Saturday, October 13, 2012

Devotion for today: It is the love of Christ that fills our hearts

Today we will look at two more sections of the Pope’s letter announcing the Year of Faith.

Scripture for meditation: 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

Scripture for reflection: Matthew 28:19
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

 7. Caritas Christi urget nos” (2 Cor 5:14): it is the love of Christ that fills our hearts and impels us to evangelize. Today as in the past, he sends us through the highways of the world to proclaim his Gospel to all the peoples of the earth (cf.Mt 28:19). Through his love, Jesus Christ attracts to himself the people of every generation: in every age he convokes the Church, entrusting her with the proclamation of the Gospel by a mandate that is ever new. Today too, there is a need for stronger ecclesial commitment to new evangelization in order to rediscover the joy of believing and the enthusiasm for communicating the faith. In rediscovering his love day by day, the missionary commitment of believers attains force and vigour that can never fade away. Faith grows when it is lived as an experience of love received and when it is communicated as an experience of grace and joy. It makes us fruitful, because it expands our hearts in hope and enables us to bear life-giving witness: indeed, it opens the hearts and minds of those who listen to respond to the Lord’s invitation to adhere to his word and become his disciples. Believers, so Saint Augustine tells us, “strengthen themselves by believing”. The saintly Bishop of Hippo had good reason to express himself in this way. As we know, his life was a continual search for the beauty of the faith until such time as his heart would find rest in God His extensive writings, in which he explains the importance of believing and the truth of the faith, continue even now to form a heritage of incomparable riches, and they still help many people in search of God to find the right path towards the “door of faith”. Only through believing, then, does faith grow and become stronger; there is no other possibility for possessing certitude with regard to one’s life apart from self-abandonment, in a continuous crescendo, into the hands of a love that seems to grow constantly because it has its origin in God.8. On this happy occasion, I wish to invite my brother bishops from all over the world to join the Successor of Peter, during this time of spiritual grace that the Lord offers us, in recalling the precious gift of faith. We want to celebrate this Year in a worthy and fruitful manner. Reflection on the faith will have to be intensified, so as to help all believers in Christ to acquire a more conscious and vigorous adherence to the Gospel, especially at a time of profound change such as humanity is currently experiencing. We will have the opportunity to profess our faith in the Risen Lord in our cathedrals and in the churches of the whole world; in our homes and among our families, so that everyone may feel a strong need to know better and to transmit to future generations the faith of all times. Religious communities as well as parish communities, and all ecclesial bodies old and new, are to find a way, during this Year, to make a public profession of the Credo.

My thoughts: Pope Benedict XVI is inviting us to become missionaries right where we are, in our daily lives, in our families, workplaces and neighborhoods. He states that we must go out into the highways of the world to “proclaim his Gospel to all the peoples of the earth”. How many people today feel compelled to adopt the stance of society, to tell themselves that although they believe the teachings of the Catholic Church, which reflect the teachings of Christ, they have no right to push these beliefs onto others?  So I have no right to tell anyone that anything is wrong unless society says it is wrong, not God? We must wake up to what is happening in the world.We find we are tongue-tied to explain why the Church is so counter-cultural, and that is why we need the Year of Faith. We must take the challenge placed before us by Pope Benedict XVI and learn our faith, and love our faith, so that “it opens the hearts and minds of those who listen to respond to the Lord’s invitation to adhere to his word and become his disciples.” This is a golden opportunity for us to find out who we really are and what we stand for, to stop taking the path of least resistance on issues such as abortion and to be bold and profess the truth, which is found in God alone. A good place to start is with the “Catechism of the Catholic Church”.  In it you will find the Church’s position on all issues. Another good read is “The Confessions of St. Augustine” to which Pope Benedict XVI referred. A third way to increase your faith is to just ask yourself, “What do I really stand for” because if you don’t stand for something, you stand for nothing. Stand up, and be counted as a true believer, and find the love of Christ filling your heart.

