Be Holy, Be Happy!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pro Sanctity Reflects on the Stations of the Cross

Third Station: Jesus Falls the First Time
We adore You, O Christ and we praise You, because by Your holy cross You have redeemed the world.

Yes, and I shall rejoice. For I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I shall not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:19-21)

I have been reflecting on Jesus' falling and this is what has occurred to me....I am often afraid in places which are not familiar to me. From my wheelchair I tend to see any place that is not paved with concrete and/or perfectly level and flat as a threat to my personal safety and I ask for assistance to navigate them. These places include steep hills, grassy areas, uneven curbs or steps to name a few.

As I think about Jesus carrying his cross and falling under the weight of it for love of me, I am both ashamed of myself and in the same instant overwhelmed by his love. He did not think for a moment about his personal safety and comfort. He did what he had to do to achieve the work of salvation. Even though you might not be in a wheelchair, maybe you too are easily frightened by the unfamiliar-- the unfamiliar person or place or activity....

Dear Jesus, Please help us to think less often about what is easy and comfortable. Remind us of your example and help us to find the courage to be uncomfortable for Your sake.
Submitted by Joan Kash, Pro Sanctity Local Board Member, Nebraska

Holy Mother, impress into my heart the wounds of your Son.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Pro Sanctity Reflects on the Stations of the Cross

Second Station: Jesus receives His cross

We adore You, O Christ and we praise You, because by Your holy cross You have redeemed the world.

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
(Hebrews 4:14-16)

Active receptivity…Jesus gives us the supreme example of how to pray and live the Stations of the Cross in our daily lives. He does not go out and search for a cross that fits him, the one he prefers or would most like to carry, no, he receives the cross. It is given to him. Yes, it is our cross that he received, but in receiving it for us, he shows us how to imitate him. Active receptivity.

Mary is our model. She lived in this spirit first and steps out in faith showing us the way. She did not look for the cross she was to carry but when the Angel announced her new vocation in life, to be the Mother of God, she acknowledged the gift, she related her difficulty with it (how can this be, I do not know man) she then received it. She then responded as her Son did and embraced what she did not ask for. She loved it and ran, going in haste that redemption might come even more quickly through her receptivity.

Oh Mary, this is too much. Everyday so many things happen and I do not acknowledge, relate, receive or respond that come my way. I usually react and reject! Yet, the grace is there for me and what seems impossible is possible. Whisper your word in my ear Mary, that delicate but powerful word of TRUST that I too may receive the crosses of daily life as you did in union with your Son for the sake of my brothers and sisters. Amen.
Submitted by Teresa Monaghen
Holy Mother, impress into my heart, the wounds of your Son.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Pro Sanctity Reflects on the Stations of the Cross

The First Station: Jesus is Condemned to Death
We adore You, O Christ and we praise You, because by Your holy cross You have redeemed the world.

Is. 61:10 “I rejoice heartily in the LORD, in my God is the joy of my soul; For he has clothed me with a robe of salvation, and wrapped me in a mantle of justice, Like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem, like a bride bedecked with her jewels.

For me, beginning the stations of the cross was a struggle. At the first station, I came face to face with the consequences of my sin, Jesus is condemned to death. How could continue when I felt shame, fear and sorrow? This past year, I came across the icon of Christ the Bridegroom. When I first discovered that Christ, the Bridegroom is portrayed as one condemned, I was disappointed. This wasn’t how I wanted Him to appear; I wanted to see His strength and power! However, what I perceived as weakness is really the decisive love of Christ the Bridegroom who not only tells us how much He loves us, but also shows us by giving Himself up for us. St. Paul in Ephesians 5:25-27 draws this parallel: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”

In his apostolic letter, Mulieris Dignitatem, John Paul II also teaches about the love of Christ the Bridegroom:
“We find ourselves at the very heart of the Paschal Mystery, which completely reveals the spousal love of God. Christ is the Bridegroom because ‘he has given himself’: his body has been ‘given,’ his blood has been ‘poured out’ (cf. Lk 22:19-20). In this way ‘he loved them to the end’ (Jn 13:1). The ‘sincere gift’ contained in the Sacrifice of the Cross gives definitive prominence to the spousal meaning of God's love. As the Redeemer of the world, Christ is the Bridegroom of the Church. The Eucharist is the Sacrament of our Redemption. It is the Sacrament of the Bridegroom and of the Bride. The Eucharist makes present and realizes anew in a sacramental manner the redemptive act of Christ, who ‘creates’ the Church, his body. Christ is united with this ‘body’ as the bridegroom with the bride...And holiness is measured according to the ‘great mystery’ in which the Bride responds with the gift of love to the gift of the Bridegroom.”(MD, 26-27)

We pray to experience the love of the Bridegroom more deeply this Lent, especially through His presence in the Eucharist. “…the Almighty awaits the ‘yes’ of his creatures as a young bridegroom that of his bride.” (Pope Benedict XVI Lenten Message 2007) May our hearts be open like Mary’s as we give our resounding YES! to His will.

