Our mother is waiting

lady“God calls us through what happens during our day… He calls us to identify with Him and carry out His divine mission – right where He finds us.” – St. Jose Maria Escriva

Last week we stumbled upon a shrine to Our Lady in Kingstree, South Carolina. It’s located an hour north of Charleston. The county is the size of Rhode Island and yet there is only one Catholic parish! However, “Our Lady of Hope” has become a place of pilgrimage for Christians of all denominations.

What burden are you carrying? Please give it to Jesus through His Mother. She is waiting to help you.

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THAT was a convention!

conventionHere are the top 10 reasons I really enjoyed the Regnum Christi Convention this past weekend.

  1. In involved more than 300 close friends, some old and some new.
  2. It was held at Mundelein Seminary, which is historic, scenic, peaceful, welcoming – and has pretty good food.
  3. They have a fancy gizmo that will make you a cup of coffee whenever you like.
  4. Mundelein is only 33.8 miles from my house, an easy drive, so I didn’t have to fly into O’Hare, stand in long lines and deal with grumpy TSA agents. And the airlines didn’t have the opportunity to lose my luggage.
  5. They have a grand piano in the “social” room and I got to play a little jazz during happy hour – and nobody booed or left the room in a huff, covering their ears.
  6. There was Mass each day and there is an amazing chapel.
  7. The Holy Hour Saturday night was breathtaking.
  8. The convention was well organized and – believe it or not – things ran on time.
  9. The speakers were fantastic: inspiring, honest, helpful, real.
  10. I realized that our renewal has worked and will continue to work, as we continue to strengthen our love for Christ and share that love with others.

We have experienced a profound journey in Regnum Christi.  It is a journey none of us would have selected.  But today, I’m grateful for this often-painful path – and especially for those who have shared it with me.

For a wealth of pictures and videos from the convention, visit the Regnum Christi Facebook Page.

 

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Reporter at the limit

reporterUntil a few days ago, I had never heard of a CNN program called “Believer – with Reza Aslan.”  But a headline about the show was so startling that I read the article and did a little research.

The headline:  Reza Aslan eats human brain on new CNN show ‘Believer’.

I’m not making this up; it is a real show and the “reporter” really ate human brain.  This begs the question of how far a reporter will go for a story, how much must a reporter experience to share with readers or viewers the “truth.” Continue reading

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Discovering the Gifts

giftsJohn Paul II had a meditation on “givenness” that is based on the overarching premise that “Every person, in some way, is a gift to us.” When I first read through it a few years back, I was struck by this idea, realizing that if I live this way, it would impact/change my life.

That means everyone- the person at the cash register in front of me, the driver I am behind in traffic, the person crossing the street together with me, the work colleague in the office beside me, and the members of my family around me are all intentional and personal gifts from God to ME.

Sometimes it’s obvious. Other times, the gift appears to be hidden or disguised.

How could our lives change if we took time to ponder the gifts of the people around us.

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One Legionary’s Experience of Francis’s Election

francisToday is the fourth anniversary of Pope Francis’s election so I thought it appropriate moment to share how I experienced it as a religious brother studying my last year of theology before ordination in Rome.

I believed the Canadian media: Cardinal Marc Ouellet wasn’t quite as shoo-in but, here the best odds of becoming Pope. Card. Angelo Scola was the other choice people were going for. A fellow Canadian Legionary had even entered “Isaac” into a contest for choosing the papal name based off our assumption Ouellet would be the next Pope.

I remember a plethora of articles in those days claiming that this Cardinal or that would become the next Pope and all the reasons for their choice. The only name other than Ouellet and Scola that seemed a serious contender to me was Cardinal Peter Turkson but he seemed like an outside chance. I don’t really remember one article promoting Card. Begoglio. Continue reading

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The umbrella

umbrella“An egg given during life for love of God is more profitable for eternity than a cathedral full of gold given after death.”  (St. Albert the Great)

I had the privilege of marrying my mom to her 2nd husband (who also died 2 years ago, My dad died in 1995…).   On the day of the wedding, I walked to St. Hugo of the Hills Church, to prepare my homily and pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament.   Thirty minutes before the Mass, I heard a loud crackling of thunder and lightning and it soon began pouring rain.  I forgot my umbrella back at the house and I still had to walk another 1/4 mile down the hill to the chapel…not a good situation.  Within minutes my mom came into the chapel with a large umbrella and a warm smile, quietly saying;  “Michael, I have to finish getting ready, but I thought you might need this umbrella…it is raining awfully hard out there.”   How could she think of this on the day of her wedding?  This is love!!

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Touch of Christ

touchAfter the Transfiguration, Matthew tells us that “Christ came and touched them.” Through his touch, He reassures them taking away their fears, “Do not be afraid.” Christ’s touch heals, purifies and consecrates. The experience the disciples had at the transfiguration healed and purified their vision of Christ. He revealed to them who He truly is – God’s Beloved Son. He consecrated them, making them holy as God’s children. There is no reason to be afraid anymore. Christ has done and continues to do the same with us, healing and purifying us through confession and consecrating us through communion. His touch continues to heal our fears, opening our hearts to Him consecrating us as His sons and daughters.

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What is truth?

truthPilate asked the question.  Christ was the answer.  He still is.  And as it has been for more than 2000 years, some find the answer and many do not.

In daily life, I have always believed that truth was a beautiful combination of faith, hope, love and doing the next right thing.  The next right thing is what is honest and in many cases – simply what must be done.

I guess I’m pretty much a black-and-white kind of guy.  If everyone followed the Golden Rule and the 10 Commandments, the world would be a caring, safe place. Continue reading

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The sculptor

sculptor“Do not, my child, approach Jesus Christ with the hope of bending his will to yours: what I desire is that you yield yourself to him and that he receive you, so that he, your Savior, may do with you and in you whatever he pleases.” — St. Cajetan

The Holy Spirit is like a master sculptor.  At times he strikes hard and with aggression, other times, it is more refined and slower, but the goal is to bring out the image of Christ buried within.  The key is to be true to who you are.  If you are married, be faithful to your spouse, focus on your kids and don’t dream about other options.  If you have a career, be ethical, fair and hard working.   He will always push you to be, like Christ, selfless and magnanimous.  Don’t look for easy and immoral escape routes from your duties and obligations…let the master sculptor strike when and where he prefers: he knows what is best for us!!

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Role Models

womenAmong the many emails I receive each day is a news digest from lifenews.com.  I don’t read all the articles, but skim the headlines and click on the ones that pique my interest.

A couple days ago, each of the first two articles involved an attractive young women commenting on issues of life.  The headlines suggested their views were miles apart, and the proximity of the two stories enhanced what, to me, was considerable irony.

Woman number one, Barbara Pierce Bush, is the daughter of former President George W. Bush and granddaughter of former President George H. W. Bush.  While I’m sure being a first daughter has its downsides, anyone who spends many of her formative years living in the White House has to have lived a rather charmed life.  Having Secret Service protection, servants, a limousine and a seat on Air Force One would be a real kick.  She attended Yale and has been involved in various charitable efforts. Continue reading

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