Sunday, September 20, 2020

Top Ten Names of Mary

Celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception with your kids - Teaching  Catholic Kids

The Gospel of John doesn't even name Mary, only referring to her as the mother of Jesus. But we need more. And so, after surveying her many titles, I would like to present as a sort of meditation the admittedly subjective Top Ten Names of Mary.

10. Queen of Peace — Mary officially received this title during World War I in a proclamation by Pope Benedict XV. The Pope added "Queen of Peace" into the Litany of Loreto in his call for peace among the warring nations.

9. Our Lady of Czestochowa, or The Black Madonna — Poland's national shrine to Mary. Legend has it that St. Luke painted this icon on a table that Jesus built. Popes and pilgrims alike have recognized the miraculous nature of the image.

8. Mother of Perpetual Help — This painting shows the Madonna and Child attended by the archangels Michael and Gabriel. The angels hold instruments central to the Passion. The painting is heart breaking. The Christ Child, having glimpsed the instruments of torture, runs to His mother's protection. His right foot is bare, indicating He was so frightened He ran out of his sandal.

7. Our Lady of Guadalupe
— This is the image Mary left on the cloak of Juan Diego. Our Lady called herself coatlaxopeuh, which means "the one who crushes the serpent." The word is pronounced "quat-la-supe," from which is derived the English version of "Guadalupe."

6. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel — This is Mary of the brown scapular. The scapular comes to us through the vision of St. Simon Stock. Many miracles have been attributed to the scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

5. Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal — Mary's appearances to Catherine Laboure in 1830 marked the beginning of modern Marian apparitions. Mary gave Sr. Catherine the design for this medal. The words on the medal prompted clarification on the Immaculate Conception, which became dogma in 1854.

4. Mother of Mercy — Saint Odo, a 10th century abbot, is believed to be the first to call Mary by this name. In the 11th century, this title was incorporated into the prayer Salve Regina.

3. Blessed Mother — This seminal title derives from Gabriel's greeting to Mary at the Annunciation, where she is called "blessed" among all other women.

2. Immaculate Conception — The 1854 dogma issued by Pope Pius IX refers to Mary's sinless nature at the moment of being conceived by her parents. The Immaculate Conception was the first time a pope claimed a dogma to be infallible, even though the idea of papal infallibility would not be officially proclaimed for another 16 years. This is the definitive title of the Blessed Mother.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Top Ten Names of Mary

Consecration of Canada and the United States to the Blessed Virgin Mary on  May 1 | Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation

The Gospel of John doesn't even name Mary, only referring to her as the mother of Jesus. But we need more. And so, after surveying her many titles, I would like to present as a sort of meditation the admittedly subjective Top Ten Names of Mary.

10. Queen of Peace — Mary officially received this title during World War I in a proclamation by Pope Benedict XV. The Pope added "Queen of Peace" into the Litany of Loreto in his call for peace among the warring nations.

9. Our Lady of Czestochowa, or The Black Madonna — Poland's national shrine to Mary. Legend has it that St. Luke painted this icon on a table that Jesus built. Popes and pilgrims alike have recognized the miraculous nature of the image.

8. Mother of Perpetual Help — This painting shows the Madonna and Child attended by the archangels Michael and Gabriel. The angels hold instruments central to the Passion. The painting is heart breaking. The Christ Child, having glimpsed the instruments of torture, runs to His mother's protection. His right foot is bare, indicating He was so frightened He ran out of his sandal.

7. Our Lady of Guadalupe — This is the image Mary left on the cloak of Juan Diego. Our Lady called herself coatlaxopeuh, which means "the one who crushes the serpent." The word is pronounced "quat-la-supe," from which is derived the English version of "Guadalupe."

6. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel — This is Mary of the brown scapular. The scapular comes to us through the vision of St. Simon Stock. Many miracles have been attributed to the scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

5. Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal — Mary's appearances to Catherine Laboure in 1830 marked the beginning of modern Marian apparitions. Mary gave Sr. Catherine the design for this medal. The words on the medal prompted clarification on the Immaculate Conception, which became dogma in 1854.

4. Mother of Mercy — Saint Odo, a 10th century abbot, is believed to be the first to call Mary by this name. In the 11th century, this title was incorporated into the prayer Salve Regina.

3. Blessed Mother — This seminal title derives from Gabriel's greeting to Mary at the Annunciation, where she is called "blessed" among all other women.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Top Ten Names of Mary

Lippo Memmi. The Virgin of Mercy. 1350s | Orvieto, Madonna, Images of mary

The Gospel of John doesn't even name Mary, only referring to her as the mother of Jesus. But we need more. And so, after surveying her many titles, I would like to present as a sort of meditation the admittedly subjective Top Ten Names of Mary.

