Be Holy, Be Happy!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pope Benedict Spe Salvi - Reflections on Hope - Day 16

A Pro Sanctity "MUST READ" Book!

Day 16. # 32 The late Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan, a prisoner for thirteen years, nine of them spent in solitary confinement, has left us a precious little book: Prayers of Hope. During thirteen years in jail, in a situation of seemingly utter hopelessness, the fact that he could listen and speak to God became for him an increasing power of hope, which enabled him, after his release, to become for people all over the world a witness to hope—to that great hope which does not wane even in the nights of solitude.

Reflection by Msgr. Vaccari
In prayer we find the hope that otherwise eludes us. Turning to the Lord in prayer, we place ourselves in contact with the one who is always watchful of us. There is the grace we find which will overcome discouragement, give us strength to turn again in penance for our sins, the inner resources to forgive the offenses of another and to seek forgiveness for our own offenses. As Cardinal Van Thuan experienced in the darkness of solitary prison, we can listen to God and hear his voice, even if we are in the surroundings of our world that are sometimes noisy and unruly. In prayer we learn to be more and more realistic in our hope since we become more attuned to God's presence in our lives.

Reflection by Teresa Monaghen
It is amazing that Cardinal Van Tuan from the desperate situation of solitary confinement, physical and physiological deprivation and absolutely no certainty that he would ever see the light of day could find hope and survive. We who are ready to jump ship and give in at the slightest distress or disappointment have no idea of the courage and strength that the Lord will give us in our darkest moments. The Lord has lifted up Cardinal Van Thuan to tell us not to give in or give up. There is hope, God is always with us, and He does not leave us in the darkness but comes to us in the secret places of our inner life. Hope can be learned in the school of suffering and in fact it is a primary place of learning that God never abandons us. Cardinal Thuan did incredible things in his so called hopeless situation; he thought of others and was able to give a word of hope and joy to all in the midst of tragedy! The psalmist says it so well “Happy those whose help is Jacob's God, whose hope is in the LORD, their God’ (Psa 146:5).


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Spe Salvi - April 26, 2008 Reflections on Hope by Pope Benedict Day 13

13. There is no doubt, therefore, that a "Kingdom of God" accomplished without God-a kingdom therefore of man alone-inevitably ends up as the "perverse end" of all things as described by Kant: we have seen it, and we see it over and over again. Yet neither is there any doubt that God truly enters into human affairs only when, rather than being present merely in our thinking, he himself comes towards us and speaks to us. Reason therefore needs faith if it is to be completely itself: reason and faith need one another in order to fulfil their true nature and their mission.

Faith and Reason go hand in hand!
Reflection by Msgr. Vaccari
When Pope John Paul II wrote of Faith and Reason, he was offering us an opportunity to reflect deeply on how these two interact with each other and help each other. The danger for a religious person may be to overlook reason, while a danger for an intellectually gifted person may be to overlook faith. Faith and reason challenge each other and support each other. When we as disciples try to follow the Lord, we do not have to let go of any of the gifts he has given to us. All we have to do it use them in the right direction, directing our energy to the Lord who gave them to us and in whom they find their real meaning and fulfillment. One without the other distorts our lives and our search for truth. Together, they help us come to a deeper knowledge and love of the Lord who became one with us!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Spe Salvi - Reflections on Hope by Pope Benedict Day 11

Pro Sanctity Members going to World Youth Day with Pope Benedict XVI...Together they actually made it!

Is Christian hope individualistic?
11. Indeed, the Letter to the Hebrews speaks of a “city” (cf. 11:10, 16; 12:22; 13:14) and therefore of communal salvation. Consistently with this view, sin is understood by the Fathers as the destruction of the unity of the human race, as fragmentation and division. Babel, the place where languages were confused, the place of separation, is seen to be an expression of what sin fundamentally is. Hence “redemption” appears as the reestablishment of unity, in which we come together once more in a union that begins to take shape in the world community of believers.

