Mary – gate and queen of heaven
We have two significant celebrations in honor of Mary during the month of August. One is on Aug. 15, when we celebrate her Assumption into heaven. The other is exactly a week later on Aug. 22, when we celebrate her queenship. Both of these celebrations are intimately connected as they proclaim the culmination of the life of Mary in her unique role as the perfect disciple of Christ. Whenever we want to know how to live as followers of Christ, we look to our Blessed Mother.
A moment of divine transcendence
We just celebrated the feast of the transfiguration Aug. 6. The transfiguration is a significant event in the life of the Lord that occurs about midway through his public ministry and reveals to his disciples who he is and what his mission is all about in a moving and mystical manner. The account of the transfiguration is found in the three synoptic Gospels of saints Matthew, Mark, and Luke from that we read not only on the feast of the transfiguration, but also on the second Sunday of Lent each year.
August comes in like a lion; may it leave like a lamb
We begin August in a very different context than that of March. The beginning of the month of March in Florida brought growing concern about the spread of the coronavirus around the world and within our country.
St. Ignatius: A much needed Spirit
July 31 is a significant day in the life of our diocese as it is the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, after whom our cathedral church is named. This week, on July 25, I will formally install the new Rector of our wonderful Cathedral Parish – Father Gavin Badway. We all wish him well in his new ministry as we do Father Thomas Barrett, now pastor of Holy Cross Parish, Vero Beach, who generously served as Rector of the cathedral for the past 15 years.
We are set free by Christ’s Precious Blood
As we celebrate the freedom given to us in our great nation, it is well to reflect that July is dedicated to the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ.
It is through the Precious Blood of the Lord that we are given true freedom — the freedom from the enslavement to sin. When we do not choose the good and deliberately seek only what we want, we act in a selfish manner which is sinful. Sin imprisons us by locking us inside of ourselves.
The Truth sets us free
The past weekend we celebrated Independence Day and were reminded of the great gift of freedom that we possess in our nation. However, because we live in a wonderful country where freedom is our charter, we oftentimes experience an understanding of freedom which is the farthest from that of our founding fathers. Many today hold that freedom is the ability to do whatever one wants and whenever one wants. Freedom is viewed outside the context of living in a community and seen as living from the perspective of only for oneself. We live in a society that views rights as personal and not from the vantage of the common good. Such an understanding borders more on license and can only lead to a destruction of ourselves and others. How often we experience this understanding of freedom in so many issues before us today.
Our Lady of Liberty
One of the prominent symbols of our country is that of the Statue of Liberty, which welcomes newcomers to the promise of this great nation. Referred to as Lady Liberty, she holds a torch in her uplifted right hand and on her left arm a tablet proclaiming the date of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. On the pedestal of Lady Liberty is a plaque proclaiming her greeting, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Consecrated life: At the heart of God
Last week the Florida Catholic recounted the retirement of Franciscan Sister Joan Dawson, the episcopal delegate for religious of the Diocese of Palm Beach who will be moving to her community home in Tampa. I express to Sister Joan all of our profound gratitude for the loving mission which she carried out as delegate for religious, as well as for the many years of assistance to our schools as superintendent. She will be greatly missed, and our prayers go with her.
The heart of Mary
Last week, in this column, I reflected upon the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to which the month of June is dedicated, as the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart is celebrated on Friday, June 19. The following day, Saturday, June 20, we celebrate the memorial feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is most appropriate to reflect upon the heart of Mary during this month of the Sacred Heart as the heart of Mary and Jesus are one. It was from the human heart of Mary that the human Heart of Jesus literally came into existence. The love which Jesus expressed to others from the depths of His being was truly a reflection of the love which Mary expressed to Jesus from the depths of her being. The Heart of God, in His human existence, is intimately bound to the heart of Mary which is now bound to Mary in the fullness of life in heaven, where she has been bodily assumed.
Venturing into the heart of June
June is a month of fulfilled promises and ones yet to come. This is especially true this year as we continue to move away from the quarantine imposed by the coronavirus to more of a semblance of normalcy in our lives. June holds the center of the year. Its days are longer and brighter and it also holds the longest day of the year on June 20, which marks the beginning of summer. The days of summer are before us as we look ahead to some more relaxed days.
We do not have a solitary God
The Sunday after Pentecost, we celebrate Trinity Sunday. The celebration of the Solemnity is a reminder of what the concluded celebration of Easter is all about. God is intimately part of our lives and reveals Himself and relates to us as He truly is – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. God is a communion of love for all eternity and when He created us in His image and likeness, He did so that we could be like Him living in a communion of love with Him and with each other. This is at the core of the meaning of life and what truly gives us joy.
The Eucharist on Pentecost
This weekend, as we celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost, our churches in the Diocese of Palm Beach will be open for the celebration of Mass. While we must make a very careful decision in whether to come to church at this time and while we must be cautious in following the protocols insuring everyone’s safety in church, Pentecost reminds us of the centrality of the celebration of the Eucharist in the life of the Church.
Sto lat is the traditional Polish wish that is given to express good wishes, good health and long life to a person. It is also a common birthday greeting. It means, “May you live 100 years!”
The rosary — spiritual medicine
Pope Francis, in one of his Sunday audiences not too long after his being elected as pope, held up a white medicine box with a drawing of the human heart upon it containing a rosary.
A sure and certain identity
My brothers, Robinson and Nick, you are being ordained today as priests in an unprecedented time and in unique circumstances. The worldwide pandemic due to the coronavirus has brought about an isolation which has closed our churches, now for six weeks, has engulfed our full attention no matter who we are or what our age may be, has caused serious illnesses, taken countless lives, and has brought about a fear, an anxiety and an uncertainty that are novel and surreal to all of us. You, after many years of preparation and anticipation, are being ordained in a very limited celebration separated from your family, friends and parishioners, in a manner you never would have anticipated. While you now know your parish assignments, you do not know how they will unfold in the coming weeks and in what manner you will carry out your priestly ministry in a rather isolated, even cloistered, atmosphere.