Fr. Ray Ryland, Rest in Peace

Dear friends of CUF,

It is with sadness that we must relay the passing from this life to the next of our beloved spiritual advisor, Fr. Ray Ryland. His life of 93 years is reminiscent of the words of this morning Mass’s first lesson from Jeremiah:

FrRayordinationcropBlessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
 whose hope is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters
that stretches out its roots to the stream:
It fears not the heat when it comes,
its leaves stay green;
In the year of drought it shows no distress,
but still bears fruit.
More tortuous than all else is the human heart,
beyond remedy; who can understand it?
I, the LORD, alone probe the mind
and test the heart,
To reward everyone according to his ways,
according to the merit of his deeds.

In his recently published memoir, Drawn From Shadows into Truth, Father wrote poignantly about his great longing for union with Christ in Heaven:

Like millions of other parents, we read to our children C.S. Lewis’ seven volumes of fairy tales known as the Chronicles of Narnia. One of the most charming characters is Reepicheep, a valiant, two-foot-tall talking mouse.

Early in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Reepicheep recalls that when he was in his cradle at Dryad, a wood woman spoke these lines over him: Where sky and water meet/Where waves grow sweet/Doubt not, Reepicheep/To find all you seek/There in the utter East.

In the unfolding of the story, Reepicheep learns that though Aslan appears in Narnia to those who know him, his home is in the “utter East.” The company of the Dawn Treader discovers that to break an enchantment binding three lords of Narnia, it will be necessary to sail to the world’s end and leave one of the company behind. Reepicheep eagerly volunteers.

“That is my heart’s desire,” he said, to go to Aslan’s country. So eager was he that he never thought the ship sailed fast enough. He spent his days sitting on the prow, gazing toward the east, sometimes softly singing the song the Dryad had given him. We read that when Reepicheep parted from the company to go alone to Aslan’s country, “he was quivering with happiness.”

Though not as impatient with the passage of time as Reepicheep, I, too, am sailing toward Aslan’s country. At this writing I am very near that country.

I share Reepicheep’s excitement at the prospect of being forever with Aslan–with Jesus Christ–in His country.

Come, Lord Jesus.

Join us in praying for the happy repose of our dear Father’s soul.

Eternal rest, grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen

Whom Do We Celebrate?

st. joseph and childToday is the Solemnity of St. Joseph!

We call him Light of Patriarchs, Spouse of the Mother of God, Gaurdian of the Redeemer, Pillar of Families, Protector of Holy Church, and Patron of the Dying–yet how well do we know this beloved saint, the Silent Man of Scripture?  Like the Blessed Virgin, he is rarely spoken of in the gospels.

Author Tim Gray addresses this apparent deficiency in the following excerpt from his article “Silent Knight, Holy Knight: St. Joseph in Sacred Scripture”:

If we search the New Testament for Joseph, we at first find very little to quench our thirst for knowledge about him. For he is mentioned only in passing by John (Jn 1:45, 6:42) and he appears only in the opening chapters of Luke and Matthew. Yet in the midst of this apparent desert, there is a wellspring, an oasis even, of spiritual insight for us, if we would but draw out Scripture’s depths.

Drinking thoughtfully at the well of St. Matthew’s Gospel, the attentive reader finds that the few words Matthew gives us speak volumes (cf. Mt 11:15), for they echo back to the story of another Joseph, the patriarch Jacob’s son. Many readers of Matthew have noticed the strong similarities between St. Joseph and the Joseph of Genesis. Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Quamquam Pluries (see “Transformation in Christ,” pp. 30-31), says that this similarity has been “confirmed by the opinion held by a large number of the Fathers, to which the sacred liturgy gives its sanction, that the Joseph of ancient times, son of the patriarch Jacob, was the type of St. Joseph, and the former by his glory prefigured the greatness of the future guardian of the Holy Family.”

This article was originally published in Lay Witness magazine.  Follow this link to learn about subscribing.

