from the 2018 Lenten Message of His Holiness Pope Francis

These words appear in Christ’s preaching about the end of time.  They were spoken in Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives, where the Lord’s passion would begin.  In reply to a question of the disciples, Jesus foretells a great tribulation and describes a situation in which the community of believers might well find itself: amid great trials, false prophets would lead people astray and the love that is the core of the Gospel would grow cold in the hearts of many.

But the Church, our Mother and Teacher, along with the often bitter medicine of the truth, offers us in the Lenten season the soothing remedy of prayer, almsgiving and fasting.

By devoting more time to prayer, we enable our hearts to root out our secret lies and forms of self-deception, and then to find the consolation God offers. He is our Father and he wants us to live life well.

Almsgiving sets us free from greed and helps us to regard our neighbour as a brother or sister.  What I possess is never mine alone.  How I would like almsgiving to become a genuine style of life for each of us!  How I would like us, as Christians, to follow the example of the Apostles and see in the sharing of our possessions a tangible witness of the communion that is ours in the Church!  For this reason, I echo Saint Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthians to take up a collection for the community of Jerusalem as something from which they themselves would benefit (cf. 2 Cor 8:10).  This is all the more fitting during the Lenten season, when many groups take up collections to assist Churches and peoples in need.  Yet I would also hope that, even in our daily encounters with those who beg for our assistance, we would see such requests as coming from God himself.  When we give alms, we share in God’s providential care for each of his children.  If through me God helps someone today, will he not tomorrow provide for my own needs?  For no one is more generous than God.

Fasting weakens our tendency to violence; it disarms us and becomes an important opportunity for growth.  On the one hand, it allows us to experience what the destitute and the starving have to endure.  On the other hand, it expresses our own spiritual hunger and thirst for life in God.  Fasting wakes us up.  It makes us more attentive to God and our neighbour.  It revives our desire to obey God, who alone is capable of satisfying our hunger.

READ FULL TEXT

Posted on Pope Francis Support
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

 

It would be good to follow St. Louis de Montfort’s advice to schedule the 33 days of preparation so that they will end on a vigil of a Marian feast day. Here is a list of starting dates to guide you –

START ON:

February 20 >>> The Annunciation (March 25)

April 10 >>> Our Lady of Fatima (May 13)

April 28 >>> The Visitation (May 31)

April 30 >>> Immaculate Heart (June 2 this 2018)

June 13 >>> Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (July 16)

July 13 >>> The Assumption (August 15)

July 20 >>> Queenship of Mary (August 22)

August 6 >>> Nativity of Mary (September 8)

August 10 >>> Holy Name of Mary (September 12)

August 13 >>> Our Lady of Sorrows (September 15)

September 4 >>> Our Lady of the Rosary (October 7)

October 19 >>> Presentation of Mary (November 21)

November 5 >>> Immaculate Conception (December 8)

November 9 >>> Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12)

November 29 >>> Mother of God (January 1)

December 31 >>> Presentation of the Lord (February 2)

January 9 >>> Our Lady of Lourdes (February 11)

I would like to pledge

A Million Hearts Consecrated to Jesus thru Mary

My Personal Pledge and Offering

Dear Lady of the Rosary, our Blessed Mother, Queen of Peace, you promised at Fatima, to bring Peace to all mankind. I join a million of your Filipino faithful, Bayang sumisinta kay Maria. I offer this gift – a spiritual bouquet of prayer, sacrifice and thanksgiving.

This I promise, dear Blessed Mother:

  1. To consecrate myself to your Immaculate Heart, offering to Our Lord the tasks of my daily duty with the sacrifice they demand;
  2. To pray the Rosary (the five decades) daily, whenever possible with my family, especially during the 33 day retreat.
  3. To observe the devotion to the Five First Saturdays in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with Confession, Receiving Holy Communion, and prayer of the Holy Rosary, meditating on the mysteries for 15 minutes.

