Saturday, May 25, 2019

Marianist spirituality



When Blessed William Joseph Chaminade returned to Bordeaux after he was exiled, his sense of urgency led him to form a diversity of apostolic communities inspired by Mary: first, lay communities, then two religious congregations -- the Daughters of Mary Immaculate and the Society of Mary -- and finally, schools, teacher formation and other educational institutions. This work took many years. It was guided by and at the same time helped to shape a deepening, distinctively Marianist spirituality. All subsequent Marianist educational work has been inspired by this spirituality with its three characteristic dimensions: a spirit of Marian faith, the building of communities of faith, and a deep sense of mission.

Marian faith, for Blessed Chaminade, was a faith of the heart as well as an intellectual assent, a faith so deep that, like Mary's, it could conceive and give birth to Jesus. Mary in her assent embodies the openness and cooperation with the action of the Holy Spirit that is at the center of Christian faith. Inspired by the Spirit, Mary brings Jesus into the world, dramatically showing us that with God all things are possible.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Our Mission is Mary


“The Spirit of the Society is the spirit of Mary.”

(Rule of Life, The Society of Mary, Book I, Article 114)

Marianist Brothers and priests are men dedicated in a particular way to a woman: Mary the mother of Jesus. We believe Mary’s mission—bringing Christ into the world—is ongoing and that we take part in it today. Our relationship with Mary, then, is apostolic. Her role as mother and disciple of Jesus is an abiding mystery for us, and it shapes our way of living and ministering in the Church.

Each day Marianist brothers and priests say a prayer of dedication, linked to our vow of stability. It’s an expressed dedication to Mary as a woman of faith and bearer of Christ. It’s a commitment to a relationship with her that first inspired our Marianist founders, Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, Venerable Adele de Batz de Trenquelleon, and Venerable Marie-Therese de Lamourous. Reflecting the unity and collaboration characteristic of our foundation, Marianist brothers and priests participate in Mary’s mission with the wider Marianist Family that includes religious sisters and committed lay people.

Bearing her name, we find in Mary an abundance of mysteries that become central to our lives. Scriptural passages involving Mary—the Annunciation, the Magnificat, the Presentation of Jesus, the finding of Jesus in the Temple, the Wedding Feast at Cana, Mary and John at Calvary, Mary with the disciples at Pentecost—shape our vision of embodying a discipleship of equals and our way of building communities of faith wherever we are.

We believe Mary helps us follow Jesus, grow in His likeness, and bear his transforming grace to the world today. As Marianist brothers, priests, and sisters, we are bound by love—and by our religious vows—to her mission, her way, and to Mary herself as the mother of Christ and our mother.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Regina Coeli




The Regina Coeli is one of the four seasonal antiphons of the Blessed Virgin Mary
prescribed to be sung or recited in the Liturgy of the Hours after
night prayer (compline or vespers) from Holy Saturday to the Saturday after Pentecost.

The Latin text of the sung Regina Coeli (sometimes written Caeli) follows:

Latin:
Regina coeli laetare, Alleluia,
Quia quem meruisti portare. Alleluia,
Resurrexit sicut dixit, Alleluia.
Ora pro nobis Deum. Alleluia.

English:
Queen of heaven, rejoice, alleluia:
For He whom you merited to bear, alleluia,
Has risen, as He said, alleluia.
Pray for us to God, alleluia.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

LOVE


Our Sunday Gospel reading from St. John is action-packed. 

Jesus' new commandment to his disciples was precisely this: Show your love. Love one another. By your love, they will know more about you than by anything else you could do. Love each other as I have loved you. Jesus didn't love us by simply feeling loving toward us. Jesus lived a life that embodied love. He healed the sick. He fed the hungry. He comforted the confused. He taught the ignorant. He hugged the little children. Jesus' love was so great that he went to the cross, suffered torture and death as his greatest demonstration of action--packed love. The love Jesus wants his disciples to enter into -- not just to "feel" -- is action-packed. And love in action is sometimes embodied by the simplest of compassionate responses.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Mary in our Life

By the gift of faith, 
the Virgin Mary totally opened herself
to the mission the Father gave her in his plan of salvation.

Jesus was formed in her by the Holy Spirit.
He willed her to be the promised Woman,
sharing in all his mysteries.

When his hour had come,
he proclaimed her our Mother.

Like the beloved disciple, we accept Mary as a precious gift of God.

Moved by Jesus' love for his Mother,
we dedicate ourselves to her so that the Holy Spirit,
in whose action she cooperates with a mother's love,
may form us more fully to the image of her Son.

