Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S.: October 2007 Archives

Affirming Mail

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It is Priesthood Sunday and the people here at St. Edward have been very affirming. Many have stopped to wish me a happy anniversary whuch happiliy coincides with the event, and members of the Team have informed me that I needed to relinquish the last page of the Sunday bulletin so they could celebrate Priesthood Sunday there too.

But probably the most affirming letter I have gotten in a while came by email. The correspondant has graciously allowed me to post the letter, but I have removed the signature to protect their privacy. The letter is here.

My favorite part of the letter:

At St. Edward’s you have proven that, despite some problems, the dignified, prayerful, and truly artistic celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not beyond the reach of the contemporary Church. Despite some difficulties, you have avoided allowing the assembly to determine the way a liturgy should be celebrated, but instead have demonstrated, that “Priests who faithfully celebrate Mass according to the liturgical norms, and communities which conform to those norms, quietly but eloquently demonstrate their love for the Church”.

It is apparent that he/she reads several blogs and is well educated on the liturgy. It is a joy to celebrate Mass with such generous and faith filled parishioners.

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Jeffrey Robert Keyes
Missionary of the Precious Blood
Ordained October 26, 1991

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The Priesthood, perfection as depicted in the fragrant cedars of Lebanon, all are the cause of a robust holiness and the inestimable qualities of the Priesthood. "As a first point, there are basically two things that the Almighty requires in his sacred ministers...the light of sanctity and the salt of doctrine. Vos estis lux mundi, vos estis Sal terrae (1). Above all, good example of life and along with it preparation for the ministry must be the bases for the special delights of anyone dedicated to the Sanctuary. To each one, the Apostle says: Attende tibi, attende lectioni, exhortationi, et doctrinae, noli negligere gratiam quae est in te(2). And oh! Quam pulchra est casta generatio cum claritate!(3) How beautiful are those souls that are mystically generated with a singular clarity of holiness; the brilliance of their virtue removes them from the darkness, the fogginess of vice and of sin. Hence purity of life, as figured in the candor of the lily, tenderness of love as symbolized in the red rose, tireless search of ecclesiastical."

"The sanctuary is the place of an exalted holiness. It seeks inhabitants who will emulate what is heavenly. Required is a detachment from everything and from everyone; a deep humility, a suffering longanimity, a tireless desire to cultivate one's talents in order to perfect them and direct them for the welfare of the Church and the advantage of the faithful."

Dominus pars hereditatis meae(4). As a creature, as a Christian and most of all as a priest and missionary, I should be entirely God's, with all my soul and body, with mind, with heart and with my actions. So, no other thought than the thought of God and his glory; no other love than the love of God and my neighbor, procuring the salvation of souls, the conversion of sinners, the sanctification of people. Spare no labor in seeing that God is honored and loved, relating everything to him. I wish for myself only the scorn of the people of the world etc. Am I really what I am supposed to be? Are the qualities of an apostolic person found in me? For whom have I labored up to now? Oh! Those labors that were thus lost, like a treasure tossed into the depths of the ocean, if the Lord is not content with me! "I must seek the glory of God by procuring the salvation of souls. I am in a Congregation, in an Institute which is regulated, directed by obedience. Hence, this is what I set down for myself: to serve God, to work for his glory in that office, in that place, with those people that obedience will assign to me. Thus I will remain quiet and peaceful, certain that I will be doing the will of God. Can that be done?

(1) You are the light of the world, You are the salt of the earth.
(2) 1 Timothy 4:13, Till I come, attend to the public reading of scripture, to preaching, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have.
(3) How beautiful are those souls that are mystically generated with a singular clarity, see Wisdom 4:1
(4) The LORD is my inheritance, Psalm 16:5

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Happy Feast Day!

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God of goodness,
you chose Gaspar del Bufalo
to be a prophet to the nations,
a preacher of the good news of salvation,
and an apostle of the Precious Blood.
By his intercession
grant that we may experience
the abundant graces
which flow from the Lamb who was slain.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever.

Fr. Dennis Chriszt, CPPS originally submitted the prayer above as a possible opening prayer for the Solemnity of St. Gaspar.New Mass texts were later submitted to the Vatican for approval. They are currently only available in Latin and Italian, though the English text has been submitted and is awaiting approval.

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From St. Gaspar

"(Reform) Weapons for gaining heaven"

The Crucifix
The tree of life
Seat of truth
Mirrors of Sanctity

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Blessed feast

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My dear children, there are two things I want you to remember about our patron, St. Edward.


