Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Feast of the Immaculate Conception December 8, 2014

I couldn't  resist the urge to post an article on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

The Dogma of the "Immaculate Conception" was defined by Pope Pius, the Ninth in 1854.

The Dogma says that the "Blessed Mother" from the first moment of her conception was free of Original Sin. Not even for a fraction of a second was she under the domination of evil.

And she was the only one ever thus to be conceived. As soon as she began to live that soul was without stain, spotless, pure, and immaculate.

That is what the words "Immaculate Conception" mean.

That is the Dogma. Our Lady was born immaculate and remained immaculate.

There are references to the celebration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception as early as the 8th Century.

The Day selected was 8th of December.

In Ireland, the feast was celebrated on the 3rd of May and in England it was celebrated on the 8th of May.

During the 12th Century the feast was observed in all Benedictine Monasteries and Franciscan Friaries in England. In the 15th Century, a Franciscan Pope erected a Chapel within the Sistine Chapel in honor of the Immaculate Conception.

CREDITS :

1) Most Beautiful Blue Eyes by Father Harold Rahm S.J.

2) What do we mean without Sin ?? By Father Sidney Roemer  Pages 23-25.



Wednesday, 19 November 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS 2014 AND HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015

Greetings Everybody. Wishing all of you a Blessed and Holy Christmas 2014. Also, wishing you a Blessed and Holy New Year 2015.

Please Pray for Me and Please pray for Blessings for my "Catholic Blog".

I will resume posting on my blog in January 2015.

A Reflection on the Solemnity of Christmas

Here are my thoughts for Christmas Day :

The Son who is born of Mary is also our God. Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of the Father; He is the Word through whom all things have been created.

He is light from light, God from God, consubstantial with the Father.

Jesus Christ is outside of time; he is eternal. As God, he carries within himself the synthesis of all the perfections. By means of Mary, this God makes himself "True Man".

In Mary's virginal womb, there came about his human conception. On Christmas Day, he is born of Mary in a poor and unadorned cave; He is placed in a cold manger; He is adored by his Mother Mary and by his Legal Father Saint Joseph; He is surrounded by the humble presence of shepherds; He is glorified by the heavenly cohort of the angels who sing the hymn of glory to God and of peace to men who have been loved and saved by him.

Let us bow down and adore the Infant Jesus who is born. He is Emmanuel, "He is God with us".

"He is God with us", who makes himself man for our salvation. On Christmas Day, the Savior and the Redeemer is born for all.

The fragility of this "Divine Infant" becomes remedy for all human fragility: his cry is alleviation for all sorrow; his poverty is wealth for all misery; his pain is comfort for all the afflicted; his gentleness is hope for all sinners; his goodness becomes salvation for all who are lost.

"He is God with us" who makes himself redemption and refuge for all humanity. Enter with Mary into the bright cave of his divine love. Allow yourselves to be placed by Mary in the gentle and sweet cradle of his heart which has just begun to beat.

Finally, "He is God with us" because even in his human fragility - Jesus Christ is truly God. Jesus Christ is God, outside of changes of time and history: He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Credits and References:

To the Priests, Our Lady's Beloved Sons
1996 Supplement
"God with Us"
Pages 53-54


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Feast of Christ the King - 23rd November 2014

When Pope Pius, the 11th instituted the Feast of Christ the King in 1925 it was to remind us of the tragic illusion of trying to build a new world without Christ.

There was no intention to dictate a particular social system as alone compatible with the Law of Christ. Triumphalism or the pathetic attempts thereat are completely at odds in the celebration of this feast.

Declaration of Faith in Christ and loyalty to his Kingship is never arrogant. That Christ is King by natural right has its source in the doctrine of the Incarnation and the ineffable hypostatic union.

In his encyclical letter Pope Pius, the 11th enumerated the blessings he hoped would accrue to the Church and all human society as a result of the public observation of the feast.

The acknowledgment by the State of  Christ's Kingly rights would be the supreme guarantee for its own authority and for the human rights of its members. The Annual Celebration would remind the nations that not only individuals but rulers and princes are bound to give public honour and obedience to Christ.

It would remind Men of the last judgement when all will be called to render an account.

The Feast of Christ the King this year is a time for thinking about how the common good can be promoted, about securing the rights of men and about limiting or ending injustice to our fellowmen.

