Wednesday, March 21, 2018


SERVANT of GOD ADELE DIRSYTE was born in 1909 in Lithuania. She was the youngest of six children and her parents were hardworking farmers. Adele spent her childhood working the farm and attending school. Her parents taught her to value hard work.

When she was 19 years old, Adele decided to study Philosophy at University. There she was very involved in Catholic college groups,giving many speeches, lectures and conferences to Catholic Youth organizations. After leaving university, Adele took that passion for her faith and worked for Caritas and a number of other Catholic organizations that took care of the poor and orphans.

With her Mother & brother
She wrote many articles that were published about the need to help others. During the German and Soviet occupation of Lithuania, Adele found a job teaching in a girls school and language academy. Her students shared that Adele took the teaching position as an opportunity to teach the girls about their faith and go to Mass and retreats with them. She organized relief efforts and hid Jewish students in her home when she could.

In 1944, when the Soviets reoccupied her country, she joined a group of activists who sought to bring faith and culture back to Lithuania. Adele worked to strengthening of her people’s religious and national traditions. In 1946, she was arrested for hiding a person who had escaped from the Soviets. She was put on trial before a military tribunal and sentenced to 10 years in a concentration camp.

A year later, she was moved from the concentration camp to a forced labor camp in Russia. Life there was extremely difficult, with excessive physical work being aggravated by poor nutrition, lack of hygiene, and intense cold weather. All these effected AdelÄ—’s health but she was known by the other inmates to be energetic and positive, organizing prayer groups to pray the rosary.

Over a period of two years, Adele was transferred to several other labor camps where she had to cut rocks, build railways and other hard manual labor. She was always a spiritual leader to those in need. In her spare time during these years, she wrote a Prayer Book for girls who were exiled in the Siberian labor camps.

It was a small handwritten book sewn together with cloth covers. The inmates would copy the prayers and make their own prayer book, adding their personal prayer to the next copy. Adele encouraged the women to add their new prayers to their own books and others when they could.

During this time, Adele found out that a priest was passing through a nearby village and she arranged for the Eucharist to be brought to the women secretly. The Soviet guards found out and punished Adele, with daily beatings for weeks. When the other inmates realized that she was being brutally beaten, they tried to comfort her, but she would say that the guards needed her forgiveness and she would pray for them. Finally the Soviets took her to an isolated prison where they spent months trying to break her spirit and faith. They put her in the mentally ill section of the camp. She died there in 1955 when she was 46 years old.

Saturday, March 17, 2018


 This morning at Mass as I heard the words, “This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world,” I was reminded that we are looking upon the very same Jesus who suffered  for us, who died and rose again, leaving us His physical presence in the Eucharist.  If He were to come back to us in bodily form and we could see  and hear Him speak at some large venue, how many would flock, as they do to some rock musician? 

Sadao Watanabe

If so many believe as they profess to, why are not our churches overflowing?  His Gift to us is free and as we get closer to Holy Week, we should consider taking advantage of this miracle to us in our daily life, and not wait til the Resurrection!

Reflecting upon the Lord’s Supper, Pope Benedict XVI wrote: “At the Last Supper, Jesus entrusts to His disciples the sacrament which makes present His self-sacrifice for the salvation of us all, in obedience to the Father’s will.”

We cannot receive His Body and Blood without being changed if we are open in the deepest recesses of our heart, to this great Sacrifice.

Thursday, March 15, 2018


GABRIELLE BOSSIS was a French Catholic laywoman, actress and mystic, best known for her mystical work Lui et Moi, published in English translation as He and I. The book recounts her dialogues with Jesus, which came to her as an "inner voice" and which she recorded in a series of journals from 1936 to shortly before her death in 1950. (It very clearly smacks of the writings of St. Faustina, in its message, though the language is a bit more modern).

Jesus’ messages to her were short and ones that can be found in the writing of great mystics through the ages:

Express your hope in Me. Come out of yourself. Enter into Me.
Do not fail to give Me your sufferings. They help sinners..
Try to understand My yearning for you, for all My children.

Gabrielle was born in Nantes, France in 1874,  the youngest child of a family of four. As a child in a well to do aristocratic family, she was taught and raised in proper social graces and etiquette, and she grew up to be a graceful, happy and high spirited young woman, but as from her childhood she possessed a strong yearning for God and the things of the Spirit.

