Monday, July 22, 2013

World Youth Day 2013

Once again, World Youth Day is upon us. Many of us will be busy in our home parishes or out and about in the work place unable to attend. While this may seem like a bit of a downer, let us call to mind once again that we can pray for those going to WYD.

This is not some fluffy idea, praying for those who go over while we sit on our couches and mope. This is something that is real because we are members of the Mystical Body of Christ. As various authors of the Bible comment (John 15:5, Ephesians 4:4-13, 1 Corinthians 12:12, etc.), though we are many as various parts of the body are many, we all work together to make the body function. The Mystical Body of Christ on earth prays for each other so as to benefit all of the members.

In these next several days, let us pray for our Holy Father, the various bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated men and women religious, and the laity who will take part in these festivities.

N.B.: Here is the link with the official Liturgy Book of WYD 2013.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Lumen Fidei and the Eucharist

ON THE SOLEMNITY OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL, our Holy Father and Supreme Pontiff Francis released his encyclical Lumen Fidei. Co-authored with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the encyclical offers to the reader an invitation to the world of faith. "Faith is not a light which scatters all our darkness, but a lamp which guides our steps in the night and suffices for the journey" (57). The Church progresses through history on her way back to the Father in heaven. The food for this journey is the Eucharist, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. 

As Pope Francis says: "In the Eucharist ... there is the dimension of history: the Eucharist is an act of remembrance, a making present of the mystery in which the past, as an event of death and resurrection, demonstrates its ability to open up a future, to foreshadow ultimate fulfilment. The liturgy reminds us of this by its repetition of the word hodie, the 'today' of the mysteries of salvation" (44). The Eucharist is not merely food for the journey back to the Father, not only is it a hope for a future in the light of faith, but it is an act of making present again where we are constantly reminded about the life of Christ on earth.

In John's Gospel, Christ said: "For just as the Father has life in himself, so also he gave to his Son the possession of life in himself (John 5:26)." Because Christ entered human history, the fullness of divinity took on the fullness of humanity, being born of the Virgin Mary. The fullness of Divine Love revealed Himself through the fullness of humanity so man could journey with Christ, participating in His divinity. The way we journey with Christ now through history is by eating His Body and drinking His Body under the earthly signs of bread and wine.

Pope Francis says: "All the truths in which we believe point to the mystery of the new life of faith as a journey of communion with the living God" (45). The journey back to heaven may be difficult at times, but being in communion with Christ through the eating of His flesh and the drinking of His blood enables us to be in communion with Him and thus with His Father, our Father. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Remembering Fr. John Frawley

To one of the holiest priests I ever met, Fr. John Frawley. You will be missed, but you are now ministering at the Throne of the Lord in Heaven for all eternity. Requiescat in Pace.

I first met Fr. Frawley when I was 14 years old, newly minted as a high school seminarian in Chicago. Aside from exchanging a few words with him after Mass at St. Thomas More Church in Chicago, I really did not know him. All of this changed in 2005.

After I was diagnosed with Lymphoma, I was in the hospital for fifteen days. For almost all of these days, Fr. Frawley was there to give me communion. As I was discerning my call to the priesrhood throughout graduate school, Fr. Frawley was there to give his prayers and support.

While this little blip does not do justice to this great priest, this is one way I can honor, not just his memory, but the memory of the One he served for so long: Jesus Christ.

In paradisum deducant te Angeli; in tuo adventu suscipiant te martyres, et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Ierusalem. Chorus angelorum te suscipiat, et cum Lazaro quondam paupere æternam habeas requiem.
May angels lead you into paradise; upon your arrival, may the martyrs receive you and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem. May the ranks of angels receive you, and with Lazarus, once a poor man, may you have eternal rest.