Credits :

Don Bosco's Madonna Mumbai
November 1986
Feast of Christ the King
Page 25



THE ABIDING PRESENCE

Father Bernard Vaughan S.J. in one of his retreats told of the advice once given to him by his doctor when he was feeling tired and rundown : "Sit in the Sun. Wrap yourself up well, and just sit in the sun. Nothing will do you more good".

He applied this to the spiritual life by saying : " So I ask you to spend much time basking in the sunshine of the BLESSED SACRAMENT .... This sun bath is a great cure. Rest in the Sun and you will be enriched with his blessings".

This recalls the analogy with the electric powerhouse, suggested by another famous retreat master Father Walter Drum S.J. - he compared the Tabernacle with the electric power house. Over the door, of each might be placed the sign : "Power, Light, and Heat supplied here.

All that we need do is to turn on the switch- just kneel in prayer before the Tabernacle !! ".

Credits: Don Bosco's Madonna, Mumbai
             November 1986
             "The Abiding Presence"
               Page 24


Catholic Classics Unlimited is 1 Year Old

Dear Friends in Jesus and Mary,

Greetings from Mumbai, India. My Catholic Blog is 1 year old. I commenced blogging on the 5th of November 2013, so the 5th of November 2014 makes it a Year now.

Please pray for me and for continuous success for my Blog - "Catholic Classics Unlimited".

I will be constantly updating my Blog with articles and with Links to known and unknown "Catholic Classics" throughout November and December 2014.

I invite all Catholics to my Blog and encourage them to read  many beautiful and magnificent Catholic Classics that are online @ my blog.

Happy Reading.



Louis Pasteur - A Lover of the Holy Rosary

I recently came across an interesting article about a Scientist in 19th Century France who was a great devotee of the Holy Rosary.

The Scientist in question is "Louis Pasteur".

Here is the story.

"Over a Hundred years ago, a University Student found himself seated in a train by the side of a person who seemed to be a well - to - do - peasant. He was praying the Rosary and moving the beads in his fingers.

"Sir, do you still believe in such outdated things ??" asked the student of the old man. "Yes, i do. Do you not ??" asked the Man.

The Student burst out into laughter and said, "I do not believe in such silly things. take my advice. Throw the Rosary out through the window and learn what science has to say about it."

"Science?? I do not understand this Science?? Perhaps you can explain it to me, "the man said humbly with some tears in his eyes.

The Student saw that the man was deeply moved so to avoid further hurting the feelings of the man, he said, "please give me your address and I will send you some literature to help you on the matter".

The Man fumbled in the inside pocket of his coat and gave the boy his visiting card. On glancing at the card, the student bowed his head in shame and became silent. On the card he read: "Louis Pasteur, Director of the Institute of Scientific Research, Paris".

The Title of this article was "He Prayed the Rosary". I found it in a prayerbook called "The Secret of Happiness" published in Denver, Colorado.

Credits and References :

The Secret of Happiness Prayer Book
Denver, Colorado 
 

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

October 7, 2014 Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary

The Queen of Heaven's Rosary

History of a Binding Prayer:

This Feast of "Our Lady of the Rosary" was instituted by Pope Saint Pius 5th on the anniversary of the naval battle at Lepanto (1571) on the 7th of October. It was said that the Christians were victorious because of the "Help" of the Holy Mother of God, invoked by the saying of the Rosary.

Devotion to the Rosary through the Ages:

Our Lady at various times has appeared and requested that her Rosary be said for specific causes. Many centuries ago she appeared to Saint Dominic and encouraged the recitation of the Rosary to overcome a great heresy at that time. Saint Dominic preached the recitation of the Rosary and the heresy was overcome.

The past is full of records of devotion to the Rosary. Louis Pasteur, the great benefactor of humanity and a man of unquestionable learning and wisdom, was also remarkable for his deep faith. Many a time, while waiting for a train at a station he used those free moments to recite his Rosary. Instead, of losing time in idle conversation he preferred praying to his Heavenly Mother.

Our Lady's Promise to Fortuna Agrelli :

In the year 1884, in Naples Italy an Italian girl 19 years old named Fortuna Agrelli lay on a bed of intense suffering. She had been in that condition for more than a year and was now pronounced hopeless by her doctors.