Prayer of St. Ambrose:
Teach me, O Lord, to search for you. Show yourself to me when I search for you. If you do not teach me first, I cannot seek you. If you do not reveal yourself to me, I cannot find you. In longing, may I search for you, and in searching, long for you. In love may I find you, and in finding you, Love You. Amen.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Devotion for today: The Year of Faith is a summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord

Continuing with our examination of Pope Benedict XVI’s letter announcing the year of faith, which started yesterday:

5. In some respects, my venerable predecessor saw this Year as a “consequence and a necessity of the postconciliar period”, fully conscious of the grave difficulties of the time, especially with regard to the profession of the true faith and its correct interpretation. It seemed to me that timing the launch of the Year of Faith to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council would provide a good opportunity to help people understand that the texts bequeathed by the Council Fathers, in the words of Blessed John Paul II, “have lost nothing of their value or brilliance. They need to be read correctly, to be widely known and taken to heart as important and normative texts of the Magisterium, within the Church's Tradition ... I feel more than ever in duty bound to point to the Council as the great grace bestowed on the Church in the twentieth century: there we find a sure compass by which to take our bearings in the century now beginning.” I would also like to emphasize strongly what I had occasion to say concerning the Council a few months after my election as Successor of Peter: “if we interpret and implement it guided by a right hermeneutic, it can be and can become increasingly powerful for the ever necessary renewal of the Church.”

6. The renewal of the Church is also achieved through the witness offered by the lives of believers: by their very existence in the world, Christians are called to radiate the word of truth that the Lord Jesus has left us. The Council itself, in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, said this: While “Christ, ‘holy, innocent and undefiled’ (Heb 7:26) knew nothing of sin (cf. 2 Cor 5:21), but came only to expiate the sins of the people (cf. Heb 2:17)... the Church ... clasping sinners to its bosom, at once holy and always in need of purification, follows constantly the path of penance and renewal. The Church, ‘like a stranger in a foreign land, presses forward amid the persecutions of the world and the consolations of God’, announcing the cross and death of the Lord until he comes (cf. 1 Cor 11:26). But by the power of the risen Lord it is given strength to overcome, in patience and in love, its sorrow and its difficulties, both those that are from within and those that are from without, so that it may reveal in the world, faithfully, although with shadows, the mystery of its Lord until, in the end, it shall be manifested in full light.”
The Year of Faith, from this perspective, is a summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the one Savior of the world. In the mystery of his death and resurrection, God has revealed in its fullness the Love that saves and calls us to conversion of life through the forgiveness of sins (cf. Acts 5:31). For Saint Paul, this Love ushers us into a new life: “We were buried ... with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:4). Through faith, this new life shapes the whole of human existence according to the radical new reality of the resurrection. To the extent that he freely cooperates, man’s thoughts and affections, mentality and conduct are slowly purified and transformed, on a journey that is never completely finished in this life. “Faith working through love” (Gal 5:6) becomes a new criterion of understanding and action that changes the whole of man’s life (cf. Rom 12:2; Col 3:9-10; Eph 4:20-29; 2 Cor 5:17).
Romans 12:2: Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Col 3:9-10: Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

Eph 4:20-29:  That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.  You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;  to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.  Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

2 Cor 5:17: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

My thoughts: Pope Benedict XVI tells us that it is time for us to learn our faith. The misunderstandings and false statements being made about our beautiful faith today must be countered by knowledgeable facts. We must take time this year to rediscover the truth about who we are as Catholics. Begin today by meditating on the above Bible passages, and make a commitment to spend this year of faith becoming a truly faith-filled lover and follower of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Devotion for today: Welcome to the Year of Faith!

Beginning today, and continuing for several day, we will look at the apostolic letter of Pope Benedict XVI announcing the year of faith. Today we will look at sections 1-4.