10. Queen of Peace — Mary officially received this title during World War I in a proclamation by Pope Benedict XV. The Pope added "Queen of Peace" into the Litany of Loreto in his call for peace among the warring nations.

9. Our Lady of Czestochowa, or The Black Madonna — Poland's national shrine to Mary. Legend has it that St. Luke painted this icon on a table that Jesus built. Popes and pilgrims alike have recognized the miraculous nature of the image.

8. Mother of Perpetual Help — This painting shows the Madonna and Child attended by the archangels Michael and Gabriel. The angels hold instruments central to the Passion. The painting is heart breaking. The Christ Child, having glimpsed the instruments of torture, runs to His mother's protection. His right foot is bare, indicating He was so frightened He ran out of his sandal.

7. Our Lady of Guadalupe — This is the image Mary left on the cloak of Juan Diego. Our Lady called herself coatlaxopeuh, which means "the one who crushes the serpent." The word is pronounced "quat-la-supe," from which is derived the English version of "Guadalupe."

6. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel — This is Mary of the brown scapular. The scapular comes to us through the vision of St. Simon Stock. Many miracles have been attributed to the scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

5. Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal — Mary's appearances to Catherine Laboure in 1830 marked the beginning of modern Marian apparitions. Mary gave Sr. Catherine the design for this medal. The words on the medal prompted clarification on the Immaculate Conception, which became dogma in 1854.

4. Mother of Mercy — Saint Odo, a 10th century abbot, is believed to be the first to call Mary by this name. In the 11th century, this title was incorporated into the prayer Salve Regina.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Top Ten Names of Mary

The Miraculous Medal Shrine | Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation

The Gospel of John doesn't even name Mary, only referring to her as the mother of Jesus. But we need more. And so, after surveying her many titles, I would like to present as a sort of meditation the admittedly subjective Top Ten Names of Mary.

10. Queen of Peace — Mary officially received this title during World War I in a proclamation by Pope Benedict XV. The Pope added "Queen of Peace" into the Litany of Loreto in his call for peace among the warring nations.

9. Our Lady of Czestochowa, or The Black Madonna — Poland's national shrine to Mary. Legend has it that St. Luke painted this icon on a table that Jesus built. Popes and pilgrims alike have recognized the miraculous nature of the image.

8. Mother of Perpetual Help — This painting shows the Madonna and Child attended by the archangels Michael and Gabriel. The angels hold instruments central to the Passion. The painting is heart breaking. The Christ Child, having glimpsed the instruments of torture, runs to His mother's protection. His right foot is bare, indicating He was so frightened He ran out of his sandal.

7. Our Lady of Guadalupe — This is the image Mary left on the cloak of Juan Diego. Our Lady called herself coatlaxopeuh, which means "the one who crushes the serpent." The word is pronounced "quat-la-supe," from which is derived the English version of "Guadalupe."

6. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel — This is Mary of the brown scapular. The scapular comes to us through the vision of St. Simon Stock. Many miracles have been attributed to the scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

5. Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal — Mary's appearances to Catherine Laboure in 1830 marked the beginning of modern Marian apparitions. Mary gave Sr. Catherine the design for this medal. The words on the medal prompted clarification on the Immaculate Conception, which became dogma in 1854.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Top Ten Names of Mary

Our Lady of Mount Carmel: Be Near to Us - Indian Catholic Matters

The Gospel of John doesn't even name Mary, only referring to her as the mother of Jesus. But we need more. And so, after surveying her many titles, I would like to present as a sort of meditation the admittedly subjective Top Ten Names of Mary.

10. Queen of Peace — Mary officially received this title during World War I in a proclamation by Pope Benedict XV. The Pope added "Queen of Peace" into the Litany of Loreto in his call for peace among the warring nations.

9. Our Lady of Czestochowa, or The Black Madonna — Poland's national shrine to Mary. Legend has it that St. Luke painted this icon on a table that Jesus built. Popes and pilgrims alike have recognized the miraculous nature of the image.

8. Mother of Perpetual Help — This painting shows the Madonna and Child attended by the archangels Michael and Gabriel. The angels hold instruments central to the Passion. The painting is heart breaking. The Christ Child, having glimpsed the instruments of torture, runs to His mother's protection. His right foot is bare, indicating He was so frightened He ran out of his sandal.

7. Our Lady of Guadalupe — This is the image Mary left on the cloak of Juan Diego. Our Lady called herself coatlaxopeuh, which means "the one who crushes the serpent." The word is pronounced "quat-la-supe," from which is derived the English version of "Guadalupe."

6. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel — This is Mary of the brown scapular. The scapular comes to us through the vision of St. Simon Stock. Many miracles have been attributed to the scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Top Ten Names of Mary

 Our Lady Of Guadalupe

The Gospel of John doesn't even name Mary, only referring to her as the mother of Jesus. But we need more. And so, after surveying her many titles, I would like to present as a sort of meditation the admittedly subjective Top Ten Names of Mary.

10. Queen of Peace — Mary officially received this title during World War I in a proclamation by Pope Benedict XV. The Pope added "Queen of Peace" into the Litany of Loreto in his call for peace among the warring nations.

9. Our Lady of Czestochowa, or The Black Madonna — Poland's national shrine to Mary. Legend has it that St. Luke painted this icon on a table that Jesus built. Popes and pilgrims alike have recognized the miraculous nature of the image.

8. Mother of Perpetual Help — This painting shows the Madonna and Child attended by the archangels Michael and Gabriel. The angels hold instruments central to the Passion. The painting is heart breaking. The Christ Child, having glimpsed the instruments of torture, runs to His mother's protection. His right foot is bare, indicating He was so frightened He ran out of his sandal.

7. Our Lady of Guadalupe — This is the image Mary left on the cloak of Juan Diego. Our Lady called herself coatlaxopeuh, which means "the one who crushes the serpent." The word is pronounced "quat-la-supe," from which is derived the English version of "Guadalupe."

Monday, September 14, 2020

Marianist Monday

IMG_1067.jpg
September 2020 

My dear friends from Chaminade, Kellenberg, and St. Martin de Porres Marianist School, 
A favorite Gospel passage of mine (Matthew 15: 21 – 28) tells the story of a Canaanite woman who beseeches Jesus to heal her daughter. “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” Initially, Jesus remains unmoved by the woman’s desperate cry for help. To be honest, His response might very well strike us as callous. At first, He ignores her. Seconds later, He rebuffs her request: “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 

The Canaanite woman, however, refuses to take “no” for an answer. “Please, Lord,” she said, “for even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the table of their masters.” 

Apparently, Jesus is, in common parlance, “blown away” by the Canaanite woman’s indomitable spirit and ingenious reply. So, Jesus does an about-face: “O woman,” Jesus answers, “great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour. 

Two words come to mind in connection with this story from the Gospel of St. Matthew: crumbs and evolution. 

First, crumbs. “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the table of their masters!” The first point I wish to make is a simple one, really. To whom do we give only the crumbs of our attention and affection, if that? Who in our midst has to be satisfied with nothing more than the crumbs, the scraps, the leftovers? 

We could look at this question from a couple of different angles. From a personal point of view, with whom am I generous, interested, concerned, and compassionate? And, with whom am I stingy, bored, apathetic, and hard-hearted? Which family members, friends, and acquaintances elicit a warm, empathic response from me, and who leaves me cold and uninterested? Some folks receive quite a bit of attention from us, and others are easily overlooked. Of course, there are going to people to whom we are more naturally drawn, and people with whom we feel less close. But to what extent are we trying to counterbalance these natural feelings with divine charity? 

Who’s getting the crumbs of my affection and attention, if that? In Matthew 25, Jesus reminds us, “Amen, amen, I say to you: Whatever you did to the least of my brothers and sisters, you did unto me. And whatever you did not do for the least of my brothers and sisters, you did not do unto me” (Mt. 25: 40). Can we manage more than crumbs? 

Of late, another dimension of scraps and crumbs has been on my mind. It’s personal, but it’s also societal. It is, to use a word that has become a lightning rod and that probably strikes many of us the wrong way, systemic. I’m thinking about poverty, about disparity of opportunity, about disproportionate rates of incarceration, about homelessness. 

On a Sunday afternoon in late July, one of the Brothers and I walked extensively in the city, from Penn Station (32nd Street) up to Central Park (59th Street) and then throughout the park up to about 75th Street, where we “found” a quaint little restaurant with outdoor tables and enjoyed a nice Italian meal. (Well, found is actually the wrong word. Those who know me know that I had it all planned in advance.) In Penn Station and on our way uptown, we ran across quite a few beggars and homeless people – more than usual, I thought. We gave a buck or two to one particularly heartbreaking case – crumbs, scraps really. The rest we passed by. 

