Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Martyrdom of Everyday Living

Are we 20th-century Christians called to martyrdom? I think so, even though no burning stakes or snarling beasts may hasten our demise as they did for the martyrs of old. After all, the word martyr comes from the Greek word for witness, and the need to witness to Jesus as Lord is still as compelling now as it was in years gone by. What might it mean for us to be martyrs in this time and place?

When our life passes on unrecognized and unappreciated ... when we are rebuffed or snubbed ... when faced with our inner poverty and emptiness ... do we witness the humility and meekness of Jesus?

When the exigencies of life overwhelm us ... when frustrations abound and threaten our peace ... when we weary of doing good ... do we witness the patience and gentleness of Jesus?

When painful memories surface ... when we are tempted to strike back in revenge ... when our own sinfulness and failures disgust and sadden us ... do we witness the forgiveness and love of Jesus?

When fatigue or sickness sets in and our bodies and spirits sag ... when we despair of our efforts to grow in holiness and wholeness ... when we have no desire to take up our cross each day ... do we confess Jesus as our strength and salvation?

When the shallow values and false security of the world attract us ... when boredom creeps in and dulls our hearts ...when the easy way out appeals to us ... do we confess Jesus to be the way, the truth and the life?

This is the martyrdom of everyday living -- and it belongs to all of us who follow the Lord. Do we lovingly embrace it in a spirit of gratitude and joy ... as an invitation to deepen our love relationship with our Beloved Bridegroom ... as an occasion to strengthen our faith in Him as Lord of both our own lives and all creation ... as an opportunity to confess to the world around us that Jesus alone is our God and our all?

In all the events of our lives, do we claim Jesus as our peace and joy, seeking refuge only in Him? Do we boldly proclaim with St. Paul and the martyrs of all the ages, "Yet in all this we are more than conquerors because of Him who has loved us" (Rom. 8, 37)? Regardless of circumstances, do we firmly believe that nothing will separate us from the love of Christ and there­fore do we remain steadfast in faith, rejoicing in hope, clinging to the good, and counting it all joy?

Moment by moment life unfolds, inviting us to enter into its unique martyrdom and, therefore, to enter more deeply, more fully into the paschal mystery of our Lord Jesus Christ. What kind of martyr are we? To whom or what do we give witness?
Dear Lord, King of Martyrs, with your mercy ever before my eyes, may I give solid witness to you today in whatever martyrdom you chose for me. Amen.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul

As we celebrate the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, let us recall that before these saints were shepherds and apostles, they were sheep and disciples. God was able to do great things in them and through them because they made a decision to surrender control of their lives and destiny to the Son of Man who is also the Son of God.

Jesus says “follow me” to each of us. It may mean making a change of career. It may mean breaking off a relationship that is leading us away from Christ. Or it may just mean doing what we are already doing but for an entirely different reason...achieving great things not to draw attention to ourselves, but to glorify Christ...seeking an intimate relationship no longer to take but to give...working not for the weekend, but for the kingdom.

Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio, The Crossroads Initiative

Dear Lord, help me to hear anew today and every day Your call to follow You and to be Your missionary. Stand by me and give me strength to respond to You with all my heart. I know that sometmes I am more a goat than a sheep, more a backslider than Your disciple, but I believe that You can rescue me from myself as long as I keep looking to You. Help me to keep the faith as I continue to run the race You have marked out for me, and one day please bring me safely to Your heavenly Kingdom. Jesus, I trust in You! To You be glory forever and ever! AMEN!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Made To Be Imperishable

Ever since I woke up early this morning, I've been pondering this single verse from our first reading at today's Mass (Wis 1:13-15; 2:23-24): "For God formed man to be imperishable" (Wis 2:23) However, it's been another very hot day today here in Houston, TX, and the heat seems to have slowed down my brain as well as my body. I've just not been able to pull my thoughts together well enough to write about this amazing fact – that God made us to be imperishable, that he created us for incorruption! On second thought, maybe it has nothing to do with the heat and everything to do with the incomprehensible ways of the Lord. How astounding it is that He who fashioned me from mere dust has breathed His eternal spirit into me and has given me imperishable life in His beloved Son!

