Sunday, June 30, 2013

Religious Consecration

Yesterday the Marianists of the Province of Meribah celebrated the twenty-five years of religious consecration of Bro. Patrick Sarsfield, S.M. and Bro. Peter Heiskell, S.M. Both made their first profession in  the Society of Mary(Marianists) and dedicated their lives to Mary and the Church twenty five years ago.

On the back of Brother Patrick's jubilee card was written, "Lead, Kindly Light."

You might know the story of its writing. When the young Newman was traveling in Italy he fell ill. He experienced a time of great emotional and spiritual discouragement. When a nurse asked him what troubled him, he responded, "I have work to do in England." Eventually he got passage on a boat home, but they were constrained to heave to, slowed by a thick fog and nearby cliffs. Trapped in the fog, on June 16th  Newman wrote The Pillar of the Cloud:

Lead, Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home—
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see

The distant scene—one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor pray’d that Thou
Shouldst lead me on.
I loved to choose and see my path, but now
Lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,

Pride ruled my will: remember not past years.

So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on,
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone;
And with the morn those angel faces smile

Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sts. Peter and Paul

Today we remember the apostles Peter and Paul, commemorating not only their divinely inspired writings in the New Testament but also their efforts as apostles of Christ.

Here are a few interesting facts about their lives and ministry:

Peter and Paul both ended their ministry as apostles in Rome. The Gospel had reached Rome before their arrival, but they both saw it necessary to journey to Rome and bring apostolic leadership to the church there. Since Peter is not mentioned by name in Romans, he arrived in Rome at some point afterwards, perhaps in the late ’50s or early ’60s.

Paul was called to be an apostle on the street. Acts: 9 tells the story of Paul’s mystical encounter with our Lord Jesus Christ. As a Pharisee, he was committed to the persecution of those following "the Way," but was now being confronted by the Lord for his actions. "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" In persecuting the Church, Paul was persecuting Christ himself, for the Church is his Body.

The apostles were at first divided over the treatment of Gentile Christians. This controversy came to a head in Antioch, where Paul opposed Peter “to his face, because he stood condemned." Much of the New Testament is devoted to the issue of whether one must become a Jew before one can be a true Christian, and it was a great controversy in the early decades of the Church. Paul was resolute: we are justified through our faith in Jesus Christ, regardless of one’s adherence to Jewish law.

Both apostles died as martyrs in Rome. Since Paul was a Roman citizen, it seems that he was given the more “merciful” death of beheading in the mid-’60s.

Peter was to be crucified, and he requested that he be hung upside down, feeling unworthy to die in the same manner as Christ.

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Sunday Word II

This Sunday offers a question, one that is at the heart of the Gospel passage:

Are you Jesus’ type?

As Jesus completes his ministry in the Galilee region, and begins his long journey toward Jerusalem, he encounters a variety of men and women, people of all types, and he begins a process of elimination that is bound to strike us as rather severe.

First, he enters a Samaritan village, and discovers that there is absolutely no way that he is going to be able to develop a relationship with anyone in the town.

The Samaritans refuse to receive him because he is heading toward Jerusalem — and this is the wrong city to be going to or coming from if you want to feel the love from Samaritans.

It would be like going to a baseball game at Citi Field, wearing a New York Yankees cap and a “Yankees Rule” T-shirt.

Bottom line: These folks are absolutely incompatible.

Then, Jesus encounters a man along the road, an Idealist, perhaps a Romantic, who says to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."

But Jesus senses that he might have the wrong idea about the life of discipleship, and so he administers this little test of expectations: "Foxes have holes,” says Jesus, “and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head."

We don’t know exactly what this first would-be disciple is expecting, but he might be thinking that Jesus the Messiah is going to be his meal ticket. To such dreams of comfort and affluence, Jesus gives a rude wake-up call:  "You want a life of luxury?" he seems to be asking. "You’re looking in the wrong place."

Shortly afterwards;, Jesus sees another potential disciple, a Pragmatist, responsible, reasonable and rational and so he extends the invitation, "Follow me."

But the fellow says, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father."

Is this an unreasonable demand? It doesn’t seem to be, at first. In fact, the duty to bury the dead was taken very seriously by devout Jews, and it was considered good form to care for one’s deceased relatives.

