Saturday, April 30, 2011

Keep Christ your focus

Did you start yet? You know. Have you started your conversation with Jesus?

That is precisely what He wants us to do.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, God the Father offers Jesus his Son an invitation. The love, the trust, and the friendship that God once enjoyed with his people got totaled through the sin of Adam and Eve. And no one of us has the ability to buy God something to make up for what he lost. Besides, God doesn't want anything to fix the relationship. All he wants is to enjoy with us once again that relationship of friendship that we cut off and said no through our sin.  But as long as we remained trapped in sin, we can't restart that pure relationship of love with God. Only one human being has the power to restore that friendship: and that is Jesus Christ.

Let Christ dominate our lives. He is the sovereign in our life. Don't let worry, anger, hurt, anxiety, vengeance, wealth, alcohol dominate over Jesus. Only the Lord should dominate. If anything else dominates, something is out of whack in our life.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Vocation: Jesus, what do you want me to do?

So, have you started a conversation with Jesus yet? Ask Jesus a simple question, "what do you want me to do?

Jesus asked his Father that very question at the end of His life. And that's what we remember and celebrate during Holy Week. In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus has a choice to make. Either He can continue living a human life...or he can give it up, he can hand it over in death. And that is what he chooses. But why?
Marianist high school students visited the elderly
at Queen of Peace Residence in Queens Village.
Fundamentally, because Jesus knows how much all of humanity has suffered and is destined to eternal death because of our out-of-control craving to be cool. It all began in the garden of Eden with Adam and Eve when they thought they could be cool as God. So, they ate the fruit from the forbidden tree. And that pattern of disaster has persisted throughout the entire history of human sin. Every personal choice for sin is a futile attempt to find satisfaction on our own part from God. And it is always dooms us to unbearable, tortuous unhappiness. We cannot find happiness in that kind of coolness.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Vocation: Joyful Journey to Heaven

I am in the midst of a book that is not just for those well entrenched in the consecrated life, but for any young man or woman still struggling to figure out his her own vocation.

Part of the book encourages us to initiate a conversation with Jesus. Ask Jesus a simple question, "What do you want me to do?" And wait for the response. His answer may be simple, "I want you to be with me."

"60 Minutes" cameras capture the monastic life, including chanting, prayers, rituals, and the priceless relics and icons from the Byzantine Empire stored on "The Holy Mountain," Mt. Athos. Bob Simon reports.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Prepare - Ponder - Pray

If you are going to “make the most” of each Mass, it is important for us to prepare our hearts, minds, and bodies prior to walking into church on Sunday.

So, how to ready our hearts: Take time to ponder before you go to Mass. Think about the desires and intentions of your heart you want to place before Lord that day. Also, prepare your heart to praise Him in all His glory during Mass.

So, how to ready our minds: Michael Dubruiel, in The How-to Book of the Mass, points out that “Some of us play an intellectual game at Mass of finding fault with the way the Mass is celebrated…But the Mass is not a place for us to sit back like a movie and to find fault; rather, it is a place to encounter Jesus Christ”

How to ready our bodies: We should all take the time to examine our thoughts, words, and actions before Mass.

The warm-up sets the pace for the game. How we prepare for Mass will help guide our prayer and focus during the Mass. This Sunday, prepare yourself for who you are about to encounter at Mass—Jesus. He’s truly present, so we should want to give Him our best!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Vocation:To get closer to God

Easter Sunday, 60 Minutes featured Bob Simon's report on Mt. Athos - the holy mountain in Greece, home to Orthodox monks - for centuries. Monastic observance unchanged for centuries - the closest observance to the earliest monks, the desert fathers, the world has today. They do not have television or Internet, they do not go home for funerals or weddings, and they pray without ceasing - literally.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Image by He Qi "Women arriving at the Tomb"
"When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go and anoint him. Very early when the sun had risen, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb. They were saying to one another, "Who will roll back the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?" When they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back; it was very large. On entering the tomb they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe, and they were utterly amazed. He said to them, "Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Behold the place where they laid him. But go and tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told  you.'" Mark 16:1-7

A story some 2,000 years old - and yet the words ring so true today.