So throughout this day I've been marveling over God's goodness and then asking myself a few things, such as … I who, through the powerful and gracious gift of God, am imperishable, do I fully live the life He has given me … do I consciously and carefully turn to His Spirit to help me discern what to think, hear, see, say and touch so as to feed my immortal soul or do I let the spirit of the world lure me into feeding my lesser, baser instincts … do I seek the things that are above rather than those that are on earth (Col 3:2) … do I work not for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life (Jn 6:27) … ?? If I truly believed that God made me to be imperishable, would not all my decisions, thoughts, prayers and actions reflect this? And since not all of them do, what concrete things am I going to do to change this?

As always, the Word of God challenges as much as comforts me.

Thank you, Imperishable God, for making me imperishable! Help me to live the imperishable life so that I may be free to love and serve You as You deserve. Amen.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The School of Mary

So much can be gained by reflecting on the way Mary learned from Jesus! From her very first "fiat," through the long, ordinary years of the hidden life, as she brought up Jesus, or when at Cana in Galilee she asked for the first sign, or when finally on Calvary, by the cross, she looked on Jesus, she "learned" him moment by moment. Firstly in faith and then in her womb, she received the Body of Jesus and then gave birth to him. Day after day, enraptured, she adored him. She served him with solicitous love, singing the Magnificat in her heart.

...let Mary guide you as you "learn" Jesus. Keep your eyes fixed on him. Let him form you, so that...you will be able to show him to all who approach you....place yourselves in the school of Mary. Beside her you will experience for yourselves that God is love, and you will transmit this message to the world with the richness and the variety that the Holy Spirit will know how to enkindle.

Pope Benedict XVI
Teach us, dear Mary, to become more and more like you, a living sacrifice of praise, an unending hymn of thanks to the Almighty who does such great things for us.

Friday, June 26, 2009

True Love

Do not forget that true love sets no conditions;
it does not calculate or complain, but simply loves.
Pope John Paul II

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Draw us with an irresistable beauty...

Creator of the Universe, preserve us from our own presumption. Do not let us close ourselves into ourselves but open us continually into You.

Let us be more in love with You than with our notions of you. Let us stop claiming to know everything so that we may understand something.

Increase in us kindness. Make us people who care and who take care, who venerate the truth and recognize each other.

Draw us with an irresistible beauty!

Rabia Terri Harris in Prayers for a Thousand Years

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Birth of St. John the Baptist

Most of us upon thinking of St. John the Baptist have an image of a stern, austere prophet who harshly demanded repentance and conversion. That he was, and also uncompromising in his witness to the light (Jn 1:6-8), which led him to be "sacrificed by the authorities for speaking the truth without reticence" (Pope John Paul II). Yet there is another image of St. John the Baptist that we often forget. It is an image of joy, that unspeakable, unshakable joy of the Lord that caused the unborn John to leap with exultation in his mother's womb (Lk 1:44). Later, when his disciples asked him who he was, John described himself as the friend of the bridegroom: "He who has the bride is the bridegroom; the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice; therefore this joy of mine is now full. He must increase, but I must decrease" (Jn 3:29-30). John's joy preceded his mission as well as formed and sustained it. With him, may we always rejoice to hear our bridegroom's voice -- and as a result, may we also rejoice to decrease so that Christ may increase in our hearts, our lives and our world.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Watermelon Seed

I have observed the watermelon seed. It has the power of drawing from the ground and through itself 200,000 times its weight; and when you can tell me how it takes this material and, out of it, colors an outside surface beyond the imitation of art, and then forms inside of it a white rind, and within again, a red heart, thickly inlaid with black seeds, each one of which is in turn capable of drawing through itself 200,000 times its weight -- when you can explain to me the mystery of the watermelon, you can ask me to explain the mystery of God.
William Jennings Bryan
Open our minds and heart, dear Lord, to the wonders you set before us, the mysteries of nature that reveal to us your power and beauty. And let us strive not so much to understand as to bend the knee to your majesty and adore you in the silence of love and praise. Amen.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Even in the storms...

