Saturday, June 28, 2014

To answer the Question posed to us, "Who do you say that I am?" is really to answer by our faith in the Holy Eucharist, saying, "Jesus I believe that You are the Holy Eucharist and the Holy Eucharist is You, the True and Living God still on earth in Your Human resurrected and glorified Body."

Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul. June 29th, 2014

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of St. Peter; we also celebrate St. Paul’s feast day as well. From the earliest of times, the feasts of Sts Peter and Paul have been celebrated as one solemn feast day. These two men were the first leaders of the Church; in fact, they were both ordained bishops and priests; St. Peter directly by our Blessed Lord at the Last Supper, and St. Paul by one of the twelve, most likely Peter himself. And each one suffered martyrdom in the city of Rome. A few years ago during the year of St. Paul, Pope Emeritus Benedict, called us to imitate both of them in giving ourselves completely in trust to Christ and to Christ’s Church.

The lives of St. Peter and St. Paul were quite different in nature. Simon Bar-Jona, to whom Jesus gave the name Peter (meaning Rock), was an uneducated fisherman. He was strong and pragmatic. He was also impetuous, quite often acting before thinking. Paul, on the other hand, was a highly educated Rabbi. He was very educated in both Rabbinical writings and Greek literature. Paul was from a wealthy and influential family of Tarsus, and was born a Roman citizen.

Peter and Paul, were two very different saints, but they also shared much in common. They were both very unlikely characters to be chosen by our Lord; I promise you, we would not have chosen two such as these. Yet, Jesus called them to not only follow Him but to be His Apostles—that is, visible rulers of His Kingdom on earth. They lived their lives completely for Christ and for His Holy Catholic Church. St. Peter and St. Paul also shared the steadfast determination to live and even die for the Kingdom of God—for the Church, even if this meant that they needed to make radical changes in their lives through repentance and conversion: even if this meant they had to make sacrifices. And sacrifices they did make, even to sacrificing of their earthly happiness and their wills and their very lives for the Kingdom of God on earth.

St. Peter was one of the original twelve. We read in today’s Gospel, he was the first disciple to whom the Father, through a special grace of faith, first revealed not only that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah, but that He was Divine by Nature, the only Son of the Father; in other words Peter declared that Jesus was God Himself.

By His profession that Jesus was God Himself in the flesh on earth, the Lord gave Simon a new name, Peter or Rock (the first time this name was ever given to a person that we know of…to name a person “Rock”), and told him that the Church would be built on him. Our Lord gave him (and His successors) His own divine authority to govern and lead Jesus’ Church and His own divine power so that whatever Peter would bind and loose on earth would be bound and loosed in heaven. This was truly a great grace. It did not mean that Peter’s leadership and rule would be without struggles, difficulties, and sufferings, as we read in our first reading. It did mean that Peter would be given, unlike any other person, a special grace to assist him for the sake of Christ’s body the Church.

Yes, Peter would fail our Lord, as he did on Holy Thursday by denying he even knew Jesus; but, He would also repent; so fully in fact, that after the resurrection, as our Lord questioned him about his love for him, Peter would affirm thrice his now more humble, but authentic love for Jesus. Peter would affirm his love of Jesus by word, and Jesus for his part would confirm his appointment of Peter as chief of the apostles and Christ’s personal Vicar on earth. Throughout his life, Peter continued to affirm His love for Jesus not just in words but in deeds, most especially by his death—crucified upside down because he felt unworthy to be crucified in a like manner to Jesus his Lord.

St. Paul started as Saul the persecutor of the Church. On the road to Damascus, our risen Lord appeared to him. Like Peter, our Lord changed his name in order to stress the importance of his mission. And then Paul converted radically and began to preach unreservedly and boldly about Jesus and Him crucified. St. Paul too would also struggle and have many difficulties, especially within the community of churches or parishes that he founded. His letters found in the New Testament chronicle many of these struggles with his congregations. Finally he, as Peter, would be martyred as well in Rome. St. Paul was a Roman citizen, so he according to Roman law he couldn’t be crucified so instead he was beheaded by the sword outside the city walls…he literally lost his head for Christ!!!

In the Acts of the Apostles we read about the major events of the lives of Sts. Peter and Paul. But most of their many years chronicled in the Acts of the Apostles were spent in simple prayer and faithful service in the events and details of everyday life. Most of Sts. Peter and Paul’s lives were spent in simple, but faithful service to Jesus, by daily repentance and faithful, obedient, and loving service to the Catholic Church Jesus founded.

For the most part, Peter and Paul were really ordinary folks, like you and me, called by Christ to give extraordinary witness to the grace they had experienced in their lives. When you consider what they were like before they were called and how they ended up, we should be most encourage in our own discipleship of the Lord—their lives show us how far grace can go…and it can go a lot farther than we think, if we cooperate with it by converting, changing our lives more fully to Christ and His Church.