By our alliance with Mary,
we seek to assist her in her mission
of forming in faith a multitude of brothers for her first-born Son.

In Mary is summed up the longing and searching
of the whole human race for God:
she is the first among those who believe in Jesus Christ
and the first to be saved from evil and death.

The Rule of Life
Society of Mary

Monday, May 20, 2019

Marianist Monday


A MARIANIST LITANY TO MARY

Mary, God chose you as the mother of his Son
and called all nations and generations to bless the gift of grace he gave you.
In the company of those who have gone before us,
with people of all races and languages, we call upon you in prayer.

Response for the following: Pray for us.

Holy Mary
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
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
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

Let us pray:

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. Amen.


Rev. Joseph H. Lackner, S.M.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Evening of Recollection


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Evening of Recollection
College-age alumni

Members of KMHS & CHS Class of 2019

May 19, 2019
3 - 9 p.m.
Saragossa Retreat Center
Catholic speaker : Paul J. Kim
Adoration
Mass
Confessions
Dinner

Saturday, May 18, 2019

The Sunday Word

The Sunday Word

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes,
and there shall be no more death or mourning, 

wailing or pain,
for the old order has passed away."



Sunday’s reading from Revelation is typical of such biblical thought. The day is coming, says the Lord, when there will be no more mourning or crying or pain, “for the old order has passed away.”

We most often hear about Christianity’s view of tomorrow when we are personally facing sorrow or pain that seems insolvable. “Don’t lose hope,” we say. “There is a better world coming.” “In the end, nothing can separate us from the love of God.” “Tomorrow — some distant tomorrow — you will see your loved one again.” “Tomorrow there will be war no more.” “Tomorrow all violence will cease, and people will live peaceably with their neighbors.” And so on.

But all of that is based on an ultimate tomorrow that’s so shrouded in mystery that it’s hard to get much out of it when we’re dealing with the complexities of the present. God’s tomorrow is the basis for Christianity’s long-term confidence, but the promise of someday seems so far off that it can feel like little more than wishful thinking. At times, the best we can make of the tomorrow factor is to deal with it in a less-than-ultimate way.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Listen

Image result for shepherd sheep

We’re called to hear the shepherd’s voice and then, as leaders of the flock, to lead them in following him. We do that by reflecting his care — ensuring that people are well-fed spiritually and physically; that we create an environment of peace where people feel valued, loved and cared for; and that we care about the flock more than we care about ourselves. When we do that well, others will want to follow where we lead.

Perhaps that will lead us to pray a different sort of prayer. And a good prayer for us is, “Lord, help me to be the kind of sheep that leads others to the Shepherd. Amen.”

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Eternal Life

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“My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me.” says Jesus. They follow him because they know they will receive the three things that sheep need to thrive: to be well-fed, to be safe and not stressed and to have someone looking out for them.

Jesus sums all that up in one sentence: “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish.”  This is the “abundant” life that Jesus spoke of previously. It’s an abundant life made possible because the Good Shepherd puts the sheep ahead of himself.

As English shepherd James Rebanks says in his first rule of shepherding: “It’s not about you. It’s about the sheep and the land.” Jesus demonstrates this like no other. When the sheep see Jesus, they see a shepherd who has their best interests at heart, and they know it because he is willing to die for them. “No one will snatch them out of my hand.”  Jesus can do this because he is God’s promised Good Shepherd; in fact, he is God in person. “What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Lays down his life

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The prophet Ezekiel compares the bad shepherd-kings of Israel who greedily “feed themselves” but not the sheep with God who will make the sheep “lie down” in safety . God will seek the “lost,” bring back the “strayed,” bind up the “injured” and strengthen the “weak” as a good sheep whisperer will do, knowing that these are the keys to a healthy flock. To ensure that it is done well, God said that he would “set up one shepherd over them, my servant David” who shall “feed them and be their shepherd.”

That Good Shepherd, of course, is Jesus, who is both son of David and Son of God. In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus picks up God’s critique of Israel’s bad shepherds (in this case, the Pharisees), and expresses again what the Good Shepherd does: he knows and cares for the sheep even if it costs him everything, including his own life. “I am the good shepherd,” he says. “The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

Monday, May 13, 2019

Fatima

Our Lady of FatimaToday is the anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady to three shepherd children in the small village of Fatima in Portugal in 1917. She appeared six times to Lucia, 9, and her cousins Francisco, 8, and his sister Jacinta, 6, between May 13, 1917 and October 13, 1917.