Even in the storms that can suddenly rise up, you can experience the breath of the Holy Spirit that is stronger than any contrary wind and which pushes the boat of the Church and each of us. That is why we must always live in serenity and cultivate joy in our hearts, giving thanks to the Lord. "His love is forever."Amen! ~Pope Benedict XVI, 6/21/09, Homily at St. Pio of Pietrelcina Church

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

We can say that the mystery of the Redemption took shape beneath the heart of the Virgin of Nazareth when she pronounced her "fiat". From then on, under the special influence of the Holy Spirit, this heart, the heart of both a virgin and a mother, has always followed the work of her Son and has gone out to all those whom Christ has embraced and continues to embrace with inexhaustible love. For that reason her heart must also have the inexhaustibility of a mother. The special characteristic of the motherly love that the Mother of God inserts in the mystery of the Redemption and the life of the Church finds expression in its exceptional closeness to man and all that happens to him. It is in this that the mystery of the Mother consists. The Church, which looks to her with altogether special love and hope, wishes to make this mystery her own in an ever deeper manner. For in this the Church also recognizes the way for her daily life, which is each person. Pope John Paul II, Redemptor Hominis, #22

Friday, June 19, 2009

Year for Priests

Christ, the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, so constituted his Church that the people whom he chose and acquired by his blood would have its priests to the end of time, and that Christians would never be like sheep without a shepherd. ~Decree On The Ministry and Life Of Priests, #5

Pope Benedict XVI has declared a “Year for Priests,” beginning today with the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In announcing the Year for Priests, the Holy Father recognized "the necessary, indeed indispensable, aspiration to moral perfection that must dwell in every authentically priestly heart." He said that "Precisely to encourage priests in this striving for spiritual perfection on which, above all, the effectiveness of their ministry depends, I have decided to establish a special Year for Priests."

Pope Benedict XVI also emphasized the great importance of the ministerial priest-hood, "without which there would be neither the Eucharist, nor even the mission nor the Church herself."

The Holy Father requests our prayers during this Year for Priests. "I entrust to your prayers this new spiritual initiative," he said. "May this new jubilee year be a propitious occasion to reflect on the value and importance of the priestly mission and to ask the Lord to make a gift of many priests to his Church."

The Pope has also declared St. John Vianney the Universal Patron of Priests on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the death of the CurĂ© d’Ars.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops offers this prayer for us to pray during the Year of the Priest.
Dear Lord, we pray that the Blessed Mother wrap her mantle around your priests and through her intercession strengthen them for their ministry.

We pray that Mary will guide your priests to follow her own words, “Do whatever He tells you” (Jn 2:5).

May your priests have the heart of St. Joseph, Mary’s most chaste spouse.

May the Blessed Mother’s own pierced heart inspire them to embrace all who suffer at the foot of the cross.

May your priests be holy, filled with the fire of your love, seeking nothing but your greater glory and the salvation of souls.


Saint John Vianney, pray for us!

Solemnity of the Sacred Heart

May Your Heart dwell always in our hearts! May Your Blood ever flow in the veins of our souls! O sun of our hearts, You give life to all things by the rays of Your goodness! I will not go until Your Heart has strengthened me, O Lord Jesus! May the Heart of Jesus be the King of my heart! Blessed be God. Amen.

~To the Sacred Heart by St. Francis de Sales

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pray then like this...

In the Gospel for today's Mass (Mt 8:7-15), our Lord Jesus teaches us how to pray. He begins with, "Pray then like this: Our Father…" Father! Our Father! Who is this Father to whom His Beloved Son tells us to pray? We want to know, and we find out as we ponder Our Lord's words in other passages from Matthew's gospel.