Her Family therefore began a Novena of Rosaries to beg the Mother of God to cure her. After a few days the Queen of Heaven appeared to the dying girl, in company with Saint Dominic and Saint Catherine of Siena. In her left arm, the Holy Virgin held the Infant Jesus and in her right hand a Rosary.

The girl exclaimed eagerly "O Queen of the Holy Rosary, cure me !!" The Blessed Virgin answered, "Because you invoke me by that title so pleasing to me, I cannot refuse you. Make three Rosary Novenas, and you shall obtain what you ask and make it known to everybody that whoever desires to obtain favours from me should make three Rosary Novenas and three more in thanksgiving.

Remember that the title "Queen of the Holy Rosary" is most precious and dear to me.

Needless to say, Fortuna Agrelli was soon completely cured. Pope Leo 13th was so deeply impressed by this incident that no fewer than twenty encyclicals came from his pen during his lifetime urging the clergy and the faithful to love and recite the Rosary everyday.

Contemporary Perspective :

Today's celebration (October 7th) urges all to meditate on the mysteries of Christ, following the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary who was in a special manner associated at the Incarnation, Public Ministry, Passion, and Glorious Resurrection of the Son of God.

Jesus Christ came on  earth because he wanted to be understood, to be seen, to be pondered. But How ?? You may ask.

I answer : "Lying in a manger, resting on his Mother's lap, preaching on the Mount, spending nights in prayer; or hanging on the cross, the pallor of death on his face like one forsaken among the dead, overruling the powers of hell; or rising again on the third day, showing the Apostles the print of the nails, the sign of victory, and finally ascending from their sight into heaven".

The 20 Mysteries are real visions that summarise Our Lord's Life under the headings of Joy, Sorrow, Light, and Glory.

The best way to grasp their full richness is to see them through the heart of the one who was closest to him, "Our Blessed Mother".

The Process is equal to a perfect orchestration: The Main Theme keeps on repeating itself in different variations, all laced together by the recurring refrain. Indeed Jesus Christ, the greatest of themes ever in the repetition of every Hail Mary appears in his life's facets: Son of God and of Our Lady; born in a stable ..... presented to the Temple .... dying on the Cross on Calvary; gloriously risen etc.

The Rosary, therefore is not a prayer for the lazy who do not know what to say; it is instead a binding prayer, binding us to follow in imitation of Our Lady, and specially Our Lord who is the way, truth, and life. Only then our life will take on the right transformation.

Reciting the Rosary is a must:

The old tradition of reciting the Rosary in the Family is a "MUST". Instead of spending endless hours as silent spectators of the profane altar of the T.V. ; the pious recitation of the Rosary will be the binding prayer that will keep us knit together. "The Family that prays together stays together".

Conclusion:

October is the Month of the Holy Rosary. Make it part of your daily life. It can be said during a few spare minutes at home or in church, on the train, on the bus, or while driving to work or while one is at the super market.

Gather your family about you, mothers and fathers in the evening for the recitation of the family Rosary. Make October truly Mary's Month of the Holy Rosary and she will take care of you and yours.

Credits:
1. Don Bosco's Madonna Mumbai October 1975 No. 434 Page 3

2. Don Bosco's Madonna Mumbai October 1986 No. 566 Pages 3, 20, and 21. (A Binding Prayer on Pages 20 and 21).

3. Don Bosco's Madonna Mumbai October 2010 Vol - 12 No 6. The Queen of Heaven's Rosary by Crusader of the Divine Child Page 28.



Wednesday, 3 September 2014

6 Important Sayings of Saint Padre Pio for us today

1. "Always remain close to the Catholic Church, because it alone can give you true peace, since it alone possesses Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament,  the true prince of Peace.

2. "On this earth, everyone has his cross. But we must act in such a way that we are not the bad but the good thief."

3. "In the spiritual life, you must take one step forward each day in a vertical line, from the bottom up."

4. "The proof of love is to suffer for the one you love."

5. "It would be easier for the earth to exist without the Sun, than without the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass."

6. "Let's approach Holy Communion with holy love and fear. May the entire day be preparation  and thanksgiving for Holy Communion."

Credits : The Examiner, Mumbai
                Vol - 162, No. 21
                May 21, 2011
               "Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina"
               A True Face of Jesus Christ by Fr. Michael Fernandes OFM. CAP
               Page 8

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus 2014 Dedicated to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

                                       A Share in his riches

Introduction : "June is the Month dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus".

