Our Salvation, Our Life, Our Resurrection

September 14, 2017 – Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross celebrates two historical events: the discovery of the True Cross by Saint Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine, in 320 under the temple of Venus in Jerusalem, and the dedication in 335 of the basilica and shrine built on Calvary by Constantine, which mark the site of the Crucifixion.

The basilica, named the Martyrium, and the shrine, named the Calvarium, were destroyed by the Persians in 614. The Church of the Holy sepulcher which now stands on the site was built by the crusaders in 1149.

However the feast, more than anything else, is a celebration and commemoration of God’s greatest work: his salvific death on the Cross and His Resurrection, through which death was defeated and the doors to Heaven opened.

The entrance antiphon for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is: “We should glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, for he is our salvation, our life and our resurrection: through him we are saved and made free.”

Source: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/saint.php?n=594

Advertisements

Pray for the Whole World

September 13, 2017 – Memorial of St. John Chrysostom

St. John Chrysostom’s influence on church teachings is interwoven throughout the current Catechism of the Catholic Church (revised 1992). The Catechism cites him in eighteen sections, particularly his reflections on the purpose of prayer and the meaning of the Lord’s Prayer:

Consider how [Jesus Christ] teaches us to be humble, by making us see that our virtue does not depend on our work alone but on grace from on high. He commands each of the faithful who prays to do so universally, for the whole world. For he did not say “thy will be done in me or in us”, but “on earth”, the whole earth, so that error may be banished from it, truth take root in it, all vice be destroyed on it, virtue flourish on it, and earth no longer differ from heaven.

Christian clerics, such as R.S. Storr, refer to him as “one of the most eloquent preachers who ever since apostolic times have brought to men the divine tidings of truth and love”, and the 19th-century John Henry Newman described John as a “bright, cheerful, gentle soul; a sensitive heart.”

Source: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=64

Mary: A Foreshadowing of God’s Love

September 8, 2017 – Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

On this Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I offer a reflection from the Franciscan Media website:

We can see every human birth as a call for new hope in the world. The love of two human beings has joined with God in his creative work. The loving parents have shown hope in a world filled with travail. The new child has the potential to be a channel of God’s love and peace to the world.

This is all true in a magnificent way in Mary. If Jesus is the perfect expression of God’s love, Mary is the foreshadowing of that love. If Jesus has brought the fullness of salvation, Mary is its dawning.

Birthday celebrations bring happiness to the celebrant as well as to family and friends. Next to the birth of Jesus, Mary’s birth offers the greatest possible happiness to the world. Each time we celebrate her birth, we can confidently hope for an increase of peace in our hearts and in the world at large.

Source: https://www.franciscanmedia.org/nativity-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary/

Labor Day Litany

September 4, 2017 – Labor Day

Labor Day Litany:

Let us offer our prayers to God, who pronounced all creation. God, who sent his Son to live and work as one like us, and who calls us to serve the poor and those oppressed. Lord, give success to the work of our hands.

Lord, give success to the work of our hands.

For all those who work:

Lord, give success to the work of our hands.

For those who are unemployed or underemployed, or have lost their jobs because of changing economic conditions, let us pray:

Lord, give success to the work of our hands.

For those who work in harzardous conditions without sufficient protection, let us pray:

Lord, give success to the work of our hands.

For migrant workers and all who work the land, let us pray:

Lord, give success to the work of our hands.

For all employers that they may seek to provide a just work environment:

Lord, give success to the work of our hands.

For those who face discrimination, harassment, or abuse in the work place, let us pray:

Lord, give success to the work of our hands.

For those who must balance job committments with the needs of their families, let us pray:

Lord, give success to the work of our hands.

Loving God, through your Son you gave us an example to love one another as He loved us. Give us the strength to continue working to bring forth your kingdom here on earth – a kingdom of justice and peace, kindness and compassion, grace and mercy. Grant this through Christ our Lord.

Amen

Source: http://acatholiclife.blogspot.com/2006/09/labor-day-prayers.html

Living the Mission of John the Baptist

August 29, 2017 – Memorial of the Passion of St. John the Baptist

It is John the Baptist who has pointed the way to Christ. John’s life and death were a giving over of self for God and other people. His simple style of life was one of complete detachment from earthly possessions. His heart was centered on God and the call that he heard from the Spirit of God speaking to his heart. Confident of God’s grace, he had the courage to speak words of condemnation, repentance, and salvation.


Reflection

Each of us has a calling to which we must listen. No one will ever repeat the mission of John, and yet all of us are called to that very mission. It is the role of the Christian to witness to Jesus. Whatever our position in this world, we are called to be disciples of Christ. By our words and deeds, others should realize that we live in the joy of knowing that Jesus is Lord. We do not have to depend upon our own limited resources, but can draw strength from the vastness of Christ’s saving grace.

Source: https://www.franciscanmedia.org/martyrdom-of-john-the-baptist/

Mary, Queen of Heaven

August 22, 2017 – Memorial of the Queenship of Mary

Today we celebrate the feast of the patroness of Bishop Chatard High School, Mary Queen of Heaven. To honor her in a special way, we will be praying the rosary together as a school.

The following, taken from the Catholic Culture website, speaks to the concept of Mary’s queenship:

Without doubt, then, does our holy Virgin possess a dignity that far transcends all other creatures. In the eyes of her Son she takes precedence over everyone else. In order to help us understand the preeminence that the Mother of God enjoys over all creation, it would help to remember that from the first moment of her conception the holy Virgin was filled with such a plenitude of grace as to surpass the graces enhancing all the saints.

Pius IX wrote in Ineflabilis Deus: “More than all the angels and all the saints has God ineffable freely endowed Mary with the fullness of the heavenly gifts that abound in the divine treasury; and she, preserving herself ever immaculately clean from the slightest taint of sin, attained a fullness of innocence and holiness so great as to be unthinkable apart from God Himself, a fullness that no one other than God will ever possess.”

To read the entire article, go to: https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2013-08-22

The Pope Who Loved the Holy Eucharist

August 21, 2017 – Memorial of St. Pius X, Pope

Today is the feast day of the patron of my home parish of St. Pius X

In 1858, Giuseppe Sarto became a priest. He was chosen as pope in 1903, and took the name of Pius X. He was canonized in 1954.

While serving as pope, he remembered a dream he once had about helping children. He announced a change in Church custom that allowed children as young as seven years old to receive the Eucharist. He encouraged all Catholics to attend Mass often and receive Holy Communion, becoming known as the pope who loved the Holy Eucharist.