Monday, May 31, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
However, there is something more to be said about Pentecost. By the coming of the Holy Spirit, the revelation of the true God is at last made complete. Not only did the third Person of the most holy Trinity reveal himself at Pentecost. His coming enables us to see and understand in faith whatever Christ wanted to reveal to his disciples: “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.” What is this fullness of truth that the Holy Spirit means to lead us to? This fullness of truth is nothing else but the truth of God – the inner life of the Blessed Trinity. The Holy Spirit enables us to see the communion of the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit reveals to us that the Father and the Son are inseparable. “When the Lord established the heavens I was there…I (was) beside him as his craftsman, and I was his delight day by day, playing before him all the while, playing on the surface of his earth; and I found delight in the human race.” The Holy Spirit enables us to understand that this verse from the Book of Proverbs speaks of God’s only begotten Son who from the very beginning “was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The Holy Spirit enables us to understand that Christ reconciled us with the Father: “Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus by declaring to us the glory of God’s only begotten Son which, until his coming, has been hidden from the eyes of mortal men: “He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.”
The Holy Spirit takes from the wealth of Christ and declares it to us. He gives us access to whatever belongs to Jesus. We are not mere spectators to the glory that belongs to Jesus. The Holy Spirit allows us to enter into this glory. Thus, even in our afflictions, we continue to stand and “boast in hope of the glory of God.” We are not disappointed even in our afflictions “because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given us.” The Catechism tells us: “God is love: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God freely will to communicate the glory of his blessed life” (CCC, 257). “The ultimate end of the divine economy is the entry of God’s creatures into the perfect unity of the Blessed Trinity. But even now we are called to be a dwelling for the Most Holy Trinity…” (CCC, 260). By dwelling in us, the Holy Spirit enables us to find peace in the Blessed Trinity. And we shall remain in peace, with nothing to disturb us, so long as we remain in the Blessed Trinity. Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity wrote: “O my God, Trinity whom I adore, help me forget myself entirely so as to establish myself in you, unmovable and peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing be able to trouble my peace or make me leave you, O my unchanging God, but may each minute bring me more deeply into your mystery! Grant my soul peace. Make it your heaven, your beloved dwelling and the place of your rest. May I never abandon you there, but may I be there, whole and entire, completely vigilant in my faith, entirely adoring, and wholly given over to your creative action” (CCC, 260). O Most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee who art dwelling by Thy grace within my soul. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be world without end. Amen.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
A few Sundays ago, we heard from the book of the Apocalypse: “I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away…and I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem…The One who sat on the throne said, “Behold I make all things new.” By his resurrection, Christ makes all things new. But how does he do it? The Responsorial Psalm gives us the answer: “Lord, send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.” The Holy Spirit was the instrument by which God created the world. In the book of Genesis the world was described as covered with chaotic waters and the Spirit of God hovered over the waters. This world which was created by God in goodness was destroyed by sin. “Through the disobedience of one man, sin entered the world and together with sin entered death.” Because of this, God creates a new heaven and a new earth by sending us his Son whose death brings forth to us the Holy Spirit who renews the face of the earth. The Holy Spirit descends on a Sunday, on the first day of the week because on the first day, God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light. Evening came, morning followed, the first day. Pentecost Sunday is the first day of the re-creation of the world. On this day, God makes all things new.
Thus, the coming of the Holy Spirit renews the world. Pentecost Sunday is the day of renewal. He brings forth a new earth. He transforms us into a new creation through the Sacrament of Baptism. Some Sundays back, Jesus said to us, “I no longer call you slaves for a slave does not know what his Master is about. Instead, I call you friends because I have told you everything I heard from my Father.” Jesus calls us friends because he reconciled us with the Father through the Blood that he shed on the Cross. Once, we were enemies of God but now we are his friends, thanks to the Blood which was the price of our freedom from sin. However, at the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Lord does something more for us. We are not just friends. We have become sons and daughters of God. “Those who are led by the Spirit of God is a son of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a Spirit of adoption, through whom we cry, ‘Abba, Father!’” The Holy Spirit whom we received at baptism brings God so much closer to us: “My Father will love him and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.” The Holy Spirit dwelling in us is the pledge of eternal life. Baptism, which gives us the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, is the first day of our eternity. Unless he is driven away by our mortal sin, the Holy Spirit will dwell in us for ever: “I will ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always.” This is the newness which Christ’s resurrection ushers into the world. The Holy Spirit comes to renew the face of the earth.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created and you shall renew the face of the earth.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
2. O Mary, Queen of all the angels, full of grace, conceived without sin, blessed among creatures, living tabernacle of God, remember that painful and solemn moment in which the dying Jesus from the cross gave you John as your son, and in him all humanity and especially all the apostles. What tender love flooded your heart at that moment for those consecrated to the apostolate, to the following of the cross, to the love of Jesus! For your indescribable sufferings and those of your divine Son, for your motherly heart, O Mary, increase the number of apostles, missionaries, priests and virgins. May they be resplendent for sanctity of life, integrity of morals, solid piety, the deepest humility, the most firm faith, the most ardent charity. May they all be holy, purifying salt of the earth and light of the world.