On our way home, when we arrived at the Mineola train station, I saw a homeless man, sound asleep, in tattered clothes, ill-shaven and dirty, curled up against one of the brick pillars of the Intermodal Transportation Center and Parking Facility. I’m used to seeing this kind of thing in the city, I thought to myself, but this is really close to home. How can this be, I wondered, in one of the wealthiest counties in the wealthiest country in the world? Crumbs. Scraps. Buddy, can spare some change? A dime? “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the table of their masters.” I know the problem is multi-layered, and I know there is no easy fix, and I know I’m part of the problem, but, man, “even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the table of their masters.” The Canaanite woman’s impassioned plea haunts us down the ages. Her reality is shared by many and forces us out of our comfort zones. 

Crumbs . . . and evolution. Now, I am not speaking about natural selection and Darwinian evolution here. Instead, I’m simply talking about change. Because, in this well-known passage from the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus changes. The unmoved mover is clearly moved. “Send her away, for I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel” is Jesus’ initial and seemingly hard-hearted response the Canaanite woman’s dire need. But, by the end of the story, Jesus changes. Moved by the woman’s perspicacity and perseverance, Jesus exclaims, ‘O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” 

Did Jesus just change his mind? It seems that he does an about-face – moving from cold indifference to an enthusiastic embrace. Is it possible that the God-man had been wrong? That He was fallible? But at least that He finally got it right? 

I don’t know. I don’t have the theological training to answer that question adequately. And, in the long run, I don’t know if it’s even the right question. I think the important point about this Gospel story is that Jesus is modeling for us what change looks like, what an evolution in thinking looks like. And he’s signaling to us that both are OK. In fact, they’re not only OK; they are necessary and noble. 

We learn something new. We take in new data. The new data challenges our previous assumptions. And we change our thinking. What could be more noble? 

Indeed, such evolution in thinking, either slowly or suddenly, is the basis of faith and the catalyst that has brought so many to belief and even to sainthood: St. Peter: “Leave me, Lord, for I am a sinful man” (Luke 5: 8). The repentant thief: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Luke 23: 42). St. Paul: “I live no longer, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2: 20). St. Francis of Assisi. St. Ignatius of Loyola. St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Dorothy Day. Jacques Maritain. The list goes on and on. 

Let us never underestimate the sea-change that is Christianity. We have evolved from a nationalistic religious tradition tied specifically to the house of Israel to a truly Catholic Church that embraces both Gentile and Jew. St. Paul argued vehemently that circumcision no longer be a requirement for affiliation with the Lord, and he won the debate. Further, the intricate dietary rules of the Old Testament gave way to the simple advice of St. Peter: “Instead, we should write and tell them to abstain from eating food offered to idols, from sexual immorality, from eating the meat of strangled animals, and from consuming blood.” (Acts 15: 20) It is instructive as well to remember why St. Peter advised this: “that we should not cause trouble for the Gentiles who are turning to God.” (Acts 15: 19) 

I think we often fear change, imagining that change will shake us to the very foundations – that what we hold as central will be lost. But, remember St. Peter. Remember St. Paul. Remember the Early Church. Remember Christ. Every one of them initiated profound change. 

A favorite church of mine is the Basilica of St. Mary Major, dedicated by Pope Sixtus III around the year 435 in the Eternal City of Rome, a healthy walk, but nonetheless within walking distance, of our own Marianist General Administration in Rome. One of the four major basilicas in Rome, the church retains the core of its original structure from the late 420s, despite several additional construction projects and repairs to the damage caused by the earthquake of 1348. Like the Catholic Church itself, Santa Maria Maggiore is built on a solid core that has undergone and been strengthened by adaptation and change. 

Believe it or not, that last phrase, adaptation and change, is one of the five characteristics of a Marianist education. “Nova bella elegit Dominum.” “The Lord has chosen new wars for us,” as Blessed Chaminade was fond of saying. New frontiers of spreading the faith. New approaches, new methods befitting a new generation who are, in St. Paul’s words, turning to God. 

Evolution: staying true to our roots, but allowing for adaptation and change as well. And not only allowing for adaptation and change, but embracing it. As Pope Francis has reiterated several times during his papacy, “The Church is not a museum. . . . it is a living spring from which the Church drinks to quench thirst and illuminate the deposit of life.” 

The eminent convert to Catholicism, Saint John Henry Newman (1801 – 1890 A.D.), put it this way: “To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.” “Growth is the only evidence of life.” The recently canonized saint wrote extensively about the development of doctrine, distinguishing it carefully from what he called the corruption of doctrine. In fact, he enumerated seven “notes” or characteristics of authentic developments, as opposed to doctrinal corruptions, in his famous work, “Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine.” Cardinal Newman instructs here in a couple of ways: Change can be good or bad. Good change demonstrates some kind of continuity with the tradition. It is a development, not a rupture. In fact, some change might mean shoring up traditions that have fallen by the wayside – a course correction on the recent past, so to speak, so that we might be more faithful to our roots. But one thing is for certain: “To change is to grow. Growth is the only evidence of life.” 

