Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Saint of the day: Luke

The following comes from the Catholic.org site:

Luke, the writer of the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, has been identified with St. Paul's "Luke, the beloved physician" (Colossians 4:14). We know few other facts about Luke's life from Scripture and from early Church historians.
It is believed that Luke was born a Greek and a Gentile. In Colossians 10-14 speaks of those friends who are with him. He first mentions all those "of the circumcision" -- in other words, Jews -- and he does not include Luke in this group. Luke's gospel shows special sensitivity to evangelizing Gentiles. It is only in his gospel that we hear the parable of the Good Samaritan, that we hear Jesus praising the faith of Gentiles such as the widow of Zarephath and Naaman the Syrian (Lk.4:25-27), and that we hear the story of the one grateful leper who is a Samaritan (Lk.17:11-19). According to the early Church historian Eusebius Lukewas born at Antioch in Syria.
In our day, it would be easy to assume that someone who was a doctor was rich, but scholars have argued that Luke might have been born a slave. It was not uncommon for families to educate slaves in medicine so that they would have a resident family physician. Not only do we have Paul's word, but Eusebius, SaintJerome, Saint Irenaeus and Caius, a second-century writer, all refer to Luke as a physician.
We have to go to Acts to follow the trail of Luke'sChristian ministry. We know nothing about hisconversion but looking at the language of Acts we can see where he joined Saint Paul. The story of the Acts is written in the third person, as an historian recording facts, up until the sixteenth chapter. In Acts 16:8-9 we hear of Paul's company "So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, 'Come over to Macedonia and help us.' " Then suddenly in 16:10 "they" becomes "we": "When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them."
So Luke first joined Paul's company at Troas at about the year 51 and accompanied him into Macedonia where they traveled first to Samothrace, Neapolis, and finally Philippi. Luke then switches back to the third person which seems to indicate he was not thrown into prison with Paul and that when Paul left Philippi Luke stayed behind to encourage the Church there. Seven years passed before Paul returned to the area on his third missionary journey. In Acts 20:5, the switch to "we" tells us thatLuke has left Philippi to rejoin Paul in Troas in 58 where they first met up. They traveled together through Miletus, Tyre, Caesarea, to Jerusalem.
Luke is the loyal comrade who stays with Paul when he is imprisoned in Rome about the year 61: "Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers" (Philemon 24). And after everyone else deserts Paul in his final imprisonment and sufferings, it is Luke who remains with Paul to the end: "Only Luke is with me" (2 Timothy 4:11).
Luke's inspiration and information for his Gospel and Acts came from his close association with Paul and his companions as he explains in his introduction to the Gospel: "Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus" (Luke 1:1-3).
Luke's unique perspective on Jesus can be seen in the six miracles and eighteen parables not found in the other gospels. Luke's is the gospel of the poor and of social justice. He is the one who tells the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man who ignored him. Luke is the one who uses "Blessed are the poor" instead of "Blessed are the poor in spirit" in the beatitudes. Only in Luke's gospel do we hear Mary 's Magnificat where she proclaims that God "has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty" (Luke 1:52-53).
Luke also has a special connection with the women in Jesus' life, especially Mary. It is only in Luke's gospel that we hear the story of the Annunciation, Mary's visit to Elizabeth including the Magnificat, the Presentation, and the story of Jesus' disappearance in Jerusalem. It is Luke that we have to thank for the Scriptural parts of the Hail Mary: "Hail Mary full of grace" spoken at the Annunciation and "Blessed are you and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus" spoken by her cousin Elizabeth.
Forgiveness and God's mercy to sinners is also of first importance to Luke. Only in Luke do we hear the story of the Prodigal Son welcomed back by the overjoyed father. Only in Luke do we hear the story of the forgiven woman disrupting the feast by washing Jesus' feet with her tears. Throughout Luke's gospel, Jesus takes the side of the sinner who wants to return to God's mercy.
Reading Luke's gospel gives a good idea of his character as one who loved the poor, who wanted the door to God's kingdom opened to all, who respected women, and who saw hope in God's mercy for everyone.
The reports of Luke's life after Paul's death are conflicting. Some early writers claim he was martyred, others say he lived a long life. Some say he preached in Greece, others in Gaul. The earliest tradition we have says that he died at 84 Boeotia after settling in Greece to write his Gospel.
A tradition that Luke was a painter seems to have no basis in fact. Several images of Mary appeared in later centuries claiming him as a painter but these claims were proved false. Because of this tradition, however, he is considered a patron of painters of pictures and is often portrayed as painting pictures of Mary.
He is often shown with an ox or a calf because these are the symbols of sacrifice -- the sacrifice Jesusmade for all the world.
Luke is the patron of physicians and surgeons.