"I believe because you believe!"

by Teresa Monaghen
The Pope is saying we have hope together; we have a hope that flows from the one risen Christ to His diverse members. In a homily the other day the pastor mentioned a story about a young man he had had as a student. Several years out of college the young man asked the priest if he would be the celebrant at his wedding. The priest was delighted and on the day before the wedding the young man asked his priest friend to go for a walk, it was primarily to visit but became a deep discussion on the meaning of life. At a certain point the young man says to his priest friend, “You know father, I am confused about many things, but one thing I am sure of, the reason I believe is because you believe. Your faith and hope keep me going.” Wow, what a humbling statement, but it is true, because of our unity in the body of Christ, we sustain each other in hope. We are so connected because of God’s saving action that just by our very act of faith, we help another to believe and have hope in the future.
Oh Lord, I do believe, thank you for the believers who help my unbelief. Amen.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pope Benedict Spe Salvi - Reflections on Hope - Days 8 and 9

Eternal life - what is it?
9. But to live always, without end-this, all things considered, can only be monotonous and ultimately unbearable. This is precisely the point made, for example, by Saint Ambrose, one of the Church Fathers, in the funeral discourse for his deceased brother Satyrus: "Death was not part of nature; it became part of nature. God did not decree death from the beginning; he prescribed it as a remedy. Human life, because of sin ... began to experience the burden of wretchedness in unremitting labour and unbearable sorrow.

Reflection by Msgr. Vaccari
Healthy people do not want to die. And when death comes, living forever seems to be the way around it. Who hasn't tried in some way to turn back the clock, to recapture an earlier, healthier, younger day in life? An older athlete tries to accomplish one more heroic feat, and maybe for a moment or two, escape the inevitable effect of aging. The media advertise all kinds of illusions to make it seem as though time stands still. As a Christian, I see aging not as something negative but as moving closer toward the goal of life, the hope I have in Christ. Only then does the direction of my life and of my heart find its real meaning. Without a fixed goal, life would be more and more difficult. How hard it would be if we aged and grew weaker, but had no ending point! No real transition to what is eternal and lasts forever in joy in the peace of Christ.

Seeking the Good and True Shepherd
8. The true shepherd is one who knows even the path that passes through the valley of death;
one who walks with me even on the path of final solitude, where no one can accompany me, guiding me through: he himself has walked this path, he has descended into the kingdom of death, he has conquered death, and he has returned to accompany us now and to give us the certainty that, together with him, we can find a way through. The realization that there is One who even in death accompanies me, and with his "rod and his staff comforts me", so that "I fear no evil" (cf. Ps 23 [22]:4)-this was the new "hope" that arose over the life of believers.I do believe Lord, help my unbelief.

Reflection by Teresa Monaghen:
I am very aware that a good shepherd is hard to find. No one seems ready for leadership. Everyone wants to be in charge, but a true leader guides and strengthens those he attends to and the sheep know the shepherd as GOOD! This week was different, we did have a very clear glimpse of what a good shepherd could look like. We saw the example in our holy Father who gently but firmly walked among us, guided us, tenderly but firmly encouraged us and deeply prayed for us. What an amazing experiences. And just think, that the Holy Father is a reflection of the good and Eternal Father, who is all of this and MORE! How grateful I am for our Holy Father and how much more for my Father in heaven. He always seeks me out and invites me to the good and nutritious pastures. He will lift me up in his arms when I am lost. He is my shepherd for eternity.

Thank you, Lord, I trust in you!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

DAY SEVEN: Spe Salvi April 20, 2007

The concept of faith-based hope in the New Testament and the early Church. When the Letter to the Hebrews says that Christians here on earth do not have a permanent homeland, but seek one which lies in the future (cf. Heb 11:13-16; Phil 3:20), this does not mean for one moment that they live only for the future: present society is recognized by Christians as an exile; they belong to a new society which is the goal of their common pilgrimage and which is anticipated in the course of that pilgrimage (#4 Spe Salvi).

Reflection by Msgr. Andrew Vaccari
"Preparation Heaven!":
Our citizenship is in heaven, the Scriptures tell us. That is our true homeland, the goal and destination of our lives. For all the efforts we make to improve the life of this world, and to help the neediest and most defenseless among us, our ultimate goal is in heaven with the Father. And for all the effort we make to reach that heavenly homeland, it does not reduce our Christian effort to improve the conditions of this world. This is what it means to work for the Kingdom of God while we are here on earth - to usher it in, to make it as real as possible in this life, so we will be more prepared to enter it in the life to come!

Reflection by Teresa Monaghen,
"A GPS in our SOUL":
When the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI was asked to give a lecture in the USA a few years before he became Pope, he responded "I am getting older now and my days of travel are over." Huh! Little did he realize that his traveling days had just begun and that the Holy Spirit had a whole other plan for his life. Yes, the Holy Spirit has a whole other plan for each of us. We are not here for ourselves we are here for God and he leads us through life and shows us the path if we pay attention to the "inner mapping" system that he gave us called "affective movements - consolation, desolation, interior peace..."