When Jesus Christ invited the crowds, "Come to me all you who labor and are overburdened and I will give you rest .... for I am gentle and humble in heart (Matthew 11:28) he made no idle promise. That heart is still as humble and gentle now as then with an inexhaustible capacity to understand our suffering and pain and help us bear our load.

Touching his Heart :

Even when the individual did not ask to be singled out, Jesus Christ still gave his personal attention. On some occasion he was on his way to a dying child when he was caught in a jostling throng. A woman with an embarrassing haemorrage edged her way through the crowd towards him.

"If only I can touch his cloak" she told herself, "I shall be saved". (Matthew 9:21)

Jesus Christ however turned and saw her and acknowledged her faith with warmth.Even though, he was on urgent business he would not let this woman disappear into obscurity again. She had touched his heart as well as his garment and that heart went out to her in so human a way that it revealed its hidden divinity.

Search for the Stray :

So concerned was he for the individual that Jesus Christ taught his disciples to be the same. "Will a Shepherd not leave the ninety- nine on the hillside he asked and go in search of the stray" ?? ( Matt 18:12)

It was the stray he cared for most.

Nothing deterred the Shepherd - Heart of Christ,not even the religious leaders who disapproved of his healing on the Sabbath. Jesus Christ by passed their disapproval since as he said himself the whole of the Law is fulfilled in loving and it was for our sake that the Sabbath was made not the other way round. (Matt 22: 36-40 and Mark 2:27)

So, he did not hesitate to heal the man with the withered hand and to straighten the woman bent nearly double for eighteen years. These miracles were his way of showing his even greater power to cure the internal withering and maladies of the soul in sin. It was after such events that the Pharisees went out and plotted how to kill him.

Love to the End :

Not even their murderous schemes, however could defeat Jesus Christ. As he hung from the cross he prayed for them to his Father : "Father, forgive them, they do not know what they are doing. (Luke 23:34)

In that moment, he had totally absorbed into his "Dying Heart", not only the leprosy of the leper, the bleeding of the woman, the withered limbs and twisted spines of those bent double. He had even absorbed the hatred of those who wished him dead.

All these he transformed into a power for good that burst from his heart when he died. It was upon his heart that the last wound on his body was inflicted, when a Roman Soldier ripped it open with a spear.

Even in death, that heart remained open, emptying itself to the last drop of blood.

Saint John Chrysostom writes movingly :

"The Soldier pierced his side : he breached the wall of the holy temple and I found the treasure and acquired the wealth". This Month Jesus Christ invites all who labour and are overburdened to acquire a share in that wealth too. It flows from his wounded heart specially for you.

Credits : Don Bosco's Madonna, Mumbai
              June 2008 Vol. 10 No 2
              A Share in his Riches by T. Oliver Pages 18-19



Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Corpus Christi Sunday 2014 - Dedicated to the Real Presence of Jesus Christ 22nd June 2014

                                              Faith in His Presence

Introduction :

When the two disciples who had walked with Our Lord to Emmaus looked back afterwards at their experience; they must have realized that never again could they think of Jesus Christ as simply absent. The Risen Lord is always present in the Upper Room,on the Emmaus road,beside the Sea of Galilee, on top of Mount Olivet, everywhere.

Old Testament Presence :

The presence of the Lord is one of the great themes of the Old Testament by which the teachers of Israel were unconsciously preparing for Christ. It began in the desert in a tent or tabernacle. The word "Tabernacle" means "Tent", where Moses kept the Ark of the Covenant. This was called the "Tent of Meeting" and there Moses would come to consult the Lord.

New Testament Presence :

In the New Law, the presence of the divinity is given a new centre in the person of Jesus Christ. For Christians who are Catholics therefore, the first tabernacle of God is the "Flesh of Christ". When in the Middle Ages, the Church began to develop its devotion to the Body of Christ in the Sacrament; it often built the place of reservation in the form of a tent, even if the material was stone or wood and this place became the new "Tabernacle" of God.

Just as the disciples at Emmaus learned their lesson about the divine presence from their experience on the road, so most of us learn it from our experience of the "Tabernacle".

The Sacrament of Presence :

As we know, there are many ways in which Christ becomes present to us, but at the centre of them all and maintaining our belief in all the others stands the tabernacle.

The "Reserved Sacrament" is for us, the Sacrament of Presence.

