Friday, 25 December 2015

A Reflection for Christmas Day 2015

Introduction :

God willed to share in our human condition to the point of becoming one with us in the person of Jesus Christ, who is "True Man and True God".

However, there is something even more surprising. The presence of God among men did not take place in a perfect world, but rather in this real world, which is marked by so many things both good and bad, by division, by wickedness, by poverty, by arrogance, and finally by war.

He chose to live in our history as it is, with all the weight of its limitations and of its tragedies.

In doing so, he has demonstrated in an unequalled manner his merciful and truly loving disposition towards humans.

He is God - with us. Jesus Christ is God- with - us.

Jesus Christ is God with us always and forever with us in history's suffering and sorrow.

The Birth of Jesus Christ reveals that God "sided" with man once and for all, to save us, to raise us from the dust of our misery, from our difficulty, and from our sins.


Conclusion :

This is the great "gift" of the Child of Bethlehem. He gives us a spiritual energy, an energy which enables us not to despair in our struggles, in our hopelessness, in our sadness, for it is an energy that transforms us.

Indeed, the Birth of Jesus Christ brings us delightful news that we are loved immensely and uniquely by God, and he not only enables us to know this love, but he communicates it to us !!

Credits and References :

"A Place for the Poor on Christmas"
by his Holiness Pope Francis
December 2013
Don Bosco's Madonna Mumbai,
Vol -16, N0- 8
December 2014
Pages 18-19

Note : Please read an excellent meditation for Christmas.

The Nativity of Christ.

http://www.ecatholic2000.com/cts/untitled-590.shtml#_Toc349936255




 

Friday, 18 December 2015

An Indian Princess who became a Catholic Christian

This is a simple story of an Indian Princess who lived in North India from the Mid or Late - 1700's to the early 1800's and who was a fervent Catholic Christian.

She was a Catholic Christian out of conviction and not for "Material Benefits" as she was quite rich in her own right.

I am talking about Begum Yohanna Sumru of Sardhana.

She converted to Catholicism after a number of years. She was married to a French Colonel by the name of Walter Reinhardt Sumru.

She had a great devotion to Our Lady and built a Church -Shrine in honor of Our Lady of all Graces.

Note : Begum Yohanna Sumru is the only "Royalty" in India who became a Catholic Christian.

Read the whole story here.

http://www.sardhanachurch.org/theshrineof.aspx

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Merry Christmas 2015 and a Happy and Blessed New Year 2016

Dear Friends in Jesus and Mary,

The Year 2015 is drawing to a close but there are important feast days coming up before the year is over.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the readers of my blog a Merry Christmas 2015.

May the Christ Child bless you and your family abundantly.

This is also the time, to wish all the readers of my blog a Blessed and Holy New Year 2016.

Note : Please watch out for my Blog Post on Christmas Day.

 

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Article for January 2016

Dear Friends in Jesus and Mary,

I will be posting just one article in January 2016.

It is as follows :

"Why Young People don't come to Church Today".

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

THEOPHANE VENARD

A Little Hero of Christ

Introduction :

Theophane  was born in a little village called Saint Loup in France. When he was nine years old and looking after the goats of the family a companion read out a piece of news to him from a recent missionary magazine. It was the narration of how the missionary Father Charles Corney was martyred in TongKing, Indo - China (now present day Vietnam).

Little Theophane had tears in his eyes on hearing of the tortures this holy priest had undergone. "I too will go to Tongking and shall die for Christ !!" he said.

Soon after, that Theophane  joined the Seminary and was ordained a Priest. His mind was now set on Indo-China. He went to the South Seas, and in a Chinese Junk managed to get to Tongking.

It was 1858, these were difficult times for the Catholic Church there. The French Missionaries had succeeded in winning over to "Our Lord" 140,000 souls but now due to fierce persecution all this work seemed to be wiped off !!

"We are like birds on the branch of a tree, always on the alert", Father Theophane wrote. We hide in little boats, or in caverns, or in the tombs in the mountains, where we run the risk of being buried alive. "One day we had to remain in one of these tombs for eight hours, being able to breathe only through a bamboo tube".