These, I promise, asking that through your intercession and supplication, your Son will lead our country to true conversion of heart, to a true moral and spiritual renewal in life, to the practice of justice and reconciliation, so that our troubled nation may come to lasting peace.

Accept these promises, dear Blessed Mother. Take them into your own Immaculate Heart, and bring them before your Son, Jesus, that He may take them into his own Sacred Heart. Amen.

I would like to pledge

Posted on Ave Maria
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

 

from aleteia.org

A prayer recommended by Pope Francis

In moments of darkness or desperation, believers can count on the help of our Mother, the Virgin Mary. This is a prayer that Pope Francis recommends for these situations:

Holy Mary, full of God’s presence during the days of your life, you accepted with full humility the Father’s will, and the devil was never capable of tying you up with his confusion.

Once with your Son you interceded for our difficulties, and full of kindness and patience, you gave us example of how to untie the knots in our life.

By remaining forever Our Mother, you put in order and make more clear the ties that link us to the Lord.

Holy Mother, Mother of God and our Mother, to you who untie with a motherly heart the knots of our life, we pray to you to receive in your hands (the name of the person), and to free him/her of the knots and confusion with which our enemy attacks.

Through your grace, your intercession and your example deliver us from all evil, Our Lady, and untie the knots that prevent us from being united with God, so that we, free from sin and error, may find Him in all things, may have our hearts placed in Him, and may serve Him always in our brothers and sisters.

Posted on Pope Francis Support
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

 

Three actions of the Magi guide our journey towards the Lord, who today is revealed as light and salvation for all peoples. The Magi see the star, they set out and they bring gifts.

Seeing the star. This is where it starts. But why, we might ask, did the Magi alone see the star? Perhaps because few people raised their eyes to heaven. We often make do with looking at the ground: it’s enough to have our health, a little money and a bit of entertainment. I wonder if we still know how to look up at the sky. Do we know how to dream, to long for God, to expect the newness he brings, or do we let ourselves be swept along by life, like dry branches before the wind? The Magi were not content with just getting by, with keeping afloat. They understood that to truly live, we need a lofty goal and we need to keep looking up.

Setting out, the second thing the Magi do, is essential if we are to find Jesus. His star demands a decision to take up the journey and to advance tirelessly on our way. It demands that we free ourselves from useless burdens and unnecessary extras that only prove a hindrance, and accept unforeseen obstacles along the map of life. Jesus allows himself to be found by those who seek him, but to find him we need to get up and go, not sit around but take risks, not stand still, but set out. Jesus makes demands: he tells those who seek him to leave behind the armchair of worldly comforts and the reassuring warmth of hearth and home. Following Jesus is not a polite etiquette to be observed, but a journey to be undertaken. God, who set his people free in the exodus and called new peoples to follow his star, grants freedom and joy always and only in the course of a journey. In other words, if we want to find Jesus, we have to overcome our fear of taking risks, our self-satisfaction and our indolent refusal to ask anything more of life. We need to take risks simply to meet a Child. Yet those risks are immensely worth the effort, since in finding that Child, in discovering his tenderness and love, we rediscover ourselves.

Setting out is not easy. The Gospel shows us this through a cast of characters. There is Herod, wild with fear that the birth of a king will threaten his power. So he organizes meetings and sends people out to gather information, yet he himself does not budge; he stays locked up in his palace. Even “all Jerusalem” (v. 3) is afraid: afraid of the new things God is bringing about. They want everything to remain as it was – that is the way it has always been – no one has the courage to leave. The temptation of the priests and scribes is more subtle: they know the exact place and tell it to Herod, quoting the ancient prophecy. They know, but they themselves make no move towards Bethlehem. Theirs can be the temptation of those who are used to being believers: they can talk at length about the faith they know so well, but will not take a personal risk for the Lord. They talk, but do not pray; they complain, but do no good. The Magi, on the other hand, talk little and journey much. Ignorant of the truths of faith, they are filled with longing and set out. So the Gospel tells us: They “came to worship him” (v. 2); “they set out; they went in, and fell down and worshiped him; they went back” (vv. 9, 11, 12). They kept moving.

