The whole life of Christ was a cross and a martyrdom, and dost thou seek rest and joy? If thou carry the cross unwillingly, thou makest it a burden to thee. If thou fling away one cross, without doubt thou shalt find another, perhaps a heavier. . . . (Thomas de Kempis - Imitation of Christ)
“This is the remedy to fix my gaze on You, Incarnate Word, hanging on the Cross. As soon as You see a humble soul looking at You in this way, you are quickly moved to look at it, and the effect of Your divine glance is like that of a ray of sunshine on the earth; it warms it and prepares it to bring forth fruit. This is the way You act, O Divine Word, who by the light of Your glance, drain my soul of all its pride, and consume it in Your fire. No one acquires humility if he does not fix his gaze on You, O Word, on the Cross.”
—St. Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi
O Divine Truth, You give so much strength to the soul which clothes itself with You, that it never falters under the weight of adversity beneath the burden of troubles and temptations, but in every struggle it gains a great victory. I am wretched because I have not followed You, O Eternal Truth; hence I am so weak that in every least tribulation I fall.
—St Catherine of Siena
Faith always takes us on a journey beyond the obvious and tangible. This was often lacking in those who experienced Jesus and His teachings. When He spoke of offering His Body and Blood, they exclaimed: “How can this man give us flesh to eat?” They totally missed the spiritual dimension of His words and message. He was pointing them to a higher realm of understanding, while they chose to remain on an earthly level leading only to darkness and death.
Faith does not come easy. While we see and know people for whom faith seems like second nature, for many of us it is a gift that reveals itself only with the utmost diligence and care. It usually begins to appear in times of transition, distress and/or sickness, for it is in moments like these that the Lord is able to get our attention long enough, so that we can hear His voice above the noise and confusion of our daily lives. Whenever trouble breaks into the serenity of our daily existence, we can be sure the Divine potter is at work trying to mold us into something beautiful.
—Fr. Dominic P. Irace
Prayer to be Freed of the Seven Deadly Sins
O meek Savior and Prince of Peace, implant in me the virtues of gentleness and patience. Let me curb the fury of anger and restrain all resentment and impatience so as to overcome evil with good, attain your peace, and rejoice in your love.
O Model of humility, divest me of all pride and arrogance. Let me acknowledge my weakness and sinfulness, so that I may bear mockery and contempt for your sake and esteem myself as lowly in your sight.
O Teacher of abstinence, help me to serve you rather than our appetites. Keep me from gluttony—the inordinate love of food and drink and let me hunger and thirst for your justice.
O Lover of purity, remove all lust from my heart, so that I may serve you with a pure mind and a chaste body.
O Father of the poor, help me to avoid all covetousness for earthly goods and give me a love for heavenly things. Inspire me to give to the needy, just as you gave your life that I might inherit eternal treasures.
O Exemplar of love, keep me from all envy and ill-will. Let the grace of your love dwell in me that I may rejoice in the happiness of others and bewail their adversities.
O zealous Lover of souls, keep me from all sloth of mind or body. Inspire me with zeal for your glory, so that I may do all things for you and in you.
On Easter Sunday, the Church is recollected in contemplation of the risen Christ. Thus she relives the primordial experience that lies at the basis of her existence. She feels imbued with the same wonder as Mary Magdalen and the other women who went to Christ’s tomb on Easter morning and found it empty. That tomb became the womb of life. Whoever had condemned Jesus, deceived himself that he had buried his cause under an ice-cold tombstone. The disciples themselves gave into the feeling of irreparable failure. We understand their surprise, then, and even their distrust in the news of the empty tomb. But the Risen One did not delay in making himself seen and they yielded to reality. They saw and believed! Two thousand years later, we still sense the unspeakable emotion that overcame them when they heard the Master’s greeting: “Peace be with you.”...
... Christ’s Resurrection is the strength, the secret of Christianity. It is not a question of mythology or of mere symbolism, but of a concrete event. It is confirmed by sure and convincing proofs. The acceptance of this truth, although the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s grace, rests at the same time on a solid historical base. On the threshold of the third millennium, the new effort of evangelization can begin only from a renewed experience of this Mystery, accepted in faith and witnessed to in life....
—Pope John Paul II
Protecting God's Children - Making the Church a safe environment for all, particularly children and at-risk adults, is a major priority of the administration and staff of Saint Robert Bellarmine Parish Family. Please take a look at the posters and "Safe Environment & Standards of Conduct Policy" that are posted on the bulletin board in the Parish Center. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how to make our church, homes and community safer, please contact our Safe Environment Coordinator, Lisa Clarke at 732-462-7429, ext. 122 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To report the sexual abuse of minors call the diocesan hotline 1-888-296-2965 or email email@example.com. Please note: The Diocese of Trenton reports any allegations of sexual abuse to the appropriate law enforcement agencies. Anyone with an allegation is also encouraged to provide that information to local law enforcement authorities.
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