Being attentive to these rich mechanisms of the inner life is like having a GPS in our soul; it guides us on our sojourn though this life to the next. We can receive the Lord's messages in our heart and allow him to lead us if we will just pay attention. The Holy Father had a complete change of plans that he never would have anticipated, but even more important the Holy Spirit gave him peace to accept the change and that has made all the difference. What a tremendous example of docility and hope he has been for us these past few days. May we learn from him to follow our inner GPS system! Amen.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI Reflection April 17, 2008

Faith is Hope

3. Hope”, in fact, is a key word in Biblical faith—so much so that in several passages the words “faith” and “hope” seem interchangeable. Thus the Letter to the Hebrews closely links the “fullness of faith” (10:22) to “the confession of our hope without wavering (10:23). Likewise, when the First Letter of Peter exhorts Christians to be always ready to give an answer concerning the logos—the meaning and the reason—of their hope (cf. 3:15), “hope” is equivalent to “faith” (Spe Salvi #3).

What the Pope and the First Letter of Peter mean is: Be always be ready to give reason for your sitting on your laurels, be attentive at all times to the gift given and give the gift! How? ...

Listen, keep silent, we will find the reason! We are in Christ through baptism, renewed in him through the sacraments, and grow to full stature being nourished by him. We are so filled with Christ we should be sloshing! We have REASON for our hope because Christ is risen and dwells in us; he is one with us and we with Him.

Give reason for your hope? Give Christ! Amen.

Teresa Monaghen, National Pro Sanctity Director
Photo: Getty - from Whispers


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Holy Father!
from spe salvi

2. According to the Christian faith, "redemption"-salvation-is not simply a given. Redemption is offered to us in the sense that we have been given hope, trustworthy hope, by virtue of which we can face our present: the present, even if it is arduous, can be lived and accepted if it leads towards a goal, if we can be sure of this goal, and if this goal is great enough to justify the effort of the journey. Now the question immediately arises: what sort of hope could ever justify the statement that, on the basis of that hope and simply because it exists, we are redeemed? And what sort of certainty is involved here?

from our National Spiritual Advisor:
Without the hope of our redemption, the future direction of our lives is missed. I think the Holy Father is teaching us not to rely on ourselves but to recognize that we are redeemed and that we needed to be redeemed. We cannot save ourselves. But it is not enough to recognize that we cannot save ourselves. That might lead us to despair. Our hope lies in something more - that the Lord has come to us to offer salvation. This changes the way we look at the present, no matter how difficult it may be, and the future, not matter how far off it may seem. Msgr. Andrew Vaccari

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pro Sanctity welcomes the Holy Father! We love you!

"And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church" (Mt. 16:18)
The world does not belong to those who limit themselves to sitting on the sidelines, but to those who work to conquer it (Servant of God, Guglielmo Giaquinta).

At midday today, the Holy Father departed from Rome’s Fiumicino airport. Following a flight of more than 7,000 kilometres, his plane is due to land at 4 p.m. local time (10 p.m. in Rome) at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington D.C. This is the Benedict XVI’s eighth apostolic trip outside Italy and his first to the U.S.A. as Pope.

U.S. President George W. Bush and his wife Nancy will welcome the Pope as he descends from his aircraft. No speeches are scheduled for this first meeting and the welcome ceremony proper will take place tomorrow at 10.30 a.m. local time (4.30 p.m. in Rome) at the White House, official residence of the U.S. president.

After landing, Benedict XVI will travel by car to the apostolic nunciature in Washington D.C where he will spend the rest of the day.

Tomorrow, 16 April, is the Pope’s 81st birthday, and Saturday 19 April, will mark the third anniversary of his election to the pontifical throne. (VIS)


Monday, April 14, 2008

The Pope is almost here! April 13, 2008

Ring the bells to herald the arrival of
Benedict XVI at 4:00 pm EST tomorrow. He is coming to our land, may our Lady intercede for him!
If you don't have any bells, SING Alleluia!
1. "SPE SALVI facti sumus"-in hope we were saved, says Saint Paul to the Romans, and likewise to us (Rom 8:24).

