Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The fire of charity

There's a passion of ours that must grow from faith, which must be transformed into the fire of charity. Jesus said: I came to cast fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled. (see Luke 12:49) Origen has conveyed us a word of the Lord: "Whoever is near me is near the fire." The Christian must not be lukewarm. ~ Pope Benedict XVI, 10/9/12 Meditation at World Synod of Bishops

Extinguish not the Spirit.  ~1 Thessalonians 5:19

Monday, October 29, 2012

Faith is a clinging to God

Faith is not simply a matter of man’s intellectual assent to truths about God; it is an act whereby I freely entrust myself to a God who is a Father and who loves me; it means clinging to a “Thou” who gives me hope and confidence.  ~Pope Benedict XVI, 10/24/12 General Audience

You are my hope, O Lord,
my confidence from my youth.
My soul clings to You.
~Psalm 71:5; 63:8

Sunday, October 28, 2012

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

"Master, grant that I may see.”  ~Mark 10:51

"The commandment of the Lord shines clearly, enlightening the eyes." Receive Christ, receive power to see, receive your light, “that you may plainly recognize both God and man.”

"More delightful than gold and precious stones, more desirable than honey and the honeycomb," is the Word that has enlightened us.

How could he not be desirable, he who illumined minds buried in darkness, and endowed with clear vision “the ”of the soul?

“Despite the other stars, without the sun the whole world would be plunged in darkness.” So likewise we ourselves, had we not known the Word and been enlightened by him, should have been no better off than plump poultry fattened in the dark, simply reared for death.

Let us open ourselves to the light, then, and so to God. Let us open ourselves to the light, and become disciples of the Lord. For he promised his Father: "I will make known your name to my brothers and sisters, and praise you where they are assembled."
Sing his praises, then, Lord, and make known to me your Father, who is God. Your words will save me, your song instruct me. Hitherto I have gone astray in my search for God; but now that you light my path, Lord, and I find God through you, and receive the Father from you, I become co-heir with you, since you were not ashamed to own me as your brother.

Let us, then, shake off forgetfulness of truth, shake off the mist of ignorance and darkness that dims our eyes, and contemplate the true God, after first raising this song of praise to him: “All hail, O Light!”

For upon us buried in darkness, imprisoned in the shadow of death, a heavenly light has shone, a light of a clarity surpassing the sun’s, and of a sweetness exceeding any this earthly life can offer. That light is eternal life, and those who receive it live.

Night, on the other hand, is afraid of the light, and melting away in tenor gives place to the day of the Lord. Unfailing light has penetrated everywhere, and sunset has turned into dawn.

This is the meaning of the new creation; for the Sun of Righteousness, pursuing his course through the universe, visits all alike, in imitation of his Father, "who makes his sun rise upon all," and bedews everyone with his truth.

He it is who has changed sunset into dawn and death into life by his crucifixion; he it is who has snatched the human race from perdition and exalted it to the skies.

Transplanting what was corruptible to make it incorruptible, transforming earth into heaven, he, God’s gardener, points the way to prosperity, prompts his people to good works, “reminds them how to live” according to the truth, and bestows on us the truly great and divine heritage of the Father, which cannot be taken away from us.

He deifies us by his heavenly teaching, instilling his laws into our minds, and writing them on our hearts. What are the laws he prescribes? That all, be they of high estate or low, shall know God. "And I will be merciful to them," God says,"and I will remember their sin no more."

Let us accept the laws of life, let us obey God’s promptings. Let us learn to know him, so that he may be merciful to us. Although he stands in no need of it, let us pay God our debt of gratitude in willing obedience as a rent, so to speak, which we owe him for our lodging here below.

~Clement of Alexandria, c. 150-215

The night is far gone, the day is at hand.
Let us then cast off the works of darkness
and put on the armor of light;
let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day.
~Romans 13:12-13

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Having the faith of a child...