1. The “door of faith” (Acts 14:27) is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his Church. It is possible to cross that threshold when the word of God is proclaimed and the heart allows itself to be shaped by transforming grace. To enter through that door is to set out on a journey that lasts a lifetime. It begins with baptism (cf. Rom 6:4), through which we can address God as Father, and it ends with the passage through death to eternal life, fruit of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, whose will it was, by the gift of the Holy Spirit, to draw those who believe in him into his own glory (cf. Jn 17:22). To profess faith in the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is to believe in one God who is Love (cf. 1 Jn 4:8): the Father, who in the fullness of time sent his Son for our salvation; Jesus Christ, who in the mystery of his death and resurrection redeemed the world; the Holy Spirit, who leads the Church across the centuries as we await the Lord’s glorious return.

2. Ever since the start of my ministry as Successor of Peter, I have spoken of the need to rediscover the journey of faith so as to shed ever clearer light on the joy and renewed enthusiasm of the encounter with Christ. During the homily at the Mass marking the inauguration of my pontificate I said: “The Church as a whole and all her Pastors, like Christ, must set out to lead people out of the desert, towards the place of life, towards friendship with the Son of God, towards the One who gives us life, and life in abundance.”[1] It often happens that Christians are more concerned for the social, cultural and political consequences of their commitment, continuing to think of the faith as a self-evident presupposition for life in society. In reality, not only can this presupposition no longer be taken for granted, but it is often openly denied.[2] Whereas in the past it was possible to recognize a unitary cultural matrix, broadly accepted in its appeal to the content of the faith and the values inspired by it, today this no longer seems to be the case in large swathes of society, because of a profound crisis of faith that has affected many people.

3. We cannot accept that salt should become tasteless or the light be kept hidden (cf. Mt 5:13-16). The people of today can still experience the need to go to the well, like the Samaritan woman, in order to hear Jesus, who invites us to believe in him and to draw upon the source of living water welling up within him (cf. Jn 4:14). We must rediscover a taste for feeding ourselves on the word of God, faithfully handed down by the Church, and on the bread of life, offered as sustenance for his disciples (cf. Jn 6:51). Indeed, the teaching of Jesus still resounds in our day with the same power: “Do not labour for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life” (Jn 6:27). The question posed by his listeners is the same that we ask today: “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” (Jn6:28). We know Jesus’ reply: “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” (Jn 6:29). Belief in Jesus Christ, then, is the way to arrive definitively at salvation.

4. In the light of all this, I have decided to announce a Year of Faith. It will begin on 11 October 2012, the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, and it will end on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King, on 24 November 2013. The starting date of 11 October 2012 also marks the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a text promulgated by my Predecessor, Blessed John Paul II,[3] with a view to illustrating for all the faithful the power and beauty of the faith. This document, an authentic fruit of the Second Vatican Council, was requested by the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in 1985 as an instrument at the service of catechesis[4] and it was produced in collaboration with all the bishops of the Catholic Church. Moreover, the theme of the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops that I have convoked for October 2012 is “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith”. This will be a good opportunity to usher the whole Church into a time of particular reflection and rediscovery of the faith. It is not the first time that the Church has been called to celebrate a Year of Faith. My venerable Predecessor the Servant of God Paul VI announced one in 1967, to commemorate the martyrdom of Saints Peter and Paul on the 19th centenary of their supreme act of witness. He thought of it as a solemn moment for the whole Church to make “an authentic and sincere profession of the same faith”; moreover, he wanted this to be confirmed in a way that was “individual and collective, free and conscious, inward and outward, humble and frank”.[5] He thought that in this way the whole Church could reappropriate “exact knowledge of the faith, so as to reinvigorate it, purify it, confirm it, and confess it”.[6] The great upheavals of that year made even more evident the need for a celebration of this kind. It concluded with the Credo of the People of God,[7] intended to show how much the essential content that for centuries has formed the heritage of all believers needs to be confirmed, understood and explored ever anew, so as to bear consistent witness in historical circumstances very different from those of the past.