3. O Virgin most pure, noble Queen of Martyrs, Morning Star, safe refuge of sinners, rejoice for the days in which you were teacher, comforter and Mother of the apostles in the cenacle, to invoke and receive the divine Paraclete, the Spirit with the seven gifts, Love of the Father and of the Son, transformer of the apostles. By your all-powerful intercession and by your humble and irresistible prayers, which always move God's heart, obtain for me the grace to realize the value of every human person, for whom Jesus Christ shed his most precious blood. May each one of us be enthusiastic about the beauty of the Christian apostolate. May the charity of Christ urge us on. May the spiritual misery of poor humanity move us. Grant that we may feel in our hearts the needs of childhood, of adolescence, of adulthood, of old age. Grant that vast Africa, immense Asia, promising Oceania, troubled Europe, the two Americas may exercise a powerful attraction on our souls. Grant that the apostolate of example and word, of prayer and the press, of films, radio and television, of the souls in purgatory, may conquer many generous persons, even to the point of the most heroic sacrifices. O Mother of the Church, O Queen of Apostles, our Advocate, to you we sigh, mourning in this valley of tears.
4. O our tender Mother Mary, gate of heaven, source of peace and happiness, help of Christians, trust of the dying and hope even of the desperate, I recall the blessed moment for you in which you left the earth to fly to the blessed embrace of Jesus. It was the omnipotent favor of God which assumed you into heaven, beautiful and immortal. I see you exalted above the angels and saints, confessors and virgins, apostles and martyrs, prophets and patriarchs, and even I, from the midst of my sins, dare to add the voice of an unworthy but repentant sinner to praise and bless you. O Mary, convert me once and for always. Give me a repentant life, that I may have a holy death and one day join my voice to that of the saints to praise you in heaven. I consecrate myself to you and through you to Jesus. With full awareness and here in the presence of all the heavenly court, I renew the promises made in holy Baptism. I renew the resolution, which I place in your heart, to fight my self-love and to combat unceasingly against my principal defect, which so often has cast me into sin. O Mary, gain for yourself the greatest glory: change a great sinner into a great saint, O refuge of sinners, O morning star, O comforter of the afflicted.
5. O Mary, Star of the Sea, my gentle sovereign, our life and Queen of Peace, how great and how wonderful the day on which the Holy Trinity crowned you Queen of heaven and earth, dispenser of all graces, our most lovable Mother--what a triumph for you! What happiness for the angels, for the saints, for the earth, for purgatory! I know, O Mary, that those who love you will be saved, and that those who love you greatly will be holy and will participate one day in your glory in heaven. I do not doubt your clemency nor your power; I fear my inconstancy in praying to you. Obtain for me perseverance. O Mary, be my salvation. I feel my passions, the devil, the world. O Mary, hold me close to you and to your Jesus! Do not permit me to fall; do not leave me even for an instant, O Mother. It is consoling to cast the first glance upon you in the morning, to walk under your mantle during the day, to fall asleep under your gaze at night. You have smiles for innocent children, strength for struggling youth, light for working men and women, comfort for old age awaiting heaven. O Mary, to you I consecrate my entire life; pray for me now and in the final battle at the hour of my death. Receive my soul when it breathes its last, and do not leave me until I kneel before your throne in heaven, to love you for all eternity. O Mary, my Queen, my advocate, my sweetness, obtain for me holy perseverance.
Monday, May 17, 2010
The whole article responds to the accusation that the new translation is a regression. I would like to post an excerpt of the article:
"the new Missal translation does not return to something past. A reading of the
texts does not reveal precious or antiquated language; there are no thee's and
thou's. This excerpt from the Third Eucharistic Prayer is not Elizabethan or
King James English:
Therefore, O Lord, as we celebrate the memorial
of the saving Passion of your Son,
his wondrous Resurrection and Ascension into heaven,
and as we look forward to his second coming,
we offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice.
This is not antiquated English; this is formal and sacral English.
To use this kind of language is not "retrograde," nor does it represent an effort to "freeze" the "Spirit of Vatican II." It is, instead, faithful to the nature of the Liturgy -- a formal and public worship, where formal language is therefore appropriate.
Sacral language marks what we are doing as sacred and holy, not ordinary or
everyday. The Mass, as the "source and summit" from which our life in Christ
flows, is the holiest thing that we do, in which we participate in Christ's own
prayer as high priest. If that doesn't warrant language set apart from the
ordinary, then nothing does."
The author (Rev. Robert Johansen) gave this conclusion:
"The new Missal, because of its greater fidelity, will be an antidote to that
confusion. If my own effort to gauge the response of faithful Catholics shows
anything, it is that most of the people in the pews will take the implementation
of the new language in stride. Far from the "pastoral disaster" feared by some,
I believe that the new Missal, if approached in a spirit of fidelity, will
provide all Catholics with an opportunity to enrich their faith and lead to the
deeper participation in the liturgy that Vatican II envisioned."
