Monday, June 29, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
- 8 On that day, as evening drew on, he said to them, "Let us cross to the other side."
- Leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him.
- A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up.
- Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?"
- He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Quiet! Be still!" 9 The wind ceased and there was great calm.
- Then he asked them, "Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?"
- 10 They were filled with great awe and said to one another, "Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?"
I think the practical lesson that I took from this story is that we should never be distressed and afraid. Whenever terrible things happen in our life, we should turn to Christ and say, "Yes, I know you are here with me, I should not be afraid of anything." This is the mindframe that all the martyrs from the earliest Christians down to those being martyred in India and China today have had. Why be afriad of anything when Christ dwells with us?
As Catholics this point comes home even harder because we know we have Christ with us present in the tabernacle in every Church in the world. We also know that every time we go to mass we have an opportunity to receive Christ into our bodies in a real way. Shouldn't that make us go out into the world and realize that nothing can truly harm us and that all setbacks are just temporary? If only our faith could grow to that level, evangelism, catechisis, and other important roles of the laity would be easy to perform.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
I wanted to share with everyone a prayer that I do after I receive Holy Communion every day. I think it's absolutely beautiful, especially when you consider that we have become united with Christ in a real way when we receive him the the Holy Eucharist:
help me to remove from my mind every thought
or opinion which You would not sanction,
every feeling form my heart which You would not approve.
Grant that I may spend the hours of the day
gladly working with You according to Your will.
Help me just for today and be with me in it.
In the long hours of work,
that I may not grow weary or slack in serving You.
that they may not be to me occasions of uncharitableness.
In the day's worries and disappointments,
that I may be patient with myself and with those around me.
In moments of fatigue and illness,
that I may be mindful of others rather than of myself.
In temptations, that I may be generous and loyal,
so that when the day is over I may lay it at Your feet,
with its successes which are all Yours,
and its failures which are all my own,
and feel that life is real and peaceful,
and blessed when spent with You as the Guest of my soul.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Gianna Beretta was born in Magenta (Milan) October 4, 1922. Already as a youth she willingly accepted the gift of faith and the clearly Christian education that she received from her excellent parents. As a result, she experienced life as a marvellous gift from God, had a strong faith in Providence and was convinced of the necessity and effectiveness of prayer.
She diligently dedicated herself to studies during the years of her secondary and university education, while, at the same time, applying her faith through generous apostolic service among the youth of Catholic Action and charitable work among the elderly and needy as a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. After earning degrees in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Pavia in 1949, she opened a medical clinic in Mesero (near Magenta) in 1950. She specialized in Pediatrics at the University of Milan in 1952 and there after gave special attention to mothers, babies, the elderly and poor.
While working in the field of medicine-which she considered a “mission” and practiced as such-she increased her generous service to Catholic Action, especially among the “very young” and, at the same time, expressed her joie de vivre and love of creation through skiing and mountaineering. Through her prayers and those of others, she reflected upon her vocation, which she also considered a gift from God. Having chosen the vocation of marriage, she embraced it with complete enthusiasm and wholly dedicated herself “to forming a truly Christian family”.
She became engaged to Pietro Molla and was radiant with joy and happiness during the time of their engagement, for which she thanked and praised the Lord. They were married on September 24, 1955, in the Basilica of St. Martin in Magenta, and she became a happy wife. In November 1956, to her great joy, she became the mother of Pierluigi, in December 1957 of Mariolina; in July 1959 of Laura. With simplicity and equilibrium she harmonized the demands of mother, wife, doctor and her passion for life.
In September 1961 towards the end of the second month of pregnancy, she was touched by suffering and the mystery of pain; she had developed a fibroma in her uterus. Before the required surgical operation, and conscious of the risk that her continued pregnancy brought, she pleaded with the surgeon to save the life of the child she was carrying, and entrusted herself to prayer and Providence. The life was saved, for which she thanked the Lord. She spent the seven months remaining until the birth of the child in incomparable strength of spirit and unrelenting dedication to her tasks as mother and doctor. She worried that the baby in her womb might be born in pain, and she asked God to prevent that.
