Friday, March 14, 2014

1st Day


A Catholic priest carries the Eucharist into the home of a dying child while siblings kneel at the roadside.
Quebec, Canada, 1942
Photo by John Phillips 
Compliments of Life Magazine




THE FOUNTAIN OF GRACE 

Here is the fountain of everything good―Jesus in this Sacrament. It is He who says: "Let him who is thirsty come to me." From this Fountain of the Most Holy Sacrament the Saints have always drawn the wonderful waters―God's great favors. There Jesus gives us all the merits of His Passion just as the Prophet foretold: "You will draw waters from the fountains of the Saviour." (Isaias, 12). 

The Countess of Feria, a devoted follower of the Venerable Father Avila, and a nun of the Society of Poor Clares, was sometimes called "The spouse of the Most Holy Sacrament"
―this was because she remained before it long and frequently. When asked what she did for so many hours spent in the presence of Our Divine Lord, she answered: "For all eternity I could remain there. Is not the very Essence of God there?―the nourishment of the Blessed. God is here. What do you do in His presence? What do you not do? You love; you praise; you thank; you ask. What does a poor man do when he approaches one who is rich? What does a sick man do when he goes to see his physician? What does a thirsty man do when he goes to the limpid spring? What does a hungry man do when he goes to a table where there is an abundance of food?"   

O my lovable Jesus, most sweet and most delightful; my Life, my Hope, my Treasure
―the one love of my soul! Oh! How great was the price that it cost you to remain with us in this Sacrament? To remain in the Sacrament on our altars you had to die; and after that how great were the wrongs you had to suffer in this very Sacrament in order to help us with your own Presence! It is your love and the longing you have to be loved by us that have conquered everything.  

Therefore, my Master, come. Come and place yourself within my very heart. Close up the gate of it forever, so that no created thing shall enter there any more to take away any part of that love which is due to you, and which I want to give all to you. You alone, my dear Redeemer, will have full ownership of me. You alone will rule me now; and if at any time I should disobey you, even in the smallest way, give me some severe punishment, so that in future I may be on my guard to act only in the way that gives most joy to you.     

   
See that I no longer wish for, or seek for, any other pleasure except to give pleasure to you; to visit you often at the altar; to spend my time with you; and to receive you in Holy Communion. Others if they wish may seek for other good things; but I neither love nor wish for anything except for the treasure of your love. This alone is my wish―to seek for you at the foot of the altar. See that I may become forgetful of myself so that I may remember only your goodness. 

O blessed Seraphim, I do not envy you because of your glory, but I envy you for the love that you have for your God and mine. Teach me what I am to do in order to love Him and to give Him pleasure.


Aspiration
―My Jesus, I wish to love but you alone; I wish to give pleasure only to you.    

SPIRITUAL COMMUNION 


Jesus, I believe you are in the Most Holy Sacrament.  I love you; I want you to come to me.  Come into my heart;  I embrace you; O never depart from me. 


Photo by John Phillips

A VISIT TO MARY 

THE SECOND FOUNTAIN 




Another fountain awell-spring of very great happiness for us, a spring rich in good things and graces―is our Mother Mary. St. Bernard says that there is not a person in the world who does not draw some good thing from it, "Of its fulness we have all received." Mary Most Holy was filled with grace by God, for the angel saluted her, "Hail, full of grace." St. Peter Chrysologus adds that it was not only for herself, but also for us that her soul was like a deep abyss filled with grace; so that from its depths she should draw gifts for everyone who is devoted to her. "It was to pour out salvation through all the ages that the Blessed Virgin received this store of grace."

Aspiration
―Fountain of all our joy, pray for us.

Prayer After Each Visit




Photo by John Phillips 341,903


2nd Day


Climbing the Holy Steps on one's knees is a devotion much in favor with pilgrims and the faithful.
Quebec, Canada - 1942
Photos by John Phillips

Compliments of Life Magazine.



THE BREAD OF THE STRONG

Father Nieremberg says: Bread may be eaten at once for nourishment, or it may be kept for use in the future. For this reason Jesus chose it in giving the Eucharist. By being received He unites Himself to the souls of those who love Him; by remaining in the Tabernacle He is always present with them. This is the method He employs to keep the thought of His love always in our mind. 
   
St. Paul says, "He made Himself nothing and took the form of a servant." (Phil. 2:7). But what should we say when we see Him "take the form of bread"? 

St. Peter of Alcantara assures us that the greatness of the love of Jesus for a soul in the state of grace is beyond the power of words to describe. 