Bringing gifts. Having come to Jesus after a long journey, the Magi do as he does: they bring gifts. Jesus is there to give his life; they offer him their own costly gifts: gold, incense and myrrh. The Gospel becomes real when the journey of life ends in giving. To give freely, for the Lord’s sake, without expecting anything in return: this is the sure sign that we have found Jesus. For he says: “The gift you have received, give freely as a gift” (Mt 10:8). To do good without counting the cost, even when unasked, even when you gain nothing thereby, even if it is unpleasant. That is what God wants. He, who become small for our sake, asks us to offer something for the least of his brothers and sisters. Who are they? They are those who have nothing to give in return, the needy, the hungry, the stranger, the prisoner, the poor (cf. Mt 25:31-46). We give a gift pleasing to Jesus when we care for a sick person, spend time with a difficult person, help someone for the sake of helping, or forgive someone who has hurt us. These are gifts freely given, and they cannot be lacking in the lives of Christians. Jesus reminds us that if we only love those who love us, we do as the pagans do (cf. Mt 5:46-47). Today let us look at our hands, so often empty of love, and let us try to think of some free gift that we can give without expecting anything in return. That will please the Lord. And let us ask him: “Lord, let me rediscover the joy of giving”.

from Pope Francis’ homily at the Vatican Basilica, 6 January 2018

Posted on Pope Francis Support
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

 

IF POPE FRANCIS CONSECRATES CHINA TO OUR LADY, WILL IT AVERT AN INVASION?
By Bernie V. Lopez

“Pray hard, for China’s dream is to invade the whole world. The Philippines is one of its favorites.” Our Lady Mediatrix of Grace, Lipa, October 17, 1949.

This prophecy was given by Our Lady to visionary Sister Teresing Castillo of the Carmelite congregation of Lipa, and later announced by Cardinal Vidal, former Archbishop of Lipa. (Inquirer, July 13, 2014). The message was given on the 33rd year anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima, October 17, 1949, establishing the link between Fatima and Lipa.

The Carmelite Sisters have been praying for China ever since that prophecy, for they believe peace can still be attained through prayers. Marian Devotees are asking Pope Francis to consecration China to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, just as St. John Paul II consecrated Russia in 1984, which led to the first-ever visit of a Russian leader (Gorbachev) to the Vatican, to the restoration of religious freedom in Russia, and to the end of the Cold War after the collapse of the Berlin Wall. China’s ‘Nine-Dash’ initiative, claiming 80% of South China Sea, hugging the entire western flank of the Philippine coastline, affirms the prophecy’s statement, “the Philippines (as) one of (China’s) favorites”.

READ MORE

Posted on Ave Maria
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

 

The year opens in the name of the Mother of God. Mother of God is the most important title of Our Lady. But we might ask why we say Mother of God, and not Mother of Jesus. In the past some wanted to be content simply with the latter, but the Church has declared that Mary is the Mother of God. We should be grateful, because these words contain a magnificent truth about God and about ourselves. From the moment that our Lord became incarnate in Mary, and for all time, he took on our humanity. There is no longer God without man; the flesh Jesus took from his Mother is our own, now and for all eternity. To call Mary the Mother of Godreminds us of this: God is close to humanity, even as a child is close to the mother who bears him in her womb.

The word mother (mater) is related to the word matter. In his Mother, the God of heaven, the infinite God, made himself small, he became matter, not only to be with us but also to be like us. This is the miracle, the great novelty! Man is no longer alone; no more an orphan, but forever a child. The year opens with this novelty. And we proclaim it by saying: Mother of God! Ours is the joy of knowing that our solitude has ended. It is the beauty of knowing that we are beloved children, of knowing that this childhood of ours can never be taken away from us. It is to see a reflection of ourselves in the frail and infant God resting in his mother’s arms, and to realize that humanity is precious and sacred to the Lord. Henceforth, to serve human life is to serve God. All life, from life in the mother’s womb to that of the elderly, the suffering and the sick, and to that of the troublesome and even repellent, is to be welcomed, loved and helped.