On the feast day of these two great Apostles I think there are three main points we can ponder, and they all have to do with how we answer, not the question, “Who do they say that I am?,” but instead how we answer the question, “Who do you say that I am?” It is a question Jesus poses to every single soul, but especially to you and me personally; it is a question that we must answer, for not to answer is to give our answer.

First of all, do we answer this question put to us by Jesus, “Who do you say that I am?”, do we answer Him with firm faith and conviction along with St. Peter, with the answer, “Yes, Jesus you are Indeed the Son of the Living God; that You are God Himself, the Second person of the Blessed Trinity in Person, equal to the Father and the Holy Spirit.”

Secondly, do we answer this question along with St. Paul, that, “Yes, Jesus, You and Your Body the Church are one; and that to persecute the Church, to hate the Church is too hate You Yourself Jesus!;” for to listen and obey the Church and her teachings is to listen to and obey You Yourself. In order to Love You Jesus, we must also love Your body the Church…for I just can’t love the Head if don’t love the Body (When Saul persecuted the Church, Jesus said to Saul, not why are persecuting the Church, but why are persecuting me!)." And so Love for Christ, can only be authentic if it is shown by love for the Church He Himself personally founded, the Catholic Church.

And finally, to answer the question posed to us, “Who do you say that I am?” is really to answer by our faith in the Holy Eucharist, saying, “Jesus I believe that You are the Holy Eucharist, and the Holy Eucharist is You, the true and living God still on earth in Your human, resurrected and glorified body, hidden from our sight, from a senses but nonetheless truly before me in order for me to adore You and to receive You as my heavenly food and become One with You and with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit.” Without this part of our answer the question has not been answered adequately, and to the satisfaction of Jesus. And so this part of the answer must be given not just with our words by with our faith in action by coming before the Holy Eucharist falling on our knees and adoring the Godhead hidden there, truly, physically, personally present in the Holy Eucharist the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar…this is what last week’s solemnity of Corpus Christi, was all about, believing that the Eucharist is God and God is the Eucharist; and that the Eucharist contains the whole Christ along with His most Sacred Heart, pierce but now alive beating for love of us, the source of the sacramental life of the Church from which springs all the graces for the conversion and salvation of our world and the souls in it.

Let us end with a prayer.

Dear Blessed Mother we turn to you in great confidence pleading to your Immaculate Heart for an increase of Faith, Hope and Charity, so we can imitate the two great apostles who lives of faith we celebrate today, and like them change our lives for the better through a radical personal conversion to Jesus and His Church. The source of their heroic lives of faith, their deep repentance was their own belief in the Holy Eucharist as God among us. Help us to answer Jesus’ question posed to us personally today, as they did, by coming before His True Presence in the Holy Eucharist, believing, adoring, hoping and loving Him there, begging pardon for all those who don’t believe, don’t adore, don’t hope and don’t love Him there. Obtain for us, we plead, the grace to be great witnesses to the Holy Eucharist, sacrificing our will in love to Him and His Holy Church, even to the shedding of our blood, as did Sts. Peter and Paul. Help us to begin today by completely offering Jesus our heart at this Holy Mass through your Immaculate Heart so we may receive His Sacred Heart fruitfully in Holy Communion and become one with God the Father and the Son, and one another in the Love of the Holy Spirit! Amen.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Holy Eucharist...where God desires to wed the soul to Himself.

Mini-Conference on the Holy Eucharist. Given at St. Peters South Beloit, Il. June 21, 2014 Feast of Corpus Christi.

This Sunday the Church solemnly celebrates the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, known in Latin as Corpus Christi. This feast celebrates the reality and truth of the real presence of Jesus, Our Lord and Our God, in the Holy Eucharist, the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. The Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist has been a central and constant teaching of the Church since the time of the Apostles. In fact, for over 1500 years all Christians were united in their belief of the Real Presence. So essential is the Real Presence to our faith and to our salvation that is called by Our Holy Mother Church—Mysterium Fidei--THE Mystery of our Faith! (Words we hear after the Consecration at the Mass).

The mystery of the truth that we celebrate today is that Jesus, in His unfathomable love for us, makes it possible that we can experience Him, not only in a picture, or in our mind as a memory, or even only in His Spiritual presence, but Jesus makes it possible that we can experience Him literally in the flesh, along with His blood, and His human heart and soul. Jesus promised He would remain with us until the end of the world and He keeps that promise by being truly present on all the altars and in all the tabernacles of the world. In the Holy Eucharist He is truly Emmanuel—God with Us.

We simply believe in the Real Presence because Jesus has said it to be so. His words are recorded in the Sixth Chapter of St. John’s Gospel. We can’t figure out the true bodily presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, or do a scientific analysis to determine the mechanics behind this great mystery; in fact, all our senses fail us before the reality of the Holy Eucharist; we must, in faith, simply take Jesus at His word. After all He is God, and as God He can neither deceive nor be deceived. Jesus I believe, help my unbelief!

