saint Mary-Magdalene is invoked in a special way and she obtains for us graces of mercy and a renewal of evangelical zeal. 

The Eucharist celebrated, but also adored, is the source and the heart of all evangelization.

In practice how will this congress unfold?

The "Missionaries of the Most Holy Eucharist" have invited speakers from French and English-speaking countries who have all had a profound experience of the Divine Mercy. There will be teachings during the day and then prayer vigils in the evening. We will have the privilege of listening to great witnesses such as: Joseph Fadelle (a convert from Islam), Mother Miriam (a convert from Judaism, also known as Rosalind Moss), John Pridmore (an ex-gangster from the East End of London), Zachary King (an ex-Satanist with an extraordinary conversion story), as well as Sister Briege McKenna. All of these witnesses will share with us something of their own unique and fascinating journey.

The congress will take place during the time of the traditional festivities in honor of Saint Mary-Magdalene. Her relics will be solemnly processed through the streets of Saint-Maximin. The 22nd of July will be spent in Sainte-Baume with a pilgrimage to Saint Mary Magdalene's grotto.

Bishop Dominique Rey 


The organizers say that participants must find their own accommodation but a dining service will be provided. Times of prolonged adoration and a beautiful celebration of the Sacred Liturgy will help each person present to return to the essentials of the Catholic Faith. For further information see:

Monday, March 10, 2014

Eucharistic Conference Needs You!

Spread the word about the Word!
Coming to an historic, French town near you (or far, far away from you... come anyway!)


Sunday, March 9, 2014

False Start, Five Day Penalty, Still Lent

Well the original plan was to give up Facebook for Lent beginning Ash Wednesday.

But you know what? Life is hard. So, I was trying to tie up conversations I was having on Facebook and justifying the delay of course.  Yesterday, I told myself "NO Facebook today! You can go back on tomorrow for the last time until Easter." You know what I experienced yesterday? A lot of peace, less distractions, and more of a sense of freedom.

What holds you back in your spiritual life? What causes you to have to "go back" or what slows your spiritual progress?  What keeps you from doing what you know you need to be doing? That's why we have Lent.  It's like an intentional, spiritual tune-up.  

So, I may post a few (or more) times on the blog during Lent (after all, I've not given up the Internet completely! That would be crazy! haha gosh...) and may post them on Facebook but I really have no intention of "using Facebook" and I'm glad for that.  I really want to listen during this Lent.  I want to be quiet.  I don't want to be interrupted by random things that rob my peace.  I don't want to be distracted by the unnecessary. 

"Martha, Martha you are anxious about many things.  Only one thing is necessary.  Mary (Magdalene) has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from you."

You don't have to be anxious and divided among many things.  Just keep looking into the eyes of Christ.  Listen to Him during this Lent.  Really open yourself to what God is saying through His Word (especially in the daily Mass readings) because He's speaking to you.  And you know what?  What He is saying to you... it is very necessary that you hear it.  In fact, it's the one thing necessary.

God's Will is what you want anyway (deep down inside at least.)  Don't settle for less.  Choose the better life, a more joyful life, a more peaceful life.  I promise, it will not be taken from you.  You alone have the power to keep God out of your life.  In what ways, do you think,  is God trying to enter your life even more?

Let Him in.

"Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to your word."