Holy Mother, impress into my heart the wounds of your Son.

Submitted by Joan Patten, Aspirant Apostolic Oblate, Nebraska


Pro Sanctity Reflects on the Stations of the Cross

For the last two weeks of Lent, the Station of the Cross reflections written and compiled by Pro Sanctity members and friends throughout the nation will be posted. Thank you all who contributed. If something strikes you after reading a reflection or your graces have deepened, please post it under Comments or e-mail

As you go through the stations, you are invited to pause at the Stations that speak to your heart the most and spend some time there. The Stations of the Cross are like 14 windows that allow us to enter into the passion of Christ and walk beside Him to the cross. Wherever you are invited to enter, trust that Jesus wants you to be there with Him and receive His love. Mary is our example and companion on the Way of the Cross. Ask her to show you how to participate in her Son’s offering to the Father.

Mary was able to live in herself the sentiments of Jesus-his gentleness and his sweetness-let us ask to her the strength to live after her example, especially the strength she learned from the heart of Jesus; that strength which helped her follow Jesus to Calvary.
–Bishop William Giaquinta

How have the Stations of the Cross impacted your life?

Comments from members:
I like to just take the Bible in my hands, find the passages that speak of Jesus “Via Crucis” and reflect on the “gospels stations of the cross’. It brings memories of my own walking through the streets of Jerusalem following the footsteps of the Suffering Jesus. I also recall the images from the movie” The Passion of the Christ,” (Agnes Rus, Apostolic Oblate, California)

The Way of the Cross has had a great impact in my life. For years and years, I have meditated on, contemplated, and striven to share in the suffering of the Lord as I paused and dwelt each of the stations. Each Station is very dear to me; each Station leads me ‘physically along the way taken by the Lord in His passion’ and manifests to me Jesus’ maximum love for me, for us, His sisters and brothers. Yes, the Lord loved and loves me/us to the maximum and I/we, too, have to love Him in return to the maximum! (Franca Salvo, Apostolic Oblate, Nebraska)


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Happy Feast of the Annunciation!

If you want to pray better you must pray more. Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God’s gift of Himself. Ask and seek and your heart will grow big enough to receive Him and keep Him as your own.” –Mother Teresa

“In God’s mind, we are like vessels capable of expansion; that is, like vessels that the more we are filled, the more we expand, and the more we expand, the more we can be filled. Mary is an example. At the moment of the Angel's annunciation, she is the ‘gratia plena’ the ‘full of grace’. We can imagine the extent by which Mary was filled, precisely because she was an expandable vessel.”

“Let us try to apply all this to ourselves. We need not make a public confession - just quietly, let us think how many times the Lord has called us on our journey! And I don't mean ‘big calls’…but calls of grace. For each moment of grace is a call from God. Consequently, each time we turn away from grace we turn away from God’s call. If we had always answered God's various and manifold calls, we would be well along the ascending journey to the maximum of perfection, and would truly find ourselves at the summit of holiness.”

May Our Lady help us to follow her example of receptivity, so that we may walk, not only at the time of the General Assembly but always, toward holiness.” AMEN! –Bishop Giaquinta

Where am I being invited to cooperate with God’s call today?

Have I noticed what graces I have received today?

How is He inviting me to work with Him in expanding my heart?


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

St. Joseph, Model of Interior Life

St. Joseph is a wonderful model and patron for all sorts of vocations and needs, but for the Pro Sanctity Movement, he is "a model of interior life." Bishop Giaquinta, in his book Program of Spiritual Life, explained that, "Outwardly, St. Joseph appears very commonplace, but inwardly he lives the greatest miracles of union with God, of hidden, self-sacrificing and self-effacing humility, of ecstatic contemplation of the greatness of his wife and his Son, in a quiet and humble acceptance of God’s plans - even the most difficult ones. St. Joseph is an example of our interior life, our humility, our contemplation, and our conformity to God's will."

John Paul II in his apostolic exhortation Redemptoris Custos, On the Person and Mission of Saint Joseph in the Life of Christ and of the Church, also taught that St. Joseph was only able to faithfully respond to his unique vocation and mission through the practice and care he gave to his interior life.

"The total sacrifice, whereby Joseph surrendered his whole existence to the demands of the Messiah's coming into his home, becomes understandable only in the light of his profound interior life. It was from this interior life that very singular commands and consolations came, bringing him also the logic and strength that belong to simple and clear souls, and giving him the power of making great decisions-such as the decision to put his liberty immediately at the disposition of the divine designs, to make over to them also his legitimate human calling, his conjugal happiness, to accept the conditions, the responsibility and the burden of a family, but, through an incomparable virginal love, to renounce that natural conjugal love that is the foundation and nourishment of the family.

This submission to God, this readiness of will to dedicate oneself to all that serves him, is really nothing less than that exercise of devotion which constitutes one expression of the virtue of religion."

"Why should the 'fatherly' love of Joseph not have had an influence upon the 'filial' love of Jesus? And vice versa why should the "filial" love of Jesus not have had an influence upon the 'fatherly' love of Joseph, thus leading to a further deepening of their unique relationship? Those souls most sensitive to the impulses of divine love have rightly seen in Joseph a brilliant example of the interior life.

