Sunday, August 21, 2011

From glory to Glory


Unfortunately, I'm now posting this a week later, given the lack of wifi access during travels, so...

Aug 14 brought another extraordinary grace... Our pilgrimage group left Lourdes early in the morning and travelled by bus to Loyola and the family home of St. Ignatius, great Founder of the Society of Jesus. We arrived while dozens and dozens of other WYD pilgrims of different countries were arriving. I thought for sure we would be among the hundreds and hundreds preparing for an outdoor Mass in front of the Basilica.

Instead, we made our way to the upper room where St. Ignatius spent months recuperating from his near-mortal wounds taken during a battle in Pamplona, including a leg shattered by a cannonball. In this room while lying in bed he would read, finally reading as well a life of Christ and stories of the saints. From here he resolved inwardly to serve Christ and to seek His glory rather than his own. Fantasies of winning the love of a lady at court and renown for military exploits gave way to a dawning awareness of a love and beauty incomparably greater ... the majesty of a God who hid His glory for a time in order to draw all things to Himself (cf. John 12:32). A King who became a servant so as to truly establish His reign in the wayward hearts of His creatures.

Here then, in Ignatius' room, we celebrated the Mass... It was a blessing and a reminder of the true glory to which each of us is called ... that to Whom is given a name above all names. Jesus.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Lourdes: The gift of a "disarming" Mother


I went to the baths at Lourdes this afternoon and washed in the waters of Bernadette's spring. It was the third time I have done so in four visits to Lourdes. And each time it is powerfully emotional for me. Hundreds of human beings from all over the world standing in line to enter the baths, praying and singing in different languages, asking for graces and healing for themselves and for others.

What is so powerful? It is the raw vulnerability that is rendered present as one approaches a tender Mother clothed in God's mercy. A smiling Mother who says, "Come as you are and receive the mercy of my Son." She exhorts and even goads us to trust in the One who first became all-vulnerable for us in her womb, taking our fragile humanity to Himself. ...As we made our way on the line to the baths here at Lourdes, it is as though each inner doubt or fear was addressed and further elicited forth by an understanding Mother: "What are you thinking, dear child? What more? Fear nothing and hold nothing for yourself. My Son's crucified love will provide all you need."

In his Angelus address at Lourdes on September 14, 2008, Pope Benedict said: "Before Mary, by virtue of her very purity, man does not hesitate to reveal his weakness, to express his questions and his doubts, to formulate his most secret hopes and desires. The Virgin Mary's maternal love disarms all pride; it renders man capable of seeing himself as he really is, and it inspires in him the desire to be converted so as to give glory to God."

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of death. Monstra Te esse Matrem! (Show Yourself to be Our Mother!)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, OCD

fit in with my plan
did fit within the plan of God.
I have an ever deeper and firmer belief that
nothing is merely an accident when seen in the light of God,
that my whole life down to the smallest details has been marked out for me
in the plan of Divine Providence and has
a completely coherent meaning
in God's all-seeing eyes.
And so I am beginning to rejoice in the light of glory
wherein this meaning will be unveiled to me.

Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)
Discalced Carmelite Nun martyred at Auschwitz on August 9, 1942
Co-Patroness of Europe

Former member of the Order's Bavarian Province to which the monastery of Holy Hill, WI once belonged as a mission house until 1947.

Pray for us, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross ... and remember especially the brothers and sisters especially of your Province and her missions!

Ave Crux, Spes Unica!