Saturday, 30 April 2011

"He showed them his hands and his side" Jn 20 20

 Divine Mercy Sunday

Regina Caeli of the 3 April 2005, the day following the death of Pope John-Paul II ( © Libreria Editrice Vaticana) 
"He showed them his hands and his side"

The last gift of the Holy Father for Divine Mercy Sunday, 3 April (also the Second Sunday of Easter), was the Regina Caeli, read by Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, at the end of the Holy Mass celebrated that day in St Peter’s Square for the deceased Pope by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, S.Exc. “I have been charged”, Archbishop Sandri said, “to read you the text that was prepared in accordance with his explicit instructions by the Holy Father John Paul II. I am deeply honoured to do so, but also filled with nostalgia”.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today the glorious Alleluia of Easter resounds.
Today’s Gospel from John emphasizes that on the evening of that day he appeared to the Apostles and
“showed them his hands and his side” (Jn 20: 20),
that is, the signs of the painful passion with which his Body
was indelibly stamped, even after the Resurrection.
Those glorious wounds, which he allowed doubting Thomas to touch
eight days later, reveal the Mercy of God
who “so loved the world that he gave his only Son” (Jn 3: 16).

This mystery of love is at the heart of the liturgy today,
the Second Sunday of Easter,
dedicated to the devotion of Divine Mercy.

As a gift to humanity, which sometimes seems bewildered and overwhelmed by the power of evil, selfishness and fear,
the Risen Lord offers his love that pardons, reconciles
and reopens hearts to love.
It is a love that converts hearts and gives peace.
How much the world needs to understand
and accept Divine Mercy!
Lord, who reveal the Father’s love by your death and Resurrection,
we believe in you and confidently repeat to you today:
Jesus, I trust in you, have Mercy upon us and upon the whole world.
John Paul II






Bernard Von Der Lippe + 1224
Knight, husband and father, he became a crusader and later, entrusting his wife and younger children to his eldest son, he entered Marienfeld. Subsequently, he was elected abbot of Dunamunde and appointed bishop of Selburg. His son, bishop of Utrecht, consecrated him and soon together they consecrated another son, Gerard, bishop of Bremen. Until his final days, he worked tirelessly for his people.

Martin Felderer + 1868
Monk of Stams, in Tyrol, a man of great candor of soul, gentle and courageous.


St Mafalda + 1265
Living in the milieu of a royal court, entering into a political marriage which was later annulled, Mafalda, like her sisters Teresa (June 17) and Sancha (March 13), experienced the call to give herself completely to Christ and entered the Cistercian monastery of Arouca. Cheerfulness and deep prayer were especially the marks of her sanctity. The Church of 13th century Portugal owes much to her and her sisters for their dedication to Christ in the poor and suffering.

MBS, pp. 136-138

Candidus of St Bernard Furlong + 1616
Irish, he went to Spain and entered the monastery of Nogales. He was later sent back to Ireland, where he preached the gospel with much success.


Bl Alexander + 12th century

A nephew of the king of Scotland, who was childless, he was heir to the throne. Through the encouragement of his sister, he relinquished his earthly crown for Christ and became a lay-brother at the abbey of Foigny in France. Only on his death bed did he reveal his noble birth and went to be crowned by Christ with eternal glory.

MBS, p. 135

Malachy Shial + 1642
While he was ministering in the parish attached to the monastery of St Mary of Newry, he was seized by Protestant soldiers and hanged from the beams of a wooden bridge.


Walter + 12th century
Lay-brother of Melrose, Scotland. He was especially close to his abbot, St Waldef, and spent most of his religious life serving in the guest house which, at that time, was a hospice for the poor and sick. In response to his prayers, God often multiplied bread to feed the poor.

MBS, pp. 138-140

Catherine 12th century
She was named Rachel by her Jewish parents at her birth in Brabant, Belgium. Through a priest who was a friend of her father's, she as a child learned about the Catholic faith. One night she seemed to hear the Blessed Virgin calling to her, "Catherine". She fled from her home to the convent of Parc aux Dames where she was baptized taking the name Our Lady had given her, and became a nun known for her grace and serenity of soul.

Diego + 1601
Oblate of Valparaiso, simple, humble and prayerful.


St Martin (Sacerdos) 1139-1210
Martin was born of a noble Castilian family. Deeply moved at his father's death, he determined to give himself completely to Christ and finally obtained his family's approval to enter the abbey of Cantavos. In 1164 the community transferred to a new site called Huerta and there, although only twenty-six, Martin was elected abbot. His community loved him, as did most of Spain. In 1185 he was elected bishop of Siquenza, but nine years later, he persuaded the Pope to accept his resignation and returned to Huerta, to the prayer and hiddenness he loved so much.
MBS, pp. 140-142

"What you begin, begin perfectly."