We are still afraid and need to hear the angel's message... we are still among those seeking Jesus, crucified and risen... we still have questions about his life, his death, his rising... we are still afraid but often joyful... Jesus continues to meet us "on our way" - whether we recognize him or not... the Lord still goes ahead of us, always, and yet never leaves our side... and, still, others are waiting to hear from us the great news that Jesus is risen from the dead!

Happy Easter to you all!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Holy Saturday

Today, Holy Saturday, the Church waits at the Lord's tomb. We meditate on His suffering and death. The altar is bare and the sacrifice of the Mass is not celebrated. Only after the solemn vigil during the night, held in anticipation of the resurrection, does the Easter celebration begin.

Holy Saturday

Art: Marianist A. Joseph Barrish
Last evening we viewed the traditional Good Friday Via Crucis at Rome's Colosseum. The 2011 meditations were written by an Italian Augustinian sister. Pope Benedict XVI wrapped up the gathering with the following reflection:

But let us look more closely at that man crucified between earth and heaven. Let us contemplate him more intently, and we will realize that the cross is not the banner of the victory of death, sin and evil, but rather the luminous sign of love, of God's immense love, of something that we could never have asked, imagined or expected: God bent down over us, he lowered himself, even to the darkest corner of our lives, in order to stretch out his hand and draw us to himself, to bring us all the way to himself. The cross speaks to us of the supreme love of God and invites, today, to renew our faith in the power of that love, and to believe that in every situation of our lives, our history and our world, God is able to vanquish death, sin and evil, and to give us new, risen life. In the Son of God’s death on the cross, we find the seed of new hope for life, like the seed which dies within the earth.

This night full of silence, full of hope, echoes God’s call to us as found in the words of Saint Augustine: “Have faith! You will come to me and you will taste the good things of my table, even as I did not disdain to taste the evil things of your table... I have promised you my own life. As a pledge of this, I have given you my death, as if to say: Look! I am inviting you to share in my life. It is a life where no one dies, a life which is truly blessed, which offers an incorruptible food, the food which refreshes and never fails. The goal to which I invite you … is friendship with the Father and the Holy Spirit, it is the eternal supper, it is communion with me … It is a share in my own life (cf. Sermon 231, 5).

Let us gaze on the crucified Jesus, and let us ask in prayer: Enlighten our hearts, Lord, that we may follow you along the way of the cross. Put to death in us the "old man" bound by selfishness, evil and sin. Make us "new men", men and women of holiness, transformed and enlivened by your love.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday: Sunday is Coming

"As Christians, we believe that we bear the image and likeness of God inside of us and this is our deepest reality."
"The Jesus being crucified in John's Gospel is always in control. He is unafraid, shows no weaknesses, carries his own cross, dies in serenity, and is buried like a king(with a staggering amount of aloes, wrapped in clothes saturated with aromatic oils.)"
"Every time we do not recognize the power of God in the one who is being crucified we are renouncing our own messianic hope and admitting that the powers of this world are, for us, the deepest reality."
"For John, Jesus' death is the birth of something new in our lives."
"What John wants to say with this image is that those who witnessed the death of Jesus immediately recognized too that the kind of love which Jesus manifested in dying in this way created a new energy and freedom in their own lives."
"They felt both the energy and a cleansing, blood and water, flowing from Jesus' death."
"In essence, they felt a power flowing out of his death into their lives that allowed them to live with less fear, with less guilt, with more joy, and with more meaning. That is still true for us today."
"John's Passion account puts us all on trial and renders a verdict that frees us from our deepest bondage."