First, is the Church we see him holding. St. Edward had a great devotion to the Church. It was more than the money he gave to have the Church built, but it was also his devotion to the people he was sent to serve. The Church is where we meet Jesus and coming to Sunday Mass is the most important thing we could ever do.

Second, I want you to remember the ring that is part of the St. Edward story. The ring he gave to feed and clothe the poor. It stands as a symbol of his generosity and his ability to see what needed to be done, and then to go and do it.

So we are the people who have St. Edward as our patron. So we too will have a devotion to this church and especially to the Most Holy Eucharist which is celebrated here. And we too will see to serve the poor, most of all, to see what needs to be done, and to do it with great generosity of heart. That is what will make us the people of St. Edward.

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"The traditional image of the Madonna of the Rosary depicts Mary holding the child Jesus in her arm and giving the rosary to St. Dominic. This significant iconography shows that the rosary is a means given by the Virgin for contemplating Jesus and, meditating on his life, for loving and following him always more faithfully." Benedict XVI

The Rosary as a Prayer of Communion

The Rosary is a familiar form of prayer for many Catholics, but it is also a greatly misunderstood prayer as well. Many Non-Catholics believe it is an exercise in mindless repetition or idolatry of Mary. Many Catholics believe that rosary will gain us extra favors or that it can be used as jewelry. Our community has what it refers to as the Precious Blood Rosary as well as what is understood as the more traditional Marian rosary.

The heart of the Rosary is a living relationship with the Lord Jesus and a desire to spend time in his company immersing oneself in the mysteries of his life, death and resurrection. Meditating on these mysteries enables us to remember and to live the heart of the gospel. Knowing these 15 stories, not only with our minds, but with our hearts enables us to walk with Jesus, to pray with him, and to do his will.

The Rosary is essentially a prayer, contemplative prayer. All the emotions of wonder, awe and reverence go with this prayer. All the aims of the ancient practice of Lectio Divina are relevant here. Meditating on the mysteries enables one to “read” the life of Jesus each day. More than reading, meditating on the mysteries in this manner enables one to “chew” the words, to taste them in much the same way as Ezekiel took the scroll on which the Word of God was written and ate it.(1) The use of imagination helps us to enter the story, to hear the voices and to feel the emotions. As the Angel greets Mary in the Annunciation we feel her wonder and doubt. Imagine, the creator of the world being given to you to hold and to care for. Imagine yourself saying “be it done to me according to your word.” Immersing ourselves in the mystery of the Visitation allows us to join in the chorus of “blessed is the fruit of your womb” and to celebrate that “nothing will be impossible for God.”(2)

The praying of the rosary is not about the repetition of many prayers, but a time piece to mark the moment of prayer. Spending time with one another is exactly how a relationship grows and we are drawn into a communion with one another. The prayers we use to mark this prayer experience are fundamentally conversations with the Word of God drawn from the Scripture. The first part of the “Hail Mary” is two passages from the first chapter of Luke’s Gospel. The second part of the “Hail Mary” is the prayer of the church in response. So too, in the rosary we add our own voice, listening to the Word of God and responding from our heart.

The Rosary is an incarnational prayer. The Word was made flesh. In this prayer we use not just mind and heart, but voice and hands as well. In the rosary we are impelled to offer our “bodies as a living sacrifice.”(3) Many of us carry the rosary in our pockets or purses as a reminder, as a tool to carry the prayer with us throughout the day. In this way we follow the command to “pray without ceasing.”(4)

It is through Mary that the Word was made flesh and so in this prayer we also honor the mother of God. She is the one who believed.(5) She is the one who pondered all these things in her heart.(6) She is the one who stood faithfully at the foot of the cross.(7) She is the one given to us to take into our home.(8) For Precious Blood people who remember Gaspars’ devotion to Mary, the Rosary is an important prayer. It is a tool by which we imitate Gaspar who accomplished everything by prayer, we pray with Mary to whom he was so devoted, and we accompany one another in the bond of communion which he so wonderfully preached. Without the correct understanding of Jesus and Mary, without the knowledge of the scripture and the mysteries of the Life of Jesus, the Rosary would be incomprehensible. But with all these things, the Rosary enables us to enter more completely into that intimate communion Jesus established in his own blood.

(1)Ezek 3:3
(2)Luke 1:37
(3)Rom 12:1
(4)1 Thess 5:17, see also Luke 18:1
(5)Luke 1:45
(6)Luke 2:51
(7)John 19:25
(8)John 19:27

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. in October 2007.

Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S.: September 2007 is the previous archive.

Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S.: November 2007 is the next archive.

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