The guy is trying to be a solid citizen and a decent catch, but Jesus isn’t impressed.

"Lord, first let me go and bury my father" turns out to be a red flag on the discipleship survey, an answer that threatens to get the man tossed from the discipleship pool. "Let the dead bury their own dead,” insists Jesus; "but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God."

Jesus sounds harsh here, and more than a little insensitive. But what he’s trying to say is this: If you want to be my type, you have to focus on life, not death. Put your energy into proclaiming the kingdom of God, not into digging holes for dead bodies.

Finally, another applicant, a Procrastinator, approaches Jesus and says, "I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home."

Jesus hits the reject button with the words, "No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God." Jesus will not allow anyone to turn from the path that he is calling them to follow. He expects radical commitment, total intensity, complete focus.

As it turns out, none of these people is Jesus’ type. Not the Idealist, the Pragmatist or the Procrastinator.

So, where does this leave us?

Sunday’s Gospel teaches that happiness will come if we are compatible with Jesus in several important ways. First, we need to share his determination to travel to Jerusalem, and this means seeing our final goal as resurrection life with God. It is only by traveling with him to Jerusalem, and moving with him through sacrifice to new life, that we will discover our deepest fulfillment as human beings.

Finally, we are challenged to look ahead, not back. It is so tempting to gaze to the past and wonder why our lives turned out the way they did, so easy to second-guess ourselves and play “what-if” games with the choices we have made.

But Jesus says that no one who "looks back" is fit for the kingdom of God, and he calls us to focus forward on the life that God has in store for us. Any happiness we experience is going to come from looking ahead, with hope. Any fulfillment we feel is going to come from moving forward, with faith. Any love we enjoy is going to come not from new friends or a new community , but instead from building a new future with our existing friends and Brothers.

This personality test forces us to look inward, and discover what kind of persons we want to be. It reminds us that we have the power to make ourselves compatible with Jesus, and through this compatibility we can enjoy the abundant life he offers. If we walk in his way, and focus on his goals, we’ll find ourselves experiencing levels of happiness, fulfillment and love that we never dreamed possible.

We’ll be Jesus’ type.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Sunday Word

It is just about time to begin to open the Scriptures to Sunday's readings to prepare to hear the Word of the Lord!

June 30 finds us at the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time and Galatians reads,

I say, then: live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh. For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you want. But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

 St. Paul in Galatians raises living by he Spirit or by the flesh.

The fruits of the flesh or the Spirit are set up in a larger context in which Paul is dealing with the influence of Judaizers in Galatia who insist on adding law to grace. Reminding the Galatians of their freedom from the law, he asks them to use the holiness encouraged by the law for each other. In living by the Spirit, they are to be slaves to one another, embodying the grand intent of the law, which is neighbor-loving.

The “fruit” or the result of living in the spirit is well known. They are called the fruits of the spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and so on, and these latter qualities are the very things that mirror the light of God into the lives of others.

We could rename these qualities the flames of the Spirit. Not the fruit of the Spirit, but the flames of the Spirit.

We can’t be the candle.

Christ is the candle.

We can be — we must be — mirrors.

Christ has set us free, and ultimately he is the light of the world that we all reflect. But when God changes us — when we are led by the Spirit and produce fruit demonstrating that — then we reflect that light in the same way that a mirror does candlelight.

That means the response of the Christian is to polish up the mirror. Clean up the smudges and the water spots. Make it a bright reflector of God.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Work, work, work

We know this from our own experience. Our struggle to give proper time to family, prayer, and helping others has mainly to do with time. We're invariably too busy, too pressured, too hurried, too-driven, to stop and help. A writer that I know confesses that when she comes to die what she will regret most about her life is not the times she broke a commandment, but the many times she stepped over her own children on her way to her den to write. Along similar lines, we tend to blame secular ideology for so much of the breakdown of the family in our society today when, in fact, perhaps the biggest strain of all on the family is the pressure that comes from the workplace that has us under constant pressure, forever in a hurry, and daily stepping over our children because of the pressures of work.