She obtained a Degree in Nursing, and enjoyed the fine arts of that time, including sculpting, painting, illuminating and music. Later in life she discovered that she had another talent- that of writing moral plays and also acting. From that point on until two years before her death she traveled extensively in France and abroad, producing her own plays and acting in the principal role. Those who still remember her remark about her infectious laughter and her unfailing charm.

On very rare occasions in her early life, Gabrielle had been surprised by a Mysterious Voice, which she heard and felt with awe, and sometimes anxious questionings, which she perceived to be the Voice of Christ. It was only at the age of 62, however, that this touching dialogue with the "Inner Voice" began in earnest, continuing  until two weeks before her death on June 9, 1950.

While still living, Gabrielle had maintained a strict discretion about her experiences, and although her spiritual director had begun to publish the words she heard from Jesus, her identity was kept a secret. “He and I” became a huge spiritual success and continues to touch hearts up to the present day. The journal  has been published in numerous languages and has become a source of deep inspiration and edification for those who read it.

Amazingly enough her work was not put into print for the public by the French but by a Canadian (Imprimateur also Canadian) Another French mystic Venerable Marthe Robin (foundress of the Foyers of Charity) was instrumental in informing Evelyn Brown, the English translator of "He and I", about Gabrielle  and her writings, thus being the instrument in leading Evelyn to eventually became the one to translate "He and I" into English. I could find nothing about the two mystics connecting or how Evelyn found her way to Marthe.

Saturday, March 10, 2018


The Fourth Sunday of Lent is called Laetare Sunday, when the Church takes a bit of breather from Lenten practice as we sing  “Rejoice, Jerusalem … be joyful, all who were in mourning!”

We look with expectation to the great Solemnity of Easter for which we have been preparing ourselves  during the Lenten season. By its anticipation of the joy of Easter, Laetare Sunday is meant to give us hope and encouragement as we slowly progress towards the Paschal Feast. The priest  has taken off the purple of Lent and wears pink this day- a sign of joy- reminding us of the new life around us with flowers, lambs, calves.

"Holy Communion is the feast of the soul - that is to say, a source of deepest joys. As bread imparts to the body strength and a feeling of contentment, so does the Bread of Life bring peace and joy to your heart because of the wonderful fruits of grace it produces in your soul."   Fr. Lawrence Lovasik. (d. 1986)

This spiritual joy brought to you in the Eucharist will make you bear the trials and sufferings of life with a more peaceful, con­tented heart. “So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” (John 16:22)

“Today the liturgy invites us to cheer up, because Easter, the day of Christ’s victory over sin and death, is drawing nearer. Where is the spring of Christian joy but in the Eucharist, which Christ left as a spiritual food, while we are pilgrims on this earth?

This Eucharistic food provides for the faithful of all ages a profound joy, which is at one with love and with peace, and which springs forth from one’s communion with God and with one’s brothers.”  Pope Benedict XV

”During His earthly life, Jesus was ever kind and compassionate. You may hope for everything from Him in Holy Communion, since you take Him into your heart. He will be your best comforter and helper.” Fr. Lovasik

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


Someone who appears once in a while in the Magnificat, is a little known mystic- at least in our country.   She is a good example that one does not have to be a religious living in the cloister to become a saint . She gives hope to all who feel that they are too far away from holiness to follow Christ.

LUCIE CHRISTINE (b.1844) was the pseudonym of an upper middle class Frenchwoman, Mathilde Boutle. She married at 21, raised five children, all the while suffering verbal and physical abuse at the hands of an alcoholic husband.

She grew up in a religious home, and even in childhood seems to have been attracted to silent devotion or "mental prayer."

Mathilde was of the leisured class, leading the ordinary life of a person of her type and position. She married in 1865 and at the age of forty-three she became a widow. In 1908, after nineteen years of blindness, she died at the age of sixty-four.

Lucie Christine said her mysticism was "very simple. “My soul lives in God, by a glance of love between Him and myself". Anyone can learn to "be silent before God," she said, "to look at Him, and let Him look at you."

Her time was spent in family and social duties, sometimes in Paris, sometimes in her country home.  She appeared to her neighbors remarkable only for her goodness, gentleness, and love of religion. Nothing could have been more commonplace than her external circumstances.

Her inward life, unsuspected by any but her parish priest, for whom her journal was written, had a richness and originality which entitle her to a place among the Catholic mystics. Her writings show that she was intelligent and also had and an almost psychic gift of premonitions of important and tragic events. This peculiarity, which she disliked and never spoke of, persisted through life.