Miracles and How Great Is Our God by Chris Quilala & Amanda Cook

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Don Bosco on Guardian Angels

If you should be in any danger,
of soul or body,
call on your Guardian Angel;
and I assure you that
he will help you and free you.

St. John Bosco

Saturday, October 1, 2016

St. Thérèse de Lisieux on Prayer

“For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.”
― St. Thérèse de Lisieux

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Feast of the day: Wenceslaus

The following comes from the Catholic Online site:

St. Wenceslaus (903-29), also known by Vaclav, was born near Prague, and was the son of Duke Wratislaw. He was taught Christianity by his grandmother, St. Ludmila. The Magyars, along with Drahomira, an anti-Christian faction murdered the Duke and St. Lumila, and took over the government. Wenceslaus was declared the new ruler after a coup in 922. He encouraged Christianity. Boleslaus, his brother, no longer successor to the throne, after Wenceslaus' son was born, joined a group of noble Czech dissenters. They invited Wenceslaus to a religious festival, trapped and killed him on the way to Mass. He is the patron saint of Bohemia and his feast day is Sept. 28.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Saint of the day: Vincent de Paul

The following comes from the American Catholic site:

The deathbed confession of a dying servant opened Vincent's eyes to the crying spiritual needs of the peasantry of France. This seems to have been a crucial moment in the life of the man from a small farm in Gascony, France, who had become a priest with little more ambition than to have a comfortable life.
It was the Countess de Gondi (whose servant he had helped) who persuaded her husband to endow and support a group of able and zealous missionaries who would work among poor tenant farmers and country people in general. Vincent was too humble to accept leadership at first, but after working for some time in Paris among imprisoned galley-slaves, he returned to be the leader of what is now known as the Congregation of the Mission, or the Vincentians. These priests, with vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and stability, were to devote themselves entirely to the people in smaller towns and villages.

Later, Vincent established confraternities of charity for the spiritual and physical relief of the poor and sick of each parish. From these, with the help of St. Louise de Marillac, came the Daughters of Charity, "whose convent is the sickroom, whose chapel is the parish church, whose cloister is the streets of the city." He organized the rich women of Paris to collect funds for his missionary projects, founded several hospitals, collected relief funds for the victims of war and ransomed over 1,200 galley slaves from North Africa. He was zealous in conducting retreats for clergy at a time when there was great laxity, abuse and ignorance among them. He was a pioneer in clerical training and was instrumental in establishing seminaries.

Most remarkably, Vincent was by temperament a very irascible person—even his friends admitted it. He said that except for the grace of God he would have been "hard and repulsive, rough and cross." But he became a tender and affectionate man, very sensitive to the needs of others.

Pope Leo XIII made him the patron of all charitable societies. Outstanding among these, of course, is the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, founded in 1833 by his admirer Blessed Frederic Ozanam (September 7).

Thursday, September 22, 2016

It Is Well - Kristene DiMarco & Bethel Music

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Hands To The Heavens by Kari Jobe

Spiritual Combat: Weapons for Your Arsenal

The following comes from Fr. Ed Broom at Catholic Exchange:

The word of God teaches us that our life on earth is warfare and the Lord reminds us that if we have decided to follow the Lord we must be prepared for combat. The Sacrament of Confirmation strengthens the Gifts of the Holy Spirit within our souls and transforms us into “Soldiers of Christ” the King.   With the “Cristero” martyrs of Mexico our battle cry must be “Viva Cristo Rey”—long live Christ the King!
The devil exists, has keen intelligence (in a perverted way), is exceedingly sly and crafty, and is constantly at work and persistent in his work (temptations). However, God, Mary, His angels and saints are far more powerful than the devil. Two extremes must be avoided with respect to the devil. These were warnings given by the Servant of God Pope Paul VI. The first extreme to avoid is to deny that the devil exists. Indeed this is one of the tactics of the devil. On the other hand, we should never give the devil too much importance. Individuals, fearful alarmists, speak more of the power of the devil than of the Omnipotence of God Himself. Let us avoid the two extremes!

