Thursday, October 31, 2013

Holy Mother, mother of all saints, pray for us sinners so that we too may be united with you and all the saints in adoring the Eucharist unveiled for all eternity, which is to see the face of God and to be one with Him in a eternal communion of love. Amen.

Homily for All Saints

Today we celebrate the great feast of All Saints. This feast encompasses all the saints, not just the ones canonized that we celebrate in the Liturgical Calendar. The vast majority of saints are ones that we don’t even know their name. In fact, some of the greatest saints may be unknown to us…those souls whose lives passed away in obscurity, their silent hidden faithful lives unknown but to God alone, who sees all. We are told in the book of Revelation that St. John saw, “a great multitude, which not one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue.” This multitude is all of the saints in heaven, better know as the Church Triumphant.

And so we could call today’s feast, the feast of the Church Triumphant. That is the feast of those members of the Church who have merited heaven by their holiness of lives and are now singing their triumphant song of Joy. Because of their faithfulness to Jesus Christ and to His truth and so because of their faithfulness to His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, they have achieved their salvation and are now rejoicing with Him, forever in paradise: “They stood before the Lamb and before the throne... They cried out in a loud voice- salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne and from the Lamb.” This is the vision of the Church gathered around the sacred altar of heaven prostrated before the Holy Eucharist revealed and unveiled to them in all of its glory. What great joy!

The Members of the Church Triumphant in heaven have not forgotten us. This is a feast day in which we not only give glory to God for His great work in making these souls shine like the stars of heaven, but a day in which we evoke the saints for their help in living out our lives as theirs, in faithful obedience to Jesus and to His One true Church on earth, so we like them can one day save our souls, and be with them in paradise. We cannot presume our salvation, we must work it out with fear and trembling. But our great hope comes from this feast in which we realize that this great throng of witnesses in heaven spurs us on to victory, and are ever ready to help us if we but call on their intercession. This is why this feast day is so important, why the Church has made it a holy day of obligation. We open our eyes, to the reality that we need the help of all of those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith. Celebrating this feast by coming to Holy Mass is an act of faith, an acceptance of God’s design, while failure to celebrate it knowingly only shows a lack of faith and a rejection of God’s plan.

The Church requires our presence at Mass this day, because here at the Holy Mass is the only place on this earth where we can be one with the Church Triumphant in adoration the Holy Eucharist—of God. The only difference is that they see the Eucharist unveiled, Jesus body, blood, soul and divinity in all of His glory, while we must see this glory through the eyes of faith…O Lord help us to see!!! When the priest says, right before the Holy, Holy, Holy and now we join with all the angels and saints in their song of joy, the priest is not saying that the saints are somewhere far off singing Holy Holy Holy with us, no, no…the priest is reminding us the Holy Mass makes present all of the saints in heaven right here in this Church with us, along with all of the angels as well. As the bishop of Madison Wisconsin once wrote as he was discussing the Hymns we sing at Mass; We must remember that as we pray before the "Holy, Holy, Holy," the angels and saints are present with us giving praise to the Trinity. The hymns we sing (at Mass) should be worthy of the participation of the angels and saints. The Holy Mass, through the power of the priesthood, opens heaven to us, so that when we are at Mass, we are more in heaven than we are on earth.…Do we have the faith of a child to believe this, do we have the faith of Child to believe that the saints are here with us…if we don’t, now is the time to beg God to humble us and increase our faith.

Tomorrow we will celebrate the Commemoration of the Dead-that is all of those holy souls who are in purgatory, being purged of their lack of love which stems from their lack of knowledge of the teachings of the Church or any error they may have with regards to that teaching. The Souls in purgatory are that part of the Body of Christ known as the Church Suffering. These souls too, can help us if we pray for them and to them asking for their help. At they same time, they cannot pray for themselves, they need our prayers to help them. So, while not a holy day of Obligation, attendance at Mass on all souls is a great act of charity to these suffering souls in purgatory, some of which are members of our own family and friends for sure…

These days, we the Church Militant, that is the members of the Church, still embroiled in the great battle for our soul and the souls of all here on earth, by celebrating all Saints day and all souls day, join ourselves in a deeper communion with the entire Church, that is the Church Triumphant in heaven, the Church Suffering in purgatory and of Course with the rest of the members of the Church Militant on earth. It is through the blood of the Lamb that we are united. United from all times and places in the union of the heart of the Lamb, who was slain for us. Our union and communion is through Him, with Him and In Him. It is at this Holy Mass and at all the Holy Masses that the blood of the Lamb and the Heart of the Lamb of God are made truly, physically, substantially and sacramentally present for us to partake in, in order to share in the Unity of the entire Church, the Church in heaven, the Church in purgatory and the Church here on earth. Today, the entire Church looks to the Lamb and glorifies Him and adores Him with love, united in one voice and one heart.

Let us today rejoice that we too gather around the great altar of Lamb, who was slain and who is our salvation. Our reception of Holy Communion joins us not only to the celebration of the Holy Mass on earth, but also to the celebration of the Holy Mass unveiled in heaven. It brings us communion with the entire Church, the Church Triumphant in Heaven, the Church suffering in purgatory and the Church Militant here on earth. May Our Lord strengthen our faith and hope through the intercession of all the saints around His throne.

Holy Mother, mother of all saints, pray for us sinners so that we too may be united with you and all the saints in adoring the Eucharist unveiled for all eternity, which is to see the face of God and to be one with Him in a eternal communion of love. Amen.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

We can't even pray the Hail Mary truthfully, if we don't recognize or sinfulness. For how can we say, "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners", if we don't see the truth that we are sinners in need of her prayer?.....

