DAILY QUOTE for May 5, 2016
Thou hast formed us for Thyself O Lord
SAINT OF THE DAY
Ascension of Our Lord
Ascension of Our Lord
Upon entering Jerusalem, we recall that here rested Our Lord Jesus Christ in a close sepulcher, penetrated by neither air nor light, His Sacred Body disfigured by wounds. Wrapped in the Holy Shroud, Our Lord lies in utter darkness, reduced to isolated inertia and death. In the seeming hopelessness of the sepulcher, the triumph of the synagogue appears complete.
After two days, a ray of light penetrates the darkness, and then another, and yet another, as the angels manifest their presence. The heavy stone that guards the sepulcher cannot keep these pure spirits from entering. The angelic choir gathers and fills the empty silence with Heaven’s songs.
Suddenly, the sacred body stirs, as Our Lord raises Himself from the slab on which He lies and from death itself. He had been in Limbo, where He consoled the just with the Good News that the hour of their redemption was at hand. We may well imagine their joy and adoration as they welcomed their Redeemer!
As His Divine soul reanimates His mortal body, each wound shines with the sun’s brilliance. Christ’s crown of thorns is now a crown of light. Our Lord commands the stone to move, and the sun streams in, dispelling the tomb’s darkness as the Son vanquishes the despair of death in His eternal triumph.
Someone approaches. She is running. It is Mary Magdalen, and she is still weeping. Finding the sepulcher open with its stone rolled away and not a Roman guard in sight, she does not know what to think. Seeing a man whom she mistakes for a gardener, she asks, “Where is Jesus?” He answers with a single word: “Mary.” The scales fall from her eyes, and she responds, “Rabboni!” which means “Master.” However, Our Lord, whose glorious body can move faster than any rocket, is no longer there. He is in the Cenacle, where Mary Most Holy has retired to weep for her Son in the semi-darkness. Suddenly, Christ enters radiantly. She is not mistaken as Mary Magdalen was for she is His mother after all. Let us recall Jesus’ last gaze at His Mother from the height of the Cross. She is the last person He sees before He closes His eyes in death. It is a look of love that the world has never known— the love of God for His Holy Mother. Imagine then the first glance exchanged between Mother and Son after the Resurrection, as the deepest sadness becomes the greatest joy! In an instant, He returns to Mary Magdalen, for glorified, He is no longer limited to time and space.
He appears here and there, speaking first with one disciple and then another. Only at the Final Judgment will we know all those to whom Christ spoke during those days, giving courage and counsel, as He prepared His Church for the battles to come.
The hour of the Ascension is at hand. Accompanied by His holy mother, His Apostles and disciples, Jesus makes His way to the Mount of Olives. Theirs is not a simple farewell. With rapt attention, they hang on every word of His teaching. If Our Lord’s Transfiguration on Mount Tabor had left the Apostles awestruck, we can imagine how He must appear at the moment of His Ascension. As Jesus speaks, His body gradually begins to rise. He knows that He is rising to Heaven, but it is so natural, so proper and so normal for Him to ascend that at first, His Apostles might see it as simply another example of His glorification. However, at a certain moment, He is so high that they realize, “He is leaving us now!” And thus, the Risen Lord ascends into the glory of Heaven.
The Heavenly Baker
The Heavenly Baker
In the time when Saint Catherine of Siena walked the streets of her quaint medieval town, she sometimes stayed at the house of a widow-friend, Alessia, to avoid the distractions of her noisy home.
One year, there was a famine, and most people were obliged to buy long stored wheat. The bread made from this wheat had a sour after-taste. But as the new harvest came in, and there was fresh wheat to buy, Alessia remarked to St. Catherine:
“Mother, this old wheat makes sour bread, so as the Lord has had pity on us, I will throw away the little that I still have.”
“You wish to throw away what the Lord has given us for our food?” replied Catherine, “at least give it to those who don’t even have that.”
“O, I feel guilty giving from the old wheat…I’d rather give from the new, fresh batch,” remonstrated Alessia.
Saint Catherine then asked that she give her the flour and some water, for she wished to make bread for the poor of Our Lord.
As Catherine worked, not only did she produce an astounding number of loaves from so little flour, but turned them out so fast that Alessia and her maid couldn’t believe their eyes.
Served at table, everyone was amazed how delicious and sweet these loaves were. “We haven’t tasted better!” they exclaimed.
Moreover, when taken out to the poor and to the Friars, the bin kept giving without emptying.
Sometime later, on hearing of this miracle, St. Catherine’s confessor, Blessed Raymond of Capua, sensed that there was something “more” to this story, and pressed his spiritual child to tell him all.
So Catherine explained that as she had approached the flour box, she had seen the sweet Lady Mary standing there with several angels and saints graciously offering to help her make the bread. So Mary Most Holy began to work the dough with Catherine, and by virtue of those immaculate hands not only was the wheat made sweet, but the number of loaves multiplied.
“The Madonna herself gave me the loaves as she made them,” related Catherine, “and I passed them onto Alessia and her maid.”
“No wonder,” writes Blessed Raymond in his biography of Saint Catherine, “that that bread seemed so sweet , since it was made by the perfect hands of the holy queen, in whose most sacred body, the Trinity made the Bread that came down from heaven to give life to all unbelievers.”
And the same writer asserts that years after in Siena, people still treasured pieces of this blessed bread as relics.
Taken from The Life of Saint Catherine of Siena by Blessed Raymond of Capua
By Andrea F. Phillips
One year, there was a famine, and most people were obliged to buy long stored wheat.