Poverty of Heart

You will find the name of Jesus engraved on the countenances of the poor. Have courage, ye poor of Christ, because heaven is for the poor.

Saint Paul of the Cross

Today, my professor of fundamental moral theology spoke of our relationship with Christ. He has been stressing over the past few lessons the difficulty that comes with separating the moral life, what we do and what we consider our obligations in life, and our spiritual life, of which the end is ETERNAL BLESSEDNESS, the joy of heaven! But this joy is something to be lived here and now!

He mentioned most poignantly today, the poverty of spirit that we all have. He said, God is waiting for us to call out to Him in this poverty. He said, we shouldn’t hesitate to use our “power” to call out in this poverty, for God will be moved by this call. God is bound by only one thing, His Love! To call to Him in our poverty of spirit, God will surely come with haste, with eagerness.

Don’t hesitate to call out to God. Kneel down. No word is too little to say to God. No sigh is misunderstood by God.

Remember, it was from the Cross, in the most excruciating sufferings of body and soul, that Christ said, “I thirst!” He is thirsting for your soul. He is eager to fill the poverty of your soul, your offering with His Graces and to do so abundantly!

XII Station at my childhood parish Church



Photo by my friend Don Elvir

Station Church: S. Croce in Gerusalemme

We hear in the Introit of today: Rejoice, Jerusalem!!

It is very poignant that on today the Church has the Church of the Holy Cross as its Station Church. Jerusalem, the Holy City, the Church, is told to rejoice! It is through the Cross, that this joy, this victory, has come, will come for us in our own lives!

Let us take the words of Saint Paul of the Cross today:

When you are alone in your room, take your crucifix, kiss its five wounds reverently, tell it to preach to you a little sermon, and then listen to the words of eternal life that it speaks to your heart; listen to the pleading of the thorns, the nails, the precious Blood. Oh, what an eloquent sermon!

A Crucifix of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, which he carried.

Act of Reparation


Recently there was an act of desecration of the Blessed Sacrament at a parish in Scotland which has perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. [You can read about it HERE]. Please make an act of reparation for this great sin of desecration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, and pray for the conversion of the perpetrator.


With that most profound respect
which divine Faith inspires,
O my God and Saviour Jesus Christ,
true God and true man,
I adore Thee,
and with my whole heart I love Thee,
hidden in the most august Sacrament of the Altar,
in reparation of all the irreverences,
profanations, and sacrileges, that I,
to my shame, may have until now committed,
as also for all those
that have been committed against Thee,
or that may be ever committed for the time to come.
I offer to Thee,
therefore, O my God,
my humble adoration, not indeed,
such as Thou art worthy of,
nor such as I owe Thee,
but such, at least,
as I am capable of offering;
and I wish that I could love Thee
with the most perfect love
of which rational creatures are capable.
In the meantime,
I desire to adore Thee now and always,
not only for those Catholics
who do not adore or love Thee,
but also to supply the defect,
and for the conversion of all heretics,
schismatics, libertines,
atheists, blasphemers,
sorcerers, Mahomedans,
Jews, and idolaters.
Ah! yes, my Jesus,
mayest Thou be known,
adored, and loved by all
and may thanks be continually given to Thee
in the most holy and august Sacrament!


Third Week of Lent: Station Churches

Sunday’s Station Church: S. Lorenzo fuori le mura

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Monday’s Station Church: S. Marco al Campidoglio

San Marco is a minor basilica in Rome dedicated to St. Mark the Evangelist located in the small Piazza di San Marco adjoining Piazza Venezia. It was first built in 336 by Pope Mark, whose remains are in an urn located below the main altar. The basilica is the national church of Venice in Rome.

Apse mosaic and side altar:

Tuesday’s Station Church: S. Pudenziana al Viminale

The apse mosaic is remarkable for its iconography. Christ is represented as a human figure rather than as a symbol, such as lamb or the good shepherd, as he was in very early Christian images. The regal nature of this representation prefigures the majestic bearing of Christ as depicted in Byzantine mosaics. Christ sits on a jewel encrusted throne, wearing a golden toga with a purple trim (a sign of imperial authority and emphasizing the authority of Christ and his church). He poses as a classical Roman teacher with his right hand extended. Christ wears a halo and holds in his left hand the text: “Dominus conservator ecclesiae Pudentianae” (The Lord is the preserver of the church of Pudenziana). He sits among his apostles, two of which were removed during restoration. The apostles wear senatorial togas. They all have individual expressions and face the spectator. The lower part of the mosaic was removed during the restoration in the late 16th century. The mosaics of the apostles on the right side have been lost in the course of time and are replaced by new, but rather blank, mosaics. Two female figures (representing “Church” and “Synagogue”) hold a wreath above the head of St. Peter and Paul. Above them the roofs and domes of heavenly Jerusalem (or, in another interpretation, the churches built by the emperor Constantine in Jerusalem) are depicted. Above Christ stands a large jewel encrusted cross on a hill (Calvary), as a sign of the triumph of Christ, amidst the Christian symbols of the Four Evangelists. These iconographic symbols (angel, lion, ox and eagle) are the oldest still existing representations of the Evangelists. You also see the early depictions of angels, the blue and red figures in the sky.

