Saturday, February 18, 2012
An Experience of Self Giving Love
This is hardly an easy task but it is essential if our families are to have an authentic apostolate that contributes to the transformation of our society. To fulfill this duty, the family must exemplify:
· attraction: to draw other families around itself so as to help them mature spiritually;
· incarnation: not only resulting in fellowship for various families, but in response to the needs surrounding it, to commit one's own family to practical, concrete expressions of charity, both spiritual and material, so that the great principles of spirituality are translated into daily life for all to see;
· diffusion: to give life to new groups striving to live the spirituality modeled by the original group.* (page 25)
As we come to the end of our novena, to some up the above our goal is to be so authentic in our witness that we draw others to follow the example of our love—this creating the community of all saints all brothers and sisters that Bishop Giaquinta made it his life’s work to communicate.
John 13:34 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Dear Jesus we thank you for your love in the way that it comforts us, convicts us and challenges us to do more. As we enter this Lenten season help our family to follow you all the more closely as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of your kingdom.
Friday, February 17, 2012
In God's plan, society is not just a conglomeration of families made up of individual people. For Him, society has a specific duty in its own right. It is society, in fact, that can completely fulfill God's plans. Powerful examples of this truth are the Jewish people who, throughout the centuries, have kept their hope in the Messiah; and the new People of God, the Church, which brings the message of redemption to all.
I tend to blame “society” for the ills of poverty and injustice and immorality as though it were a nameless faceless villain that could be defeated. I am thankful for this new definition given to us by Bishop Giaquinta in which society, in reality a group of people, can truly be an instrument of God’s plan.
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you[e] known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
As we pray with these verses let us feel God’s intense love for his disciples and all of us, ask what he is challenging us to do and for the grace to do it.
Dear Jesus remind our family that we are a part of the society of love you wish to create and that you are calling us to expand our love so that more wil know of your love
Thursday, February 16, 2012
The personal love God has for each individual has a second essential aspect: it seeks to broaden its reach. God's love characteristically expresses itself more and more fully; it expands. Since we are applying human terms to the unsearchable and mysterious divine life, we should note that the love of God, because it is infinite, can grow neither in amount nor intensity. Yet it is not static; it tends to expand through free self-giving. (page 19)
If we truly know and believe that God has such infinite love for us personally then it will spill naturally over into our family relationships both biological and spiritual families. Shame on myself and any of us who keeps the good news to ourselves. I have been remiss in not mentioning Mary until this point since it is her feast day we are about to celebrate and her complete trust that God would do as he said that is the perfect example of trust for us to follow, and her YES that brought the human and divine families together
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
For the next three days of our novena, we will view God’s love in the ever expanding scope of the person, the family, and society
. Each human being, therefore, has a fundamental, transcendent, and uniquely critical, specific importance. No one - - no one - - is expendable. God is a God of the living, not of statistics . . (page 18)
As we continue our 9 day journey of prayer, reflection, and action still using Bishop Giaquinta’s written work: Family, A Community of Love, we take a step back to get a broader view of God’s plan of love for His creation, seeing that it starts with the relationship that exists between God and each person He created. Without this relationship it is impossible for us to truly fulfill our purpose
John 8:2-11 So what do you say?” But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Self Giving Love
The family, therefore, acquires a new dimension in the work of redemption. As it gives love to all its members and receives from all, it expresses love for God and the family; this love, then, by its very nature, expands unhampered toward the Church and all humanity. (page 16)
We are called to continually grow in both our love for one another and our capacity to share that love with the world around us.
He proposed another parable to them. “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. i It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.
As we pray with these verses let us again ponder how God is loving us, challenging us and calling us to commit to express His love more fully. Even when our efforts seem small, with His grace they can be larger than we could ever imagine.
Dear Jesus please remind our family that we can and do participate in your work of redemption by the love we have for one another and those around us. Show us particularly today those most in need of our love.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Social Missionary Action
Our homes must be open to others. Each person must be welcomed as a brother or sister so that the family can become an experience of Christianity lived deeply and authentically (page 14)
Too often we close ourselves off from others as a means to escape the pressures of the outside world. Bishop Giaquinta reminds us that in order to truly live Christ’s call to holiness we must be welcoming to all just as He was
When the apostles returned, they explained to him what they had done. He took them and withdrew in private to a town called
. 11The crowds, meanwhile, learned of this
and followed him. He received them and spoke to them about the Bethsaida , and he healed those who needed to be cured. kingdom of God
As we pray with these verses let us ask ourselves how we experience God’s love through them, and how he is challenging us and calling us to be more welcoming
Dear Jesus, remind our family to be available and welcoming as you are and always ready to communicate your love and healing in word and action
Sunday, February 12, 2012
It is the responsibility of the family to give its members an experience of joy so that each person can find in it the strength to face the inevitable difficulties of life. Joy has always been a human need, but today it is an imperative because so often our world is terribly and tragically sad. (page 13)
One only has to watch the news or read the paper for a few minutes to know how much tragedy and sadness envelop our world. Pessimism and fear are rampant. As I ponder joy, what occurs to me is that what I sometimes mistake for joy is only a fleeting diversion or distraction. Genuine joy is not a passing feeling or mood but a result of the deep abiding hope we have in Christ.