A Deeper Notion of Presence :

This also helps us to appreciate how in its higher forms "Presence" should be mutual. It is one thing for Christ to be present to us in the tabernacle; it is another thing for us to be present to him.

Indeed here, we see one of the great purposes of the tabernacle. It is not just to bring his presence to us, since he is present to us already in so many ways; but this form of his presence is intended precisely to bring about our presence to him. It is really in view of this mutual sharing of presence that the "Reserved Sacrament" is called the Sacrament of Presence.

Mutual Presence :

Finally, we discover here how the tabernacle fulfils a role which the Mass by itself cannot do.

There is so much happening during " The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass" and we are hopefully active in the liturgy in so many ways that rarely during Mass do we have the peace and quiet to concentrate on the wonder of this mutual presence between Our Lord and ourselves.

This then is what we can do more easily before the tabernacle.

Credits: Don Bosco's Madonna Mumbai
             July 2007,Vol 9 No 3
             "Faith in his Presence" by Raymond Maloney
             Pages 18-19

Notes : To know more about the "Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist"

Log on to http://www.therealpresence.org/







Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Feast of Our Lady of Fatima 13th May 2014

There is a star on the tunic of all Fatima Images. The star is a special and distinctive mark on the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. Mother Mary is the Morning Star not through herself, but through the reflection of the Redeemer.

In describing what Our Lady looked like at Fatima, Sister Lucia noted :"She always has a star on her tunic .....The tunic of Our Lady was white and the star was yellow."

Mother Mary at Fatima was a wake up call to people at a time when disillusionment and frustration was at its peak. At that time, when World War 1 was leading to the ruin of the world, Mary was leading all those lost in darkness to Jesus Christ, the true light through repentance.

Mary appeared at Fatima six times on the 13th of every month from May to October in 1917 except in August. It is reasonable to reflect upon the possibility that this star has a "Special Significance" as it was the only adornment on her white garments.

Mother Mary in her message had already warned of the danger of World War 2 and moreover of the Holocaust, a dark history no one would like to recall.

Our Lady of  Fatima, the Queen of the World brought a message of hope to a world mired in the darkness of the First World War. Acting as an intercessor with the King of Kings, she promised peace for the world if her requests were heeded.

The Message of  Fatima known and lived promises that a period of peace will be granted to the world. Mary is honoured only in the light of Jesus Christ.

Let us therefore as true children of God pay heed to the call of Our Lady of Fatima, Our Mother to make this world a better place to live in.

Credits : The Examiner, Mumbai
              October 13,2012
              Vol. 163, No 41
               The "Star" Our Lady of Fatima
               by Father Calistus Fernandes
               Pages 9-10 

Note : Please read the following "Catholic Classic" - Fatima in Lucia's own words to know more about Our Lady's Peace plan from Heaven.



FATIMA IN LUCIA’S OWN WORDS          

http://www.walkingwithourjesus.com/fatima.htm

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima

http://www.santuario-fatima.pt/portal/index.php?lang=EN

  


Sunday, 20 April 2014

Divine Mercy Sunday 2014 - Merciful Jesus Christ, I trust in You 27th of April 2014

Introduction :

"I desire that the first Sunday after Easter be the Feast of Mercy". Words of Jesus Christ, the Divine Mercy to Saint Faustina. Ask of my faithful servant that, on this day he tell the whole world of my great mercy; that whoever approaches the "Fount of Life" on this day will be granted complete remission of sins and punishment.

"Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to my Mercy. (Diary 300).

Our Lord asked Saint Faustina to pray and to work to have established a Feast of the Divine Mercy on the Sunday after Easter. This would be a day of total forgiveness of sins for those who approach the Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Penance.

It would be an "Annual Celebration" like the day of Atonement. All Sins and Punishment would be washed away in his infinite mercy.

The Texts of the Liturgy for that Sunday focus on the forgiveness of sins. The Gospel is of Jesus Christ appearing in the upper room and bestowing the authority to forgive sins; and the other readings also refer to Mercy. (Psalm 118 and 1 Peter 1 : 3-9)

Divine Mercy Sunday Celebrations across the world :

In Poland, the Sunday after Easter is celebrated as the "Feast of the Divine Mercy". Each year, Cardinal Macharski of Cracow used to write to his priests and people to make "Mercy Sunday" a solemn occasion of celebrating God's infinite mercy towards us.

