Monday, August 21, 2017

Marianist Monday

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So where does the name Mary come from:

Mary's name means "beloved" or "cherished." In Hebrew, however, her name has a different meaning. The Hebrew word miryam, from which "Mary" comes, means "rebellion." That may sound cute as the name of an infant, but hardly the name you want for a child in their terrible twos or teens.

In a sense, Mary needs both of those qualities for the work to which she is called. She is the beloved one, cherished of God, who is selected to carry and give birth to the Messiah. When the angel Gabriel first appears to her to tell her about her role in the Christmas story, he calls her "favored one."

On the other hand, that rebellious streak -- the ability to follow her inner voice when others might try to convince her to behave differently -- will come in handy throughout her pregnancy.

Her courage allows her to travel to Elizabeth and Zechariah's when the angel tells her to go. It sustains her through her and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem and Jesus' birth out in a stable. Most importantly, her rebellious nature gives her the ability to say yes to being used by God in this way when she knows the consequences could be dire.

We need to be more like Mary, rebelliously courageous because we know we are loved by God.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

God is God

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Our second reading for this Sunday focuses on the English word “irrevocable.” The word appears nowhere else in Scripture but here in verse 29. 

On one hand, the Scriptures acknowledge that seasons of blessing may be temporary. Rains come and go. Crops boom and bust. Riches can be transient.

But the irrevocable gift of God is here linked to one of his attributes, not merely his actions. Despite disobedience, he still offers his people mercy. “So that he may be merciful to all.”

Perhaps parents can best understand the heart which grants mercy in response to disobedience. It is a heart of love ... despite. A heart that longs for relationship over punishment. A heart that puts more stock in the future than in the past.

Here again this word “irrevocable” comes into play in a different way. The word irrevocable literally means “without regret”; something is given with no claim to do-overs. The only other place the same word appears is in 2 Corinthians: “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret [‘irrevocable’], but worldly grief produces death.”

Bottom line, perhaps pastor Dennis J. Meaker put it best when he wrote us, saying that what we learn here is that “God does not give up on his commitments simply because they do not seem to be working out as planned.”

And that is good news for the world.

Things may not seem to be working out as planned.

Doesn’t mean that God is giving up on commitments made, promises offered.

God is God.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Sunday Word

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It's not too late to begin to prepare for the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time by taking a good look at the readings.

The Gospel reading for the day picture the disciples with curmudgeonly attitudes. They continue acting cranky and obstreperous as they encounter the Canaanite woman. This Gentile woman meets Jesus and his followers on her home turf, the district of Tyre and Sidon, and immediately accosts them and cries out, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon."
Jesus does not reply at all, and the disciples sense from his silence that he is blowing her off. So, ramping up their excitement and nastiness, they call out, "Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us."

It's like the disciples are saying, "Hey, lady! Curb your enthusiasm."

The disciples' hearts are in the right place, but their enthusiasm is just a bit overwhelming. These 12 see themselves as the chosen few, the cream of the crop, the entitled elite, the devoted dozen, the Lord's own Dream Team. They are passionate about Christ and don't have much interest in sharing their mentor with the unenlightened masses.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Marianist vocations - alive!

Here is a wonderful sign of God's providence and the blessings of our Bicentennial celebration:

In Dayton, the FMI Sisters welcomed Emily Sandoval (second from left) as a pre-novice and in San Antonio, Leno Ceballos and Jordan Stewert began their aspirancy at the Casa Maria community.

Please pray for these four newest members of our religious family that they may grow in their vocations and in their love of our Marianist life.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Aspirant welcomed into Province of Meribah

The Marianists of the Province of Meribah were pleased to welcome Thomas Terrill as an aspirant into the Marianist community during the Rite of Acceptance.

The ceremony was part of the celebration of the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary on August 15th.

Brother Timothy Driscoll, Provincial, welcomed Thomas. Fr. Thomas, Assistant Provincial, presided at the Mass and gave the homily.

Thomas is pictured above with the novices. (Brother Peter, Brother Patrick, Aspirant Thomas and Brother Andrew)

Welcome, Thomas!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Blessed Jakob Gapp - Marianist

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Blessed Jakob Gapp, SM, was truly an extraordinary person. He was someone with a passionate and unflinching commitment to the Truth. He was passionate about what he believed and his convictions moved him to speak out and to give his life. In the midst of World War II and the darkness of the Third Reich, he witnessed to the Light of Jesus Christ.