"As Christians, we believe that we bear the image and likeness of God inside of us and this is our deepest reality."
"We are made in God's image."
"However we tend to picture this in a naive, rtomantic, and pious way. We imagine that somewhere inside us there is a beautiful icon of God stamped into our souls. That may well be, but God, as scriptures assures us, is more than an icon. Gid is fire - wild, infinite, ineffable, non-containable."
The text is from the Good Friday Service homily celebrated at the Marianist Residence at Founder's Hollow.

Holy Thursday

This evening the Marianist Communities gathered to celebrate the Lord's Supper. The Gospel writer John presents us with Jesus the servant, washing the feet of his disciples and instructing them that just as he has done for them, so must they do for each other... And just has Christ did for them, so must we do for each other...

The Marianists who gathered at Founder's Hollow celebrated the rite called the Mandatum (from the Latin referring to the new command, the mandate Jesus gives his disciples that they should love one another.) In our community Fr. Albert washed the feet of 6 Brothers.

Following the Mandatum is the liturgy of the Eucharist. Enough bread was consecrated to provide communion for tomorrow's liturgy because the Eucharist is not celebrated on Good Friday.

Following communion, the Brothers processed with the Eucharist to the Kateri Lodge where the Eucharist is kept overnight. Here the Brothers will keep vigil in prayer.

After Christ's supper with his disciples on the night before he died, they went to the garden of Gethsemane where the Lord asked his friends to be with him in prayer.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Holy Thursday: The Last Supper

The Triduum Begins - Holy Thursday

The Brothers of the Province of Meribah gather together during these Holy days to spend time in prayer, contemplation and community. The communities of the Province celebrate these Holy days on retreat.

The Gospel of St. John recounts two exchanges between Jesus and Peter. Peter does not want to have his feet washed  by Jesus. His resistance goes against the understanding of the relationship between the Master and his disciple. Christ must not lower himself or practice humility.

Over and over Jesus has to assist us in recognizing that God's power is different. The Messiah must pass through suffering into glory and must lead all of us along the same path.

The second exchange between Jesus and Peter comes after Judas' departure. Peter asks Christ, "Where are you going?" Peter understands that he is speaking of his approaching death and he wants to affirm his fidelity to Christ.   

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Simple, clever and enjoyable!

Artist Dan Berglund takes a sheet of glass and paints pictures to accompany Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World.

That is all.

But what a joy to watch!
I wish you, with all my heart, all the joy to which this week beckons us...

Pie Jesu

 Now the feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was drawing near, and the chief priests and the scribes were seeking a way to put Jesus to death, for they were afraid of the people. Then Satan entered into Judas, the one surnamed Iscariot, who was counted among the Twelve, and he went to the chief priests and temple guards to discuss a plan for handing him over to them. They were pleased and agreed to pay him money. He accepted their offer and sought a favorable opportunity to hand him over to them in the absence of a crowd.                                                              - Luke 22:1-6  
Wednesday of Holy Week is often called Spy Wednesday because the Gospel for today's Mass relates how Judas conspired to betray Christ and hand him over to the authorities for just thirty pieces of silver.

Benedictine priest Aidan Kavanagh once wrote of the "night in which Jesus was betrayed by the worst in us all..." Judas, the betrayer, played the part for all of us who have betrayed the love of Christ in betraying one another.

Innocent and without sin, Jesus carried on his shoulders and suffered in his wounds the burden of our betrayal...

Here's a contemporary setting of "Pie Jesu" by Andrew. His comments about his past bullying combines the depths of our sinfulness and the mercy of God.

God's mercy meets us in our sinfulness. And that is where we need the Lord.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday of Holy Week

In our Marianist Community we often quote Jean Vanier, the founder of the L’Arche movement. He connects today with the tomorrow of Easter (and every tomorrow) in great fashion:

The Spirit will give us tomorrow what He wants us to live tomorrow, but we must not waste time worrying about it. We should live the beauties of the relationship we have with Jesus and His Spirit and with each other in the now. We must become like children living in wonderment and in trust. The Spirit will give us the peace, the strength and the love to live tomorrow when it comes. Now, He gives us the strength to live this moment. That is why we must rejoice at all times, rejoice in what He is giving us now – the joys, the sufferings, the peace, the hopes. This is his gift to us today.