I know this all too well, of course, from my own experience. I am forever pressured, forever in a hurry, forever over-extended, and forever stepping over all kinds of things that call for my attention on my way to work. As a priest, I can rationalize this by pointing to the importance of the ministry. Ministry is meant to conscript us beyond our own agenda, but deeper down, I know that much of this is a rationalization. Sometimes too I rationalize my busyness and hurry by taking consolation in the fact that I came to be this way legitimately. It's in my genes. Both my father and my mother exhibited a similar struggle. They were wonderful, moral, and loving parents, but they were often over-extended. Responding to too many demands is a mixed virtue.

It's no accident that virtually all of the classical spiritual writers, writing without the benefit of the Princeton study, warn about the dangers of overwork. Indeed, the dangers of haste and hurry are already written into the very first page of scripture where God invites us to make sure to keep proper Sabbath. When we are in a hurry we see little beyond our own agenda.

The positive side to haste and hurry is that they are, perhaps, the opposite of acedia. The driven-person who is always in a hurry at least isn't constantly struggling to get through the morning to the lunch hour. She always has a purpose. As well, haste and hurry can help make for a productive individual who is affirmed and admired for what he does, even as he is stepping over his own children to get to his workplace. I know this too: I get a lot of affirmation for my work, even as I have to admit that pressure and hurry prevent me much of the time from being a Good Samaritan.

Haste makes waste, so goes the saying. It also makes for a spiritual and a human blindness that can severely limit our compassion.

Fr. Ronald Rolheiser, OMI

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tuesday Tunes

"So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new Creation: everything old has passed away; see everything has become new."

To be "in Christ" means to let the Spirit of Christ so infiltrate you that your very essence is affected. Every cell in your body becomes permeable to Christ's spirit, transforming you from the inside out. But a transformation this complete intimidates most people.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Humility of the Baptist

The Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, the Predecessor of the Lord, who already in the womb of his mother, filled with the Holy Spirit, rejoiced at the coming of the salvation of the human race; his birth itself foretold the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. And the grace of God shone forth in him so brightly that the Lord himself said about him that among those born from a woman no man was greater than John the Baptist.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Sunday Word

Many thanks to Mark Hart at Lifeteen for the creative and insightful post you will find below.

Time to open the Scriptures and take a look at the Word for the weekend ahead: the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

The first reading, from Zechariah, sounds distinctly Lenten in its imaging of a suffering servant. And indeed, this text prepares us well for Jesus' prediction of his suffering in this day's Gospel passage from Luke, leading to the Lord's admonition that those who would follow him must deny themselves and take up their cross, losing their lives for his sake that they might be saved.

In the second reading, from Galatians, Paul reminds that we, the baptized, are all one in Christ: there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female.

Lent in June? I know - it's not the most inviting theme! But the Cross isn't seasonal, it's daily and it deserves my attention - particularly if I'm having difficulty carrying the cross that's mine...

Friday, June 21, 2013

Teach us to pray

The Pope commented on Christ´s words, saying that "prayer is not a magical thing, there is no magic with prayer."

“Someone once told me that when he went to a "witch doctor" they said a lot of words to heal him. But that is pagan,” Pope Francis said. “Jesus teaches us that we should not turn to Him with so many words because He knows everything. The first word is ‘Father’, this is the key of prayer. Without saying, without feeling, that word you cannot pray".

The Holy Father warned that in choosing to pray according to a polytheistic model, rather than to the Father with our hearts, “we cannot pray in a Christian language.”

"Father is a strong word but it opens the door,” the Pope stressed. “At the time of sacrifice, Isaac realized that something was wrong because he was missing a sheep, but he trusted his father and confided his worries to his father’s heart.

“The key of every prayer is to feel loved by a father.”

Not My Father, but Our Father

Pope Francis also emphasized the prayer´s focus on communion among all. The prayer states Our Father and not My Father, he said, “because I am not an only child, none of us are, and if I cannot be a brother, I can hardly become a child of the Father, because He is a Father to all.”

Concluding his homily, the Holy Father stated that Our Father is a calling for the faithful to forgive others as God forgives us our sins. While acknowledging the difficulty in forgiving one's enemies, Pope Francis said that Christ, through the Holy Spirit, gives us the strength from the heart.

“Today,” the Pope concluded, “we ask the Holy Spirit to teach us to say 'Father' and to be able to say 'our', and thus make peace with all our enemies."

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Sunday Word

Brothers and sisters:
Through faith you are all 

children of God in Christ Jesus. 
For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendant, heirs according to the promise.

