Monday, September 29, 2014

Papal Intentions For October

This month, Pope Francis asks us to pray that, “the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.” He also asks us to pray that, “World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.”

Let us pray with the Holy Father this October, for peace throughout the world and for World Mission Day.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Gift Of Love

We are currently putting the final touches on our 16,000 square foot permanent exhibit on the life and legacy of Saint John Paul II. Titled A Gift of Love: The Life of Saint John Paul II, this exhibit will walk pilgrims through the entirety of the late Holy Father’s life, celebrating his teachings and his witness to the Gospel.

In Love and Responsibility, published almost twenty years before he became Pope, Karol Wojtyła wrote:

…the person is a good towards which the only proper and adequate attitude is love.

The only way to see another person, to think of another person, to speak of another person, and to treat another person is with love. St. John Paul II witnessed to this Christ-given truth through both his writings and his actions.

St. John Paul II also reminded us that the human person, who is worthy only of love, is made to love. Most of his teachings on the human person were grounded in this truth expressed in Gaudium et spes:

Indeed, the Lord Jesus, when He prayed to the Father, "that all may be one . . . as we are one" (John 17:21-22) opened up vistas closed to human reason, for He implied a certain likeness between the union of the divine Persons, and the unity of God's sons in truth and charity. This likeness reveals that man, who is the only creature on earth, which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself.

As St. John Paul II showed us, it is through a gift of love to God and others that the person becomes who he or she is. It is through this gift that one glorifies God, and it is through this gift that the human person becomes a saint.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Day Of Prayer For The Synod

Sunday is the universal Day of Prayer for the upcoming Synod of Bishops, who will be addressing “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization.” May Saint John Paul II, the “Pope of the Family,” and the Holy Family intercede for the Synod as we pray:

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
in you we contemplate
the splendor of true love,
to you we turn with trust.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
grant that our families too
may be places of communion and prayer,
authentic schools of the Gospel
and small domestic Churches.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
may families never again
experience violence, rejection and division:
may all who have been hurt or scandalized
find ready comfort and healing.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
may the approaching Synod of Bishops
make us once more mindful
of the sacredness and inviolability of the family,
and its beauty in God’s plan.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
graciously hear our prayer.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

We Are All Brothers

After Pope Francis’s visit to Albania this past weekend, we decided to look back at some of the words Saint John Paul II shared when he visited the country back in 1993. When giving a speech in Tirana, he said:

Nothing reminds us more than faith that we have one Creator, that we are all brothers! Religious freedom is a fortress against totalitarianism and a decisive contribution to human brotherhood. True religious freedom shies away from the temptation of intolerance and sectarianism and promotes respectful attitudes and constructive dialogue. The Albanian people – it pleases me to remember this right now- is exemplary from this point of view.

Pope Francis shared a similar message during his visit on Sunday.

Saint John Paul II, please pray for our world today, that religious freedom may lead to true justice and peace.

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Man of Holiness

…holiness is measured according to the “great mystery” in which the Bride responds with the gift of love to the gift of the Bridegroom.

-Saint John Paul II, Mulieris Dignitatem

Saint John Paul II responded to Christ’s love with the gift of himself. He responded by giving himself in love, to both God and man. As we prepare to open our permanent exhibit on the life and teaching of St. John Paul II, which is titled A Gift of Love: The Life of Saint John Paul II, let us ask the late Holy Father to pray for us, that we might also respond to the Bridegroom with love.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

St. José María de Yermo y Parres, Pray for Us

Today the Church celebrates the feast of St. José María de Yermo y Parres, who was canonized by Saint John Paul II on May 21, 2000. Born into a wealthy family in Mexico, this humble saint pursued the priesthood at a young age, and he devoted his life to caring for the poor.

In 1885, St. José María founded the Congregation of the Servants of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Poor. He and his congregation extended the mercy of Christ’s Sacred Heart to the poor and the sick. He also started the Christian Mercy program in order to help women escape lives of prostitution.

In his homily for the canonization of St. José María, St. John Paul II said that the new saint:

…lived his priestly commitment to Christ by following him with all his might, distinguishing himself at the same time by an essentially prayerful and contemplative attitude. In the Heart of Christ he found guidance for his spirituality and, in reflecting on his infinite love for men, he desired to imitate him by making charity the rule of his life.

St. José María de Yermo y Parres, please pray for us, that we might also imitate Christ by making charity the rule of our lives.