Saturday, April 25, 2015

Third Sunday After Easter 26th April 2015


Third Sunday After Easter

26 April  2015

 

Amen, amen, I say to you, that  you shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice; and you shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned to joy.” Jn. 16:20

In this time after Easter the Church prepares us for Jesus’ Ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.  “Pentecost,  like Christmas and Easter, is a milestone in the liturgical cycle, but one which has no fixed penitential preparation, such as Advent and Lent. The wisdom of the Church has made up for this in the liturgy of these Sundays after Easter.” The Preacher’s Encyclopaedia: Lent and Eastertide,

p. 556  We see how Christ himself prepares us for Pentecost in today’s Gospel  (Jn.16:16-22), which takes place at the Last Supper and is Jesus’ last will and testament to His apostles. He says, “A little while and you shall see me no longer; and again a little while and you shall see me, because I go to the Father” (Jn. 16: 16).  Uncomprehending, the Apostles ask:  “What is this little while of which he speaks? We do not know what he is saying.” Jn. 16:18.  It will only become clear after His Resurrection and Ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.   They will “weep and lament”  and “the world will rejoice” over His death, but then their “sorrow shall be turned to joy” (Jn.16:20) at His Resurrection and Ascension into heaven.  In today’s Epistle (I Pet. 2:11-19), St. Peter, instructs us to live our lives on earth as strangers and pilgrims because we are destined for heaven where we will be filled with joy: “Beloved, I exhort you as strangers and pilgrims to abstain from carnal desires which war against the soul.” I Pt. 2:11

 

The  Coming of the Holy Spirit and Eternal Life

            The Liturgical prayers and the epistle outline what is required for the Christian to prepare for the coming of the Holy Spirit.   “The Collect sums it up. In it the Church reminds us of the sublimity of the Christian vocation and of the high degree of sanctity required of us who profess the name of Christ, while the Secret reminds us of one of the most important effects of Holy Communion, which extinguishes within us all worldly desires and inflames the heart with a love of heavenly things, a longing for the true joys of heaven.” Ibid., p.556 In the Postcommunion prayer, we pray again for help in our pilgrimage on earth to heaven.”.: “May the Sacraments which we have received, we beseech  Thee, O Lord, renew us with spiritual refreshment and defend us with bodily help...”  While St. Peter in today’s Epistle is admonishing the faithful to live good lives so that by their good example they will win over the pagans, the underlying reason for living good lives is because it is necessary to obey legitimate authority in order to gain eternal life:  “Behave yourselves honourably among the pagans; that, whereas they slander you as evildoers, they may, through observing  you, by reason of your good works glorify God in the day of visitation.” I Pt.2:12

 

“I will see you again...”

            Venerable Bede tells us: “These words of the Lord apply to all the faithful, who strive amid tears and pain of this present life to reach eternal joy. With good reason they lament and weep with sorrow in this present life, for they are not able to see him whom they love. They know that, as long as they are in this mortal body, wanderers from their true country, they must be, and form their own people. They doubt not that it is through hard work and struggle that they must reach their crown. Their sorrow shall be turned to joy when, once the contest of this life is ended, they receive the reward of eternal life of which the Psalmist sings: They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.’ Ps. 125:5

 

No Joy for the Wicked

“But while the faithful weep the world rejoices; for rightly it is only in this present life that the worldlings will have any joy at all, those who place no hope in the joys of another life or who are without hope that they can attain them. This can be understood especially of the persecutors of the Christian faith; for having tormented and slain the martyrs, they rejoiced that they had conquered. But not for long, because while the martyrs were crowned in secret, these others suffered eternal punishment both for their unbelief and for their  murders. To these it was said by the mouth of the prophets: ‘Behold my servants shall rejoice, while you shall be confounded; Behold my servants shall praise for joyfulness of the heart, and you shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for grief of spirit.’ Is. 65:14

 

Our Birth to Eternal Life

“She remembers no more, he says, the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. As the woman rejoices  because a man-child is born into the world, so the Church  is filled with exultation at the birth of the Christian peoples into life eternal; because of whose birth she now grieves  and is in labour, as a woman who gives birth in this present life.  Nor should it seem strange to anyone that he is said to be born who leaves this present life. For just as he is said to be born who comes from his mother’s womb into light, so also may he truly be said to be born who is delivered of the bonds of the flesh and lifted up to life eternal. For this reason it is the custom of the Church to call those days on which the death of the martyrs and saints of the Church is commemorated their birth or Natalitia.

 

Crowned as Victors by Christ

            “When he says, ‘I will see you again and your heart shall rejoice,’ he meant: I will see you; I will snatch you from the jaws of your enemies; I will crown you as victors; I will prove to you that I was ever with you as you fought, like a witness. For when would he not see his own in the midst of their trials, since he has promised that he will be with them always, even to the end of the world?  When the faithful died in the midst of their tortures their adversaries  thought that they were without aid, saying; ‘Where is their God?  One such as these, surrounded with torments may well cry out: ‘Behold, O Lord, my afflictions; because the enemy is exalted’ (Lam. 1:9), which means to say: ‘Since the enemy who torments me raises his hand against the lowly ones of thine in pride, sustain us by thy help, O Triumphant Creator; prove to us that thou has seen our struggles when our enemies are driven off and defeated, and that those struggles are pleasing to thee....’