In his letter to the Galatians, Saint Paul recalls that "before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed." Call this the "tougher justice" approach - an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, following the divine law that Saint Paul describes as a "disciplinarian" for us. "But now that faith has come," he goes on to explain, "we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith."

In Christ Jesus, we are all children of God. Jew and Greek. Slave and free. Male and female. Victim and offender.

All one in Christ Jesus.

This is tough justice. It's tough because it doesn't feel fair. It doesn't seem right to lump together good, law-abiding citizens and bad, law-breaking criminals, and say that in Christ Jesus we are all children of God through faith.

But listen to what a woman named Wilma Dirksen has discovered, just a few years after losing her daughter to an abduction and killing. She realizes that many people believe that there are certain people who are bad, and if we get rid of them we'll have a good world. "But the Bible says, for good reason, that if we extend our hand to our enemy, we will eventually find that our hand is extended to ourself." She confesses, "That's what I found when in the end I had to face myself."

All are one in Christ Jesus. All. One. Good and bad. Saint and sinner.

It's an idea that benefits us. We ourselves are a forgiven people, so why is it so hard to believe that what works for us might not work for others? If God forgives us, requiring only confession and repentance and a restored life that bears witness to our repentance, then why can't such an approach work between ourselves in the human family.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Marianist Monday

In many countries of the world, the present situation is very similar to the one that followed the French Revolution of 1789. Needless to say, today the Faith is not destroyed by a revolutionary wave as it was back then. Nevertheless, there is 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. The injustice of the “survival of the fittest” widens the gap between the rich and the poor. In this pluralistic world, Father Chaminade continues to call us to strongly promote the Faith in today's society. 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!”

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Celebrate Dad!

From the great Grassroots Films comes this short video that sums it all up beautifully.

Happy Father’s Day, dads.

The Sunday Word

Our Gospel text today allows us to get a glimpse of the overpowering mercy of the Lord.

Jesus understood that the notion of jubilee debt cancellation would help Simon, a Pharisee and, as one well-trained in matters of the Mosaic law, to see the point of his parable. Perhaps, he might even interpret the presence of that out-of-place, uninvited woman as an opportunity instead of an intrusion. Simon easily reasons that in Jesus' parable, the man who is forgiven a debt of 500 denarii would "love" his creditor more than the man forgiven a debt of only 50 denarii. Receiving great forgiveness elicits great love, not only from the forgiven one, it would seem, but from the one who forgives as well. The forgiving creditor in Jesus' parable has enough compassion for those who owe him to cover a large amount of debt.

Jesus revealed to Simon that the weeping woman in the midst of this formal banquet had indeed many sins, but they had all been forgiven. The outpouring of loving thankfulness that bathes Jesus' feet with tears and then anoints them with oil demonstrates this woman's response to her forgiveness:  "She has shown great love."

"Where little has been forgiven, little love is shown."

"Where much has been forgiven, much love is shown."

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Aims of Marianist Religious Community

Community life is designed to be a support and stimulus for holiness. The grace of Jesus is concretely at work in each of us. When we share our living of that grace, we all become enriched. Our prayer, our living of the vows, our faith, hope and charity thus develop new dimensions. When we accept the challenges of community as occasions for grace and conversion, when we overcome hostility by sympathetic understanding and indifference by interest and concern, we all support one another in our common call to holiness.

Community prayer is a “source and summit”: it both expresses the life of the community and aims to deepen our sense of God and to enrich our practical charity for one another and for the world around us. A prayerful community immeasurably stimulates and deepens the spiritual experience of its members. We need to recognize that we can learn from one another in our spiritual lives, from the different ways in which others pray and experience God. A reasonable diversity of styles and modes of prayer, corresponding to the religious sensibilities of the different members, should be an enrichment for everyone.

Marianist community is also a permanent mission, not a cozy atmosphere closed in on itself. To share in the mission of Jesus is to join in the company of his disciples, companions whom he sends to preach the good news and to heal. We find ourselves together in communities, not by personal choice, but in function of a mission we share in the local Church. Our community is meant to be less a refuge from apostolic battles than a source of creativity and strength for mission.