The story of Fatima begins in 1916, when, against the backdrop of the First World War which had introduced Europe to the most horrific and powerful forms of warfare yet seen, and a year before the Communist revolution would plunge Russia and later Eastern Europe into six decades of oppression under militant atheistic governments, a resplendent figure appeared to the three children who were in the field tending the family sheep. “I am the Angel of Peace,” said the figure, who appeared to them two more times that year exhorting them to accept the sufferings that the Lord allowed them to undergo as an act of reparation for the sins which offend Him, and to pray constantly for the conversion of sinners.

Then, on the 13th day of the month of Our Lady, May 1917, an apparition of ‘a woman all in white, more brilliant than the sun’ presented itself to the three children saying “Please don’t be afraid of me, I’m not going to harm you.” Lucia asked her where she came from and she responded, “I come from Heaven.” The woman wore a white mantle edged with gold and held a rosary in her hand. The woman asked them to pray and devote themselves to the Holy Trinity and to “say the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and an end to the war.”

She also revealed that the children would suffer, especially from the unbelief of their friends and families, and that the two younger children, Francisco and Jacinta would be taken to Heaven very soon but Lucia would live longer in order to spread her message and devotion to the Immaculate Heart.

In the last apparition the woman revealed her name in response to Lucia’s question: “I am the Lady of the Rosary.”

That same day, 70,000 people had turned out to witness the apparition, following a promise by the woman that she would show the people that the apparitions were true. They saw the sun make three circles and move around the sky in an incredible zigzag movement in a manner which left no doubt in their minds about the veracity of the apparitions. By 1930 the Bishop had approved of the apparitions and they have been approved by the Church as authentic.

The messages Our Lady imparted during the apparitions to the children concerned the violent trials that would afflict the world by means of war, starvation, and the persecution of the Church and the Holy Father in the twentieth century if the world did not make reparation for sins. She exhorted the Church to pray and offer sacrifices to God in order that peace may come upon the world, and that the trials may be averted.

Our Lady of Fatima revealed three prophetic “secrets,” the first two of which were revealed earlier and refer to the vision of hell and the souls languishing there, the request for an ardent devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the prediction of the Second World War, and finally the prediction of the immense damage that Russia would do to humanity by abandoning the Christian faith and embracing Communist totalitarianism. The third “secret” was not revealed until the year 2000, and referred to the persecutions that humanity would undergo in the last century: “The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated'”. The suffering of the popes of the 20th century has been interpreted to include the assassination attempt on Pope Saint John Paul II in 1981, which took place on May 13, the 64th anniversary of the apparitions. The Holy Father attributed his escape from certain death to the intervention of Our Lady: “... it was a mother's hand that guided the bullet's path and in his throes the Pope halted at the threshold of death.”

What is the central meaning of the message of Fatima? Nothing different from what the Church has always taught: it is, as Pope emeritus Benedict the XVI, has put it, “the exhortation to prayer as the path of “salvation for souls” and, likewise, the summons to penance and conversion.”

Perhaps the most well known utterance of the apparition of Our Lady at Fatima was her confident decalaration that “My Immaculate Heart will triumph”. Pope Benedict has interpreted this utterance as follows: “The Heart open to God, purified by contemplation of God, is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind. The fiat of Mary, the word of her heart, has changed the history of the world, because it brought the Saviour into the world—because, thanks to her Yes, God could become man in our world and remains so for all time. The Evil One has power in this world, as we see and experience continually; he has power because our freedom continually lets itself be led away from God. But since God himself took a human heart and has thus steered human freedom towards what is good, the freedom to choose evil no longer has the last word. From that time forth, the word that prevails is this: “In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart; I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33). The message of Fatima invites us to trust in this promise.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

The Sunday Word

Image result for shepherd sheep


Jesus said:
“My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,
and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.
The Father and I are one.”
John Powell, a shepherd from Australia, noticed after several years of drought that his flock reduced. In addition his loyal sheepdog, Angie, was killed. John was faced with a dilemma: how to keep a herd of sheep in the most economical and minimalistic way.

So, after restocking his farm with some new lambs, John noticed that his daughter was feeding them willow leaves, which is apparently like giving chocolate to a candy-crazed toddler. Since John was always close by, he noticed that as these lambs got older, they would follow him anywhere — even if he wasn’t doling out willow leaves. And once those older sheep became leaders of the flock and started to follow John, the herd instinct of the other sheep kicked in and they would go wherever he and the leaders went.