Then for a space of two years, Father Theophane was on the run. He hid in the mountains, moved from village to village, all the time teaching, preaching, and administering the sacraments.

He saw the Catholic Christians being put to death by the most horrible tortures, and the Catholic Schools and Catholic Churches destroyed.

Conclusion :

In November 1860, Father Theophane was caught and in chains taken from village to village. The executioner asked for a tip to do the work quickly. Poor Father Theophane who had no money replied "Take your time, friend!! The good Father was then stripped of all his clothes, except the trousers and by a blunt sword the head was severed.

The Blood of this young priest drenched the sands of Indo China !! (now present day Vietnam).

All this happened not very long ago !!

Note: The Catholic Church in Vietnam is red with the blood of martyrs. There are at least 100 canonized martyrs in the Catholic Church in Vietnam.

The most prominent Vietnamese Catholic Saint is Saint Andrew Dung Lac. He too was martyred for the Catholic Faith.

Today, in North Vietnam and in the Highlands in Central Vietnam large numbers of people are embracing Christ and the Catholic Faith.

May God bless abundantly the Catholic Church in Vietnam. It is often said that the Blood of Martyrs is the seed of the Church -that is so true in the case of Vietnam.

Vietnam has approximately 8 Million Catholics roughly 10% of the population and growing.

Credits: Don Bosco's Madonna,
             Mumbai, India
             October 1975
            Page 17
           "Theophane Venard"
           By Father Cajetan Lobo S.D.B.

 


Saturday, 12 December 2015

Our Lady of Guadalupe Patroness of the Americas

Introduction :

The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is December 12. The one request that Mother Mary made to the Bishop through Saint Juan Diego was that a chapel be built so that all of her children could come to her "Beloved Son" in the Blessed Sacrament.

When we see a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe she appears to be standing in the midst of glorious rays coming from the sun. In Fact, these rays are not coming from the rays of the sun in the sky, but rather the divine rays of the Son in the Blessed Sacrament.

The higher meaning of the "Woman clothed with the Sun" is Mary's perfect union with Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. This is what is meant by the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary. These two hearts are perfectly united and now beat as one.

The meaning of Our Lady of Guadalupe is this. She is proclaiming the "Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament" giving witness to his healing rays, represented by the glorious rays surrounding her.

At the same time, she is announcing to the world the great "Eucharistic Miracle" to come when the divine rays of his mercy and love will shine out from the Blessed Sacrament in radiant splendour.

This "Eucharistic Miracle" will be brighter than the Sun and it will take place in every chapel of perpetual adoration where Jesus Christ is loved and adored day and night without pause.

This is why we meditate during December on the prophetic words from Isaiah : "No Longer will your teacher hide himself ". (Isaiah 30:20) "He will destroy the veil that veils all peoples". (Isaiah 25:7).

The "Veil" is what prevents us from seeing the glorious "Presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament".

The first thing that Saint Juan Diego saw was a brilliant light. Out of the light the Blessed Mother appeared.

It is the "considered opinion" of many associated with the devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe that the light that Saint Juan Diego saw was a "Glorified Host" from which the Blessed Mother appeared.

Everything that this marvellous light touched was transformed. For Example, the rocks on the mountainside were transformed into precious stones. From the snow in the cold of winter, grew the loveliest roses Saint Juan Diego ever saw.

Conclusion :

When Saint Juan Diego took the roses to the Bishop as proof that he had a heavenly vision there was a great surprise. His clothing was transformed into the "Image" of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

This Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is known as "The Tilma".

Our Lady of Guadalupe is the "Patroness of the Americas".

Happy Feast to one and all.

FYI- Guadalupe is situated in Mexico City, Mexico. There is a magnificent Basilica dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe there.

Credits and References :

"Our Lady of Guadalupe"
 Could you not watch one hour with me
 By Father Martin Lucia
Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament
Newsletter No-3
December 1997



 

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