Luke 18;9-14 Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time. October 27th, 2013

For the past couple of weeks, the Church has given us readings about prayer, and today is no exception. Last week we were encouraged to persevere in our prayer; remember the story of the widow and the unjust judge. Today, Jesus teaches us an essential disposition of prayer- that of humility... to accept the truth, the real truth about ourselves in light of God and of His truth.

In the Gospel of St. Luke, we hear Jesus speaking to a group of believers, who convinced of their own goodness and their own self-righteousness, despise everyone else, the rest of humanity. The Pharisees thought they were righteous, and everyone else, especially Jesus and his disciples, were not. How would we translate this to our own day?

Well, it seems there was a priest who had given a moving homily on the Gospel we just heard, about this proud Pharisee and the humble publican or public sinner, tax collector. Everybody it seems was impressed with the priest’s homily, especially one man, who had developed a decided dislike for the Pharisee or any else who would brag: “God, I thank thee that I am not like other men.” Right after Mass, this man shook hands with the priest and told him: “Good sermon, Father.” Then he added: “Thank God, I’m not like that Pharisee.”

Unfortunately of course, this man was doing the very same thing the Pharisee was doing in the Gospel. It was clear in his comments to the priest, that this man was blind to the fact that he was committing the exact same sin of the Pharisee; the sin of self-righteous pride; that is, the sin of considering himself better than someone else or even everyone else; the sin of refusing to change his life according to the truth, that is the refusal to see his own sinfulness in light of the Gospel and the teachings of the Church in order to repent and convert his own life. It is the same sin of the Pharisee, which believes it’s everyone else who needs to change--the rest of humanity but not me. The self-righteous is one who never deals with his own sin. This reveals something else about self-righteousness.

A person who hasn't dealt with his own sins also becomes fixated on the real or imagined sins of others and constantly points them out. He expects perfection in everyone else, but not in himself. And then, when a person in his life fails to live up to the impossible standard of perfection he sets for them, he resents them for it. He ends up of with a long list of grudges. He even begins to project his own sins onto other people in order to keep himself from looking at his own imperfect life. Whenever a person doesn't deal with own his sins, his life gets caught up in trying to control others, to change others. And when they don’t change according to his standards this leads him to anger, resentment and even revenge against the other. (Be careful of those who talk angrily about the faults of others because so often the supposed faults of others belong in fact to the one who is pointing them out! It’s kind of like a thief who accuses someone else of thievery in order to pull the attention off himself)

My mom's mom, my grandma had a great saying, "Don't worry about the dirt on your neighbor's porch, you have enough to sweep off on your own." The truth is clear, we are all sinners. The great saints of the Church, such as St. Francis of Assisi, knew they were sinners. In fact, the closer they drew to Christ, the more they realized in His Divine Light how sinful they were and so the more they sought his forgiveness and so open themselves up to His Divine Mercy. The opposite is true, if we fail to realize that we are sinners the more we close ourselves off to the Mercy of God.

We have to be careful because if we are honest (and humble) we have to admit that there is a little Pharisee that lives in each one of us trying to justify our faults and failings; and at the same time, always wanting to point out the real or supposed faults and failures of others. And in light of our supposed perfection, “I am not like them,” we will then too want to react strongly against anyone, anyone, who would show us, through their words or through their holiness of life, the truth about our self; the truth about own real sins, faults and failures. And we can even go further and be like a thief and accuse a good man in order to take the attention off of our self.

Jesus showed the Pharisees the truth about their sins. He did so by His words and by his actions; the light of His divine continence removed the clouds of self-imposed blindness so they could see their sinfulness. But they didn't want to see it. And so instead, they projected their sin on Jesus. They falsely accused him, and in the end killed him, even though they knew Him to be just man. The very same thing happens every day, even in our Church, our parishes and in our families. Good people who are trying to live lives of holiness. By their actions they bring the light of Christ that convicts the guilty consciences of others, others who instead of repenting, attack the goodness in the one whose life convicts them, falsely accusing him or her of all sorts of misdeeds. In the end the falsely accused may not be killed physically, but they are killed nonetheless; their good name is killed-this happens especially to good and holy priests, but not only to priests. The true prophet, that is he or she who preaches the truth by word and most importantly by holiness of life, is always attacked and falsely accused by those who refused to admit the truth about their sinfulness and so refuse to repent and convert their lives to Christ. In the end the prophet can even be physically killed. And not just by the pagans, but even by those who claim to be followers of Christ and are within the Church --these are the wolves in sheep’s clothing that our Blessed Lord warns about and they can be bishops, priests or members of the laity.

Jesus for his part does not want to condemn anyone for sin. He wants to give us, through His Spirit, the confidence to face the hard facts- that we are indeed miserable sinners. But He doesn't do this so we beat ourselves up and despair, but instead so we will see our desperate need for His infinite mercy; and in light of this desperate need, and with great hope, open ourselves to His Divine Mercy by our repentance and conversion of heart.

God knows all our sins, from every omission to every thought and deed; He knows the truth about us. We may be able to fool others but not Him. Yet, nevertheless, he desires to forgives us and make us better. The publican knew this about God and so said- “have mercy on me a sinner.” This sinner believed that God was merciful and would pardon his sins, if he but beg for God's mercy. The publican didn't even have time to look at the sins of the Pharisees; in fact, and this is the other part of all of this, I am sure, the publican, in the recognition of his sinfulness and in light of God's mercy, realized his great need to beg for God's mercy, not only for himself, but for all of his fellow sinners..."have mercy on us and on the whole world!"