Let us now be guided by today’s Gospel. Only one thing is said about the Mother of God: “Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Lk 2:19). She kept them. She simply kept; Mary does not speak. The Gospel does not report a single word of hers in the entire account of Christmas. Here too, the Mother is one with her Son: Jesus is an “infant”, a child “unable to speak”. The Word of God, who “long ago spoke in many and various ways” (Heb 1:1), now, in the “fullness of time” (Gal 4:4), is silent. The God before whom all fall silent is himself a speechless child. His Majesty is without words; his mystery of love is revealed in lowliness. This silence and lowliness is the language of his kingship. His Mother joins her Son and keeps these things in silence.

That silence tells us that, if we would “keep” ourselves, we need silence. We need to remain silent as we gaze upon the crib. Pondering the crib, we discover anew that we are loved; we savour the real meaning of life. As we look on in silence, we let Jesus speak to our heart. His lowliness lays low our pride; his poverty challenges our outward display; his tender love touches our hardened hearts. To set aside a moment of silence each day to be with God is to “keep” our soul; it is to “keep” our freedom from being corroded by the banality of consumerism, the blare of commercials, the stream of empty words and the overpowering waves of empty chatter and loud shouting.

The Gospel goes on to say that Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. What were these things? They were joys and sorrows. On the one hand, the birth of Jesus, the love of Joseph, the visit of the shepherds, that radiant night. But on the other, an uncertain future, homelessness “because there was no place for them in the inn” (Lk 2:7), the desolation of rejection, the disappointment of having to give birth to Jesus in a stable. Hopes and worries, light and darkness: all these things dwelt in the heart of Mary. What did she do? She pondered them, that is to say she dwelt on them, with God, in her heart. She held nothing back; she locked nothing within out of self-pity or resentment. Instead, she gave everything over to God. That is how she “kept” those things. We “keep” things when we hand them over: by not letting our lives become prey to fear, distress or superstition, by not closing our hearts or trying to forget, but by turning everything into a dialogue with God. God, who keeps us in his heart, then comes to dwell in our lives.

These, then, are the secrets of the Mother of God: silently treasuring all things and bringing them to God. And this took place, the Gospel concludes, in her heart. The heart makes us look to the core of the person, his or her affections and life. At the beginning of the year, we too, as Christians on our pilgrim way, feel the need to set out anew from the centre, to leave behind the burdens of the past and to start over from the things that really matter. Today, we have before us the point of departure: the Mother of God. For Mary is what God wants us to be, what he wants his Church to be: a Mother who is tender and lowly, poor in material goods and rich in love, free of sin and united to Jesus, keeping God in our hearts and our neighbour in our lives. To set out anew, let us look to our Mother. In her heart beats the heart of the Church. Today’s feast tells us that if we want to go forward, we need to turn back: to begin anew from the crib, from the Mother who holds God in her arms.

Devotion to Mary is not spiritual etiquette; it is a requirement of the Christian life. Looking to the Mother, we are asked to leave behind all sorts of useless baggage and to rediscover what really matters. The gift of the Mother, the gift of every mother and every woman, is most precious for the Church, for she too is mother and woman. While a man often abstracts, affirms and imposes ideas, a woman, a mother, knows how to “keep”, to put things together in her heart, to give life. If our faith is not to be reduced merely to an idea or a doctrine, all of us need a mother’s heart, one which knows how to keep the tender love of God and to feel the heartbeat of all around us. May the Mother, God’s finest human creation, guard and keep this year, and bring the peace of her Son to our hearts and to our world. And as children, with simplicity, I invite you to greet her as the Christians did at Ephesus in the presence of their bishops: “Holy Mother of God!”.

from the Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis, Vatican Basilica, Monday, 1 January 2018

Posted on Pope Francis Support
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

 

A Year-End message from Ms. Angelyn Dee to her prayer group and for the whole of Marian Solidarity

Dear Fellow-Members of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Circle,

I have been pondering Resela’s question to us three days ago: “In times of suffering, how can we ensure that we don’t get angry at God or give up our faith and abandon Him?” Another way of putting the question is “How can I trust God and remain faithful during times of trial?” I thought it would be most appropriate to share some thoughts with you on this last day of the year- a day in which we look back and give thanks for all the blessings God has bestowed on us in 2017. How timely also that our “Walk to Eternity” with Jeff Cavins ended on the last week of the last month with Gratefulness! Very providential.

These truths/tips are good to keep in mind in order to have an “attitude of gratitude” even in trying times:

1) Everything is a gift.

EVERYTHING. God does not need us, but He made us so we can share forever in the eternal exchange of love that He is- Father, Son and Spirit. This is incomprehensibly incredible! He did not have to do this, but He did … out of sheer love. We cannot earn this love; it is gratuitous gift. He owes us nothing but gave us everything, therefore gratitude should be the first attitude of our hearts. We must recognize and acknowledge, in whatever way we can, the truth of God’s goodness and generosity to us.

2) God promised us eternal life, not an easy one.

In fact, He said the road to life would be narrow and steep, and to follow Him we must deny ourselves DAILY and pick up the cross. There is a saying that disappointment comes from having expectations, and grave disappointment comes from having false expectations. Therefore, we must never expect that being faithful to God will result in a smooth and easy life. A recent witty piece sent to me promised health, success and prosperity for those who ‘entrust the plane ride of their life to Captain Jesus.’ This is a false message and expectation. The Good News is not ‘health & wealth’.

Jesus did not promised us a pain-free life, but His peace, joy and abiding presence. Our Lady said to St Bernadette, “I cannot promise you happiness in this world, only in the next.” Therefore, when trials come, our attitude should not be “Why me?” but “Why not me?” A poignant example of this is Fr Peter Chiang. When recently diagnosed with lung cancer, he simply and immediately responded, “Why not? Jesus has suffered everything for me, now I can suffer something for Him.”

3) Praise and thank God DAILY

(Fr. Anthony’s recommendation). Start the day praising God; end the day with thanksgiving. The church prays this way in her daily liturgy of the hours. If we don’t pray daily or praise and thank God habitually, when trials come we will not be able to pray, let alone praise and thank Him simply for who He is (as Job did). In fact, we may curse Him.

St Ignatius’ Examen is the one thing he asked his Jesuits to do daily; actually, twice a day: noon and night. It is not only a good way of seeing how God is acting in our day but also recognizing the motives behind our actions- whether they are pure or tainted with self-love.

Here is an explanation of the Examen: http://www.manresa-canada.ca/articlesonprayer/articlesonprayer_method_examen.shtml
(Notice the first line: “The most abominable sin Ignatius could imagine was the sin of ingratitude.”)

4) Put God (or the Mother of God) at the CENTRE of every trial.

Making Him/her the centre takes the focus off ourselves.

  • When my friends abandon me: “Lord, you were abandoned too. I unite my pain with yours. Thank you for never abandoning me.”
  • When my family is ungrateful: “Lord, how you suffer from the indifference and ingratitude of those whom you died for. Thank you for letting me taste a drop of your sorrow, which I offer to you for those who don’t love you.”
  • When my loved one is suffering: “Mother Mary, you watched your son’s agonizing torture and death with complete trust in God. Help me in my distress and sorrow. Help me to trust in God’s plan and to surrender to His will.”
  • Etc., etc.

5) Frequent the sacraments

… which are fountainheads of grace, the Eucharist being God Himself- the source of all grace.

