A Call to Love

Posted on July 26th, 2011 by & filed under Be Inspired

by Jessica Ann Gallucci Bradley on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 2:45am

 We fear so much. We fear change, we fear loss, we fear being lost, being the unheard voice, we fear what we do not know most of all….we fear the other. Somehow the closer the closer we get to knowing the other the more we fear because once we know we cannot be afraid. Once what we believed to be our enemy becomes our neighbor how can we hate, how can we be what we once were, the definitions have to change and change is terrifying. I would like to believe that I am often able to conquer these fears, that I force myself above them and look for the piece of me in the other but I do not always succeed. I know I too have been guilty. Haven’t we all at one time or another?

 The question then must become, what shall my own personal manifesto be? Shall I too stand upon my rooftop shouting at the top of my lungs all the reasons we have to be afraid or cry in the night about how unfair life has been since “they” changed everything? No. Mahatma Gandhi said, “We must be the change we want to see in the world,” and I think those of us who value life and dignity have been much too silent lately.

Though I am a Catholic, I find the name of Jesus is too often maligned, slandered and used to advance the agenda’s of those who have heard is name but apparently never truly touched Him. So I choose not to invoke His name. I choose rather to be about love. That is what my manifesto shall be about. Not the easy love, the love of family, friendship and longtime bond but rather love that is hard, love that begs you to be uncomfortable, that begs you to be fearless in the face of what you do not know, to touch the unknown and hold it close.

 “We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become. If we love things, we become a thing. If we love nothing, we become nothing. Imitation is not a literal mimicking of Christ, rather it means becoming the image of the beloved, an image disclosed through transformation. This means we are to become vessels of God´s compassionate love for others. “

~ St. Clare of Assisi

One cannot turn on the news these days and not help but wonder how we have gotten here. Violence, destruction and hatred don’t surprise or disenchant anymore they simply make us shake our heads and move onto the next story. Our own problems seem so great that the plight of others is given no more than brief nod as we turn back in weary apathy to our own issues. We cannot take on any more problems we will say in our head we have too many of our own. So world-weary are we that humanity itself is crying in pain and we cannot hear it. We are not losing ourselves. We have lost.

“We cannot despair of humanity, since we ourselves are human beings.”

~Albert Einstein

 It is time to be radical! It is time to break with the current convention of looking for what can be gained and look to what can be given away. It won’t be easy. It is never easy to leave the comfort of what we know to seek out that which is other, but leave it we must. We must strain to move beyond blame and move into acceptance. We are all each other, we all bleed, we all suffer, we all die and we have within us a tremendous capacity to love. We must come to love each other, not a fleeting love but a radical abiding love. Love that does not seek or question, love that instead reaches out with open hands to grasp the face of those who seem beyond our understanding; forever we have been told to love the poor, the lonely, even our enemies but do we love what we don’t know and don’t understand?

I am Christian; do I love Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists? I am an American do I love Afghanis, Iranians, Somalis, Canadians, Mexicans? I know these; I have met them perhaps they are easy to love. I am a Catholic; do I love fundamentalist Christians, even though I don’t understand them, do I love atheists even though some think I am silly and brainwashed? Do I love them or am I afraid of them and what their way of life says about mine?

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”

~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Fear breeds hatred. Hatred allows us to look at a fellow human being and see a threat instead of a kindred. Fear allows us to be violent, even if only in our thoughts, it allows us to think of ourselves as right and others as wrong; it allows us to see only black and white in a world of vibrant, beautiful color. It allows us to make others subject rather than be subject, rather than be humble. It makes us blind to the giftedness of that which is not us, that which is other, that which is unknown.

It is time to be about the true Other’s work. It is time to get busy doing the work of the Divine; whatever you call that Divine; G-d, Allah, Yahweh, the Universe it doesn’t matter. It is time we start to make caring for each other our credo, loving each other our call to arms. It is a radical love that is required of us, love that searches out the beating heart within the other that looks just like the heart beating with me. It is a love that has no enemy, not in thought, word or deed. It is the purest form of love because it is a love that begs nothing in return, a love that is completely other centered. A love that sees not nationality, border, class or creed rather only the spark of humanness that runs through all of us.

In the end I believe that a love such as this is the only thing that will save us from ourselves, for truly we have all become our own worst enemy. We must encourage, we must inspire, we must breathe hope in our communities, big and small…we must be LOVE. This is the one and only manifesto we need ever make again. I can only pray that someday we find a way to achieve this.

“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.

~Thomas Merton 

                                                                                                ~Jessica Ann~

                                                                                                     July 2011

Miraculous Hope

Posted on July 19th, 2011 by & filed under Be Inspired, Prayers

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ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
News Agency
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Marianist Family Hoping for Founder’s Canonization
General Postulator Tells of Possible Miracle in St. Louis

By José Antonio Varela

ROME, JUNE 15, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The founder of the Marianist spiritual family was born in France in 1761. As the religious and laypeople of his charism celebrate the 250th anniversary of his birth, there is hope that he will soon be recognized a saint.

A cure from cancer of a St. Louis woman might be the step that brings about his canonization.

Blessed William Joseph Chaminade (1761-1850) was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2000, at the same time that Pope John XXIII was beatified.

In his homily, the Polish Pontiff spoke of Blessed Chaminade as a model of evangelization. He reminds the faithful that it is their task to find ever new ways of bearing witness to the faith, especially in order to reach those who are far from the Church and who do not have the usual means of knowing Christ, the Holy Father said on that occasion.