 

The Lord will see us again

“If then, brethren, we are afflicted by salutary sufferings... if with due sorrow  we weep for our own sins and for the miseries of our neighbours, the Lord will see us again, that is, he will show himself to us in the future who once deigned to see us and bestow on us the knowledge of his faith. He will see us that he may crown us who once saw us that he might call us. He will see us and our heart will rejoice, and our joy no man shall take from us; for this is the sole reward of those who suffer for God’s sake, to rejoice  forever in his sight.”   The Preacher’s Encylopaedia, p. 565-66

 

 

May is the Month of Mary:

Our Holy Father Pope St. John Paul II: “The Christian family finds and consolidates it’s identity in prayer.  Make the daily effort to find a time to pray together, to talk with Our Lord and listen to his voice. How beautiful it is when the family prays in the evening, even though it be only a part of the Rosary.  The family that prays together stays together; a family that prays is a family that is saved.  Act in such a way that your home may be a  place of Christian faith and virtue through your praying together.” (Address to families, 24 March 1984)

 

May Crowning and Consecration

 

  Next Sunday, 3 May 2015, we will have a May Crowning of Our Lady and a Consecration to Immaculate (according to St. Maximilian Kolbe) both in the Church (for the Sisters) and in the Lourdes grotto outside on the grounds.   This is a most important devotion as it honours Our Holy Mother during her special Month of May, and it binds us to her as her special “possession and property.”  St. Maximilian Kolbe spoke of all those who are consecrated to the Immaculate “She penetrates our soul and directs its faculties with unlimited power. We truly belong to Her. Therefore, we are with Her always and everywhere...”(SK 461)

And further still: “We are Hers, of the Immaculate, unlimitedly Hers, perfectly Hers, we are, as it were, Her very self. She, by means of us, loves the good God. She, with our poor  heart, loves Her divine Son.  We become the means by which the Immaculate loves Jesus, and Jesus, seeing that we are Her property, a part, as it were, of His most loving Mother, loves Her in and through us. What beautiful mysteries!”  Sk 508  

 St. Maximilian declared that those who are consecrated to the Immaculate would be a means of holiness and grace to others (especially their own family): “She needs to be brought into all hearts,’ so that She, upon entering into these hearts, may give birth there to the sweet Jesus, to God, and bring Him up even to that perfect age. What a beautiful mission!”  SK508

 

            St. Louis de Montfort tells us of Total Consecration to Mary: “This devotion consists, therefore, in giving ourselves entirely to the Most Blessed Virgin that, through her we may belong entirely to Jesus Christ. We must give her: (1) our body with all its senses and members; (2) our soul with its powers; (3) our material possessions and all that we may acquire; (4) our interior and spiritual possessions—our merits, our virtues and our good works, past, present, and future; in short, all that we possess in the order of nature, in the order of grace …” St. Louis de Montfort, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, p. 88-9

 

First Friday:  1 May 2015

Now is a good time to continue (or begin) the  devotion to the “Nine  First Fridays” of the Month.   The Sacred Heart of Jesus promised to St. Margaret Mary:  "I promise thee in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Divine heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment." 

 

Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix

(MIM)    2 May 2015

 

On the First Saturday of every month, we will have our monthly formation program for those who interested in affiliating themselves with the Marian Spirituality of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. The day begins at 9:30 AM and goes until 4 PM and includes two conferences, Holy Mass, adoration and the rosary. (see flyer on door)

  This spirituality is Marian and Franciscan and includes the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi,   St. Maximilian Kolbe and other Franciscan saints. “The fundamental aim of the MIM is the fulfilment of God’s plan for the salvation and sanctification of all souls through the maternal mediation of the Immaculate to the supreme glory of the Most Holy Trinity.”  (Article 2: Statute)

It is most important at this time in our world to come together and learn about Our Lady and her messages especially Fatima.  Pope John Paul II:  On November 9, 1976 said in the USA as Karol Cardinal Wojtyla:  “We are now standing in face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through.  I do not think that the wide circles of American society or the wide circles of  the Christian community realize this fully.  We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the Anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-gospel.”

We hope that all of you will consider joining the MIM and work for your own sanctification and the sanctification of  so many souls who are in danger of being lost for all eternity in hell as Our Lady said at Fatima. 

 

 

The First Saturday: 2 May 2015

 

Our Lady told Sr. Lucia in 1925 “…I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for a quarter of an hour while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me."  If only we would do what Our Lady asks, we would be assured of eternal salvation.  Our Lady promises us all the graces necessary for our salvation if we keep The Five First Saturdays! 

 

Why the Rosary is so important!

 

 

“Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world.”   Pope Blessed Pius IX

“If you persevere in reciting the Rosary, this will be a most probable sign of your eternal salvation.”    Blessed Alan de la Roche

“The greatest method of praying is to pray the Rosary.”    Saint Francis de Sales



“When the Holy Rosary is said well, it gives Jesus and Mary more glory and is more meritorious than any other prayer.”
Saint Louis de Montfort

“The Holy Rosary is the storehouse of countless blessing.”    Blessed Alan de la Roche

“One day, through the Rosary and the Scapular, Our Lady will save the world.”   Saint Dominic

“If you say the Rosary faithfully unto death, I do assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins, ‘you will receive a never-fading crown of glory’ (1 St. Peter 5:4).”   Saint Louis de Montfort



“You must know that when you say ‘hail’ Mary, she immediately greets you! Don’t think that she is one of those rude women of whom there are so many—on the contrary, she is utterly courteous and pleasant. If you greet her, she will answer you right away and converse with you!”      Saint Bernardine of Siena