Thursday, August 29, 2013

Blessed John Paul II and Women

In light of Pope Francis’s comments about a “Theology of Women” this summer, Pia De Solenni reflects on Blessed John Paul II’s theology of women and the impact it had on the Church:

As I progressed in my research, I realized just how visionary Pope John Paul II had been. He wasn’t offering a Catholic version of a fascist salute to motherhood. He was taking the concept of motherhood in a wholly different direction. After all, by the time he was writing, the developed world knew that women could match, and even surpass, men in most things. Instead of answering a question that had long sought an answer by defining women in terms of what men do, he focused on who a woman is, a much more elusive topic.

Check out her National Catholic Register column here

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Now I Hunger And Thirst For More

Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would not have been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.

From the Confessions of Saint Augustine, bishop 

Oh St. Augustine, Doctor of Grace, pray for us sinners, that we may be like you in our yearning for God.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Things Worth Fighting For

At the eighth annual conference of the Catholic Association of Latino Leaders this past weekend, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia praised the work of the organization and encouraged those gathered to continue their good work in the face of secularism, in order to bring new life to America. He said:

Hispanic culture still has a soul formed by an encounter with Jesus Christ, and the humanity and compassion that flow from it…

These things are worth fighting for and sharing with others. Faith matters because it gives meaning to the word ‘human’ in ‘human beings.’ It matters because it makes us children of a loving God.

Archbishop Chaput lamented the fact that many American Latinos have left the Catholic Church. Our Lady of Guadalupe, please pray for this organization and others, that they may help draw our Latin American brothers and sisters back into the Church.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Prayer For Vocations

Jesus, Son of God,
in whom the fullness of the Divinity dwells,
You call all the baptized to "put out into the deep,"
taking the path that leads to holiness.
Waken in the hearts of young people the desire
to be witnesses in the world of today
to the power of your love.
Fill them with your Spirit of fortitude and prudence,
so that they may be able to discover the full truth
about themselves and their own vocation.

Our Saviour,
sent by the Father to reveal His merciful love,
give to your Church the gift
of young people who are ready to put out into the deep,
to be the sign among their brothers
of Your presence which renews and saves.

Holy Virgin, Mother of the Redeemer,
sure guide on the way towards God and towards neighbor,
You who pondered his word in the depth of your heart,
sustain with your motherly intercession
our families and our ecclesial communities,
so that they may help adolescents and young people
to answer generously the call of the Lord.

-Blessed John Paul II, August 2004

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Like A Mountain Is His Way

The way Jesus shows you is not easy.
Rather, it is like a path winding
up a mountain. Do not lose heart!
The steeper the road, the faster it rises
towards ever wider horizons.

-Blessed John Paul II, 1995

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Blessed John Paul II Musical

An Italian production company is putting the finishing touches on a musical celebrating the life of Karol Wojtyła. The show covers his childhood all the way up to his election as Pope.

Blessed John Paul II, a playwright himself, had a special place in his heart for theatre and music, and especially for artists of the written word. The stage is a beautiful place, then, to celebrate and reflect upon the life of our beloved Holy Father. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Victory Like That Of Christ Himself

During this week of the feast of St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe, let us reflect on Blessed John Paul II’s words at Brezezinka Concentration Camp:

"This is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith" (1 Jn 5:4).

These words from the Letter of Saint John come to my mind and enter my heart as I find myself in this place in which a special victory was won through faith; through the faith that gives rise to love of God and of one's neighbor, the unique love, the supreme love that is ready to "lay down (one's) life for (one's) friends" (Jn 15:13; cf. 10:11). A victory, therefore, through love enlivened by faith to the extreme point of the final definitive witness.

This victory through faith and love was won in this place by a man whose first name is Maximilian Mary. Surname: Kolbe. Profession (as registered in the books of the concentration camp): Catholic priest. Vocation: a son of Saint Francis. Birth: a son of simple, hardworking devout parents, who were weavers near Lódz. By God's grace and the Church's judgment: Blessed.

The victory through faith and love was won by him in this place, which was built for the negation of faith—faith in God and faith in man—and to trample radically not only on love but on all signs of human dignity, of humanity. A place built on hatred and on contempt for man in the name of a crazed ideology. A place built on cruelty. On the entrance gate which still exists, is placed the inscription "Arbeit macht frei", which has a sardonic sound, since its meaning was radically contradicted by what took place within.

In this site of the terrible slaughter that brought death to four million people of different nations, Father Maximilian voluntarily offered himself for death in the starvation bunker for a brother, and so won a spiritual victory like that of Christ himself. This brother still lives today in the land of Poland.

St. Maximilian Kolbe, Pray for Us!