Saturday, October 30, 2010

Make the Earth Resound

A speaker outside St. Michael's Cathedral.

A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful who piously recite the Act of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus Christ King on the feast of our Lord Jesus Christ King:

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before you. We are yours, and yours we wish to be; but to be more surely united with you, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to your Most Sacred Heart. Many indeed have never known you; many, too, despising your precepts, have rejected you. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to your Sacred Heart. Be King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken you, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned you; grant that they may quickly return to their Father's house, lest they die of wretchedness and hunger. Be King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and the unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd. Grant, O Lord, to your Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give tranquility of order to all nations; make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to it be glory and honor for ever. Amen.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

History and Providence

Historic photo of St. Michael's Cathedral and Metropolitan United.

How plainly visible is Providence in the history of my soul and of my life! It must be the same for all, if one knows how to discern its beneficent action; when I look back, in spite of misfortunes and tears, I can only bless and adore. I begin this new period of life – long or short, calm or sorrowful, according to God’s will – with these words from the depths of my soul: I believe, I adore, I hope. 
            – Servant of God, Elisabeth Leseur

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Keepin' It Real

At centre of the window hangs the galero which was conferred by Pope Pius XII on His Eminence, James Charles McGuigan in 1946.

On 23 June, 1273, Bonaventure was created Cardinal by Gregory X. The pope’s envoys who brought him his galero found the saint washing dishes outside the convent and were requested by him to hang it on a tree nearby until his hands were free to take it.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Flowers of My Desires and Good Will

A detail of a mosaic from the Lady altar in St. Michael's Cathedral.

If it is Your will that throughout my whole life, I would feel a repugnance to suffering and humiliation, or [if it is your will to] permit all the flowers of my desires and good will to fall to the ground without producing any fruit, I shall not be disturbed. In the twinkling of an eye, at the moment of death, You will cause rich fruits to ripen on the tree of my soul. 
               - St. Therese of the Child Jesus

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Daily Mass

Parishioners leaving St. Michael's Cathedral after Mass.

But the chief aim of our efforts must be that the frequent reception of the Eucharist may be everywhere revived among Catholic peoples. . . For the soul, like the body, needs frequent nourishment; and the Holy Eucharist provides that food which is best adapted to the support of its life. 
               – St. Pius X

Thursday, October 21, 2010


A garbage can in the front courtyard of St. Michael's Cathedral.

One hears an awful lot of blasphemous garbage these days, on the subway, on tv, in casual conversation... What to do?

Make a little cell in your heart for Jesus of the Agony; take refuge there, when you hear Him outraged by men, try to make reparation; you, at least, love Him and keep your heart quite pure for Him. Oh! If you only knew how the good God loves pure hearts! It is there that He loves to reign. 
          – Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Pinnacle of Love

The architects' drawings for the completion of the pinnacles of St. Michael's Cathedral, dated December 28th, 1865.  credit

We see the free will of Christ Who in obedience to the will of the Father offered Himself for love. It is in this obedience to the Father that Jesus fulfils His own freedom, as an informed choice motivated by love...It may seem a paradox, but the high point of the Lord's freedom was on the cross: the pinnacle of love. On Calvary they cried: 'If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross!' Yet He demonstrated His remaining on that scaffold to fulfill the Father's merciful will. 
                  – Pope Benedict XVI

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Catholic Lily

The fleur de lis on the wall of the narthex of St. Michael's Cathedral. As a Christian symbol, the fleur de lis is associated strongly with Mary, purity, and chastity.

I would that the whole world knew you and acknowledged you as being that beautiful Dawn which was always illumined with divine light; as that chosen Ark of salvation, free from the common shipwreck of sin; that perfect and immaculate Dove which your divine Spouse declared you to be...and finally, as that white Lily, which you are...
                    – St. Alphonsus Liguori to Mary

Monday, October 18, 2010

Feast of St. Luke

A window of St. Michael's Cathedral through which the dawn light streams at morning Mass.

In the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high shall break upon us. To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace. 
                          – Luke 1:78-9

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Most Holy Trinity

A quaint trefoil window in the old sacristy of St. Michael's Cathedral.  The trefoil is a common symbol of the Trinity.

O eternal Trinity, You are a deep sea in which the more I seek the more I find, and the more I find, the more I seek to know You. You fill us insatiably, because the soul, before the abyss which You are, is always famished; and hungering for You, O eternal Trinity, it desires to behold truth in Your light. As the thirsty heart pants after the fount of living water, so does my soul long to leave this gloomy body and see You as You are, in truth. 
               - St. Catherine of Siena

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Feast of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

A statue of Our Lord and His Divine Heart in St. John's Chapel at St. Michael's Cathedral.

The Divine Heart is an ocean full of all good things, wherein poor souls can cast all their needs; it is an ocean full of joy to drown all our sadness, an ocean of humility to drown our folly, an ocean of mercy to those in distress, an ocean of love in which to submerge our poverty.
                    - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Our Only Hope

An altar cross from 1858 in the sacristy of St. Michael's Cathedral.

O Crux ave, spes unica...piis adauge gratiam...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Ugliness of Sin

A delightfully ugly little gargoyle on the side of St. Michael's Cathedral.

