Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

Consumed in Grace ~ St. Catherine of Siena

 
 "If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world on fire. Let the Truth be your delight....proclaim it....but with a certain congeniality."  ~ St. Catherine of Siena

Consumed In Grace

I first saw God when I was a child, six years of age.
the cheeks of the sun were pale before Him,
and the earth acted as a shy
girl, like me.
Divine light entered my heart from His love
that did never fully wane,
though indeed, dear, I can understand how a person’s
faith can at time flicker,
for what is the mind to do
with something that becomes the mind’s ruin:
a God that consumes us
in His grace.
I have seen what you want;
it is there,
a Beloved of infinite
tenderness.


 8 things to know and share about St. Catherine of Siena

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Pope Francis Confirmation Mass Homily (4/28/13)




Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Dear Confirmands,
I would like to offer three short and simple thoughts for your reflection.

1. In the second reading, we listened to the beautiful vision of Saint John: new heavens and a new earth, and then the Holy City coming down from God. All is new, changed into good, beauty and truth; there are no more tears or mourning… This is the work of the Holy Spirit: he brings us the new things of God. He comes to us and makes all things new; he changes us. The Spirit changes us! And Saint John’s vision reminds us that all of us are journeying towards the heavenly Jerusalem, the ultimate newness which awaits us and all reality, the happy day when we will see the Lord’s face – that marvelous face, the most beautiful face of the Lord Jesus - and be with him for ever, in his love.

You see, the new things of God are not like the novelties of this world, all of which are temporary; they come and go, and we keep looking for more. The new things which God gives to our lives are lasting, not only in the future, when we will be with him, but today as well. God is even now making all things new; the Holy Spirit is truly transforming us, and through us he also wants to transform the world in which we live. Let us open the doors to the Spirit, let ourselves be guided by him, and allow God’s constant help to make us new men and women, inspired by the love of God which the Holy Spirit bestows on us! How beautiful it would be if each of you, every evening, could say: Today at school, at home, at work, guided by God, I showed a sign of love towards one of my friends, my parents, an older person! How beautiful!

2. A second thought. In the first reading Paul and Barnabas say that “we must undergo many trials if we are to enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). The journey of the Church, and our own personal journeys as Christians, are not always easy; they meet with difficulties and trials. To follow the Lord, to let his Spirit transform the shadowy parts of our lives, our ungodly ways of acting, and cleanse us of our sins, is to set out on a path with many obstacles, both in the world around us but also within us, in the heart. But difficulties and trials are part of the path that leads to God’s glory, just as they were for Jesus, who was glorified on the cross; we will always encounter them in life! Do not be discouraged! We have the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome these trials!

3. And here I come to my last point. It is an invitation which I make to you, young confirmandi, and to all present. Remain steadfast in the journey of faith, with firm hope in the Lord. This is the secret of our journey! He gives us the courage to swim against the tide. Pay attention, my young friends: to go against the current; this is good for the heart, but we need courage to swim against the tide. Jesus gives us this courage! There are no difficulties, trials or misunderstandings to fear, provided we remain united to God as branches to the vine, provided we do not lose our friendship with him, provided we make ever more room for him in our lives. This is especially so whenever we feel poor, weak and sinful, because God grants strength to our weakness, riches to our poverty, conversion and forgiveness to our sinfulness. The Lord is so rich in mercy: every time, if we go to him, he forgives us. Let us trust in God’s work! With him we can do great things; he will give us the joy of being his disciples, his witnesses. Commit yourselves to great ideals, to the most important things. We Christians were not chosen by the Lord for little things; push onwards toward the highest principles. Stake your lives on noble ideals, my dear young people!
The new things of God, the trials of life, remaining steadfast in the Lord. Dear friends, let us open wide the door of our lives to the new things of God which the Holy Spirit gives us. May he transform us, confirm us in our trials, strengthen our union with the Lord, our steadfastness in him: this is a true joy! So may it be.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Greatest Romance ~ Eternal Easter



