- Sunday, 25 October 2015 11:02
Today’s gospel is pointing the way as we move to the end of the civil year and the end of the liturgical year: Jesus cures the blind man Bartimaeus. With the gradual loss of light we are keen to see, and spiritually speaking, to see in a new way. The blind beggar gives us the direction.
The only other man singled out (named in this way) for such a healing is Lazarus. We know from our study of and prayer with sacred Scripture will help is to recognize that a significant portion of Jesus’ mission was healing and making whole of humanity. This beggar Bartimaeus, a blind man from birth, knows he can find healing only from Jesus alone. The gift of sight given to Bartimaeus is not only physical, but also spiritual. He recognizes the Lord. And the consequence of sight is the act of following. And in this healing and following Bartimaeus becomes a disciple. This is our goal too: follow Christ closely.
Saint Clement of Alexandria speak of the grace of uncreated light: “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…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.”
The grace we ask for today is the grace to recognize the person of Jesus, the Son of David, Son of God, as the One who can give life, peace, and healing. As Clement indicates, from the Lord we are enlightened…the gift of openness to the Light of Faith.
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux gives us a hint of how to approach this enlightenment: “Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, thereby a kindly word; always doing the smallest good thing and doing it all for love.”
- Sunday, 12 February 2012 07:52
The Church prays today,
O God, who teach
us that you abide in hearts that are just and true, grant that we may be so
fashioned by your grace as to become a dwelling pleasing to you.
What other grace do we need but the grace to abide in Christ? The priest’s prayer at Mass in the anamnesis tells us and God that He lives hearts that are just and true.
The Gospel today relates something that calls to mind the work of Saint Damian of Molokai and Blessed soon-to-be-saint Marianne Cope who worked with and evangelized lepers in Hawaii. Their love was extroverted. No doubt the Lord’s touch and the saints’ humanity was likely the first substantial, real contact these “outcasts” experienced. The Lord’s touch of the leper is as the Prayer over the Offering prays, it “cleanses and renews” for the sake of our salvation. So much for us, too. May the Lord touch our uncleanness and sinfulness so that we may be close to Him.
What other than love and compassion did the Lord have for the marginalized? The medical leper and the spiritual leper always have on their lips Psalm 32: “I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.”
- Saturday, 30 April 2011 19:58
Holiness is all that matters. Period. Being with God is the ultimate goal of every Christian’s desire. The holiness of
a person whose cause is being considered for beatification rests on the
verification of a miracle -done by God at the request of another, in the case
at hand, at John Paul’s intercession. The person who received the gift of the miraculous
healing was Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, a sister of the Congregation of the Little
Sisters of Catholic Motherhood. Sister Marie Simon-Pierre was living with Parkinson’s
and attributes a complete healing to the intercession of Pope John Paul II. The
pope suffered from the same disease. The following testimony given in 2006 and
verified by medical professionals last autumn, sealed the case to beatify Pope John Paul II. Zenit provided the text.
In June 2001, I was diagnosed
with Parkinson’s disease. The disease had affected the whole left side of my
body, creating great difficulties for me as I am left-handed. After three
years, the initial phase of the disease, slow but progressive, was followed by
an aggravation of the symptoms: accentuation of the trembling, rigidity, pain,
From April 2, 2005, I began to worsen week by week, I grew worse day
by day, I was unable to write (I repeat that I am left-handed), and if I
attempted it, what I wrote was unintelligible. I could drive only for short
trips because my left leg would stiffen sometimes, and my rigidity would have
impeded my driving. Moreover, to do my work in a hospital, it took more time
than usual. I was exhausted.
After learning my diagnosis, it was difficult for
me to watch John Paul II on television. However, I felt very close to him in
prayer and I knew he could understand what I was going through. I also admired
his strength and courage, which motivated me not to give in and to love this
suffering, because without love none of this made sense. I can say that it was
a daily struggle, but my only wish was to live it with faith and in loving
adherence to the will of the Father.
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- Thursday, 10 March 2011 19:34
Earlier today I had the space of time to begin my lenten observance by thinking about healing and forgiveness. Without these two legs of the spiritual life personal renewal won’t happen. A talk was hosted by the Franciscan Life Center in Meriden, Connecticut, a ministry of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist. The executive director of the FLC Sister Barbara Johnson, FSE, made the presentation to about 75 people.
Sister Barbara, a licensed Marriage and Family therapist, began our discussion by eliciting areas that typically need healing and forgiveness: relationships (in families, among friends, infidelities, harmful family secrets, being alienated from others due to mis-awareness of reality), past events, yourself, deaths, trauma, illness, abortion, divorce, impatience, anger, acts of violence, abuse, addiction, etc. The list can be expanded. But you get the point: the human person is full of complexities.
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- Thursday, 04 November 2010 09:49
Many of you are in parishes with schools and/or youth groups
and have teens who are suffering from the effects of abortion. Please promote this
unique opportunity for them to come to a Day of Prayer and Healing for Teens –
For confidential registration or more information, please call Theresa at Lumina Hope and Healing after Abortion at 718-881-8008 and visit the Lumina website.