- Sunday, 30 September 2012 21:28
… as God himself revealed through the mouth of the
prophet Isaiah: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, / your ways are not my
ways” (Isaiah 55:8). This is why following the Lord always demands of man – of
all of us – a profound conversion, a change in our way of thinking and living,
it demands that we open our hearts to listen, to let ourselves be interiorly
enlightened and transformed. A key point on which God and man differ is pride:
in God there is no pride, because he is the complete fullness of love and is
entirely disposed to love and give his life; in us men, however, pride is
deeply rooted and requires constant vigilance and purification. We, who are
little, aspire to appear big, to be the first, while God, who is truly great,
is not afraid to abase himself and become last. And the Virgin Mary is
perfectly in “synch” with God: let us invoke her with confidence so that she
might teach us how to faithfully follow Jesus on the path of love and humility.
Pope Benedict XVI
Sunday Angelus, excerpt
30 September 2012
- Monday, 27 August 2012 06:40
Everyone ought to have a “Saint Monica” figure in their lives. The sainted mother of Saint Augustine is the patron of spiritual maternity. Even though Monica was the biological mother of Augustine, she worked hard in the spiritual realm to get her son to give himself to Christ and his plan rather than his own plan of self-destructive behavior. Her constant prayer, fasting and good works all contributed to Augustine’s conversion. The collect for today’s Mass speaks volumes.
The Church prays
O God, who console the sorrowful and who mercifully accepted the motherly tears of Saint Monica for the conversion of her son Augustine, grant us, through the intercession of them both, that we may bitterly regret our sins and find the grace of your pardon.
- Saturday, 30 July 2011 08:48
Going along in my uncertainties I muddle over questions of life that affect me on the spiritual level. Perhaps others do the same. One of the things that Father Carrón is asking in his 2011 retreat for the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation is: do we recognize that despite our human weakness, or failings, that Christ still loves every part of me? Yes, but not always. Sometimes it is difficult to be aware such an expression of the Other. Why this is so, I am still trying to figure out. Let me know when you get the answer. The Abbot of Christ in the Desert in New Mexico writes a weekly online column which is often insightful. The following is a portion of that column that used for reflection:
Some people are insistent at times, to me, that it is
impossible any longer to lead a truly chaste and celibate life. My general
reply is that it has always been more or less impossible and is only truly
possible when there is a strong faith and a deep commitment to the Lord and a
trust that God will give us the strength that we need. Without a doubt that
have always been failures and there will always be failures, but that is to be
taken for granted in the human condition. Repentance and conversion are a part
of any Christian life and are always values and realities that struggle against
the brokenness that we find within us.
There is no doubt that all of us are
created good and that God always loves us. Our own understanding of ourselves,
though, helps us understand that our goodness has been compromised by others,
by ourselves and by situations outside of our control. The gifts of repentance
and conversion help us in our struggle against all within us that has been
This gift of the capacity to struggle against our brokenness is
one of the gifts of salvation given to us in Christ Jesus. Jesus is a model for
us in His humanity because He lived for truth and for the glory of His Father.
Jesus won and wins salvation for us by giving Himself up to death and by rising
from the dead.
Abbot of Christ in the Desert Monastery
- Friday, 01 April 2011 07:07
Coming to Christ –that’s what I am calling it when some comes into full communion with the Catholic Church (or Orthodoxy)– is not an easy thing for some people. Family, friends, employment, fear, and second-guessing the discernment can make “converting” all the more a royal pain. Only grace can sustain one’s move from one ecclesial body to another. A case in point has been those of the Anglican Communion coming to Catholic Church and now Byran Kemper, a baptized Catholic turn Presbyterian who founded the Stand True Ministries, among other things. Kemper is also the author of Social Justice Begins in the Womb (2010).
Why is Byran Kemper coming into full communion with the Catholic Church (he’s reverting to the Church in which he was baptized and through whom he received the pledge of future glory)?
He mentions a few factors that cradle Catholics often dismiss as important: the Liturgy, the Seven Sacraments, church authority, pro-life theology and activity, and friendship.
In the coming weeks as we move closer to the great feast of our faith, the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and where our brothers and sisters come home to Christ, add Bryan and the others in the RCIA programs around the world who will receive the Easter Sacraments at the Easter Vigil to your prayer list. Beg the Holy Spirit for the grace of fortitude.
- Sunday, 20 March 2011 16:58
Earlier this afternoon at St Patrick’s Cathedral, hundreds of people gathered to formally state their intention to receive their sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil. The Church of Saint Catherine of Siena has three men intending to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. We joined 67 other parishes in the Archdiocese of New York for the “Rite of Calling the Candidates to Continuing Conversion.”
The Most Reverend Archbishop Timothy Michael Dolan, archbishop of New York, presided at an hour long ceremony in which sacred Scripture was proclaimed and preached, prayers of supplication prayed and the candidates prayed over by His Excellency. Calling down the Holy Spirit asking for the grace of conversion was the goal.
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