Spiritual Weapons to Conquer the Devil 

Vigilance. Stay awake and pray so that you are not put to the test and overcome by the temptations of the devil. The precise reason for the Apostles’ fall, abandoning Jesus in the Garden, was that they were not vigilant in prayer.
Name it and Claim it. When the temptation breaks it can prove exceedingly useful to simply admit in a very calm manner, “I am being tempted by the devil, the enemy of God!”  Name it! Claim it! And then tame it!  Discovering the enemy on the attack is half the battle! Ignorance of the enemy’s presence can augment his power over us.
Avoid the Near Occasion of Sin. Often we are tempted because we place ourselves in the near occasion of sin. Remember the many proverbs!  “Do not play with fire!” and “He who plays in danger will perish in danger!” “He who walks on thin ice will fall in!” One of the reasons why Eve ate from the forbidden fruit was due to the simple reason that she was near the tree that God told her not to eat from.
State of Desolation. While in this state St. Ignatius arms us with four key weapons: more prayer, more meditation, examine your conscience (to see why you are in desolation) and finally to apply yourself to some suitable penance. Some devils are expelled only through prayer and penance! Sacramentals. The proper use of Sacramentals can prove to be very efficacious in fighting against the devil, and especially three: the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the medal of Saint Benedict, and finally HOLY WATER.  St Teresa of Avila insists on using Holy Water to expel the devil from our presence. Why?   The devil is inflated with pride and Holy water is small and inconspicuous—this the devil hates and cannot endure. Exorcisms have recourse to holy water!
Fiery Darts That Penetrate the Sky. When being assaulted by the enemy it is highly recommended to offer short and fervent prayers; these can prove exceedingly efficacious in putting the devil to flight. Some examples of these short but powerful prayers might be: Jesus I trust in you… Sweet Heart of Mary be my salvation… Lord, save me… Lord come to my rescue…and of course invoking with faith and confidence the Holy names of Jesus, Mary, and St. Joseph.
Reject Immediately. Part of the problem in spiritual combat is the lethargic, slow and anemic response to the temptation. God’s grace must always prevail through the weapon of prayer. Still, we must engage our own will in manfully and forcefully rejecting the temptation from the start. Frequently temptations get a stronghold over us because we open up the door and the tail of the devil enters and it is difficult to kick him out!
Laziness. On one occasion in the Diary of St. Faustina the devil was roaming the corridors frantically looking for somebody to tempt. St Faustina stopped the devil and told him out of obedience to Jesus to tell her what was the greatest danger to the nuns. Reluctantly the devil responded— Lazy and indolent souls!  All of us have heard the proverb: “Idleness is the workshop of the devil!”  This means that if we do not have anything to do then the devil will give us a lot to do. The great St. John Bosco mortally feared vacation time for his boys in the Oratory. Why? Too much free time gives full entrance and game to the devil in the life of the youth! How often have we sinned preceded by moments, hours or even days of indolence and laziness!  Our philosophy should be that of St. Alberto Hurtado, “There are two places to rest: the cemetery and heaven.” In the present it is time to work out our salvation in fear and trembling. May St. Benedict’s motto be ours: Ora et Labora. Work and Pray.
Jesus in the Desert as Supreme Example: His Three Weapons. Of course our best example for all is Jesus who said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”  At the end of forty days in the desert, the devil came to tempt Him. Jesus forcefully and easily conquered the devil by using three weapons that we must learn to use: prayer, fasting, and the use of the Word of God.  Jesus had a prolonged prayer experience in the desert. Added to that was forty days of fasting; He ate nothing. Finally the devil tempted Him by using the Word of God; Jesus also used the Word of God as a sharp arrow to puncture the efforts of Satan. Fervent and prolonged prayer, constant self-denial, and familiarity with the Word of God, both meditating on it and putting it into practice are efficacious weapons indeed to combat and conquer Satan.
Openness to Your Spiritual Director. Once again, the Master Saint Ignatius comes to the rescue! In the 13th Rule of Discernment the saint warns us that the devil likes secrecy in the sense that if one is in a profound state of desolation that to open up to a Spiritual Director can conquer the temptation. By clamming up it is like a cut or wound that is hidden beneath a band aid. Until that wound is exposed to the sun and a disinfectant the wound not only will not heal but it will become all the more infected, it will fester and risk the danger of gangrene or worse yet amputation.   Once the temptation is revealed to an able Spiritual Director it is often conquered.  Overwhelmed by temptation, doubt and confusion shortly before making her vows, St. Therese opened up to her Novice Mistress and Superior revealing her state of soul. Almost immediately the temptation disappeared, she made her vows and went on to be one of the greatest modern saints.  What would have happened to her if following the counsel of the devil she kept her state of soul secret? Undoubtedly we would not have Saint Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church.
St. Michael the Archangel. In our battle with Satan we should use all the weapons in our arsenal.  God chose Saint Michael the Archangel as the faithful angel, the Prince of the Heavenly Host, to cast into hell Satan and the other rebellious angels. St. Michael, whose name means, “Who is like unto God”, is just as powerful now as he was in the past. In the midst of the storm of temptations, why not lift up your heart to St. Michael and call upon him.  You can pray the famous prayer “St. Michael the archangel, defend us in battle….” Or simply beg for his intercession!  His help from the heights of heaven will help you to be victor in your combat with the devil.
Mary Most Holy. As a whole the Mexican people have great devotion to Mary, especially under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe. However, in Guadalajara, Mexico, in addition to venerating Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe as Patron of Mexico and the Americas, they honor her with another title:  “La General del ejercito!”—- meaning that she is the “General of the Army”.  In our battle against the ancient serpent, Genesis 3:15 honors the woman who crushes the head of the serpent with her heal.  “I will put enmity between you and the woman and between her offspring and yours; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.”  (Gen. 3:15). Indeed the ancient serpent the devil can strike out at us with his ugly tongue and spew out venom, but when we rely on and trust in Mary she will crush his ugly head. Viva Cristo Rey! Viva Maria Reina! Long live Jesus and Mary!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Alabaster by Rend Collective Experiment

