Thursday, July 28, 2016
Earlier this week we read of the violent death of 85 year old Father Jacques Hamel, a priest of the Diocese of Rouen, France. Two young men entered the Church in the small village of St. Etienne near Rouen. They killed Father after they forced him to his knees. The Church has lived through many persecutions, some memorialized by churches, statuary and monuments. I believe it was the early theologian Origen who said, "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the faith." Father Hamel could have retired 10 years ago when he reached he age of seventy-five. Since he had the energy and the will to keep in his post as an active priest, he stayed on. People loved him because of his dedication, his kindness, gentleness and humility.
Sunday, May 15, 2016
Happy Birthday Church,that is, best wishes for a great celebration to all of us members of the Church. The Church began with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit "on Mary and the Apostles," and all who were present with them in the Cenacle. The Acts of the Apostles tells us that after the Ascension of Jesus the early Christians, Apostles and the holy women and other first disciples of Jesus. Where they had been timid about their belief in Jesus as Lord, now they were all proclaiming to crowds of people the Good News of the Savior, Jesus of Nazareth. At the Ascension of Jesus he had promised that they "would be clothed with power from on high when the Holy Spirit comes to you." May we share in this same "Pentecostal" experience and rejoice in the gift which is the grace of God and membership in this Church. Let's ask to be "clothed with that power from on high. That power grants us the seven Gifts of the Spirit: wisdom, knowledge, counsel, fear of the Lord, understanding, piety and fortitude. We can always grow in these gifts which are also virtues.
We are not Christians "part time", only at certain moments, in certain circumstances, in certain decisions; no one can be Christian in this way, we are Christians all the time! Totally! May Christ's truth, which the Holy Spirit teaches us and giveds to us, always and totally affect our daily life. Let us call on him more often so that he may guide us on the path of disciples of Christ. Let us call on him every day. I am making this suggestion to you: let us invoke the Holy Spirit every day, in this way the Holy Spirit will bring us close to Jesus Christ.As we see in the Scriptures the Apostles were gathered with Mary and they all received the Holy Spirit. Sister Mary Ann Lorraine wrote about Mary, Queen of Apostles. Enjoy her enlightening words. Here is the link which I am typing and I hope you will be able to open. http://thomasfortoday.blogspot.com/2016/05/mary-and-holy-spirit.html Let us ask Mary, Mother of Jesus and Queen of the Apostles, to grant us each a new and deep Pentecostal experience of truly living in the Spirit! Have a Happy and Holy Pentecost as we celebrate our common Birthday together!
Monday, May 02, 2016
Today is only the second day of May. The weather is damp and a bit chilly, yet the sun is still behind all those clouds. We are OK with the rain, since April showers were missing most of the time. I planted some morning glory seeds last week and they have already sprouted in their window sill containers. I plan to put them in place at our Dedham, Massachusetts Pauline Book & Media Center. Today our Sisters in Pauline Books & Media shipping department are very happy. Our print run of the Pope's New Document, Amoris Laetitiae arrived this morning--jut as it was promised to us by the printers. See the little video: https://youtu.be/opNW_0WAm_Y.
Thursday, April 07, 2016
Happy Easter! Christ is risen! Yes, He is truly risen! The Easter season lasts for several weeks, so it's OK to wish people a Happy Easter even in this second week of Easter! Usually I post a few lines to Facebook everyday. So I apologize for being remiss about my own blog. For various reasons I have spent more time at our Pauline Books & Media Center in Dedham, Massachusetts lately. Before Easter folks were looking for gifts for the many new Catholics being received into the Church on Holy Saturday. Since May is traditionally the month of First Communions, especially for East Coast Catholics, we have been really busy with families seeking First Holy Communion books and gifts.
Friday, March 25, 2016
The Pope treated this today:
Impress, Lord, in our hearts the sentiments of faith, hope, love and sorrow for our sins.When Jesus bowed his head and said,
"Father, into your hands I commend my spirit,"the hearts of his mother and his followers at the foot of the cross must have felt so devastated, so alone. Yet, he had told Dismas, the thief who from his cross had asked to be remembered in Jesus' kingdom: "Today you will be with me in Paradise." Somehow remembering that sentence must have lit a flicker of hope amid the sadness at seeing Jesus die such a brutal death.
Thursday, March 24, 2016
At 5:30 this evening, Holy Thursday, two priests con-celebrated the Mass of the Lord's Supper in our chapel. The reading from Exodus reminded us of the Passover meal, and the blood of the lamb sprinkled over the doorways of the Hebrew households spared them from death as they prepared to flee Egypt. The reading from St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians clearly teaches that the bread we eat and the wine we drink are the Body and Blood of Christ. Jesus gave us his Body and Blood to nourish us on our way in life. In Chapter 6 of John's Gospel, Jesus had promised that he would "give us his body as food and his blood as drink". Some people walked away from Jesus then. Jesus did not call out to them and say: "Hey, wait a minute. I meant to just give you a sign, a symbol of my humanity. Come on back. Forget what I just said." No, Jesus was a prophet and not a politician. He spoke the truth because he is The Truth. We believe Jesus' promise to care for us and actually nourish us who believe in his "Real Presence" in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Paul wrote that he received from the Lord what he handed down to us. Tonight we remember that Greatest of Gifts the Eucharist which is so available to millions of us throughout the world. God wired us so that we need to eat about three times a day. So why not feed our soul what it yearns for--that union of our whole self with the whole Self of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Wednesday, March 02, 2016
We are in the middle of our Great Lent--the once a year time when we focus as a whole church on Christ's Passion and what caused that Passion: sin. Rather than on sin itself, which we are all aware of we zero in on Christ. His life and death redeemed us, made reparation for our sins. When he comments on Jesus' heading towards Jerusalem, the Scripture writer Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis sums up the purpose of Jesus becoming one of us like this:
The Letter to the Hebrews, having at its center the whole Christian theology of atoning sacrifice, spells out in clearest terms how Jesus' eventual self-oblation is the very purpose of the Incarnation, It also shows us how the holocaust of Jesus' life and body toward which he is ascending in Jerusalem like Isaac carrying the wood on his back up Mount Moriah, is the highest fulfillment of the Father's design.One of our first Sisters in the USA often repeated that when it comes to living a good life and accepting the crosses which come our way, it is not a matter of having a "grin and bear it" attitude. That could be something forced and eventually will evaporate. No, rather Sister would say, "It is a matter of giving love for love." Christ died for love and with love. Love is what makes the ugly beautiful, the heavy light, and the unsufferable bearable. Jesus said that we can do nothing worthwhile for heaven by ourselves. But, as St. Paul passionately emphasizes, "With God I can do all things!" St. Paul did endure a lot of suffering, fatigue, shipwreck, beatings and an entire litany of sufferings. In the end he would say, "I can do all things in him [Christ] who strengthens me!" May your day be lighter and lovelier because of the love of God poured out on you. My prayers are with you for a very blessed day!