We are not meant to be individual free-lancers in our ministries. Our whole history as a Society teaches us that. Great Marianist success-stories, great times and places of grace, have always involved a vital and unified community. The witness of a group of people – whether three or fifty – who truly work together in harmonious support is contagious, sometimes overpowering. It attracts followers.

Even if we may at times be called to work more individually, we need to consider our ministry as an outreach of our Marianist community, and ask for the support, guidance and evaluative discernment of the community (Rule of Life, 68).

A key element of our apostolic mission as Marianists is the discovering, building and maintaining of close community among us and the extension of such an experience of community to those around us. This is a deep way of understanding our ministry as religious within the entire Marianist Family – even within the whole Church.

The emphasis on prayer with and for one another, on trying to understand one another, on affirmation, on team work, on dialogue and a strongly felt community life is not navel-gazing or “nesting” in a warm, supportive atmosphere. It is an essential mark of our Marianist mission.

Rev. David Joseph Fleming, S.M. 
Superior General of the Society of Mary 
Missionary Apostolic
Rome, September 12, 2004 
Feast of the Holy Name of Mary

Friday, June 14, 2013

We Live in Community

Just started a new book that I have read a while ago. It touches at the heart of our Marianist community life. Each and every day we attempt to build this Gospel community that is the essential core of our lives. Our vowed life in the Church focuses on the two tables; the table of the Eucharist and the table of community.

The book is described as follows:

Everyone these days seems to be searching for community in one way or another - whether in the form of committed, nourishing relationships at home and at work, support networks, small groups, house churches - even cyberspace. But mention "community" and many people literally go blank. They claim that they're not ready for the commitment such a term implies, or lack sufficient energy, gifts, or time. It's just not 'where they're at.' Or is it? This new translation of a time-honored manifesto adds a fresh, engaging voice to the vital discussion of what real community is all about: love, joy, unity, and the great "adventure of faith" shared with others along the way. Neither Arnold nor Merton describe (or prescribe) community here, but for the individual seeker, they do provide a vision to guide and inspire the search, and for those who may have already answered the call to community, they offer the disarming challenge of greater commitment and a continually deepened faith.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

"All love relationships don't end at the altar."

"Listen and attend with the ear of your heart." - Saint Benedict

Dolores Hart stunned Hollywood in 1963, when after ten highly successful feature films, she chose to enter a contemplative monastery. Now, fifty years later, Mother Dolores gives this fascinating account of her life, with co-author and life-long friend, Richard DeNeut. Dolores was a bright and beautiful college student when she made her film debut with Elvis Presley in Paramount's 1957 Loving You.

She acted in nine more movies with other big stars such as Montgomery Clift, Anthony Quinn and Myrna Loy. She also gave a Tony-nominated performance in the Broadway play The Pleasure of His Company and appeared in television shows, including The Virginian and Playhouse 90. An important chapter in her life occurred while playing Saint Clare in the movie Francis of Assisi, which was filmed on location in Italy.

Born Dolores Hicks to a complicated and colorful Chicago family, Mother Dolores has travelled a charmed yet challenging road in her journey toward God, serenity and, yes, love. She entered the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut, at the peak of her career, not in order to leave the glamorous world of acting she had dreamed of since childhood, but in order to answer a mysterious call she heard with the "ear of the heart". While contracted for another film and engaged to be married, she abandoned everything to become a bride of Christ.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tuesday Tunes

Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You're the One that guides my heart
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You

Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
Where sin runs deep
Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are,
Lord, I am free Holiness is Christ in me

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
Teach my song to rise to You

When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I'll fall on You Jesus,
You're my hope and stay
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
You're my one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
My one defense, my righteousness O
h God, how I need You

Monday, June 10, 2013

Marianist Monday

If the light of faith is the Word of God, if because of it the adorable Word comes to live within us, then we understand that faith, the conviction resulting from the impression of this light, is precisely the union of Jesus Christ with us; a union which goes so far as to transform us into Jesus Christ. By faith we think as Jesus Christ thinks, it is Jesus Christ who unites himself to our heart. By faith our guided will acts only as Jesus Christ acts, it is Jesus Christ who unites himself to our will. Thus the new self is formed within us. 

Blessed William Joseph Chaminade
Writings on Mental Prayer 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Sunday Word

It's a unbelievable scene when you think about it -- I mean -- a funeral procession halted and the trip to the cemetery interrupted. Of course it was not anything like our scene -- a black hearse, followed by one or more black limousines, followed perhaps by several cars, lights on, concerned not to lose their place in the line in the traffic.

No, this scene was at once more primitive and personal. No city traffic to contend with in this procession. No indifferent motorists disturbed that they were delayed a few minutes for the funeral. No, this is a village scene, people on foot, following the widowed mother who is following the professional mourners with their cymbals, flutes and high-pitched shrieking and wailing.

It is a Palestinian village scene in Nain, just a short distance from Nazareth, and a day's walk from Capernaum. The pallbearers are carrying the body of a young man in a long wicker basket covered by a shroud for burial. Except for very important people, ancient Jews buried their dead outside the city, usually on the day of death or the next day. Embalming was not practiced.

For modern, indifferent eyes and blasé people, the scene was dramatic enough by itself. Think of it: the dead man was the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. The sorrow of the ages is contained in that statement. In a patriarchal society orphans, such as this young man, and widows, like his mother, were regarded as vulnerable, weak and without much opportunity for economic support. Nonetheless, a great crowd followed the procession, indicating sympathy and support at least for the time being.

That's drama enough -- a large crowd of caring people -- but now there is more. Jesus approaches, apparently coming from Capernaum. He saw the widowed, desolate mother, had compassion for her.

"Do not weep," he told her. Her tears for her son no doubt now intermingling with the endless salty tears shed for her husband. And in the continuing drama risking ceremonial impurity, he reached out, touched the bier and possibly the body, and the procession halted...he is healed.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Immaculate Heart of Mary

Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is primarily based upon the Sacred Scriptures. In the New Testament, there are two references to the Heart of Mary in the Gospel according to St. Luke: .."Mary treasured all these things and reflected on them in her heart. " (Lk 2: 19) and " His mother meanwhile kept all these things in her heart. " (Lk 2:51) In the Old Testament, the heart is seen as the symbol of the depths of the human soul, the center of its choices and commitments. For all mankind, it is a symbol of love. In the Book of Deuteronomy we are told, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your strength." (Dt. 6:5) When Our Lord Jesus Christ was asked by the scribes which was the first commandment, he answered them by quoting this verse to them.

It was the Heart of Mary which expressed her "yes" to God. This was her response to the message sent through the angel at the Annunciation. By her loving consent, Mary first conceived Christ in her heart and then in her womb. Our Lord Jesus, Himself: when reminded by a woman in the crowd how blessed was the womb which gave birth to Him, responds, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it." (Lk. 11:28) Pope John Paul II , in his first encyclical, Redemptor Hominis, wrote "the mystery of Redemption was formed under the heart of the Virgin of Nazareth when she pronounced her 'fiat.'"

Historically, devotion to the Heart of Mary can be traced to the twelfth century with such writers as St. Anselm (d. 1109) and St. Bernard of Clairvaux (d. 1153) who is considered as one of the most influential writers in Marian devotion. St. Bernardine of Siena ( 1380- 1444) has been called the Doctor of the Heart of Mary due to his writings on Mary's heart. He wrote, "from her heart, as from a furnace of Divine Love, the Blessed Virgin spoke the words of the most ardent love." St. John Eudes (1601 -1680) helped by his writings to begin a renewal in this devotion. Both Pope Leo XIII and Pope St. Pius X called him, "the father, Doctor, and Apostle of the liturgical cult of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary." Even two decades before the first liturgical celebrations in honor of the Heart of Jesus, St. John Eudes and his followers observed February 8th as the feast of the Heart of Mary as early as 1643. Pope Pius VII (d. 1823) extended its celebration to any diocese or congregation requesting it.

Devotion to Mary's Heart has a greater flowering following the manifestation of the Miraculous Medal to St. Catherine Laboure in 1830 and the Appearances of' Our Lady in Fatima. From May 13 to October 13, 1917, our Blessed Mother Mary appeared to three children, Jacinta and Francisco Marto and their cousin Lucia DosSantos in Fatima, Portugal. On July 13 she told them: "to save poor sinners, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart." The entire Fatima message is one of prayer, penance and making sacrifices and reparation to God for the many offenses against Him.

