We used to hate and destroy one another and refused to associate with people of another race or country. Now, because of Christ, we live together with such people and pray for our enemies. Justin Martyr
When I say Hail Mary
by Blessed Alan de la Roche
Whenever I say Hail Mary
The court of heaven rejoices
And the earth is lost in wonderment.
And I despise the world
And my heart is brim full
Of the love of God.
When I say Hail Mary,
All my fears wilt and die
And my passions are quelled.
If I say Hail Mary,
Devotion grows within me
And sorrow for sin awakens.
When I say Hail Mary,
Hope is made strong
In my breast.
And the dew of consolation
Falls on my soul
More and more
Because I say Hail Mary.
And my spirit rejoices
And sorrow fades away
When I say
“A little while and you will no longer see me, and again a little while later and you will see me.” With the Lord, goodbyes are not final.
Jesus says this about the Spirit: “He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.”
A beautiful reflection from Msgr Pope today….here’s an excerpt from his post here:
After this severe beating, likely bloody and in extreme pain, Paul and Silas were bound by leg shackles and cast into the deepest and darkest cell of the prison. The cell likely contained rats and vermin and any water was likely contaminated with human waste.
All this would be enough to lead most people into despair and self-pity. Yet what do we find?
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them (Acts 16:26).
Despite a terrible beating, severe pain, and horrible conditions, they were singing and praising God loudly enough for the other prisoners to hear.
Here is a remarkable teaching: happiness is an inside job. Paul and Silas, despite every physical discomfort, had a joy that could not be repressed or taken away. Their connection to God could not be severed.
Too often, we root our happiness in external matters such as money, esteem, and creature comforts. Yet many who have these things in abundance are still unhappy, while many who lack them are happy. Happiness goes deeper than external matters. There is a joy we can have that the world didn’t give and therefore cannot take away.
There are moments of sorrow and tension in every life, including mine, but deep down there is a stable serenity the Lord has given me for which I am overwhelmingly grateful. I have come to discover that deep inner place of peace, joy, and contentment—and it is largely unaffected by external factors.
There is a Greek word, μακάριοι (makarioi), which describes a kind of stable happiness or blessed state. The pagan Greeks used it to refer to the happiness of the gods, which was unaffected by worldly matters. Jesus takes up the verb form of the word in the beatitudes: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. In other words, stably blessed and happy are those who have their treasure in Heaven rather than in this passing and unstable world.
“I have been privileged to give great gifts from my empty hands.” – St John Vianney
As we get closer to Pentecost, the readings include more and more coverage of the Holy Spirit. In the olden days, they used to talk about the Christian life as the “great goose chase.” It’s hard to follow a goose, hence the term of phrase “wild goose chase.” The Acts of the Apostles tells stories of folks who are on a bit of a goose chase…they are going everywhere with the Gospel. They’re following the Holy Spirit all over the place. In yesterday’s reading, we heard how Paul and Timothy wanted to go to Asia and then they tried Bithynia, but the Holy Spirit prevented them from going to either place and sent them to Troas instead. What prompted Paul and Barnabas and Timothy and all the others to follow the Holy Spirit on the wild goose chase?
- The great vision of heaven: We hear about that in our second reading…wow! But most of us today aren’t living for heaven. Or we just assume it’s where everyone goes. But folks! When we live with heaven in mind,, we live better!!
- The great commission/commandment: Jesus told everyone to go and make disciples of ALL NATIONS….and he gives that command to all of us! Not just priests. EVERYONE. It’s YOUR job (and mine) to fill this church, and to fill heaven. Talk about your faith!!!! TESTIFY! Win others for Jesus. This is done by word of mouth in our first reading today….probably must be the same today. An invitation to someone to come to church means a lot more when you say, “I’ll pick you up at 8:15, and maybe we can get coffee afterwards.”
- The great comma: In the Apostle’s Creed, we hear about how Jesus was “born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilot…” That comma says an awful lot, and it’s called the “great comma.” It encompasses everything Jesus did and taught. All the miracles, the teachings, the healings. That comma is the message of JEsus, and THAT message is worth every drop of blood and sweat and heart that we spend for the Kingdom.
Friends! The Lord puts us on a wild good chase. Here’s the thing! That wild goose chase leads us to heaven (point 1 above), he commands us to it (point 2), and the message of Jesus itself is so worth it we shoudln’t even need a commandment!!
Your homework: talk to people about Jesus, specifically about your Catholic faith…do so with great love in your heart for JEsus and for them….give yourself this challenge: I will make a Catholic this year. YOU be the reason someone joins RCIA!!! We can put each other on the wild goose chase that is the Catholic life.