When we pray we can ask God to help us have this humble-truthful attitude about ourselves, saying like the publican, "have mercy on me a sinner!" Jesus knows our sins and He knows as well our fear of facing them. We for our part need to ask the Holy Spirit to show us how God's see us, not how we see ourselves- to reveal to us the true state of our soul as it stands before God’s Infinite holiness and perfection. The Holy Spirit will then reveal to us this truth ever so gently. He will peal back the scab so that we can see the infection that lies beneath the surface of our soul. As we become more and more aware of the infection of our sins, the Holy Spirit will tell us how much He loves us and how much He desires to heal the damage our sin has cause to our hearts. He will also point out how our sins have hurt all of the members of the mystical body of Christ, the Church; but now, that through us, He wishes to heal that damage as well in order to reconcile us to God and to one another, especially in our families and parish family!

We need to be humble; but as we all know, being humble is so hard for us. Jesus offers us so much help, but we need to us it. First He gives us the help of the sacrament of Reconciliation. Confession is one the most humble acts we as humans can do, that is why it can be hard for us.

To go before the priest acting in the person of Christ, or I should say, Christ acting in the person of the priest, is very humbling, that’s one of the reasons why we need to do it. The Pharisee would have never been humble enough to go to confession. He would have thought that with all his good and righteous deeds, like regular community outreach, church attendance, tithing and fasting he didn’t need to confess his sins to Jesus, much less to Jesus’ representative, the priest, that’s for other people. This can also happen to us; by thinking that with all of our many good deeds we no longer need confession, after all we haven’t “killed” anyone; at least we think…maybe not physically but have we killed their good reputation, through gossip, detraction and calumny?

Most people don’t decide one day they are never going to confession anymore. They just put it on the backburner, thinking they are righteous enough and before you know it, months turn into years and years into decades. And even for those who still go to confession a sense of pharisaical self-righteousness can easily creep into their confessions and hold them back from being totally truthful to the priest. They become like the person who said, “Father I stole a piece of paper.” What was on the piece of paper, asked the priest. “Well just some 1’s and 0’s aaannd a picture of Benjamin Franklin.” And so as a result of their self-righteousness they only see the real or imagined sins of others and not their own...and they too can then succumb to the lie, "why do I have to go to confession?" In the end, I guarantee you that the tax collector would have been the first in line to go to confession, and fall on his knees in order to confess his sins fully and truthfully.

To go along with confession, the Sacrament of God's mercy, forgiveness and healing, is the help that comes from the Holy Eucharist. One always leads a person to the other. The reality of the Holy Eucharist is the greatest of all helps to teach us humility. Jesus humbled himself to become a man and more deeply humbles Himself when he becomes our food in His great gift of the Holy Eucharist. Just think, Jesus, the Word incarnate, humbles himself to be present fully in the Eucharist- his body, blood, soul and divinity. This is the greatest act of humility the world has seen or will ever see!

If Jesus, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords can humble himself to become our food, we should have the same confidence and trust to open our hearts in humility to Him. We do this both by kneeling before Him in the person of the priest in the Sacrament of confession and by kneeling in adoration before His true substantial presence in the Holy Eucharist. His grace received through confession and through the reception and adoration of the Eucharist is our help to truly receive the gift of humility, to see ourselves as we are, so we can allow Him to strengthen and heal our hearts and so our communion of love with God and with one another.

The more in faith we adore God in the Holy Eucharist the more His light reveals to us our true self, the more then we see that we are sinners in need of his forgiveness and mercy. Yet at the same time, the more we see His great love for us; and as a result, the more we fall madly in love with His Divine Presence. The more as well, we see our connection with our brothers and sisters and Christ in our Church family throughout the world, and the Church family in our midst, the parish family, and our great need and responsibility to love them, to sacrifice for them and to pray for the healing of the damage our sin as cause the unity of the whole body of Christ, the Church, including St. Mary’s parish family.

Let us ask Jesus as we receive Him worthily today, to give us His gift of humility and prayer. Let us receive Him in Holy Communion not only for ourselves but also for our entire parish family, for the strengthening of the communion of love between all of its members in the Mystical Body of Christ. Let us say from the depths of our souls, “Domine non sum dignus intres sub tectum meum: sed tantum dic verbo, et sanabitur anima mea.” That is, “O Lord I am not worthy to receive you under my roof, but only say the Word and my soul shall be healed.”

And finally, let us turn to the Blessed Mother—the humble handmaid of the Lord. We can't even pray the Hail Mary truthfully, if we don't recognize or sinfulness. For how can we say, "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners", if we don't see the truth that we are sinners in need of her prayer?.....Holy Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, Mother of our Parish family, pray for us sinners who have recourse to thee. Amen. God Bless you all!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

It is through our devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary that we best make this self-offering to God.

Luke 18; 1-8 Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time. October 20th, 2013

Last week we witnessed an important event in the history of our modern times. Pope Francis made an act of consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. By doing so, Francis, as the Vicar of Christ on Earth, renewed a previous act done by Blessed John Paul II back in 1984. This act of John Paul was made in order to fulfill part of a request given by the Blessed Virgin Mary in Fatima Portugal in the year 1917 to three little shepherd children when she asked that the pope in union with all the bishops of the world would consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart.

