POPE PIUS XII’S EASTER MESSAGE

POPE PIUS XII’S EASTER MESSAGE.

This message was delivered during World War II. It was a time of anti-everything. The Germans were anti-Semitic, the Soviets were anti-capitalism, The U.S. was anti-communist/Nazi (making for odd political bed-fellows in that the U.S. and Russia were “allies” ), the … Well, it just goes on and on. Today? I think we live in a similar anti-whatever climate. People talk about climate change. Today might be a good day to pray for a resurrection of solid values, true peace, and an end to anti-fill-in-the-blank.

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Published in: on April 20, 2014 at 3:00 am  Comments (2)  
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“Be ye always ready”

A Rosary Meditation: The First Glorious Mystery, The Resurrection.

“At early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared.” Luke 24:1.

“Be ye always ready” is the motto of the Knights of the Round Table. Its from this motto that the Boy Scouts got “Be prepared”. And then there was my Grandmother’s version of always being prepared that was based on the reality of the Great Depression rather than Camelot. “Its better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it”. And all of these have their time and place in life.

The folks coming to the tomb that first Easter Sunday morning were ready, weren’t they? They brought the things necessary to give Jesus a proper burial. With the fast approach of the Sabbath there hadn’t been time Friday. But now? They were ready. They didn’t know yet that these things weren’t needed. They were doing the next right thing, certainly. They were doing the best they could with what they had. But they were doing it without full knowledge. That was OK. The knowledge was coming.

Its important for us to always be ready. As ready as we can be given our own lack of perfect knowledge. We don’t always have all the details about any given situation, do we? But its still important to do the best we can with what we’ve got. Like Christ’s parable about the servants who were each given a talent of gold by their master before he went on a journey. Two did the best they could with what they had and were rewarded accordingly. The other servant, the one who didn’t do anything with his talent, well, he got anything but a reward.

What happened to those folks that Easter morning? Were they rewarded? Certainly. They were the first to have a part in the miracle of the resurrection weren’t they? They didn’t understand it all but they were prepared and they experienced a miracle as a result. A miracle that far outweighed their preparation. But there were a few others there that morning. There were the guards at the tomb. Were they ready, do you think? And their reward was? We’ve leave that. Its ultimately between them and God. Because we don’t have full knowledge and can’t say.

If we do the best we can with our talents and limited knowledge we can rest contentedly. We don’t need to know what’s in store for us. God’s got that covered.

“His lord said to him: Well done, good and faithful servant: because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Matthew 25:23, Douay-Rheims.

Just a thought … Its important to be ready in God’s service. Like those going to the tomb that Easter morning and like the servants in the parable were ready without knowing when their master would return. They didn’t know it all. We don’t either. But they were ready and rewarded. This is Lent. Its a time to get ready. In some ways our lives ought to be a perpetual Lent. And we’ll be surprised in the end by the generosity of God. Being ready can be the beginning of our miracle.

We have been blessed …

Pope Pius XII was Pope at the time of my birth who, if the truth be known (and it is known by those who set Hollywood’s retelling of history aside), was a hero of World War II. Then came Pope John XXIII, who opened windows and doors for us all. Next was Pope Paul VI, who was Pope when I converted. He was instrumental in putting into practice those positive changes brought about by Vatican II. There was the short Papal reign of Pope John Paul I, 33 days if I recall correctly. Pope John Paul II was a hero of a different sort. A staunch defender of liberty he helped bring about the demise of communism by peaceful means such as the Rosary. And, this is all just my opinion of course, he allowed the world to see his physical decline rather than hide himself away, which would have made our Pope inaccessible. He showed the world that you’re still a viable, worthwhile human being loved by God even in illness. He’s followed by Pope Benedict XVI who made some very subtle changes behind the scenes, changes that have had and will have a greater impact on the Church than most would think. And now we have the gift of God we call Pope Francis, a very personal Pope, one that is personable, one that is one of us, announcing Christ to the world through word and deed.

For nearly a century we have been blessed. I’m sure the blessings stretch back much further but I don’t so I talk about the Popes of my lifetime. It won’t be long now that we will celebrate Life in a special way. Easter. In celebrating Life lets give thanks for the life of the Church and how God manifests that life to the world through the good Popes we’ve been so blessed with.

We have been blessed. We are blessed. We will be blessed. Thank God.

You know, rolling stones are hard to count … Wednesday, September 4

English: Stones

OK, one, two, three … five thousand and eighty … Ratz! I can’t count ’em all!

A Rosary Meditation … The First Glorious Mystery, the Resurrection. New Life. Because Christ rose from the dead we will too. If He can get up and walk away from His own grave He can certainly raise us up. This body renewed, changed, made whole in every way, with an eternal guarantee. What more could you ask? The Resurrection is about more than just Easter Sunday, although you’d think that would be plenty. The Resurrection is both an offer and a promissory note to anyone willing. Willing to do what? Follow Jesus. f we follow Him in life we’ll follow Him in death. And the ultimate result? More rolled away stones than we’ll be able to count.

