Sunday, January 31, 2010

True Love

Benedict XVI called the verses of Sunday’s reading "one of the most beautiful pages in the New Testament."

According to Paul, he continued, the way "does not consist of possessing exceptional qualities: speaking other languages, knowing all of the mysteries, having a prodigious faith or doing heroic acts. It consists, rather, of love - agape ... true love, that which God has revealed to us in Jesus Christ.
"Love is the ‘greatest gift,’ Pope Benedict declares at Angelus"

Friday, January 29, 2010

God’s Presence in Our Lives

Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy holy Spirit from me. (Ps 51:13)

St. John:
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you. (Jn 14:18-20)

St. Paul
and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us. (Rom 5:5)

Francois-Xavier Durrwell:
The Spirit is the intimacy between God and his creature, the divine touch which brings about union, the love at the root of Christian love (cf. Rom 5:5). He divinizes the believer and introduces him into the Trinitarian movement. "Holy Spirit of God An Essay in Biblical Theology"pg. 100

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Christian Unity

St. Paul:

For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body -- Jews or Greeks, slaves or free -- and all were made to drink of one Spirit. (1Cor 12:13)

Montfort Fathers:

The Marian Dimension of Ecumenism:

An analysis of Montfort's writings indicates that he stresses the need for a clarification of Mary's role in salvation history as an integral part of ecumenical dialogue. Far from being a stumbling block to union, Montfort sees in Mary a unifying element bringing together all the baptized, provided that she is presented in her true Christocentric context. Moreover, Mary, a daughter of the Jewish people and the woman so revered by Islam, becomes an important point of contact for the monotheistic religions of the world. JESUS LIVING IN MARY: HANDBOOK OF THE SPIRITUALITY OF ST. LOUIS DE MONTFORT ECUMENISM;
Montfort Publications, 1994

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My first Pro – Life March

St. John:

For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: we should love one another, unlike Cain who belonged to the evil one and slaughtered his brother. Why did he slaughter him? Because his own works were evil, and those of his brother righteous. Do not be amazed, (then,) brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. Whoever does not love remains in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him. The way we came to know love was that he laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him? Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.
(1Jn 3:11-18)

Pope John Paul II

"Walk as children of light ... and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness" (Eph 5:8, 10-11). In our present social context, marked by a dramatic struggle between the "culture of life" and the "culture of death", there is need to develop a deep critical sense, capable of discerning true values and authentic needs.

"We are writing you this that our joy may be complete" (1 Jn 1:4). The revelation of the Gospel of life is given to us as a good to be shared with all people: so that all men and women may have fellowship with us and with the Trinity (cf. 1 Jn 1:3). Our own joy would not be complete if we failed to share this Gospel with others but kept it only for ourselves.
The one who accepted "Life" in the name of all and for the sake of all was Mary, the Virgin Mother; she is thus most closely and personally associated with the Gospel of life. Mary's consent at the Annunciation and her motherhood stand at the very beginning of the mystery of life which Christ came to bestow on humanity (cf. Jn 10:10). Through her acceptance and loving care for the life of the Incarnate Word, human life has been rescued from condemnation to final and eternal death.

For this reason, Mary, "like the Church of which she is the type, is a mother of all who are reborn to life. She is in fact the mother of the Life by which everyone lives, and when she brought it forth from herself she in some way brought to rebirth all those who were to live by that Life".138

As the Church contemplates Mary's motherhood, she discovers the meaning of her own motherhood and the way in which she is called to express it. At the same time, the Church's experience of motherhood leads to a most profound understanding of Mary's experience as the incomparable model of how life should be welcomed and cared for. (Evangelium vitae 95, 101, 102)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

“The Wedding Feast at Cana”

St. John:

His mother said to the servers, "Do whatever he tells you."
(Jn 2:5)

Pope John Paul II:
Thus in a sense Mary as Mother became the first "disciple" of her Son, the first to whom he seemed to say: "Follow me," even before he addressed this call to the Apostles or to anyone else (cf. Jn. 1:43)…

Thus there is a mediation: Mary places herself between her Son and mankind in the reality of their wants, needs and sufferings. She puts herself "in the middle," that is to say she acts as a mediatrix not as an outsider, but in her position as mother. She knows that as such she can point out to her Son the needs of mankind, and in fact, she "has the right" to do so. Her mediation is thus in the nature of intercession: Mary "intercedes" for mankind. And that is not all. As a mother she also wishes the messianic power of her Son to be manifested, that salvific power of his which is meant to help man in his misfortunes, to free him from the evil which in various forms and degrees weighs heavily upon his life. Precisely as the Prophet Isaiah had foretold about the Messiah in the famous passage which Jesus quoted before his fellow townsfolk in Nazareth: "To preach good news to the proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind..." (cf. Lk. 4:18). Redemptoris Mater No. 20 – 21

Msgr. Charles Pope:
Here then is Mary's role: to point to her Son's glory and draw us to greater faith in him. Like a mother she nurtures our faith and points to His glory.
The Wedding at Cana: To Jesus through Mary

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Pro - Life

You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb. (Ps 139:13)

Pope John Paul II
"The condition for the survival of America is to respect every human person, especially the weakest and most defenseless ones, those as yet unborn."  Pope
John Paul II, September 19, 1987

"Dear brothers and sisters, the time has come to banish once and for all from the continent every attack against life… Holy Virgin of Guadalupe, Queen of Peace! Save the nations and peoples of this continent. Teach everyone, political leaders and citizens, to live in true freedom and to act according to the requirements of justice and respect for human rights, so that peace may thus be established once and for all."
Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico City Saturday, 23 January 1999

Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Queen and Mother of America

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Baptism of the Lord

St. Mark:
On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."
(MK 1:10-11)

Pope Benedict XXVI:

Basically, the whole mystery of Christ in the world can he summed up in this term: "baptism", which in Greek means "immersion".
The Son of God, who from eternity shares the fullness of life with the Father and the Holy Spirit, was "immersed" in our reality as sinners to make us share in his own life: he was incarnate, he was born like us, he grew up like us and, on reaching adulthood, manifested his mission which began precisely with the "baptism of conversion" administered by John the Baptist.
Homily, Feast of the Baptism of the Lord 13January 2008

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Our Lady of Egypt

Saint Matthew:

When they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him." Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, "Out of Egypt I called my son." (Mt 2:13-15)

Pope John Paul II:
1. With the blessing of Saint Paul, which leads us directly to the heart of the mystery of Trinitarian communion, I greet all of you with deep affection and in the bonds of love which unite us in the Lord.

It is for me a great joy to be a pilgrim in the country which gave hospitality and protection to our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Family; as it is written in the Gospel of Saint Matthew: "Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, 'Out of Egypt have I called my son'" (Mt 2:14-15).

Egypt has been home to the Church from the beginning. Founded upon the apostolic preaching and authority of Saint Mark, the Church of Alexandria soon became one of the leading communities in the early Christian world. Venerable bishops like Saint Athanasius and Saint Cyril bore witness to faith in the Triune God and in Jesus Christ, true God and true man, as defined by the first Ecumenical Councils. It was in the desert of Egypt that monastic life originated, in both its solitary and communal forms, under the spiritual fatherhood of Saint Anthony and Saint Pachomius. Thanks to them and to the great impact of their spiritual writings, monastic life became part of our common heritage. During recent decades that same monastic charism has flourished anew, and it irradiates a vital spiritual message far beyond the borders of Egypt.

Ecumenical Meeting at the new Cathedral of Our Lady of Egypt
Cairo, 25 February 2000

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Blessed Virgin Mary; the second Eve

Second Vatican II:
The Father of mercies willed that the incarnation should be preceded by the acceptance of her who was predestined to be the mother of His Son, so that just as a woman contributed to death, so also a woman should contribute to life. That is true in outstanding fashion of the mother of Jesus, who gave to the world Him who is Life itself and who renews all things, and who was enriched by God with the gifts which befit such a role..."death through Eve, life through Mary" (Lumen Gentium 56)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Epiphany of the Lord

Liturgy of the Hours (Morning Prayer):
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings glad tidings, Announcing peace, bearing good news, announcing salvation, and saying to Zion, "Your God is King!" (Isa 52:7)

St. Matthew:
They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Mt 2:10-11)

Pope Paul VI:
On the Epiphany, when she celebrates the universal call to salvation, the Church contemplates the Blessed Virgin, the true Seat of Wisdom and true Mother of the King, who presents to the Wise Men, for their adoration, the Redeemer of all peoples (cf. Mt. 2:11). (Marialis Cultis 5)

Catechism of the Catholic Church:
"In Mary, the Holy Spirit manifests the Son of the Father, now become the Son of the Virgin. She is the burning bush of the definitive theophany. Filled with the Holy Spirit she makes the Word visible in the humility of his flesh. It is to the poor and the first representatives of the gentiles that she makes him known." (CCC 724)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

First Saturday of the Month

The Angel Gabriel:
And coming to her, he said, "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you."
(Lk 1:28)

The Blessed Virgin Mary:
"I (Blessed Virgin) promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me." December 10, 1925 to Sister Lucia, Fatima

Pope John Paul II:
"...we saw how the doctrine of Mary's motherhood passed from its formula, "Mother of Jesus", to the more complete and explicit, "Mother of God", even to the affirmation of her maternal involvement in the redemption of humanity." "Mary Was United To Jesus On The Cross" 25October, 1995

Friday, January 1, 2010

January 1, 2010 Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

Elizabeth the Mother of John the Baptist:
"And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"
(Lk 1:43)

St. Paul:
"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a women..."
(Gal 4:4)

Archbishop Sheen:
"When finally she did give birth, it was as if a great ciborium had opened, and she was holding in her fingers the Guest Who was also the Host of the world, as if to say, "Look, this is the Lamb of God; look this is He Who takes away the sins of the world." Life of Christ

Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Vatican Council II:
"This divine mystery of salvation is revealed to us and continued in the Church, which the Lord established as His body. Joined to Christ the Head and in the unity of fellowship with all His saints, the faithful must in the first place reverence the memory "of the glorious ever Virgin Mary, Mother of our God and Lord Jesus Christ"" Lumen Gentium 52

Catechism of the Catholic Church:
Called in the Gospels "the mother of Jesus", Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as "the mother of my Lord". In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly "Mother of God" (Theotokos)." (CCC 495)

Pope John Paul II:
"In the disciple's eyes, as they gathered after the ascension, the title "Mother of Jesus" acquires its full meaning. For them, Mary is a person unique in her kind: she received the singular grace of giving birth to the Savior of humanity; she lived for a long while at his side; and on Calvary she was called by the Crucified One to exercise a "new motherhood" in relation to the beloved disciple and, through him, to the whole Church. Mary Is The Virgin Mother of God 13September, 1995