A few days ago, my friend Fr. Vince Pastro celebrated his twenty-fifth anniversary of ordination. In the procession was a banner of a dog with his head lifted up. In his mouth, he clenched a burning torch. Everyone wondered what the banner meant. I thought that, since the dog is known for loyalty, he stood for my friend Vince who is one of the most loyal persons I have ever known. But, then, why the torch in his mouth?
Actually, it referred to one Fr. Vince's heroes: St. Dominic. When his mother, Blessed Juana of Aza, was pregnant with him she had a strange dream. In it she gave birth to a dog carrying a torch, who began running throughout the world. Upset by the dream, Juana went to a monastery to consult with a priest. The monk told her, “Do not worry, lady. The burning torch represents the Word of God. Your son will go through the whole world announcing it.”
So it was. Dominic became a priest and founded the Order of Preachers, known today as the Dominicans. He himself went to a part of France which had abandoned the Christian faith. With simplicity of life and clear words, he called them to conversion.
Saint Dominic had a secret. For every hour he preached, he spent many hours in prayer. He told his brothers that their preaching should be the fruit of their contemplation.
In this St. Dominic followed the example of the great preacher – St. John the Baptist. As we heard in today’s Gospel, John went to the desert for solitude and prayer. When he spoke, his voice resounded. His words brought down the hills of arrogance and self-justification. They filled the valleys of sadness and sloth. His words were not original. Every prophet told people to repent their sins. But John’s words had great power because they came from deep within his being.
Like John the Baptist, like Dominic de Guzmán, you can call others to a different life. Like them, you are surrounded by heart-broken people. You do not need great words, but you must begin with prayer.
Do not tell me you have no time. If a woman goes to Southcenter Mall, she can spend two or three hours looking for the perfect dress. Do you not have one hour to clothe yourself with Christ? And, dear brother, if there is football game, are you not able to find some extra hours? How about one hour for the contest which really matters? Your eternal soul and those of your family.
From Archives (Homily for Second Sunday of Advent, Year C):
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
St. Mary of the Valley Album
(November of 2009)
Pictures from Peru
(Aaron Howard with girls at Puno orphanage, Daughters of Charity in background)
Bulletin (Use of New Lot, Come Home for Christmas, Guadalupe Tableau)
Boston Archdiocese on the Path of Healing (Interview With Archbishop Sean O'Malley)
Pictures of Blessing of Animals for Living Nativity Scene at Paramount Theater
Demolition of Buildings and Clearing of New Lot
Is the Second Coming Necessary? by Mark Shea "In short, the moralizing of atheists bears unconscious witness to the God who demands righteousness and who will be vindicated on That Day."
Archbishop Brunett on Anglican-Catholic Dialogue "We were approached by a whole Episcopal diocese about coming into the Roman Catholic church, as perhaps Anglican Rite Catholics," Brunett said. He declined to identify the diocese.
Press Release by Archbishop Brunett: "The recent decision of a Canadian Anglican diocese to develop a rite for blessing same-sex unions and the ordination of Bishop V. Eugene Robinson of New Hampshire has caused a serious problem within the worldwide Anglican Communion and poses a new challenge to Catholic-Anglican unity."
The Archbishop and the Politicians
Grossly Offensive! (the double standard at Georgetown)
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Parish Picture Album
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru
(new, professional website)