My dear friends, I believe that we are living in transformational times. The current coronavirus pandemic, the cancel culture, the simmering racial tensions in our country, shifting demographics, non-traditional forms of family, widespread distrust of the basic institutions of society, an ongoing revolution in technology, deep divisions not only in our nation but in our Church, and an epistemological crisis that calls into question the very trustworthiness of basic information are all conducing towards significant changes – and challenges. Whether these will turn out for good or for bad remains to be seen. 

As a Church, as nation, as educational institutions, and as individuals, we are going to have to engage with these changes. We cannot hide in a dusty and fusty museum of memories. We will need a nimble and creative spirit of adaptation and change to persuade the world of the vitality of our core Catholic principles and beliefs. 

Back in the fifth century A.D., St. Augustine referred to the Gospel as a “beauty ever ancient, ever new.” Augustine’s paean to our core value, the Gospel, prompts all of us to ask how we can honor our history with the reverence that it deserves and, at the same time, “dream with a holy boldness,” as one author put it, about the future? In a rapidly changing world, how do we preach “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13: 8)? 

I don’t pretend to have the answers to all these questions. I only know that they will require our full attention – not the crumbs and scraps and fragments of a passing consideration – but the wholehearted commitment of a people devoted to, in love with, and on fire for a “beauty ever ancient, ever new.” That beauty, of course, is Jesus Christ: the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is the ultimate answer as we seek to discern the answers to all the other questions of these uncertain and challenging times – Jesus Christ: “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” (John 14: 6). 

On behalf of all my Marianist Brothers, 

Bro. Stephen Balletta 

Help us to mail Magnificat to you each month, without interruption. We know that some of you are back on campus now, while others will be taking classes at home, online. Let us know what your particular situation is by using this link and filling out the Google form:

https://forms.gle/AwJoupEm8zJKVaNo9

P.S. Do it today!

Top Ten Names of Mary

History of Our Lady of Perpetual Help - Indian Catholic Matters

The Gospel of John doesn't even name Mary, only referring to her as the mother of Jesus. But we need more. And so, after surveying her many titles, I would like to present as a sort of meditation the admittedly subjective Top Ten Names of Mary.

10. Queen of Peace — Mary officially received this title during World War I in a proclamation by Pope Benedict XV. The Pope added "Queen of Peace" into the Litany of Loreto in his call for peace among the warring nations.

9. Our Lady of Czestochowa, or The Black Madonna — Poland's national shrine to Mary. Legend has it that St. Luke painted this icon on a table that Jesus built. Popes and pilgrims alike have recognized the miraculous nature of the image.

8. Mother of Perpetual Help — This painting shows the Madonna and Child attended by the archangels Michael and Gabriel. The angels hold instruments central to the Passion. The painting is heart breaking. The Christ Child, having glimpsed the instruments of torture, runs to His mother's protection. His right foot is bare, indicating He was so frightened He ran out of his sandal.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Top Ten Names of Mary

Catholic News World : Saint August 26 : Our Lady of Czestochowa of #Poland  - #BlackMadonna - #Czestochowa

The Gospel of John doesn't even name Mary, only referring to her as the mother of Jesus. But we need more. And so, after surveying her many titles, I would like to present as a sort of meditation the admittedly subjective Top Ten Names of Mary.

10. Queen of Peace — Mary officially received this title during World War I in a proclamation by Pope Benedict XV. The Pope added "Queen of Peace" into the Litany of Loreto in his call for peace among the warring nations.

9. Our Lady of Czestochowa, or The Black Madonna — Poland's national shrine to Mary. Legend has it that St. Luke painted this icon on a table that Jesus built. Popes and pilgrims alike have recognized the miraculous nature of the image.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

The Most Holy Name of Mary

The Most Holy Name of Mary

It has been an exciting time the past couple of weeks for me. I have been trying my best to learn as quickly as possible all of my students. As the years progress, I have had a harder time processing the names. I thought for a while I was having a hard time processing the names because of the number of names already in my mental file cabinet…it’s just too overloaded. But each year I try and try. Maybe it is because I am just getting older.

This year was no different than any other year. I made my seating charts. Created a picture seating chart from PowerTeacher with my student’s names and pictures. But then, I look at them in class and just can't remember their names. I sometimes pass one of my students in the hallway and know I have them for class, but totally forget who they are.

I know it is an important task: to learn and call each student by their name. I think it is part of what we referred to this summer as: The Ministry of Friendliness.

