Missa Cantata for the Marian Sisters of Santa Rosa, March 19, 2016
Matt 1:16, 18‑21, 24
Joseph awoke from the dream and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him.
"As for me, I am cheerful, tranquil and content, only because I am doing the will of God. I proclaim that I want to live and die with total abandonment to him."
"I adore the will of God"
"Likewise I would like you to be assured of the will of God in regard to your vocation. Excessive fear causes agitation too, as one can readily imagine. Oh, my beloved friend, why become anxious as long as we are in the hands of God? Is he not a most loving Father? Does he not take care of us? Does he not dispose all things for our own good? He used Moses to humiliate Pharaoh and, in general, infirma eligit, ut fortia quaeque confundat. When we use the 24 hours of the day for God, in the mystical bed of his will, we have done everything. This does not deny, however, the necessity of prayer and faith in God." 
"But how is Jesus to be imitated? Look at him for just a short while. As an example to us, he is obedient to Joseph and to Mary and lives in the humblest of homes. He is employed in manual labor, shows himself to be a model of silence and is withdrawn from the world, a benefactor to all." …Seek, then, to be of service to the Society and respect the will of the Creator in his creatures. No task is menial if it tends to glorify the Almighty. On the contrary, your work is similar to that of Jesus Christ who aided his foster father, St. Joseph. Purity of intention alone is necessary for you to properly regulate your interior and exterior actions. Realize, too, that a hidden and humble life is a special shield against vanity and human glory."
I give thanks to God for the concern that you nourish in promoting the glories of the Divine Blood and I hope that abundant blessings will be your reward. Our Father Amici is putting the final touches on the little work on St. Joseph to be printed after having gathered together a good number of supporters, the printing will be undertaken. This great saint is the special protector of our death. People are interested in this devotion.
St. Joseph was a just man. He was faithful to the laws and customs, the ways of Israel. And yet he was also faithful to dreams, hopes and a vision of what God desires. More than being the patron of the Church, he is the patron of the hidden doing of God's will. In the silence of his sleep, we hear and see nothing. In his dreams he sees everything.
Imagine what his anxious moments must have been like. He desired to do what was right and just, but he also desired to do what was fair for Mary. Gaspar would have us look at our own anxious moments and know that just as Joseph was in the hands of God, so are we. Gaspar would encourage us to seek God's will with the same energy and devotion as Joseph.
Joseph challenges us to love the will of God and to trust the will of God with the same tangible faith. This faith would get us up from our sleep to follow a dream of God's way without fear or anxiousness.
 from Letter No. 22 to Countess Virginia Malaspina Carocciolo, June 18, 1811
 from letter 873 to Mr Giovanni Franceso Palmucci, April 14, 1824, Resources 8, pg 54
 see 1 Cor 1:27, God chose the weak…to shame the strong
 from letter 1101 to D. Domenico Silvestri, April 19, 1825, Resources 8, pg. 54
 From Third Circular Letter, 1829
 Letter 1786, July 31, 1828, Giovanni Francesco Palmucci
The Marian Sisters of Santa Rosa today celebrated the Commemoration of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary
John 19: 25-27
Mary the mother of our Lord stood before the cross of her Son.
None of the Evangelists has told us this except John.
The others have related how that at our Lord's Passion the earth quaked, the heaven was overspread with darkness, the sun fled, the thief was taken into paradise after his confession.
John has told us, what the others have not, how that from the cross where He hung, He called to His mother.
He thought it a greater thing to show Him victorious over pain, fulfilling the offices of piety to His mother, than giving the kingdom of heaven and eternal life to the thief.
It was religious duty to give life to the thief,
A much richer work of devotion and love it is for a son to honor his mother with such affection.
Behold, He says, your son; behold your mother.
I have two suggestions on how we might examine ourselves on this day.
The Gospel for the Extraordinary Form for Friday of Passion Week is John 11: 47-54. The Douay Version in my missal asks a question in a curious way: “What do we”?
What do we?
Such a miracle (raising Lazarus to life) as this should have drawn forth wonder and praise.
But they make it a reason of plotting against His life.
Then gathered the chief priests and, Pharisees a council, and said, what do we?
But they had no thought of believing.
The miserable men only consulted how they might hurt and kill Him,
Not how themselves might be saved from death.