Importantly, according to the eldest of the Children, Sister Lucia, who just died in 2005, John Paul’s act of consecration did indeed fulfilled this part of the urgent request from heaven given by Our Lady of Fatima. The only problem with John Paul’s part of the act of consecration was that it was done some 67 years too late. Sadly, if Our Lady’s requests would have been fulfilled right away after she appeared in 1917, the twentieth century and now the twenty-first century would have been saved from wars, persecution, diseases, natural disasters and so from great suffering.

The important thing to understand however is not that the popes somehow failed us by not making sooner the consecration of Russia and the world to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. No, the popes did not fail us, we failed ourselves. In other words, not enough people took seriously the heavenly warnings given to the three little shepherd Children; people refused to repent of their sins. They failed to make their own personal consecration of their lives to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of His Mother in order to convert back to God. You see this too was part of Our Lady’s request—our own personal repentance and personal conversion.

The warning of Fatima is then so very current; it is for our day. The greatest of the prophecies of Fatima have not yet been fulfilled. Fatima is really a call to return to God and stop sinning. It is the same call of the Gospel: Repent and be converted. If not the world will experience a punishment from God of biblical proportion, greater than even the flood. But it will not be a punishment of the Father’s making but of man’s own making. Pope John Paul and now Pope Francis know that even though these warnings from heaven are serious, they are given to us as a message of Great Hope. But will we listen before it is too late? Will we make the same mistake, as did the majority of the world after Heaven’s visit in 1917 and ignore the warnings?

We are starting to see the warnings come true, something is happening to our world and it is not good and deep down everybody knows it. We are in trouble, already so much suffering. And there are greater trials ahead for everyone. Listen to what Blessed John Paul II said in November 1980 at Fulda, Germany:

“We must be ready to face great trials, which could also require the sacrifice of our life for Christ…the trials could be reduced through your and our prayer, but they can’t “anymore” be avoided, because a true renewal of the Church can take place only this way…Let’s be strong and let’s get ready, having faith in Christ and in His Mother. Let’s pray much and often the Holy Rosary.”

We have been given a way to lessen the severity of the trials and bring an error of peace to our world. It is through our own repentance and conversion through devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. God does not wish the purification of the world by fire, but by grace. And so, God wishes for you and I, by our holiness of life, to become instruments of His grace and His mercy, so He can use us to convert our world so steeped in the mire of sin and so death.

Fatima reminds us that Sin, not God, is what is the cause of all unhappiness into the world; sin causes all wars in our world, in our communities and families, sin causes division and a lack of peace even within our selves. It was sin that caused physical death to come into the world, and, if it is serious, sin can cause spiritual death, which if left unrepentant can cause eternal death. Is important to note that Mother of God actually showed these three little Children the reality of hell, that it does exist contrary to the denial of so many, even so many churchmen; those who deny it, risk ending up there. And so the Blessed Mother warns us her children of the great loss of souls that will occur if men do not heed heaven’s warning through her, and repent from their sins and convert, that is turn back to the All loving, but all Holy and Just God.

The modern world is really living in a dream world, which is quickly turning into a nightmare; it is ignoring the reality of sin and its devastating effects. One of the gravest of sins in our modern society pointed to at Fatima is what the Second Vatican Council referred to as practical atheism. Practical atheism is seen in the fact that while many say they believe in God, they in all practicality live their lives as if He doesn’t exist. For the most part they ignore him by how they live their lives, even though they may continue to give him “lip service.”

This practical atheism or we may call it secularism; this practical denial of God must be repented of. How….? By man paying attention to God. And the best way to do this is first of all by prayer. Fatima then, as the Gospel, is a call to pray always. For Man must pray to God the source of everything, talk to Him, meditation on Him and on His truths, and contemplate His mysteries all in an effort to achieve an intimate loving union with God. The goal of Prayer is not just to receive something from God; it is not just to talk to God; it is to become unite with God in a union of love where the soul seeks to become one with God as a drop of water becomes one with the ocean when the two meet.

It is God our heavenly Father who loves us and so who calls us into this union with Him. He initiates the contact, but we must in faith then give our response to His Call. And we must then pray to God not only for ourselves but also for all of the millions who ignore Him. We must seek Him on behalf of the indifferent souls who live their lives as if He didn’t exist and who never think of their death and the judgment that comes after, heaven or hell. We must try to love God in order to make up for all of those who don’t love Him; we must pray always in order to become instruments for the conversion of others, to become instruments of mercy for us and for our whole world, in order to help save souls from an eternal separation from God for ever.

Today Jesus desires to help us answer Fatima’s call to pray always in order to renew and save our world. In today’s Gospel, He uses the image of a widow in great need; she persistently bothers the unjust judge, who because of her constant supplication, finally gives into her request. Jesus makes a contrast here between the judge and our Heavenly Father; if even this unjust Judge will grant the widow’s request because of her perseverance, how much more will Our Father in heaven who loves us grant our requests when we persevere in our prayer to Him. The lesson is of course this, because prayer is that action which put us into direct Contact with the living God we must pray always, without ceasing or becoming weary.

Jesus himself gives us the example of praying always. Prayer was the connecting thread of his whole life. His mind was always on His Father, everything He did was done for love of His Father. So intimate was and is this conversation and relationship, that Jesus and his Father are one. Of Jesus, it is said that he prayed during the day, in the evening, early in the morning, and sometimes he passed the whole night in prayer. We are deceiving ourselves if we think that we can pray from the heart if we do not set aside every day, fixed times for prayer, times when we are free from every other distraction.