Father, who calls us to be perfect as you are perfect (Mt 5:48)…

Father, who knows what we need before we ask you (Mt 6:8)…

Father, who sees in secret and rewards us accordingly (Mt 6:14)…

Father, who gives good things to us who ask you (Mt 7:11)…

Father, who counts even the hairs of our heads (Mt 10:30)…

Father, Lord of heaven and earth (Mt 11:25)…

Father, who has given all things to your Beloved Son (Mt 11:27)…

Father, in whose kingdom the righteous will shine like the sun (Mt 13:43)…

Father, who like a good shepherd seeks us out when we are lost and rejoices to find us (Mt 18:12-13)…

Father, who wills that not one of your little ones should perish (Mt 18:13)…

Father, who commands us to forgive each other from our hearts (Mt 18:35)…

Father, who did not spare even your Beloved Son from drinking the cup of suffering (Mt 26:36-42)…

Father, in whose name your Risen Son sends us forth to make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19)…

Father, we adore you,
Lay our lives before you,
How we love you!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Isaiah 43:4

You are precious in my eyes and glorious, and I love you.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Prayer to Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament

Blessed are you, Mary, exalted Daughter of Sion! You are highly favored and full of grace, for the Spirit of God descended upon you.

We magnify the Lord and rejoice with you for the gift of the Word made flesh, our bread of life and cup of joy.

Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, our model of prayer in the Cenacle, pray for us that we may become what we receive, the body of Christ your Son.


Monday, June 15, 2009

The Holy Eucharist is for me!

And where is Jesus my Savior? In heaven and also in the Blessed Sacrament. Heaven is for the angels and saints in glory; the Holy Eucharist is for me.

The Holy Eucharist is my joy, my riches, my home, my palace, wherein dwells the King of my life and the God of my heart. The Holy Eucharist is my heaven on earth, and before It I will adore, as the angels and saints adore before the throne of the Lamb in heaven.

The Holy Eucharist shall be my heart's center, wherein it shall live and love, find rest and inspiration. Jesus said, "Where your treasure house is, there your heart is too."

I will have no other treasure beside Thee, good Jesus! My heart shall no longer seek its Best-Beloved; it has found Him. My love shall no more languish far from Thee, now that I know Thy dwelling place.

Oh, draw me now entirely to Thee, divine Lover, my mind with all its thoughts, my heart with all its desires and affections, my will with all its actions, my body with all its senses, that I may live no longer in myself but in Thee!

St. Peter Julian Eymard

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

If we reflected on the love of Jesus Christ
for us in the Blessed Sacrament,
our whole life would be
but one continuous act of gratitude.
St. Peter Julian Eymard

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Like Mary

Father most holy, grant that, like Mary, we may be simple and humble, poor and chaste, faithful and obedient.

Grant that we may be merciful as you are merciful so that, like Mary the Mother of Christ, we may love those whom your Son has saved in the power of the spirit.

Grant that my word may be light and glory, that my prayer may be silence and adoration so that, like Mary, I may be a living intercession, the praise of glory, and thanksgiving through Jesus your Son, our Savior and our God. Amen.

Rev. Jean Beyer, S.J.

Friday, June 12, 2009

O Lamb of God!

"O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, grant us Thy peace!" That is a tremendous prayer to take on our lips, for it means peace at a great price: the peace of the Cross, of absolute acceptance, utter abandonment to God -- a peace inseperable from sacrifice. ~from The Fruits of the Spirit by Evelyn Underhill

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Days of Work and of Monotony

One of my regular tasks as weekday sacristan in my parish is to clean the two thuribles, which get used a lot since we're one of the largest parishes in Texas. We have nine Sunday Masses along with many weddings and funerals week after week. When incense is placed on the lit charcoal inside the thurible, it releases oil, which gets cooked onto the inside as the heat and smoke rise. By Monday morning, I can always count on finding a thick layer of gunk inside the thuribles. What a mess! And it must be cleaned up because if the gunk isn't removed, it gets pretty stinky the next time the thurible is used. So I pull out my ample supply of Goo-Gone, steel wool and elbow grease, set myself to the task at hand, and soon everything is bright and shiny. But no sooner do I finish, it seems, than the process starts all over again…and again…and again.