Faith means believing in God’s unfailing love, which endures even in the face of man’s iniquity, of evil and of death, and which is able to transform every form of slavery by granting the possibility of salvation. To have faith, then, is to encounter this “Thou” -- God -- who sustains me and offers me the promise of an imperishable love that not only aspires to eternity but also gives it. It means entrusting myself to God with the attitude of a child who knows very well that all of his difficulties and problems are safe in the “thou” of the mother.  ~Pope Benedict XVI, 10/25/12 General Audience

As a child rests in his mother's arms, even so my soul.  ~Psalm 131:2

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Angel of Happy Meetings

Prayer to Saint Raphael, Angel of Happy Meetings

O Raphael, lead us towards those we are waiting for, those who are waiting for us! Raphael, Angel of Happy Meetings, lead us by the hand towards those we are looking for! May all our movements, all their movements, be guided by your Light and transfigured by your joy.

Angel guide of Tobias, lay the request we now address to you at the feet of Him on whose unveiled Face you are privileged to gaze. Lonely and tired, crushed by the separations and sorrows of earth, we feel the need of calling to you and of pleading for the protection of your wings, so that we may not be as strangers in the Province of Joy, all ignorant of the concerns of our country.

Remember the weak, you who are strong -- you whose home lies beyond the region of thunder, in a land that is always peaceful, always serene, and bright with the resplendent glory of God.


Ave Maria!  In the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, today is the feast of the Archangel Raphael.  Once again I post this beautiful prayer to him, the Angel of Happy Meetings.  Lately, for inexplicable reasons, I've been very much feeling "lonely and tired, crushed by the separations and sorrows of earth."  Praying to St. Raphael comforts and strengthens me as I make my way through this "valley of tears."  I can almost hear St. Raphael saying to me, "Carry on, my child.  Carry on!  Do not be disheartened.  Follow me, and I will lead you safely home."

As an aside, the icon of St. Raphael above, done in the santero style of a retablo, was created by Gabriel Vigil of Santa Fe, NM.  That's all I know at this moment but maybe later I will learn more from the Web.

Ah, glory!

Photography by Ann L. Krumrein

The heaven are telling the glory of God.
~Psalm 19:1

Sunday, October 21, 2012

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“The Son of man came to give his life as a ransom for many.”  ~Mark 10:45

When the ten disciples were indignant with James and John for separating themselves from their company in the hope of obtaining the highest honor, Jesus corrected the disorderly passions of both groups. Notice how he did it.

"He called them to him and said: Gentile rulers lord it over their people, and holders of high office make their authority felt. This must not happen among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to be first among you must be last of all."

You see that what the two brothers wanted was to be first, greatest, and highest: rulers, one might almost say, of the others. So, revealing their secret thoughts, Jesus put a curb on this ambition, saying: "Whoever wants to be first among you must become the servant of all."

If you wish to take precedence and to have the highest honors, aim for whatever is lowest and worst: to be the most insignificant and humble of all, of less account than anyone else; to put yourselves after the others. It is virtue of this kind that wins the honor you aspire to, and you have an outstanding example of it near at hand.

"For the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

This is what will make you illustrious and far-famed. See what is happening in my case. I do not seek glory and honor, yet by acting in this way I am gaining innumerable blessings.

The fact is that before the incarnation and self-abasement of Christ the whole world was in a state of ruin and decay, but when he humbled himself he lifted the world up. He annuled the curse, put an end to death, opened paradise, destroyed sin, flung wide the gates of heaven, and introduced there the firstfruits of our race.

He filled the world with faith in God, drove out error, restored truth, caused our firstfruits to ascend a royal throne, and gained innumerable blessings beyond the power of myself or anyone else to describe in words. Before he humbled himself he was known only to the angels, but after his self-abasement he was recognized by the whole human race.

