True Devotion

"It was through the most holy Virgin Mary that Jesus came into the world and it is also through her that He has to reign in the world."

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Things to come . . .

It is hard to believe that we are in the last day of October. This month has flown by, much like the ever-present, and very irritating wind that is now present for months to come. May winter days be as the rainless days of summer were. . . snowless!

In these last weeks of Ordinary Time in the church year, we should be thinking on the Last Things. Not costumes, candy, vampires, and monsters, but death, judgement, heaven and hell. Some would say there are some similarities here. Tomorrow we should surround ourselves with the communion of saints; that litany of the dead who can teach us so many things in this life of ours! Understanding about the communion of saints, we can find in them an understanding of the Eucharist.

That is why in this Halloween madness, I would sooner focus in on the Eucharist. Mystery of mysteries! The very heart of the mystery of faith. Because no matter where you ponder on the last things, you have the reassurance of the Eucharist. And the mystery of the eucharist is not something which is to be solved; rather, it is a mystery to enter into.
We, now, are still the living. Where once family and friends mouthed the very words we do, they are no longer with us. Yet, we are all one family; God's family. They pray as we do, they worship as we do. Only it is not they who join us, it is us who join them.
In faith, hope and love. The three theological virtues. The chalice itself represents these virtues. The base is indicative of our being rooted in Faith. The stem rises straight up in Hope, as a flower seeks the suns rays. The cup of the chalice opens like a flower which is in full bloom; it represents the flowering of our Love which we seek and receive in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Sursum corda!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

October Going . . .

Today is the feast of St. Paul of the Cross. He founded the Passionist Order of priests, here and there I often find little gems in his writings. He held fast to his faith; his example is especially fitting in today's world. Blessed Henry Newman, who was beatified just last month by Pope Benedict, was brought into the church through a Passionist priest.

Here is an example:
"When we speak to Jesus in the language of love, let us say, "O my Spouse, O my life, O fountain of love! Do me the favor of giving me something to drink! How thirsty I am, O dear Jesus!'
Then draw near to the Heart of Jesus. Drink and satisfy your thirst. Drink, drink, rivers of Divine Love, drink oceans, but rivers and oceans of fire."

As simple as all that!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mary Is the Heart of the Church

Today is the feast of St. Luke. He leads us to understand that our Blessed Lady is at the very heart of the Church. Just as she is at the very heart of me.

There is a parallel between the first chapter of the book of St. Luke in the Gospel, and the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. There is the same mystery here, repeated on two different levels.

"In the first chapter of the Gospel the Holy Spirit comes upon Mary and thus she gives birth to and gives us the Son of God. In the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, Mary is at the center of Jesus' disciples who are praying all together, pleading with the cloud of the Holy Spirit. And thus from the believing Church, with Mary at its heart, is born the Church, the Body of Christ. This dual birth is the only birth of the Christus totus, of the Christ who embraces the world and all of us. " (See Vultus Christi)

How can anyone believe otherwise!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Blessed Is The Womb That Bore You . . .

Fr. Alfred Delp, S.J. once said:

The angel's message found [Mary's] heart ready, and the Word became flesh, and in the holy room of her motherly heart the earth grew far beyond its limitations into the human-divine sphere. . . What use to us are the thought and lived experience of our affliction, if no bridge is built to the other shore? How can the terror of chaos and confusion help us, if no light flares up to equal and overcome the darkness? What use to us is this shivering from cold and hardship, in which the world is freezing to death the more it loses and deadens itself deep down inside, if we do not at the same time experience that grace which is mightier than the danger and the lostness? . . .
That God would become a mother's son and that a woman could walk upon this earth, her body consecrated as a holy temple and tabernacle for God, is truly the earth's culmination and the fulfillment of its expectation . . .
Oh, that this was granted to the earth, to bring forth such fruit! That the world was permitted to enter into the presence of God through the sheltering warmth, as well as the helpful and reliable patronage of her motherly heart!
The gray horizons must light up. Only the foreground is screaming so loudly and penetratingly. Farther back, where it has to do with things that really count, the situation is already changing. The woman has conceived the Child, sheltered him under her heart, and has given birth to her Son. The world has come under a different law. All these are not merely one-time historical events upon which our salvation rests. They are simultaneously the model figures and events that announce to us the new order of things, of life, of our existence.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

And the Sun Spun . . .

It was a mere 93 years ago today. Seventy thousand people, thereabouts, gathered on a muddy hill in Portugal, there to await a "miracle" purported to take place at this last appearance of the Virgin Mary to three peasant children. How preposterous! How ridiculous! How incredibly ignorant one must be to believe in such a thing!
Believers were there, as well as unbelievers, agnostics, and true atheists, too. When it was all over, there were thousands who converted to the Catholic faith.
Our Lady has asked us to pray the rosary. It is such a little thing to do, yet why is it such a difficult thing to do, to find a few minutes in our day, to pray?
Mary never lets us down. I know this for a fact, for she has never, ever let me down. She will weave wonders, true miracles, in your life, if you let her in. She will take you to her Son, and on the way, the journey will be sweet. It will be a journey unlike any you can possibly imagine.
Then you will understand. That not to believe is the most preposterous, most ridiculous, most ignorant thing we can do, in this our life on earth!
Oh most holy virgin Mary,
Queen of the most holy Rosary,
You were pleased to appear to the children of Fatima
and reveal that glorious message.
We implore you, inspire in our hearts a fervent
love for the recitation of the Rosary.
By meditating on the mysteries of the redemption
that are recalled, may we obtain the graces and virtues
that we ask, through the merits of Jesus Christ,
our Lord and Redeemer. Amen.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ste. Therese of Lisieux

I have had a love for St. Therese of Lisieux since I was about five years old. I remember my mom giving me a little book about this remarkable saint, one which tied together (literally, with a shoelace) with other saints of our faith. So many other religions don't venerate the saints; how terribly sad, how bereft they are!

Therese, a willful, vibrant young girl knew from very early in her life that she wished to be a nun. Her call from God must have been profound. Her choosing of the Carmelite order was also God-given. Here she was able to truly teach us about the glory of God!

Her "little way" is one which I have always tried to inculcate into my daily life. It is easy to do, yet so hard to achieve! One must always be aware, on guard, and listening to God. Yet, it is in the ordinary-ness of the hours of the day, that we may please God in all things.

In all of Therese's little ways, she was a saint for our times. So much so, that in 1997, she was proclaimed the 33rd Doctor of the Church. On average, most Doctors of the Church are 64 years old. Therese died in her 24th year of life. She is one of God's greatest gifts to humankind!
Pray to St. Therese, she will transform your ways to God!


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