Pontius + 1181

Abbot of Grandselve and Bishop of Clermont. His special joy -- the eighth degree of humility. As bishop he helped settle disputes between the Church and secular powers, and, with Abbot Hugh of Bonnevaux, finalized the negotiations between Pope Alexander III and Frederick Barbarossa.

Lekai, p. 64; MBS, p. 142

Vital Lehodey 1857-1948
Born in Hambye, France. After his ordination to the priesthood in 1880, he spent nine years in the diocesan ministry before entering Bricquebec where he was elected abbot the day after his solemn profession in 1895. He remained in this office until 1929 when, because of ill health, he resigned.
His three great works, The Ways of Mental Prayer (1908), A Spiritual Directory for Religious (1910) and Holy Abandonment (1919), reveal his growing departure from the rigor and pessimism of his time and a return to the Church's mystical tradition, the primacy of love and contemplation in the spiritual life. He died at Bricquebec on the feast of the Ascension.

Lekai, p. 211; NCE, vol. 8, pp. 619-620

"Let us open our hearts to love, to gratitude, to confidence and to holy abandonment." Letters

"Since Our Lord is everything for us: the beginning, the way and the end, it is fitting that we be completely occupied with him in prayer." The Ways of Mental Prayer

"The person who works with God progresses every moment; the one who separates himself from him falls, or wears himself out in useless agitation." Holy Abandonment


Adam + 1243
Abbot of La Trappe.

Mechtilde of Bierbeke + 1272
Abbess of Florival, Belgium.

Leopold + 1786
Abbot and restorer of Engelszell in Austria. For forty years he was a kind and gentle father to a growing community of fervent monks, inspiring their return to regular observance.

Isidore Simon + 1688
Abraham Beugnier + 1698
Two monks of La Trappe, both desiring to be humble with the humble Christ, saw in the Rule of St Benedict and the life at La Trappe the way to achieve their goal. 

Brother Ninian Charles McCafferty 8th May 1991 - 75

born 11 October 1915
entered 1 November 1952
professed 8 May 1958
died 8th May 1991



Pacifica + 1868
When her community of Vaise was transferred to Maubec, she was given the task of restoring this monastery. Her first concern was for her sisters, and she loved and served them with intense joy.

MAY 10

Ephrem Godard + 1695
He had been a parish priest before becoming a monk at La Trappe. He suffered from epilepsy and severe nervous tension, but bore these humiliations with serenity of soul.

Mary Benedetta Frey + 1913
A nun of the convent of La Duchessa in the city of Viterbo, Italy. Three years after her profession she suffered typhoid fever and other complications which kept her bedridden for fifty-two years. Amid her sufferings she was gentle, courteous and affable to all.

MAY 11

Jerome Minart + 1837
Monk of Boneffe, Belgium. Forced to leave his monastery by French revolutionists, he became a pastor at Namur. He helped St Julie Billiart in her founding the Sisters of Notre Dame and also helped his own Cistercian sisters to found their abbey at Colen, where he was buried.

MAY 12

A commemoration is made of the family of St Peter, archbishop of Tarentaise (September 11). St Peter's mother and sister entered the Cistercian Abbey of Betton and his father and two brothers, Lambert and Andrew, followed him to Bonnevaux.

Simeon Cardon + 1799
Prior of Casamari, and five of his monks were killed by drunken soldiers as they were reverently gathering up the Sacred Species which had been thrown on the ground by sacrilegious hands.

MAY 14

Gilbert Brown + 1612
Last abbot of Sweet Heart, Scotland. As the Catholics of the surrounding area faithfully clung to their faith, he was able for thirty years to hold his position against persecutors and oppressors. In 1590, he was expelled from his monastery. He remained in the vicinity until 1605 when he was arrested, imprisoned and then exiled. He went to France and became rector of the Scottish college in Paris.

Anna von Wellenberg + 1623
Abbess of Tanikon in Switzerland, she died at the age of thirty-six while her community sang the Te Deum at her request. Being an accomplished organist, she revitalized the liturgy. Through her efforts, the abbey buildings were restored and the community increased. She was filled with charity for the poor and with zeal to maintain the Catholic faith in the countryside where the abbey was located. Her humble kindness to all -- her spiritual daughters as well as the neighbors of the abbey -- won for her the love and veneration accorded the saints.