Jesus shows us that prayer should be the first act of our day and the last of act of our day, along with times in between to pray as well, including before and after meals. Part of our ceaseless prayer are those specific schedule times of our day, which should be devoted to contemplation and private prayer; It is during these times in the silence away from the cares of the world, if only for a little while, that we come to know God’s holy will for us and are strengthened to perform our daily duties in a way that is pleasing to Our Lord.

The call of Fatima and of the Gospels to pray always means then living in a personal, constant union with God. It doesn’t mean spending all day in church, and it certainly doesn’t mean neglecting our daily duties of life in order to pray. No, praying always is simply fulfilling our daily duties with our mind and heart centered on God and on our love for Him and His love for us. Your work, everything you do, no matter how insignificant is done for love of God and offered to God in love and for love of neighbor for love of God; your whole life becomes a living prayer and gives God glory. This begins with a morning offering; that is with an act of our will in which we offer all our thoughts, words and actions to God with a prayer such as: all for the Sacred and Eucharist heart of Jesus, all through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, all in union with St. Joseph. The key here is that as we offer our daily activities we do so with a desire to show our love for God who loves us beyond our imagining.

You see, prayer can never be about calculating the time we spend, or checking it off our list of things to do. Does a mother ask how often she should love her child or a friend how often he should love a friend? Does a Mother ever see it has a burden to talk to her child, or friend to talk to his friend, the one he loves. St. Augustine says that the essence of prayer is desire. And so, if the desire for God is constant, so also is prayer. But if there is no interior desire, then you can howl as much as you want – to God you are mute.

And so, praying always is above all is an act of love, and love takes great effort. We truly need the Holy Spirit's help to help us pray always, for we do not know how to pray, as we ought. Because we have a fallen human nature we are so weak and so easily become weary, we so often want to take the easy way out when prayer is a struggle, when we don’t feel anything or we don’t seem to get anything out of it. The devil too, gives us senseless reasons the enemy for abandoning our prayer, ‘I have no time’ – when we are constantly wasting it. ‘This not for me.’ ‘My heart is dry…’ and on and on.

Prayer however, is not a question of what we say or feel, but of love; it is a choice to love and be with the one we love; it is a matter of the heart; the whole person, mind, intellect and will…it rises above the emotions. The great effort is worth it. Many of our difficulties and obstacles in prayer will disappear if we just pause throughout our daily activities to consider that we are always in the presence of a God who loves us more than we love ourselves. He is at our side as much as with the ones who heard and spoke to him in today’s Gospel; in fact He is closer. He never leaves us and longs to enter into intimate conversation with us, not just once in while, but always.

Also an essential part of our scheduled daily prayer must be the prayer of the Holy Rosary. The three little shepherds (at Fatima) understood the value of the Rosary as a call to prayer and an easy way of responding to Jesus’ call to us to pray always. Sister Lucia, one of the children of Fatima wrote, “Those who say the Rosary daily are like children who, every day, manage to find a few moments just to be with their father, to keep him company, to show him their gratitude, to do some service for him, to receive his advice and his blessing. It is an exchange of love, the love of the father for the child and the child for the father; it is a mutual giving.”

The Rosary leads us to another essential part of how we pray always. In the Rosary, Our Mother leads us by the hand to a deep intimate loving encounter with her Son, Jesus. In the Rosary, we contemplate the mysteries of Jesus through the eyes of His Mother and our Mother; through her we learn to imitate the life of her Son. And so, the Rosary is really a Eucharistic prayer; if it is prayed correctly and with love and devotion it leads us to Jesus truly present in His human body and soul along with His divinity, in the Holy Eucharist. Love and devotion for the Eucharist is then an essential part of praying always, for the Eucharist is the only way to God, because it is God in His human nature and His human nature is the door way to His Divinity—Intimacy with the Eucharist is then the goal of prayer-for it is the way to oneness with God.

And so it is absolutely essential for our prayer that we set aside, as the Church as always done, a special day dedicated to worship, prayer and study, yes studying our faith is part of prayer. This special day is of course Sunday; it was previously known as the Lord's day, because it was suppose to be a day set aside for the Eucharistic Lord; by the way not just one hour, at Holy Mass but the whole day.

The whole day of Sunday should really be set aside for God, especially as families; that is families united together praying and focusing on the things of God to grow closer as family to God. The early Church did this; Sunday began with Mass, continued with catechism, learning about God, time for resting, recreation and relaxation with God, and then ended by the family returning to the Church for a holy Hour with God in the Eucharist. After the Sunday Holy Hour, families would then join the clergy in chanting Sunday Evening prayer. Every family did this in order to grow closer to God and one another. This is why in my former parish I held Family and Children Holy hour, to bring children and whole families to a privileged time outside of Mass to be with the one we love, Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.

If we are to pray always we must do whatever we can so that this day, Sunday, can return to being, as God intended, a day of serene joy that strengthens our communion with God, and through Him, with each other, in the family, and with emphasis, "the parish family." Out of this will flow a renewal of our whole society. We will never straighten out our Society and answer Fatima’s call to pray always without restoring Sunday as the Lord's day; again the whole day.

