Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Feast of St. Eugenia

St. Michael's Cathedral

St. Michael’s Cathedral is open daily, offering Masses and Eucharistic Adoration, at various hours all day.  Think that’s no big deal?  On 31 May, 1863 Eugenia stopped into a church on her way and heard a priest say:

Is there no one out there who feels called to dedicate themselves to doing good for love of the Heart of Jesus?

Eugenia decided to live in abandonment to God and in the hands of Mary Immaculate, founded a religious institute, and became a saint. 

What might you hear if you stopped in today?

You Don't Know What's Good For You

St. Michael's Cathedral photo from internet.

We should not bear it with bad grace if the answer to our prayer is long delayed. Rather let us because of this show great patience and resignation. For He delays for this reason: that we may offer Him a fitting occasion of honoring us through His divine providence. Whether, therefore, we receive what we ask for, or do not receive it, let us still continue steadfast in prayer. For to fail in obtaining the desires of our heart, when God so wills it, is not worse than to receive it ; for we know not as He does, what is profitable to us.
                        - St. John Chrysostom

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mass for the Unborn

photo from internet

 5:30pm Dec. 28, 2010 because...

…each according to his or her possibilities, profession, and responsibilities, should feel in themselves an obligation to love and serve life, from its beginning to its natural end.   
- Pope Benedict XVI 

Holy Innocents Pray for Us

Monday, December 27, 2010

St. Leo I on the Nativity

During the noon Mass on Christmas Day there was a minor medical emergency at St. Michael's Cathedral. Ambulance arrived and offered assistance to a parishioner. It's a reminder of the frailty of our human nature, a nature which Our Lord so fully and humbly took on Himself.

…being invisible in His own nature He became visible in ours, and He whom nothing could contain, was content to be contained, abiding before all time He began to be in time: the Lord of all things, He obscured His immeasurable majesty and took on Him the form of a servant, being God, that cannot suffer, He did not disdain to be man that can, and immortal as He is, to subject Himself to the laws of death. 
                            – Pope St Leo I

Friday, December 24, 2010

At Midnight Mass

The chalice and paten of the late G. Emmett Cardinal Carter. 

Your eyes at the midnight Mass will gaze upon the elevated Host and your lips will utter, “My Lord and my God.” A few minutes more and the little Infant will have come to you. His Immaculate Mother did not hold him more truly in her arms that first Christmas midnight than you will have him, heart to heart. Then all the love of that Infant Redeemer will be poured out upon you. It is a thirst of the heart of every creature that desires to be loved, and the love which can alone satisfy that craving is the Divine Love.
          – St. Katherine Drexel

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

St. Peter Canisius on CINO Catholics

A few Catholics pray in the back of the nave of St. Michael's Cathedral.

Better that only a few Catholics should be left, staunch and sincere in their religion, than that they should, remaining many, desire as it were, to be in collusion with the Church's enemies and in conformity with the open foes of our faith. 
                   – St. Peter Canisius

Monday, December 20, 2010


His Grace, Archbishop Collins in St. Michael's Cathedral. His Grace is a great encourager of vocations and can occasionally be found having coffee at nearby Fran's Diner with a seminarian or someone else who is considering a call to Religious life or the Priesthood.

A religious vocation is the greatest grace that God can give a soul after Holy Baptism.  
                    – St. Mary Magdelene de Pazzi

Friday, December 17, 2010

Across the Boundaries of Time

His Holiness Pope John Paul II outside St. Michael's Cathedral, 1984.

The goal and target of our life is He, the Christ who awaits us - each one singly and altogether - to lead us across the boundaries of time to the eternal embrace of the God who loves us. 
                     - Pope John Paul II

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Annoying Craftsmen

The work of craftsmen on the south side of St. Michael's Cathedral. are like the stone that must be chiseled and fashioned before being set in the building.

Thus you should understand that those who are in the monastery are craftsmen placed there by God to mortify you by working and chiseling at you. Some will chisel with words, telling you what you would rather not hear; others by deed, doing against you what you would rather not endure; others by temperament, being in their person and in their actions a bother and annoyance; and others by their thoughts, neither esteeming nor feeling love for you. 

