The Rosary: A Prayer for Peace in the Family and the World

Tags

, , ,

Rosary and Bible_01

In the Catholic Church, May is a month devoted to honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary. There are many Marian devotions, the most popular and well-known is the recitation of the Most Holy Rosary, a prayer that St. John Paul II called “a compendium of the Gospel.”

At the beginning of the third millennium, “which witnesses every day in numerous parts of the world fresh scenes of bloodshed and violence,” St. John Paul II issued Rosarium Virginis Mariae, an Apostolic Letter on the Rosary.

In this letter, he urged the faithful to pray the Rosary for peace. He said the Rosary is a “means to immerse oneself in contemplation of the mystery of Christ who ‘is our peace’, since he made ‘the two of us one, and broke down the dividing wall of hostility’ (Eph 2:14).” The Pope stressed that “one cannot recite the Rosary without feeling caught up in a clear commitment to advancing peace.”[1]

Continue reading

A Word of Thanks to Women

Tags

, , , , ,

Thank You Women JPII

On this Mother’s Day weekend, we want to salute all women using the beautiful words of St. John Paul II in his letter to women.

I would now like to speak directly to every woman, to reflect with her on the problems and the prospects of what it means to be a woman in our time. In particular I wish to consider the essential issue of the dignity and rights of women, as seen in the light of the word of God.

This “dialogue” really needs to begin with a word of thanks. As I wrote in my Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem, the Church “desires to give thanks to the Most Holy Trinity for the ‘mystery of woman’ and for every woman-for all that constitutes the eternal measure of her feminine dignity, for the ‘great works of God’, which throughout human history have been accomplished in and through her” (No. 31).

Continue reading

Husbands and Fathers: Your Task is to Image the Heavenly Father

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Gerrit_van_Honthorst_-_Childhood_of_Christ (2)

Childhood of Christ, Gerrit van Honthorst, c. 1620

This past week, the Church celebrated the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker (May 1). Scripture says that Joseph was a “just man” (Mt 1:19). Although Scripture records no words of Joseph, from his actions we can discern that he was a compassionate, caring man. We know Joseph loved Jesus and Mary. When the angel came to tell him that his family was in danger, he immediately left everything and fled to a strange country with his young wife and baby. He waited in Egypt without question until the angel told him it was safe to go back (Mt 2:13-15).

Upon returning from Egypt, Joseph settled his family in the obscure town of Nazareth out of fear for his life. When Jesus stayed in the Temple, we are told Joseph and Mary searched with great anxiety for three days for him (Lk 2:48). We also know that Joseph treated Jesus as his own son because over and over the people of Nazareth say of Jesus, “Is this not the son of Joseph?” (Lk 4:22).

Continue reading

Love, Mercy, and Forgiveness

Tags

, , , , , ,

Divine Mercy Mary JPII (2)

Today, on this the last day of the Octave of Easter, the readings for the Mass focus on the mercy of God. Pope John Paul II at the canonization of St. Faustina in 2000, declared that the “Second Sunday of Easter, which from now on throughout the Church will be called ‘Divine Mercy Sunday.’”[1] The feast is based on the private revelations of St. Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun, who recommended a particular devotion to the Divine Mercy.

In his homily on the first celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday, St. John Paul II stressed that love is the foundation of mercy, both in God’s mercy to us, His creatures and in our relationships with others:

Continue reading

Love Revealed

Tags

, , , ,

God is Love

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5

Isaiah 52:13-53:12 makes up the fourth of the “Servant Songs” of the Book of Isaiah. This prophesies of the one who will save us from our iniquities. God became man for one reason: to die on the cross to free humanity from the chains of sin and death. Jesus is the “Suffering Servant” foretold in these prophecies. His death on the cross for our salvation shows us the true meaning of love: “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down is life for his friends” (Jn 15:13). Jesus is love personified.

Continue reading

Lenten Reflection: The Theological Virtue of Love – Part II

Tags

, , ,

Ben XVI_Married Love_02

On this the Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, we continue our reflections on the Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope, and Love. This week we will continue to look at the virtue of love.

Love between man and woman cannot be built without sacrifices and self-denial.[1] St. John Paul II

It our modern culture, suffering is to be avoided at all costs. The Christian idea that one “should suffer well,” uniting one’s suffering to the suffering of Christ on the cross, is thought to be the antithesis of a life worth living.

Then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, in an interview with Peter Seewald, entitled The Question of Suffering, the Response of the Cross,[2] had this is say about love, suffering, and self-sacrifice…

Continue reading

Lenten Reflection: The Theological Virtue of Love

Tags

, , ,

Wedding Rings_Love Never Fails_1 Cor 13 8_shutterstock

On this the fifth Sunday of Lent, we continue our reflections on the Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope, and Love. This week we will look at the virtue of love. Links to the previous posts in this series are at the end of this reflection.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines charity, that is love, as “the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God” (CCC, 1823). Jesus even raises love to the level of a new commandment, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (Jn 15:12).

Continue reading

Lenten Reflection: The Theological Virtue of Hope – Part II

Tags

, , ,

Jer 29 11_Shutterstock

On this the fourth Sunday of Lent, we continue our reflections on the Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope, and Love. This is the second week we will look at the virtue of hope. You can read the first two reflections on faith here and here, and the first reflection on hope here.

Hope is not a feeling or an attitude but a looking to and yearning for a future blessing from God. We (Rose and Dennis) were both widowed. God tested our mettle in the untimely deaths of our spouses. We both were given Jeremiah 29:11 during these trying times, finding encouragement in these words. We stood on this verse, believing deeply in our hearts that God would deliver on His promise.

Continue reading

Lenten Reflection: The Theological Virtue of Hope

Tags

,

JPII hope.jpg

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful Hebrews 10:23

On this the third Sunday of Lent, we continue our reflections on the Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope, and Love. We will transition to the virtue of hope for two weeks. You can read the first two reflections on faith here and here.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines hope as “the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit” (CCC, 1817).

Continue reading