In what St. Francis de Sales calls the inferior part of my soul, I've had my moments when I've felt as though this is an exercise in futility that I'm doomed to repeat in perpetuity. But Providence recently led me to this passage in my well-worn copy of St. Maria Faustina's diary, Divine Mercy In My Soul:

"Now a gray, ordinary day has begun...O you days of work and of monotony, you are not monotonous to me at all, for each moment brings me new graces and opportunity to do good."

Just the reminder that I needed! Yes, the light of Christ shines through all our gray, ordinary days, filling every moment with His radiant beauty. Even in my solitary task of cleaning the thuribles, I can do good – by doing the best job I can, by thinking positive thoughts, by praying for others, and by contemplating the Lord of All who spent many years living a simple life in Nazareth where he worked as a carpenter.

Thank you, dear Lord, for being the light of our world! Amen!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mother Most Wonderful!

O, teach us thy Tenderness every day!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

You are the light of the world. Mt. 5:14

You who have the light, what are you doing with it?
Paul Claudel

Monday, June 8, 2009

Glory to you, Holy Trinity!

Glory to you, Father, Who by the power of your love, created the world and formed us in your own image and likeness.

Glory to you, only begotten Son, Who in your wisdom assumed our human condition to lead us to the Kingdom.

Glory to you, Holy Spirit, Who in your mercy sanctified us in baptism. You work to create in us a new beginning each day.

Glory to you, Holy Trinity, You always have been, you are and you always will be equally great to the end of the ages.

We adore you, we praise you, we give you thanks because you were pleased to reveal the depth of your mystery to the humble, to little ones.

Grant that we may walk in faith and joyful hope until the day when it will be ours to live in the fullness of your love and to contemplate forever what we now believe here below: God who is Father, Son and Spirit! Glory to You!

The above prayer was written by Father Thomas Rosica, CSB, chief executive officer of the Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation and Television
in Canada. Fr. Rosica writes "Words Made Flesh," a column of Biblical reflections, for Zenit.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Trinity Sunday

The Father is my hope.
The Son is my refuge.
The Holy Spirit is my protection.
Holy Trinity, glory to You!

Prayer to the Trinity from My Orthodox Prayer Book

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Widow's Mite

In today's Gospel (Mk 12:38-44), our Lord Jesus tells us about the poor widow who put into the temple treasury "two small coins worth a few cents." It was a paltry sum compared to the large amounts already given by the rich, but she "contributed all she had, her whole livelihood." What a generous gesture! What unselfish deprivation! What this woman a nut case? Or was she a simply and gloriously a spendthrift of love?

Many years ago, Thomas a Kempis wrote in The Imitation of Christ (Book 4, Chapter 8) that Our Lord is saying to us from the cross where He hangs, "I require nothing less of you than that you should strive to yield yourself wholly to Me. Whatever you offer to Me besides yourself, I account as nothing; I seek not your gift, but yourself."

Dear Lord, please give me the courage and trust I need to become Your spendthrift of love! Amen.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Prayer for First Friday

O most sacred, most loving heart of Jesus, Thou art concealed in the Holy Eucharist, and Thou beatest for us still. Now as then Thou sayest, "With desire I have desired." I worship Thee, then, with all my best love and awe, with my fervent affection, with my most subdued, most resolved will. O make my heart beat with Thy heart. Purify it of all that is earthly, all that is proud and sensual, all that is hard and cruel, of all perversity, of all disorder, of all deadness. So fill it with Thee, that neither the events of the day nor the circumstances of the time may have power to ruffle it; but that in Thy love and Thy fear it may have peace.
John Henry Cardinal Newman

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Create silence...

