Friday, May 31, 2013

My Spirit Rejoices In God My Savior

Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”

And Mary said:
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.”

Mary remained with her about three months
and then returned to her home.

                  -Luke 1:39-56

On this Feast of the Visitation, please pray for us oh most Blessed Mother, that we may become more like you in your devotion to God the Father.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sunday’s Worldwide Adoration

This Sunday, the Church will celebrate the Year of Faith with an historic event: Worldwide Eucharistic Adoration. The theme is “One Lord, One Faith,” and so cathedrals throughout the world will synchronize with St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and expose the Blessed Sacrament for Adoration at the same time. This way, all of the faithful can be in communion with Pope Francis in Eucharistic Adoration.

On Sunday June 2, from 5:00pm-6:00pm in Rome, Pope Francis will kneel before the Eucharistic Lord. Dioceses around the world will join at exactly this time, which conveniently lands at 11:00am D.C. time, but occurs in the wee hours of the morning for others. People are very enthusiastic, though, and honored to pray with the Church for the Pope’s intentions. These are:

For the Church spread throughout the world and united today in the adoration of the Most Holy Eucharist as a sign of unity. May the Lord make her ever more obedient to hearing his Word in order to stand before the world ‘ever more beautiful, without stain or blemish, but holy and blameless.’ That through her faithful announcement, the Word that saves may still resonate as the bearer of mercy and may increase love to give full meaning to pain and suffering, giving back joy and serenity.

For those around the world who still suffer slavery and who are victims of war, human trafficking, drug running, and slave labor. For the children and women who are suffering from every type of violence. May their silent scream for help be heard by a vigilant Church so that, gazing upon the crucified Christ, she may not forget the many brothers and sisters who are left at the mercy of violence. Also, for all those who find themselves in economically precarious situations, above all for the unemployed, the elderly, migrants, the homeless, prisoners, and those who experience marginalization. That the Church’s prayer and its active nearness give them comfort and assistance in hope and strength and courage in defending human dignity.

It is no coincidence that this event is planned for the Feast of Corpus Christi, a day that the Church sets aside to celebrate devotion to the body and blood of Christ. This day was very special for Blessed John Paul II, which is something we will touch on later this week.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Faith Transmitted To All Generations

God desires that all men know the truth of Jesus Christ. Before He ascended into heaven, Christ Himself gave the Church a mission, to go and “make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19). Therefore, all Christians must proclaim the truth of the Gospel, fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ, “so that all men can freely make a decision for Christ” (YOUCAT).

The Gospel has been transmitted in two ways. It was first transmitted orally by the Apostles, through their fellowship, their preaching, their teaching, and the guidance they gave. Second, it was transmitted in writing, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

The latter we see clearly in the Sacred Scriptures, but the former way is somewhat less tangible. This is why the apostles appointed bishops as successors, so that this teaching could be handed on and preserved with authority. Guided by the Holy Spirit, apostolic succession makes the “living transmission” of the Gospel possible (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 78). This way, the “Father’s self-communication made through his Word in the Holy Spirit, remains present and active in the Church,” or as the Catechism puts it, God is able to continue speaking with the Spouse of His Son (79).

As Catholics, we accept and honor both Sacred Scripture and Tradition. For “there exists a close connection and communication” between them, and both, “flowing from the same divine wellspring, in a certain way merge into a unity and tend toward the same end” (Dei Verbum, 9). This end is the fruitful transmission of the Word of God in its entirety throughout the world.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Jesus Shines Through Human Weakness

May God bless and comfort all who suffer.
And may Jesus Christ,
the Savior of the world and healer of the sick,
make His light shine through human weakness
as a beacon for us and for all mankind.

-Blessed John Paul II, May 31, 1982

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Grace To Be Annoying

There are backseat Christians, right? Those who are well mannered, who do everything well, but are unable to bring people to the Church through proclamation and Apostolic zeal. Today we can ask the Holy Spirit to give us all this Apostolic fervor and to give us the grace to be annoying when things are too quiet in the Church, the grace to go out to the outskirts of life. The Church has so much need of this! Not only in distant lands, in the young churches, among people who do not know Jesus Christ, but here in the cities, in our cities, they need this proclamation of Jesus Christ. So let us ask the Holy Spirit for this grace of Apostolic zeal, let’s be Christians with apostolic zeal. And if we annoy people, blessed be the Lord. Onwards, as the Lord says to Paul, ‘take courage!'

               -Pope Francis, Homily May 16, 2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Praying For Oklahoma

This week at the Shrine, we are praying for all of those who are suffering in Oklahoma, that they might be able to find peace in a time of great turmoil.

Earlier this week, Cardinal Dolan said, “May the words of Jesus, 'Behold I am with you always,' and who calmed the storms, bring hope and comfort at this sensitive moment…May all those affected by such pain feel the strength God offers them and the compassion of all who stand with them, be it in their hometown or miles away.”

We join Cardinal Dolan in this prayer, asking especially for the intercession of the Blessed Mother on behalf of all of those in need of God’s gentle care. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Trust In God And He Will Help You

My son, when you come to serve the LORD,
stand in justice and fear,
prepare yourself for trials.
Be sincere of heart and steadfast,
incline your ear and receive the word of understanding,
undisturbed in time of adversity.
Wait on God, with patience, cling to him, forsake him not;
thus will you be wise in all your ways.
Accept whatever befalls you,
when sorrowful, be steadfast,
and in crushing misfortune be patient;
For in fire gold and silver are tested,
and worthy people in the crucible of humiliation.
Trust God and God will help you;
trust in him, and he will direct your way;
keep his fear and grow old therein.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Strong Wind Blows

Even in our own day, as in the Upper Room at Jerusalem, a "strong wind" blows through the Church. She experiences the divine breath of the Spirit who opens her for the evangelization of the world. 
-Blessed John Paul II, Homily for Pentecost 2001

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Happy Birthday JPII!

Karol Józef Wojtyła was born on this day 93 years ago. What a gift God gave to us in this child, who was to become our beloved John Paul II! Let us spend time in prayer today, praising the Father for this witness to hope.