What can we learn from him?

Today, wherever we are and in whatever circumstance, we can witness to the same undying Light and Love, whatever the cost.

FEAST DAY - August 13

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Assumption of Our Lady

Today, Catholics and many other Christians celebrate the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This significant feast day recalls the spiritual and physical departure of the mother of Jesus Christ from the earth, when both her soul and her resurrected body were taken into the presence of God.

Venerable Pope Pius XII confirmed this belief about the Virgin Mary as a teaching of the Church when he defined it formally as a dogma of Catholic faith in 1950, invoking papal infallibility to proclaim, “that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever-Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.”

Although the bodily assumption of Mary is not explicitly recorded in Scripture, Catholic tradition identifies her with the “woman clothed with the sun” who is described in the Book of Revelation.

The passage calls that woman's appearance “a great sign” which “appeared in heaven,” indicating that she is the mother of the Jewish Messiah and has “the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” Accordingly, Catholic iconography of the Western tradition often depicts the Virgin Mary's assumption into heaven in this manner.

“It was fitting,” St. John of Damascus wrote in a sermon on the Assumption, “that she, who had kept her virginity intact in childbirth, should keep her own body free from all corruption even after death,” and “that she, who had carried the creator as a child at her breast, should dwell in the divine tabernacles.”

In Eastern Christian tradition, the same feast is celebrated on the same calendar date, although typically known as the Dormition (falling asleep) of Mary.

Monday, August 14, 2017

St. Maximillian Kolbe - Obedience alone shows us God's will

“I rejoice greatly, dear brother, at the outstanding zeal that drives you to promote the glory of God. It is sad to see how in our times the disease called “indifferentism” is spreading in all its forms, not just among those in the world but also among the members of religious orders. But indeed, since God is worthy of infinite glory, it is our first and most pressing duty to give him such glory as we, in our weakness, can manage – even that we would never, poor exiled creatures that we are, be able to render him such glory as he truly deserves.

Because God’s glory shines through most brightly in the salvation of the souls that Christ redeemed with his own blood, let it be the chief concern of the apostolic life to bring salvation and an increase in holiness to as many souls as possible. Let me briefly outline the best way to achieve this end – both for the glory of God and for the sanctification of the greatest number. God, who is infinite knowledge and infinite wisdom, knows perfectly what is to be done to give him glory, and in the clearest way possible makes his will known to us through his vice-gerents on Earth.

It is obedience and obedience alone that shows us God’s will with certainty. Of course our superiors may err, but it cannot happen that we, holding fast to our obedience, should be led into error by this. There is only one exception: if the superior commands something that would obviously involve breaking God’s law, however slightly. In that case the superior could not be acting as a faithful interpreter of God’s will.

God himself is the one infinite, wise, holy, and merciful Lord, our Creator and our Father, the beginning and the end, wisdom, power, and love – God is all these. Anything that is apart from God has value only in so far as it is brought back to him, the Founder of all things, the Redeemer of mankind, the final end of all creation. Thus he himself makes his holy will known to us through his vice-gerents on Earth and draws us to himself, and through us – for so he has willed – draws other souls too, and unites them to himself with an ever more perfect love.

See then, brother, the tremendous honour of the position that God in his kindness has placed us in. Through obedience we transcend our own limitations and align ourselves with God’s will, which, with infinite wisdom and prudence, guides us to do what is best. Moreover, as we become filled with the divine will, which no created thing can resist, so we become stronger than all others.”

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Lord gave them bread from heaven.

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Psalm 78
The Lord gave them bread from heaven.

What we have heard and know,
and what our fathers have declared to us,
We will declare to the generation to come
the glorious deeds of the LORD and his strength
and the wonders that he wrought.

He commanded the skies above
and opened the doors of heaven;
he rained manna upon them for food
and gave them heavenly bread.

Man ate the bread of angels,
food he sent them in abundance.
And he brought them to his holy land,
to the mountains his right hand had won.

• “The Lord gave them bread from heaven."
How can we distribute this bread to the many people in our lives and our world hungry for food, love, companionship, justice, freedom, meaning and hope?
• As God heard the murmur and complaints of his suffering and struggling people, do we hear the murmur and complaints of those who call for help...and are we responding?

• Are we working (seeking) only for “the food that perishes” or do we hunger especially for God, seeking first and foremost God’s kingdom and righteousness?

• Jesus gave his life for the life of the world. How can we be more Eucharistic in our attitudes and actions toward others, especially those most in need?

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Be imitators of God

St. Paul urges the Ephesians to practice seeing their work as an opportunity for service to those in need. When we're practicing disciples, all of our work hours -- no matter what we do -- can be seen as a means toward the goal of advancing God's kingdom.

We need to practice our speech as well. Loose and evil talk seems to be the norm in our culture, and it's easy for us to get caught up in it. But what would happen if, instead, we practiced saying nothing but "words that give grace to those who hear?" As disciples we must engage in the daily practice of disciplining our speech to reflect the building up of others rather than tearing down.

Next, Paul warns against grieving the Holy Spirit, which seems to be another way of saying we violate our baptism and our role in building up the community in holiness. If baptism is the mark of the Holy Spirit on us, then we need to be reminded daily that our conduct and thought life should reflect the Spirit's presence in our lives.

Our lives mirror the character of God

Paul sums up the argument by saying that if we're really practicing Christians, then things like bitterness, wrath, anger, arguments, slander and malice will eventually be "put away" and replaced with kindness, tenderheartedness and forgiveness. That will only happen through the discipline of practice.

The true gauge of success, according to Paul, is that character mirrors God in the way that a child mirrors a parent. The ultimate example of that kind of success is Jesus.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Lord, to whom can we go?

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Saint Peter says, "Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."

In the context of what was happening that day, Peter's statement is remarkable. In effect, he was saying, "Despite the conclusion of all those who have turned away, despite the centuries of synagogue teaching, despite the improbability of any human being embodying the words of life, we believe that you, Jesus, have "the words of eternal life," and that you are "the Holy One of God."

With his answer to Jesus, Saint Peter actually shows us quite a bit about the nature of faith, for clearly he is aware that Jesus' offer of eternal life has been discounted by the crowd. And he surely knows there is no proof to the contrary. But he's saying that based on what he and the other 11 have seen of Jesus, they are choosing to believe. He's showing the truth that believing in Jesus is always a matter of choice. Peter is kin to a great many Christians down through the centuries who have acknowledged to themselves, if not to others, that there are enough reasons not to believe in Jesus if that is what they conclude, but there are also reasons to believe. And they have made the believing choice.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

St. Lawrence teach us to laugh

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Lawrence, a martyr and deacon of the 3rd century. St. Lawrence is known primarily for two features, which are reflected in our readings today: his care for the poor and his martyrdom. Throughout his life he maintained a sense of humor that made him the patron saint of comedians.

One day, the Roman government demanded that Lawrence turn over the riches of the Church. Now, Lawrence knew that there was no purpose to hiding the Church’s treasures. So he asked for three days to gather everything together. During those days he sold every chalice and artwork and other item that is valuable as the world sees things. He gave the proceeds to the poor. On the third day he returned and presented the true riches of the Church: the blind, the lame, the leprous, and many other people. He is reported to have said, “As you can see, we are richer than the emperor.” So they killed him. They grilled him to death. I suppose they had a giant barbeque, lit a fire, and threw him on it. As he was dying, he supposedly said to his guards, “You can flip me over now; I am done on this side.”

And what can we learn from the comedy routines of St. Lawrence? In the face of the world, we ought to laugh, recognizing how ridiculous the world is. People live and die for money and power. We live and die for Jesus Christ. The contrast is so enormous.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Marianist family spirit

“The multiplication of Christians is brought about less by the use of certain pedagogic procedures than by the presence of a religious atmosphere in the school. Religion is not taught; it is communicated. Religion is instilled more deeply in the spirits and in the hearts of the students more through the atmosphere that permeates the school than through teaching.”
Blessed William Joseph Chaminade

From its very foundation, the Society of Mary has given great emphasis and experience, both in the expression of the religious commitment of its members and in the apostolic services it has rendered to the Church.

In Community, the members of the Province earnestly strive to follow the Gospel by creating a family spirit of shared prayer, shared work, and shared vision. Through its apostolic activities the Province fosters communities of faith and strives to communicate the person of Jesus Christ.