Names are certainly important. To name a child is to give a new person the name they will have for all eternity. Rather than some in Hollywood—who have named children Apple, Ocean, Jermajesty or Moon Unit—I am happy to see most of my students found meaningful names given to them by their parents.

I met one student this summer who told me his name was a combo of his mother’s name and his father’s name. They took a couple of letters from each name and combined them. Whala! A unique name.

Today we are focusing on a particular name. It is the name of Mary. The holy name of Mary. And her name carries a significant weight.

As befitting the Mother of God and Queen of Heaven, Mary has numerous titles and names. It's fascinating that one person can have so many titles, but how else could we grasp the aspects of Our Lady merely by her given name? And I know you will not see this on any late night TV show.

The Gospel of John doesn't even name Mary, only referring to her as the mother of Jesus. But we need more. And so, after surveying her many titles, I would like to present as a sort of meditation the admittedly subjective Top Ten Names of Mary. One of Mary's names will come each day

10. Queen of Peace — Mary officially received this title during World War I in a proclamation by Pope Benedict XV. The Pope added "Queen of Peace" into the Litany of Loreto in his call for peace among the warring nations.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Choices

Everyone knows that life is all about choices.

Choices are usually based on interest, attractiveness, pleasure, wants or needs. We face these choices daily and we recognize that we are responsible for our choices. Sometimes we lose out on something good because our choice was not based on good reason but rather an excuse that proved to be non-productive.

When called by God we are free to respond. Our choice to respond or not to respond is totally up to us. God never pushes or demands from us. He is always a gentleman! He leaves us free to respond.

Hey, I DON'T THINK I AM HOLY ENOUGH, I AM NOT WORTHY. \

There seems to be a strange belief going around that anyone thinking of becoming a religious must be totally holy or worthy. The truth here is this: To say that one IS holy enough or worthy enough is a sure sign of the sin of Pride, the Original Sin that got us into trouble a long time ago! To focus on being holy or worthy enough is to miss the whole point of having a vocation.

In the Book of Genesis we read that God made us in His image and likeness. What is that image and likeness? It is love and holiness. We are holy people. Since any call from God is a gift, the excuse of not being holy or worthy enough simply falls short. At no time will anyone ever be holy or worthy enough. That is what makes this vocation a real gift.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Join Her Mission


Join Her Mission - Marianist


We come today, Lord, to be with you and to pay attention to what you say to us in the Gospel. We want to pray with a sense of urgency, that there may be laborers for the harvest of the Church. We want to remain with you, calmly, in silence, savoring your Presence. We offer you our vocation. 

Thank you for your call. We know that you listen to us. We are here because you call us. You have called us in different ways within the Marianist Family: a diversity of vocations, sisters, brothers, lay people. 

During this time of prayer, we ask you to strengthen each of our vocations and to give us the gift of new vocations.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Three O'Clock Prayer

Our Founder, Blessed William Joseph Chaminade writes about the Three O'Clock Prayer:

At three o'clock in the afternoon, all will go in spirit to Calvary, there to contemplate the Heart of Mary, their loving Mother, pierced by a sword of sorrow, and to recall the happy moment in which they were given birth. Mary conceived us at Nazareth, but it was on Calvary at the foot of the cross of Jesus dying that she gave us birth. This is the thought that should occupy all the children of this divine Mother during this reunion of heart and spirit on Calvary at three o'clock . . . the reunion ends with an Ave Maria. At this hour all will suspend or interrupt whatever they are doing, if they can do so without unbecomingness. Those who are alone will kneel down. On Good Friday they will take care to give themselves completely to this prayer and to be united with as many others as possible.

It is with the following prayer that we transport ourselves to Calvary and are united with Mary:

Lord Jesus,
we gather in spirit at the foot of the Cross
with your Mother and the disciple whom you loved.

We ask your pardon for our sins
which are the cause of your death.

We thank you for remembering us
in that hour of salvation
and for giving us Mary as our Mother.

Holy Virgin,
take us under your protection
and open us to the action of the Holy Spirit.

Saint John,
obtain for us the grace of taking Mary
into our life, as you did,
and of assisting her in her mission. Amen.