Our most loving Lord wished to make certain that when he left this earth He would not be forgotten because of His absence. Some pledge He could leave as a proof of His love; but no pledge, whatever it be, was sufficient. The only thing that could satisfy Him would be to remain with us Himself; this He did by means of the Blessed Sacrament. Nothing but His own presence would do to keep alive His memory between these two―Jesus and the soul He loved. 


Since you are here within this Tabernacle, my Jesus, to listen to the prayers of those who are in need, and who come to speak with you; listen now to the petition of the poor sinner who of all men living has been the most ungrateful. 


I have come to your feet repentant, for I know the wrong that I did when I displeased you; so my first wish is that you will forgive me all the wrong I have done. O my God, how I wish that I had not ever caused displeasure to you; from this you will know what I long for now. Since I have learned to know how supremely lovable you are I have become filled with love of you, and I feel an intense longing to love you more and to give you pleasure; but unless you yourself help me, I have not the power to do this. O Great and Almighty Lord, let the whole of Paradise see the greatness of your power and your boundless kindness; bring about a change in me, so that from obstinately resisting you I may become a great lover of you. You are able to do it. You wish to do it. Supply everything that is wanting in me. Do this yourself; so it will come to pass that I will love you exceedingly
―at least let me love you as much as I once offended you. 

O my Jesus, I love you; I love you above everything; I love you more than my own life
―my God, my Love, my All.

Aspiration
"My God and my All." 



SPIRITUAL COMMUNION  

Jesus, I believe you are in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you; I want you to come to me. Come into my heart; I embrace you; O never depart from me.   



A VISIT TO MARY 

THE THRONE OF GRACE 




Clearing the grass and weeds from around a roadside shrine. Note the Blessed Virgin's image on the Cross.
Quebec, Canada - 1942
Photo by John Phillips

"Let us confidently approach the Throne of Grace where we will receive mercy and timely help" (Hebr. 4:16). St. Antoninus tells us that this Throne is Mary. Through her God distributes all graces. 

O Queen most lovely, if you wish so much to help poor sinners, here before you is a great sinner who seeks your help. Let your help to me be powerful. Let your help to me be prompt.  


Aspiration
―Sole refuge of sinners, have pity on me.
(St. Augustine).

Prayer After Each Visit




Stopping farm work to Pray The Angelus
Quebec, Canada - 1942
Photo by John Phillips

3rd Day



First Communion
Date: 1959
Place: USA
Photo by Nina Leen

Compliments of Life Magazine



LIVING IN THE PALACE OF THE KING

"My delights are to be with the children of men.
(Prov. 8). 

See our loving Jesus: He has died on the Cross for love of us; but this is not enough. In the Most Holy Sacrament He will continue with us even after His death; and He assures us that it is with us men He finds His deepest joys. 


"O men," exclaims St. Teresa, "how can it possibly be that you will continue to offend that God, who tells you that it is in you that He finds His deepest joys!" Jesus delights to be with us. Can it be possible that we do not delight to be with Jesus. And, most of all, we―yes, we
who are so honored as to live in His palace. 

A subject is honored indeed when the King asks him to live in the palace. But here are we, living with Jesus Christ in this house which is His own palace. Let us learn to be grateful to Him. Let us learn to put its true value on this familiar intercourse with Jesus Christ. 


Yes here I am, my Lord and my God before this altar, the place where you rest night and day for love of me. You are the spring from which every good thing flows; you are the doctor that heals every sickness; you are the treasure that makes rich every man who is poor. Here I am at your feet today
a sinner; the poorest of all, the weakest of all; and here I seek your mercy. Have pity on me. 

No. I will not allow my unhappy state to make me lose courage, because I know well that you have come down from Heaven to earth in this Sacrament for this one and only reason
―to do me good. 

I will praise you; I will thank you; I will love you; if you want me to ask you for a gift, here is my petition
O listen to meI want never again any more to offend you. I want you to give me the light and grace to love you with all my power.  

O my God, I love you;  I love you with all my soul; I love you with all my affections. O see to it that when I say this I say it truly. Let me say it in this life. Let me say it in eternity. 


And I call you to help me
Mary Most Holy, my Patron Saints, all you Saints and Angels of Heaven. Help me to love my God because He is most beautiful and lovely. 

Aspiration
O Jesus Good Shepherd, O Jesus True Bread, have mercy on us. Feed us, and protect us, and show us good things in the land of the living. 

 

SPIRITUAL COMMUNION  


Jesus, I believe you are in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you; I want you to come to me. Come into my heart; I embrace you; O never depart from me.   



Walking to First Communion Mass
Date: 1959
Place: USA
Photo by Nina Leen



A VISIT TO MARY 

THE GENTLE CHAIN OF LOVE   




"Her bonds are bonds that bring redemption (Eccl. 6:3). 