My thoughts: Summaries: Paragraph 1: Faith is a life-long journey, begun at Baptism, and open to anyone seeking the Truth. Paragraph 2: We need to rediscover the joy and enthusiasm of our faith journey so we can present the faith to a society which is openly denying the faith. 3) By reawakening in ourselves a hunger for God’s word and for the Eucharist, we can renew our belief in Jesus Christ as the way to arrive at salvation. 4) The year of faith begins today and ends on the Feast of Christ the King, November 24, 2013, Today’s date is significant because it is the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, and because it marks the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The first Year of Faith was in 1967, pronounced by Servant of God Paul VI to enable the whole Church to make “an authentic and sincere profession of the same faith” witnessed by Sts. Peter and Paul.
 May we, too, take the opportunities presented to us this year to grow in our knowledge and understanding of our beautiful faith, to increase our spirituality by prayer and meditation, and to fall in love with Jesus Christ truly present in the Eucharist. May God bless us all with the fortitude and determination necessary to complete this year-long journey of faith. Amen.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Devotion for today: Can you handle the truth?

Scripture for meditation: John 8:31-32
 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Scripture for reflection: John 18:38
Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?”

Colonel Nathan R. Jessep Addresses the Court on "Code Red" in the movie, “A Few Good Men”
Truth, you can’t handle the truth.

Pope Benedict XVII calls Caritas in Veritate: Charity in Truth: This dynamic of charity received and given is what gives rise to the Church’s Social teaching, which is caritas in veritate in re sociali: the proclamation of the truth of Christ’s love in society. This doctrine is a service to charity, but its locus is truth. Truth preserves and expresses charity’s power to liberate in the ever-changing events of history. It is at the same time the truth of faith and of reason, both in the distinction and also in the convergence of those two cognitive fields. Development, social well-being, the search for a satisfactory solution to the grave socioeconomic problems besetting humanity all need this truth. What they need even more is that this truth should be loved and demonstrated. Without truth, without trust and love for what is true, there is no social conscience and responsibility, and social action ends up serving private interest and the logic of power, resulting in social fragmentation, especially in a globalized society at difficult times like the present. “Caritas in Veritate” is the principle around which the Church’s social doctrine turns, a principle that takes on practical form in the criteria that govern moral action…justice and the common good. (Charity in Truth, Ignatius Press, 2009)

My thoughts: So we learn here that truth is the convergence of faith and reason.  Well, that makes sense. If a scientist tells us that, through study and research, he has determined that bones found in Maryland are dinosaur bones, we believe him (faith) because he has all the degrees and insights (reason) to tell us this is so. Can you see, then, how powerful truth becomes in the hands of people in power if it is not governed by a higher authority, an adherence to truth as defined by God? Was there any love in the “truth” Hitler spread among the Germans about the Jews? Was it really “truth” to peddle cigarettes to the public when the tobacco companies knew there were health risks, yet kept that news private? They didn’t lie, like Hitler, they just didn’t say anything. The Pope tells us that without trust and love for what is true, there is no social conscience and responsibility, and social action ends up serving private interest and logic of power. We see that in our society today. Have your read any articles recently about the abundance of cases of “post- abortion shock syndrome?” I didn't think so. Do you know that birth control pills are classified as a Type 1 carcinogen by the World Health Organization, along with cigarettes and asbestos, yet they are now being promoted as part of a necessary women’s health coverage? Cigarettes and asbestos are bad, but birth control pills, which are the only pharmaceuticals on the list, are part of a necessary health care plan? Can we handle the truth? I don’t think many drug companies think we actually want to know the truth. Is this charity in truth, caring more for a woman’s true health than for a healthy bottom line? Of course not, and this is just one of many examples of “truth” as defined by society today. The Pope is right. Who gains from these deceptions? Private interests do.
God- driven truth is not deceptive. It does not care about money or power. That is why society today is trying so hard to silence religious institutions. They speak the real truth, and that, my friends is a threat to the culture of death. Open your eyes to the world in which we live. Pray for it. Challenge it. Dare to try to change it. But above all, keep your eyes on the truth, which is found in Jesus Christ, and THAT truth will set you free.,,

Prayer for the nation:
God our Father, Giver of life,
we entrust the United States of America to Your loving care.
You are the rock on which this nation was founded.
You alone are the true source of our cherished rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Reclaim this land for Your glory and dwell among Your people.