So, how is your today? I hope it has been already blessed!
For us, we miss painfully those who have gone before us.

But we are united with all of you in love and prayer. And whatever pain we feel is nothing in comparison with the pains of the world – of the poor, the ill, of the sufferings of so many nations around the globe. They too are embraced completely in the reality of this Holy Week. For them, too, if this week speaks truth, there is life beyond the mayhem and chaos of both natural and human-made disaster.

That sense that all of us – every one, and all nature around us – are united in the person of Christ dying and rising was magnificently put in words by one of my favorite religious and scientificn thinkers of the last century, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

In 1923, he wrote these words:

Glorious Christ,
You whose divine influence is active at the very heart of matter.
And at the dazzling centre where the innumerable fibres of the multiple meet:
You whose power is as implacable as the world and as warm as life,
You whose forehead is of the whiteness of snow.
Whose eyes are of fire,
And whose feet are brighter than molten gold;
You whose hands imprison the stars;
You are the first and the last, the living and the dead and the risen again;
It is to you to whom our being cries out a desire as vast as the universe:
In truth you are our Lord and our God. Amen.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Got just a minute: Make a cross

If you've already tried during Palm Sunday liturgy to make a cross and failed, here’s the answer.
It shows you, in one minute, how to turn a palm leaf into a cross.

Pre-Easter Visit at Queen of Peace

Every year at the end of the Lenten season both Marianist high schools travel to our friends at Queen  of Peace Residence to share our time and conversation. We bring our hand-made Easter baskets.
 Last Friday we ventured to Queen of Peace and Peter the Rabbit accompanied us for the visit to the elderly.
We always meet such interesting and engaging people at Queen of Peace. Those who are frail and aged come alive with the young. This intergenerational visit makes all young at heart.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Don Imus listens to what it means to be happy.

Palm Sunday: Hosanna!

The very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road,
while others cut branches from the trees
and strewed them on the road...
                                                Matthew 2:1-11

It is ourselves that we must spread under Christ's feet,
not coats or lifeless branches or shoots of trees,
matter which wastes away
and delights the eye only for a few brief hours.
But we have clothed ourselves with Christ's grace,
with the whole Christ --

"for as many of you as were baptized into Christ
have put on Christ" --
so let us spread ourselves like coats under his feet.
                             Andrew of Crete, 8th century

Like splendid palm branches,
we are strewn in the Lord's path.
                                               Latin antiphon

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saturday, Fifth Week of Lent

A Marianist Litany to Mary

Holy Mary,
pray for us!

Mother of God,
Mother of our redemption,
Mother of a lost child,
Mother of comfort and understanding,
Mother who shares our joys,
Mother who endures our sorrows,
Mother whose heart was pierced by a sword,
Mother most merciful,

Woman responsive to God's word,
pray for us!

Woman willing to believe the impossible,
Woman who rejoices in her lowliness,
Woman with an undivided heart,
Woman of perfect freedom,
Woman wrapped in mystery,
Woman moved by the Spirit,
Woman champion of the poor and lowly,
Woman graced by a husband's love,
Woman widowed by a husband's death,
Woman at the cross,
Woman patient and waiting,
Woman clothed with the sun,

Queen of the fullness of times,
pray for us!

Queen of beauty unalloyed,
Queen of integrity,
Queen of painful meetings,
Queen of all our heart's treasure,
Queen of our destiny,
Queen of peace,

Mary, you are mother and virgin,
wife and widow,
peasant and queen,
blessed for all time.

We need the comfort of your prayers.
Remember us always to our Father through your Son, Jesus Christ,
who is our Lord for ever and ever.


- Rev. Joseph H. Lackner, S.M.


It is wonderful to see what grace human beings are capable of.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Be saints!

Pope Benedict reminds us that we are all called to be holy. We are all called by Christ to become Saints.