The Archdiocese of Manila in the Philippines has named the Second Sunday of Easter as the "Feast of the Divine Mercy" in its ordo for 1987 (The official calendar for the liturgy of Mass and Office).

At the Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge,Massachusetts the Sunday after Easter is "Mercy Sunday" a day of a great gathering of pilgrims for celebrating the Eucharist,Reconciliation, preaching on Mercy, and praying the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy.

Happy Divine Mercy Sunday to one and all.

Credits : Now is the Time for Mercy by Father George Kosicki C.S.B.

Check out this awesome site on Divine Mercy Sunday with regard to what to do before the Feast Day as well as on the Feast day itself.

http://www.divinemercysunday.com/                

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Easter Sunday 2014- A New Way of Living Dedicated to the Risen Christ

Christ is Risen !! Peace to you !! Today, we celebrate the great mystery, the foundation of "Christian Faith" and hope : Jesus Christ of Nazareth the Crucified One has risen from the dead on the third day according to the Scriptures.

Let's imagine for a moment a scene in First Century Galilee. A middle aged man from a small village who considers himself ordinary has heard of an extraordinary preacher who is travelling around the region. He has healing powers -people have seen this but more than that, he speaks of a different way of living ;a way of living which involves loving each other as "Human Beings ".

He is caught by the story of this man and manages to slip away one day to listen to him. Hearing him, he falls in love with his dream and takes it home in his heart.

Wanting to know the Truth :

And then he hears of his death. An immense sadness fills him. He was very special. Some people said he was the "Son of God". In his heart he almost believed it. But now he's dead.

Imagine his face when a few days later the rumour flies through his village that he has risen from the dead. People have seen him; the tomb is empty!!

He hears the Apostles in Jerusalem proclaiming his resurrection and he is awestruck!! He realizes first hand how the Apostles seem to be transformed men proclaiming the "Risen Christ".

He wants to hear everything: How he had met the doubting disciples after rising and sharing meals with them : how he had shown them the marks of his cruel death on his risen body. All these details have new importance for him because he has risen from the dead.

What helps to keep him going is a special meal called the "Eucharist". Jesus Christ began it the night before he died and asked his followers to do this in his memory. (Luke 22:29)

He loves this gathering because Jesus Christ is so richly present at it- in himself and the others gathered there, in the stories concerning him which are told or read; in the sharing where his message throws light on his daily life;and in the meal itself where he meets him face to face and nourishes him and brings him into the mystery of his life and suffering and resurrection.

The Man in the story has no name. Let him have your name. The Risen Jesus Christ desires to relate with you as he related with him. As the Poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins puts it : "Let him Easter in us".

Happy Easter to you all.

Credits :

Don Bosco's Madonna, Mumbai

April 2008 Vol 9 No 12


 

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Good Friday 2014- Transformed by the Crucified Christ

On Good Friday, we often meditate and reflect on the last words of Jesus Christ on the Cross. In the 4 Gospels there are seven sayings attributed to the dying Christ - one in Matthew and Mark, three each in Luke and John. Good Friday Meditations focus on the passion and suffering of Jesus Christ and on the loving compassion of our "Merciful Saviour".

I propose a further meditation on Jesus's words from the Cross.

1. My God, My God why have you forsaken me ??

These words are recorded in both Matthew and Mark and in them alone. They are from the opening verse of Psalm 22 and a text that Jesus Christ would have known well. As he is nailed to the Cross the words appropriately express the pain and abandonment that he must have felt. Throughout human history it is likely that everyone at some time in life, will express the same sentiment.

2. Father Forgive them, for they do not know  what they do :

Luke records these as Jesus's first words as he is nailed to the Cross. They show the extraordinary compassion of our "Saviour", fulfilling his own instruction to his disciples and to us to forgive our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.

3.  Truly, I say to you today you will be with me in Paradise :

These words also are found only in Luke, an expression of hope and compassion given to one of those crucified with Jesus Christ who asked to be remembered by him when he was glorified. The Man's faith in Jesus Christ is met with a promise of fulfillment.

4. Father, into your hands I commend my Spirit:

The Final Words recorded by Luke,a quote from Psalm 31 are also surely well known to Jesus Christ. They express the other side of abandonment which is "TRUST" even in the darkest hour.