At the beginning of this series of reflections, we are getting ready to welcome Pope Benedict XVI to the United States. He brings to us a message of hope, the hope that is to be found in Christ alone. It is not just hope but hope in Christ who gave everything for us. His heart was not discouraged by our sins, failings and weaknesses. Neither should ours. Each one of us I can look at all the Lord Jesus has done for us and remember that we are valuable in the eyes of God, so valuable that he gave his only son, so whoever would believe in him would have eternal life. It is in this hope that we are saved!
**** National Spiritual Advisor, Msgr. Andrew Vaccari

It is springtime in the USA - The Pope is here - he is, and will be sowing seeds of hope in our land. We join him in spirit for this is our vocationt oo! We are excited and praying for him as he arrives and feel extremely blessed to listen to him and open our hearts to all that he has to say tous.
****National Director of the Pro Sanctity Movement, Teresa Monaghen, A.O.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

12th, 13th and 14th Easter Station!

12. Jesus ascends into heaven;
I often spend time meditating on Jesus leaving us to go to His Father; I ponder Jesus with His Father; I hear Jesus inviting us to trust His promise: I will send you a paraclete, an advocate, a consoler... I will send you my Spirit, you will not be alone. When one is far away from a loved one, the promise of love is a cherished treasure. The Holy Spirit will be and is our gift, the Holy Spirit enlivens and leads us into the heart of the beloved and into the heart of each other. Thank Jesus, you promised to be with us always and you are. Amen.

13. Mary and the Disciples Await the Coming of the Holy Spirit
Waiting together made the waiting more bearable. This was another kind of Holy Saturday, when Jesus was gone from them. They were expecting something and they were fearful at the same time. They might have remembered what Jesus had said about sending the Holy Spirit to them but they probably did not understand what it meant As with so much of what Jesus taught them, it took the coming of the Holy Spirit to really understand and to absorb what he meant. And while they were waiting, they were comforted with the presence of Mary who knew Jesus so well. They all could speak to each other from the heart of their personal knowledge of Jesus. May each of us always try to deepen our personal relationship with Jesus, for ourselves and so we can speak about him to others.

14. Jesus Sends the Spirit Promised by the Father to His Disciples
The long period of waiting is finally ended when the Spirit of the Lord comes to the disciples and Mary, who are gathered together. The Spirit transforms them, taking away their fears and hesitations, giving them the grace to do what they could never do on their own. We also have received the same Holy Spirit, the Spirit who comes and makes us courageous disciples of the Lord. Unless the Spirit is living within us, driving us outward, we would be lacking in the missionary spirit. It is that Spirit who drives our Holy Father, with so much energy and zeal, even at his age, to bring the message of hope that comes only from the Gospel. He is coming in just a few days now, and it will be like another outpouring of the Spirit on our country. How blessed we are to share in this Spirit, who gives life and love to us all!

Msgr. Vaccari and Teresa Monaghen

Thursday, April 10, 2008

11th Easter Station

Jesus Entrusts His Disciples with a Universal Mission
Teresa Monaghen
What an assignment! Four corners of the world. Lord, you have got to be kidding! And just when one corner is covered another corner falls apart! I know Lord, you promised to be with us too, until the end of time. You promised not to leave us orphaned and you promised you would never give us more than we can handle. We love you Lord; we DESIRE to go and go and go until everyone knows you and your love for them. EVERYONE, EVERY PLACE, UNTIL ALL CORNERS ARE COVERED.We BELIEVE it will be you working through us; we will not be alone, you will be working us bring all into ONE.

We trust you Lord and we love you. Thank you for trusting us and loving us. AMEN!

Msgr. Vaccari
The great commandment came from the Lord was to make disciples, to teach and to baptize. He was not content to let people remain in ignorance of the truth he came to give up. He brought the message of the Father, the word of truth that is divine revelation, the truth we could not have known on our own. His disciples have received the command to bring the same truth to others, to be eager to spread the good news that Christ brought to us. The teachings of the Lord were to be turned into actions, since he wants us all to obey the commandments he gave. Faith and action -the two parts of the same command of Christ to bring others to him!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

9th and 10th Easter Stations

9th Station: Jesus Appears to His Disciples on the Shores of Lake Galilee

Msgr. Vaccari
How many times did the disciples eat breakfast with Jesus during his ministry? Yet it is this occasion after his resurrection that we remember. It is a great grace for them to share yet another meal with them and even though the disciples had fled from Jesus when he needed them most, he still wants to sit with them, to eat with them and to be with them. "Come, have breakfast" is an invitation for each of us to start our day with the Lord, to remain with him throughout the day and to enjoy his precious company through the evening.

