So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Friday, September 9, 2016

Celebrating the last five decades with the saints.

No, this is not a post about the Holy Rosary, nor is it an attempt to sugar coat the last fifty years in the history of the Church.

This is a simple post to recall to mind the many blessings bestowed on Holy Mother Church. Which is to say, the blessing of living in these times.

We have witnessed several benevolent acts of mercy shown to us by Almighty God. They come in the form of biographies, the lives of the saints.

Here are four reasons to be hopeful in the midst of any personal and corporate trials:
  • the papacy and person of Pope Saint John Paul II (the Great!)
  • Thérèse of Lisieux, the Little Flower, made Doctor of the Church (1997)
  • Saint John of Avila, made Doctor of the Church (2012)
  • Saint Teresa of Calcutta (2016)
We who are a few years along the path of life have been extraordinarily blessed with the opportunity to witness God's magnificent and abundant mercy to us in the gift of the aforementioned blessings.

The lives and examples of these holy people are anchors of hope that reorient our hearts and minds toward the joy of orthodoxy, the certainty of the Holy Gospel, the triumph of the Church and the promise of heavenly glory.

When the going gets tough and a somber mood tempts you to be its constant companion, remember that
The five wounds in the flesh of Jesus open a place for you in the Body of Christ; your wounds, your suffering opens in you a place for God. Suffering creates an opening for God to work in us, through us.
Should we go looking for suffering? Should we act in a way that brings unnecessary suffering upon us? No. In those moments, however, when suffering cannot be avoided—physical pain, mental anguish, oppression of spirit—we can enter into those wounds and meet Christ Who is present to us when we are weakened.

Remember the Lord's counsel to His servant Paul: 
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.—2 Corinthians 12: 9-10.
God used Karol Wojtyla to inspire a generation to launch out into the deep (duc in altum), and to be not afraid. His witness inspired millions behind the Iron Curtain and their hope and God-given fortitude brought down an evil empire.
Brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to welcome Christ and accept his power. Help the Pope and all those who wish to serve Christ and with Christ's power to serve the human person and the whole of mankind. Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors for Christ. To his saving power open the boundaries of States, economic and political systems, the vast fields of culture, civilization and development. Do not be afraid. Christ knows "what is in man". He alone knows it.—Pope Saint John Paul II
Thérèse, a wisp of a girl, possessed the spirit of a giant. Her mission in the afterlife? Spend her heaven by doing good on earth.
Love!...that is what I ask...I know but one thing now - to love Thee, O Jesus! Glorious deeds are not for me, I cannot preach the Gospel, shed my blood...what does it matter? My brothers toil instead of me, and I, the little child, I keep quite close to the royal throne, I love for those who fight.—Saint Thérèse
Saint John of Avila, not to be confused with Saint John of the Cross, also of Avila—there must have been something in the water of Avila to nurture the formation of so many great saints!—was lauded by Pope Benedict who named him Doctor of the Church on 7 October 2012, the Feast of the Holy Rosary.
During his homily, Pope Benedict said that John of Ávila was a "profound expert on the sacred Scriptures, he was gifted with an ardent missionary spirit. He knew how to penetrate in a uniquely profound way the mysteries of the redemption worked by Christ for humanity. A man of God, he united constant prayer to apostolic action. He dedicated himself to preaching and to the more frequent practice of the sacraments, concentrating his commitment on improving the formation of candidates for the priesthood, of religious and of lay people, with a view to a fruitful reform of the Church".—
Turn yourself round like a piece of clay and say to the Lord: I am clay, and you, Lord, the potter. Make of me what you will (cf. Isaiah 64:8).—St. John of Avila
Saint Teresa of Calcutta, who saw and served Jesus in the poorest of the poor. May we remember her witness, and may her intercession before the throne of God aid the witness of her sons and daughters religious on earth. May the Missionaries of Charity, the Missionaries of Charity Brothers, the contemplative branch of the Sisters, the Co-Workers of Mother Teresa, the Sick and Suffering Co-Workers, and the Lay Missionaries of Charity remain ever zealous for salvation of souls. May we adopt as our own Saint Teresa of Calcutta's inspiration that
God has not called me to be successful; He has called me to be faithful.—Saint Teresa.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta, Saint John of Avila, Saint Thérèse the Little Flower, Pope Saint John Paul II: pray for us.

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