What do we? For this Man does many miracles. (Augustine)
Him of whose divinity they had received such certain proofs, they call only a man. (John Chrysostom)
This speech is an evidence of their audacity and blindness: of their audacity,
because they testified that He had done many miracles,
and yet thought that they could contend successfully against Him,
and that He would have no power of withstanding their plots;
of their blindness, because they did not reflect that He who had wrought such miracles
could easily escape out of their hands; unless indeed they denied that these miracles were done by Divine power.
They resolved then not to let Him go; thinking that they should thus place an impediment in the way of those who wished to believe in Him, and also prevent the Romans from taking away their place and nation.
If we let Him thus alone, all men will believe on Him, and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.
What do we?
It is an excellent question for us. Do we behave as if he is absent or present? Do we behave as if he has divine power or as if he is just one of us?
What do we? Do we treat the unfortunate or the inconvenient as Christ in his distressing disguise, or do we dismiss him?
He has done marvelous things. What do we?
Other translations translate the question differently:
“What do we?” (Douay)
“What are we going to do? (NABRE)
“What are we about?” (Knox)
“What are we to do?” (RSVCE)
I have done many good works for you to see, works from my father;
for which of these are you stoning me.
Let us joyfully carry the cross that God gives us: "I exceedingly abound with joy in all our tribulation." Do not think about the past; be at peace, very much at peace and even more so with regard to the present which promises further and more ample blessings. If suffering is a grace, which it truly is, this is a sign of those more mature merits for which God is disposing us. Our lives, more or less, are like winter. In the springtime one sees the work that the winter has produced in the depths of the earth. Be courageous. These are the fruits that arise from the plant of the cross. Let us apply this image of winter to our souls. Never lose hold of a sweet confidence in God; never lose serenity of mind in God. To pray, for example, for more suffering is not, in my judgment, something called for at the present time. Let us willingly suffer whatever God wishes. Let us repeat often: " Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." We are to do the will of God as it is done in heaven. So, make distant those feelings of anguish. I repeat, those fears, those perplexities. “Why art thou sad, O my soul?”  Let us enjoy the peace which God grants to us and in his divine Heart let us find that feeling of calmness even in all the storms that surround us.
We begin to witness the unfolding of events that make up the heart of the Christian life. He does not shrink away. They wanted a Messiah according to their own expectations, and yet he remains who he is. Our vocation is to find holiness in him, and as they are called to believe because of the works he does, so are we. We are also called to undertake the same works. We do what Jesus does, seeking to be found faithful in him. We endure whatever comes, not shrinking away. We follow the example of Jesus and the teaching of St. Gaspar.
As Jeremiah called on the Lord in his distress, so we with St. Gaspar, entrust our cause to the Lord. St. Gaspar teaches us that, though we do not pray for suffering, we endure joyfully whatever comes. As Gaspar was known as one of the "joyful ones" in prison, we too take our winters and joyfully trust in spring.
 2 Cor. 7:4
 Psalms 41:6
 to Mother Maria Nazzarena De Castris, January 1, 1834, Letter 2648, Strokes of the Pen V, 15.1, pg 38
 cf. Gaspar's Prison Experiences, pg 91
Before Abraham ever was, I AM
...in this devotion we have a compendium of faith itself; that is why, in the consecration of the chalice, we say: "mysterium fidei"; and, consequently therein lies the salvation of souls. In fact, it is to this that the prophetic oracles, the predictions, the symbols, the figures, the sacrifices of the old covenant have their focus. As we read in Genesis: He washes his garments in wine and his robe in the blood of grapes. (Gen. 49:11). The Hebrews were ordered to taint their doorposts with the blood of the lamb in order to be freed from their chastisements in Egypt, a symbol of the liberation of our souls from diabolical servitude... Without saying too much further, what did Moses do for his people? ) For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, "This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded you." ... Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. (Heb 9:19‑22) Hear, now, what the Apostle says: If the blood of goats and calves sanctify such as are defiled, how much more shall the blood of Jesus Christ cleanse our conscience. (Heb 9:12‑14) Without saying everything that could be said, the divine Scriptures are loaded with sacred citations... Why then is thy apparel red. (Isaiah 63:2) And he was clothed with a garment sprinkled with blood. (Rev 19:13) .One should add only that by means of this devotion the remembrance of our baptism, through which our souls were purged, is revived; we are reminded of penance and the other sacraments. And when asked why, we conclude that it was because: Thou hast redeemed us to God, in thy blood, And hast made us to our God a kingdom and priests. (Apoc. 5: 9‑10) Other devotions are all means for facilitating Catholic piety, but this devotion is the basis, the sustenance, the essence of all.