Les moniales pp. 101-102

Charles le Bras 1829-1873
Monk of Timadeuc, greatly devoted to Mary.

MAY 15

Bl Helinand + 1235
A troubadour at the court of Philip II, he left the world at the age of thirty-five in 1194 to enter the abbey of Froidmont where he later became prior. He wrote numerous homilies, letters, treatises on self-knowledge, a favorite theme of Cistercians, and good government, as well as a world chronicle. Vers De La Mort, perhaps his most famous work, was written to persuade his former companions to look beyond this world and its allurements. He, however, was most "at home" commenting on the Rule to his community.

Lekai, p. 233; MBS, p. 44; NCE, Vol 6, pp 1002-1003

Elizabeth Baeten + 1467
When prioress of Valduc, in Belgium, she learned of the restoration of regular observances in other convents, and to study it more closely, went to Argenton. In 1460 the abbot of Villers appointed her abbess of Valduc. She reformed her convent with the help of nuns from Argenton, and then resigned her office in favor of one of these. She died four years later.

Margaret van der Elst + 1618
Lay-sister of Roosendael, Belgium.

MAY 16

Jeanne de Courcelles de Pourlans + 1651
Her father, the baron of Pourlans, sent her to Tart to be educated. At sixteen, she entered the community and, through the efforts of her father, was made abbess. However, desiring to reform Tart, she asked to make a regular Cistercian novitiate, received the novice's veil from Nicholas Boucherat and set about the reform gradually and with wisdom. It was officially approved by the General Chapter of 1623. On September 27, 1626, a brief of Urban VIII placed Tart under the jurisdiction of the bishop. Mother Jeanne reformed other convents in her gentle, humble way.

Les moniales, pp. 103-104

MAY 17

Tuccius + 1459
Lay-brother of the monastery of San Salvatore in Tuscany. Before entrance, he had been a simple herdsman and found the occupation conducive to prayer. The saintly abbot of San Salvatore received him and in the years that followed guided him in prayer, humility and loving acceptance of God's will.

MAY 18

Commemoration of the Irish Cistercian monks who remained steadfast in their faith at the time of the persecution during the 16th and 17th centuries. Patrick O'Connor and Malachy O'Kelly, monks of Boyle, with others, were hanged, drawn and quartered.

MAY 19

William + 1246
Abbot of Citeaux. A man of peace, he helped to reconcile the kings of France and England. He retired to Clairvaux and died there.

Stephen of St Joseph + 1645
Lay-brother of the Congregation of Feuillants. He had been a shepherd, devout and modest; in the cloister he was prompt in obedience and aflame with charity.

MAY 20

Guido + 1274
Abbot of Citeaux, he later was made a cardinal by Pope Urban IV who admired him for his virtue and learning. In his role as apostolic legate, Guido summoned a Council at Vienna to reform the Church. He died at Lyons a victim of the plague.

Anne + 1526
As abbess of Wauthier-Braine in Belgium, she inaugurated a return to stricter observance in her monastery. Zeal for reform coupled with humble charity made her a perfect instrument in God's hands.

"Where there is peace, there is God."

MAY 21

Alexius + 1701

A Scotsman, born into a prominent Protestant family. The monks of La Trappe played a great part in his conversion. Subsequently, he entered La Trappe, and gave himself to God with the same enthusiasm and ardor with which he had formerly sought the things of the world.

Jacques de la Roche 17th century
Having been a Benedictine monk, he joined the Congregation of Feuillants. He had great zeal both for preaching and for prayer.

Christian de Chergé, Luc Dochier, Christophe Lebvreton, Michel Fleury, Bruno Lemarchand, Célestin Ringeard and Maul Favre-Miville + 1996
Monks of Our Lady of Atlas, Tiburine, Algeria. Having chosen to remain as Christian contemplative witnesses in a Moslem country in spite of increasingly dangerous circumstances, they were kidnapped by terrorists on the night of March 26-27, 1996, held as hostages for 2 months, and then slain.

MAY 22

Petronilla of the Cross + 1608
A nun of St Anne's Convent, Avila.

Bernard Mullet + 1713
Influenced by his devout parents, he became a secular priest and, when his mother died, he entered La Trappe at the age of forty-nine. His humility and charity endeared him to his confreres.

MAY 23

Remigius + 1348
Abbot of San Salvatore di Settimo in Tuscany, outstanding for his learning and piety.

John Marie Tassin de Villemain + 1795
A Sulpician priest, he was exiled from France in 1793 and took refuge at La Val Sainte. After his profession he was made prior, and in this office he was faithful, humble, simple and patient. He had a longing for death, and after two years his desire was granted.