Just by showing up and being recognized by the leaders of the flock, John is able to herd as many as a thousand sheep at a time by himself with no help from dogs or motorcycles or any of the other things that other shepherds use to control sheep these days. It’s a gentler way of shepherding that keeps the sheep calm and happy, and calm sheep tend to be better producers of wool and meat.

It’s all about knowing the sheep and being known by them.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

153 Fish


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The disciples cast the net, and they are not able to haul it all in because there are so many fish: 153 large fish, to be exact. This number is intriguing. Saint Augustine figured out that the number 153 is  btained when all of the integers from 1 to 17 are added together, a mathematical fact that suggests the completeness of the number 153 itself. Others have suggested that the number is a symbol of the Trinity, or a sign of the totality of the church. At the very least, it describes an enormous catch, one that points to the abundance of Jesus' gifts.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Repetition

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Jesus repeated his question to Peter three times -- not out of doubt or because of Peter's denseness, but in order to strengthen the power of his words. With each "Do you love me," the meaning and inferences behind this query seeped more deeply into Peter's heart. Repetition has always been a way of learning.


Thursday, May 9, 2019

Discipleship

Image result for tend my sheep
There is certainly something much more significant going on with the multiple questions of the Lord.   Jesus is laying out a sort of job description for disciple wannabes. Those who will be involved in the day-to-day work of caring for the people of God need to know what to do. 

It’s not quite enough to merely dive into the waters of discipleship after having a mystical experience or a spiritual high.

If you love Jesus, you’ve got to get dressed, wade ashore, roll up your sleeves, and dig into the work of discipleship if you want to tend and feed the flock of God.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Feed, Tend, Feed

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After the big fish catch, the fishing buddies gather on shore. A charcoal fire is lit, and the smoke is wafting through the cool morning air, and the fish — which to this day is known as St. Peter’s Fish, not much more than an oversized croppie or bluegill — is frying over the fire. Together they eat the fish and the bread.

When they finish eating, Jesus turns and says to Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” Peter says to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” And Jesus says to him, “Feed my lambs.”

Without missing a beat, Jesus asks again if Peter loves him, and after Peter says that he does love him, Jesus says, “Tend my sheep.”

Then again, as though the question had not been asked, Jesus inquires about Peter’s love. Peter is hurt by this persistent questioning, and he blurts out, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”

Jesus commands him, once again, “Feed my sheep”

Feed my lambs. Tend my sheep. Feed my sheep. What is Jesus driving home in this dialogue with Simon Peter? On one level, he is giving Peter the opportunity to cancel out the three cowardly denials he made. Although Peter had insisted three times that he was not a disciple of Jesus, now he affirms three times that he loves his Lord. Three denials, three affirmations. The slate is now wiped clean, and you could say that as a disciple, this duck has turned from cowardly yellow, to loyal true-blue.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Into the deep

Image result for cast your nets
Our Sunday Gospel gives us much food for thought this week. Now, just imagine we're at the Sea of Tiberias. Simon Peter and a bunch of his fishing buddies are out on the lake trying to put their lives back together after witnessing the simultaneously awful and awesome events of Holy Week. They fish all night and catch nothing, an experience that leaves them feeling fried, funky and frustrated.

And then, all of a sudden a stranger appears on the beach at dawn — that time of morning when shapes cannot take on color or features for lack of light. He calls out that they should “Cast the net to the right side of the boat.”  As if that will make any difference.

But no one has any better ideas and as the sun rises, time for fishing will be over anyway. So they cast to the right, and the rest, as they say, is history. Their net is so full of fish that they can’t haul it all in. The apostle John now shouts that the stranger is the Lord. Simon does a double take, and he, too, sees that it is Jesus.

His first instinct is to jump overboard then and there, but he has both the rare presence of mind to realize that he has been working through the night clad only in his shorts, and a sense of modesty to care about it, and so he grabs an “outer garment” and lashes it about his waist and then does a duck dive into the sea and swims to shore — leaving John and the others to get the fish in the boat and the boat to shore.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Mary in our Life

By the gift of faith, 
the Virgin Mary totally opened herself
to the mission the Father gave her in his plan of salvation.

Jesus was formed in her by the Holy Spirit.
He willed her to be the promised Woman,
sharing in all his mysteries.

When his hour had come,
he proclaimed her our Mother.

Like the beloved disciple, we accept Mary as a precious gift of God.

