Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Model of Nazareth

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family and in honor of this, I have pasted below an excerpt from Pope Paul VI's address in Nazareth (which can be found in today's Office of Readings), dated January 5, 1964.    His words still ring true.

May the blessings of the Christ child continue to fill your heart with joy.

Melissa




Pope Paul VI, January 5, 1964 (Nazareth)

"Nazareth is a kind of school where we may begin to discover what Christ’s life was like and even to understand his Gospel. Here we can observe and ponder the simple appeal of the way God’s Son came to be known, profound yet full of hidden meaning. And gradually we may even learn to imitate him.

Here we can learn to realise who Christ really is. And here we can sense and take account of the conditions and circumstances that surrounded and affected his life on earth: the places, the tenor of the times, the culture, the language, religious customs, in brief, everything which Jesus used to make himself known to the world. Here everything speaks to us, everything has meaning. Here we can learn the importance of spiritual discipline for all who wish to follow Christ and to live by the teachings of his Gospel.

How I would like to return to my childhood and attend the simple yet profound school that is Nazareth! How wonderful to be close to Mary, learning again the lesson of the true meaning of life, learning again God’s truths. But here we are only on pilgrimage. Time presses and I must set aside my desire to stay and carry on my education in the Gospel, for that education is never finished. But I cannot leave without recalling, briefly and in passing; some thoughts I take with me from Nazareth.

First, we learn from its silence. If only we could once again appreciate its great value. We need this wonderful state of mind, beset as we are by the cacophony of strident protests and conflicting claims so characteristic of these turbulent times. The silence of Nazareth should teach us how to meditate in peace and quiet, to reflect on the deeply spiritual, and to be open to the voice of God’s inner wisdom and the counsel of his true teachers. Nazareth can teach us the value of study and preparation, of meditation, of a well-ordered personal spiritual life, and of silent prayer that is known only to God.

Second, we learn about family life. May Nazareth serve as a model of what the family should be. May it show us the family’s holy and enduring character and exemplify its basic function in society: a community of love and sharing, beautiful for the problems it poses and the rewards it brings, in sum, the perfect setting for rearing children – and for this there is no substitute. 

Finally, in Nazareth, the home of a craftsman’s son, we learn about work and the discipline it entails. I would especially like to recognise its value – demanding yet redeeming – and to give it proper respect. I would remind everyone that work has its own dignity. On the other hand, it is not an end in itself. Its value and free character, however, derive not only from its place in the economic system, as they say, but rather from the purpose it serves. 

In closing, may I express my deep regard for people everywhere who work for a living. To them I would point out their great model, Christ their brother, our Lord and God, who is their prophet in every cause that promotes their well being."

Monday, November 30, 2015

Advent...




Advent is a time of waiting and preparing: part silence and anticipation, part activity and action.  This year, as we prepare to celebrate the coming of the Christ child, I would like to share with you some nuggets gleaned from Mother Mary Francis's book "Come, Lord Jesus, Meditations on the Art of Waiting".  Mother was the abbess of the Poor Clare Monastery in Roswell, New Mexico.  Her reflections sear the heart and stir one's mind to ask with great sincerity, am I preparing for Christ as I ought?  

May God bless each one of us with light, peace, and generosity as we journey to Bethlehem.

Monday, the First Week of Advent: What are the "dark corners" in my life that keep me from God?  What needs to be emptied?  What are the escapes or habits that hinder a generous response to God's will in my life?
Do I rush out to meet God, to serve Him with a generous heart?

s



Sunday, November 1, 2015

2015 Men's Retreat



The Art of
SPIRITUAL FATHERHOOD

A Day of Recollection for Men in Honor of CHRIST THE KING


The Seventeenth Annual Men’s
Day of Recollection sponsored by
the Women’s Apostolate to Youth,
for the sake of Christ’s little ones.

Director: Rev. Frederck H. Edlefsen

Date: Saturday, Nov. 21
Time: 9:30am--1:15pm




Location: St. John the Beloved Catholic Church
Beginning in the Parish Hall (located in the School),
6420 Linway Terrace,
McLean,VA 22101

Cost: $30 (lunch and materials included); pay at the door $35; Student Rate: $25

Questions? robinmaas@verizon.net

To Register: Send a check (payable to WAY)
by Nov. 18 to:
Jennifer Lawler
5464 Mersea Court
Burke, VA 22015