Friday, April 24, 2015
Today is the Feast of St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen (now a part of Germany). Fidelis was a Capuchin monk whose Baptismal name was Mark Rey. The name Fidelis came from the Book of Revelation where the Lord says, "Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life." Fidelis lived up to his name when he was attacked and killed by a group who did not want to hear his message of reconciliation with the Church. We don't know the names of those who ended his earthly life, but we do know the name of the man who remained serenely faithful unto death. Today tempers would not run so high, we would hope, that listeners would turn violent. Now we Christians dialogue, and seek to work in a climate of peace and honesty. When we celebrate Saints such as Fidelis, we see how hostile parties can become deadly in their disagreements with those who do not see things the same way. May we who profess Christ as our Savior unite in solidarity with those Christians and others who are persecuted for their religious beliefs. St. Fidelis is a good patron to invoke for Christian unity, and for the grace to express what we believe in a clear and loving way. On another topic dear to me I want to let you know that a new movie is available that chronicles th elife of a pioneer in using media for God: "Media Apostle" the movie about Blessed James Alberione who founded the vast Pauline Family to use media for God is ready now from www.pauline.org. There is even a trailer on line to preview it. Have a blessed weekend!
Monday, April 06, 2015
This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! Each day of this octave (the week following) Easter we sing or say, "This is the day that the Lord has made!" We celebrate Christ's rising from the dead every day this week. In his book "From Resurrection to Pentecost" Bishop Robert Morneau quotes Gerard Manley Hopkins' poem "God's Grandeur". Despite news reports of bad things that happen around the world, we need to remember the good things that happen daily. We Christians have hope precisely because Christ overcame the finality of death. He is alive, and because he rose from the dead, we aim to be with him one day. When we close our eyes to this world, we want to open them to see the Risen Christ. The Risen Christ walked with the two Disciples of Emmaus. He explained the Scriptued and prophesies about him. Do we recognize when Christ walks with us during our day? In this life, we often experience slivers of his cross in our own sufferings. He told us that "unless a grain of wheat fall into the earth and dies, it remains only a grain of wheat. But, if it dies, it produces grain...". The Church Fathers compare Christ himself to the grain of wheat which died and was put into the earth, into a tomb. He sprang forth alive and transformed on Easter morning. Hopkins saw God at work in the beauty of creation. Enjoy his poem and see the Easter message in it:
God's Grandeur The world is charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out, like shining shook foil; It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod? Generations have trod, have trod, have trod; And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; And wears man's smudge, and shares man's smell: the soil Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod. And for all this, nature is never spent; There lives the dearest freshness deep down things; And though the last lights off the black West went Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward springs-- Because the Holy Ghost over the bent World broods with warm breast and ah! bright wings.As the poet saw the grandeur of God in creation, may we who are made in the image of God, be witnesses to the great Good News of the Resurrection. Have a blessed day and a blessed Week of the Resurrection! He promised to be with us not just at the end of our life, but through every minute. There is a simple prayer we Sisters say now and then to remind us that the Resurrected Jesus is among us: One prays: Jesus is with us. The other responds: We are with Jesus. Make sure to be truly him!
Friday, April 03, 2015
Sorrow descended on Garissa, Kenya yesterday just as we Christians around the world prepared to celebrate the Lord's gift of Eucharist, the priesthood and Christian love. Many families in Kenya mourn today as they they drink a chalice of terrible sorrow. As Mary mourned her Son's death, how many mothers, fathers, grandparents, brothers and sisters ache at the loss of a loved one wrenched from their midst by violence. Amid all the wailing, the tears and the gruesome work of finding and burying the dead, people may cry out, as Jesus did, "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?" Mary stood at the foot of the cross and heard her Jesus say, "Father, forgive them. They do not know what they are doing!" We pray for the repose of the souls of the scores of victims. We pray too for the conversion of mind and heart for the perpetrators. Let us pray that the hope Jesus brings through his resurrection will console all who mourn. Prayer is the power that you and I possess that penetrates every wall, crosses every sea, climbs every mountain. Because we are addressing God who is all powerful and everywhere, my prayer here in Boston can touch the lives of a person in Kenya, or in the Sudan, or the Sister right next to me. As we who are able to spend this Good Friday in prayer and reflection on what Jesus suffered for each and all of us, may we pray for those in Africa, those in our inner cities, those in prison who suffer today.