Send Your Spirit to touch the hearts of our nation´s
leaders. Open their minds to the great worth of human life
and the responsibilities that accompany human freedom.
Remind Your people that true happiness is rooted in seeking and doing Your will.

Through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, Patroness of our land,
grant us the courage to reject the "culture of death."
Lead us into a new millennium of life. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Devotion for today: Success is not usually luck

Scripture for meditation: Ephesians 6:13-17
Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;]in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And now for our weekly devotional sports story:

Some people succeed because they are destined to, but most succeed because they are determined to: There once was a Louisville University quarterback who dreamed of playing pro football. Upon graduation, however, no pro team drafted him. So he wrote to several teams and finally got an opportunity to try out for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He gave his best effort, but wasn’t chosen. His friends said, “You got a raw deal…it wasn’t meant to be…I guess it’s time to hang up your cleats.” But the young athlete didn’t give up. He continued to knock on doors and write letters. Finally, he received another invitation. But again, he didn’t make the team. Most people would have given up long before this point, but not him. He was fanatic about his personal dream. From his early days of playing sandlot football, he had been obsessed with this goal. So, patiently and persistently, he continued to pursue try out opportunities. Finally, he was invited to try out for the Baltimore team…and he made the third string! Through training and many hours of drills and fitness building, he worked his way up to be being starting quarterback. Indeed, he became one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play in the NFL. The dreamer’s name? Johnny Unitas.  Keep driving until you arrive at your goal line! (God’s Little Devotional Book, Honor Books Inc., 1995)

 My thoughts: If you are a football fan, you certainly tuned into the New Orleans Saints/ San Diego Chargers game on Sunday night. Drew Brees broke the long standing record set by Johnny Unitas for most consecutive games throwing at least one touchdown pass. Here, in our story, we meet our man Johnny doing everything humanly possible to reach his goal, and his plan is the one we should follow to get to our goal line…crossing into heaven. 1) Have the dream of spending eternal life in heaven. 2) In the face of setbacks along the way, create a new game plan. If you feel you constantly fail in getting close to God, explore new ways to pray, study, and show mercy. 3) Ignore nay sayers who tell you there is no need to strive for heaven. People today will tell you that everyone makes the heaven team, so why worry, or that there isn’t a heaven team to make, so why bother? Take it from the saints, there is a heavenly team, and not everyone gets on it. 3) Be patient and persistent. Pray every day and in your prayer let God know how much you love Him and want to spend eternity with Him. Then tell Him to do His will with your life. 4) Spend hours in drills and fitness training. Life for those seeking a close relationship with God is tough in today’s societies. Christian persecution is raging throughout the world. You will feel it, too, if you speak the truth and live a life exemplifying God’s standards. So be tough. Be strong. Know your faith. Build your spiritual muscles so that when the devil tries to defeat you, you can fight back. I sat in front of Johnny Unitas one Sunday at Mass in Baltimore. What a thrill to turn around at the handshake of peace and see such a sports hero behind me. He had his head bowed in humble prayer, and when he looked up, he gave me a sincere smile. Walk humbly with your God, and you will be a hero on God’s team, the only team that really matters. May Johnny’s soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Prayer: A morning prayer
Good morning Lord! Thank you for this beautiful day! Thank you for waking me up and giving me another chance at life. Thank you for all the gifts you have given to me: for you are my King, my Lord, my God and my All, and I will love you forever and ever. I love you, Jesus my Love; I love you with all my heart. I repent of ever having offended you. Never permit me to separate myself from you again. Grant that I may love you always, and then do with me as you will. Amen

Monday, October 8, 2012

Devotion for today: the family…founded on marriage and open to life

Scripture for mediation: Genesis 1:24
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one flesh.

Scripture for reflection: Mark 10:6-9
“At the beginning of creation God made them male and female; for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and the two shall become as one. They are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, let no man separate what God has joined.”