Through the miracle of Transubstantiation which occurs at Holy Mass during the words of Consecration…This is my Body…This is my blood, Jesus Himself, by the power of the Holy Spirit working through the sacred priesthood, becomes truly present among us again in his resurrected Body and Blood, along with His Soul and Divinity. And in this Real Presence Jesus not only remains physically on earth for us, He becomes our heavenly food (only love can explain this). He becomes the way for us to adore the Father in spirit and in truth so that we can actually become one with God. And in this union of the soul with God, the Holy Eucharist becomes the way for the Divine Mercy, and the grace and love of God to flow out into the whole world.

But this Divine Mercy and love can only flow out from the Holy Eucharist to the world through the hearts of those who truly believe; that is, through the hearts of those who have faith and live this faith out by humbly adoring the Holy Eucharist as the true and living God. For as St. Augustine stated we must adore before we receive; in fact, we sin by not first adoring. It is infallible spiritual law that if we don’t adore the Holy Eucharist as God we will come to not believe that the Holy Eucharist is God. But conversely through humble adoration, we come to truly believe, trust and love more deeply and this in turn leads us to a worthy reception of Jesus. And the fruit of this worthy reception is that we become one with Jesus, and through Him one with the Father and the Holy Spirit; and through, with and in this union, we become His instruments of salvation for others. Through our belief, adoration, hope and love of the Real Presence of Jesus, we become literally “Apostles of the Holy Eucharist” becoming ourselves channels of grace and mercy for the conversion and salvation of the entire world.

Faith tells us with certainty that Jesus is really present for you and for me in every Catholic Church where the Holy Mass is validly celebrated by a Catholic Priest and only by a Catholic priest. And Jesus remains really physically present in the flesh, in Person, in the tabernacle even after Holy Mass for us to come and adore Him and so experience Him and His love for us. The more we spend time with Him outside of Holy Mass the more we are enable to participate at the Mass well, the more we can then get out of Mass. For to really communicate with another person I must get to know him, and to get to know him I must spend time with him. I must also be able to be in silence close to him, to hear him and to look at him with love. True love and true friendship always live out of the reciprocity, (or the exchange of looks), of intense, eloquent silences full of respect and veneration, so that the encounter is lived profoundly, in a personal not a superficial way. The intimate gaze of the lover and the beloved into each other eyes needs no words, and sometimes words get in the way. And so, unfortunately, with regards to the Holy Eucharist, if this personal intimate dimension is lacking, even Holy Communion itself within holy Mass can become, on our part, at the very least a superficial gesture, because our hearts and minds aren't in it; and at the very worst an affront, a sacrilege to God. Nothing so wounds the loving Heart of Jesus than those who carelessly or thoughtlessly receive Him in Holy Communion as if they were merely receiving a thing instead of a Person, a Divine Person, Jesus Himself, God Himself.

Because in the Real Presence, Jesus—God, is still on earth in His Human body as our way to the Father, we too, through faith, can encounter the God made Man as did those few privilege souls who were alive and encounter Him personally when Jesus visibly walked on the face of the earth. We too can spend time with the very person of Jesus and grow in our intimate friendship with Him, in order to become one with the One we love in a Holy Communion, for true love, authentic love always leads to a communion or union of persons.

And so, in a very real sense, we are more privilege than those who saw Jesus visibly on earth some two thousand years ago, for we can encounter Him in an even deeper way by actually receiving His body and blood, by actually receiving His very Person, into our own body and our soul. And here is the great Mystery of the Mystery of our Faith. Through this Holy Communion with Jesus the God-Man, we can become literally “wedded” to God Himself becoming one flesh with Him; we can then become united in love to the Father and Holy Spirit in the Son…this is why the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Holy Eucharist is also known as the “Wedding Feast of the Lamb.” Where God literally desires to wed the soul and it makes it possible.

Holy Mass is then, the ultimate wedding (how we should present ourselves before the Bridegroom)! It is where the Bridegroom, Christ, through His sacrifice and real presence in the Holy Eucharist, comes to His Bride the Church (each individual soul) and gives His complete “I do” to His bride (us) by offering Himself totally for us and to us. We, for our part, are called to response to God’s “I do” of love, by responding from the depths of our heart, our own “I do;” that is, by offering ourselves totally to God who gives Himself totally to us.

Like any Marriage, if it is to be a true marriage (and so true love), both the bride and bridegroom must intend to give of their whole selves in loving sacrifice to each other. This is shown by their sincere “I do” before the sacred altar. Their marriage is then consummation when the two become one flesh on their wedding night in the marital act. If one or both of the marriage couple doesn’t give their “I do” or mean their “I do” then the marriage is invalid. The marital act of the Holy Mass is Holy Communion. This “marriage” of God and the soul becomes consummation when Jesus and the Soul become one “flesh” in Holy Communion.

