Archive for May 2010

Mary: Model of the Church at prayer

May 31, 2010

The most important means by which we show our love for God is to pray (despite what the social justice fanatics say).  As we close this month of our Blessed Mother, I offer these excerpts from Pope John Paul II’s General Audience talk of 10 Sept 1997:

2. She who at the Annunciation showed total availability for the divine plan represents for all believers a sublime model of attentiveness and docility to the Word of God.

In replying to the angel: “Let it be to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38) and in stating her readiness to fulfil perfectly the Lord’s will, Mary rightly shares in the beatitude proclaimed by Jesus: “Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it!” (Lk 11:28).

With this attitude, which encompasses her entire life, the Blessed Virgin indicates the high road of listening to the Word of the Lord, an essential element of worship, which has become typical of the Christian liturgy. Her example shows us that worship does not primarily consist in expressing human thoughts and feelings, but in listening to the divine Word in order to know it, assimilate it and put it into practice in daily life.

[snip]

Mary appears therefore as the supreme model of personal participation in the divine mysteries. She guides the Church in meditating on the mystery celebrated and in participating in the saving event, by encouraging the faithful to desire an intimate, personal relationship with Christ in order to co-operate with the gift of their own life in the salvation of all.

[snip]

We could add that for the People of God Mary represents the model of every expression of their prayer life. In particular, she teaches Christians how to turn to God to ask for his help and support in the various circumstances of life.

[snip]

By following her model, the Church learns to be bold in her asking, to persevere in her intercessions and, above all, to implore the gift of the Holy Spirit (cf. Lk 11:13).

5. The Blessed Virgin also represents the Church’s model for generously participating in sacrifice.  In presenting Jesus in the temple and, especially, at the foot of the Cross, Mary completes the gift of herself which associates her as Mother with the suffering and trials of her Son. Thus in daily life as in the Eucharistic celebration, the “Virgin presenting offerings” (Marialis cultus, n. 20) encourages Christians to “offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Pt 2:5). 

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Book recommendation

May 27, 2010

Lee Strobel [not Catholic, but Christian] wrote a book call “The Case For Christ” and I would highly recommend it. It deals with the evidence for Jesus and Biblical Christianity. He interviews about a dozen experts in various fields concerning Jesus, the foundation of Christian faith.

Social trend

May 26, 2010

You know that feeling you get when you’re at the beach standing in the ocean water, and you realize that you seriously underestimated the size of the wave that is about to swell up and crash over you…

Leadership Training Retreat/Workshop

May 20, 2010

We are pleased to announce our 2nd annual summer Leadership Training Retreat/Workshop to be held on June 25-26. We again plan to gather men in order to spiritually invigorate and practically equip current leaders and prospective leaders to enable them to serve more effectively the Catholic men in their existing and yet-to-be-formed parish men’s fellowship groups, and to continue to form a network of relationships among these leaders in the Diocese of Scranton. A light supper on Friday will precede communal prayer and an inspirational talk, followed by some evening conviviality. After Mass and breakfast on Saturday morning, we’ll get down to the business of organizing and improving our parish men’s fellowship groups. You’ll have the opportunity to share your men’s group experiences, and to solicit helpful advice from the group. Space is limited, so please register early! Printable Flyer-Registration Form

Abp Sheen on today’s Gospel

May 16, 2010

Abp Fulton J. SheenHere’s what Abp Fulton Sheen wrote about today’s Gospel reading at Mass (John 17:20-26) in Life of Christ:

The most profound preoccupations of His Sacred Heart embraced the dimensions of the universe, both of time and of space.  He would not only have His Apostles united in love with Him but would have all believing souls, through their ministry, also one with Him.  Their oneness with Him would not be global and confused, but personal and intimate, for He said, “I call my sheep by name.”  Though He was now addressing only eleven men, He had in mind all the millions who would later believe in Him through them and their successors.  A bond of unity must exist between believers and Him, built on that higher unity that exists between Him and the Father.  Since the Father and He are one in the Spirit, in a few minutes He would tell them that this Spirit must come upon them to make them truly one.  The Spirit He called the “Spirit of Truth,” i.e., His Spirit.  As the body is one because it has one soul, so shall humanity be one when it has the same Spirit which makes the Father and the Son one in heaven.  The unity which believers were to have with Him was to be through the intermediary of the Apostles.

He Who now said that He had completed His earthly work designated his followers as a community, or a fellowship.  At the beginning of the prayer, He had merely solicited His Father, saying, “It is for these I pray.”  Now He becomes more categorical and expresses His will, “This, Father, is my desire.”  He recognized that this unity is something that would be completely and perfectly achieved only in glory and in eternity.  This glory all the members of His Mystical Body would one day see when they are with Him; then would be revealed the glory that he had before He “the Word made flesh and dwelt amongst us,” the glory that was His “before the foundation of the world.”

An invitation to celebrate Pentecost

May 14, 2010

One week from tomorrow (Saturday, May 22), the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of the Diocese of Scranton will hold its annual Pentecost Celebration at St Nicholas Auditorium in Wilkes Barre.  There is no admission charge for the event (but you do need to call ahead to reserve a lunch if you want one).  The day is filled with spirited worship songs, testimonies of life-changing personal encounters with Jesus Christ, and exhortation to live a life in the Spirit.  I encourage you to stop by and check it out.  You don’t need to stay for the entire day – though your heart may make it difficult for you to leave once you’re there.  There’s something very attractive about being amid a hundred or so people giving expressive praise to our deserving Lord in song and prayer, and hearing how dramatically our Lord has worked in peoples lives.  Here’s the promotional flyer with all the details.

The Pill in review

May 12, 2010

A good post-Mother’s Day article by Fr Roger Landry examining some of the social effects of The Pill.