6) See suffering as an opportunity

… to console God, repair sins, convert sinners, beget peace, mature spiritually and become holy. The angel at Fatima asked the three shepherd children to make everything they could a sacrifice, and to accept and bear with submission the suffering which God would send them for the reparation of sins, the conversion of sinners and to bring about God’s peace. Our Lady also asked them if they were willing to offer themselves to God and bear sufferings, and she taught them a prayer to say when doing this: “O Jesus, this is for love of you…etc.,” which we pray this at the start of every circle. Sister Lucia wrote that the angel made them understand “who God is, how much He loves us, the value of sacrifice, how pleasing it is to God, and how, because of it, He converts sinners.”  What an incredible opportunity suffering brings to save souls, including our own!

7) Ask for help.

Do not be shy or self-sufficient. God made us to be interdependent, not independent, in order to unleash His love.

8) God suffers with us.

He is not looking from a distance, indifferent to our sorrow, or worse, in glee (which is how we sometimes picture Him). We are all part of His body, and when we suffer, He suffers. We are never alone in our suffering. He will carry us through.

9) Jesus, I trust in You!

Pray this repeatedly. Jesus told St Faustina that what gives Him the greatest joy is a soul that trusts in Him completely. Trusting in Our Lord during severe trials must give Him immense joy!

10) Be detached and holy indifferent to all created things. Be attached only to God’s will.

(This one is challenging.) Only an empty vase can be filled with water. Only a soul empty of self can be filled with God.

St Alphonsus Liguori: “How does it happen that so many pray and go frequently to Holy Communion and still make no considerable progress in the love of God? Doubtless the reason is because the heart is full of self-esteem, of vanity, of self-will, and of attachment to creatures. He, therefore, who wishes to arrive at the perfect love of God must practice poverty in spirit,be detached from worldly possessions, from temporal honors, from his fellow creatures, and from himself.”

St Ignatius: “Therefore, we must make ourselves indifferent to all created things, as far as we are allowed by free choice and are not under any prohibition. Consequently, as far as we are concerned, we should not prefer health to sickness, riches to poverty, honor to dishonor, a long life to a short.” (Spiritual Exercises # 23)

Real-life examples of detachment and holy indifference here: http://fatherbroom.com/blog/2013/03/ignatian-holy-indifference/

Our example par excellence is Our Blessed Mother:
“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.”

 

Please feel free to share any “tips” you may have that will help us remain faithful to God in times of trial.

Sincere wishes for a new year filled with God’s joy, peace and presence, come what may!

Happy 2018! Happy Feast of Mary, Mother of God!

Sincerely in Jesus through Mary,
Angie

Posted on Ave Maria
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

 

by Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin, SJ

In climate science, we are often asked how is it that we can predict next year or the next decade or even the next century when we cannot even forecast what will happen tomorrow?

The short answer is: climate is not weather, not the day-to-day variation of hot and cold, wet and dry. Climate is the average or general pattern of these variations and when one takes away these weder-weder variations, you can discern some signals that enable you to see what the next month or year or decade will be like. I can for instance tell you that this coming January will be colder on average than this December, or that January 2025 will probably be warmer than January 2018. On average.

Even stock investors know this. If you’re in for the long-term, you can bet on an upward trend. If you’re in for the short-term, with its highs and lows, fasten your seatbelts for a wild ride. If you want adventure, try investing in bitcoin or in anything that can grow to a bubble and burst unpredictably.

It is hard to see tomorrow. Tomorrow is made opaque by weder-weder, the present volatilities we see around us. If the barometer swings dramatically from day to day, we won’t know what tomorrow will be like. Same too for mood swings or even policy fluctuations in governance. The consistent inconsistencies can make tomorrow no less nebulous than today. These vacillations can be exasperating, exhausting, and draining.