Blessed John Paul II tells us: Being rooted in the personal and total self-giving of the couple, and being required by the good of the children, the indissolubility of marriage finds its ultimate truth in the plan that God has manifested in His revelation: He wills and He communicates the indissolubility of marriage as a fruit, a sign and a requirement of the absolutely faithful love that God has for man and that the Lord Jesus has for the Church.
Christ renews the first plan that the Creator inscribed in the hearts of man and woman, and in the celebration of the sacrament of matrimony offers a "new heart": thus the couples are not only able to overcome "hardness of heart," but also and above all they are able to share the full and definitive love of Christ, the new and eternal Covenant made flesh. Just as the Lord Jesus is the "faithful witness," the "yes" of the promises of God and thus the supreme realization of the unconditional faithfulness with which God loves His people, so Christian couples are called to participate truly in the irrevocable indissolubility that binds Christ to the Church His bride, loved by Him to the end. The gift of the sacrament is at the same time a vocation and commandment for the Christian spouses, that they may remain faithful to each other forever, beyond every trial and difficulty, in generous obedience to the holy will of the Lord: "What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder."
To bear witness to the inestimable value of the indissolubility and fidelity of marriage is one of the most precious and most urgent tasks of Christian couples in our time. So, with all my Brothers who participated in the Synod of Bishops, I praise and encourage those numerous couples who, though encountering no small difficulty, preserve and develop the value of indissolubility: thus, in a humble and courageous manner, they perform the role committed to them of being in the world a "sign"-a small and precious sign, sometimes also subjected to temptation, but always renewed-of the unfailing fidelity with which God and Jesus Christ love each and every human being.

Prayer To Save A Marriage
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother.  To thee do I come, before thee I kneel, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the World Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer them. Please hear our Prayer to Save our Marriage. We pray this Prayer to Save Marriage through your name and in the name of Jesus Christ your son, - AMEN (

My thoughts: Blessed John Paul II clarifies marriage so well. It is the sacrament where the love of God for the Son, the love of the Son for His Church, and the love of God and His Son for a man and a woman all find fulfillment. Father Holmes, the Parochial Vicar at my parish, told us on Sunday that the ancient word for “rib” can also mean life. The very formation of woman from man, then, is based on his gift of life to her. In marriage, the love of a husband and a wife culminates in an act so beautiful that it is capable of bringing life into the world. Once man and woman have united themselves to each other, one giving of his being and the other receiving his being into her, a bond has formed which can never be broken. Two have become one, forged together in a life-giving unit. Blessed John Paul says that that bond is what Christ has forged with His Church: as His spouse, we are forever united to Christ in love. His sacrifice on the Cross, His sacrifice of death for us, is the basis of our terms in marriage. We will love each other through horrible difficulties, and we will sacrifice ourselves for each other until death do us part. Why? Because the Catholic married couple is the sign and symbol of hope for society today. In a selfish world where children are aborted because they are a burden, where the elderly and disabled are assisted in suicide so they won’t be a burden to their children, where living together without commitment is the norm -  a strong Catholic family, willing to accept all children abled and disabled, to care for their aged parents, to stay faithful to each other and sacrifice for the good of each other and of their children, points to the beauty of family life that God had in mind when he created man and woman and gave them the capacity to love and be loved and bring forth life from that love. God gave us His Son, His Son gave us His Life, and we do the same as a strong and loving family. We are the future of society, and we have a hard job ahead of us. Let us pray to St. Michael, the Holy Spirit and all the saints in heaven to assist us in doing battle with the sin in today’s world. If God gave us life, then who or what is giving us all this death?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Devotion for today: Have no anxiety at all

Philippians 4:4-6, 8-9

Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again, Rejoice!

Your kindness should be known to all.

The Lord is near.

Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition,

With thanksgiving, make your requests known to God…

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable,

Whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,

Whatever is gracious

If there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise,

Think about these things.

Keep on doing what you have learned and seen in me.

Then the God of peace will be with you.