For Holy Communion to fruitful “valid” for us personally and in our lives (and in our world through us), like in a marriage between a man and woman, we must give our “I do” (however imperfect it may be) in loving response to God who gives His “I do” through the gift of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Practically, we give our “I do,” the offering of ourselves, by an interior act of our will, placing our hearts on the paten at Holy Mass at the offertory (St. Pius X) to offered by the priest along with the host to God (the more we do this, the more perfectly our “I do” becomes). (This is what is really meant by full and active participation at Mass to which Vatican II so rightly called the faithful…it is primarily and essentially and interior participation of contemplation of God. And contemplation is all about obtaining union; if we fully understood what and who Holy Communion is we would die of joy).

So the question for us today is, “will you and I in faith, be there really present for Jesus who is really present for us; will you and I spend time with Him; will you and I keep Him company and adore, trust and love Him in the Holy Eucharist? Can we not watch just one hour with Him in prayer at least once per week outside of Mass? If we really believe that He is truly present on our altars and in our tabernacles, we will come and spend time with Him whenever and however much we can; in fact, we would even risk our lives in love for Love Himself, as so many others have, for through the centuries in even in our own day to be in the Eucharistic presence of Jesus. It's really a matter of love-His for us and ours for him in return.

Like a man and woman the more time they spend with each other the more they fall in love and the more they move toward the marriage vows and the valid consummation of those vows…so too, the more time we spend with Jesus in the Holy Eucharist the more we fall madly in love with Him and the more we desire to offer Him our all at each and every Holy Mass in order to be wedded to the Bridegroom—Jesus, God in the flesh; and as a result, the more fruitful it is when we consummate our offering of ourselves to him by receiving His body into our ours, the more we become as one with Him.

Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life-He is Love Itself in Person, and He waits in the tabernacle as a prisoner of love for those who would, in love, come and adore Him and adore the Father through Him in the Holy Spirit? Let us then worship Him and pray to Him on behalf of all those who neither do not believe, or believe and ignore and so do not love. Let us receive Him in Holy Communion with faith, reverence, purity and love, let us never receive Holy Communion in the state of mortal sin, or as if it were merely some kind of special bread…Let us go to confession regularly. And before we receive Him, let us first offer ourselves fully to Him in love, in response to Him offering His total self to us in the Holy Eucharist so that we may become “Apostles of the Holy Eucharist to the world, becoming living tabernacles taking Jesus and His divine Mercy out into the world…this is by the way the only way God’s Mercy and grace will go out into our world…through Eucharistic believers, Eucharistic adorers, Eucharistic hopers and Eucharistic lovers!!!!

In the Gospel of John, we are told that Jesus actually allows almost all of His first followers to leave Him when they cannot accept that He would give them His flesh as real food and His blood as real drink. This was the great apostasy as told in John 6: 66. Yes, that’s right 666. Even worse one of the twelve stayed and didn’t take Jesus at His word, and that person was Judas…Judas later received Holy Communion without faith at the first Mass, the Last Supper and John tells us that as a result Satan entered into Him.

Judas, ironically one of the first bishops and priest who received the great power to confect the Eucharist, didn’t believe in the Holy Eucharist and so did not love the Lord and so betrayed Him. Millions today have also walked away from this Truth—the Mystery of Faith, sadly many of them have walked away not knowing what, better Who the Eucharist is; this is the great apostasy in our own day as prophesized by the Virgin Mary at Fatima, the great Apostasy of Eucharistic unbelief, leading to a failure to adore, hope and love…

Today is our chance, however, to express our faith, our hope and trust, our love for Jesus truly present in the Holy Eucharist, the most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar and to beg pardon for those who don’t. It all begins with our own faith, hope and love of Jesus’ Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist; but to increase our faith, hope and love we need to come on bended knee whenever and as often as we can before Jesus’ Eucharistic presence and adore Him as the true and living God among us hidden in the little white Host…The Eucharist is God; God is the Eucharist!!!

Let be ever more aware that Jesus is constantly in our midst and with us. His true presence is a concrete, close presence among our homes; it must become for us as a “beating Heart” within our families, our parish), our city, and our country. In fact, the Holy Eucharist must become our heart. What a blessing it is for you here at St. Peter’s to have a Eucharistic Chapel…where you and families can come 24/7 to sit before your Lord and God begging for His help and blessings for your families, your parish and our world. Maybe to start with, you won’t be able to sit for a whole hour. How about as a beginning, trying to just stop in and sit for just ten minutes with Jesus who loves you so much. Even the smallest gesture of love on our part does not go unnoticed or forgotten by God. Prayer in faith and with trusting love and adoration before the Holy Eucharist is the most efficacious prayer of all, because it is prayer before God incarnate.

The Blessed Virgin Mary was the first of creatures to offer to God her total “I do” in response to God’s “I do.” She did this in her yes, her fiat, her total offering of herself to God by allowing Jesus to be conceived by the Holy Spirit in her womb. This offering of herself was “consummated at the foot of the cross.” Where her heart and Jesus Heart became as one, beating as one. She will help us, if we turn to her, to be truly present at the foot of the cross at each and every Holy Mass. She will help us to give God our “I do” our total fiat, total yes to God at Mass.