The family spirit that is present among the Brothers is certainly a vocational attraction. We live together, eat together, pray together, cook together, teach together, work together, laugh together, and share every aspect of our lives with one another. This companionship is shared with those whom we work in our schools. Our students notice, experience and develop the same family spirit.

You might think that these men who make the same vows might all turn out pretty much the same. Well, we do share many similarities even beyond the black suits and ties we all wear. But even though we all made the same vows in the tent of the same Church, we are men of many different stripes and our differences are as variegated as nature and grace can possibly allow.

"Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell as one ..."
Psalm 133

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Call

God calls us to do many different things. Sometimes he calls us to be a teacher or a doctor. Sometimes we are called to married life, single life or possibly a special calling. What is this “special calling” you ask? Well this “special calling” is to priesthood or religious life. Some, but not all might have this special calling.

The other day I stumbled onto a very unique video. It got me thinking about my own life. The video I happened to stumble upon was a vocation video. I know that a call of this nature is quite frightening. Some surely would just run away from God and think nothing of it. Then there are the others. Others who let the idea develop in their hearts. These are the real men. These are the brave ones who are willing to explore the possibility of a vocation. Could you give your life up for Christ? And then I ask myself, if I could give my life up for Jesus Christ?

There are many who have given their lives up for the service of the Church as Marianist Brothers or diocesan priests. If you know some of these men, you can certainly see that they are very devoted and happy at what they do.

Are you receiving a “special call” from God? If so how will you respond?

May God who has begun this good work in you know bring it to completion.

Contributed by one of our Marianist high school students

Monday, August 7, 2017

Marianist Monday

During the summer Brother Robert Joseph and Brother Michael Joseph traveled to the Marianist University of Dayton for a college visit. The visit was a very positive and grace-filled event for all those who made the journey to the Midwest.

During our stay at the University of Dayton we stopped and prayed at the new statue of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade.

Donated by President Daniel J. Curran and Claire Renzetti as “a gift of thanksgiving for the Marianists,” the statue by UD alumnus and Marianist Brother Joseph Aspell (’68) was commissioned in honor of the 250th anniversary of Blessed Chaminade’s birth.

The UD sculpture is one of four: two smaller versions are in the provincial offices of the Society of Mary in St. Louis and at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, and the fourth will be installed at Chaminade University in Honolulu.

Blessed Chaminade, a French priest, escaped to Spain during the Revolution after refusing to take the Oath of Fidelity all clergy were ordered to swear. When he returned to Bordeaux, he brought together an eclectic group of merchants, priests, teachers, chimney sweeps, former soldiers and others from all walks of life who drew their inspiration from Mary and believed strongly in service to youth and the poor. They became the Society of Mary, or Marianists.

“The statue depicts Father Chaminade as a younger man returning to France from his exile in Spain,” says Joan McGuinness Wagner, director of Marianist strategies. “He is moving, working to begin his mission. And he looks down on us to invite us to join him in this work. The book in his arm is a symbol of the Marianist quest for knowledge through faith and reason.”

Sunday, August 6, 2017


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It's easy to cherish the enthusiasm we have for our traditions, our patterns, rituals and programs. The challenge is to curb this kind of passion, to be willing to bend, and even break, those patterns that keep people away from the saving grace of the Lord. Unfortunately, whenever we talk about making changes in the church, we get accused of taking good spiritual food and throwing it to the dogs.

Like Jesus, we have to be willing to curb our enthusiasm for time-honored traditions if we're going to reach a generation that knows nothing of our practices and patterns. We can't afford to come across like the first disciples, insiders who were certainly excited about their faith, but also cranky and basically uninterested in sharing their discoveries with the outsiders around them. It's important to be willing to bend and even break our patterns, and to learn from the culture around us as we seek to improve our communication techniques. After all, didn't Jesus learn a little something from the Canaanite woman, when she expanded his awareness of what even the dogs under the table needed to eat?

That's a powerful image, when you think about it: Jesus Christ, the Son of God, learning a life-changing lesson from a common Canaanite woman. She challenged him and stretched him and pushed him to see a new possibility for ministry to the Gentiles. There are people all around us who can do the very same thing, even in a culture that is often seen as "going to the dogs."

