Queen of all creation

Mary, the Mother who cared for Jesus, now cares with maternal affection and pain for this wounded world. Just as her pierced heart mourned the death of Jesus, so now she grieves for the sufferings of the crucified poor and for the creatures of this world laid waste by human power. Completely transfigured, she now lives with Jesus, and all creatures sing of her fairness. She is the Woman, “clothed in the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Rev 12:1). Carried up into heaven, she is the Mother and Queen of all creation. In her glorified body, together with the Risen Christ, part of creation has reached the fullness of its beauty. She treasures the entire life of Jesus in her heart (cf. Lk 2:19,51), and now understands the meaning of all things. Hence, we can ask her to enable us to look at this world with eyes of wisdom.

Laudate Si, Chapter 6, Part 8, Par. 241

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She is the believer, the great believer; she knows – and says – that the violence of the mighty, the pride of the rich, the hubris of the arrogant weighs down in history. Still, Mary believes and proclaims that God does not abandon His humble and poor children, but helps them with mercy, with care, overthrowing the mighty from their thrones, scattering the proud from the plots in their hearts. This is the faith of Our Mother; this is the faith of Mary!

The Canticle of Our Lady also lets us sense the full meaning of the story of Mary: if the mercy of the Lord is the motor of history, then He could not “allow Her who generated the Lord of life to know the corruption of the sepulchre” (Preface). All this is not only about Mary. The “great things” done in Her by the Almighty profoundly touches us, it speaks of our journey in life, it reminds us of the destination that awaits us: the house of the Father.

Our lives, seen in the light Mary’s Assumption into Heaven, is not a wandering without meaning, but a pilgrimage that, with all its uncertainties and sufferings, has a sure destination: the house of Our Father, who awaits us with love. It is beautiful to think of this: that we have a Father who awaits us with love, and that also our Mother Mary is there and She awaits us with love.

more on Pope Francis’ Angelus, August 2015

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The Roman Church commends this day to us as the blessed Laurence’s day of triumph, on which he trod down the world as it roared and raged against him; spurned it as it coaxed and wheedled him; and in each case, conquered the devil as he persecuted him. For in that Church, you see, as you have regularly been told, he performed the office of deacon; it was there that he administered the sacred chalice of Christ’s blood; there that he shed his own blood for the name of Christ. The blessed apostle John clearly explained the mystery of the Lord’s supper when he said Just as Christ laid down his life for us, so we too ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. St Laurence understood this, my brethren, and he did it; and he undoubtedly prepared things similar to what he received at that table. He loved Christ in his life, he imitated him in his death.

There is absolutely no kind of human beings, my dearly beloved, who need to despair of their vocation; Christ suffered for all. It was very truly written about him: who wishes all men to be saved, and to come to the acknowledgement of the truth.

So let us understand how Christians ought to follow Christ, short of the shedding of blood, short of the danger of suffering death. The Apostle says, speaking of the Lord Christ, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not think it robbery to be equal to God. What incomparable greatness! But he emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, and being made in the likeness of men, and found in condition as a man. What unequalled humility!

Christ humbled himself: you have something, Christian, to latch on to. Christ became obedient. Why do you behave proudly? After running the course of these humiliations and laying death low, Christ ascended into heaven: let us follow him there. Let us listen to the Apostle telling us, If you have risen with Christ, savor the things that are above is, seated at God’s right hand.

an excerpt from St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr by St. Augustine of Hippo

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“There will always be a cross in the middle, but at the end… (he) always leads us to happiness.”

The Transfiguration takes place as Christ is on his way to Jerusalem to fulfill the prophecies through his death on the cross. Jesus takes Peter, James and John away to a high mountain in order to reveal his glory in advance to them, to strengthen them in faith for what is to come – the way of the Cross, Pope Francis said.

“The three disciples are frightened, while a cloud covers and rings out from above…the voice of the Father, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him’” (Mk 9:7), the Holy Father said.

