Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
- Sr. Mary Gabriel, SV: "In Baptism, you are promised two things: 1) That you are loved without limit; 2) That you can love without limit. Because Baptism promises the very life of God living in me.
- Cardinal Pell (Australia): It's when Peter looked around when he was walking on water and considered how ridiculous and impossible his situation was that he dropped.
- Jason and Crystalina Evert: Women can lead a man toward heaven through their modesty.
- Archbishop Miller (Canada): When trials and sufferings come, as they inevitably will, when you are built in Christ, then all you have to do is what Peter did in Matthew's Gospel -- cry out, "Lord, save me."
- Archbishop Dolan (New York): Sometimes we see the Church, the Body of Christ, as radiant, knock-down-dead-beautiful, and other times we see the side of the Bride with curlers in her hair and Noxema on her face. The nails that pierced Christ's hands on the cross have held His Church together for 2,000 years. We are heirs to the nails.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
We tend to be appalled every year by the lack of coverage of the March for Life, where 200,000 or so people descend upon the nation's capital in the defense of human life. But how can one even begin to imagine landing after a 9 hour and 14 minute flight from Madrid to Atlanta (waiting to fly home to Cincinnati), greeted by national papers that include a paragraph or two referring to an international event with 2.5 million attendees? So, in the next few days, I hope to offer coverage of the event that was not covered.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
“Marriage” in its Judeo-Christian context means the self-gift of a man and a woman to each other, so that God might bring each to Himself through the other. A man and a woman who get married vow that they will embrace the natural consequences of their life together as a gift from God, be they joyous or tragic: abundant children or the pain of sterility, lobster dinners or store-brand fish sticks, death in sleep at 90 or cancer at 30. It’s what Catholics call a vocation, a specific path to holiness that structures an entire life and everything in it.
But as any pastor who prepares couples for marriage can tell you, that vision of marriage is about as far from most couples’ minds as Mars is from Venus. If marriage is a gift of self, we now make sure to leave the tags on and keep the receipt.
What we expect from a marriage has changed: no-fault divorce helped change when we imagine a marriage ends, contraception helped change how we imagine a marriage should give life, and pornography helped change what we imagine should be done to and by whom in a marriage. In all three instances, what was part of an entire pattern of life that included but surpassed my momentary tastes has been broken apart into small fragments that I can change to suit my whims.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
As hundreds of thousands (even millions?) of Catholic young people gather in Madrid, Spain, for World Youth Day, follow along on the official World Youth Day site. Please pray for all of the pilgrims -- that our faith may be ignited along the journey.
Monday, August 15, 2011
For several years, I have found myself returning to John Paul II's World Youth Day homily from August 15, 1993. Since today is the 15th, and since I am currently in Spain for World Youth Day, I thought it would be appropriate to share the homily with you.
At this stage of history, the liberating message of the Gospel of Life has been put into your hands. And the mission of proclaiming it to the ends of the earth is now passing to your generation. Like the great Apostle Paul, you too must feel the full urgency of the task: "Woe to me if I do not evangelize" (1Cor 9,16). Woe to you if you do not succeed in defending life. The Church needs your energies, your enthusiasm, your youthful ideals, in order to make the Gospel of Life penetrate the fabric of society, transforming people’s hearts and the structures of society in order to create a civilization of true justice and love. Now more than ever, in a world that is often without light and without the courage of noble ideals, people need the fresh, vital spirituality of the Gospel.
Do not be afraid to go out on the streets and into public places, like the first Apostles who preached Christ and the Good News of salvation in the squares of cities, towns and villages. This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel (Cfr. Rom 1,16). It is the time to preach it from the rooftops (Cfr. Matth10,27). Do not be afraid to break out of comfortable and routine modes of living, in order to take up the challenge of making Christ known in the modern "metropolis". It is you who must "go out into the byroads" (Matth 22,9) and invite everyone you meet to the banquet which God has prepared for his people. The Gospel must not be kept hidden because of fear or indifference. It was never meant to be hidden away in private. It has to be put on a stand so that people may see its light and give praise to our heavenly Father.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Last fall we spent some time in Kenosis looking at various saints who could become our patron and patroness. The youth selected St. Maximilian Kolbe to fill the role. As a martyr for the family and a witness to God's love and generosity, he is an excellent model and intercessor for us as we seek to be disciples of love and life.
O Lord Jesus Christ, who said, "greater love than this no man has that a man lay down his life for his friends,"
through the intercession of St. Maximilian Kolbe whose life illustrated such love, we beseech you to grant us our petitions . . .