"The present state of the world and the whole of life is diseased. If I were a doctor and were asked for my advice, I would reply: Create silence! Bring men to silence. The Word of God cannot be heard in the noisy world of today. And even if it were blazoned forth with all the panoply of noise so that it could be heard in the midst of all the other noise, then it would no longer be the Word of God. Therefore create silence." ~Soren Kierkegaard

Soren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher and theologian, wrote the above near the end of his life. He was born in in 1813 and died in 1855. How noisy could it have been over 150 years ago before television, cell phones, Muzak, iPods, and the other noise pollutants of our age? Our current need for silence is enormous! How can I create silence within me and around me and bring others to it? Mary, Mother of the Incarnate Word, who kept and pondered all things in the silence of your heart, teach me that true interior silence we so desperately need in our world and hearts today!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Alive in the Present Moment

Every morning, when we wake up, we have twenty-four brand-new hours to live. What a precious gift! We have the capacity to live in a way that these twenty-four hours will bring peace, joy, and happiness to ourselves and others.

Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We don't have to travel far away to enjoy the blue sky. We don't have to leave our city or even our neighborhood to enjoy the eyes of a beautiful child. Even the air we breathe can be a source of joy.

We can smile, breathe, walk, and eat our meals in a way that allows us to be in touch with the abundance of happiness that is available. We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma, and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive. Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Thank you, loving Father, for the gift of this new day, for the twenty-four
brand-new hours You are giving me to be happy in Your love and to bring Your
happiness and love to others. Let me live each moment as if it were the only
moment, which it is -- shining with Your goodness and full of endless
possibilities. Wake me up, dear Father, that I may be truly alive in the present
moment, rejoicing always to be Your precious child. Amen.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Flame of God!

Give me the love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay,
The hope no disappointments tire,
The passion that will burn like fire.
Let me not sink to be a clod,
Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.
Amy Carmichael, 1867-1951

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Little Pentecost of the Visitation

The Visitation, Joseph Matar

Yesterday's Solemnity of Pentecost took precedence over the Feast of the Visitation, which the church customarily celebrates on May 31st. Pope Benedict XVI mentioned this blessed meeting of Mary and Elizabeth and the unborn children in their wombs twice yesterday, both in his homily at the Mass of Pentecost and in his Regina Caeli address. This event of the Visitation, the Holy Father said, "was also a little 'Pentecost,' bringing forth joy and praise from the hearts of Elizabeth and Mary – the one barren and the other a virgin – who both became mothers by an extraordinary divine intervention (cf. Luke 1:41-45).

It was by the intervention of the Holy Spirit that Virgin Mother became pregnant with the Divine Child, whom she bore in her womb "with love beyond all telling." The Spirit of Jesus so filled Mary's entire being that, having consented to give birth to the Son of God, she then immediately went in haste to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Upon Mary's arrival, Elizabeth also was filled with the Holy Spirit, as was the unborn child who leapt for joy within her womb, and thus she proclaimed with exaltation those glorious words that have been continuously repeated throughout the ages by those who love Our Lady: "Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb!"

The intervention of the Holy Spirit is always a cause for rejoicing! The Lord and Giver of Life, as we name the third Person of the Holy Trinity in the Nicene Creed, is also the source of charity. As the Holy Father pointed out yesterday, "The young Mary, who carried Jesus in her womb and, forgetting herself, goes to help her neighbor, is a stupendous icon of the Church in the perennial youth of the Spirit, of the missionary Church of the Incarnate Word, called to bring [this Word] to the world and to testify to him especially in the service of charity." For many of us, our greatest means of evangelizing the world is through the service of charity. May we accept the Holy Father's invitation " to let ourselves be inspired and taught by the Virgin Mary." May we learn from her, Mother of the Incarnate Word, how to surrender totally to the Holy Spirit so that we, too, can give birth to Jesus and bring Him to the world.

The Holy Father also gave an address Saturday evening, the vigil of Pentecost, in the Vatican Gardens at a traditional Marian celebration to conclude the month of May. In his talk, he reflected upon the relationship between the Holy Spirit and Mary, "a very close, privileged, indissoluble relationship." Pope Benedict XVI said that "Mary's heart, in perfect consonance with the divine Son, is the temple of the Spirit of truth, where every word and every event are kept in faith, hope and charity (cf. Luke 2:19, 51)." In closing, he expressed his hope that we "will always walk with Mary," in whose school we "learn to recognize the Holy Spirit's presence in our life, to listen to his inspirations and to follow them with docility."