 “The greatest romance one can find, is to fall in love with God. The greatest journey one could embark on, is to seek Him. The greatest achievement one can obtain, is to find Him.” 
~ St. Augustine

 “The human heart is not shaped like a valentine heart, perfect and regular in contour it is slightly irregular in shape as if a small piece of it were missing out of its side. The missing part may very well symbolize a piece that a spear tore out of the universal heart of humanity on the Cross, but it probably symbolizes something more. It may very well mean that when God created each human heart, he kept a small sample of it in heaven, and sent the rest of it into the world, where it would each day learn the lesson that it could never be really happy, that it could never be really wholly in love, that it could never be really whole-hearted until it rested with the Risen Christ in an eternal Easter.”  ~ Archbishop Fulton Sheen (Manifestations of Christ)

 "Where your pleasure is, there is your treasure;
where your treasure is, there is your heart;
where your heart is, there is your happiness."


"Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee."  ~ St. Augustine



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

St. Peter's Basilica ~ "The church of our glory"





St.Peter's Basillica Description and History



Fifty Years Later – Vatican II’s Unfinished Business




Many  Catholics in the Church today have never read the Vatican II documents, let alone studied them. 

Many are in error about what the council documents actually say.

Many believe the intent of the renewals and revitalizations of Vatican II have yet to be implemented, fifty years later.

This may soon be changing, under the guidance and direction of  our Holy Father, Pope Francis. 

A new article by   Fr. Regis Scanlon, O.F.M. Cap., in  "Homiletic and Pastoral Review" examines elements of this continuing struggle in the United States.

 "Today, 50 years after the opening of Vatican II, the misinterpretation of one of its most salient documents, Lumen Gentium, continues to drive a number of Catholics in the United States into one of two camps, the “right” or the “left.”......


"As Christ said, “The Truth will set you free”—and what greater act of mercy is there, than to free those enslaved by error? Finally, dissenters on both the “right” and the “left” will have the Truth clearly presented to them, so that they can freely decide whether or not they are going to join the Church’s mission into the future".....

  “The path of the Church leads ahead, and all are invited not to enclose themselves in a self-referential way of thinking, but rather to accept the full life and the full faith of the Church.”    ~ Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the new Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith....

Read entire article here:

Fifty Years Later–Vatican II’s Unfinished Business


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Serenity of Mary as a Model for Peace



 January 1, 2013
World Day of Peace
Solemnity of Mary Mother of God

"Mary shows “the interior peace which we ought to have amid the sometimes tumultuous and confusing events of history, events whose meaning we often do not grasp and which disconcert us.”
~ Pope Benedict XVI


Read Entire Text of Pope Benedict's Homily HERE

Happy Birthday to Pope Benedict XVI on his 86th birthday today!

Worship Our Lord Jesus Christ Alone




In his Homily of the Third Sunday of Easter, April 14, Pope Francis taught that we must devote ourselves to the Lord  through acts of proclamation, witness and worship. 

"Saint Paul, a great yet humble Apostle of the Lord, who proclaimed him by word, bore witness to him by martyrdom and worshipped him with all his heart.".

On proclamation :  "Faith is born from listening, and is strengthened by proclamation."

On witness :   "Saint Francis of Assisi gave his brothers (this advice) :  'preach the Gospel and, if necessary, use words.' Preaching with your life, with your witness."

 On worship :  " What does it mean, then, to worship God? It means learning to be with him, it means that we stop trying to dialogue with him, and it means sensing that his presence is the most true, the most good, the most important thing of all. All of us, in our own lives, consciously and perhaps sometimes unconsciously, have a very clear order of priority concerning the things we consider important. Worshipping the Lord means giving him the place that he must have; worshipping the Lord means stating, believing – not only by our words – that he alone truly guides our lives..."