The truth is, we can be afraid to give ourselves totally to Jesus. Maybe our faith, hope and love for Jesus seems too weak to be able to do such a thing. What do we do?….we must turn to the Blessed Mother for Help. If, at Holy Mass, we give our heart to Jesus through the Virgin, she will place them on the paten for us. Then Jesus will receive our heart as if it was Mary’s own. Acceptable to Jesus He will present them as acceptable to God the Father almighty. Then our souls will be open to receive the very Heart of Jesus at Holy Communion so that our Communion will bear the fruit of becoming “one” with God Himself. Like the Virgin’s Immaculate Heart our heart and God’s heart will also beat as one. We will then be able to fulfill the First Commandment. And by doing so, we will be able to fulfill the Second because, transformed by Love into love, we will be enabled to take Jesus, the Mercy and Love of the Father in Person, out into the world to our brother and sisters, because Jesus and His love will be alive in us. He will live again in the world in us through us and with us because we will live in Him through Him and with Him…We will then truly be apostles of the Eucharist and instruments of God’s mercy and love to a poor and starving world…Only in this way will our world be renewed…saved…

O’ Most Holy Trinity I adore Thee…My God, My God, I love Thee truly present in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar! Through the Immaculate Heart of Mary I give myself fully to Thee. Amen.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Holy Eucharist is our access to the Most Blessed Trinity!

O Most Holy Trinity I adore Thee! My God, my God, I love Thee in the most Blessed Sacrament of the altar!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Trinity is our Beginning and our End; the Most Blessed Trinity is our ultimate Goal.

June 15th, 2014 Solemnity of the Most Blessed Trinity.

What is the goal of this short life on earth? To know God, that in knowing Him we may love Him and in loving Him we may serve Him in order to be happy with Him in this life and forever in the life to come. In this concise and very true definition of the meaning of life, we discover how much we absolutely need the help of the Holy Spirit to lead us into the knowledge and love of God and even more so, how much we need His help in living this agape (sacrificial) love by serving God and serving our neighbor for love of God. This goal in life is what today’s Solemnity of the Blessed Trinity is all about. The Trinity is our Beginning and our End; the Most Blessed Trinity is our ultimate Goal

This short life is a preparation…a training ground if you will. Here we are to learn to love as God loves. If we are ever to be able to enter into heaven to be with God then we have to prepare ourselves for an eternity in His love by growing in and perfecting that love here on earth. Actually, we are called to really and truly begin our life in heaven while we are still on earth. We don’t have to wait until we die to reach heaven; we can begin to obtain it and participate in it right here and now.

I think most Christian miss this aspect of our life here on earth. Too often Christianity is seen as a religion that calls us to merely, ‘do that, don’t do that, and ‘be good’ in order that we can enter into heaven. But Again, Christianity call us to be more than just “good”, even pagans can be “good.” Christianity calls us to be nothing less than perfect, perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect.

This perfection doesn’t mean we become some kind of superhuman perfectionist in which everything we do is done with mathematical precision. But instead, it means that we are call to live this life on earth with perfect love, with and in God’s own love—for only God’s love can be perfect. We are called to live this life with Divine Love, with our human love elevated and united to Divine love. In other words, we are called to live this life united to God who is Love. This is to have life and to have it in abundance.

God’s love alive in our hearts, (with God own life alive in our hearts) and living our lives in obedience to Jesus’ command of love, we are able to reach our goal, which is heaven. It is when we love with Jesus’ love alive in us, as I said before, it is then that we don’t have to wait until we die to begin to experience the life of heaven, we have already begun to live the life of heaven within us.

Perhaps, to help us better understand what I am saying, we need to a look at our understanding of heaven. We have all heard of heaven described as a place of perfect beauty. There are those who claim to have been taken up into heaven during a near death experience. They have described heaven as a place of perfect happiness, where the trees, the grass and flowers are even more beautiful than here on earth. The problem with these descriptions is that heaven can’t be described, it is that which eye has not seen, ear as not heard nor as it even entered into the mind of man what God as prepared for those who love Him, love Him not just with words but with deeds. And so heaven cannot possibly be described; in fact, heaven is not even a place, it is a Person. Heaven is actually living in, sharing in God’s own Divine nature and God’s own divine love. Heaven is literally sharing in and participating in the very life of God Himself.

God, we have to remember however, is not an isolated being, He is a Trinitarian of persons so united in love that they are one. Where this is love there is unity; where there is perfect love there is perfect unity! God is a divine family, Father, Son and Holy Spirit united in perfect Love. In heaven we will live in unimaginable intimacy and union with this triune God for we shall become a part of His Divine family. But to become part of His family means that we will actually share in His divinity, we will become God. Not that we will cease to be creatures, but that we will share in God’s very nature, in His very being. And so you see then, Heaven is not a somewhere it is a Someone, it is to be immersed in the very love of the God who is Love itself. And so if God is Love, then to have God’s love alive in us can only mean that we have God Himself, Father Son and Holy Spirit alive and dwelling within us—the indwelling Trinity. And if God is within in us that means we have already begun to live the intimate life of heaven on earth, to live the intimate life of heaven in our souls here on earth.