 

Urgent Prayer Request

Catholics United for the Faith asks that you join us in praying for our beloved spiritual advisor, Fr. Ray Ryland. Yesterday, on the feast of St. Patrick, Fr. Ryland suffered a serious fall after morning Mass and incurred brain damage. He is not expected to survive. We ask you to entrust our dear Fr. Ryland, as well as his family, to the loving care of the Blessed Mother. In particular, we also ask for the powerful intercession of St. Joseph, the patron of a happy death, as we pray:

O St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in thee all my interests and desires. O St. Joseph, assist me by thy powerful intercession and obtain for me all spiritual blessings through thy foster Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord, so that, having engaged here below thy heavenly power, I may offer thee my thanksgiving and homage.

O St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating thee and Jesus asleep in thine arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near thy heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath.

St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for me.

Articles and Inspiration for your Lenten journey


Lent2014forblog

Well, we’re over one week into Lent! Here at the CUF office the days seems to reflect the liturgical season, as rain falls steadily outside the windows and even turning on the light can’t drive away the grayness of the day. Somber and dark.

Yet, the rain brings promise of growth, and even the absence of the sun helps us appreciate just a little bit more when he does finally show his luminous face again.

So too in this time of Lent, we can be with our Lord in the silence and dark of the desert…waiting, hoping, praying, loving so that our hearts may be transformed and watered by prayer, sacrifice, and service; and we will welcome the radiance and joy of the new life that bursts forth from the tomb on Easter Sunday!

To help us all on this Lenten journey, we’ve prepared a Lenten resource page on CUF’s website. There you will find articles, Pope Francis’ Lenten message for 2014 and other resources to help you grow closer to our Lord this holy season!

Lenten Resources

Today Is the Day to Begin Your Novena!

st. joseph and babySt. Joseph’s feast day is March 19. There are several novenas to St. Joseph out there; here’s a good one:

An Ancient Prayer to Saint Joseph

O St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in thee all my interests and desires. O St. Joseph, assist me by thy powerful intercession and obtain for me all spiritual blessings through thy foster Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord, so that, having engaged here below thy heavenly power, I may offer thee my thanksgiving and homage.

O St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating thee and Jesus asleep in thine arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near thy heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath.

St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for me.

March 9 – Feast of St. Dominic Savio

Dominic was always full of fun at recreation (Thanks, in part, to John Bosco’s good advice). When the boys began to complain about school or talk about indecent things, he would tell a joke that would distract them and get their minds off what they had been discussing. Since he was full of fun all his fellow students enjoyed being with him, even the ones who were not religious.

Some of the more spiritual boys formed a group in the school to help the troublemakers with their faith. Dominic was a key member of this club. One of his tactics was to hold up candy or fruit in the schoolyard and ask who wanted it. When a number of boys responded, he would say, “Alright, I’ll give it to the one who answers this catechism question correctly.” Then he would call on one of the troublesome boys and if he came reasonably close to the right answer, Dominic would give him the prize. Thus he would begin to influence the boy in the right direction.

Sometimes Dominic would begin playing with a boy and suddenly stop to say, “Will you come to confession with me Saturday?” Since Saturday was several days away and he wanted to keep playing, the boy usually said yes. On Saturday Dominic would take the boy to church, and go to Confession himself (Which he did weekly anyway), to set the example. The boy would follow.

Excerpted from Fr. T. G. Morrow’s book Who’s Who in Heaven. For ordering information, visit our website.

“Let us go forth to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ”

The January/February issue of Lay Witness magazine has arrived! This issue features articles by Mark Shea, Michael J. Miller, Dan Burke, and Ted Sri. We take a special look at Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium and feature articles on the various aspects of the pro-life movement.

For more information on subscribing to Lay Witness magazine or becoming a member of Catholics United for the Faith, please visit our website.

Aritist James Langley Studio Sale Handmade for the Home: Fine and Decorative art from a Catholic Perspective

James Langley is a contemporary visual artist working in the Catholic tradition; lending first person witness to the incarnate goodness of the world that we daily look upon. The tangible qualities of his work seek to articulate the “inscape” of nature; such that paint and the material character of light and form mediate a dialogue with the invisible world of enduring value.  Based in a respect that borders upon reverence for ordinary things, Langley art opens into a conversation between the existential and the essential, the ancient and the modern, the temporal and the eternal, the profane and the sacred.

To view more artwork or seek further information, follow the links below.