Pelbart, a devoted servant of Mary, tells us that devotion to her is a chain; but the chain is not one of bondage. It is a succession of graces that surely ends in Heaven. Let us ask Our lady and she will bind us; but she will bind us ever more closely with the bonds of love, and of confidence in her protection.


Aspiration
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Prayer After Each Visit


 
Catholic Schools
Date: 1959
Place: USA
Photo by Nina Leen

4th Day


Nun conducting class at Espada Mission school. 
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Date: 1945
Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt
Compliments of Life Magazine.


Prayer Before Each Visit


MY FRIEND, JESUS
 
"There is not bitterness in his conversation, and there is no weariness when in his company." (Wisd. 8:16). 

There are friends who are so happy when they meet that entire days pass quickly by in the company of each other: but there are those who become weary when with Jesus in this Sacrament and it is because they do not love Him. As for the Saints
it was in the presence of the Most Holy Sacrament that they found their paradise on earth. 

After her death, St. Teresa speaking  from Heaven said to one of her nuns: "The Blessed in Heaven and those who still dwell on the earth should be alike in the purity of their lives and in their love. We are in the possession of joys: you are in the midst of trials. What the Beatific Vision is to us in Heaven, the Blessed Sacrament should be to you who are exiled on earth." Here then is our Paradise on earth―it is found in the Most Holy Sacrament. 


O spotless Lamb, you were sacrificed for me on the Cross; be mindful that I am one of the souls that you redeemed with so great pain and with your death. Since you have given yourself to me
and you continue to give yourself to me every day by sacrificing yourself for love of me on the altar―bring it about that you may really be mine and that I may never lose you: and let me also be entirely yours. 

I give myself all to you that you may do with me just as you please. I give you my will; bind it to yourself with the sweet bonds of your love, so that for ever it may remain the faithful servant of your most holy will. 


I want to live, not to satisfy my own wishes any more, but to make you happy because you are so good. If there is anything in me that does not please you take it away, and in its place give me this one grace
―to have no thought for anything except to make you happy; to have no wish for anything except for your good-pleasure. My dearest Redeemer, with all my heart I love you; and the reason why I love you is because you are so deserving of love. It grieves me to know that I cannot love you as much as you deserve. Would that I could die for love of you! Jesus, my Lord, accept my intense desire and give me the grace to love you more. 

Amen; so may it be.


Aspiration
―My God, I make a complete sacrifice of myself to your good-pleasure.



SPIRITUAL COMMUNION  

Jesus, I believe you are in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you; I want you to come to me. Come into my heart; I embrace you; O never depart from me.  


Nuns leading children of Espada Mission school across grounds to the chapel.
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Date: 1945
Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt



A VISIT TO MARY  

THE MOTHER OF BEAUTIFUL LOVE 





"I am the Mother of beautiful love"―I am the Mother of the love that makes beautiful. This is what Mary says; and it meansOf the love that gives beauty to the soul. St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi saw Our Lady going from place to place; she who is full of Holiness was distributing a sweet liquid and the Liquid was Divine Love. This precious gift comes to us only through her; let us ask her for it.   
  
Aspiration―My Mother, my Hope, make me belong all to Jesus.

Prayer After Each Visit




Children at morning Mass in chapel of Mission San Juan Capistrano.
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Date: 1945
Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt

5th Day

  
Morning Mass in chapel of Mission San Juan Capistrano. 
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Date: 1945
Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt
Compliments of Life Magazine.




LORD, ABIDE WITH ME

"The sparrow finds for itself a shelter, and the turtle dove finds for itself a nest and there they place their young. But thy place of rest is the altar, O Lord of Hosts, my King and my God." (Psal. 83). 

David tells us the sparrow finds its place of dwelling among the houses; the turtle dove in its nest. But that you, my King and my God, have found your shelter and the place of your rest on earth upon our altars. It is there you are found; and it is there you dwell together with us. 


O Lord, is there any need for us to say that you are too much in love with men: it seems that you do not know anything more that you can attempt, to make yourself loved by them. But yes, O Most Lovable Jesus, you can do yet one more thing: set our hearts on fire with a greater love for you. It is surely not right that we should be cold in the love that we have for that God who loves us with such an intense love. With the sweet bonds of your love draw us more closely to you: yes, my Jesus, give us a deep knowledge of all those beautiful qualities of yours which will so inspire our love. 


O Majesty which is Infinite, O Goodness which is Boundless
it is you who love men with so great love; it is you who have done so much in order to be loved by men. 