- St. John of the Cross speaks here of annoyances in monastery life but I suppose that it must apply to family life too. I wouldn't know, I never annoy my family.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Debt Collections

A St. Vincent de Paul Society poor box stands by in the narthex of St. Michael's Cathedral. A member of the society usually holds it after Mass on Sunday so that parishioners may give alms on their way out.

When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice. 
                 – St. Gregory the Great

Friday, December 10, 2010

On The Religious Life and Death

The grave marker of some of Toronto's first B.V.M. sisters in the basement crypt of St. Michael's Cathedral.

They [religious] live more purely, they fall more rarely, they rise more speedily, they are aided more powerfully, they live more peacefully, they die more securely, and they are rewarded more abundantly. 
              – St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Immaculate Mary

The letters A and M (for auspice Maria) and two little angels above the door to the Sacristy in St. Michael's Cathedral.

...Under her guidance, under her patronage, under her kindness and protection, nothing is to be feared; nothing is hopeless. Because, while bearing toward us a truly motherly affection and having in her care the work of our salvation, she is solicitous about the whole human race. And since she has been appointed by God to be the Queen of heaven and earth, and is exalted above all the choirs of angels and saints, and even stands at the right hand of her only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, she presents our petitions in a most efficacious manner. What she asks, she obtains. Her pleas can never be unheard.
                          - Pope Pius IX (Dec. 8, 1854)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Favorite Plainsongs Are Like Bellybuttons

The advent wreath with two candles lit in St. Michael's Cathedral.

... Consolámini, consolámini, pópule méus:

cito véniet sálus túa:

quare mæróre consúmeris,

quia innovávit te dólor?

Salvábo te, nóli timére,

égo enim sum Dóminus Déus túus,

Sánctus Israël, Redémptor túus.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Precious Pearl

A parishioner holds a pearl rosary at St. Michael's Cathedral.

The Hail Mary well said, that is with attention, devotion, and modesty is, according to the saints, the enemy of the devil which puts him to flight and the hammer which crushes him. It is the sanctification of the soul, the joy of the angels, the melody of the predestinate, the canticle of the New Testament, the pleasure of Mary, and the glory of the most Holy Trinity. The Hail Mary is a heavenly dew which fertilizes the soul. It is the chaste and loving kiss which we give to Mary. It is a vermilion rose which we present to her; a precious pearl we offer her; a chalice of divine ambrosial nectar which we proffer to her.  
               – St. Louis Marie de Montfort

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Heart of Jesus

Jesus points to His Sacred Heart in the stained glass of St. Michael's Cathedral.

Does our life become from day to day more painful, more oppressive, more replete with afflictions? Blessed be He a thousand times who desires it so.... 

Heart of Jesus, I love Thee; but increase my love. Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee; but give greater vigor to my confidence. Heart of Jesus, I give my heart to Thee; but so enclose it in Thee that it may never be separated from Thee. Heart of Jesus, I am all Thine; but take care of my promise so that I may be able to put it in practice even unto the complete sacrifice of my life. 
            – Bl. Miguel Pro (priest and martyr)

Friday, December 3, 2010

St. Francis Xavier on the Vocations Crisis

The Rector of St. Michael's Cathedral (Fr. Busch) with the Young Adults group.

Many, many people hereabouts are not becoming Christians for one reason only: there is nobody to make them Christians. Again and again I have thought of going round the universities of Europe, especially Paris, and everywhere crying out like a madman, riveting the attention of those with more learning than charity: "What a tragedy: how many souls are being shut out of heaven and falling into hell, thanks to you!"

- a letter of St. Francis Xavier to St. Ignatius Loyola

Think you might be hearing the call? 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


The little Tabernacle (with the Last Supper scene) in St. John's Chapel at St. Michael's Cathedral.

Lord Jesus, You are in the Holy Eucharist. You are there a yard away in the Tabernacle. Your body, Your soul, Your human nature, Your divinity, Your whole being is there, in its twofold nature. How close You are, my God, my Savior, my Spouse, My Beloved!

You were not nearer to the Blessed Virgin during the nine months that she carried You than You are to me when You rest on my tongue in Holy Communion. You were no closer to the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph in the caves at Bethlehem or in the flight into Egypt or at any moment of that divine family life than you are to me at this moment – and so many others - in the Tabernacle.

                     – Blessed Charles de Foucauld