MAY 24

Bernard Rigaud + 1899
Originally a monk of Sept-Fons, he was sent by Dom Sebastian Wyart to take part in the restoration of Citeaux when it had been purchased by the Cistercians of the Strict Observance in 1898. His hidden virtue and total dedication to God bore fruit in the offering of his life for the accomplishment of this restoration. God accepted his offer and within a year took him to himself.

MAY 25

Gilbert of Hoyland + 1172

He was perhaps sent by St Aelred to ensure the successful changeover to the Cistercian observances at Swineshead. Very likely he was exiled about 1170 in the controversy over St Thomas Becket, accounting for his death at the Cistercian Abbey of L'Arrivour near Troyes in France. He is remembered for his forty-eight sermons on the Song of Songs, a continuation of St Bernard's commentary. They reveal to us a man of literary culture who made this serve the Biblical mysticism of his day.

CF 14; CS 68; NCE, vol. 6, p. 477

" enfolds, reason upholds, understanding beholds."
Sermon 4

"For to love is already to possess; to love is also to be assimilated and united. But why not, since God is charity." Sermon 6

Monk of Loccum in Saxony, he was tried by a grievous disease.

Br. Columba 

Brother Columba Joseph Tierney 25 May 1985

25/5.1985 - 62

Born 3 June 1923
Entered 2 February 1947
Professed 7 August 1953
Died 23rd May 1985

MAY 26

Bl Ascelyn c. 1123-1195
A relative of St Bernard, Ascelyn was born around 1123 not far from Clairvaux. On the death of her father, when she was still a baby, her mother took her to the convent of Boulancourt where they both were to live for many years.
Eventually, Ascelyn entered the community, became its prioress and was instrumental in the establishment of Cistercian life at Boulancourt which had been following the Rule of St Augustine. Some in the community opposed the change and, on St Bernard's advice, Ascelyn went to the abbey of Poulangny for four years. Her nearness to God gave her such wisdom, discernment and power over his Heart, that she was often consulted by Churchmen of her day.
She resumed her role as superior at Boulancourt and enjoyed the love and admiration of her spiritual daughters. She died in their midst on the Friday of the octave of Pentecost.

MBS, pp. 156-159

"I know nothing good of myself except that I always have God present in my mind."

Henry 12th century
He joined St Bernard who was preaching the Crusade in Germany, first as his interpreter and later his monk. He lived to a great age, broken in body, but with a heart overflowing and enlarged.

MAY 27

Geoffrey of Aignay + 12th century
One of the first to enter the abbey of Clairvaux under St Bernard, he was a true monk, humble and obedient. St Bernard, recognizing his skill as a builder, sent him to construct many of the abbeys of Clairvaux's foundations. While working on a monastery in Flanders, he felt death approaching and returned to Clairvaux where he died in St Bernard's arms.

Anthony Dechange
Lay-brother of Val-Sainte-Marie. He devoted himself to prayer, to silence and to obedience. He was sent to render assistance at Port du Salut, and there he died.

MAY 28

The twenty monks of La Trappe who accompanied Dom Augustin de Lestrange to La Val Sainte are remembered today. Ardently desiring to offer atonement for the crimes of the Revolutionary Terror, they gave themselves to a life of great austerity.

Lekai, p. 181

MAY 29

Waleran + 1142
Waleran entered Clairvaux after meeting St Bernard in 1126. Not long after his profession, he was sent by Bernard with twelve monks to found Ourscamp.

Heylike 12th century
A recluse of our Order who lived in Cologne.

MAY 30

Giacomo + 1231
A monk of San Galgano in Tuscany; a man of piety and simplicity.

M Joseph Staignier + 1730
Abbess of Soleilmont, Belgium. She devoted herself to the service of her sisters with remarkable gentleness and kindness.

Anselm Hirsch 1685-1777
A monk of Furstenfeld in Bavaria, he lived the
monastic life for seventy years.

MAY 31

Herman + 1225

A canon of Bonn, Germany, he became a monk, then prior and later abbot of the abbey of Himmerod. After a few years, he resigned this office and for twelve years gave himself to prayer and the life of a simple monk. He was then sent to found Marienstatt where he died.