Today … St. John VianneySt. John Vianney, Priest (Patron of priests) Feast day – August 4 Universally known as the “Cure of Ars),” St. John Mary Vianney was ordained a priest in 1815. Three years later he was made parish priest of Ars, a remote French hamlet, where his reputation as a confessor and director of souls made him known throughout the Christian world. His life was one of extreme mortification. Accustomed to the most severe austerities, beleaguered by swarms of penitents, and besieged by the devil, this great mystic manifested an imperturbable patience. He was a wonderworker loved by the crowds, but he retained a childlike simplicity, and he remains to this day the living image of the priest after the heart of Christ. He heard confessions of people from all over the world for the sixteen hours each day. His life was filled with works of charity and love. It is recorded that even the staunchest of sinners were converted at his mere word. He died August 4, 1859, and was canonized May 31, 1925.

And … “And he departed from our sight that we might return to our heart, and there find Him. For He departed, and behold, He is here.” ~ St. Augustine. Some of the resurrection? Oh, it’s already started. Dead hearts made alive again.

Published in: on September 4, 2013 at 3:00 am  Comments Off on You know, rolling stones are hard to count … Wednesday, September 4  
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Inspiration

When I began catechism at age 18 one of the things I was taught was that I should, on my death-bed, call for an Eastern Orthodox priest if no Roman Catholic priest was available. It was explained to me that the sacraments are valid. Since then I’ve learned that

Saint Tikhon of Moscow (1865 – 1925):the Patri...

Saint Tikhon of Moscow (1865 – 1925):the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia of the Russian Orthodox Church during the early years of the Soviet Union, 1917 through 1925. Might be a good prayer partner for a reconciliation and full communion between East and West.

all of the various rites, and if memory serves there are 27 total, are still represented by groups faithful to Rome. I understand some of the doctrinal differences and, just a personal thought, I think much of what separates us and the groups out of full fellowship with Rome now days can be traced back to a bunch of bad politicians, and not so much churchmen, of centuries ago. Just an opinion. Anyway, I’ve always, because of the way I was taught and because of what I was taught, held our Orthodox brethren in high regard. I really think we’re not that far from reconciliation. Miracles happen. And from time to time common sense prevails, helped along by good will and a good dose of understanding. So I look forward to that day of coming together. As an aside, after the fall of Communism, there has been such a tremendous surge in vocations to the priesthood in Easter European countries, Russia in particular, that there are literally more than they know what to do with. Ever wonder how the current shortage of priests will be solved? It may be a foolish hope on my part, I don’t think it is, but we all might like to start brushing up on our Greek while they study a little more Latin. What’s all this got to do with inspiration? Plenty. As an Oblate I try, in some small way, to live a kind of lay monastic life. I think of my little cabin as Subiaco Annex. So this video? It gives me plenty to be inspired about. Watch it and you will learn and be blessed both at the same time.

Tombs were made to be empty … Wednesday, June 26

Empty Tomb

The Empty Tomb. Lets keep it that way.

A Rosary Meditation … The First Glorious Mystery, the Resurrection. “And they departed quickly from the tomb in fear and great joy.” Matthew 28:8. Some of the folks on that very first Easter Sunday had a pronounced reaction when confronted with the empty tomb. True, certain unbelievers made excuses and even paid the guards that had been on watch to lie about what had happened, but the people who believed, REALLY believed, had a resurrection all their own. They saw, they knew, they believed, they hoped. These things lay dead in most of us prior to faith. Given faith, when confronted by that empty space, these things came to life in their hearts. And their reaction proves it. They departed the tomb QUICKLY. Having been given new life in Christ we ought to be anxious to leave the death that is sin behind as fast as we can. They departed the tomb, leaving death behind, with a holy fear. A fear that drove them away and put the desire in their hearts never again to return to the ways of death, to sin. And all of this was accompanied with GREAT JOY. Leaving death behind and being brought face to face with THE Life, being given a portion of that life (and what is life without love?) they experienced joy. Joy unspeakable and full of glory. The joy that is a right, a true relationship with the Risen Christ. Life being what it is it’s an easy thing to get sidetracked. That’s normal enough. What’s more important than being sidetracked is getting back on track. Always remember the empty tomb, always flee death, always work out your salvation in fear and trembling, and always, ALWAYS experience the joy.

Today …

Bl. Teresa Fantou

Bl. Teresa Fantou

French martyr, she died in 1794. A member of the Sisters of Charity in Arras, during the French Revolution, she was arrested by republican authorities and guillotined at Cambrai. Teresa and her three companions, Francoise Lanel, Madeleine Fontaine, and Joan Gerard were beatified in 1920.The world is intent upon death, ours and its own. It doesn’t realize that martyrdom, by guillotine or pin pricks, is just another doorway to life for us. Teresa? She knows.

Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI … “Joy is the gift in which all the other gifts are included.”