From Teresa Monaghen
How many times did those disciples eat with the Lord, before during and after his passion? Every time we turn a page in the Gospels Jesus is serving them, and even after the resurrection in his glorified state. Does this not underline the dignity of service, the holiness of work, the greatness of labor? Did not Jesus say, do what I have done for you? Well then, we need to get out there and make breakfast for our family, our friends, our neighbors, and our enemies! Practically speaking, we must be ready to serve and give everything in the service of others. There is no greater joy than this, than to lay down one’s life in service for the others. Why are we not happy? We are eating breakfast alone, instead of making it for our brothers and sisters.

Oh Lord, I am not very good at serving, let alone making breakfast, but I understand the point: to be ready to give to the others first rather than waiting for them. I must call them to the table, and give what is really important. YOU! May it be so. Amen.

10th Station:Jesus Confers Primacy on Peter

Msgr. Vaccari
Jesus speaks to Peter and gives him the charge of feeding his flock. Three times Peter had denied him and now three times the Lord asked him about his love. Peter was hurt, and, if we did not know better, we might think Jesus was being petty. I can see myself and others asking three times for that reason. But Jesus is giving Peter the chance to address each of the denials. Even though he was hurt when Jesus asked him for the third time, Jesus was leading Peter forward, to a new and more profound declaration of his love, and giving him the grace and opportunity to say aloud and before the others, the opposite of what he had said in the courtyard that dreadful night. And with the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI coming soon to the United States, we pray even more intently for the successor of Peter, and renew our love for him and the Lord he represents!

From Teresa Monaghen
Oh Peter! How embarrassing. You know your unworthiness but the Lord insists on forgiving you, loving you and making you the center of His attention. I am sure you would rather have sunk through the floor first before being set up as HEAD OF HE CHURCH FOR ALL TO SEE! Oh well, God’s ways are not our ways, thank God! Now it will always be known that the Lord really does love the sinner. He really meant what he said, that he came for the sick not the healthy. He loves you and he loves us all by making us Children of the Father and you, dear Peter, are head of this family of sinners! Peter, we believe in you just as Jesus did. Amen!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

8th Easter Station 2008

Jesus Confirms Thomas in Faith
Thomas wanted to be sure the Jesus who stood before him was truly the Jesus who had died a few days earlier. He wanted no pretend Jesus, no impostor. He wanted to see the wounds, to touch them and feel how they left a void in the flesh of Christ. It was a very intimate gesture between Jesus and Thomas, one that Jesus allowed even though Thomas had not believed the other disciples when they said Jesus had appeared to them. Thomas spoke from his heart, and the prayer has echoed in my heart and in the hearts of countless other disciples since then: "My Lord and my God." Let us ask Thomas during our moments of greatest doubt to take strength from his faith. Even if we do not see, we will still believe!
(Msgr. Vaccari)

Jesus confirms Thomas in his faith

Today I received a lovely note from a young person who several years ago felt her heart move to grow in her relationship with God. She made the commitment to do so, but backed out! She has since changed her life around and wants to make amends for those times she did not follow through and she wants to thank those who showed her Jesus through their witness.

What more do I need to know about how effective our little witness to others can be and that by our very desire to love the Lord, we witness the living Christ to others. We help one another to say YES to the Lord when we are faithful and it follows that we need one another to strengthen our doubts and fears.

Thank you, Lord for appearing to Thomas who then appeared to many others. It is an amazing domino effect of how you Lord shine through us so that others may believe and be strengthened! Amen.
(Teresa Monaghen)

Seventh Easter Station

Jesus Confers on His Disciples the Power to Forgive Sins

I was blessed in my life in not being fearful of the sacrament of penance. Even as a child, when the confessionals were dark, I was not fearful. Yes, I was nervous at times, anxious, but not fearful of what was going to happen. I knew it was the way to receive God's forgiveness for my sins. Some people complain that the Catholic Church has placed a barrier in the spiritual lives of people by requiring that they confess sins to a priest, a fellow human being, rather than confess directly to God. But really, Jesus gave to the Church the gift of giving forgiveness in order to make it easier for us. The lack of human contact, the isolation from others that many people feel, is not part of the sacrament of penance. In confession, we receive the human assurance of a divine gift. God forgives us. And another human person, a priest, speaks to us with his human voice about the Word of mercy that comes from God. May we use this sacrament frequently, with confidence in the mercy and love of Christ.
(Msgr. Vaccari)