And yet how does it come about that there are so few who love you in return? But I at least do not wish to be any longer
as I once was―among the number of these unhappy and ungrateful ones. I am resolved to love you as much as I can and to love no other than you. You deserve all my love; you command and insist that I love you; and for me, my only wish is to satisfy your longing. 

Bring it about, O God of my soul, that I may be able to satisfy you fully; this favor I beg of you through the merits of your Passion, and this is what I hope for. 


As to the goods of this world, give them to those who want them; but for me, my only wish, and my one petition, is for the great treasure of your love. 


O my Jesus, O Goodness that is Boundless, I love you; I love you. You are my whole Treasure; you are my whole Happiness; you are all my Love.


Aspiration
―My Jesus, you have given your whole self to me; I give my whole self to you. 


SPIRITUAL COMMUNION  


Jesus, I believe you are in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you; I want you to come to me. Come into my heart; I embrace you; O never depart from me.       


A VISIT TO MARY 

THE ROBBER OF HEARTS 



Before Our Lady in the chapel of the Mission San Juan Capistrano.
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Date: 1945
Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt

My Lady, St. Bernard says you are the Ravisher of Hearts. With your beauty and your goodness you go around stealing hearts. O I pray you, steal this heart of mine also, together with my will; I make a complete gift of it to you; unite it with your own and offer it to God. 
  
Aspiration―O Mother Most Lovable, pray for me.


Prayer After Each Visit




Summer Catechism class held outdoors at San Juan Capistrano Mission.
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Date: 1945
Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt

6th Day


Nuns Story 
Date: 1962
Photo by Grey Villet
Compliments of Life Magazine.



THE TREASURE

"Where your treasure is, there your heart will also be," (St. Luke 12:34). 

Jesus Christ tells us that where we think our treasure is, it is there also we place our affections. 


The Saints valued and loved One Treasure only―and their Treasure was Jesus Christ; hence their hearts and all their love went out to the Most Holy Sacrament. 


O Holy Sacrament, Most Lovable Jesus, for the love of me you remain night and day a Prisoner in the Tabernacle. I entreat you to attract my heart to you: so that I may think of nothing but you; so that I may love nothing, and seek for nothing, and aspire to nothing
―but you. Do this through the merits of your Passion through which I seek and hope for this great grace. 

Yes, O Divine Lover, be for me a Sacrament of Redemption. How loving and how kind are the means your love has directed to this one end
―to conquer the love of souls for yourself. O Eternal Word made Man, you were not content to die for us only; over and above all this you have given us the Blessed Sacrament to keep us company, to be our Food, and to be our Pledge of Paradise. 

You appear among us as a Babe in a Manger; as a poor workman laboring in a cabin; as a criminal upon a gibbet
―and now as bread on an altar. Tell me, is there anything further that could possibly be thought of to make us love you? O loveliness without any bounds, will the time ever come when I shall begin in all sincerity to correspond with love of such an exalted kind? O Supreme Lord and Master, I wish to live no longer unless it be in loving you only. And indeed of what benefit is life to me if it be not to use it up solely in loving you and in pleasing you, my Beloved Redeemer―you, whose whole life was spent for me. 

If it be not you, what else is there for me to love; 
seeing that you are Beauty Unbounded, Kindness without limit, infinitely good, infinitely loving, and infinitely worthy to be loved? O let my life be consumed in loving you only; let my heart melt with love at the very thought of the love you have for me; at the very mention of the words―Crib, and Cross, and Sacrament. Let me wear out my life in my intense desire to do great things for you, O my Jesus: for you have done and suffered for me things which were very great indeed.

Aspiration
―Before I die, O my Lord, let me accomplish something for you.  



SPIRITUAL COMMUNION  


Jesus, I believe you are in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you; I want you to come to me. Come into my heart; I embrace you; O never depart from me.    


A VISIT TO MARY 

THE BEAUTIFUL OLIVE TREE 





Nuns Story
Date: 1962
Photo by Grey Villet



"She is like a beautiful olive tree in the meadow."

Mary tells us: I am the lovely olive tree from which the soothing oil is ever flowing. I stand in the midst of the meadows so that all can see me and everybody can come to me. 

Let us speak to her with St. Bernard: "O Most Loving Mother, keep it in mind that since the beginning of time nobody has heard it said that you ever cast off one that came to you for protection." O Most Gentle Queen, nobody has ever heard of such a thing that a client who went to you for help was left forsaken. So it is not likely that I will be the only poor unfortunate one that came to you and was left an outcast.


Aspiration
―O Mary, this is the grace I seek―always to come to you for help.


Prayer After Each Visit



Nuns Story
Date: 1962
Photo by Grey Villet