Pope Francis concludes by reminding us that in order to fully proclaim, witness, and worship Our Blessed Lord alone, we must willingly strip ourselves of our many idols.

Read the Entire Text of Pope Francis' Homily Here

Friday, April 12, 2013

God's Word - Dei Verbum




Dei Verbum--a document about God's Word from  the Second Vatican Council says, "...all clergy should remain in close contact with the Scriptures by means of reading and accurate study of the text...similarly the Council earnestly and expressly calls upon all the faithful...to acquire by frequent reading of holy Scripture the excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ (Phil 3.8) for as St.Jerome said... 

 "Ignorance of the Scriptures is indeed ignorance of Christ."' 

 An appropriate acronym to recall when beginning a time of Scripture study:

 P.R.A.Y.

 P...Pray

 R...Read 

 A...Ask 

 Y...Yield

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Sailing to the 'Harbor of Holiness'




"The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." 
(John 3:8)

Do we only follow  "The Divine  Wind of God's Will" when it is agreeable to us, or do we joyfully 'raise our sails' and allow the Divine Wind of God's Will take us where it will?

"The Divine Wind is the necessary force to move your life toward the Harbor of Holiness. What God asks of you is to be docile to this Will, with the trust of a child." - Mark Mallett

"Unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matt 18:3)
Writer, Mark Mallett  ("Spiritual Food for Thought") in an inspiring blog post,  shows how the Divine Wind can lead us to always being smack in the middle of God's Will, in the good times and even in the difficult  times,  if we willingly  surrender to it, with trust, humility and joy.

"Raise Your Sails"

Monday, April 8, 2013

Pro-Life...Feast of the Annunciation





 "This feast is very important in the defense of the life of unborn children. Even with small children, this is a good day to begin teaching about the high value God places on human life. He loved us so much that he became one of us, took on our human nature and became an innocent, completely dependent infant."
 
"O God, who willed that your Word should take on the reality of human flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary, grant, we pray, that we, who confess our Redeemer to be God and man, may merit to become partakers even in his divine nature. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever." Amen


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Walk in the Light of Christ


The Light has come, Open to the Light, Hear the Light, Walk in the Light.

 Darkness cannot exist in the Presence of Light.

"I am the Light of the World." ~ Jesus Christ

Friday, April 5, 2013

Changing an Absurd World with Radical Love






“A response to radical absurdity with radical love”,  can change the world. 

 The New Evangelization is basically the "old" evangelization,  which boldly and powerfully  turned the world  upside down 2000 years ago. 

It is not another  Church 'program',  but a  new way of life.....of radical love.  It is an individual  total focus on loving, serving, giving, and returning to a culture of Life.   

Evangelization is shining forth our faith, love, and seeking "first the Kingdom of God" in everything we think, do or say.

The following article is an inspirational yet simple 5 step guide to "surviving the end of the world".  Or more precisely...changing the absurdity of this world through the New Evangelization...our new way of life of radical Love.

“A Catholic’s Guide to Surviving the End of the World As We Know It”



Thursday, April 4, 2013

"Mary, Touch Me Not"




The April 2013 issue of "Magnificat"  magazine has a beautiful cover. It is a copy of a painting depicting Jesus commanding Mary Magdalene "touch me not", after He has arisen.  The painter, Willem Drost, was a student of  the great artist Rembrandt. 

A short commentary article in "Magnificat" describes the scene in the painting, and the possible deeper message of Our Lord, the artist was trying to portray.

"Willem Drost’s resurrected Lord seems to say with his entire demeanor, even down to the exquisite gesture of his hand: “O Mary, you want to express your burning love for me? You want to touch me, hold on to me, possess me? Well, no—touch me not, but rather love my brothers and sisters, your brothers and sisters who are in the world, and love them to the very end......"

The painting is very beautiful.  And the article compliments it perfectly,  explaining the significance of the teaching of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  See the cover  painting and read the entire article here: