Monthly Archives: May 2016


Looking out into another world

The Hospice informed me the patient I prayed with on Saturday passed away yesterday around six o’clock in the evening. It may be the first funeral I attend. I spoke with his daughter regarding the purchasing of the book ‘Our Lady’s Knight’. She will consult with her brother regarding the matter. God is good and all giving.

Looking into another world


Memorial Day reflection

Sargeant Leo E. Lovasik was a WWII American pilot who was nicknamed ‘Our Lady’s Knight.’ He was an example to his peers and always instructed his fellow companions to pray to Our Lady for her protection. His plane was shot down by the Germans in 1943 and he was killed in the explosion. The pilots, back then, were allowed to decal their aircraft and give it a name. Sargeant Lovasik christened his, Our Lady’s Knight. His brother, a priest, and prolific author, Father Lawrence Lovasik published his story.


Stabat Mater Dolorosa

Accenting, highlighting, a prayerful Hospice experience this afternoon, Rita took me to Severance Hall to enjoy the Cleveland Orchestra performing Dvorak’s ‘Stabat Mater’.  I did not know we would be attending a Marian event.  Nor did Rita.  The Stabat Mater is a traditional Catholic hymn credited to Italian Franciscan Jacopone da Todi.  The operatic performance proved stellar.  Fifth row seats allowed intimate witnessing of individuals graced with superior skills and practiced precision executing wonderfully as a unified body.  Our Lady was the theme of the day.  Blessings rain on a free da–a day off work before another day off.  The poem ‘The Knight and His Celestial Lady’, I posted earlier came from a book ‘Our Lady’s Knight: The true story of Technical Sergeant Leo E. Lovasik’.  I came across the book spending the afternoon with a Hospice patient.  I spent a previous afternoon with him several weeks ago, providing respite for his daughters and son.  I was informed earlier in the week the patient requested my return.  I was humbled and honored to accept the invitation.  He has stopped eating, not getting up from his bed.  His daughter warned me she feared he was very close to death, asking me if I was alright with the fact.  I told her how moved I was to be there.  The patient and myself enjoyed two and a half hours of intense prayer, moments of quiet poignantly filling—the silence empty, yet sustained by birds singing.  I adored the way he kept focus on me, forcing me to close my eyes in order to hide from identity.  It was a good day.  Afterwards, only a mile away from St Paul Shrine, I stopped by in order to sit before the Eucharist.  I encountered the man of prayer, engaging in a conversation centered on the passing of his father Thursday evening.  God is good and all giving.  It is interesting and noteworthy that the Marian book revealing the life of Sergeant Leo E. Lovasik is difficult to attain. Copies do not exist for purchase.  I will have to stop by the patient’s home offering his children money for the book.  It will be a pleasant Sunday afternoon excursion.

At the cross her station keeping,
Mary stood in sorrow weeping
When her Son was crucified.
While she waited in her anguish,
Seeing Christ in torment languish,
Bitter sorrow pierced her heart.
With what pain and desolation,
With what noble resignation,
Mary watched her dying Son.
Ever-patient in her yearning
Though her tear-filled eyes were burning,
Mary gazed upon her Son.
Who, that sorrow contemplating,
On that passion meditating,
Would not share the Virgin’s grief?
Christ she saw, for our salvation,
Scourged with cruel acclamation,
Bruised and beaten by the rod.
Christ she saw with life-blood failing,
All her anguish unavailing,
Saw him breathe his very last.
Mary, fount of love’s devotion,
Let me share with true emotion
All the sorrow you endured.
Virgin, ever interceding,
Hear me in my fervent pleading:
Fire me with your love of Christ.
Mother, may this prayer be granted:
That Christ’s love may be implanted
In the depths of my poor soul.
At the cross, your sorrow sharing,
All your grief and torment bearing,
Let me stand and mourn with you.
Fairest maid of all creation,
Queen of hope and consolation,
Let me feel your grief sublime.
Virgin, in your love befriend me,
At the Judgment Day defend me.
Help me by your constant prayer.
Savior, when my life shall leave me,
Through your mother’s prayers receive me
With the fruits of victory.
Virgin of all virgins blest!
Listen to my fond request:
Let me share your grief divine
Let me, to my latest breath,
In my body bear the death
Of your dying Son divine.
Wounded with His every wound,
Steep my soul till it has swooned
In His very Blood away.
Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
Lest in flames I burn and die,
In His awe-full judgment day.
Savior, when my life shall leave me,
Through your mother’s prayers
receive me
With the fruits of victory.
While my body here decays
May my soul your goodness praise,
Safe in heaven eternally.
Amen. Allelúja.
Stabat Mater dolorósa
Juxta Crucem lacrimósa,
Dum pendébat Filius.
Cujus ánimam geméntem,
Contristátam et doléntem,
Pertransivit gladius.
O quam tristis et afflicta
Fuit illa benedicta
Mater Unigéniti!
Quae maerébat, et dolébat,
Pia Mater, dum vidébat
Nati poenas inclyti.
Quis est homo, qui non fleret,
Matrem Christi si vidéret
In tanto supplicio?
Quis non posset contristári,
Christi Matrem contemplári
Doléntem cum Filio?
Pro peccátis suae gentis
Vidit Jesum in torméntis,
Et flagéllis súbditum.
Vidit suum dulcem natum
Moriéndo desolátum,
Dum emisit spíritum.
Eia mater, fons amóris,
Me sentíre vim dolóris
Fac, ut tecum lúgeam.
Fac,ut árdeat cor meum
In amándo Christum Deum,
Ut sibi compláceam.
Sancta Mater, istud agas
Crucifixi fige plagas
Cordi meo válide.
Tui nati vulneráti,
Tam dignáti pro me pati,
Poenas mecum dívide.
Fac me tecum pie flere,
Crucifixo condolére,
Donec ego víxero.
Juxta Crucem tecum stare,
Et me tibi sociáre
In planctu desídero.
Virgo vírginum praeclára,
Mihi jam non sis amára:
Fac me tecum plángere.
Fac, ut portem Christi mortem,
Passiónis fac consórtem,
Et plagas recólere.
Fac me plagis vulnerári,
Fac me Cruce inebriári,
Et cruó re Fílii.
Flammis ne urar succénsus,
Per te, Virgo, sim defénsus
In die judícii.
Christe, cum sit hinc exíre
Da per Matrem me veníre
Ad palmam victóriae.
Quando corpus moriétur,
Fac, ut ánimae donétur
Paradísi glória.
Amen. Allelúja.