(here mention the requests you have).
Through the Militia Immaculata movement, which Maximilian founded, he spread a fervent devotion to Our Lady throughout the world. He gave up his life for a total stranger and loved his persecutors, giving us an example of unselfish love for all men - a love that was inspired by true devotion to Mary.
Grant, O Lord Jesus, that we too may give ourselves entirely without reserve to the love and service of our Heavenly Queen in order to better love and serve our fellowman in imitation of your humble servant, Maximilian. Amen.
(Say 3 Hail Marys and a Glory Be)
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Friday, August 12, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
This is why it pains me so much to see so many women in our culture behaving so crudely. Women seem to be losing all gentility and grace, choosing instead to be crass, vulgar, immodest, and unkempt. A man behaving badly is boorish, perhaps even savage. A woman behaving badly is just plain ugly. They are profaning the glorious gift of beauty God gave them. A flower should never be covered in dung.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
Sunday, August 7, 2011
“God loved my mother very much,” Molla told the staff. She added: “God chose her among many saint mothers. There must be many saint mothers in paradise.”
“I would not be here with you if I had not been loved so much,” said Molla, who lives near Milan, Italy. Her saintly mother gave her own life so that she might live by choosing to continue her pregnancy despite a uterine tumor in the 1960s.
“All my mom’s life has been a hymn to life,” Molla said. “She died in the same exemplary way she lived. Her holiness represents something extraordinary … a holiness in which everyone can feel at home.”
Read the whole story here.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
My first WYD experience comes to mind daily as I look at the small wooden cross necklace I received and the framed picture of Blessed John Paul II that I snapped as he smiled at me a few feet away in the middle of Toronto—both of which sit on my desk at work.
Nine years ago I was weeks away from my freshman year of college. A WYD encounter with a million young Catholics and with the Holy Father fueled my love of the Catholic faith.
Nearly a decade later, I see the fruit of that week with strangers in the middle of a Toronto field. The Holy Spirit has continued to work in my heart, leading me to fulltime ministry with teenagers in Cincinnati. And so for my third WYD, I will embark upon the journey with tremendous excitement and curiosity for how the Lord will work in the lives of the young people with whom I am traveling.
Who will they meet? How will they react when they see the pope? What crazy adventures will they experience while praying in the overnight vigil before the final day? How will Madrid impact their lives?
Friday, August 5, 2011
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Dear Saint John Vianney,
your childhood dream was to be a Priest,
to win souls for God.
You endured years of toil and humiliation
to attain the Priesthood.
You became a priest truly after God's own heart,
outstanding in humulity and poverty;
prayer and mortification.
Totally devoted to the service of God's people.
The Church has exalted you as model
and patron saint of all Parish priests,
trusting that your example and prayers
will help them to live up
to the high dignity of their vocation
to be faithful servants of God's people,
to be perfect imitators of Christ the Saviour
Who came not to be served but to serve,
to give His Life in ransom for many.
Pray that God may give to His Church today
many more priests after His own Heart.
Pray for all the priests under your patronage,
that they may be worthy representatives
of Christ the Good Shepherd.
May they wholeheartedly devote themselves
to prayer and penance;
be examples of humility and poverty;
shining modelss of holiness;
tireless and powerful preachers of the Word of God;
zealous dispensers of God's Grace in the Sacraments.
May their loving devotion to Jesus in the Eucharist
and to Mary His Mother
be the Twin Fountains of fruitfulness for their ministry.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
“There are no coincidences,” Blessed Pope John Paul II observed more than once. The insight reflected his belief that the central events and people that shaped his life and set him on the path to Rome were part of a divine plan revealed over time through the crucible of the cross.
This was the cross that cast its shadow on his own life and that of his beloved native land, forcing every believer to grapple with the mysterious purposes of a loving God who permits suffering, war and infirmity to serve as the “refiner’s fire,” silently and painfully advancing the pilgrim’s progress through the valley of death.
Yet, it’s one thing to read the statement — “There are no coincidences” — and something else to retrace the path of a man and a nation that clung to their hope in Christ as evil forces sought to destroy everything they held dear.
A weeklong pilgrimage to Poland barely scratches the surface of Karol Wojtyla’s own earthly existence. Still, the luminous beauty of his holy witness, nourished amid the defiant religious convictions of Polish Catholicism, draws the uninitiated into a direct confrontation with his mystical vision.
Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/a-pilgrim-in-poland/#ixzz1Tsh928JH