Easter Sunday … March 31, 2013

Our Lord Jesus Christ

Our Lord Jesus Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Surrexit Dominus: the Lord is risen and grants to those who share in his triumph over death the courage and the strength to continue to build up a new humanity by refusing every kind of violence, sectarianism and injustice. The Lord of life has risen with power, bringing with him love and justice, respect, forgiveness and reconciliation. The One who from nothingness had called the world into existence, only he could break the seals of the tomb, only he could become the source of New Life for us, who are subject to the universal law of death. “Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?” (Mk 16:3), the women were asking one another, when very early they were going to the tomb where the Lord had been laid. To this question, asked by the people of every age, of every country, culture and continent, the Bishop of Rome replies, this year too, with the message “Urbi et Orbi“:

“Scimus Christum surrexisse a mortuis vere…” Yes, we know for certain that Christ is truly risen from the dead: You, victorious King, have mercy on us. Amen! Alleluia! ~ Blessed Pope John Paul II the Great ~


Taken from:
L’Osservatore Romano
Weekly Edition in English
10 April 1996.

The proof and the hope of our Christian Faith springs from an empty tomb.

 
Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation. And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal. Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

Saint Dismas from Luke 23: 40 – 42

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Because He lives … Saturday, March 30

English: Resurrection of Christ

Resurrection of Christ. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Rosary Meditation … The First Glorious Mystery, the Resurrection. “For I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no one shall take from you.” John 16:22. A good verse to dwell upon the day before Easter. “For I will see you again … ” God knows every flower of the field and watches over all the sparrows. There has never been a time when you and I haven’t been in His field of vision. In saying “I will see you again” He makes it clear that He will receive us, at His second coming or at our death. Either way He’ll be seeing a loved one that He’s always watched over. We on the other hand will see a Loved One with our own eyes for the first time. Perhaps many is the time that we’ve glimpsed Him with our heart. But this seeing? It will be eye to eye. He has risen, the First Fruits of Life and New Life. Because He lives so do we. Just think about that for a little. Because He lives so do we. Without His Resurrection everything else, the teachings, the healings, the fulfillment of prophecy, would’ve been of no account. His Resurrection is the proof of all the rest. It is the guarantee that because He lives so do we.

Today … St. Pastor. Bishop of Orleans, France. There is no documentation concerning him but this we can know about him. He’s alive and well for the reason given above.

Confirmation of all the above … “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live (John 11:25).

Published in: on March 30, 2013 at 4:46 am  Comments Off on Because He lives … Saturday, March 30  
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Saturday, December 22

A Rosary Meditation … The First Glorious Mystery, the Resurrection. “Amen, amen, I say to you, that you shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.” John 15:20. Its easy enough to see how these words applied to the followers of Jesus when you think about the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. But how might they be applied to us personally, today? We can take joy in the Resurrection, that’s true. But does it stop there? Should it stop there? Is there nothing else to be joyous about? The Crucifixion was a bad experience for the disciples, seeing their much-loved Leader put to death like a common criminal. But the Resurrection offered nothing but joy and understanding. Joy because He lived again, understanding because this new life of His presented to them a glimmer of understanding of their own new life in Him. After this understanding began to dawn that first Easter morning the Crucifixion took on new meaning and didn’t look the same. And all of this should be an encouragement for us today. Because the joy and understanding didn’t stop there. When things look dark today we can remember all of this and look forward to tomorrow. Read 2 Corinthians 4, its short. Because as bad as things might seem right now we can trust God to bring something good out of it all. I’ll use myself as an example. Setting there in a doctor’s examination room and  being told you’re going to die and there’s nothing much anyone can do about it other than try to postpone it for a time is not a joyous occasion. But it brought me back to Church and a closer relationship with God and I have Hebrews 12:6 as a great consolation. I tell people I love my cancer. Is it any wonder? When things look dark with no light in sight, when you’re in a tunnel looking for the light at the end of it and find out the tunnel is a dead-end, that’s no reason to give up hope. It is the perfect time to take great joy in a Living, Loving, miracle-working God.

Today … St. Hunger. OK, if you’ve ever read the section titled “About me and my blog” listed over there on the right side of this page you know I admit to having an odd sense of humor. I’m trying to lose a few pounds and, well, when I started looking for a saint of the day this one just kinda stood out. But, turns out he is a good choice. Between running from Vikings and dealing with King Lotharius he seems to have had problems enough. Kings and Viking hoards aside, he was a bishop. If there was ever a bishop without headaches I’ll eat my mitre. (And no, I don’t have a mitre but, like I said, I’m trying to lose a few pounds and at this point just about anything looks appetizing.) I think St. Hunger knew dark days and sorrows. But being close to God I don’t think the darkness prevailed. How could it when Hunger possessed the Light? John 1:4. When things look dark for you remember St. Hunger and ask him to help you never to lose sight of the Light emanating from that empty tomb.

Hope … Having hope is how we express our faith in God when things look bleak.