Christus resurrexit! Resurrexit vere! I wish you all a very Blessed and happy Easter. We rejoice today in the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ has overcome death and gained for us our salvation. By his stripes we were healed and there is no greater gift that could ever be given. Let us rejoice today and give thanks and praise to our God who loves us so much He would offer His only Son to ransom a slave. We are most definitely a chosen people. We have been freed! praise be Jesus Christ now and forever.
There is a saying that says never mistake humility for timidity or weakness. Yesterday, we heard the story of the Passion of Jesus Christ. As we reflect upon this narrative, there are a number of people to consider who show strength through humility and it is from these that we can learn wonderful lessons. These are small acts done with great love and humility. Small acts and yet they are remembered 2,000 years later. C.S. Lewis said in Mere Christianity “As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on thing and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.”
Simon of Cyrene showed his strength as he carried the cross of Christ. Embarrassed and humiliated as he was carrying the sign of a criminal. He knew that the crowds he passed would not know he was pressed into service but rather think him a criminal sentenced to death. He endured the insults and blows as he helped another. May we remember that we do not always know another’s story and thus be hesitant to judge their actions. Maybe that person speeding that just cut you off is going to see a dying relative in the hospital rather than trying to irritate you.
The weeping women of Jerusalem showed their strength in following Christ. While it was often the case that professional mourners were hired at funerals, it was also the case that the public mourning of criminals was forbidden. These women whom Christ encountered risk much for their public show of sorrow. Yet they chose to mourn and lament the condemnation of an innocent man. May we, by following their example, stand to weep when injustice is done in our day. May we, by humble supplications and public prayer, mourn the loss of innocents and show our strength, and resolve to change the culture of death.
Veronica came forward to comfort and console Christ in his journey. Wiping His face, she gave Him comfort. Certainly we can see humility in serving and comforting a condemned man; yet, to defy the guards escorting Jesus, to risk punishment for giving comfort to a criminal and in suffering the blows and buffets to move her away showed great strength. May we have the same strength of character as Veronica did when we have to opportunity to comfort a fellow human being.
Great strength does not come from physical prowess, though physical prowess can serve great strength, but comes rather from character and the heart. These receive their impetus from love. Only in great love can you derive great strength. It is unfortunate that today we so often misunderstand the concept of love. Love is not a feeling you have but a decision you make. Christ knew this and it was in love the He carried His cross willingly to Calvary. Married couples who stay together during difficult times do so not because of feelings, but because of a decision to do so. Mother Teresa said, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” Love moves us to have strength in humility and it is here that we can best serve our fellow man. May we approach Good Friday with a renewed zeal to follow the example of self sacrifice Jesus Christ showed us and may we arise on Easter morning filled with the love and mercy of our Glorified Lord. May charity fill our hearts and as we find strength through humility, may we resolve to do many “small things with great love”.
I have great news that will bring much rejoicing. Something has happened for which we have prayed for a number of years. Let us hope that this is the beginning of a momentous turn of events. I LOVE North Dakota! Just crossing the wires from Associated Press (AP) via USA Today...
N.D. lawmakers move to outlaw abortion
North Dakota House passes bill that defines life as starting at conception after state Senate passed the bill last month.
Here is the start to the article as it appears on the USA Today website. Due to copyright rules the entire article cannot appear here.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota lawmakers moved Friday to outlaw abortion in the state by passing a bill defining life as starting at conception.
To continue reading, CLICK HERE.
One week from today we begin the Paschal Triduum. So no as we begin to wrap up Lent, where are you in your relationship with God? Have you gone to confession? If you have, GREAT! Go again. If you haven’t the GO TO CONFESSION!! Please don’t let this Lent end without celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Your heavenly Father is waiting for you to come home just like the father in the parable of the Prodigal Son. So please, GO TO CONFESSION, it really isn’t as bad as you think it is. There isn’t anything that you can say that the priest hasn’t already heard. Confession is there to lift the weight from your shoulders, to allow you to be assured of forgiveness and so you can experience personally the mercy of God. So please, find your local church and just do it! You will be ever so glad you did.