Growing stronger in brotherly love, let us endeavor to understand more and more the purpose for which God has united us together in our community houses: namely, to be a mutual help in attaining the spirit of fervor and knowledge, in doing the work of the priesthood, in wielding the mystic armaments of the spirit, and no less in acquiring the means conducive to the attainment of our goal. Because of the covenant of the Lord, and the laws of their fathers, the saints of God abode in brotherly love, for one spirit and one faith was ever in them. Blessed, then, are they who , according to their calling, dwell in the house of the Lord, either by preparing themselves for the ministry, as our seminarians, or by doing actual ministerial work, or by participating in these respective occupations as do the lay Brothers. I say: "Happy those who live in your house and can praise you all day long." 
On the occasion of this holy retreat, let us retire into the Sacred Heart of Jesus which is the Center of peace, the Furnace of love, the Ark of safety, and the mystical banquet hall. Our purpose will be to raise our souls to that height of virtue and sanctity through which we become dear to God and accepted by the people --- "beloved by God and men." The urgent need that we have of profiting spiritually from the good that is to be done, the twofold spirit that we must acquire in effecting our own renewal as well as that of others, the particular and general needs of the Church --- all of these furnish us with special incentives to benefit from the Word of God during these days.
The passages from John's Gospel continue to prepare the Catechumens and us for the Easter mysteries. Jesus' contemporaries were scandalized by his insistence that he was one with the Father, but that is the very faith these catechumens will take on in their baptism. Jesus fulfills the ancient covenant with Abraham, and everything from Abraham on points to Jesus. Jesus is greater than their ancestor Abraham. Jesus can promise freedom from death, something that Abraham could not do.
The Ancient covenant was inaugurated in Blood, and as everything from Abraham on points to Jesus, for St. Gaspar all these things point to a devotion and a spirituality that is the summary of and essence of all the faith. This is the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. As Jesus points out how Abraham pointed to him and rejoiced to see his day, Gaspar points out all the marks of the old covenant that point to the spirituality of Jesus' Most Precious Blood. The old covenant drew people together into a common bond and enterprise doing God's work, how much more should this new and everlasting covenant bind people together in a bond of Charity? As our faith accepts him as the fullness of all revelation, taking on the name of God, our belonging to him marks the way we live and work together in mutual and lasting charity.
 XII, 80 81, July 29, 1825, Pope Leo XII
 Brev. Rom., Com. Martyr., III Noct., 7 Resp.
 Ps 84:4
 From Circular Letter 8, 1834
 Si 45:1
 From the Fifth Circular Letter, 1831
Martha Agnes Sullivan (Keyes) (Cushnyr) September 5, 1925 -- March 16, 2011
John 8: 31‑42
You shall know the truth and the Truth shall set you free.
If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
"Let us place our trust in the Divine Blood that the Lord will manifest justice and truth, as the cause continues to pend. Let us strengthen all of this, using the intercession of Mary most holy and of Xavier." 
With respect to what you wrote me, do not at all be fearful. Imitate the Saints as they defend the truth. The things that are being said there, let it be noted once and for all, are not from God. I forgive our opponents because of their good intentions, but I shall never approve what they say nor the way that they do things. ... So, we are right back at the beginning again: everything changes. ... Peace and tranquility everywhere. ... Do not lose your enthusiasm and be happy. ... Make this decision at the foot of the Crucifix. 
"This is the language of truth, and it is well-known fact that hell itself trembles at the very mention of "divine Blood". Furthermore, because of this confusion of mind, one is led to erroneously judge the good people who then disturb the peace of Your Holiness" magnanimous heart. 
Do you live in a free country? Are people free from fear, desire, want, pressure, addiction, sin, error, falsehood, death, etc? Jesus offers more than ideas and opinions. The truth he brings is also freedom, faithfulness and relationship. A Son and an heir knows a freedom a slave can never realize. Jesus is that Son who is the only way to freedom.
In the time of Jesus there were cultural expectations for a son, especially elder sons. As a father greeted guests for a banquet, the elder son stood at his side barefoot. In this he was a gift from the father to the guests, the father offering his finest as servant of welcome and hospitality. The elder son in the prodigal son parable in Luke did not follow the norm. Neither did the people who listen to Jesus in today's gospel in John.