5. Woman, behold your Son. Son, Behold your mother :

These Words from the Cross are recorded in John's Gospel. Jesus Christ is speaking to his own mother and to the one known as the "Beloved Disciple". His concern is to establish a new family relationship for his mother, giving her someone to care for her.

It is perhaps the most intimate moment recorded from the crucifixion. Our relationships specially with those we love and with whom we share a life history but also with all whose lives intersect with ours, matter.

Jesus Christ creates a new bond among us.

6. I Thirst :

These words found only in John are related to John's account of Jesus's description of himself as "LIVING WATER".

There is at once, a very human and a spiritual aspect to this cry. On the one hand, Jesus Christ suffers and thirsts as would all humans, but beyond this there is the theme of the deepest human longings for God and for God's transforming, loving, and life - giving presence in our lives.

7.  It is Finished !!

John's final words from the dying Jesus Christ are a cry of victory. Jesus Christ, the incarnate love of God has loved to the very end. He has loved inspite of betrayal, torture, humiliation, and suffering. He has loved enough to die as we all will die.

Credits : Don Bosco's Madonna Mumbai
              March 2010 Vol 11 No 11




 




Thursday, 20 March 2014

Feast of Saint Joseph

Saint Joseph - Patron and Protector of the Universal Church

How does Saint Joseph exercise his role as protector ??

Discreetly, humbly, and silently but with an unfailing presence and utter fidelity, even when he finds it hard to understand. From the time of his betrothal to Mary until the finding of the twelve year old Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem, he is there at every moment with loving care. As the spouse of Mary he is at her side in good times and bad, on the journey to Bethlehem, in the anxious and joyful hours when she gave birth; amid the drama of the flight to Egypt; during the frantic search for their child in the Temple; and in the day to day life at Nazareth, in the workshop where he taught his trade to Jesus Christ.

How does Saint Joseph respond to his calling to be the protector of Mary, Jesus, and the Universal Church ?? By being constantly attentive to God, open to the signs of God's presence and receptive to God's plans not simply to his own.

Saint Joseph is a "Protector" because he is able to hear God's voice and be guided by his will;and for this reason, he is all the more sensitive to the persons entrusted to his care.

In him, we learn how to respond to God's Call readily and willingly but we also see the core of the "Christian Vocation", which is Christ !!

In this Month of March, dedicated to Saint Joseph, let us seek his intercession that he helps us to preserve and uphold the family as the first social institution established by God on earth. (Genesis 1:27-28)

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

A Second Note to Readers

For the Month of March, there will be just one more post. It will be on the 19th of March for the Feast of Saint Joseph. After that, there will be 3 posts in the month of April for Good Friday 2014, Easter Sunday 2014, and Divine Mercy Sunday2014.

For the Month of May, there will be just one post. It will be for the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima on the 13th of May.

For June, there will be 2 posts one for Corpus Christi Sunday 2014 and one for the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Thereafter, my Blog will be taking a break till September 2014 when I will resume posting again.

Drop a comment or two at my Blog.

Observing Lent in India

From the carrying of a Cross uphill in Kerala, to the Canon's procession in Goa, to attending the Way of the Cross each morning in Orissa, there are many ways in which Lent is observed in India.

Kerala is the cradle of Christianity in India. In this state, Lent is observed with passion. Some faithful carry a cross uphill and plant it on Saint Thomas Mount in Malayatoor which the Apostle visited during his stay in India and which has become a pilgrimage site.

Goa is another State with a large Christian Population. It is situated on the West Coast of India. Here, the procession of the Canons is a unique Lenten ritual where about 12 Canons - mostly retired Catholic Priests - walk, singing, mournful dirges at "Se Cathedral" in Old Goa on Good Friday.

This ritual follows the main Good Friday service; here the Canons decked out in long black habits and hoods lead a procession re-enacting the taking of Christ's body to the sepulchre. their mournful dirges stop before the body is finally laid at the foot of the cross at one of the chapels within the Cathedral.

Yet another Lenten practice popularised by the Society of Pilar in the Archdiocese of Goa is a Lenten Play which makes the rounds in various parishes. The Society of Pilar is a Catholic Religious Order based in Goa.

In Orissa's Kandhamal District in Eastern India which has seen anti-christian violence in recent years, some Catholic Villagers attend the "Way of the Cross" every day. Retreats are organised in every parish. The baptism of new catholics takes place only on Easter Sunday, while First Holy Communion is given to children only during Holy Week.