Meditation from Saint Thomas Aquinas: Tuesday after the Third Sunday in Lent

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Wednesday’s Station Church: SS. Nereo e Achilleo P.le Numa Pompilio [Last year’s meditation by St. Thomas Aquinas: Wednesday after the Third Sunday in Lent]

Photo by my friend Agnese. Last year’s Mass.

Thursday’s Station Church: SS. Cosma e Damiano in Via Sacra [Thursday after the Third Sunday in Lent, St. Thomas Aquinas’s meditation]

Photo by Agnese.

Friday’s Station Church: S. Lorenzo in Lucina

The other Guido Reni Crucifix, picture during the procession with the singing of the Litany of the Saints. I am in the photo somewhere.

Friday after the Third Sunday in Lent for meditation of Saint Thomas Aquinas.

If one is fortunate, you can look into the Church from the Piazza and see the Corpus of Christ Crucified (by Guido Reni, the same who painted the Altarpiece at Ss.ma Trinita dei Pellegrini). In looking from afar at the above altarpiece, one is provoked to call to his mind the Blessed Sacrament, the elevation of the Host.

Saturday’s Station Church: S. Maria della Vittoria

We are reminded especially on this day, the purpose of Lent, which is the purpose of the whole spiritual life, Divine Union! We find Bernini’s “Ecstasy of Teresa.” The ethereal face of the Saint highlights for us the PURITY of life that allows man to see God!

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Saturday after the Second Sunday: Lent 2018


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I remember when I was in Rome in 2011, a manifestation resulted in the destruction of property of Saints Peter and Marcellinus (the Station Church of today). This was not a statue from within the Church, but came from a hall adjoining the Church building.

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In the neighborhood I was living in at that time, there were signs immediately put up calling for people to make reparation. The group of the manifestation (which resulted in cars being set on fire and windows of store fronts smashed in, and as the picture above shows even the destruction of an image of Our Lady) was known as the Black Bloc. The response for reparation was known as the White Bloc. Regardless of whether or not the manifestation had a disdain for piety, religion, or the faith, we see from this particular example the disorder, the sorrow, the pity of a life without Our Lady, without Our Lord. We see the destruction that comes from a life of following one’s passions, from moving from one worldly delight to the next. Things that will all pass. Vanities that will fade. Joys that vanish as soon as they arise.

Take the above image as a metaphor for what we have to make reparation for in this life. NOW is the time to take such pious steps, especially in devotion to Our Lady, the Most Pure, Virgin Immaculate! She never leads her children astray! Never. Never.


Prayer over the People

Let us pray.

Bow your heads to God.

Guard Your household, we beseech You, O Lord, with lasting kindness, so that those who rely entirely upon the hope of heavenly grace may indeed be supported by heavenly protection. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.

R. Amen.

Last year’s meditation by Saint Thomas Aquinas: Saturday after the Second Sunday in Lent

Friday after the Second Sunday: Lent 2018

ITS FIRST FRIDAY: First Friday Devotions

Station Church: San Vitale in Fovea.

These pictures are from the Mass organized by Tridentini (a group of students of Pontifical Universities who gather each month to celebrate a Mass for Vocations).

We have had Masses this academic year at San Vitale, the Pantheon, and will have Mass at Sant’Andrea della Valle on Friday, 9-March.

The basilica was built in 400 with funds provided by Vestina, a wealthy dowager, and was consecrated by Pope Innocent I in 401/402. The dedication to St. Vitalis and his family (Saint Valeria, his wife, and Sts. Gervasius and Protasius, their sons) is dated to 412. This church is recorded as Titulus Vestinae in the acts of the 499 synod of Pope Symmachus, and three presbyters are listed.

San Vitale was restored several times, the most important being the rebuilding by Pope Sixtus IVbefore the Jubilee of 1475, and then in 1598, 1938 and 1960. The floor level of the church is currently located several metres below the level of the street on which it is located, via Nazionale.

You can see the laurels strewn on the floor as a sign of victory, the victory of martyrdom, which is the seed of the Church. [Pictures from my friend, the Roman pilgrim, Agnese, from years past].

One note on yesterday’s station Church, Santa Maria in Trastevere. [Sorry, I didn’t have time to write a post…]

It was at this Church where Saint Paul of the Cross preached his last mission. He for years had not preached a mission on account of his health. He was commissioned by the congregation which organized the parish missions throughout the city of Rome. It was organized in a different fashion than we think of it now. Parishes didn’t request mission priests to come and preach, rather mission priests such as Passionists and Redemptorists were assigned to preach missions.

In this case with Saint Paul of the Cross, he preached the mission in the piazza in front of the Church. People of all states of life gathered in the piazza: Cardinals, Bishops, priests, the faithful, one can even imagine, the people passing by stopping to listen. He brought all present to tears with his words, full of love for the Passion of Christ, love for Jesus Crucified.

One of my favorite chapels in Rome. It is the crucifix chapel in S. Maria in Trastevere. The Crucifix has been pulled away from the wall since my arrival in Rome (for some reason). I imagine when the Crucifix is properly in its place, this image of Our Lady sits at the foot of the Cross on the gradine of the Altar between the candles.

Prayer over the People:

Let us pray.

Bow your heads to God.

Grant unto Your people, we beseech You, O Lord, health of mind and body, that, by persevering in good works, we may be worthy to be protected by Your mighty power.Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.

R. Amen.

Last year’s meditation from Saint Thomas Aquinas: Friday after the Second Sunday in Lent.