Thursday, January 31, 2013

Today Is The Day

Each moment can be the auspicious 'today' of our conversion. Each day can be the salvific 'today' because salvation is a continuous story for the Church and for each of Christ's disciples. This is the Christian meaning of 'carpe diem'; seize the day that God calls on you to offer you salvation.

                -Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus January 29, 2012

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Purity Of The Angelic Doctor

This past Monday, the Church celebrated the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas. The “Angelic Doctor” is best known for his understanding of Church doctrine and for his prolific contributions to theology. But did you know that Aquinas is also venerated for his holy purity?
The Angelic Warfare Confraternity, an apostolate of the Dominican Friars “dedicated to pursuing and promoting chastity together under the powerful patronage St. Thomas Aquinas and the Blessed Virgin Mary,” shares this story from Aquinas’s life, during a time when his family was attempting to convince him to abandon the Dominican Order:
After a number of attempts at breaking Thomas’s will, his brothers conceived one last plan. While Thomas was alone, his brothers introduced a scantily clad prostitute into his room. They were certain that physical temptation would drive him to break his vow of chastity, after which he would surely abandon his religious vocation. 
The plan did not work as intended. Immediately, Thomas snatched a burning brand from the hearth, drove her from the room with it, and slammed the door behind her. He emblazoned the sign of the cross on the door with the red-hot brand, and fell to his knees in prayer. With tears of thanksgiving in his eyes, he prayed to be preserved in his chastity, purity, and intention to live the religious life.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Re-Proposing Christ

According to Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, D.C., the New Evangelization:

…begins with a personal renewal of our own faith, which brings with it fresh confidence and, therefore, a willingness to share it with others, re-proposing Christ and his Church in a comprehensible and convincing way.

Read more about Cardinal Wuerl’s talk, “Implications of the New Evangelization Today,” here.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Marching for Life

Pray for our brothers and sisters today, who are taking part in the March for Life in Washington, D.C. and other marches throughout the nation. May they be joyful witnesses to the dignity of every human life, and may they warm the hearts of those who are indifferent to the evils of abortion. 

The Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul

Destined to evangelize the Gentiles 'to turn them from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God that they may obtain the forgiveness of their sins' (Acts 26:18), Saul is called by Christ, above all, to work a radical conversion upon himself. Saul thus begins his laborious road of conversion that will last as long as he lives, beginning with unusual humility with that ‘what must I do, Lord?’ and docilely letting himself be led by the hand to Ananias, through whose prophetic ministry it will be given to him to know God's plan.

-Blessed John Paul II, Jan. 25,1983

On this Feast of your Conversion, St. Paul, pray for Christians throughout the world, that we may be constantly converted to an ever-stronger bond of unity in Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Planting the Seed

Earlier this month, one of Blessed John Paul II’s closest collaborators shared a little known story about the late Holy Father. Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation of Bishops and former Vatican Secretary of State, shared a story about the first time John Paul II had ever considered the priesthood.

In 1939, Karol Wojtyła was forced to quit college and work in a quarry. Cardinal Re recounted:

There he worked with a miner who set explosives in the mines, and one day the miner told him, ‘I think you would make a great priest.’

…John Paul II told us that until that moment he had never thought of being a priest. He said, that man who I worked with already saw me as a priest…

Leaving his studies for a job in the mines was most likely a source of great sadness for Blessed John Paul II. But this story shows us how Divine Providence works, turning something quite sad into something beautiful for young Karol Wojtyła and eventually, for the whole world.

It also reveals the power our words can have, especially with young men and women who are still searching for their Vocations.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

To You Do We Entrust The Cause of Life

O Mary, 
bright dawn of the new world, 
Mother of the living, 
to you do we entrust the cause of life 
Look down, O Mother, 
upon the vast numbers 
of babies not allowed to be born, 
of the poor whose lives are made difficult, 
of men and women 
who are victims of brutal violence, 
of the elderly and the sick killed 
by indifference or out of misguided mercy.

Grant that all who believe in your Son 
may proclaim the Gospel of life 
with honesty and love 
to the people of our time.

Obtain for them the grace 
to accept that Gospel 
as a gift ever new, 
the joy of celebrating it with gratitude 
throughout their lives 
and the courage to bear witness to it 
resolutely, in order to build, 
together with all people of good will, 
the civilization of truth and love, 
to the praise and glory of God, 
the Creator and lover of life.

-Blessed John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae