The Pieta Prayer Book  (a classic) Many find this the most powerful little compilation of prayers they own. There are the fifteen prayers as revealed to St. Bridget. There is an ancient prayer to the Virgin. There are beautiful prayers to Jesus. There is a prayer to the Eternal Father to obtain all the graces of the world's Masses. There is a novena to the Sacred Heart. There is Divine Mercy, prayer for priests.  CLICK HERE



The other day -- on Palm Sunday -- a priest mentioned the intensely interesting aspects of a human protein called laminin [left and below]. We have written about it before. The interesting characteristics include the fact that seen under a microscope it's shaped like a Cross -- and binds our cells together.

The priest said that in one microphotograph it even seemed like there was a corpus on the cellular structure.

Noted the Truth or Fiction website (confirming it): "Laminin is defined by the Webster Medical Dictionary as a 'glycoprotein that is a component of connective tissue basement membrane and that promotes cell adhesion.'  In other words, looking at laminin as a kind of glue isn't far from the truth."

The point of the homily: just as laminin pervades and holds together the body, so should the Passion pervade us and hold us together spiritually. The Crucifixion of our Lord is our glue -- whether we realize it or not.

Passions are funny things. When we have a passion, we get lost in it. It is a reverie. We block out everything else. Look at the example of a person playing a guitar -- really into it -- or eating a special meal (or with gluttony). Passion can also be hyperactivity or workaholicism.

There are bad passions. They rot the flesh. We are consumed. There is bad fruit from passion and then the tastefulness and beauty of the passion fruit. Good passions send us into a state that can be transcendental. Both types of passion are desires and when we desire something strongly it often brings what we desire into reality. When the passion -- when the desire -- is good, we often sacrifice or even suffer before we attain it (as did Jesus). This is the main dictionary definition of the word "passion": to suffer, to endure. Good desires create good reality and often require sacrifice and suffering of some form -- whether simple labor or diligence or actual pain. When the passion is bad -- when it is an overexcitement, or inordinate desire (which is the sixth Webster definition of "passion") -- we will get what we want but suffer afterward.

We can mediate upon this during Holy Week. What binds you? What blinds you? What are your passions? What are their fruits? Do they hold together, or set apart?

The reverie should be Christ. We should be "lost' in Him. We should see through His eyes. We should revere Jesus, not food, not money, not entertainment, not sex. This Sunday, as we sit down to eat, let us seek the strongest "laminin." That's the "laminin" that not only holds our bodies together but binds us to His transcendence.

[Retreat in Omaha and Retreat announced for Sacramento]

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