~St. John Chrysostom

Teach us, dear Lord,
to serve as You served,
to love as You loved,
to give as You gave
even unto the Cross.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mary, "Mother of God's Word" and "Mother of Faith"

From the Annunciation to Pentecost [the Blessed Virgin Mary] appears as a woman completely open to the will of God. She is the Immaculate Conception, the one whom God made “full of grace” (cf. Lk 1:28) and unconditionally docile to his word (cf. Lk 1:38). Her obedient faith shapes her life at every moment before God’s plan. A Virgin ever attentive to God’s word, she lives completely attuned to that word; she treasures in her heart the events of her Son, piecing them together as if in a single mosaic (cf. Lk 2:19,51).  ~Pope Benedict XVI, Verbum Domini, #27
Mary, Mother Most Wonderful, teach me your obedient faith and your attentiveness to God's word.  Teach me to love your Beloved Son, the fruit of your womb, Jesus!  Amen.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"Christianity is always new!"

Christianity must not be considered as “something of the past,” and it must not be lived ever looking “back,” because Jesus Christ is yesterday, today and for eternity (cf. Hebrews 13:8). Christianity is marked by the presence of the eternal God, who entered time and is present at all times, because all time flows from his creative power, from his eternal “today.” Because of this, Christianity is always new. We must never see it as a tree fully developed from the evangelical mustard seed, which has grown, has given its fruits, and one day ages and arrives at the waning of its vital energy. Christianity is a tree which is, so to speak, in constant “dawn,” is always young. ~Pope Benedict XVI, 0/12/12, Address To Second Vatican Council Fathers

Long ago you founded the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish but you will remain.
They will all wear out like a garment.
You will change them like clothes, and they change.
But you are the same, and your years do not end.
~Psalm 102:26-28

Monday, October 15, 2012

Feast of St. Teresa of Avila

My God, because you are so good, I love you with all my heart, and for your sake I love my neighbor as myself.  If I love you, it is not just because of heaven which you promised; if I fear to offend you, it is not because hell threatens me.  What draws me to you, O Lord, is yourself alone, it is the sight of you, nailed to the cross for me, your body bruised in the pains of death.  Your love so holds my heart that, if there were no heaven, I would love you still. If there were no hell I would even still fear to offend you. I do not need your gifts to make me love you, for even if I should have no help of hope at all the things I do hope for, I would still love you with that very same love.  Amen.

Prayer written by St. Teresa of Avila, 1515-1582

Sunday, October 14, 2012

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Go and sell everything you own and follow me.”  ~Mark 10:21

All through our life Christ is calling us. He called us first in baptism, but afterwards also; whether we obey his voice or not, he graciously calls us still.

If we fall from our baptism, he calls us to repent; if we are striving to fulfil our calling, he calls us on from grace to grace, and from holiness to holiness, while life is given us.

Abraham was called from his home, Peter from his nets, Matthew from his office, Elisha from his farm, Nathanael from his retreat; we are all in course of calling, on and on, from one thing to another, having no resting place, but mounting towards our eternal rest, and obeying one command only to have another put upon us.

He calls us again and again, in order to justify us again and again — and again and again, and more and more, to sanctify and glorify us.

It were well if we understood this; but we are slow to master the great truth, that Christ is, as it were, walking among us, and by his hand, or eye, or voice, bidding us follow him.
We do not understand that his call is a thing which takes place now. We think it took place in the Apostles’ day; but we do not believe in it, we do not look out for it in our own case.

We have not eyes to see the Lord; far different from the beloved Apostle, who knew Christ even when the rest of the disciples knew him not. When he stood on the shore after his resurrection, and bade them cast the net into the sea, "that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, It is the Lord."

Now what I mean is this: that they who are living religiously, have from time to time truths they did not know before, or had no need to consider, brought before them forcibly; truths which involve duties, which are in fact precepts, and claim obedience. In this and such-like ways Christ calls us now.

There is nothing miraculous or extraordinary in his dealings with us. He works through our natural faculties and circumstances of life.