What does it mean to be saints? Who is called to be a saint? Often it is thought that holiness is a goal reserved for a few chosen ones. St. Paul, however, speaks of God’s great plan and affirms: “[God] chose us in him [Christ], before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love he destined us” (Ephesians 1:4). And he speaks of all of us. At the center of the divine design is Christ, in whom God shows his Face: the Mystery hidden in the centuries has been revealed in the fullness of the Word made flesh. And Paul says afterward: “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” (Colossians 1:19). In Christ the living God has made himself close, visible, audible, tangible so that all can obtain his fullness of grace and truth (cf. John 1:14-16).”

Pope Benedict has a three-step plan:

1. Meet Jesus in the Eucharist every Sunday.

2. Begin and end every day with at least a brief prayer.

3. Keep the ten commandments which gives us the definition of Agape love (charity, sacrificial love)

What are you waiting for? Get cracking. It is never too late.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Open to His voice

Last night we were honored to have Msgr. Tom Caserta for our evening of Faith on Tap. Every time I have heard him speak he is inspiring and thought provoking. Last evening was nothing out of the ordinary. While he explored the Christian response to suffering, he encouraged all to reflect on Dr. Viktor Fankl's insights in his autobiography, Man's Search for Meaning.

In addition to his insights on suffering, he offered some thoughts on ways of being in God's presence. His final thoughts consisted of a prayer from Cardinal Newman. This prayer was given to me over 37 years ago and has been part of my life ever since. It has been a source of trust and peace during those years. I have frequently encouraged those discerning a religious vocation to pray it as well.

Our Holy Father commented on Newman's prayer with these words:

Dear young friends: only Jesus knows what "definite service" he has in mind for you. Be open to his voice resounding in the depths of your heart: even now his heart is speaking to your heart. Christ has need of families to remind the world of the dignity of human love and the beauty of family life. He needs men and women who devote their lives to the noble task of education, tending the young and forming them in the ways of the Gospel. He needs those who will consecrate their lives to the pursuit of perfect charity, following him in chastity, poverty and obedience, and serving him in the least of our brothers and sisters.

Ask him for the generosity to say "yes!" Do not be afraid to give yourself totally to Jesus. He will give you the grace you need to fulfill your vocation.

Newman Prayer

God has created me to do Him some definite service;
He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another.
I have my mission -- I may never know it in this life,
but I shall be told it in the next.
I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons.
He has not created me for naught.
I shall do good, I shall do His work;
I shall be a preacher of truth in my own place,
while not intending it, if I do but keep His commandments
and serve Him in my calling.

Therefore, my God, I will put myself without reserve into Thy hands.
What have I in heaven, and apart from Thee what do I want upon earth?
My flesh and my heart fail,
but God is the God of my heart, and my portion for ever.

-Cardinal Newman

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 video entry 2

Here is another of our high school entries for the iconfess video contest.

Presenting ourselves humbly before the Lord in confession.

It can never really be put into words. Enjoy!

Monday, April 11, 2011

iConfess 1

In an effort to help promote New York’s All Day Confessions event, happening Monday April 18th, The Diocese of Brooklyn in conjunction with both the Archdiocese of New York and Diocese of Rockville Centre are launching a grassroots digital campaign called i-Confess. Using both social and digital media, the goal of this campaign is to generate interest in the act of Confession.

As part of the i-Confess campaign and beginning March 8th, students will have the opportunity to create and submit short .YouTube stylized videos for a chance to win the top prize of $25,000 towards an educational scholarship and the Catholic School or Parish of their choice will receive an additional $25,000. A second place prize of $10,000 and the Catholic School or Parish of the student’s choice will receive an additional $10,000, multiple third place prizes of $1,000 each will be awarded.

