- Sunday, 25 March 2012 22:58
(evening prayer) with the gathered bishops of Latin America at the
Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of Light, (Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico) this evening the Holy
Father address the following homily. His thoughts turn our attention to a
deeper fidelity in belonging to Christ, being true in communion with others,
rooted and ground in Love. The homily is terrific, he hits on some real significant issues that concern the Catholic Faith and the promotion of Justice. But I can’t help thinking that the Pope is treating this pastoral visit as a giant Ad limina.
It gives me great joy to be able to pray with all of
you in this Basilica-Cathedral of León, dedicated to our Lady of Light. In the
lovely painting venerated in this basilica, the Blessed Virgin holds her Son in
one hand with immense tenderness while extending her other hand to succour
sinners. This is how the Church in every age sees Mary. We praise her for
giving us the Redeemer and we put our trust in her as the Mother whom her
divine Son bequeathed to us from the Cross. For this reason, we invoke her
frequently as “our hope” because she has shown us Jesus and passed down to us
the great things which God constantly does for humanity. She does so simply, as
a mother teaches her children at home.
A decisive sign of these great things is
given to us in the reading just proclaimed at these Vespers. The people of
Jerusalem and their leaders did not acknowledge Christ, yet, by condemning him
to death, they fulfilled the words of the prophets (cf. Acts 13:27). Human evil
and ignorance simply cannot thwart the divine plan of salvation and redemption.
Evil is simply incapable of that.
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- Sunday, 25 March 2012 09:36
Mary would never see the world in the same way again because she had conceived beneath her heart, The Word, the Son of God made flesh within her. The Word from the mind of God now in her being…She would now have to see everything through the eyes of that Word and everything would change. “Nothing would again be causal and small, but everything with light invested,” (J. Duffy, “The Annunciation”). Christ, the Light of the World.
That’s what happens when we come to know Christ, to possess Christ, to bring Christ into our very being, flesh of our flesh, blood of our blood. When our heart beats with Christ’s heart we see the whole world differently. We look into the womb of every mother and see the image of the Son of God.
John Joseph Cardinal O’Connor
8th Archbishop of New York, 1984-2000
- Wednesday, 21 December 2011 11:05
Advent is moving us closer and closer to the Incarnation of the Eternal Word of God–Jesus. Among the rich readings of sacred Scripture we have in the Liturgy, there is today’s that recalls for us Mary’s visiting her cousin Elizabeth who is pregnant with John the Baptist. The Visitation is the second of the Joyful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary.
Looking at what is given to us to meditate on, the vocation of woman is brought out. Looking around us the culture does’t offer too many exceptional models of woman for us to take inspiration.
This morning we prayed the Sacrifice of the Mass with the young women of New York’s Dominican Academy, Dominican Father Ignatius Schweitzer said he noticed six characteristics which portray Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as a fitting role model for all people, but noteworthy of women. While Mary may be a little removed from some Christians real experience, I think the lack is filled with Mass readings today.
The six characteristics are:
1. Mary is a woman of faith;
2. Mary puts her faith into action;
3. Mary takes the initiative;
4. Mary brings joy to Elizabeth;
5. Mary is a community-builder;
6. Mary is a caring mother.
It is up to us to flesh out the details of these characteristics because TODAY the Savior is recognized.
- Monday, 12 December 2011 06:01
A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars
O God, Father of mercies, who placed your people under the singular protection of your Son’s most holy Mother, grant that all who invoke the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe may seek with ever more lively faith the progress of peoples in the ways of justice and of peace.
- Thursday, 08 December 2011 06:45
The dogma of Mary’s Immaculate Conception was given to us by Pope Pius IX and proclaimed in the document, Ineffabilis Deus (1854), solemnly defining a clear and consistent teaching of the Church since 33 AD.
If you ask the question: What can you tell me about Mary as Patroness of America? Boston’s Archbishop (later Cardinal) Richard Cushing wrote an answer.
Famously, the 23 US bishops in 1846 (note: nearly a decade before the dogma’s definition) wrote to the Pope asking for Mary under the title of the Immaculate Conception to be bestowed on the country’s young Church. The bishops wrote:
We take this occasion, brethren, to communicate to you the determination, unanimously adopted by us, to place ourselves and all entrusted to our charge throughout the United States, under the special patronage of the holy Mother of God, whose Immaculate Conception is venerated by the piety of the faithful throughout the Catholic Church.
By the aid of her prayers, we entertain the confident hope that we will be strengthened to perform the arduous duties of our ministry, and that you will be enabled to practice the sublime virtues, of which her life presents the most perfect example.
Pastoral Letter of the Bishops of the United States
Sixth Provincial Council, Baltimore, 5 May 1846