Father Bryce’s Message
August 20, 2017
Reflections: Be Still And Know That I Am God
“O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish. And the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour.”
SILENCE! – not a command, just an invitation.
I always liked the popular Simon & Garfunkel song, “The Sound of Silence.” When I saw on my tablet a book entitled ‘The Power of Silence Against the Dictatorship of Noise” by a Cardinal of the Catholic Church, I was at once fascinated and decided to download it.
According to Wikipedia, “Robert Sarah (born 15 June 1945) is a Guinean Cardinal prelate of the Catholic Church. A cardinal since November 2010, he was appointed prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments by Pope Francis on 23 November 2014. He previously served as secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.”
Nicolas Diat collaborated with the Cardinal on his book. In the Introduction Diat offered this thought of the Cardinal’s: “Silence is difficult, but it makes man able to allow himself to be led by God. Silence is born of silence. Through God the silent one, we can gain access to silence. And man is unceasingly surprised by the light that bursts forth then. Silence is more important than any other human work. For it expresses God. The true revolution comes from silence; it lead us toward God and others so as to place ourselves humbly and generously at their service.”
Another meditation on silence is found in this excerpt from Romano Guardini’s “The Lord.” “The greatest things are accomplished in silence – not in the clamor and display of superficial eventfulness, but in the deep clarity of inner vision; in the almost imperceptible start of decision, in quiet overcoming and hidden sacrifice. Spiritual conception happens when the heart is quickened by love, and the free will stirs to action. The silent forces are the strong forces. Let us turn now to the stillest event of all, stillest because it came from the remoteness beyond the noise of any possible intrusion – from God.”
I hope to include in subsequent Bulletins the best nuggets of truth that Cardinal Sarah gives to us. In the meantime, since I have your attention, know that the St. Bede Church is open from 6 A.M. until 9:30 P.M. every day [exception: Wednesday = 7:30 P.M.] The Holy Hour 8:30—9:30 P.M. is 52 minutes of silent adoration with 8 minutes of Benediction hymns and Compline prayer. Know that your are invited and welcomed by Jesus!
August 13, 2017
Reflections: Love is Stronger than Death
“Lord, save me! Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter, and said to him. “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
A treatise by Baldwin, Bishop of Canterbury [12cent.]
“Death is strong, for it can rob us of the gift of life. Love too is strong, for it can restore us to a better life. Death is strong, for it can strip us of this robe of flesh. Love too is strong, for it can take deaths spoils away and give them back to us.
Death is strong, for no man can withstand it. Love too is strong, for no man can withstand it. Love too is strong, for it can conquer death itself, soothe its sting, calm its violence, and bring its victory to naught. The time will come when death is reviled and taunted: O death, where is your sting? O death, where is your victory. Love is as strong as death because Christ’s love is the very death of death. Hence it is said: I will be your death, O death! I will be your sting, O hell! Our love for Christ is also as strong as death, because it is itself a king of death: destroying the old life, rooting out vice, and laying aside dead works.
Our love for Christ is a return, though very unequal, for his love of us, and it is a likeness modeled on his. For he first loved us and, through the example of love he gave us, he became a seal upon us by which we are made like him. We lay aside the likeness of the earthly man and put on the likeness of the heavenly man; we love him as he has loved us. For in this matter, he has left us an example so that we might follow in his steps. That is why he says: Set me as a seal upon your heart. It is as if he were saying: “Love me as I love you. Keep me in your mind and memory, in your desires and yearnings, in your groans and sobs. Remember, man, the kind of being I made you; how far I set you above other creatures, the dignity I conferred upon you; the glory and honor with which I crowned you; how I made you only a little less than the angels and set all things under your feet. Remember not only how much I have done for you but all the hardship and shame I have suffered for you. Yet look and see: Do you not wrong me? Do you not fail to love me? Who loves you as I do? Who created and redeemed you but I?”
Lord, take away my heart of stone, a heart so bitter and uncircumcised, and give me a new heart, a heart of flesh, a pure heart. You cleanse the heart and love the clean heart. Take possession of my heart and dwell it in, contain it and fill it, you who are higher than the heights of my spirit and closer to me than my innermost self! You are the pattern of all beauty and the seal of all holiness. Set the seal of your likeness upon my heart! In your mercy set your seal upon my heart, God of my heart and the God who is my portion for ever! Amen