Tomorrow will be more translucent if we can take out the day-to-day noise and transient disturbances. Of course, the key here is to know what is noise and what is not, what is short-term and what is not. I must confess though that it is easier to remove these weder-weder variations in climate than in human beings or social affairs. Some of us panic when these swings hit us. We are left guessing whether these erratic swings (in our psyche or society) are the new normal or not. Some dive into depression, believing that the short-term is for the long haul or that this present is as good as it gets.

Christmas helps us see tomorrow by pushing the swings and the panic to the side. Christmas helps us to face tomorrow only because there is a Child in a manger who makes us wonder about tomorrow. In truth, every child has this power. Every child makes us wonder about tomorrow. Every child makes us promise to prepare for tomorrow. Every child makes us brave to face and shape tomorrow. (I am only recently a granduncle. When I see my grandniece Carys (who is now six months old and is here tonight), I am often made to wonder about tomorrow. When I see her, I quietly promise inside that I will work hard for tomorrow to be better for her.)

Every Christmas, the Child of Bethlehem helps us to remember tomorrow. It is this memory of the future, what Gabriel Marcel calls hope, that enables us to endure the ambient noise and inconsistencies of today. It is this memory of the future that empowers us to let go of the vagaries of seasons past and present. It is this hope that allows us to hold on to what we have seen before, the things that do not fade, that truly matter, which we long to see again tomorrow.

This we remember about tomorrow: as God has loved us from the beginning, so will he love us tomorrow. If we are to hope at all, it is when we remember God loving us not for what we were in the past, but for what we will be in the future. Our hope rests in our remembrance of God loving us again and again tomorrow.

Because of Christmas, we remember again that God’s love does not vacillate in purpose and direction and intensity. In the Incarnation, God reveals himself as love in the flesh, love with a human face. From this Child in a manger, we remember again that God can speak and does speak to us in our own words. Fro this Child, we can remember again that God can see, and he will see us through with eyes that have been washed with human tears. From the manger, we remember again that God can hold us, and he will hold on to us with arms that have learned to carry our cross to the very end. Thus can we see and remember tomorrow. From this Child in a manger, we can see tomorrow.

Pope Francis, in his TED Talk this year, tells us:
“To Christians, the future does have a name, and its name is Hope. Feeling hopeful does not mean to be optimistically naïve and ignore the tragedy humanity is facing. Hope is the virtue of a heart that doesn’t lock itself into darkness, that doesn’t dwell on the past, does not simply get by in the present, but is able to see a tomorrow…”

Indeed, hope is the virtue of a heart that can see tomorrow. Conversely, we can say that despair is the vice of a heart that can see no tomorrow, a heart that locks itself in the dark, imprisons itself in the past, the delusion of a heart that merely goes through the motions of the present. This Christmas we remember once more how easily we can slide and swing into this dysfunctional condition of captivity. Yet we can also choose to remember tonight how readily and resolutely God enters into our lives to deliver us from our anxieties and fears about tomorrow.

From this Child in a manger, we learn to let go of the noise and the inconsistencies that prevent us from seeing tomorrow. From the manger, we learn to hold on to what stays, we learn to keep the love that is constant and faithful to the very end.

From this Child in a manger, we can see tomorrow. And we can remember that tomorrow has a name and its name is hope.

Posted on Ave Maria
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

 

Ang Dios Gugma would like to share with you an audio file of a prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

2 MB
Length: 3:22

Posted on Ave Maria
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

 

Ang Dios Gugma would like to share with you an audio file of the Day of Consecration from the 33 Days of Morning Glory by Fr. Michael E. Gaitley, MIC
2 MB
Length: 5:18

Posted on Ave Maria
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

 


Ave Maria Online Magazine


We will continue our wonderful goal of a million voices in prayer reaching the high heavens.

Spread the word by sharing this pledge

Tell your friends and family about A Million Hearts Consecrated to Jesus thru Mary as our Fatima Centennial offering.

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.

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.

Browse our archives

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.