Still what happens to us in providence is in all essential respects what his voice was to those whom he addressed when on earth: whether he commands by a visible presence, or by a voice, or by our consciences, it matters not, so that we feel it to be a command.

If it is a command, it may be obeyed or disobeyed; it may be accepted as Samuel or St. Paul accepted it, or put aside after the manner of the young man who had great possessions.

We need not fear spiritual pride in following Christ’s call, if we follow it as people in earnest. Earnestness has no time to compare itself with the state of others; earnestness is simply set on doing God’s will. It simply says, "Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth; Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" Oh that we had more of this spirit! Oh that we could take that simple view of things, as to feel that the one thing which lies before us is to please God!

Let us beg and pray Him day by day to reveal Himself to our souls more fully; to quicken our senses; to give us sight and hearing, taste and touch of the world to come; so to work
within us that we may sincerely say, "Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and after that receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but Thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of Thee: my flesh and my heart faileth; but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever."

John Henry Cardinal Newman, Parochial and Plain Sermons, #8

I will run the way of your commands;
you give freedom to my heart.
Guide me in the path of your commands;
for there is my delight.
Help me to learn your commands,
I will worship them and love them
for they are truth.
Psalm 119(118):32, 35, 48, 73, 151

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Taking Mary with me...

"Do not fear to take Mary as your mother on the journey of life!  May Mary be a model for your of how to follow Jesus.  Do not be afraid of confiding in her, of entrusting to her maternal hands every problem, every anxiety, every expectation, and every project.  Above all, trust her with the project that concerns your whole life:  your vocation, in the sincere gift of what you are, for your own self-fulfillment."  ~Blessed John Paul II

Ave Maria!  Our Year of Faith has begun!  It is a journey of faith.  It is also a journey of life, for does not our faith lead us to life?  The One in whom we have believed, in whom we've placed all our trust, in whom we have hoped beyond hope -- of him St. John wrote:  "In him was life, and the life was the light of men" (John 1:4).  In due time, according to His Father's plan, He Himself, the Living One  who is alive for evermore (Rev 1:17), would emphatically proclaim: "I am the Resurrection and the Life!" (John 11:25). 

As I begin this journey of faith that is life, I happily take with me Mary as my mother...Mary, the Mother of Jesus, so beautifully described by the Council Fathers many years ago in Lumen Gentium as the one who...

"gave to the world the Life that renews all things" (#56)

"advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross" (#58)

"cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the work of the Saviour in giving back supernatural life to souls" (#61)

"calls the faithful to her Son and His sacrifice and to the love of the Father" (#65)

"shine[s] forth on earth, until the day of the Lord shall come, as a sign of sure hope and solace to the people of God during its sojourn on earth" (#69)

Mary, Christ's mother and mine!  Who better to take with me on this journey?!  For the past 45 years I have often reflected upon these images of Our Lady, and through them I have been blessed with a better understanding of who she truly is, how vitally important she is go us, and how desperately I need her.  Far greater, I have come to love her more and more.  Ave Maria!  Deo gratias!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Entering into the mystery of faith with Mary...

"As we contemplate in the Mother of God a life totally shaped by the word, we realize that we too are called to enter into the mystery of faith, whereby Christ comes to dwell in our lives. Every Christian believer, Saint Ambrose reminds us, in some way interiorly conceives and gives birth to the word of God: even though there is only one Mother of Christ in the flesh, in the faith Christ is the progeny of us all. Thus, what took place for Mary can daily take place in each of us, in the hearing of the word and in the celebration of the sacraments."  ~Pope Benedict XVI, Verbum Domini, #27

Dear Mary, Mother of the Incarnate Word, lead me ever more deeply into the mystery of faith -- the fruit of your womb, Jesus!  With you and like you, may I give birth to Him for the salvation of the world.  Amen.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"The Christian must not be lukewarm."