Moved by Jesus' love for his Mother,
we dedicate ourselves to her so that the Holy Spirit,
in whose action she cooperates with a mother's love,
may form us more fully to the image of her Son.

By our alliance with Mary,
we seek to assist her in her mission
of forming in faith a multitude of brothers for her first-born Son.

In Mary is summed up the longing and searching
of the whole human race for God:
she is the first among those who believe in Jesus Christ
and the first to be saved from evil and death.

The Rule of Life
Society of Mary

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Marianist spirituality



Our Lady of Cana at Founder's Hollow, Marianist Residence - Province of Meribah

When Blessed William Joseph Chaminade returned to Bordeaux after he was exiled, his sense of urgency led him to form a diversity of apostolic communities inspired by Mary: first, lay communities, then two religious congregations -- the Daughters of Mary Immaculate and the Society of Mary -- and finally, schools, teacher formation and other educational institutions. This work took many years. It was guided by and at the same time helped to shape a deepening, distinctively Marianist spirituality. All subsequent Marianist educational work has been inspired by this spirituality with its three characteristic dimensions: a spirit of Marian faith, the building of communities of faith, and a deep sense of mission.

Marian faith, for Blessed Chaminade, was a faith of the heart as well as an intellectual assent, a faith so deep that, like Mary's, it could conceive and give birth to Jesus. Mary in her assent embodies the openness and cooperation with the action of the Holy Spirit that is at the center of Christian faith. Inspired by the Spirit, Mary brings Jesus into the world, dramatically showing us that with God all things are possible.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Our Mission is Mary

“The Spirit of the Society is the spirit of Mary.”

(Rule of Life, The Society of Mary, Book I, Article 114)

Marianist Brothers and priests are men dedicated in a particular way to a woman: Mary the mother of Jesus. We believe Mary’s mission—bringing Christ into the world—is ongoing and that we take part in it today. Our relationship with Mary, then, is apostolic. Her role as mother and disciple of Jesus is an abiding mystery for us, and it shapes our way of living and ministering in the Church.

Each day Marianist brothers and priests say a prayer of dedication, linked to our vow of stability. It’s an expressed dedication to Mary as a woman of faith and bearer of Christ. It’s a commitment to a relationship with her that first inspired our Marianist founders, Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, Venerable Adele de Batz de Trenquelleon, and Venerable Marie-Therese de Lamourous. Reflecting the unity and collaboration characteristic of our foundation, Marianist brothers and priests participate in Mary’s mission with the wider Marianist Family that includes religious sisters and committed lay people.

Bearing her name, we find in Mary an abundance of mysteries that become central to our lives. Scriptural passages involving Mary—the Annunciation, the Magnificat, the Presentation of Jesus, the finding of Jesus in the Temple, the Wedding Feast at Cana, Mary and John at Calvary, Mary with the disciples at Pentecost—shape our vision of embodying a discipleship of equals and our way of building communities of faith wherever we are.

We believe Mary helps us follow Jesus, grow in His likeness, and bear his transforming grace to the world today. As Marianist brothers, priests, and sisters, we are bound by love—and by our religious vows—to her mission, her way, and to Mary herself as the mother of Christ and our mother.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Regina Caeli




The Regina Coeli is one of the four seasonal antiphons of the Blessed Virgin Mary
prescribed to be sung or recited in the Liturgy of the Hours after
night prayer (compline or vespers) from Holy Saturday to the Saturday after Pentecost.

The Latin text of the sung Regina Coeli (sometimes written Caeli) follows:

Latin:
Regina coeli laetare, Alleluia,
Quia quem meruisti portare. Alleluia,
Resurrexit sicut dixit, Alleluia.
Ora pro nobis Deum. Alleluia.

English:
Queen of heaven, rejoice, alleluia:
For He whom you merited to bear, alleluia,
Has risen, as He said, alleluia.
Pray for us to God, alleluia.



Wednesday, May 1, 2019

He is Risen, Alleluia!

He is Risen, Alleluia!

The Church gives us seasons of celebration that last for weeks. Most people miss it at Christmas trashing the decorations just when things are getting started. Easter too. I'm sure most folks have their sights set on Memorial Day. But every morning when we say morning prayer, the antiphon celebrates Easter with a joyful, "Alleluia!" Every morning I feel a thrill as I think once again of Jesus risen. So here's a video to reflect on during this continuing Easter season. Rejoice and be glad for He is truly risen from the dead and seated at the right hand of God! Alleluia!