In 1942, the twenty-fifth anniversary of Fatima, Pope Pius XII consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. That same year, he assigned the feast day to August 22, the octave of the Assumption. On May 4, 1944, he extended the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to the Universal Church. With the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council in 1969, the feast was given a more suitable place on the day following the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. That is the Saturday after the second Sunday after Pentecost.

The opening prayer for the liturgical celebration helps us focus on the important message of this feast day. "God prepared the heart of Mary as a fitting home to the Holy Spirit. May we, His chosen people, become temples of His glory. We ask Mary to help us- her spiritual children, so dear to her heart, to stay ever united in friendship with her Son and never separate ourselves by sin."

Friday, June 7, 2013

Vocation: your deep gladness meets the world's deep hunger

From David Brooks, in the New York Times a little profundity —and a challenge to the world—

A human life is not just a means to produce outcomes, it is an end in itself. When we evaluate our friends, we don’t just measure the consequences of their lives. We measure who they intrinsically are. We don’t merely want to know if they have done good. We want to know if they are good.

That’s why when most people pick a vocation, they don’t only want one that will be externally useful. They want one that they will enjoy, and that will make them a better person. They want to find that place, as the novelist Frederick Buechner put it, “where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

If you are smart, hard-working, careful and lucky you might even be able to find a job that is both productive and internally ennobling. Taking a job just to make money, on the other hand, is probably going to be corrosive, even if you use the money for charity rather than sports cars.

We live in a relentlessly commercial culture, so it’s natural that many people would organize their lives in utilitarian and consequentialist terms. But it’s possible to get carried away with this kind of thinking — to have logic but no wisdom, to become a specialist without spirit.

Making yourself is different than producing a product or an external outcome, requiring different logic and different means. I’d think you would be more likely to cultivate a deep soul if you put yourself in the middle of the things that engaged you most seriously. If your profoundest interest is dying children in Africa or Bangladesh, it’s probably best to go to Africa or Bangladesh, not to Wall Street.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Culture of waste

As we have heard before Papa Bergoglio often recycles his content so that his message is impossible to avoid.

Along those lines, Wednesday's Audience had a crowd close to 100,000 people and Francis' catechesis focused on the "culture of waste":

This "culture of waste" tends to become the common mentality that infects everyone. Human life, the person is no longer perceived as a primary value to be respected and protected, especially if poor or disabled, if not yet useful - such as the unborn child - or no longer needed - such as the elderly. This culture of waste has made us insensitive even to the waste and disposal of food, which is even more despicable when all over the world, unfortunately, many individuals and families are suffering from hunger and malnutrition. Once our grandparents were very careful not to throw away any leftover food. Consumerism has led us to become used to an excess and daily waste of food, to which, at times, we are no longer able to give a just value, which goes well beyond mere economic parameters. We should all remember, however, that the food we throw away is as if stolen from the table of the poor, the hungry! I encourage everyone to reflect on the problem of thrown away and wasted food to identify ways and means that, by seriously addressing this issue, are a vehicle of solidarity and sharing with the needy.

Sacred Heart of Jesus

The Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the World, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father,
have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, formed in the womb of the Virgin Mother by the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, united substantially with the word of God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven,
have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity,
have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Divinity, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father is well pleased, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, rich to all who invoke Thee, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, saturated with revilings, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, crushed for our iniquities, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, made obedient unto death, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in Thee, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord,
Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
V. Jesus, meek and humble of Heart.
R. Make our hearts like unto Thine.

Let us pray

Almighty and everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Your well-beloved Son and upon the acts of praise and satisfaction which He renders unto You in the name of sinners; and in Your great goodness, grant pardon to them who seek Your mercy, in the name of the same Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You, world without end. Amen.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

St. Boniface

As you go, make this proclamation: "The Kingdom of heaven is at hand." Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.

Each and every time we make our acts of faith, and hope and charity; every time we participate wholeheartedly in worship and fasting for our God; every time we take in, digest and translate the Word of God into the action of self-sacrificing loving service to others: then we are affirming the work of Barnabas and Paul; and all the Twelve; and indeed of Jesus himself; and they are very pleased; and they never cease interceding for us – as we continue on own often times complex, even bewildering missionary journeys through life to meet them in heaven.

Go and teach all nations, says the Lord; I am with you always, until the end of the world.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

"Education is not filling a pail, but lighting a fire."