Equally important, we are challenged to perceive the faith of our neighbors, even if their trust is raw and unrefined. True believers are found not only in groups like the 12 disciples, insiders who are convinced that they have a corner on spirituality. No, sincere faith is found among Canaanite women, recovering drug addicts, recent immigrants and all the other people we tend to label as outsiders. Authentic trust is found among twenty-somethings who have never darkened a church door, tech workers who scratch their heads when confronted with organized religion and professionals at midlife who are wondering about the meaning of it all. We miss an important connection point if we fail to sense the presence of faith in these lives, and to see this faith as a potential foundation for a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Jesus didn't miss it. He found the faith of the Canaanite woman and used it as a springboard for a spectacular healing.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Armor of God

Here is a great video named Armor of God from Life Teen.

“Attack comes with fatigue, distractions, temptations. Morality and virtue are stressed and tested. This war is about how you defend yourself. No guns or bombs, but true armor.”

“You will be attacked. Your faith will be tested. Make no mistake, the enemy knows you and has tailored a war just for you. The armor of God will defend your dignity, protect your soul, fight for truth.”

“Our God reigns! He has won the war over evil. Our victory is in Him!”

Friday, August 4, 2017

St. John Mary Vianney

Our fundamental vocation in life is to be saints.
There is no other purpose in life than this.
So, what is a saint?

A saint is one who knows he is a sinner.
A saint is a true scientist, a philosopher, he knows the Truth.
He sees what is right in front of him.
A saint knows what is real.

A saint is an idealist.
A saint embraces joy.
He embraces suffering and love.
A saint knows what is real joy.

A saint is a slave to Christ.
A saint conquers himself.
He is a doormat for Christ.
A saint knows he conquers the world.

A saint marries God "for better or for worse."
A saint marries God "for richer or poorer."
He is totally attached and faithful and dependent on God.
+ + +

Pray for the Canonization of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade

"In general, we must maintain a great freedom of mind and heart in the practice of the Christian and religious virtues. The laws of Jesus Christ are not laws of servitude; however strict they may be, they are the laws of grace and of love. “We have been called,” says St. Paul, “to the liberty of the children of God” 
Blessed William Joseph Chaminade

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The proof is the Cross

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How much easier it would be to follow God if we could just see Him. Just rest our eyes on Him once. The truth is that if we open our eyes, we can see He is all around us. We just fail to see and recognize the evidence.

There are so many things, like gravity for example, which we can not see, but that we know are real because we see their effects on the world around us. In the same way, we can not see God, but we can see Him at work in this world. He is making Himself known, and the proof is all around us.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Marianist religious life

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Religious life has a long history in the example and teaching of Jesus. He himself lived a life of chaste self-dedication to God, in poverty and obedience, and He encouraged His disciples to do the same.

From the earliest days of the Church men and women responded to this call, imitating Christ more closely and following Him with greater liberty, through lives of committed poverty, chastity and obedience.

Saying ‘yes’ to the Father’s call and to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, they choose this way of life to devote themselves to Christ with an undivided heart. Like the Apostles, they leave everything to be with Christ, and to put themselves at the service of God and of their brothers and sisters.

The Marianists from the Province of Meribah live together in Community, supporting each other in a shared way of life, in prayer, and in dedication to the apostolate of education.

The Marianist religious life is a gift of God for the individuals who are called, and for the whole Church.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

St. Alphonsus - Top of the List

There are lists and then, there are lists. If you get a chance to watch late night television you may stumble onto David Letterman. He often gives a "Top Ten List."

Similarly I offer a "Top Ten List" for our celebration today. And we celebrate the Feast of Saint Alphonsus Liguori today. Saint Alphonsus is a doctor of the Church and known for his contribution to moral theology and his great kindness we have another list

Here is my "Top Ten List" for St. Alphonsus. It is a list of ten powerful quotes from this great moral theologian:

1. "Our Savior says, if you have not received the graces that you desire, do not complain to me, but blame yourself, because you have neglected to seek them from me."

2. "Realize that you may gain more in a quarter of an hour of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament than in all other practices of the day."

3. "It is well known, and is daily experienced by the clients of Mary, that her powerful name gives the particular strength necessary to overcome temptations against purity".

4. "I Love Jesus Christ and that is why I am on fire with the desire to give Him souls, first of all my own, and then an incalculable number of others."

5. "He who trusts himself is lost. He who trusts God can do all things."