How to Deal with Past Sins

The following comes from Word on Fire:

How do we look back on past sins not as sins committed, but as sins confessed and forgiven? Fr. Damian Ference explains today using Peter as an example, showing how although he knew he was a great sinner, he also knew that Jesus loved him completely, as he was – a sinner.

We all know that Peter was the first pope. What we often forget is that Peter was also a terrible sinner. I can think of at least five times in the Gospels where Peter messed up, but the time that he denied Jesus was the absolute worst.

Saint Matthew tells us that it was a maid that first approached Peter in the courtyard – a maid, by the way, should not be able to intimidate a man that the Lord called “The Rock.” The maid recognized Peter as a friend of Jesus, but Peter denied knowing him. Second, another girl – not a woman, but a girl – saw Peter and said, “This man was with Jesus the Nazarene.” Again, Peter denied it. The third time St. Matthew tells us that it was a bystander who recognized Peter as a friend of Jesus by his speech. And once more, Peter denied knowing Jesus.

That’s about as bad as it gets. Just when your best friend needs you most, you deny even knowing him. And it’s not as if those questioning him were all that intimidating – a maid, a girl, and a random bystander – three people who wouldn’t seem to be much of a threat to a future pope. And Peter knew it. Saint Matthew tells us that upon the cock’s crow, “Peter went out and began to weep bitterly.” If I was him, I probably would have puked too.

Earlier that night Peter promised Jesus that his faith would never be shaken, but there it was, a crumbled mess. And there he was, the one that Jesus had handpicked to be the fearless leader of the apostles, off in the corner weeping like a baby. How pathetic.

Of course we know that there is more to the story. After Jesus suffers, dies, and rises from the dead he has another encounter with Peter. This time it’s on the beach where St. John tells us that Jesus invites the disciples to breakfast. It’s also the place where Jesus asks Peter if he loves him – three times. Three times Peter responds that he loves Jesus, and in doing so, Peter experiences Jesus’ love, forgiveness, healing and mercy. Jesus makes all things new, and in that moment, he makes Peter new too.

But a question remains. How in the world can Peter ever forget that terrible moment in the courtyard when he committed the worst of sins by denying that he even knew Jesus? Surely if we know about his terrible and cowardly act two thousand years later, people also knew well about it back then. And I’m sure that some even reminded him of it from time to time, saying, “Come on man, you’re the coward who denied even knowing Jesus, and now you’re telling me that I should believe in him? Please.” How in the world did Peter ever forget his terrible sin and move forward?