Furthermore, in Joseph, the apparent tension between the active and the contemplative life finds an ideal harmony that is only possible for those who possess the perfection of charity. Following St. Augustine's well-known distinction between the love of the truth (caritas veritatis) and the practical demands of love (necessitas caritatis), we can say that Joseph experienced both love of the truth-that pure contemplative love of the divine Truth which radiated from the humanity of Christ-and the demands of love-that equally pure and selfless love required for his vocation to safeguard and develop the humanity of Jesus, which was inseparably linked to his divinity." (#26-27)

Let us ask St. Joseph's intercession that we may continually deepen our interior life as we strive ahead togther in holiness!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick!

St. Patrick!
Contributed by Barb Gobel

St. Patrick was born in a part of Britain that we now know as Scotland. Irish pirates kidnaped him shortly before his 16th birthday. He was sold as a slave to be a shepherd to the sheep. It was at this time that Patrick came to know Jesus in a very deep and personal way. St. Patrick prayed all day and sometimes all night.

In his dream he is shown a ship that will take him away from slavery. He wakes up and walks two hundred miles till he sees the ship from his dreams. His family and friends are delighted to have him home again. He studies and becomes a priest and a bishop.

St. Patrick has another dream in which he heard the voice of the Irish people to "come back and walk once more among us." So Patrick obeys this call and goes back to Ireland as a bishop. St. Patrick not only could speak the Gaelic language of the Irish but also understood their customs. St. Patrick devoted himself entirely to the salvation of the Irish people who worshipped false gods. He traveled all over the island, where he baptized an infinite number of people and started monastic life in Ireland.

St. Patrick used the shamrock to help the Irish understand how there are three persons but one God. Just as there are THREE leaves on a shamrock but it is one plant. Patrick also knew that the Irish people also known as the Celtic people worshiped the sun. He then used their symbol of the sun behind the cross to intertwine both cultures. It is said that St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland. But this legend represents St. Patrick driving out the evil forces in Ireland. The devil takes the form of a snake in the Garden of Eden.

From Mary Page:

Beads: There are twelve beads for this chaplet. Method: Prayer on the Medal: The Apostle's Creed On each of the twelve green beads recite:Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Intention: Through the intercession of St. Patrick, may God Almighty strengthen one's faith, and grant the grace of faith for others.
Christ as a light, Illumine and guide me! Christ as a shield, o'ershadow and cover me! Christ be under me! Christ be over me! Christ be beside me, on the left hand and right!Christ be before me, behind me, about me; Christ this day, be within and without me!(From "Hymn Before Tara)"


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pro Sanctity Reflects on the Stations of the Cross

Please share your fruit with us and others this Lent!
The Way of the Cross is a common practice of piety that most people are familiar with and participate in especially during Lent. The Pro Sanctity Movement would like to invite everyone this Lent to go beyond doing the Stations, and instead enter into the Stations by spending some time reflecting on the following questions:

1. What station do you relate with the most? How is Jesus inviting you to be closer to Him? What thoughts, feelings, or desires emerge?

2. What station challenges, irks, or scares you the most? After spending some time relating this to Jesus, how are you invited to enter more deeply into this station and receive His love?

Please send your reflections to . We will post them on the Pro Sanctity Blog near the end of Lent. We are also gathering pictures for each station, so please send your favorite pictures that are not copyrighted.

STATIONS OF THE CROSS at Pro Sanctity Center in Elkhorn, Ne
Starting March 13, 2009
Pro Sanctity Retreat Center, 11002 N. 204th St. Elkhorn, NE 68022

The outdoor stations are up thanks to the confirmation students of St. Patrick's parish in Elkhorn, Ne. You may come at anytime to make the Stations of the Cross privately. We have booklets and a map. Take some time to meditate and walk the stations alone or bring friends.

HOLY WEEK – April 6-10
The Pro Sanctity Retreat Center in Elkhorn has Open House all during Holy week: Drop out for personal Prayer/Stations, Rosary, Walk and Talk or just be quiet...Adoration all week in the Farm House Chapel

Mon, Tues, Wed April 6-8, 2009
Quiet Day for yourself.
Stations of the Cross at 7:00 p.m.
. (Outdoors or indoors depending the weather)

Thursday, April 9, 2009
Quiet Day for yourself.
Stations on your own or come as a family.

Friday – April 10, 2009
. (Outdoors or indoors depending the weather)
8:00 P.M. Prayer around the Cross and Reconciliation.

SATURDAY – April 10, 2009
Silent Day of Prayer - come out and make the Stations, pray, serve...

EASTER SUNDAY,April 11, 2009
Easter Egg Hunt at 4:00 p.m. followed by Easter Dessert
KITE FLYING ALL DAY! (Bring your own kite or use one of ours!)
Join us at any time. Celebrate the Resurrection!
Pro Sanctity Office 402-289-1938 or write