My soul will grind under the weight of its infidelities towards the Author of life. I know that no one is clean before the Lord, but my uncleanness has no limits in front of Him. In the present state in which the merciful God, in His wisdom and justice, is deigning to lift the veil and manifest to me the hidden faults, in all their maliciousness and ugliness, I see myself so deformed that my very same vestments seem to me to have the horror of my filth. 
                  – St. Padre Pio

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


An angel moves the sun in the mural at the Lady altar at St. Michael's Cathedral.

Let us affectionately love His angels as counselors and defenders appointed by the Father and placed over us. They are faithful; they are prudent; they are powerful; Let us only follow them, let us remain close to them, and in the protection of the God of Heaven let us abide. 
                       - St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Getting to Mass

A parishioner's bicycle outside St. Michael's Cathedral.

Blessed Charles the Good (d. 1127) used to walk to Mass barefoot every day as a penance; So did St. Hedwig (d. 1243) and through the snow!  Get to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Dear Hearts, however you get there.  It’s the joyful obligation of every Catholic under canon law.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Drop by Drop

Detail of a chalice at St. Michael's Cathedral.  photo credit

How is it that we do not die of love in seeing that God Himself could do no more than shed His divine blood for us drop by drop? When as man He was preparing for death, He made Himself our food in order to give us life. God becomes food, bread for his creatures. Is this not enough to make us die of love? 
             – St. Teresa (Juanita) de los Andes

Friday, October 8, 2010

Bishops: Supreme Among Men

The mitre of the late Emmet Cardinal Carter.  photo credit

But, dear reader, I reply with Saint Denis that the task of leading souls towards perfection appertains above all others to Bishops, and that because their Order is supreme among men, as the Seraphim among Angels,  therefore their leisure cannot be better spent. 
                          – St. Francis de Sales

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mother Mary: An Abiding Anchor

An anchor in a stained glass window in the narthex of St. Michael's Cathedral.

We fasten our souls to Your hope, as to an abiding anchor. It is to Her that the saints who have saved themselves have been the most attached and have done their best to attach others, in order to persevere in virtue. Happy, then, a thousand times happy, are the Christians who are now fastened faithfully and entirely to Her, as to a firm anchor! 
                       – St. Louis Marie de Montfort

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Stormy World

Storm clouds gathering behind St. Michael's Cathedral.

Rejoice, my dearest brothers, because you are blessed and because of the bountiful hand of God's grace upon you. Rejoice, because you have escaped the various dangers and shipwrecks of the stormy world. Rejoice because you have reached the quiet and safe anchorage of a secret harbor. Many wish to come into this port, and many make great efforts to do so, yet do not achieve it. Indeed many, after reaching it, have been thrust out, since it was not granted them from above. By your work you show what you love and what you know. When you observe true obedience with prudence and enthusiasm, it is clear that you wisely pick the most delightful and nourishing fruit of divine Scripture. 
                        – St. Bruno to Carthusians

Monday, October 4, 2010


A burning candle hangs before the Marian shrine in St. Michael's Cathedral.

 My Lord Jesus Christ, I pray You to grant me two graces before I die: the first is that during my life I may feel in my soul and in my body, as much as possible, that pain which You, dear Jesus, sustained in the hour of Your most bitter Passion. The second is that I may feel in my heart, as much as possible, that excessive love with which You, O Son of God, were inflamed in willingly enduring such suffering for us sinners.  – St. Francis of Assisi

Sunday, October 3, 2010

On Repentance

A print of Rembrandt's Prodigal Son hangs in the hall on the way from the Sanctuary to the Sacristy in St. Michael's Cathedral.

Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son; make me as one of thy hired servants. - Luke 15:18-19.

The very best that can be said of the fallen and redeemed race of Adam is, that they confess their fall, and condemn themselves for it, and try to recover themselves. And this state of mind, which is in fact the only possible religion left to sinners, is represented to us in the parable of the Prodigal Son, who is described as receiving, then abusing, and then losing God's blessings, suffering from their loss, and brought to himself by the experience of suffering. A poor service indeed to offer, but the best we can offer, to make obedience our second choice when the world deserts us, when that is dead and lost to us wherein we were held!   – Bl. John Henry Newman

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Obedience to Bishops

The likeness of Archbishop Denis T. O'Conner C.S.B. (1841-1908) hangs in the Sacristy of St. Michael's Cathedral.

Bishops are the successors of the apostles and are owed obedience (CCC 861-2). Want to stick it to the Devil? 

The Devil doesn’t fear austerity but holy obedience.
  – St. Francis de Sales

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Reality of Death

The grave of Eliza Boulton, wife of Henry John Boulton, in the crypt of St. Michael's Cathedral.
St. Jerome used to visit the catacombs weekly to remind himself of the reality of death:

Often I would find myself entering those crypts, deep dug in the earth, with their walls on either side lined with the bodies of the dead, where everything was so dark that almost it seemed as though the Psalmist’s words were fulfilled, “Let them go down quick into Hell”. Here and there the light, not entering in through windows, but filtering down from above through shafts, relieved the horror of the darkness. But again, as soon as you found yourself cautiously moving forward, the black night closed around and there came to my mind the line of Vergil, “Horror unique animos, simul ipsa silentia terrent”.