“Love one another.” (Jn 13:34) Did we not see a remarkable example last weekend? I was touched by the Holy Father’s persistence in his visit to Greece and Damascus. Even the way he now walks, taking each step carefully and with evident pain. His greatest dream has been the unification of Catholics and Orthodox so that the Church can “breathe with both lungs.” The reticence, even the hostility of some Orthodox, must not necessarily be seen negatively. For them tradition and doctrine are paramount. In the midst of this, it was beautiful to see Mass celebrated in Greek – the language of St. Paul, the language of the New Testament.
In Damascus the pope did something quite bold, entering a mosque to pray together with Moslems. While we cannot have the same union with them that we must one day have with the Orthodox, still we share something deep – the belief in the one merciful God who reveals himself to man. The Holy Father is showing us a way to live Jesus’ great command: Love one another.
This Sunday I would like to propose another model of Jesus’ love. We are celebrating Mother’s Day. While we honor our moms as moms, we recognize they are human. The gap between ideal and performance can cause great pain. None of us wants to burden our moms with unreal expectations. Yet there is someone we can approach without those kinds of fears. I am speaking of the one Jesus entrusted to us: “Behold your mother.” (Jn 19:27)
These past weeks I have been savoring a wonderful book about Mary: Hail, Holy Queen by Dr. Scott Hahn. He tells how, as a young man, Jesus drew him away from delinquency. Because of his newfound faith, when his Grandma Hahn died, they gave Scott a box of her religious articles. In it was a rosary. At that time he knew Jesus, but considered any devotion to Mary would detract from what is owed to God alone. To him the rosary was like a chain, so he took it in his hand and broke it into pieces.
Scott eventually became a Protestant minister. During his seminary years and as a young pastor, he studied the Bible and the teachings of early Christians. Little by little he began to realize the singular role to Mary – not only as mother of Jesus, but her unique holiness. He discovered a long tradition regarding her as intercessor, spotless virgin, and queen, bodily taken into heaven.
Dr. Hahn concludes his book with an appendix on praying the rosary:
”Once I looked down with disgust upon a string of rosary beads. I saw it as a noose that choked off true devotion in countless Roman Catholics. When I held Grandma Hahn’s rosary, I couldn’t break that loop quickly or forcefully enough. Now, while I look down at my own bead, I see the same circle, but it is different. It suggests a queen’s crown, a mother’s encircling arms.”
From Archives (Fifth Sunday of Easter, Cycle C):
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)
Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.
Fr. Brad's Homilies
Fr. Jim's Homilies
Fr. Michael White's Homilies ("messages")
Bulletin (St. Mary's Parish)
Parish Picture Album
Parish Picture Album
My bulletin column
St. Mary of the Valley Album
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru
From Matthew at Creative Minority Report: "the attacks continue on the Church by the media which reports decades old abuse claims as new news..."
Also, Mark Shea on Transparency and Facing the Truth
And this from Bill Donohoe
Arizona Catholic bishops on immigration bill: The bishops stated that "Anything that may deter crimes from being reported or prosecuted will only keep dangerous criminals on the streets, making our communities less safe, "especially since “the present language of these bills does not clearly state that undocumented persons who become victims of crime can come forward without fear of deportation."
Bulletin (Fasting for Immigration Reform, Confused Vandals Strike Parish, Room for St. Michael & Sacred Heart)
Ob-gyn Dr. Mary Martin: a Catholic priest in the Confessional made it her penance to research whether contraceptive agents could cause abortions.
Bulletin (Mother's Day, Mother Gamelin, Highlights of Confirmation)
Carl Olsen on Nos. 1 and 2 New York Times Bestselling Books:
When people say (and they are saying it), "The Da Vinci Code is the greatest thing I've ever read," you have to wonder: What have they read? Cereal boxes?
Assault on Terri Schiavo Continues
Dave Morrison comments on Bishop Olmstead's Letter to Dissident Priests
“Why do you hate us?” - My impressions of Seattle's Mayday for Marriage Rally
Meanwhile: Pro-Life Women Forcibly Dragged From John Kerry Abortion Rally
Amy Welborn gets a mention in the Telegraph
Pictures from Confirmation (April 28, 2004; Holy Family Parish)
Bulletin (Mother's Day, Annual Appeal, Timothy McVeigh)
Hitler's Pope: Comic Book Approach to Church History