Jesus Confers on His Disciples the Power to Forgive Sins

The image that comes to me over and over again is that we the faithful are like sheep without the shepherd and that instead of the shepherd looking for the lost sheep, the sheep are looking for their lost shepherds. Our hearts are hurting, our spirits are drooping, our souls are waning and we so need the grace that comes from the Sacrament that only a shepherd can give.

I pray in this Easter Station that we the laity will look for and invite our shepherds to come back to the sacrament of reconciliation, come back and share the great gift to forgive sins that Jesus conferred upon them the first Easter season. May they take every opportunity to cure the spiritual anemia that so many of us experience. We beg their help not only to avoid sin, but grow in love for Christ our Savior and develop great virtue in our daily lives.

Dear Divine Shepherd, call your disciple shepherds back to their flocks again. We need them and we promise to reverence them and make use of the great sacrament of reconciliation again, and again and again! Amen.
(Teresa Monaghen)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Fifth and Sixth Easter Station

Fifth Station: The Risen Lord is Recognized in the Breaking of the Bread
'Were not our hearts burning within us while He spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us'" (Luke 24: 29-32).

It seems to me that the Lord is walking along side us all the time, pointing out things along the way, explaining, describing and informing of the real meaning of things. Truth is a gift we already possess, one that stirs in our hearts when see and experience it.

Oh Lord, since I was a little girl you have spoken to me in so many simple but real ways. The world is a bible and in reality, I am reading it all the time. You are never silent; I on the other hand am often deaf. Forgive me Lord when I do not pour out to you my sorrows and hurts, so that you can lift them and consecrate them at the breaking of the bread. I love you and trust in you. Amen.
(T. Monaghen)

Sixth Station: Jesus Reveals Himself in the Breaking of the Bread

As he hung on the cross, everyone could see where the precious body of Jesus had been torn and his flesh broken. The did not break his bones, to fulfill the Scriptures, but his mission appeared broken and so did his good name. They hung him on the cross in shame, to punish and make an example of him. But he revealed himself to us in another broken sign, the sign of the breaking of the bread. What seemed to be broken was really God's way of reversing the ways of the world. It was something that Mary knew when she cried from her heart that the Almighty had filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty. And in the breaking of the bread her son fills the hungry with the bread from his own hands, broken out of love but raised up in glory. We want to be broken for others, too, so we can give of ourselves and reveal him to others.
(Msgr. Vaccari)

Friday, April 4, 2008

Fourth Easter Station

4. Jesus walks with the disciples to Emmaus;

I am convinced that the Lord walks with us all the time, everyday, in every place. If we pay attention He speaks to us, touches our hearts with His Word and His presence throughout and within our reality. St. Paul said that "truth is written in our hearts." If this is true then we have always his Word to read within us. We may be troubled but the answers are in ; God speaks to us in the quiet of our heart. We live and move and have our being in God (Acts 17), therefore we have access to God at all times! Oh why are we so troubled?

Pope John Paul II gives us the witness that during the busiest and difficult times of his papacy, when everyone needed answers, when the world awaited his every move, when crisis was around the corners, the Pope always got his answers and his peace from prayer. Cardinal Stanislaus in his book, "A Life with Karol" writes:

"He got everything from, from the encounter with the Lord. And because he followed the Gospel, he also knew which road to take and which direction to lead the church, and forged straight ahead, without looking either to the right or to the left. He always imitated Christ and tried to be the good shepherd of the flock. He was a free man. He was interiorly free, and that gave him serenity. "

Pope John Paul II, Santo Subito! Pray for us, to recognize you on our walk and at our table. Amen.
(Teresa Monaghen)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Third Easter Station - Via Lucis