Our God is a consuming fire. ~Hebrews 12:29

"The Christian must not be lukewarm. The Book of Revelation tells us that this is the greatest danger for a Christian: not that he may say no, but that he may say a very lukewarm yes. This being lukewarm is what discredits Christianity. Faith must become in us flame of love, flame that really fires up my being, becomes the great passion of my being, and so it fires also my neighbor."  ~Pope Benedict XVI, 10/9/12 Meditation at World Synod of Bishops

"Make me Thy fuel, O Flame of God!"

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

"Pray the Rosary during the upcoming Year of Faith"

 I would like to propose that everyone make a special effort to pray the Rosary during the upcoming Year of Faith [10/11/12-11/24/13]. With the Rosary, in fact, we let ourselves be guided by Mary, the model of faith, in meditating on the mysteries of Christ, and day after day we are helped to assimilate the Gospel so that it gives form to our whole life. Thus, following the lead of my predecessors, especially Blessed John Paul II, who gave us the apostolic letter “Rosarium Virginis Mariae” ten years ago, I invite you to pray the Rosary personally, in the family and in community, placing ourselves in the school of Mary, who leads us to Christ, the living center of our faith.

~Pope Benedict XVI, 10/7/12 Angelus Message
Queen of the Holy Rosary, pray for us!

Monday, October 8, 2012

"Mary is blessed because she has faith..."

Mary is blessed because she has faith, because she believed, and in this faith she received the Word of God into her womb in order to give him to the world. The joy born of the Word can now expand to all those who, by faith, let themselves be changed by God’s word.  ~Pope Benedict XVI, Verbum Domini, #124

Holy Mary, Mother of the Incarnate Word and Cause of our Joy, pray for us!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“What God has joined together, no one must divide.”  ~Mark 10:9

In his mysterious plans the Father had destined a bride for his only Son and presented her to him under the guise of prophetic images. Moses appeared and with deft hand sketched a picture of bridegroom and bride but immediately drew a veil over it.

In his book he wrote that a man should leave father and mother so as to be joined to his wife, that the two might in very truth become one. The prophet Moses spoke of man and woman in this way in order to foretell Christ and his Church.

With a prophet’s penetrating gaze he contemplated Christ becoming one with the Church through the mystery of water. He saw Christ even from the Virgin’s womb drawing the Church to himself, and the Church in the water of baptism drawing Christ to herself.

Bridegroom and bride were thus wholly united in a mystical manner, which is why Moses wrote that the two should become one.

With veiled face Moses contemplated Christ and the Church: the one he called “man” and the other “woman” so as not to reveal the full splendor of the reality.

After the marriage celebration came Paul. He saw the veil covering their splendor and lifted it, revealing Christ and his Church to the whole world, and showing that it was they whom Moses had described in his prophetic vision.

In an outburst of inspired joy the apostle exclaimed: This is a great mystery! He revealed the meaning of the veiled picture the prophet had called man and woman, declaring: "I know that it is Christ and his Church," who were two before but have now become one.

Wives are not united to their husbands as closely as the Church is to the Son of God. What husband but our Lord ever died for his wife, and what bride ever chose a crucified man as her husband? Who ever gave his blood as a gift to his wife except the one who died on the cross and sealed the marriage bond with his wounds? Who was ever seen lying dead at his own wedding banquet with his wife at his side seeking to console herself by embracing him? At what other celebration, at what other feast is the bridegroom’s body distributed to the guests in the form of bread?

Death separates wives from their husbands, but in this case it is death that unites the bride to her beloved. He died on the cross, bequeathed his body to his glorious spouse, and now every day she receives and consumes it at his table. She consumes it under the form of bread, and under the form of the wine that she drinks, so that the whole world may know that they are no longer two but one.

~Jacob of Serugh (c. 451-521), a Syrian Orthodox poet, was educated at Edessa and ordained priest. He did much to encourage his people during their sufferings at the hands of the Persians. In 519 he was made bishop of Batnae near Edessa. His metrical homilies won him the title “Flute of the Holy Spirit.” His writings include also letters, sermons, biographies, and hymns.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

"We need the Virgin's help."