May the Father and the Son
and the Holy Spirit
be glorified in all places
through the Immaculate Virgin Mary.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Journey

About the Event – HDdennomore

Pope Francis emphasised that living together is “an art, a patient, beautiful and fascinating journey … which can be summarised in three words: please, thank you and sorry. 'Please' is a kind request to be able to enter into the life of someone else with respect and care. … True love does not impose itself with hardness and aggression. … St. Francis said that 'courtesy is the sister of charity, it extinguishes hatred and kindles love'. And today, in our families, in our world, often violent and arrogant, there is a need for far more courtesy. 'Thank you': gratitude is an important sentiment. Do we know how to say thank you? In your relationship, and in your future as married couples, it is important to keep alive your awareness that the other person is a gift from God, and we should always give thanks for gifts from God. … It is not merely a kind word to use with strangers, in order to be polite. It is necessary to know how to say thank you, to journey ahead together”.“'Sorry'. In our lives we make many errors, many mistakes. We all do. … And this is why we need to be able to use this simple word, 'sorry'. In general we are all ready to accuse other sand to justify ourselves. It is an instinct that lies at the origins of many disasters. Let us learn to recognise our mistakes and to apologise. … Also in this way, the Christian family grows. We are all aware that the perfect family does not exist, nor does the perfect husband, nor the perfect wife. We exist, and we are sinners. Jesus, who knows us well, teaches us a secret: never let a day go by without asking forgiveness, or without restoring peace to your home. …

Monday, September 7, 2020

Birthday of Mary

Dormition, Meditation of Icon : University of Dayton, Ohio
Tomorrow, on Our Lady's birthday, the Church celebrates the first dawning of redemption with the appearancein the world of the Savior's mother, Mary. 

The Blessed Virgin occupies a unique place in the history of salvation, and she has the highest mission ever commended to any creature. We rejoice that the Mother of God is our Mother, too. Let us often call upon the Blessed Virgin as "Cause of our joy", one of the most beautiful titles in her litany.

Since September 8 marks the end of summer and beginning of fall, this day has many thanksgiving celebrations and customs attached to it. In the Old Roman Ritual there is a blessing of the summer harvest and fall planting seeds for this day.

The winegrowers in France called this feast "Our Lady of the Grape Harvest". The best grapes are brought to the local church to be blessed and then some bunches are attached to hands of the statue of Mary. A festive meal which includes the new grapes is part of this day.

In the Alps section of Austria this day is "Drive-Down Day" during which the cattle and sheep are led from their summer pastures in the slopes and brought to their winter quarters in the valleys. This was usually a large caravan, with all the finery, decorations, and festivity. In some parts of Austria, milk from this day and all the leftover food are given to the poor in honor of Our Lady’s Nativity.

Excerpted from The Holyday Book by Fr. Francis Weiser, SJ



Sunday, September 6, 2020

Papal Pop Art



From The Wall Street Journal:

Mauro Pallotta, a Rome-based street artist, was reading a Superman comic strip while watching a TV documentary on the pontiff when he had an idea. Why not create a mural of Pope Francis as a superhero?

So on a cold night last January, the 42-year-old who goes by the pseudonym MauPal, sneaked out to put an image of the pope up on a wall next to the Vatican, while his girlfriend kept watch. The mural showing a flying pope dressed in his white cassock with his fist raised a la Superman was an instant hit. The Vatican even tweeted an image of it.

Within 48 hours, Rome authorities removed MauPal's mural, but the work became the best-known example of a burgeoning trend of street artists taking inspiration from the pope.

“He is our superhero,” said MauPal, who created papal murals in other cities and gave the pontiff a small wooden tablet with the drawing of the superpope mural during a general audience in February.

Another painting by an anonymous artist – this time depicting a smiling Pope Francis on a bicycle riding towards viewer – went up near the Vatican within days, as has a papal mural in the pope’s native Buenos Aires. This summer, a black-and-white graffito signed by British street artist Banksy of a waving Pope Francis riding a Vespa popped up on the main boulevard leading to St. Peter’s Basilica.

The popularity of Pope Francis as a subject for street art has a certain irony. In Renaissance time, popes commissioned great artists, such as Raphael, Sandro Botticelli and Titian, to paint their portraits. By contrast, murals are considered the poorest form of art, often thumbing its nose at the establishment and seeking to free art from the confines of museums.

“Pope Francis is perfect as a subject for an art that was born for the average person,” says Stefano Antonelli, of Roman gallery 999Contemporary, which specializes in street art. “He is one of us.”

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Labor Day is comin

 This coming weekend unofficially marks the end of summer with Labor Day. But why is it called Labor Day? Labor Day is a day set aside to pay tribute to working men and women. It has been celebrated as a national holiday in the United States since 1894.

Labor unions themselves celebrated the first labor days in the United States, although there's some speculation as to exactly who came up with the idea. Most historians credit Peter McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, with the original idea of a day for workers to show their solidarity. Others credit Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J.