Christ’s glory is revealed because his “full adherence to the will of the Father makes his humanity transparent to the glory of God, who is Love,” the Pope explained.

Moses and Elijah appear next to Christ at the Transfiguration to show he is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets, that “everything begins and ends in Jesus.”

The invitation at the Transfiguration, for the disciples as well as for the faithful today, is to listen to Jesus and to follow him, laying down our lives as a gift of love for one another in obedience to the will of the Father, the Pope explained.

from catholicnewsagency.com

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Saint-Alphonsus“The heart of man will never find true peace, if it does not empty itself of all that is not God, so as to free itself all free for His love, that He alone may possess the whole of it. But this the soul cannot do of itself; it must obtain it of God by repeated prayers.”

― Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

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Jesuit1_0

“We never imagined that a Jesuit could become pope. It was an impossible thing,” said Fr. Antonio Spadaro, a Jesuit who conducted a book-length interview with the pope and knows him well. “It sent me into a crisis, in a sense, when he was elected. We Jesuits are supposed to be at the service of the pope, not to be a pope.”

“He may act like a Franciscan, but he thinks like a Jesuit,” quipped Fr. Thomas Reese, a fellow Jesuit who is a columnist for National Catholic Reporter.

In fact, it would be easy to mistake this new pope for a Franciscan, given his emphasis on helping society’s outcasts and his decision to become the first pope to take the name of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of the poor. Yet he’s the first pope from the Society of Jesus, the religious community whose worldly, wise intellectuals are as famous as its missionaries and martyrs.

What is a Jesuit? What kind of a Jesuit is Francis? What will a Jesuit pope mean for the church? Read more on ncronline.org

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In the final homily of his trip to South America Pope Francis said that a key aspect of Christian spirituality and evangelization is to have a welcoming attitude toward others, especially those most in need.

“How many times do we see evangelization as involving any number of strategies, tactics, maneuvers, techniques, as if we could convert people on the basis of our own arguments?” the Pope asked at his July 12 Mass in Asuncion, Paraguay.

In the day’s Gospel, taken from Matthew, “the Lord says to us quite clearly: in the mentality of the Gospel, you do not convince people with arguments, strategies or tactics. You convince them by learning how to welcome them.”

“Jesus as the good master, the good teacher, sends them out to be welcomed, to experience hospitality,” Francis said. Rather than going out as men with influence, dominance or officials with rules, the disciples are being shown by Jesus that “the Christian journey is about changing hearts.”

“It is about learning to live differently, under a different law, with different rules. It is about turning from the path of selfishness, conflict, division and superiority, and taking instead the path of life, generosity and love.”

“The Church is the home of hospitality,” he said, explaining that she is a mother who knows how to welcome and accept with an open heart, particularly those who are in greatest need.

“How much good we can do, if only we try to speak the language of hospitality, of welcome! How much pain can be soothed, how much despair can be allayed in a place where we feel at home! Welcoming the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, the prisoner, the leper and the paralytic.”

Pope Francis also stressed the importance of welcoming those who don’t think the same as us, who do not have faith or who have lost it, as well as the persecuted, the unemployed and those in different cultures.

He also emphasized the need to welcome sinners, saying that often it’s easy to forget that evil lies at the root of out sin.

“There is a bitter root which causes damage, great damage, and silently destroys so many lives. There is an evil which, bit by bit, finds a place in our hearts and eats away at our life: it is isolation.”

Isolation can have many different roots, the Pope observed, explaining that it does a lot of harm and “makes us turn our back on others, God, the community. It makes us closed in on ourselves.”

This, he said, is why the true work of the Church, as a mother, is not mainly to managing various projects, “but to learn how to live in fraternity with others.”

By living this way Jesus teaches us a have a new mentality, and opens up new horizons filled with truth, beauty, life and fulfillment.

“God never closes off horizons; he is never unconcerned about the lives and sufferings of his children. God never allows himself to be outdone in generosity.”