We need the Virgin’s help. A tormented, famous, spiritual, and realistic writer, Charles Péguy, compared the Our Father and the Hail Mary in the Rosary to ships sailing victoriously towards the Father (cf. Le mystère des Saints Innocents, 1912). We too should attempt that mystic voyage.

And let it not be said, that by doing so we are "only using" a prayer and devotion to Our Lady for our own temporal desires, that that sort of religion is just utilitarianism, the same that pervades modern life at all points. To begin with, there is nothing wrong in making prayer a confession of our limitations, of our needs, and of our trust in being able to obtain from on high that which our own powers are unable to obtain. Did not Christ himself teach us to do this? Did he not say, "Ask and you shall receive; seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you..." (Mt 7:7)?

But We can add two other observations about the Rosary. The prayer of petition in the ordinary intention of the person reciting the rosary fuses and, as it were, transfuses into contemplative prayer through the attention which the mind gives to the so-called "mysteries of the Rosary." These turn this pious Marian devotion into a meditation of Christ, and accustom us to look at him from the best possible viewpoint, that of Mary herself. The Rosary sets our gaze and our mind upon Christ, the scenes of his life and their theological meaning, and does this not only with Mary, but also in the same way as Mary, in so far as this is possible for us. There is no doubt that no one every gave more thought to him (cf. Lk 2:19; 2:51; 8:21; 11:28), understood him more, loved him more, and lived more like him."

~Pope Paul VI, 10/8/69 General Audience

Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee,
O Virgin of virgins, my mother;
To thee I come, before Thee I stand...

Friday, October 5, 2012

Pope Pius XII on the Rosary

"We well know the Rosary's powerful efficacy to obtain the maternal aid of the Virgin. By no means is there only one way to pray to obtain this aid. However, We consider the Holy Rosary the most convenient and most fruitful means, as is clearly suggested by the very origin of this practice, heavenly rather than human, and by its nature. What prayers are better adapted and more beautiful than the Lord's prayer and the angelic salutation, which are the flowers with which this mystical crown is formed? With meditation of the Sacred Mysteries added to the vocal prayers, there emerges another very great advantage, so that all, even the most simple and least educated, have in this a prompt and easy way to nourish and preserve their own faith." 

Pope Pius XII, September 15, 1951 

Ave Maria! What's not to love about the rosary? It's such a simple yet profound prayer, suitable for any age group and for every occasion imaginable. Most of the words come straight from Scripture, and the mysteries center on our Lord Jesus, Word made flesh and splendor of the Father. A rosary easily fits into any size pocket, purse, backpack, or whatever, plus it can even be worn on the wrist as bracelet. And if we ever neglect to take our rosary with us, we can use our ten fingers to mark off the ten Hail Mary's per decade. How great is that? Yes, Pope Pius XII sums up perfectly the beauty of the rosary: "all, even the most simple and least educated, have in this a prompt and easy way to nourish and preserve their own faith." Deo gratias! Thanks be to God!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

"To be apostles of the Rosary..."

To be apostles of the Rosary, however, it is necessary to experience personally the beauty and depth of this prayer which is simple and accessible to everyone. It is first of all necessary to let the Blessed Virgin take one by the hand to contemplate the Face of Christ: a joyful, luminous, sorrowful and glorious Face. Those who, like Mary and with her, cherish and ponder the mysteries of Jesus assiduously, increasingly assimilate his sentiments and are conformed to him. In this regard, I would like to quote a beautiful thought of Bl. Bartolo Longo: "Just as two friends, frequently in each other's company, tend to develop similar habits", he wrote, "so too, by holding familiar converse with Jesus and the Blessed Virgin, by meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary and by living the same life in Holy Communion, we can become, to the extent of our lowliness, similar to them and can learn from these supreme models a life of humility, poverty, hiddenness, patience and perfection." 