Here’s the truth: Peter never forgot the fact that he denied Jesus. That cowardly act was something that he could never take back. What’s done is done once it’s done. Peter couldn’t go back in time and make things right again. So what happened? How did Peter do it? How did the worst coward turn into one of the most courageous men in Christianity, eventually requesting to be crucified upside down because he thought himself unworthy to die in the same manner as his Lord Jesus?

What happened to Peter was that although he knew he was a great sinner, he also knew that Jesus loved him completely, as he was – a sinner. To paraphrase St. John Vianney, Peter knew that his sins were but a grain of sand in the ocean of God’s great mercy. It was the merciful love of Jesus that recreated Peter and that made him new. Peter couldn’t do anything about his sins other than confess them, but Jesus could. And he did. Peter denied Jesus three times, so in his love, Jesus offered Peter and opportunity to tell Jesus that he loved him – three times. And with that Peter was forgiven and made new. From that point on, whenever Peter thought back about the time he denied Jesus, he didn’t think about it as sin committed, but sin confessed and forgiven. 

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

This Love by Housefires II (Featuring Pat Barrett)

Pope Francis: What Happens in Heaven When a Sinner Enters a Confessional?

The following comes from Zenit:  

Confessionals are generally quiet, darkened places. But what does heaven look and sound like when a soul enters a confessional?
Pope Francis today invited the faithful to think about the rejoicing and celebrating in heaven when a sinner repents.
He made this invitation before praying the midday Angelus with those in St. Peter’s Square today, as he reflected on the heart of God as revealed in the three parables from Luke 18 recounted in today’s liturgy.
“A common element in these parables is expressed in the verbs that mean rejoice together, make a celebration,” the Pope noted. “Mourning is not spoken of; there is rejoicing, there is celebrating. The shepherd calls his friends and neighbors and says, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep’ (v 6). The woman calls her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost’ (v. 9). And the father says to his other son: ‘now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found’ (v. 32).
“In the first two parables, the focus is on the joy that is so uncontainable that it must be shared with ‘friends and neighbors.’ In the third parable, the focus is on the celebration that springs from the heart of the merciful father and expands to the whole household.”
The Pope said that with these parables Jesus is presenting us with “the true face of God, a God with his arms always open, a God who deals with sinners with tenderness and compassion.”
God is waiting for us to get back up again, to rise up out of sin, the Pope explained. And “he awaits us with patience, he sees us when we are still a long way off, he runs to meet us, he embraces us, he kisses us, he forgives us. That is how God is. That is how our Father is.”
“And,” the Pope continued, “his forgiveness cancels the past and regenerates us in love. To forget the past — this is the weakness of God. When he embraces us, he forgives us, and he loses his memory. He doesn’t have memory. He forgets the past. When we sinners convert and bring ourselves to be re-encountered by God, reproaches and sternness do not await us, because God saves, he welcomes us home again with joy and makes a celebration.”


Jesus himself speaks of the rejoicing in Heaven, the Pontiff noted. It is Jesus who says, “there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.”
In this light, the Pope proposed a question: “Have you ever thought about how each time we go to the confessional, there is joy and celebration in heaven?” he asked. “Have you ever thought of this? It’s beautiful.”
Francis said that we can be filled with great hope, since “there is no sin in which we may have fallen, from which, with the grace of God, we cannot rise up again.”
No one is so far gone they can’t be recovered, he assured, “because God never stops wanting our good — even when we sin!”
The Pope concluded with a prayer to Our Lady, under the title of Refuge of Sinners, asking that though her intercession, the confidence of the prodigal son might well up in our hearts: “I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you,” the prodigal son said.
“On this path,” the Pope affirmed, “we can give glory to God, and his glory can become his celebration, and ours.”