Credits : The Examiner, Mumbai
              Vol 162, No 17
               April 23, 2011

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

2 Awesome Catholic Classics for Lent The Precious Blood by Father Faber and the Foot of the Cross by Father Faber

1) The Precious Blood by Father Faber -

Our Lord Jesus Christ died on the Cross from loss of Blood. Hence, his precious blood is in truth the instrument of our salvation.

With this thought being central to his book, Father Faber explores all the implications of the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ in our lives- its mystery and necessity, its history, the devotion we poor souls should have towards it and the sway of the Empire of the Precious Blood.

For it is from the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ alone that our salvation comes. The "Precious Blood" by Father Faber is therefore a study in our salvation;but it is also a resume of our faith and of our "Holy Catholic Christian Religion" from the standpoint of this dominant insight.

This Book has a strong scriptural aura about it.

Read the whole Book here in PDF Format :

https://ia600303.us.archive.org/29/items/preciousbloodorp00fabe/preciousbloodorp00fabe.pdf

2) The Foot of the Cross by Father Faber -

This Lenten Catholic Classic is "Self Explanatory". It is based on the "Sorrows of Mary".

Read the whole Book here in PDF Format :

https://ia600201.us.archive.org/2/items/a580635100fabeuoft/a580635100fabeuoft.pdf



Tuesday, 25 February 2014

A Note to Readers

From now on, for the next two months I will be posting articles on Lent and on Easter specially on their "Spiritual Significance".

There will be just 1 post on Catholic Classics that will be most probably next week. It will be a "Catholic Classics Special" for Lent.


Monday, 10 February 2014

Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes 11th February 2014 World Day of the Sick

The Grotto of Massabielle is the heart of Lourdes. In the town, the road signs do not indicate "the Sanctuary" rather "The Grotto". Until recently, "The Grotto" was the name of the organisation  which managed the sanctuary.

The vault of the Grotto has been preserved in its original state, as we can see from the oldest photographs available. The engravings are less accurate as they present the area as a theatrical scene. The Grotto faces north and the sun never penetrates within. It is the Blessed Virgin herself who illuminates it with her presence, her smile, and her beauty. The symbolism speaks for itself.

In  Lourdes, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous 18 times from 11th February to 16th July 1858 that year at a little niche and delivered messages through her to the world.

Bernadette obedient to Our Lady's command scratched the ground near the grotto and Lo and Behold a trickle of water issued forth from the ground she had scratched. This is the source of the miraculous waters of Lourdes.

Many Miraculous cures have been attributed to the waters from this spring which continues to flow to this day. Doctors have had no explanations for these scientifically inexplicable cures. One can see crutches hanging around the grotto left by pilgrims who were cured.

All in all Lourdes in France is a "Must Visit Destination" for anyone or everyone specially those who are sick with terminal illnesses or incurable diseases.

Check out the Sanctuary in Lourdes

http://en.lourdes-france.org/


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Tallest Statue of Divine Mercy installed in India


.- On Sept. 30, Cardinal George Alencherry unveiled and blessed a shrine featuring a statue of the Divine Mercy of Jesus, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

“The statue is 43-feet tall and it proclaims that the Lord is ever merciful to all those who seek him,” Bishop Anthony Chirayath of the Syro-Malabarese Diocese of Sagar told CNA Sept. 28.
The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Bishop of Rome. It is of the East Syrian rite, and is headed by Cardinal Alencherry, who is Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly. Nearly all 3.8 million Syro-Malabarese Catholics are in India, though there is an eparchy located in the U.S.

Some 20 bishops attended the blessing, as well as around 100 priests and religious. When he spoke to CNA, Bishop Chirayath said that “a presence of about 3,000 Catholic devotees of the Divine Mercy is expected, including pilgrims from the U.S., Canada, France, Germany and Italy,” adding that “a great participation of staunch devotees, even of other faiths, is to be witnessed.”

Read more here http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/divine-mercy-statue-in-india-receives-cardinals-blessing/

Saturday, 11 January 2014

A Happy and Holy New Year 2014

New Year Greetings from Mumbai, India. I wish all the readers of my blog a Blessed and Holy New Year 2014.

It is my fervent prayer that during 2014, peace should reign in the hearts of men and women in strife torn countries such as Iraq, Central African Republic, South Sudan, ans Syria.


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