Marianist Principal Brother Joseph congratulates a
Chaminade graduate.
Graduation is often a time of celebration. Graduates of all ages are recognized for their academic accomplishments at the end of each academic era in their lives. This past Sunday our two high schools, Chaminade and Kellenberg Memorial, held their Baccalaureate Masses and their Commencement Exercises. In all, close to 1,000 young men and women graduated from our Marianist high schools.

Graduation quotes can provide insight to new graduates as they make their way on to the next chapter in their lives. A graduation quote can be written in a card to personalize a graduation message or used in a speech. Many graduation quotes celebrate accomplishment, new beginnings, and success. The top ten graduation quotes are a sampling of graduation quotes that stand out among the best.

1. "Education is not filling a pail, but lighting a fire." (William Butler Yeats)

2. "Knowledge is power." (Francis Bacon)
Marianist President Father Philip poses with the highest
award-winners at the Kellenberg Memorial graduation.

3. "The most rewarding things in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done." (Arnold Palmer)

4. "The best of all things is to learn. Money can be lost or stolen, health and strength may fail, but what you have committed to your mind is yours forever." (Louis L'Amour)

5. "The important thing is this: to be able to give up in any given moment all that we are for what we can become." (DeSeaux)

6. "What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

7. "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." (Mahatma Ghandi)

8. "Carpe Diem!" (Seize the day, translated from Latin)

9. "To accomplish great things, we must not only act but also dream, not only dream, but also believe." (Anatole France)

10. "Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Around the World, An Hour of Adoration

 Whether it was 1 a.m. Monday in Sydney, 11 p.m. Sunday in Manila, 11 a.m. in this River City, 8 a.m. in LA, 5 p.m. at the Vatican... ...for the hour – whether in grand cathedrals, far-flung missions... or even right here in New York –  the Catholic world was united in prayer. At least, that was the intent. To aid it along, live from Rome, there was a feed of the central Eucharistic Holy Hour echoed across the globe, led by Pope Francis in St Peter's Basilica at yesterday's Corpus Christi Sunday.

 (SVILUPPO: The following is an on-demand fullvid of the rite as it took place yesterday....)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Corpus Christi

Today the Pope leads a global hour of Eucharistic adoration in the Vatican basilica for the following intentions written by him....

First: “For the Church spread throughout the world and united today in the adoration of the Most Holy Eucharist as a sign of unity. May the Lord make her ever more obedient to hearing his Word in order to stand before the world ‘ever more beautiful, without stain or blemish, but holy and blameless.’ That through her faithful announcement, the Word that saves may still resonate as the bearer of mercy and may increase love to give full meaning to pain and suffering, giving back joy and serenity.”

Second: “For those around the world who still suffer slavery and who are victims of war, human trafficking, drug running, and slave labour. For the children and women who are suffering from every type of violence. May their silent scream for help be heard by a vigilant Church so that, gazing upon the crucified Christ, she may not forget the many brothers and sisters who are left at the mercy of violence. Also, for all those who find themselves in economically precarious situations, above all for the unemployed, the elderly, migrants, the homeless, prisoners, and those who experience marginalization. That the Church’s prayer and its active nearness give them comfort and assistance in hope and strength and courage in defending human dignity.”

Saturday, June 1, 2013

We are all missionaries

The founder of the Marianist Family, Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, wrote “You are true missionaries. Teaching youth is certainly not the end that you should have proposed to yourselves when consecrating yourselves entirely to God under Mary’s protection: teaching is only a means that we employ to complete our mission, that is, to educate in faith and to multiply Christians.”

With this as our focus, we invited Bishop Christopher Cardone, O.P. to share his life as a missionary in the Solomon Islands where he is the Bishop of the Diocese of Auki to Kellenberg  Memorial this week.

As part of his presentation, Bishop Chris shared his pectoral cross which is made from shark teeth (which serve as currency even today in the Solomon Islands) and are consider precious.

He also shared his vision and mission of the people of the South Pacific. Students took the opportunity to ask Bishop Chris all sorts of questions. Their questions stemmed from the process of cooking to the length of their outdoor liturgies.

Kellenberg Memorial is seeking donations for the Diocese of Auki in the Solomon Islands that might assist Bishop Chris and his work.