The All Day confessions campaign, which was originally conceived in 2009, was envisioned as a marketing tool to encourage Catholics to attend Confession, especially if it’s been awhile since their last Confession. “Reaching people in today’s media age can sometimes be very difficult, especially with all that is out there. The hope is that young people will see these videos and be encouraged to come back to the church and that faithful Catholics will feel empowered by the Church’s effort to follow Pope John Paul II edict to evangelize,” said Gary Arkin, Marketing Director of NET.

NET is a Catholic-based cable TV station in Brooklyn, New York and is a service of Trans Video Communications.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Chaminade: 250 Years Old

The celebrations for the 250th Anniversary since the birth of Blessed Chaminade was celebrated with great joy yesterday. Throughout the Province of Meribah the name Father Chaminade was used constantly. He even made an appearance as the day progressed. This short video was used to open the day as we prayed together for the many graces and blessings bestowed since his birth. And the celebration continues!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Fr. Chaminade!

January 22, 2011 to January 22, 2012 is a year of celebrating the birth of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade the Founder of the Society of Mary and larger Marianist Family.

When we celebrate a birthday, we not only remember the day when someone was born. We celebrate because the person is still important to us now. We celebrate Blessed Chaminade's birthday because his life and vision still inspire people all over the world today to work on the transformation of the world. Chaminade wanted to create faith communities that made the Gospel alive in every age. He wanted people not only to preach the kingdom of God--a kingdom of justice, love, and peace--but to live the Gospel message so that it could be visible to people of every age. Chaminade's vision of faith community still inspires us to be a faith community which shows that still today the gospel can be lived in all the force of its letter and spirit.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Chaminade: Missionary Apostolic

In many countries of the world, the present situation is very similar to the one that followed the French Revolution of 1789. The Faith is not detroyed by a revolutionary wave today. Nevertheless there is a great disarray in our world: its reference points are often not Christian.  The hustle to get more and more of consumerism, progress and sensationalism rather than service is in contempt of the real nature of humankind. In this pluralistic society, Father Chaminade continues to call us to strongly promote the Faith in today's world. We have Good News to bring to everyone. Father Chaminade is topical. And Mary is the guide on the path of Faith and action. Like the disciples of Cana, she calls us to the mission: "Do whatever he tells you."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Chaminade: Mentor for a Life of Prayer

Blessed William Joseph Chaminade was a master of the spiritual life. He was a man of prayer and recommended prayer to those who sought his advice.

For Chaminade, praying is not about words, but rather about living a life of prayer. For him prayer means living in the presence of the God who is in us and around us and among us.

Presence is an interior union with another through conscious attention to the other. It is a relationship that unites us psychologically and spiritually rather than physically. Such a presence, by its nature, communicates to the other something of what we are, and it makes us both in the same way.

Prayer binds us in a way to God; it brings us into communication with God. It merges our spirit with God's spirit, one heart with God's heart.

Chaminade did not see prayer as an isolated event among the many other things that happen during the day. What happens in prayer is meant to overflow into what happens in the rest of our life, and everything we do during the day should dispose us to be with God in prayer. Thus our whole life becomes integrated and focused, permeated with the grace of God through prayer.

Whevever someone consulted Blessed Chaminade and mentioned that they were too busy to pray, could not find the time for prayer, he would answer that they should pray all the more!  And even Jesus himself reminds us, never cease praying.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Chaminade: Consecration to Mary

Blessed William Joseph Chaminade always had a spontaneous relationship with Mary. He would later call this relationship or bond with Mary devoton, dedication, alliance, piety, consecration.  He always saw Mary as the Mother of Jesus and of the Church. She was the Mother of God who "descends," and Mother of human beings who "ascends." For him, Mary, woman and mother, is the maternal womb common to God and to humans. Both meet in her. She is the womb of light, of faith, of joy, of hopeful confidence, of warmth of welcome, of love. Though Mary does not create such graces, she obtains them by her prayers and applies them with love.