Thanks to Wrentham Abbey

Friday, 29 April 2011

By the Lake of Tiberias Jn 21:1-14

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Mark ......
To: Donald ......
Sent: Fri, 29 April, 2011 10:43:44
Subject: Easter  Fri Intro to Mass

Introduction to Mass                                            Friday of Easter Week
After Jesus’ death on the cross and the rumours of his resurrection, Peter and the other disciples didn’t seem to know what to do with their lives.  In today’s gospel, Peter and the others went back to their fishing.  Jesus appeared to them and showed that he could still do the unusual by giving them a huge catch of fish after their night’s work proved to be fruitless.
In our lives the risen Christ can still do the unusual.  He is present to us and calling us to be with him.
 1. Lord, you show us that you are not far from our lives.
                                                                                ─ Lord, have mercy.
2   Lord Jesus, you reveal yourself in the ordinary happenings of our
     daily life.                                                          ─ Christ, have mercy.
       3. Lord, you continue to fill our hearts and minds with the joy of the
           resurrection.                                                     ─ Lord, have mercy.
Conclusion to Pr of Faithful          God our Father, may we walk in your presence each day, conscious of your ever-present help in all our needs.  We ask this through Christ our risen Lord.

  + + + + + + + + + 
Commentary of the day : 
Saint Peter Chrysologus (c.406-450), Bishop of Ravenna, Doctor of the Church
Sermon 78 ; PL 52, 420 
"Jesus was standing on the shore"

Following his Passion, whose turmoil had amazed the earth, frightened heaven, astonished the world and dismayed the underworld, our Lord walked beside the sea and saw his disciples toiling on the dark waves in the middle of the night. The sun had fled and neither moon nor starlight could calm the anguish of that night... «When it was already dawn, says the Gospel, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.» All creation had fled from the insults inflicted on its Creator...: earth saw its foundations disappearing beneath it and trembled, the sun vanished lest it be witness, day withdrew that it might not be present and, in spite of their solidity, the stones melted away. Hell saw the Judge in person penetrate its bowels and, conquered, released its prisoners with a cry of dismay (Mt 27,45-52)...

The whole world was thrown into confusion and was convinced that its Creator's death had cast it back into its original darkness and ancient chaos (Gn 1,2). But all at once, in the light of his resurrection, our Lord brought back day again and restored its familiar face to the world. He had come to raise up with him and into his glory all those creatures he had seen to be so sadly destroyed...
«Jesus was standing on the shore.» In the first place this was to regroup his Church... into the firmness of faith. He had found his disciples deprived of faith, stripped of their manly strength... There was Peter who had denied him, Thomas who had doubted, John who had fled, which was why he didn't speak to them like valiant soldiers but like frightened children...: «Children, have you anything to eat?» In this way his humanity will bring them back to grace, bread to  trust, food to faith. For in fact they would not believe he had been raised in the body without seeing him stoop to bodily requirements and eating. That is why he who is abundance of all good things asks to be fed. He eats the bread himself because he is hungry, not for food but for the love of his own: «Children, have you anything to eat?' They answered: No.» What did they have who had not Christ – even though he stood in their midst – and could not yet see the Lord – although he had appeared before them? «He said to them: Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.» 

 The thought Saint Peter Chrysologus is expressed also in the picture and Commentary below.
Jesus Walkon WaterPhilipp OttRunge (1777-1810)

The Forces of Evil Shall Not Prevail

Artwork: Jesus Walks on Water (detail, 1806), Philipp Otto Runge (1777-1810), Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany. © Bridgeman Giraudon.

Philipp Otto Runge is considered one of the leading lights of German Romanticism. In freeing himself from
Neo-Classicism, the reigning style at the time of his training, he found inspiration in his friendship with Ludwig Tieck, a poet at the forefront of the celebrated circle of "Jena Romantics". By striving to approach the Absolute through a sensitive interpretation of nature, he hoped to attain perfection at the very boundaries of the earthly and the spiritual. Before his early death at the same age as Christ, he consoled himself for a life cut short before he could achieve his goal, saying, "It is the journey toward that perfection that matters most."
In this detail of Peter Walks on Water, under a stormy ink-black sky, Saint Peter grabs hold of Jesus to save himself from the jaws of the raging sea. The drama played out in the foreground is in stark contrast to the background where all is light, peace, and clarity, illumined by the presence of the Lord himself. According to German Romantic thought, Christ is the creative light, the light of true knowledge, the Logos come into the world to dissipate the shadows of evil. In our lives today, the darkness of the world, the tidal waves of our passions, and the gaping abyss of our weaknesses, can easily threaten to engulf us. The risen Lord is there, ever present, ready to grasp our hand if only we reach out to him, to open up for us the shining vista of an ocean of divine blessings.
This painting inspires our prayer for Saint Peter's successor: May the Lord guide his hand as he steers the ship of the Church through the storms of this world .
 Pierre-Marie Dumont MAGNIFICAT Missalette April 2011