The Church places today’s Solemnity after Pentecost in order to show how much we need the help of the Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds ever deeper into the great mystery of the Blessed Trinity. We need his divine help to understand that God is a Divine Family of Persons so totally united in love that they are one. Assisted by His divine power, the more we worship and adore this great mystery the more we will learn to love in order to share in the love between the Divine Persons who make up this Divine Family. In sharing in this Divine Love we are already in union with the Trinity.

We are, each one of us, called to participate and grow in this Trinitarian love through our faithfulness to God, to His commandments and by following the teachings of Jesus found in the Scriptures and in the Church. In other words, assisted by God’s Grace we must live our belief and love for the Trinity with our deeds. And through our love of the Trinity, assisted by the grace we receive in the Sacraments, we can then grow ever deeper in His love and in union with Him.

The mystery of he Trinity is the starting point of all revealed truth, the fountain from which proceeds supernatural life, and the goal in which we are headed: we are children of the Father, brothers and co-heirs with the Son, and continually sanctified by the Holy Spirit to make us ever more and more resemble Christ. In living our lives according to this great truth, by the Holy Spirit which has been given to us, God’s love is poured into our hearts and we become living temples of the Blessed Trinity and so already here on earth begin to live the life of heaven. Here on earth we already become united to the Trinity and so participate in the inner life of the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity. This is not pie-in-the-sky religion; this is the normal Christian life of intimacy with the Trinity in which every single man and woman is call to participate.

It is at the Holy Mass (receiving the capacity at our baptism) that we are called evermore deeply into the perfection of love, into God’s Love, into the Love between the three Persons of the Most Blessed Trinity. At the Holy Mass we are with the Virgin and the beloved Disciple. Jesus looks down from the cross, His throne of love, and asks, invites, each one of us to come up on the cross (the ultimate act of love) and love Him and our neighbor like this. Like John (in humility) we respond, “how Jesus, how can I love like that, to love like that is to love with a Divine Love and I only am capable of human love (and sometimes hardly capable of that)?”

Jesus then looks down and says, “Son behold, your mother! Mother behold your son!” It is then that we can begin, as did John, to offer our human love, human hearts, our fiat, our total sacrificial loving yes to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She then places our yes (our hearts our whole being, all that we have and are) into the Heart of Jesus and He for His part accepts it as her own.

Jesus then says to us, “Not only will I help you love with a divine love, I will give you my very heart to do so… “The Body of Christ.” Through the offering of our Heart to Jesus through Mary, and to the extent we give ourselves fully (with the Virgin’s help as well), it is then that through the power of the Holy Spirit that our human nature, our human love is elevate to the Divine level, we become more and more united to the heart of Christ; our heart and His begin to beat as one. Christ comes and abides in us, lives in our, loves in us and with us. With Him, Jesus brings the Father and the Holy Spirit and God begins to live more perfectly in our souls, and where there is God there is perfect love. We then begin to live life on earth, life in an intimate union with the Goal of our existence, The Father, Son and Holy Ghost and we begin to share that intimate life with others.

Let us pray: O my God, Trinity whom I adore, help me forget myself entirely so to establish myself in you, unmovable and peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing be able to trouble my peace or make me leave you, O my unchanging God, but may each minute bring me more deeply into your mystery! Grant my soul peace. Make it your heaven, your beloved dwelling and the place of your rest. May I never abandon you there, but may I be there, whole and entire, completely vigilant in my faith, entirely adoring, and wholly given over to your creative action. Our Lady, daughter of the Father, Mother of the Son, and spouse of the Holy Spirit, help us to offer ourselves in a sacrifice of love at this Holy Mass and at every Holy Mass, so that we, like you will live and lead others to live, in the Divine life and Love of the Most Blessed Trinity, beginning now, and fully in the life to come. Amen