Her spiritual journal, published in 1912, reveals a sensitive, idealistic, and affectionate woman who was somewhat unpractical, very easily wounded, tempted to irritability, and inclined to worry.
"The excessive wish to be loved, appreciated, admired by those whom I love," was one of the temptations against which, as a young woman, she felt it necessary to pray: another was the longing for enjoyment, for personal happiness. It was only after eight years of intermittent mystical experience that she learned the secret of inward peace: to "lose her own interests in those of God, and receive a share in His interests in exchange."

Her spiritual life developed gradually and evenly, and unlike some mystics, there was no falling off her horse, like St. Paul. One day, when she was meditating on a passage in the Imitation of Christ, she saw and heard within her mind the words  “God alone”.  From this time on she aimed to conquer her natural irritability and dislike for the boredom and unrealities of a prosperous existence, and give her all to Christ in her daily duties as mother and wife.

More and more, as her mystical consciousness grew, the life of contemplation became her delight; and it was plainly a real trial to be distracted from it for trivial purposes. In company, or busied with household duties, she went for hours with "her soul absorbed, its better part rapt in God." She "tried to appear ordinary," and made excuses if her abstraction was observed. (Reminds  me of Raissa Maritain- see Blog  2/15/11).  

Her religious practice certainly centered on the Eucharist, so she is a good “saint” for us to study this Lent. "I am nourished by God's substance."  God, she says, gives Himself to us that we may give Him again through our love of others.

Lucie-Christine makes clear to us, as few mystics have done, the immense transfiguration which can occur even in the most “ordinary life"!    "My one prayer is, that I may not feel joy and grief so vividly: that I may feel only Thee."

Saturday, March 3, 2018


Daniel Bonnell
…if we let ourselves be purified by the sanctifying power that flows from the Eucharist, if we offer ourselves to the Lord in this Sacrifice and receive Him into our innermost souls in Holy Communion, then we cannot but be drawn ever more deeply into the current of His divine life. We shall grow into the mystical Body of Christ, and our heart will be transformed into the likeness of the Divine Heart.
                            St. Benedicta of the Cross

I never know why, when I read what a saint has said, why I bother in my own words to say the same thing. Perhaps it is why they are saints! 

For us, here and now,  after 2000+ years, the Holy Eucharist is  still the source of unity for the Mystical Body of Christ, the 
Church, and the link between the liturgy and  the corporal works of mercy. 

As members of  Christ’s Church, we  are bound together by a supernatural life communicated to us by Jesus Himself through the Eucharist. "We being many are one bread, one body; for we all partake of the one bread"  (I Cor. 17). 

Having passed from this world to the Father, Christ gives us in the Eucharist the pledge of glory with Him. Participation in the Holy Sacrifice identifies us with His Heart, sustains our strength along the pilgrimage of this life, makes us long for eternal life, and unites us even now to the Church in heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all the saints.  (Catechism of the Catholic Church  - 1419)

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


Almost a year and a half after an August 2016 earthquake in the central area of the Italy, a tabernacle with 40 intact and consecrated hosts was found amid the rubble in Our Lady of the Assumption church in the town of Arquata.

According to the Italian daily Avvenire, inside the tabernacle “the ciborium was overturned but the lid was still on. And despite all the months that had gone by, the hosts were whole, without any alteration.”

 The Bishop of Ascoli Piceno, Giovanni D’Ercole, told Avvenire what was discovered: “A fresh baked aroma was still noticeable, which is very moving. It is a sign of hope for everyone. It tells us that Jesus also suffered the earthquake like everyone else, but he has come out alive from among the rubble.”

Fr. Angelo Ciancotti of the Ascoli Piceno cathedral said that getting into the tabernacle was not simple: “The problem was opening it up, but my collection of tabernacle keys helped me.”

The priest opened the tabernacle with one of the keys in his extensive collection, and said that inside an overturned ciborium, “was the Body of Christ which for more than a year and a half remained intact, without any change in color, shape or scent.”

Fr. Ciancotti told Avvenire that “there was no bacteria or mold as happens with hosts after a few weeks. Even though they were more than a year and a half old, they seemed to have been made the day before.”

In his opinion “this prodigious and inexplicable discovery” is “a miracle, but above all a message for everyone: it is a sign that reminds us of the centrality of the Eucharist.”
“Jesus is telling us” with these intact hosts that “'I am in your midst. Trust in me.'” he concluded.