The Cleveland Orchestra - photo by Roger Mastroianni CLO052611_ 15


The Knight and His Celestial Lady

O Holy Virgin
Keep my heart as that of a child,
Pure, fresh, and wide and glad,
Transparent as a spring.
Give me a simple heart,
That does not savor sadness,
A Heart that glories when it gives itself,
A heart aware of frailty
And open to compassion,
A faithful and generous heart
That remembers every benefit
And does not cherish rancor for a hurt.
Give me a tender, humble heart,
That loves and ask for no return,
Happy to efface itself in another heart,
In the presence of your Divine son,
A heart great and indomitable,
That no ingratitude can lock,
And no indifference render slack,
A heart tormented with the glory of Jesus Christ,
And wounded by His love,
A wound that only shall be healed in Heaven.

Pere Leone de Grandmaison


A design for living that really works

Scattered thoughts written by Richard Rohr in ‘Breathing Under Water’

People’s willingness to find God in their own struggle with life—and let it change them—is their deepest and truest obedience to God’s eternal will….“God comes to us disguised as our life!”


The Jewish name for the Holy One, literally unspeakable, is “Yahweh,” which we now believe was an imitation of the sound of breathing in and breathing out.

Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.


You see the point, I am sure. The only way to be delivered from our “body of death” is a love that is greater, a deeper connection that absorbs all the negativity and irritation with life and with ourselves. Until we have found our own ground and connection to the Whole, we are all unsettled and grouchy.


Do you know why most of us are called to marriage, and even “saved” by marriage and children, even marriages that do not last forever? Marriage and parenting is made to order to steal you from your selfishness. It first of all reveals your selfishness to you…and then if you stay in there, and fall into a love that is greater, it is usually much easier from there. Not without work, however, because the ego and the shadow do not “go gentle into that good night,” as Dylan Thomas would say.


Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


Those who mourn…

The Christian must die in order to be re-born; and the death is the death of the self that sets itself up to be independent; to be a God, and to use all things as its creatures, for profit or pleasure: you will use all things, and be quite prepared incidentally to be fond of them, just so long as they fit in with your scheme and minister to your comfort. But that is not the Christian attitude. It is on LOVE that the “whole law depends”; and this condescending affection which will use things on condition is not love. In LOVE every getting is a form of giving; this other attitude is a sort of lust, where every giving is only a form of, or a means to, getting. The center is yourself; in LOVE the center is always the other, and yourself only identified as with the other. The pleasure-seeker in this sense is enslaved to the original sin: he has yet to die, to make the long journey and slay the serpent, and find himself anew and truly in the Other (GOD). There is no LOVE without reverence; but reverence consists in saying, “It is you who are important”.

…Passion cannot be worship of God unless it is reverence towards its immediate earthly object; and just as piety towards creatures is the test of piety towards God, so with reverence. If you want to be among those who mourn, you must start by making sure that you are temperate in your attitude toward creatures: that you are reverent towards men, women, animals, and inanimate things. You must not be sentimental: you must not make reverence synonymous with fear or softness or blindness. –Father Gerald Vann ‘The Divine Pity’

Reverence: They that mourn...

Reverence: They that mourn…