Pope Francis will celebrate Mass for Fr. Jacques Hamel

Monday, September 12, 2016

Pope Francis: The devil seeks to divide the Church

(Vatican Radio) Divisions destroy the Church, and the devil seeks to attack the root of unity: the celebration of the Eucharist. That was the message of Pope Francis on Monday morning at the daily Mass at the Casa Santa Marta, on the feast of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Commenting on the reading from the First Letter to the Corinthians — where St Paul rebuked the Corinthians for their contentiousness — Pope Francis said, “The devil has two very powerful weapons to destroy the Church: divisions and money.” And this has happened from the beginning: “ideological, theological divisions that lacerate the Church. The devil sows jealousy, ambitions, ideas, but to divide! Or greed.” And, as happens after a war, “everything is destroyed. And the devil is pleased. And we, naïve as we are, are his game.” “It is a dirty war, that of divisions,” he repeated. “It’s like terrorism,” the war of gossiping in the community, that of language that kills”:
“And the divisions in the Church do not allow the Kingdom to grow; they do not allow the Lord to be seen as He is. Divisions make you see this part, this one against the other. Always against! There is no oil of unity, the balsam of unity. But the devil goes elsewhere, not only in the Christian community, he goes right to the root of Christian unity. And this happens here, in the city of Corinth, to the Corinthians. Paul rebukes them precisely because divisions arise, right at the heart of unity, that is, in the Eucharistic celebration.”
In the case of Corinth, riches make divisions between the rich and the poor precisely during the Eucharist. Jesus, the Pope said, “prayed to the Father for unity. But the devil seeks to destroy it” even there:
“I ask you to everything possible to not destroy the Church with divisions; they are ideological, they come from greed and ambition, they come from jealousy. And above all to pray, and to keep the founts, the very roots of the unity of the Church, which is the Body of Christ; which we, every day, celebrate [in] His sacrifice in the Eucharist.”
Saint Paul speaks about the divisions among the Corinthians, two thousand years ago:
“Paul could say this to all of us today, to the Church of today. ‘Brothers, in this I cannot praise you, because you are gathered together not for the better, but for the worse!’ But the Church gathers everyone together — for the worse, for divisions: for the worse! To soil the Body of Christ in the Eucharistic celebration! And the same Paul tells us, in another passage: ‘He who eats and drinks the Body and the Blood of Christ unworthily, eats and drinks his own condemnation.’ Let us ask the Lord for the unity of the Church, that there may not be divisions. And for unity also in the root of the Church, which is precisely the sacrifice of Christ, which we celebrate every day.”
Among those present at the day’s Mass was Archbishop Arturo Antonio Szymanski Ramírez, the Archbishop emeritus of San Luis Potosí in Mexico, who turned 95 in January. Pope Francis noted his presence at the beginning of his homily, recalling that the Archbishop had taken part in the Second Vatican Council, and that he still helps in a parish. The Holy Father had received Archbishop Szymanski in an audience on Friday.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Benedict XVI Explains Mother Teresa's Fame

The following comes from Zenit.org:

Why was Mother Teresa so famous? Because she lived for and in the love of God, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope made this reflection during a luncheon that he offered for the poor on Dec. 26 in the Paul VI Hall.

The event was held to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, founder of the Missionaries of Charity. Several members of the congregation from communities around Rome assisted the Pontiff in the luncheon, which was attended by 350 people and 150 religious.

The Holy Father addressed the participants, stating, "To those who ask why Mother Teresa became as famous as she did, the answer is simple: because she lived humbly and discretely for and in the love of God."

"She herself said that her greatest prize was to love Jesus and serve him in the poor," Benedict XVI continued. "Her diminutive figure, her hands joined in prayer or caressing the sick, a leper, the dying, a child, was the visible sign of an existence transformed by God."

He acknowledged that "in the night of human pain she made the light of divine love shine and helped many hearts to find the peace that only God can give."

The Pope affirmed that "Blessed Teresa of Calcutta showed charity to everyone without distinction, but with a preference for the poor and abandoned: a luminous sign of God's paternity and goodness."

Christ's face

He added: "In all people she was able to recognize the face of Christ, whom she loved with her entire being.

"She continued to encounter the Christ she adored and received in the Eucharist in the streets and lanes of the city, becoming a living 'image' of Jesus who pours the grace of merciful love onto man's wounds."

"In Blessed Teresa of Calcutta we all see how our lives can change when we meet Jesus," the Pontiff affirmed, "how they can become a reflection of the light of God for other people."

"Her mission continues through those who, here as elsewhere in the world, live the charism of being missionaries of charity," he added.

The Holy Father expressed gratitude to the religious for their "humble and discreet presence, hidden to the eyes of mankind but extraordinary and precious to the heart of God."

He continued, "Your life witness shows man -- who often searches for illusory happiness -- where true joy is to be found: in sharing, in giving, in loving with the same gratuitousness as God, which breaks all the logic of human selfishness."

Benedict XVI concluded, "Know that the Pope loves you and carries you in his heart, gathering you all together in a paternal embrace."

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

You Don't Miss A Thing by Amanda Cook