Let us today, each one of us take seriously heaven’s message of hope given at Fatima by responding to its call to pray always in order make up for the worlds great sin of ignoring God. With help of God grace, which comes to us only from Holy Mother Church through her Sacraments, let us struggle more to turn away from all sin and turn more fully to God who is already so greatly offended by the sins of the world. Let pray always as individuals and as a world turn to God by living our lives with greater fidelity to His Commandments and so with greater fidelity to all the Teachings of His One, Holy, True Catholic and Apostolic Church, which is the font of all grace that souls need in order to be converted and so be saved

The infinite grace made available by the most perfect of all prayers will help us. Fatima reminded us that the most perfect all prayers is of course the Holy Mass because it is the sacrificial prayer of Jesus to the Father on our behalf. But for Holy Mass to be effective in our lives, we must, as members of the Mystical Body of Christ, offer ourselves fully to the one we Love, God. This is the prayer of adoration in which we must surrender ourselves, consecrate ourselves, offer ourselves along with Jesus’s own self-offering to the Father. For it is the Father who out of His love for us, first offers us everything, even Himself, through the Spirit, in the gift of His Son; in order that we may one forever in the love and unity of the Triune God.

It is through our devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary that we best make this self-offering to God. By praying her rosary and wearing her brown Scapular with faith in her Son and in Her, Her hands will become for us the living paten on which our hearts will become acceptable to Her Son and by Her Son through the Father. As the Spouse of the Holy Spirit she will obtain for us the strength we need to live this offering faithfully and fully and so become more and more transformed in other Christ’s for the conversion of others in our families, in our parishes and in our world. Our lives will then become lives of prayer in imitation of Christ, for the salvation of our world.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Heavenly Father the merciful heart of Your Son came into the world through the heart of Mary, through her loving yes, through her complete surrender to Your Holy Will.

Sunday October 13th, 2013

Today an event is happening in Rome, which will probably go unnoticed to most of the world. But it is an event that will have enormous consequences for everyone. Today our Holy Father, Pope Francis is consecrating the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Consecration means to make a solemn act of the will in which something or someone is set-aside exclusively for another. A man is consecrated to his wife in marriage, a priest is consecrated to the Church at his ordination, and a child is consecrated to God at his or her baptism. A consecration is an act of the will in which a person offers his or her entire self to another in a complete surrender of love.

The best of all consecrations is one in which each one of us, by a complete act of the will, gives our entire selves, all that we have and all that we are, in loving and complete surrender to God, who in His unfathomable love has given His entire self to us in the person of His only Son, Jesus Christ, who surrendered Himself to us in love on the cross, and who continues this renew this self-offering at every Holy Mass which is offered. In all of this we discover something fundamental.

Every act of true and authentic love is a consecration; it is a selfless gift of loving surrender of self to the other; of one person for another; of God for man and of man for God. And if this is so, then, an act of consecration must be constantly renewed by living it faithfully in every moment of our life. In this, we discover that God wants to save our troubled world through love; the answer to evil is love, the answer to sin is love, the answer to war is love, the answer to our longing hearts is love. We have been made for love, to be consecrated to God in love.

Pope Francis’ act of consecration today is actually faithfully following, as he has this whole past year, the itinerary of events that Pope Benedict schedule in order to celebrate this year, which is been set aside as the “Year of Faith.” This act of consecration of the World to the Immaculate Heart is the second last event scheduled-the last event will occur on the Feast of Christ the King, which will bring to close the Year of Faith, which has brought untold graces on the People of God and the world.

In today’s act of Consecration of the World to the Immaculate Heart, Pope Francis, as the current Vicar of Christ, is renewing the act of consecration of the world offered by Blessed John Paul II back in 1984. This act was made in union with all the bishops of the world, thus fulfilling a request from heaven itself made by the Blessed Virgin Mary to three little shepherd children in an obscure hamlet named Fatima, in the Country of Portugal in the year 1917.

According to the oldest of these three Children, Lucia, who just died in 2005, Blessed John Paul did indeed carry out the consecration just as was requested. This is important to know because there are many who mistakenly think that it was not carried out properly. Not so said Sister Lucia “it has been carried out exactly has our Lady wished.

In 1917, the blessed Virgin requested that Russia would be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart. If this request would be carried out according to the wishes of her Son, Russia would be converted and great era of unprecedented peace would be granted to the world. She warned, “If not [Russia] will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated.” Unfortunately, this request of Jesus made through His most Holy Mother was not carried out until 1984. Russia, which was once a Catholic Country, did indeed spread her errors throughout the world through atheistic Marxist socialism and Communism. The last visit of the Mother of God to the Children occurred on October 13, 1917; the very same month we saw the Bolshevik Revolution and the coming of the Communists to power in Russia.

Many mistakenly think communism that great affront to the Creator God, is dead; but lest we forget, there are billions who still live under the shadow of this Atheistic Evil, an evil, which denies the rights of God and the basic rights of the Human person. And even more, the philosophy that lies behind communism, atheistic Marxism, is more alive today than ever. In fact, the great error of communism is actually coming to fruition in our own day throughout the world, even in our own country. This is seen by the almost complete exclusion of God and religion from the societies of one county after another. You can teach the teachings of Buddha, Mao Tse-Tung, Hinduism, Islam, and yes even the teachings of Karl Marx in Public Schools, but don’t you dare teach anything about Jesus Christ or His One true Church.

