June 2020 M T W T F S S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Come Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of your faithful
and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit
and they shall be created.
And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
GREAT talk by Fr. Alar…
Explaining the Faith – Catholicism: The Fullness of the Truth
He is with us always – through the good times and with the hard times. When we are faithful as individuals and when we are not. When we believe it and when we don’t.
He doesn’t turn away when we, as people, fail. He sent us the Holy Spirit to guide us to the Truth, and the Truth will not change. Ever.
Jesus IS the Way, the Truth and the Life, and nothing that any of us can do will change the Truth. Not a Pope, bishop, not a priest, not a deacon, not anybody.
Praying to end abortion and then voting for people and policies that support it is like praying:
Heavenly father, Please end abortion. But don’t count on me to help out because I will be working against you by electing people who promote, support and even protect a woman’s right to kill her unborn child. And you can’t stop me or change my mind. Through Jesus and Mary. Amen.
See the problem?
I was recently struck by a piece of art which caused me to consider something I had never previously thought about.
While the relationship of Mary with her Son, Jesus, is familiar to us, we may have rarely, if ever, thought about how events may have affected her internally. Often we focus on how events affected Jesus, and give a cursory nod to His mother. For example, we know that the occasion of His passion had to be horrifyingly painful, both physically and emotionally; but do we often consider what it must have been like for Mary, His mother? If we are familiar with the Seven Sorrows Of Mary devotion and meditation, we may have an idea.
For those of us who are not familiar with the Seven Sorrows of Mary, here they are:
1. The Prophesy of Simeon – This was at the Presentation in the Temple, when Simeon prophesied of Jesus’ future suffering, as well as Mary’s:
Luke 2:33-35 33The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
2. The Flight Into Egypt – Joseph and Mary had to get Jesus out of the country in order to protect Him from Herod:
Matthew 2:13 13When they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.”
3. Loss Of The Child Jesus In The Temple – Joseph and Mary searched for Jesus for three days, not knowing where He could be:
Luke 2:44 46 44 – Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, 45 but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions,
4. Jesus And Mary Meet On The Way Of The Cross – Imagine what must have been going on in Mary’s heart and mind when she saw Him struggling to get to His own execution.
5. The Crucifixion – Unless I am a mother, can I possibly completely empathize with the pain of Mary as her Son hangs from the cross, struggling for each and every breath? Even if we have our own children, can we claim Mary’s exact level of agony?:
John 19: 25-27 25 Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
6. The Taking Down Of The Body Of Jesus From The Cross – Mary has watched as her Son was tortured. She has seen a lance pierce Jesus’ side. She has watched Him die and, yet, she lives on to suffer – even as His own suffering has ended.
John 19 33-38 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, 34 but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. 35 An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may come to believe. 36 For this happened so that the scripture passage might be fulfilled: “Not a bone of it will be broken.” 37And again another passage says: “They will look upon him whom they have pierced.” 38After this, Joseph of Arimathea, secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus. And Pilate permitted it. So he came and took his body.
7. The Burial Of Jesus – Mary says her final “Goodbye” to her Son and He is laid to rest in the tomb:
John 19:39-42 39 Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about one hundred pounds. 40 They took the body of Jesus and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices, according to the Jewish burial custom. 41 Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried. 42So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day; for the tomb was close by.
We can only imagine the pain that Mary experienced in her heart as she walked with her Son throughout His suffering passion. Perhaps made even more severe through her own innocence, purity and sinlessness, and her knowledge of His Divine Personhood.
In some ways, it was not Just her Son who was sacrificed – it was also His mother, Mary.
And let us not forget the words of Jesus when He looked down from the Cross and entrusted His mother to John, and John to His mother (John 19: 25-27) and, by extension, to all of us. Mary was with John every day throughout the rest of her life. He caring for her as his mother, she for him as her son.
And let us remember that John was, along with the other apostles, told to “Do this…”
Luke 22:19-2019 Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you.”
As an apostle commissioned by Jesus Himself to “do this”, John “did this”.
And Mary was there whenever he did so.
How, then, can we imagine her state, her heart, her mind, her soul when, as directed by, and through the action of, her Son, Jesus, she was reunited with Him – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity – each time she received Him in the Eucharist? How can we imagine the love, the joy, the peace that came over her after the pain she embraced during His previous passion and suffering?
I would say that we can’t, entirely…
Mary Receiving Her Son, Jesus, From St. John The Apostle
…But I would also say that we can, within our own limited capacity, experience the same love, joy and peace when we, recognizing His presence, receive Him in the Holy Eucharist.
Just being a nice person won’t get you into Heaven. And the other option isn’t going to be fun…
No matter what we believe or don’t believe about Hell now, at some point we will ALL believe it. And at that point, we will either be relieved or forever terrified…
Matthew 25:46 “And these will go into eternal punishment; but the just , to eternal life.”
Research (2014) by the Pew Research Center found that 72% of Americans believe in heaven, and a much lower number, 58%, believe in hell. That means that 42% of Americans don’t believe in hell! It is not “politically correct” to speak about hell, so forgive me, but I am going to be unpolitically correct…
In the video below, “Warning Young People About Hell,” Fr. Mark Goring speaks to young people about hell. He uses three references, St. Faustina (St. Faustina’s Diary), St. Jacinta of Fatima (In Lucia’s Own Words), and Our Lord Jesus Christ (The Holy Bible) to teach that there is a place called Hell and that lots of souls end up there. – Erlinda V. Teisinger