27 December 2010

God Intervenes

God continually intervenes through people in His love and concern for the welfare of all peoples. Yet, there are those who choose to allow pride and selfishness to overtake their hearts. They diminish the light of Jesus in the world. Reflect on how you yourself reveal the light of Jesus Christ in your life. Can you say of yourself that you are a hopeful person? Do you reflect God’s love in your words and actions with others? Or, do you allow selfishness and pride to dominate your choices in life? Do you radiate God’s love or do you diminish it?

Choosing to love God and to share the light of Jesus Christ will bring you to a closer journey with Jesus in your earthly life and in eternity. Allow yourself to be the bright light of Jesus’ love and care in the word around you and with the people you were given to love and to nurture in Jesus’ name. You will come to share in the blessedness of our Blessed Mother who will intercede for your needs with Her Son, Jesus. You will then truly celebrate Christmas!

From the Christmas Pastoral of the Hierarchs of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in the USA

+Stefan Soroka
Metropolitan-Archbishop of Philadelphia

+Richard Seminack
Eparch of St. Nicholas in Chicago

+Paul Chomnycky, OSBM
Eparch of Stamford

+John Bura
Apostolic Administrator
of St. Josaphat in Parma

26 December 2010

Christ Brings Liberation

God is always faithful to his promises, but he often surprises us in the way he fulfils them. The child that was born in Bethlehem did indeed bring liberation, but not only for the people of that time and place - he was to be the Saviour of all people throughout the world and throughout history. And it was not a political liberation that he brought, achieved through military means: rather, Christ destroyed death for ever and restored life by means of his shameful death on the Cross. And while he was born in poverty and obscurity, far from the centres of earthly power, he was none other than the Son of God. Out of love for us he took upon himself our human condition, our fragility, our vulnerability, and he opened up for us the path that leads to the fullness of life, to a share in the life of God himself. As we ponder this great mystery in our hearts this Christmas, let us give thanks to God for his goodness to us, and let us joyfully proclaim to those around us the good news that God offers us freedom from whatever weighs us down: he gives us hope, he brings us life.

~Pope Benedict XVI, "Thought for the Day" on BBC, Christmas Eve 2010

24 December 2010

The Cave of Your Soul

To celebrate in a Christian way the Nativity of our Lord, we have to ask Jesus to come into the cave of our soul to transform it, by His presence, into Heaven. "If anyone is in Christ," said Paul, "there is a new creation; everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new." (2 Cor. 5:17). And he said to the Romans: "Do not conform yourself to this age, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect." (12:13)

Then we will be born again with the Divine Infant; then we will be restored to the true image of God; and then we will have on this earth some of the days of Heaven.

+Archbishop CYRIL (Bustros) Melkite Eparch of Newton

15 December 2010

Personal Ordinariates

I've always described myself as a Charismatic Byzantine Anglo-Catholic--that is, someone who embraces the whole Church in communion with Rome.

I'm so excited about the invitation given by the Holy Father to welcome Anglicans into the Church. My experience with Anglo-Catholics is that they are often more traditional than your average Roman Catholic parish.

We must continue to pray for the Bishops, Priests, and communities that will be making great sacrifices to re-establish communion with Rome. We must pray for everyone involved with establishing the Ordinariates.

Thank you Bishop Peter Elliott, Episcopal Delegate in Australia, for publishing these prayers for the Personal Ordinariates:

Eternal father, we place before you the project of forming the Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans seeking full communion with the Catholic Church. We thank you for this initiative of Pope Benedict XVI, and we ask that, through the Holy Spirit, the Ordinariates may become: families of charity, peace and the service of the poor, centres for Christian unity and reconciliation, communities that welcome and evangelize, teaching the Faith in all its fullness, celebrating the liturgy and sacraments with prayerful reverence and maintaining a distinctive patrimony of Christian faith and culture.

Drawing on that heritage we pray:
Go before us, O Lord, in all our doings with thy most gracious favour, and further us with thy continual help; that in all our works, begun, continued and ended in thee, we may glorify thy holy Name, and finally by thy mercy obtain everlasting life; though Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

V/ Our Lady of Walsingham.

R/ Pray for us as we claim your motherly care.

V/ Saint Therese of the Infant Jesus.

R/ Pray for us as we place this work under your patronage.

V/ Blessed John Henry Newman

R/ Pray that Christ’s Heart may speak unto our hearts.

\V/ Saints and Martyrs of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

R/ Pray for us and accompany us on our pilgrim way.

14 December 2010

Know How to Be Silent

“It is great wisdom to know how to be silent and to look at neither the remarks, nor the deeds, nor the lives of others.” ~St. John of the Cross

Having read many books and lived through some wild experiences, I enjoy sharing what I've learned. I always have something to add to any discussion. But it might not always be wise to throw my two bits into the pot.

What I've found lately is that many discussions can lead to a feeling of superiority when I know more than others. Then there's humiliation when someone knows more than me. Sometimes I just get frustrated that the other person won't listen or just doesn't seem to get what I'm saying. In general, the result is usually some form of pride or anxiety.

Then there's the tendency to criticize others based on things they say or do. And if I don't criticize I might feel superior to them or more enlightened. This is especially common when talking with someone who is not following Christ. Evangelism changes from an act of love into an act of judgment.

What if I just shut up? What if I concentrate more on my own sin, hypocrisy, and failure? Maybe I should focus on working out my own salvation (Philippians 2:12).

Acquire inner peace and thousands around you will find salvation." ~St. Seraphim of Sarov

10 December 2010

Open to the Holy Spirit

"Mary tells us that we are all called to open ourselves to the action of the Holy Spirit in order to achieve, as our ultimate destiny, the immaculate state, fully and definitively free from evil".
~ Pope Benedict XVI, Feast of the Immaculate Conception 2010