Canticum Quicumque...Symbolum Athanasium

Whosoever willeth to be saved, * before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic faith.
Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, * without doubt he shall perish eternally.
Now the Catholic faith is this, * that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity.
Neither confounding the Persons, * nor dividing the substance.
For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, * and another of the Holy Ghost.
But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is one, * the Glory Equal, the Majesty Co-Eternal.
Such as the Father is, such is the Son, * and such is the Holy Ghost.
The Father Uncreated, the Son Uncreated, * and the Holy Ghost Uncreated.
The Father Infinite, the Son Infinite, * and the Holy Ghost Infinite. * The Father Eternal, the Son Eternal, * and the Holy Ghost Eternal.
And yet they are not three Eternals, * but one Eternal.
As also they are not three Uncreated, nor three Infinites, * but One Uncreated, and One Infinite.
So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, * and the Holy Ghost Almighty.
And yet they are not three Almighties, * but One Almighty.
So the Father is God, the Son God, * and the Holy Ghost God.
And yet they are not three Gods, * but One God.
So the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, * and the Holy Ghost Lord.
And yet they are not three Lords, * but One Lord.
For, like as we are compelled by Christian truth to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be God and Lord, * so are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion to say, there be three Gods or three Lords.
The Father is made of none, * neither created, nor begotten.
The Son is of the Father alone: * not made, nor created, but begotten.
The Holy Ghost is of the Father, and the Son: * not made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
So there is One Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; * one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts.
And in this Trinity is nothing afore or after, nothing is greater or less; * but the whole three Persons are Co-Eternal together, and Co-Equal.
So that in all things, as is aforesaid, * the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.
He therefore that willeth to be safe, * let him thus think of the Trinity.
But it is necessary to eternal salvation, * that he also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The right Faith therefore is, that we believe and confess, * that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.
God, of the Substance of the Father, Begotten before the worlds: * and Man, of the substance of His mother, born in the world.
Perfect God, Perfect Man, * of a reasoning soul and human flesh subsisting.
Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, * inferior to the Father as touching His Manhood.
Who, although He be God and Man, * yet He is not two, but One Christ.
One, however, not by conversion of the Godhead into Flesh, * but by taking of the Manhood into God.
One altogether, not by confusion of Substance, * but by Unity of Person.
For as the reasoning soul and flesh is one man, * so God and man is One Christ.
Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, * rose again the third day from the dead.
He ascended into heaven, He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, * from whence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, * and shall give account for their own works.
And they that have done good shall go into life eternal, * but they that have done evil into eternal fire.
This is the Catholic Faith, * which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be safe.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, * and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Ant. Glory be to thee, O equal Trinity * one Deity, from before all ages, so now and for evermore.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Thy well-beloved spouse. Amen

Homily for Pentecost Sunday--John 20:19-23

Today on this great solemnity of Pentecost we celebrate the birth of the Church. It is the day when the Holy Spirit came upon the Blessed Virgin Mary and then onto the Apostles present in the upper room. But not before those first bishops and priests had spent the previous nine days in deep intimate prayer with the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In that novena of prayer she helped them to prepare and open their hearts for the coming of the promised divine Paraclete, the Advocate and Helper. If you want to draw closer to the Holy Spirit, imitate the apostles and stay close to Mary in intimate prayer; she is intimately close to Holy Spirit because she is the spouse of the Holy Spirit. With her yes to God, her fiat, Jesus was conceived in the flesh in her womb by the Holy Spirit. If we give our yes, our fiat to God through Mary, the Holy Spirit will conceive Jesus in our souls through Holiness, and we too will become, like Mary, intimate friends of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is the One who came with many great gifts on Pentecost to renew the face of the earth. The Holy Spirit gave the apostles seven-fold gifts of grace. These were supernatural gifts-gifts that enabled them to live for God alone, in joyful intimacy and friendship with Him. When the power of the Holy Spirit came upon them they became great witnesses to the world to Jesus and to the truth of His teachings in the face of great difficulties and even outright persecution.

For us, like the apostles, the help we need from on High, that is the gifts of the Holy Spirit, are given to us at well. We need not only His divine strength and light, but also the Hope and joy of divine friendship with Him. With His divine gifts, the Holy Spirit wants to continue His work of renewing the whole world, beginning within our own hearts (this is the way the world is always renew; it begins with our own hearts and then flows out from us). The Holy Spirit wants to use us in order to bring His light to the souls we come in contact with on a daily basis, sharing with them the hope and joy that is alive within us and which comes from this divine guest and friend of our soul.

Let us look closer at these supernatural gifts that the Holy Spirit gave to the apostles and to us, beginning at our baptism, confirmed at our confirmation (which was our personal Pentecost, and which are fed, and can grow and come to fruition in our lives through the worthy reception of the other sacraments, especially Confession and the Holy Eucharist. These supernatural gifts are: WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE, UNDERSTANDING, FORTITUDE, COUNSEL, PIETY, AND FEAR OF THE LORD.

First, the gift of wisdom. Wisdom gives us a spiritual awareness of the love of God and allows us to order and judge the things of this world from this perspective. In other words, with wisdom in our lives we don’t put the things of this world before the Creator of things. The gift of wisdom helps us not only to know the things of God, but to experience them in our lives-to taste them so to speak through faith. Like St. Francis, through the beautiful things of creation, we experience the Creator, but the creation leads us to fall madly love with the Creator. Through the gift of wisdom, we live for God alone, and this deepens our adoration of Him. We then want nothing else but Him.

In the gift of Understanding, or also called the gift of Intelligence, we are given the understanding of divine things, especially when we read the Holy Scriptures and study the teachings of the Church which are the teachings of Christ. With this gift, the Holy Spirit gives us the desire to know and understand better the truths of our Catholic faith and how intricately they affect our relationship with Christ and with one another. We then understand better God’s saving plan for our lives; it becomes relevant in our daily lives—We begin to see more clearly how to live out our Catholic faith in our lives thus becoming holy and truly happy.