A few days before the child was due, although trusting as always in Providence, she was ready to give her life in order to save that of her child: “If you must decided between me and the child, do not hesitate: choose the child - I insist on it. Save him”. On the morning of April 21, 1962, Gianna Emanuela was born. Despite all efforts and treatments to save both of them, on the morning of April 28, amid unspeakable pain and after repeated exclamations of “Jesus, I love you. Jesus, I love you», the mother died. She was 39 years old. Her funeral was an occasion of profound grief, faith and prayer. The Servant of God lies in the cemetery of Mesero (4 km from Magenta).
“Conscious immolation», was the phrase used by Pope Paul VI to define the act of Blessed Gianna, remembering her at the Sunday Angelus of September 23, 1973, as: “A young mother from the diocese of Milan, who, to give life to her daughter, sacrificed her own, with conscious immolation”. The Holy Father in these words clearly refers to Christ on Calvary and in the Eucharist.
Gianna was beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 24, 1994, during the international Year of the Family.
St. Gianna, pray for us!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
What ever happened to Missals being in the pews anyway...
I wanted to share today's Office of Readings from the Liturgy of the Hours. The second reading really got me thinking. meditate on what Pope St. Gregory is saying and think about how the Church is moving towards the light of Christ - perfect and pure day - and out of the darkness of sin and dispair - thus making the Church and our lives in His Body the dawn.
I also thought about this reading from the perspective of doctrinal development. The early Church had a small grasp of all the theology we have today - the same doctrines and ideas were believed - but as the Church progresses, we move out of the darker ages of ignorance towards pure splendor as our knowlege of doctrine and the Nature of God continues to increase.
|The Church rises like the dawn|
Since the dawn goes from darkness into light, it is right that the Church of the elect should be called “dawn” or “first light.” As it is led from the night of disbelief into the light of faith, it is opened up to the splendour of heavenly brightness just as the dawn bursts into day after darkness. How right are the words of the Song of Songs: Who is she who is coming up like the dawn?The holy Church seeks the rewards of heavenly life and is rightly called the dawn because it deserts the shadows of sin and sparkles in the light of righteousness.
There is something subtler to learn from this, on considering the nature of the dawn. Dawn, or first light, proclaims that the night is over but does not yet manifest the full brightness of the day. It dispels night, it gives a beginning to the day, but still it is a mixture of light and darkness. All of us who follow the truth in this life, are we not exactly like the dawn? Some of the things we do are truly works of the light, but others are not entirely free of the remnants of darkness. No man is virtuous before you,says the psalmist, and again Scripture says we have all done wrong in many ways.
This is why Paul does not say “the night has passed and day has come,” but night has passed and day is approaching,showing beyond doubt that he is still in the dawn, after the end of darkness but still before rising of the sun.
The Church of the elect will be fully day only when the darkness of sin is no longer mixed in with it. It will be fully day only when it shines with the perfect warmth of a light that comes from within. God shows that we are still going through this dawn when he says to Job, Have you ever sent the dawn to its post? Something that is being sent somewhere is being sent from one place or state to another. What is the destined place of the dawn if not the perfect brightness of the eternal vision? And when it has reached its place, will it still have any of the darkness of the night that has passed? The dawn was intent on reaching its destined place when the psalmist said My soul thirsts for the living God; when shall I appear before the face of God?The dawn was hurrying to the place it knew to be its destiny when Paul said that he wanted to die and to be with Christ, and when he said For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
I was really encouraged that they allowed people to go to confession during a wedding though. Especially during this time of year, when weddings are rampant (we literally saw at least 5 weddings in Pittsburgh going on in one day!) it's nice that there's still ample access to the sacrament of reconciliation.
I really liked this photo, and turned it into a desktop wallpaper (1200 x 800). Next time I'll make sure that the Tabernacle is in focus instead of the candles. (There are a few more photos of the Cathedral on my blog.)