 

from catholicnewsagency.com

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Recalling the day’s Gospel reading in which the people marvel at Jesus’s authoritative teaching, Pope Francis said that people today know “when a priest, a bishop, a catechist, a Christian, has the consistency that gives him authority.” Jesus, he said, “admonishes his disciples” to beware of “false prophets.”

But how to discern the true preachers of the Gospel from the false ones?

Pope Francis said there are three things to look for:  how do they speak, what do they do and, do they listen?

“They talk, they do, but another attitude is lacking: that is the basis, which is the very foundation of speaking, of doing.  They lack the ability to listen.”

from news.va

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“In the end this wealth doesn’t give us lasting security. Instead, it tends to reduce your dignity. And this happens in families – so many divided families.  And this ambition that destroys and corrupts is also at the root of wars. There are so many wars in our world nowadays because of greed for power and wealth. We can think of the war in our own hearts. As the Lord said, ‘Be on your guard against avarice of any kind.’ Because greed moves forward, moves forward, moves forward…   it’s like a flight of steps, the door opens and then vanity comes in — believing ourselves to be important, believing ourselves to be powerful… and then in the end pride (comes). And all the vices come from that, all of them. They are steps but the first step is avarice, that desire to accumulate wealth.”

from news.va

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This means to receive and accordingly give witness to the beauty of the Gospel; to live in love mutually and towards all, sharing in joy and sufferings, learning to ask and to grant forgiveness, valuing the various charisms under the guidance of the Pastors. In one word: we are entrusted with the task of building ecclesial communities that is more and more a family, capable of reflecting the splendor of the Trinity and to evangelize not only with words, but with the strength of the love of God that lives in us.

The Trinity, as I mentioned, is also the ultimate goal toward which our earthly pilgrimage is geared. The path of Christian life is in fact a path that is essentially ”trinitarian”: the Holy Spirit guides us to full knowledge of the teachings of Christ. And it also reminds us of what Jesus taught us.  And Jesus, for his part, has come to the world to make us know the Father, to be lead by Him, to reconcile us with Him. Everything, in Christian life, revolves around the mystery of the Trinity and is fulfilled in this infinite mystery. Let us look, therefore, to keep high the “tone” of our life, reminding ourselves to what end, for what glory we exist, work, struggle, suffer; and to which immense prize we are called [to have].

This mystery embraces our whole life and our whole Christian life. We must remind ourselves every time we make the sign of the Cross: in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

from zenit.org

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Locutions to the World

The beginning locutions are very special; focusing on the Fatima Vision (released by the Vatican (June 2000).

Concerning Private Revelations: These are private revelations and there is no need to believe them. If these revelations help your faith, then receive them. If not, you can set them aside. We are called to believe only public revelations.

The locutions are posted twice a week. Visit their site at www.locutions.org.

Ave Maria Online Magazine
Extravagant displays of devotion to Mary gets curtailed as world culture emphasizes the rational, scientific and technological aspects of life. There seems to be no more time for the more affective expressions of religion.

  Then, after a while, people get fed up with the absolutely rational and logical culture, and rediscover religion and the affective part of the human soul and its needs.

  And Mary is one of those.

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Love and support for Pope Francis
The Church is certainly a human and historical institution with all that entails, yet her nature is not essentially political but spiritual: the Church is the People of God, Holy People of God making its way to encounter Jesus Christ. Only from this perspective can a satisfactory account be given of the Church's life and activity.

  Christ is the Church's Pastor, but his presence in history passes through the freedom of human beings; from their midst one is chosen to serve as his Vicar, the successor of the Apostle Peter.

  Yet Christ remains the center, not the Sucessor of Peter: Christ, Christ is the centre.

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3 Hail Marys for Pope Francis
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A Million Roses for the World
A gift of love, faith and goodwill from the people of the Philippines. Pope Pius IX once said: “Give me an army praying a million rosaries a day and we will conquer the world.” We are not out to conquer the world…but to save it for God to whom it rightly belongs.

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