Atheistic Marxism is also seen today in the denial of the existence of God by the vast majority of the inhabitants of our world. Oh yes, many speak about God, but in fact live their lives in a practical atheism; that is, as if He didn’t exist. Throughout the world, millions no longer pray to God; millions, including Catholics, longer worship God, which is the primary duty in justice that the creature owes to its Creator. Sadly the vast majority of Catholics world-wide longer attend Sunday Mass, only 25% do so in our Country; in some countries it’s as low as 2%.

The errors of the Godless philosophy and of the most evil dictator of the world, Karl Marx, who is personally responsible for the deaths of hundreds of millions through his disciples such as Lenin, Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung and others, these errors are also shown in our time by the outright denial of sin as primarily an affront against God; as shown by our acceptance of actions that go directly against the Commandments of God and so go against the Rights of God; actions such as murder, abortion, artificial contraception, adultery, homosexual acts and so-called “homosexual marriage.” These grave sins which usurp the rights of God by going against the natural order of His creation and His Holy will, have been institutionalized, that is, made the law of the land in one country after another including sadly our own.

And as a result of the acceptance of these moral evils, the grave errors of Marxism is seen as well in the sin of the almost complete unrestraint of indulging in the pleasures of this world against the Holy Will of God. Whereas love is the giving up of one’s own selfish pleasure for the sake of the other, especially for God; now, many live only for themselves. But we can’t blame it all on the errors of Marx and the actions of his minions. It is primarily the rejection of the hearts of men to love of God as shown by their obedience to His Commandments and His Holy Will that has caused the great errors and sins of our day.

If we had only listened to our Lady’s Message of Hope giving at Fatima our world would be a different place. Most outright ignored Fatima when it occurred, even though it occurred during the first time in history that the entire world was at war, a war which killed untold millions, a war which saw in one single day’s battle over 100,000 people killed. Most ignored Fatima even though there occurred there during the last apparition of the Blessed Mother to the Children, 96 years ago today, the greatest public miracle since the Resurrection-the miracle of the Sun which was witnessed by over 70,000 people; and incidentally, covered by an atheistic communistic press who accurately published the miracle in the newspaper as matter of historical fact.

For three days it had been raining, the ground was saturated, everything and everyone was soak and wet. Yet at the moment our lady appeared, the skies parted and the sun was seen streaming through the clouds. At one part of the apparition Mary pointed to the sun, at that moment the sun began to dance in the sky and throw off many colors of light. Then it seemed to break out of its position and began to stream toward the earth in a death plunge, many fell to their knees thinking it was the end of the world. Those who where in the state of grace were filled with joy at the beauty; those who were in a state of mortal sin, fell on their knees horrified, confessing their sins out loud. And then just when it seemed like it was going to crash into the earth, the sun returned to its regular place in the sky. But it was immediately notice, that everything was completely dry, the ground, the peoples clothing everything. And again, even the members of the communist party and press that were present witness the events; in fact any one within a 25 mile radius witnessed this miracle of the sun.

The greatest public miracle since the Resurrection necessarily must have a message of the utmost importance for us and for our world. Yet it went unheeded and continues to go unheeded by most the inhabitants of the world including the catholic inhabitants; yet, it is a message given for our times. The message of Fatima was and is not one of gloom and doom but one of great hope. It was, and is, the same message of the Gospel; Repent and be converted; repent of sin which brings nothing but wars, death and unhappiness, and instead be converted to God Who brings nothing but peace, life and happiness; better yet, joy. It is really the message of Father that doesn’t wish the destruction of his sons and daughters, but instead their conversion and their happiness by being united to Him in love; but because he is such a loving Father, he will not idly stand back and let us destroy ourselves; he will not stand idly by and allow untold billions of souls to be separated forever from His love for them; He will intervene and soon. He will do whatever necessary to try to save them except force them against their will.

Today on the very anniversary of the last apparition of Fatima we are being given a choice; either we will heed God’s warnings and accept His mercy and forgiveness, or He will punish this world in a way never seen before, in way greater than even the flood. We are simply being offered again the way of life or death as presented throughout the Scriptures; a purification of the world by grace or by fire; the choice is given to us to choose freely in love. We can imitate the Blessed Virgin and give God our own personal Fiat, our complete yes to God in love, and so bring His mercy upon us and upon our whole world through us, or we can imitate the communists, and all the other egomaniacs and despots in the history of the world and give God our no, that is, our own personal “I will not serve” just as did satan and all the other fallen angels. Either way, our Lady promised at Fatima that in the end, the world would be converted to God; Her Immaculate Heart would triumph and the next greatest miracle since the Resurrection would occur, an era of unprecedented peace would be granted to the world. And era in which love of God and love of neighbor would fill the hearts of all the inhabitants of the world know as the Eucharistic Reign of Jesus.

Before Blessed John Paul first fulfilled the request of our Lady of Fatima when He consecrated the world to Jesus through her Immaculate Heart, a request that Pope Francis will renew today, John Paul had never read what was known as the third secret of Fatima, a secret that was to be made known to the world in 1960 but which for some reason was not. It was not until after the failed assignation attempt on May 31, 1981, incidentally an assignation attempt which remarkably occurred on the anniversary of the first apparition of Fatima and during the very hour of that appearance of the Heavenly Mother to three children; it wasn’t until he lay in hospital bed narrowly and miraculously having escaped what should have been sure death, that JP called for the envelope containing the secret to be brought to him at the hospital.