Just follow the link:The New Missal: Disaster or Opportunity? [Updated]
Sunday, May 16, 2010
We are mindful that, without Jesus, we can do nothing good (cf. Jn 15:5) and that only through him, with him and in him,will we be instruments of salvationfor the world.
Mother of Mercy, it was your Son Jesus who called us to become like him: light of the world and salt of the earth(cf. Mt 5:13-14).
Help us, through your powerful intercession, never to fall short of this sublime vocation, nor to give way to our selfishness, to the allurements of the world and to the wiles of the Evil One.
Mother of the Church, we priests want to be pastors who do not feed themselves but rather give themselves to God for their brethren, finding their happiness in this. Not only with words, but with our lives, we want to repeat humbly, day after day, our "here I am".
Guided by you, we want to be Apostles of Divine Mercy, glad to celebrate every day the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar and to offer to those who request it the sacrament of Reconciliation.
Advocate and Mediatrix of grace, you who are fully immersed in the one universal mediation of Christ, invoke upon us, from God, a heart completely renewed that loves God with all its strength and serves mankind as you did.
Repeat to the Lord your efficacious word:"They have no wine" (Jn 2:3), so that the Father and the Son will send upon us a new outpouring ofthe Holy Spirit. Full of wonder and gratitude at your continuing presence in our midst, in the name of all priests I too want to cry out:"Why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" (Lk 1:43).
Saturday, May 15, 2010
In our times, digital communications offer to us new possibilities for reaching the furthest corners of the earth. In his message for today, our Holy Father wrote: “Church communities have always used the modern media for fostering communication, engagement with society, and, increasingly, for encouraging dialogue at a wider level. Yet the recent, explosive growth and greater social impact of these media make them all the more important for a fruitful priestly ministry.” In the light of the Year for Priests, the Holy Father addressed the need for the pastoral presence of priests in cyberspace. In as much as “All priests have as their primary duty the proclamation of Jesus Christ”, they have to respond to the challenge of preaching the gospel amidst the cultural shifts of the present. Priests must make use of new communications technologies: “Priests stand at the threshold of a new era: as new technologies create deeper forms of relationship across greater distances, they are called to respond pastorally by putting the media ever more effectively at the service of the Word.” “Priests can rightly be expected to be present in the world of digital communications as faithful witnesses to the Gospel, exercising their proper role as leaders of communities which increasingly express themselves with the different ‘voices’ provided by the digital marketplace. Priests are thus challenged to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources (images, videos, animated features, blogs, websites) which, alongside traditional means, can open up broad new vistas for dialogue, evangelization and catechesis.” (Responding to this challenge of the Holy Father, I am now maintaining a blog which you might want to visit. Just type “sense of the sacred. blogspot” in your search engines.) “Using new communication technologies, priests can introduce people to the life of the Church and help our contemporaries to discover the face of Christ.” However, the Pope also reminds us that “priests present in the world of digital communications should be less notable for their media savvy than for their priestly heart, their closeness to Christ.”
Friday, May 14, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Friday, May 7, 2010
Those familiar with Scripture will find this new commandment strange. How can the commandment to love one another be new? Love isn’t necessarily a New Testament novelty. Isn’t the greatest commandment of the Old Testament about love? “You shall love the Lord your God with all your soul, and all your mind, and all your heart, and all your strength. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Yes, love wasn’t an invention of the Lord Jesus. Even before he came as man, the world has already known what love is. And so why call it a novelty? What makes this commandment of Jesus really new?
It is not the idea of love that is new but rather the standard of love. The commandment of old has made the self as the standard of love: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” When our Lord promulgated his new commandment, he made himself as the standard of love: “As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” By doing so, the Lord Jesus elevated the standard of love. For when we have thought that there could be no one else who could love us more than ourselves, the Lord tells us that he loves us more than we can ever love our own selves. “As the Father loves me, so do I love you,” the Lord tells us. The standard of Jesus’ love for us is the love of the Father for him. This is a tremendous mystery for no one can ever comprehend the love between the Father and the Son in the Holy Trinity! Nothing can surpass the love of the Father for his Son. And he loves us in the way he is loved by the Father! He loves us with the same intensity and the same infinity of the Father’s love for him. When this incomprehensible Divine Love is translated in human measurable terms, it becomes an awesome sight: it is the image of Christ on the Cross. Christ on the Cross is the most profound expression of love until the end: “There can be no greater love than this: that a man should lay down his life for his friends!” And this love which is to the end is the very standard of our love for each other: “Christ suffered for you to leave you an example so that you may follow in his footsteps.” “Christ laid down his life for us. We should lay down our lives for each other.” It is by his sacrifice on the Cross that Christ is glorified by the Father and that Christ glorified his Father. If we love one another by laying down our lives in the fashion of Christ’s generous self-donation, we likewise glorify Christ and in him, we glorify the Father.