Today I am happy to present my GUEST BLOGGER who comes to us all the way from ROME. Seán is a seminarian for the Diocese of Colorado Springs and is studying at The Pontifical North American College (PNAC) in Rome. He is a first year theologian and will be ordained to the priesthood in 2016. I am very thankful that he has taken the time from his studies to send us a reflection from Rome. I hope that we will be able to hear from him again from time to time. Please keep Seán in your prayers as he pursues his vocation to the priesthood. Without further ado, I present Seán…
When I arrived in Rome this past July to continue my studies and formation for the Priesthood, I never imagined that my first year would entail so many historic events at the neighboring Vatican Hill. This past Wednesday was without question, one of those memorable days. I was blessed with the opportunity to be in St. Peter’s Square as the white smoke started to come out of the chimney over the Sistine Chapel. The crowd itself was great witness to the life of the Church. In the crowd there were many young people and many others from all over the world. Some of the other seminarians from my college encountered people ranging from Protestants to atheists. It is incredible to see how the Holy Spirit draws souls into the life of the Body of Christ. When the new pope was named, I am sure that you readers back home knew more about what was going on than we did. No one knew who it was or where he was from. The scene of St. Peter’s façade, wet from the rain, aglow with the many lights, and a man in white, our Pope, standing in the center was incredible. When he asked for a moment of silence for us to pray that God would bless him in his ministry to the Universal Church, not a sound was heard; a truly incredible feat for a crowd so large and diverse. This Lent in the Eternal City has been a unique and historic time for our Holy Mother the Church. May the Holy Spirit ever continue to guide the men that are placed as the shepherds of so many souls. May our Mother Mary be with Pope Francis as he succeeds Pope Emeritus Benedict in the Petrine Office. Viva il Papa!
I never thought I would hear an atheist defend the Catholic Church. This really does show how reasonable the Church’s positions are regardless of the so called “Catholics” who keep calling for the Church to get “with the times”. As you may know Piers Morgan is one of the so called “Catholics”. Penn Jillette of “Penn and Teller” fame is a well known and outspoken atheist. Here is a video that is well worth seeing as Mr. Morgan gets schooled on the truths of the faith. Never thought I would applaud an atheist for his understanding. Why is it that the atheist has a better understanding of the Church than the Catholic?
On a much lighter note, in a few days I will have a GUEST BLOGGER!! One of my brothers in Rome will be writing a reflection on his time there as the church transitioned from Pope Benedict XVI to Pope Francis. STAY TUNED…
In the meantime, here is the video:
Here is something to think about. What are the odds of having three popes in one picture? This was sent to me by a priest friend. Just something to think about.
The last few days have been very exciting! We saw the election of a new Pope and, on a much smaller scale, I received my Call to Orders. What is that you ask? Well, in order for a man to be ordained, he must be called by Holy Mother Church. It doesn't matter how much he may want to serve, if the church doesn't ask him then it is not going to happen. This applies to deacons, priests and Bishops. In the case of the first two, Deacons and Priests, this invitation from Holy Mother Church comes through the Bishop or, in the case of religious orders, the competent major Superior. Their decision to extend the invitation is based upon the recommendation of faculty members and votes from the clergy overseeing the man's formation. This letter states that the Bishop or Superior is calling the man to appear at a certain place, at a certain time to receive ordination to the appropriate order. Thus, I have been called by Bishop Sheridan to appear on May 25, 2013 at 10:00 A.M. to receive the ordination to the diaconate. All very exciting. It is one thing to know that this will happen, and another thing entirely when it actually happens. But, enough about me...
I would like to know what your first impressions are about Pope Francis. Please leave me a comment. I am anxious to hear thoughts beyond the seminary walls.
Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum. Habemus Papam. Eminentissimum ac Reverendissimum Dominum. Dominum Georgium Marium Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Cardinalem Bergoglio Qui nomen sibi imposuit Franciscum.
Viva il Papa
And with those words, the world received the news of its new Pope Francis. Jorge Mario Bergoglio was chosen by the College of Cardinals to lead the Catholic Church. The 76 year-old Jesuit was the archbishop of Buenos Aires and that gives us a number of firsts. He is the first Jesuit ever to become pope, the first pope from the Americas (this hemisphere, Latin America, Argentina, etc) and the first pope to take the name Francis after St. Francis of Assisi. What a wonderful start! What does this all mean? I would like to refer to a very respected Vatican observer, Rocco Palmo, who says this on his blog:
By choosing the name of the founder of his community's traditional rivals, the 266th Roman pontiff – the first from the American continent, home to more than half of the 1.2 billion-member church – has signaled three things: his desire to be a force of unity in a polarized fold, a heart for the poor, and his intent to "repair God's house, which has fallen into ruin"... that is, to rebuild the church.
I am sure that the papers will be filled with his information and mis-information over the next few days. Let us remember the new pope in our prayers.
O God, who in your providential design willed that your Church be built upon blessed Peter, whom you set over the other apostles, look with favor, we pray, on Francis, our Pope, and grant that he, whom you have made Peter’s successor, may be for your people a visible source and foundation of unity in faith and of communion.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
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I am a Roman Catholic Priest for the Diocese of Colorado Springs. I am currently assigned to St. Dominic Catholic Church in Security, CO.
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