~Pope Benedict XVI, 10/19/08 Message at the Shrine of Pompeii

Dear Jesus and Mary, how good it is to spend time with you by praying the Rosary and meditating on its mysteries!  I beg you to make me an apostle of the Rosary for the praise and glory of the Father.  Amen.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

"Why Pray the Rosary?" by Brother John Samaha, S.M.

Ave Maria!  The month of October is traditionally dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary, or, as we so lovingly call upon her in the Litany of the Blessed Virgin (also known as the Litany of Loretto), the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary.  During this month, I will be writing about this vibrant Christocentric prayer which, as the Holy Father has pointed out, "is experiencing a new Springtime."  How can this not be so since the rosary is all about our Lord Jesus, the Living One, who is alive forevermore?!  He is the eternal Springtime who brings to fulfillment the promise of old:  "For winter is now past, the rain is over and gone" (Song of Songs 2:11).  Praying the rosary helps me to see more clearly that, in Christ, "the old has gone, the new has come!" It also helps me to live more fully the amazing truth that in Him, we are most assuredly a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Deo gratias!

Today's reflection on the rosary comes from the Mary Page at the University of Dayton, which states that its goal is to "gather and present information about the Virgin Mary and to lead people to a loving knowledge of her.  Learning more about Mary, we develop a more complete knowledge of Christ, his Church, and Christian life."  This rich Marian resource center is well worth exploring -- and its constantly being updated.

Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us! 

"Why Pray the Rosary?" by Brother John Samaha, S.M.

More than a century ago a proud university student boarded a train in France and sat next to an older man who seemed to be a peasant of comfortable means.  The brash student noticed the older gentleman was slipping beads through his fingers.  He was praying the rosary.

"Sir, do you still believe in such outdated things?" the student inquired. "Yes, I do. Don't you?" the man responded. The student laughed and admitted, "I do not believe in such silly things. Take my advice. Throw the rosary out the window, and learn what science has to say about it."

"Science? I do not understand this science. Perhaps you can explain it to me," the old man said humbly, tears welling in his eyes.

The university student noticed that the aging gentleman was deeply moved. To avoid hurting further the older person's feelings, he said, "Please give me your address and I will send you some literature that will explain the matter to you." The old man fumbled in the inside pocket of his coat and pulled out his card. On reading the card, the student lowered his head in shame and was speechless. The card read: Louis Pasteur, Director of the Institute of Scientific Research, Paris. The deluded student had encountered his country's leading chemist and bacteriologist, and a scientist of worldwide renown, who would give the world the scientific process that would bear his name -- pasturization.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Beauty of the Rosary


Today, together we confirm that the Holy Rosary is not a pious practice banished to the past, like prayers of other times thought of with nostalgia. Instead, the Rosary is experiencing a new Springtime. Without a doubt, this is one of the most eloquent signs of love that the young generation nourish for Jesus and his Mother, Mary. In the current world, so dispersive, this prayer helps to put Christ at the centre, as the Virgin did, who meditated within all that was said about her Son, and also what he did and said. When reciting the Rosary, the important and meaningful moments of salvation history are relived. The various steps of Christ's mission are traced. With Mary the heart is oriented toward the mystery of Jesus. Christ is put at the centre of our life, of our time, of our city, through the contemplation and meditation of his holy mysteries of joy, light, sorrow and glory. May Mary help us to welcome within ourselves the grace emanating from these mysteries, so that through us we can "water" society, beginning with our daily relationships, and purifying them from so many negative forces, thus opening them to the newness of God. The Rosary, when it is prayed in an authentic way, not mechanical and superficial but profoundly, it brings, in fact, peace and reconciliation. It contains within itself the healing power of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, invoked with faith and love at the centre of each "Hail Mary".  ~Pope Benedict XVI, 5/13/08 Address at St. Mary Major
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us!