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

The first night might have brought a kind of numbness, after seeing all the agony and suffering that Jesus went through, and after watching him hang there on the cross. The morning of the Sabbath was perhaps the first Sabbath in a long time on which they did not see Him. They had become so used to praying with him and hearing him explain the Scriptures, that it might not have even seemed like the Sabbath to them, except that they observed the laws, as he would have wanted them to do. And on that Sunday morning, when the reality of his death and departure was sinking in more and more, Mary went to the tomb expecting to find his body there. What a shock to find he was missing and then what joy to hear him call her name, and to recognize him and his voice! Her heart was filled with great delight because the Lord spoke personally and tenderly to her. As for Mary, if we seek him we will find him. And our hearts are filled with joy too, knowing that he speaks personally and tenderly to each one of us, calling us by name with great love!
(Msgr. Andrew Vaccari)

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
Many times I have gone to the garden with Mary Magdalene in my prayerful imagination. I have cried with her over loss of a loved one and mourned with her in deep regret for my sins that may have caused hurt in someone else. Every time I pray this way, Mary and I discover the Lord. He is there in our loss and in our sorrow. He comes forward surprises the heck out of us and then holds us in a brief embrace. Our hearts speak loudly, “Here is our Lord, Savior and friend! He is risen!” He reminds us both, “Did I not tell you that my joy will be yours and your joy will be full? Let go of me now and go tell the others you have seen me, your Lord, Savior and friend.”

Oh Lord, my heart is filled to overflowing with love and gratitude for this scene that lives in my heart. Amen.
(Teresa Monaghen)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Saturday, April 26, 2008
Pro Sanctity Day of Prayer
on a Bus
Intention: Preparation for the Feast of the
Ascension of Our Lord in Heaven
Teresa Monaghen, A.O. will lead our Day of Prayer on the Bus to….

--8:30 a.m. Mass at St. Margaret Mary (61st and Dodge)
We will board our deluxe motor coach following Mass. Throughout the ride, we'll have the opportunity for shared prayer and the rosary.

--Morning Stop: Museum of Religious Arts in Logan IA,
This is a place of WONDER; renowned for its Judeo/Christian art.

--Afternoon Stop: Trinity Heights Shrine in Sioux City IA,
Finally we reach our destination and ascend to the lovely grounds of the famous 33 foot high Jesus and Mary. Here we where we will enjoy a hot catered lunch, walk the beautiful grounds, visit the gift shop, and pray the Way of the Cross.

--5:30 p.m. estimated return to Omaha

--Please make your reservations by April 11th!

HURRY! Space is limited!

The total cost is $50.00 per person and includes transportation by deluxe motor coach; hot, catered lunch; tips; and admission
Non-refundable checks should be made out to Pro Sanctity.

Please send registration to Kay Parlor,
19810 Elkhorn Ridge Dr., Elkhorn, NE 68022.
For more information, call Kay at 315-9436.

Please return this form with payment for Pro Sanctity Pilgrimage

Name(s):______________________________Number Attending___________
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Let us go forth in peace, in the name of Christ! Amen!


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Second Easter Station -Two submissions

Via Lucis 2008

The Disciples Find the Empty Tomb

No one in the Gospel accounts actually saw Jesus in the act of rising from the dead. When the disciples came to the tomb, he was already risen. The tomb was empty and the wrappings were still there where he had been buried. If someone had come to steal the body and somehow managed to get past the sleeping guards, it hardly seems likely that they would have gone to the trouble of unwrapping the body before taking it away. The time needed to do undo the burial cloths would increase the chance of their being found out by the guards still nearby. No, the body was not stolen. The tomb was empty because Jesus had risen and is alive!
(Msgr. Vaccari)

The Disciples Discover the Empty Tomb
Reading: "Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed" (John 20: 8).

On Good Friday, one of our members came out to pray with us. We had the tabernacle in the large room with the Blessed Sacrament. She was sitting before the tabernacle in a kind of a state of awe. In fact, when I walked into the room she said, "Where do they put Jesus on Good Friday? I went to my parish Church and it felt so empty."

Our Churches, our homes and our lives are empty without the Eucharist. Without Hi real presence it is not an exaggeration to declare that we are empty tombs. We are a place where Jesus was, a distant memory, a faint hope of something to come, but we are EMPTY. When we receive Him, the Eucharistic Jesus, our whole interior world changes and it is indeed a noticeable, discernable, unseeing, but a real difference. When we stand before the risen Christ in his Eucharistic presence we know with deep conviction, "Our Savior lives!" We see him lifted on the altar and we say with Thomas, "My Lord and My God."

Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of faith and for eyes that can discern your face in the bread and wine on the altar. We see and we believe. Amen.
(Teresa Monaghen)