6. "If we would completely rejoice the heart of God, let us strive in all things to conform ourselves to His divine will. Let us not only strive to conform ourselves, but also to unite ourselves to whatever dispositions God makes of us. Conformity signifies that we join our wills to the will of God. Uniformity means more. Uniformity means that we make one will of God's will and our will. In this way we will only what God wills. God's will alone is our will. "

7. "The sovereigns of the earth do not always grant audience readily; on the contrary, the King of Heaven, hidden under the eucharistic veils, is ready to receive anyone…"

8. "If you pray, you are positive of saving your soul. If you do not pray, you are just as positive of losing your soul. "

9. “Acquire the habit of speaking to God as if you were alone with Him, familiarly and with confidence and love, as to the dearest and most loving of friends. Speak to Him often of your business, your plans, your troubles, your fears— of everything that concerns you. Converse with Him confidently and frankly; for God is not wont to speak to a soul that does not speak to Him.”

10. The more a person loves God, the more reason he has to hope in Him. This hope produces in the Saints an unutterable peace, which they preserve even in adversity, because as they love God, and know how beautiful He is to those who love Him, they place all their confidence and find all their repose in Him alone.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Marianist Monday

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August, 2017

My dear friends in college . . . and beyond,

How is your summer going? For some of you perhaps, your summer is going too rapidly, and you are starting to feel the all-too-familiar pressure of the coming school year. I myself have mixed reactions. I do not want summer to end, but I am also excited to welcome a new class of wide-eyed frosh into the sacred halls of Chaminade.

I see August as a transition month. We are all more relaxed and may even have real opportunities for vacation time. At the same time, in the not-too-distant future, we see the responsibilities and expectations of a new year in college or work.

For me, August has been a special month, for it was on August 15, 1962 that I made my final vows in the Society of Mary. August gives me a real opportunity to examine how I am living those vows, that initial commitment. Am I doing whatever He tells me? Am I closer to Mary now, and am I sharing her story, her love with others?

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, August 15, is one of the oldest celebrations in the Church. Mary, the Ark of the Covenant, the one who bore the Messiah in her womb, has not been left to return to dust, but is now what we will all be in time. Her flesh even now is glorified and enjoys the vision of God. Even Islam, in chapter 9 of the Quran, honors Mary and accepts her Assumption.

When I reflect on Mary, I am constantly drawn back to the mystic, Meister Eckhart, who was strong in his belief that we, like Mary, should become the womb of Jesus. What does that mean? We must carry Jesus with us every day of our lives. We must transmit joy because of that union.

As I reflect on my spiritual journey after all of these years and ask myself if I have become the womb of Jesus, I invite you to spend some time asking yourself the same question, perhaps on August 15, On that day, will you will pray for me, as I will pray for you?

Remember, Mary will never abandon you.

On behalf of all my Marianist Brothers,

Bro. Lawrence Syriac, S.M.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Grace of a Marianist Vocation

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"And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, an abundant grace was upon them all." Acts 1:8

The Lord indeed grants special graces to those who answer His call!

I recently spent a week living in one of the Marianist communities here on Long Island. Wow! What abundant grace God has poured out on the Brothers who, like the apostles, give testimony to Jesus by sharing in His work. To say that the day of a Marianist is full might be an understatement. From early in the morning (and I'm not a morning person!) to late in the evening the Brothers pray, share meals, and operate our schools tirelessly and with a great joy that can only be explained by God's grace. Jesus may invite us to share in His ministry, but He doesn't send us out alone - He fills us with His Spirit and energy.

During this week of prayer and self-reflection I asked God for two personal graces: wisdom and patience. One morning I was driving along and the old Stealers Wheel song Stuck In The Middle With You came on the radio, "Yes I'm stuck in the middle with you, and I'm wondering what it is I should do...trying to make some sense of it I am, stuck in the middle with you." Sometimes I really do feel stuck when it comes to answering God's call. I am often tempted like Moses at Meribah to repeatedly strike the rock in frustration. Provide water now God! Conform to my time frame! Make this easier! Make this clearer!

My consolation is knowing that I am stuck in the middle with Christ, who was literally stuck in between one cross and another, crucified in the middle. From the cross Jesus doesn't offer ease or clarity, He offers grace.
Wisdom and patience, Lord, grant me the wisdom to know your will and the patience to endure your plan!

Contributed by a Marianist high school graduate