Consecration to Mary has profound affective connotations without which it would not achieve completely its fullness or its dynamism; it is not a matter simply of reason and will. "I offer heart, all my being," is a formula used by many Marianists. To know, to love, to serve Mary; to form alliance with her; to be consecrated: all this means to make progress in knowing, loving and serving God, living the alliance with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It means being "consecrated" by the Trinity for the Trinity. We live for God in the maternal womb of Mary, the womb of the Church, from the moment of our Baptism.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Chaminade: Man on a Mission

Our Lady of Good Counsel
Being on a mission means being sent by some one else to achieve a certain purpose determined by the sender. The mission of Christ, for example, was to bring to a world in dire need the saving word of God's love for it, and to lead it into a positive and loving relationship with a God whom it had rejected. Every mission in the Church is in some way a particularization of  that mission of Christ, sharing in it, an explicitation of it in the concrete reality of time and space.

Several insights characetrized Blessed Chaminade's understanding of his mission. First of all, a careful attention to the signs of the times, for they are providential signs. He was a person of great prudence and never in a hurry to act. He placed his intellegience at the service of love. He looked at the situation, weighed it in faith in order to discern God's call. That was his attitude in the face of the great Revolution, of the exile he was forced to endure, of the foundation of the sodalities. He waited patiently for the realization of the dream of Saragossa where he saw "as in a vision" the foundation of the religious institues as a means of rechristianizing France. Over twenty years later was that dream facing reality: the Marianist Family (he called it the "Family of Mary"), composed of laity, priests, religious, single persons, married couples, young and old, all dedicated to a common mission, Mary's.

Whatever he did, it was for the purpose of making Jesus and Mary better known, loved and served, "fully convinced that we cannot lead people to Jesus Christ except through his most holy Mother." "Our work," he said, "is grand; it is in fact magnificent if it is universal, it is because we are mssionaries of Mary who says to us: 'Do whatever he tells you.' Yes, we are all missionaries. To each of us the most holy Virgin has confided a mandate to work at the salvation of our brothers and sisters in the world."

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Firm in the Faith

Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
—John 12:24
The students in both of our Marianist high schools study as part of their religion course the life of Saint Thomas More. In “A Man for All Seasons” Robert Bolt has St. Thomas More affirming the fact that our natural instincts in cases of mortal danger lead to “flight.” The saintly lawyer then goes over how he planned to use all of his skills as a barrister to avoid having his head separated from his body over the “King’s business.” But he concedes that a time comes when all the legal dodging and weaving can’t keep a person from standing firm in his or her faith, even if it means death, when no means of escape are available.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The History Channel a la Vatican

The History Channel aired a two-hour special on the Vatican that featured some rarely-seen footage of Benedict XVI at work and prayer (and play, on the piano) in the papal apartments.The show provides an overview of the history of the Vatican, and focuses on everyday life in the city-state today, and how it all works, or doesn’t, as the case may be. A clip of the pope at work and other elements were segments on science and faith with Jesuit astronomer Brother Guy Consolmagno and the Vatican’s finances with Cardinal Lajolo.

Much of the information in the program may be familiar, but I do think it will be of interest to a lot of Catholics and others, piercing a number of myths and providing a personal portrait of the place and its people.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Lift me from the dark

Adoramus te Rex Gloria
Cum gaudia infinita
Adoramus te infinita
Rex Gloria

Jubilate Deo omina
In saecula infinita
Jubilate Deo omina
Rex Gloria

Can you lift me away
From the dark of this day
Give me courage
And help me be free evermore

Adoramus te Rex Gloria
Cum gaudia infinita
Adoramus te infinita
Rex Gloria

Jubilate Deo omina
In saecula infinita
Jubilate Deo omina
Rex Gloria

Sancto Spiritu Gloria
Jubilate omnia
Sancto adoramus
Rex Gloria

Can you guide me once more
Give me strength to be sure
Send me wisdom
And help me be free evermore

Adoramus te Rex Gloria
Cum gaudia infinita
Adoramus te infinita
Rex Gloria

Jubilate Deo omina
In saecula infinita
Jubilate Deo omina
Rex Gloria