As he read the secret, that he would later make public, he saw that He himself was the man dressed in white that the secret revealed would be shot dead. And so he realized that the prophetic warnings of Fatima were conditional, that the grave prophecies that included even the annihilation of whole nations and so the death of billions were not etched in stone. They were made conditional to our personal response to the warnings from heaven. Yes, we had not listened, War World II came, Russia’s errors spread across the globe, untold millions had died, but it was still not too late. We could avoid the worst of the dire predictions. Our world could be converted, renewed by grace and not by fire; and even more, souls could be saved from the everlasting fire. It was up to us; it is up to each one of us; there is yet great hope.

By reading the message of Fatima, John Paul discovered that during the assassination attempt, one hand had fire the bullet but another had guided it. It was the hand of the Blessed Virgin Mary; she had saved him through the prayers of her small faithful remnant of believers who struggled to lived the gospel message of Fatima, of repentance and conversion; those who had consecrated themselves to Jesus through Mary, who wore the brown scapular as a sign of that consecration and lived that consecration with Mary’s help in the thousand of daily acts of everyday life…faithful disciples who sacrificed their own wills in countless ways by being faithful to their daily duties according to the state of life; who daily prayed the rosary; kept the 5 first Saturdays in honor of, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary. And it by was faithful disciples who came before the Holy Eucharist in imitation of the Angel of Fatima, falling on their knees and even their faces before the living God praying daily thrice the adoration prayers taught to the children of Fatima, “O my God I believe in Thee, adore Thee, I hope in Thee and I love Thee, and I beg pardon for all of those who do not believe in Thee, who do not adore Thee and who don’t love Thee. These, who lives were living consecrations of love, these where the ones who brought down the mercy of God which saved the life of John Paul which the prophecy of Fatima had warned would be taken if men did not repent.

In the third secret of Fatima, John Paul the most Marian pope in the history of the Church and the Pope of Divine Mercy, saw that Fatima was indeed a message of our times. He had seen clearly that even though his life had been saved by the few who had listen, not enough had still yet responded in order to avoid the chastisements that the Father was already beginning to allow upon the world due to men’s sins. It is not a punishment of the Father’s making but of our own making. As a result, JPII who himself had experienced two of the greatest evils the world had ever saw, Nazism and Communism, he saw then very clearly the connection between the message of Fatima and the Message of Divine Mercy given to St. Faustina. God does not desire the death of men. God does not desire the purification of the World by the fire of his Divine Justice. No, God desires that the world be renewed by His Mercy. In this, John Paul saw that evil has a limit, and that limit is God’s Mercy.

The message of Fatima is then the, THE Formula for drawing down the Divine Mercy upon us and upon the whole would. The Devotion to the Immaculate Heart that Jesus wished to be established at Fatima is indeed that formula. And the devotion of Her sorrowful heart, sorrowful from the loss of so many souls, this devotion is brought about by those souls who give God their yes, their fiat in imitation of her and through her to Jesus—this is called consecration, consecration to Jesus through Mary…And this devotion is lived by the grace of the Sacraments by loving faithfulness in the everyday duties of our state in life. By the making of, and the offering of everything we do as a sacrifice for love of Jesus, through Mary for the conversion of sinners, for the holy Father, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate heart of Mary…which are sins that greatly offend the heart of her Divine Son. Their very lives become acts of “penance, penance, penance” asked by the angel in the third secret of Fatima, acts of penance which bring down God’s mercy and grace upon the whole and envelope it in the heart of His Son.

John Paul made the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in order to renew our sinful world, to avoid the punishment rightly in justice due to our sinful world, and most of all to save souls. Today Pope Francis renews this consecrations for “all times and for all peoples” But something yet is still missing; the consecration is not yet complete…the request of heaven made at Fatima through the three young seers has not yet been fulfilled, we are still on a collision course for a flood of fire falling from the sky consuming a greater part of humanity prophecy by the sun streaming toward earth at Fatima and now totally possible with nuclear weapons.

The popes are making an objective act of consecration on our behalf, however what is missing is for us to make a our own personal act, that is to give our own personal and complete yes,-Fiat to Jesus through Mary. What is missing is for us then to live this consecration out in our lives, in our families, by everything we do, by living according to God’s truth, doing all for love of Jesus, through love of Mary for the salvation of soul. “It is not how much we do, but how much we love (mother Theresa of Calcutta).

Father Parker and I will help you in the days and months to come to come to understand more fully this act of personal consecration and help you to learn how to live it out faithfully in you lives. We will give you an opportunity to make a more in depth and better-prepared personal consecration. We will help you to be sure that you and your families are spiritually protected with the Brown Scapular of Our Lady by being enrolled in it as a sign of your personal Consecration and as a way of getting on the current Ark to escape the deluge of evil. We will offer to you opportunities to grow in the truths of our Beautiful Catholic Faith so you can live them in love. But we must act now; let us not again ignore the vital message of Fatima for the lives of billions of souls are at stake. So let us in the depths of our hearts and with as must faith, trust and love we can muster, make an act of will and consecrate our selves to Jesus through Mary. Fr. Parker will lead you at the end of Mass in a short consecration prayer to Jesus through Mary….Let us pray:

Most Holy Family, unite my daily life with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Accept all of my spiritual and material possessions as my seed of sacrifice offered to the Sacred and Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, in union with St. Joseph. This shall be my commitment in life, in death, and in eternity. Heavenly Father the merciful heart of Your Son came into the world through the heart of Mary, through her loving yes, through her complete surrender to Your Holy Will. Strengthened by the Holy Spirit, may Your Mercy come anew on the face of the earth through my own fiat, through my own complete surrender to You and Your holy will. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.