All of us, sons and daughters alike, are invited to be that son and heir as well. In this we spend time with him, we listen to his word, and we do what he does. This is what Gaspar describes in every tribulation. It simply matters not what the opposition might be. The same freedom, faithfulness and relationship with the father remains, and we remain peaceful in him. The truth sets us free.
 to Luigi Fuschi, June 8, 1837, Letter 3441, Strokes of the Pen V, pg 13
 to Missionary Father Michele Palombi, January 30, 1836, Letter 3068 , Strokes of the Pen V, pg 35
 from Letter 1215 to Pope Leo XII, July 29, 1825, Resources 8, pg 40)
When you lift up the Son of Man, you will come to realize that I AM.
"May our soul be like the dove near mystical waters and let us quench our thirst in Jesus and with Jesus. ... When I use the word always, I mean to say that, in addition to the time that is provided for us to be engaged in this religious adoration, our hearts should ever remain united to the Sacred Tabernacle, the center of peace and of salvation. Also, in no way at all should the reception of communion be set aside. It brings healing to our small infirmities and gives us strength. "
"I send a reply to your very esteemed letter on this third of May, the feast of the Holy Cross, the mystical ladder to heaven, the cathedra of truth, the tree of life, under whose shadow we are to find rest in the peacefulness of the just. Oh what a great book for us is the Cross! It is a summarization of the apologetics of our faith, a practical knowledge for our moral life, and the most tender lessons of love that the Lord has shown. From this book, every soul is encouraged to promote evermore the most important devotion to the Divine Blood, which I highly recommend to your zeal and charity, so that it will become known wherever possible." 
The gospel states "many came to believe in him" because he spoke this way. In this week before Holy Week, our catechumens reflect on the many aspects of our community life that assisted them in coming to faith. They still live in a world caught in the drama of belief and unbelief. They are in the world and, with the rest of us, learning how not be "of the world."
We follow Jesus where he goes, doing what he does. We learn how to forgive as he forgives and to love as he loves. In this way it is revealed that we are part of his body, and that we identify with him as he identifies with his father. As healing comes to those in the desert who looked upon the bronze serpent, so does the healing light of truth come to those who come to Jesus when he is lifted up in the Eucharist. For St Gaspar, this forms the core of our heart and our identity, not only when we are at prayer, but at every moment of the day. Jesus identifies the cross as what will reveal him as he is. For Gaspar this is the totality of what we need to know and experience.
 to Mother Maria Nazzarena De Castris, 9 May 1830, Letter 2034, Resources 23, Strokes of the Pen IV, pg 30
 to Mrs. Eleonora Rozzi, 3 May 1828, Letter 1929, Strokes of the Pen IV, Resources 23, pg 54
This testimony is true, Jesus, Light of the World
"As the eyes of the dove are open and clear, so also will our intellectual vision of God and of heavenly things become open and clear. With a pure intention we shall seek nothing but his glory and true good of souls: "It follows that if your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light." It is then that the Lord, transported in love and joy, exclaims: "Your eyes . . . are doves;" "for they hold me captive." Dear brothers, these very reflections --- these truths --- enable us to draw abundant fruit from our retreat and to acquire thoroughly the science of the saints, the focal point of our heart's desire. The virtue that is acquired, then, becomes most pleasing to our hearts. Whoever looks forward to becoming virtuous, is disgusted with whatever leads away from God. He thirsts only after God, for in the unitive way he will be continually filled with desire and ever thirsting for God himself."
To what do our words and actions testify? Do we give witness to darkness or light? Do we witness for ourselves, or for God? It is not only our words that testify. Our actions speak as well. Our selfish actions point to passing things that have a future only in darkness. Our acts of charity testify to what we have become in Christ.
For St. Gaspar our seeking of God and his ways is what opens our eyes and makes them open and clear. Seeking nothing but God's glory we open a way to what is light. The two men in the passage from Daniel, although they are enough witnesses to fulfill the law, testify only to their own selfishness and desire. The results are only fleeting. For those who seek the truth the way is clear and guided by the light that is truth itself.
It is Jesus who is the light of the world. It is Jesus who is truth itself. Following him we remain in the light and the truth is not far from us.
 Matt 6:22
 Songs 4:1
 Songs 6:4
 From The Seventh Circular Letter
Omnia Christus Est Nobis
Christ is everything for us!
Burying the Alleluia
Sacristy Art I
Sacristy Art II
Sacristy Art III
Sacristy Art IV
Sacristy Art V
Sacristy Art VI
Years in Review
Decade in review
I am a Roman Catholic Priest from California. I spent 13 wonderful years years as a member of the Province of the Pacific in the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. The outline of my life can be traced here.