The gift of fortitude gives us strength to live our faith. This strength is not just for doing extraordinary things; like martyrdom, but this gift also helps us in the ordinary struggles we have in life, especially our daily struggle against sin. It helps us to persevere even in our darkest moments. With this gift the Christian does not compromise in fulfilling his duty even in the face of insults and unjust attacks. With this gift we become courageous and persevere on the path of truth and uprightness, in spite of a lack of understanding and hostility coming from others who sometimes are in our own family or even in the Church.

Another gift of the Holy Spirit that can help us in important decisions in our lives- what would be the best thing to do? This help comes from the gift of COUNSEL. The Gift of Counsel directs us in our everyday life. It helps us, to prudently choose the right thing to do in a given circumstance. The Gift of Counsel enlightens our conscience in the moral choices which daily life presents--we become moral persons who accept and lives according to moral absolutes. No matter how intricate and difficult the situation is, aided by this great Gift, we are better able to see what to do in a given situation in order to please God and fulfill His Holy Will thus living life to the fullness with great joy. We can then help-counsel others to do the same.

The Gift of PIETY helps us to live out the commandment to love God and love our neighbor. True Piety is knowledge that God is love, that he loves us, and loves each person infinitely. Our response should be to worship and adore God properly, reverently and devotedly, at Holy Mass and before His true, physical presence in the Holy Eucharist, in order to love God more and to love those whom he loves. With this gift, the Holy Spirit heals our hearts of every form of hardness and un-forgiveness, and opens them to tenderness towards God and our brothers and sisters. With this gift, we feel urged to treat all people with great kindness and friendliness, to do good even to those who wrong us, to love and forgive even those who hate us and persecute us. We all need this gift, just think about how often each day we are called to love people who are human speaking hard to love.

Lastly, the Gift of the FEAR OF THE LORD is a special gift, which helps us to dread and avoid sin. The gift of fear is not like the fear we experience in a horror film or the fear of being hit by a lightening bolt from heaven. It is not a fear in which we are afraid of God. It is our sin, which causes us to fear God in this wrong way.

The true gift of fear from the Holy Spirit is a holy fear, a fear of not hurting someone who loves you so much and whom who want to love in return. When we love someone, we want to avoid offending or hurting him. This is the type of fear we should have with our Lord This fear is like the fear of our child who loves his daddy so much that he fears doing anything that would offend Him. This gift of fear can help us to avoid sin, doing that what is offensive and displeasing to God and harmful to others and ourselves. With this Holy fear we longer fear the loss of human respect, we are set free from our slavery to human respect, we fear only offending God who love us so much.

Today at this Holy Mass, let us ask the Holy Spirit to help us with all of his gifts. We need these gifts so very much. He is an all knowing Expert who will guide us in our decisions and difficulties if we ask Him; He will help us to make the right choices in our lives, to choose this action or that; He will help us in our relationships, to get along better with those we love, especially in our families; He will help us in the times we have no idea what to do, situations that seem hopeless or impossible such as the illness or death of a loved one, our own serious personal illness, the loss of our job or our struggle in finding new employment. And when we feel lost, if we cry out to the Holy Spirit, He will immediately, and I do mean immediately, rush to our aid and begin to show us the way. We can simply say with great trust, “Holy Spirit help me for I am lost.”

We need more than ever the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the darkness of our present age so we don’t lose hope; be assured, the Holy Spirit will definitely renew the face of the earth, beginning with a renewal of the Church. And so we need these gifts to be able to stand up for the truths of our beautiful Catholic faith so the world doesn’t lose hope; to be able, as a matter of love and charity for souls, to stand up in defense of all the teachings of our Church, especially the ones that the world seems more and more to reject. Better yet, not just to defend them but to make them shine in the world by living them with great fidelity so that our very lives may become living Gospels, witnesses to the truth that comes from God alone and which alone sets the hearts of men free and saves them. The Holy Spirit will help us, like the apostles to leave our fear behind.

If, with the help of the Blessed Mother, we turn to him daily in prayer the Holy Spirit will become our most intimate friend and guest of our soul. He will enlighten us to those things that keep us from a closer relationship, loving union, with Him and the Father and the Son. He will, as a true friend, show us our sins so that we can be healed of them in the Sacrament of Confession. He will then make us pure of heart so that we can, through the eyes of faith, see the face of God in the Holy Eucharist, adoring Jesus and receiving Him reverently, with great faith and love in order to become one with Him and through Him one with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit. We can then, like the apostles, empowered by the gifts of the Holy Spirit be Jesus’ faithful, trusting and fearless witnesses to all the earth, proclaiming the Gospel by our holiness of life, thus bringing God and His love alive in us to a world so hungry for His love and so desperately in need of the fullness of His truth.

Let us pray:

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.

V. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that by the same Spirit we may be truly wise, and ever more rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord.

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed the Virgin Mary, your well beloved spouse.