The first Labor Day parade occurred Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City. The workers' unions chose the first Monday in September because it was halfway between Independence Day and Thanksgiving. The idea spread across the country, and some states designated Labor Day as a holiday before the federal holiday was created.

President Grover Cleveland signed a law designating the first Monday in September as Labor Day nationwide. This is interesting because Cleveland was not a labor union supporter. In fact, he was trying to repair some political damage that he suffered earlier that year when he sent federal troops to put down a strike by the American Railway Union at the Pullman Co. in Chicago, IL. That action resulted in the deaths of 34 workers.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Sts. Monica & Augustine, pray for us!

Pope Francis made a surprise visit to the Basilica of St. Augustine last Thursday to pray at the tomb of St. Monica.

During his visit to the basilica, the pope prayed in the side chapel containing the tomb of St. Monica on her feast day Aug. 27.

St. Monica is honored in the Church for her holy example and dedicated prayerful intercession for her son, St. Augustine, before his conversion. She is the patron saint of mothers, wives, widows, difficult marriages, and victims of abuse.

Born into a Christian family in North Africa in 332, Monica was given in marriage to Patricius, a pagan who had a disdain for his wife’s religion. She dealt patiently with her husband’s bad temper and infidelity to their marriage vows, and her long-suffering patience and prayers were rewarded when Patricius was baptized into the Church a year before his death.

When Augustine, the eldest of three children, became a Manichean, Monica went tearfully to the bishop to ask for his help, to which he famously responded: “the child of those tears shall never perish.”



She went on to witness Augustine’s conversion and baptism by St. Ambrose 17 years later, and Augustine became a bishop and Doctor of the Church.

Augustine recorded his conversion story and details of his mother’s role in his autobiographical Confessions. He wrote, addressing God: “My mother, your faithful one, wept before you on my behalf more than mothers are wont to weep the bodily death of their children.”

St. Monica died soon after her son’s baptism in Ostia, near Rome, in 387. Her relics were moved from Ostia to the Basilica of St. Augustine in Rome in 1424.

The Basilica of St. Augustine contains a 16th-century statue of the Virgin Mary known as the Madonna del Parto, or the Madonna of Safe Delivery, where many women have prayed for a safe childbirth.



“In Augustine it was this very restlessness in his heart which brought him to a personal encounter with Christ, brought him to understand that the remote God he was seeking was the God who is close to every human being, the God close to our heart, who was ‘more inward than my innermost self,’ Pope Francis said.

“Here I cannot but look at the mother: this Monica! How many tears did that holy woman shed for her son’s conversion! And today too how many mothers shed tears so that their children will return to Christ! Do not lose hope in God’s grace,” the pope said.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Follow Me

Since this Sunday is the 2nd of September, near the beginning of a new school year, it's a great opportunity to talk about choices, not only with the young people but with many others who are faced every day with a constant clarion call from the culture that they can, and should, have it all.

Following Jesus isn't easy, but it's the only path that leads to life. Where are people making deals with the devil in our culture, or in our community? What offers do we need to say "no" to in order to gain a soul that is modeled after and follows after Jesus?

Jesus didn't panic when offered a devilish deal. Neither should we.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Evening Prayer

Dear God, 

sometimes I make the spiritual life so complicated.
I try to figure out if I'm praying the right way, if I'm reading the right books, or if I'm going to the right parish. Worse, sometimes I worry more about others than about my own actions: I worry about something that I can't control instead of what I can control. Sometimes I look at people with such judgment, even though I know that's the last thing you want me to do. You warned people against judging, but I still do it.

God, help me to remember that the Christian life isn't all that complicated. It's really about one simple thing: Love. It may not be easy to do, but it's easy to remember. Help me to be more loving in all that I say and do. Help me to love like Jesus did, freely and deeply. Help me to forgive, which is at the heart of true love.

God, when things seem complicated, help me to remember one word: Love.

- James Martin, SJ

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Assumption traditions live on!

When we were kids, we took to the waters with the whole extended family on Aug. 15th — the Feast of the Assumption. It was popularly called “Salt Water Day.”

According to pious legend, as the Blessed Virgin rose to heaven on this day, she wept and her tears fell into the ocean. The belief is that every year on this day, Mary’s tears reactivate, bringing good health to those who bathe in the sea.

So, for generations who had survived diptheria, influenza, polio and a host of other, now curable diseases, this custom had a powerful attraction. My dad, never failed to dip his feet in the ocean. And some started the family custom of bringing back water to those who could not make the trip themselves.

Things are scaled back now. But the tradition still lives on. Many have made the trek to the water's edge and gathered up two gallon milk jugs of water to give to friends in need of some help with their health.