John 15:9-11 9As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love.f 10If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.g 11“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete
As we pray with these verses let us ask ourselves how God is loving us, challenging us to be more joyful and calling us to commit to the habit of joy
Dear Jesus remind our family that .you are a person of joy and that we are to radiate that joy to others as your disciples
Saturday, February 11, 2012
There is no substitute for the family as a center of brotherhood. The members of the family are all brothers and sisters who love one another and whose love extends to all who come close to the center of their fraternal love. (page 12)
How lacking we are in love even to those closest to us. That is why it is so essential that our families be a haven of love, limited not only to being affectionate and considerate toward one another and those around us, but helping and forming one another in our search for God, the source of perfect love. I know I fall short many times, letting the petty annoyances of life blind me to the infinite love I have been given and I am called to give in return.
Matthew 18: 21-22
Then Peter approaching asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times
As we again pray with these verses let us ask God how he is loving us, challenging us and calling us to live in brotherhood with one another
Dear Jesus, remind our family to tust your love and forgivenes and to be loving and forgiving especially to each other but also to everyone as all are our brothers and sisters
Friday, February 10, 2012
Today the Christian home is under attack by many aspects of the modern world. Although some families have preserved the full integrity of their homes and others are rediscovering its essential value, some evade their responsibilities. For these the home has been reduced to a center of material well-being and a place to meet one's basic bodily needs; they have lost the sense of and admiration for home as the center of family intimacy and profound love (page 11)
How true the above statements are. If we are not careful, we are so busy through the comings and goings of our day our home only becomes a place to stop periodically between activities and fall into bed at the end of a busy day. I know for myself even when I am at home, so exhausted at the end of the day I tend to “zone out” losing myself in a particular television program or simply just falling asleep without a second thought to the needs of my husband and others around me.
Bishop Giaquinta reminds us that our home should be Christ centered because He is truly present when we gather in His name.
Let us use this single verse from the gospel as our point of meditation for today: For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20) . Let us read this verse through slowly and prayerfully 3 times, asking ourselves how God is loving us, challenging us and calling us to change our homes.
Dear Jesus: Help our family to trust and believe that you are truly present in our home and want to use us to make your presence visible to others
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Pro Sanctity Our Lady of Trust Novena 2012
Please join us in 9 days of prayer and reflection in preparation for the feast of Our Lady of Trust on February 19th 2012. The novena will officially begin tomorrow, February 10th 2012
Our Novena this year will be based on “Family: A Community of Love” by Bishop Giaquinta. Our goal in this novena is to help families to increase their trust in God and each other as they realize the vital importance of their role in the church and in society
We will format our novena by taking a portion of Bishop Giaquinta’s work and reflecting on it, relating it to a passage in the Gospel and then praying for the courage to act using the method of the Explosive Gospel. We encourage you to pray this novena together as a family.
For those of you not familiar with the concept of the explosive gospel, it is a very simple, yet extremely powerful way to pray with scripture that helps us to bring the love of Christ to our world. It involves reading the particular passage from the gospel 3 times
The first time we read, we focus on how Christ is communicating His love for us through the passage,
The second time we read the same passage and focus on how we hear God challenging us through the passage, and what more we could be and do in our lives as a response to His love
We then read the passage a third time we read and pray with the same passage, making a commitment to a particular action based on what we have heard from the Holy Spirit
For the first 5 days of our novena we will focus on five particular aspects of family spirituality defined by Bishop Giaquinta: Home, Brotherhood, Joy, Social Missionary Action, and Self Giving Love. For the last 4 days of our novena we will delve further into the aspect of Self Giving Love and it’s power to transform our world
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Happy Feast of the Presentation!
Today the Church gives thanks to God for the gift of vocations to consecrated life. In 1997, Pope John Paul II instituted a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life. This celebration is attached to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2nd. The pope chose the feast of the Presentation because, “This Gospel scene reveals the mystery of Jesus, the One consecrated by the Father, come into this world to carry out his will faithfully.” The celebration of World Day for Consecrated Life is transferred to the following Sunday in order to highlight the gift of consecrated persons for the whole Church.
John Paul indicated the purpose of the day was three-fold:
~to answer the intimate need to praise the Lord more solemnly and to thank him for the great gift of consecrated life ... a gift which comes from on high;
~to promote a knowledge of and esteem for the consecrated life by the entire people of God;
~and for those living the consecrated life to celebrate together solemnly the marvels which the Lord has accomplished in them.
Please pray for those who have been given this particular vocation. May they continue to respond with faithful love! Lord, give us holy vocations!
Prayer For Consecrated People
Lord Jesus, You are the One called by the Father.
Born of a consecrated Virgin, You have always longed to have
consecrated people beside You.
Return into our midst
with Your gaze that loves and calls.
We ask this for the sake of our brothers and sisters
who today, more than ever before, need consecrated people.
For families, for the sick, for children,
and for the aged who are abandoned:
we ask you for the gift of vocations.
You know how much the world today wounds our hearts,
how difficult it is to listen to Your voice.
You know our frailties and our attraction to the joy of
talk, call, shout your love, give Your Spirit
so that the chosen are unable to resist You.
Lord, give courage,
grant certainty of Your love
and the meaning of their consecration to our priests
and to those who have answered Your call to consecration.
Divine Redeemer, it is Your will that some hearts
Understand and live Your sacrificial love for souls.
Bring forth men and women who can hear Your “I am
thirsty” of the cross
and empower them to give themselves without limit to
Your mysterious plan.
Yes, Lord, grant us many consecrated people
and keep them faithful to You so that
when they meet You face to face,
they will come to You consumed by love.
Posted by Joan at 11:05 AM