ZENIT spoke with Father Antonio Gascón, general postulator of the congregation, about the canonization cause and other members of the Marianist family already recognized for their sanctity.

ZENIT: What significance is being drawn from the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Blessed Chaminade?

Father Gascón: It signifies a spiritual force in our life and mission, which we carry out in collaboration with hundreds of laypeople involved in our works and communities. It is a burst of enthusiasm for our Marianist identity in the Church.

ZENIT: What is the status of the canonization process for the founder?

Father Gascón: The case of a woman in St. Louis, Missouri, is being studied. She was cured of cancer in 2005. The diocesan process has already closed and the case is with the Congregation for Saints’ Causes.

ZENIT: Tell us about this cure.

Father Gascón: It was a cure from cancer of a member of the Marianist parish of Our Lady of the Pillar in St. Louis. It was a rare cancer [and she was given just weeks or months to live]. However, when doctors announced this, her parents and friends prayed to Father Chaminade for her cure, and when the doctors operated on her again to extract as much of the tumor mass as they could, they found that the tumor was dead.

ZENIT: Which other Marianists are on their way to the altar?

Father Gascón: We have the seven Spanish blessed martyrs of the religious persecution of the 30s. There is another martyr of Nazism, Blessed James Gapp, killed in 1943 because he was a priest. We have opened the case of young Faustino Pérez Manglano, who died in 1963 and is already venerable. He was a pupil at the Marianist school of Nuestra Señora del Pilar in Valencia. It is a very interesting case because around him a pastoral and youth movement has been created with many followers.

We have Father Domingo Lázaro, an eminent Spanish pedagogue who died in 1935, whose cause has already been presented to the [Vatican] congregation. Last year the cause of another Spanish priest was opened, Father Vicente López Uralde, whose positio is being written. We also have the case of the founder of the women Marianists, Mother Adela de Batz de Trenquelléon, who is already venerable. Now it depends on a miracle for her to be declared blessed.

ZENIT: What has been a hallmark of the Marianist blesseds and venerables?

Father Gascón: We believe that the causes are a strong testimony of holiness, of our charism and the kind of Marianist life transmitted by God to Father Chaminade. I have seen that when a cause of canonization is opened in a diocese, everyone feels great joy and collaborates enthusiastically because they see that God has been present in that person; it is the passing of a saint through our lives. We are happy that these people exist because they are a very strong source of life and evangelical mission in our congregation.

ZENIT: What emphasis do you wish to give this 250th anniversary celebration?

Father Gascón: We would like Chaminade to help us strengthen our Marian-apostolic spirituality and our missionary impulse in this new globalized culture. And that it be done with a Marian sensitivity in our life, in our spirituality, in the communication of the faith. And to do this in ecclesial collaboration and communion with the laity involved in our works and communities who form part of the Marianist Family. We are interested in the world of young people. And in the countries of the Third World, we are interested in the social, economic, cultural and political development of human groups and societies, which is work with the poor, opening it to the whole society and not just as a sociological event.

ZENIT: How can the founder come to be better known?

Father Gascón: The way to get to know Father Chaminade is by maintaining contact with him on two levels — one intellectual: to read what he wrote or works about him. And another vital level is to maintain a contact of prayer, of spiritual communion, because he is a blessed and deserves the liturgical devotion of our religious family, and personal devotion. There should arise in the religious of the Marianist family a way of understanding and of living the Gospel, the Church, the mission, in the style of William Joseph Chaminade, who is a teacher of the spiritual life.

ZENIT: And the other venerables and blesseds?

Father Gascón: We have a duty to recognize and be grateful for the martyrdom of those who have already been declared martyrs. In Faustino’s case, this could be a great opportunity for pastoral work with adolescents and young people. Benedict XVI is very interested in child and youth ministry and there is a great challenge to reach the new generations. Fathers Domingo Lázaro and Vicente López Uralde are great witnesses of educational and pastoral work with young people. In the case of the founder of the women religious, it is a call to the evangelical life and to the mission, which must be motivated by the Marianist women themselves, with ministry centered on the testimony of Mother Adela.

[Translation by ZENIT]

“Chaminade Year”

Posted on July 19th, 2011 by & filed under Be Inspired, Prayers

“Chaminade Year” kicks off Saturday, January 22, 2011.

A full year will honor the 250th anniversary of the birth of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, who was born April 8, 1761, in Perigueux, France. The Chaminade Year will run from January 22, 2011 to January 22, 2012.

This special blessing can be used anytime, but especially, during this Chaminade Year!

 

BLESSING

Bow our heads and pray for God’s blessing.

May the spirit of Blessed Chaminade inspire us.

May we abound in faith and in faithfulness.

May holy zeal energize us on the path of life.

R. Amen.

 

May we go now with our faith in the Lord Jesus and our love open to all God’s people.

May we manifest Mary’s hospitality to all we meet.

R. Amen.

 

May God bless us and keep us.

May Christ Jesus make his face to shine upon us and be gracious

to us.

And may the Spirit smile upon us and give us peace.

R. Amen.

 

And may the blessing of almighty God the Father, the Son, + and the Holy Spirit come upon us and remain with us forever.

R.Amen.

Calling for Help

Posted on July 14th, 2011 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz

Hi Friends!

I need your help with a new ministry that I am involved in.  The SJE Mission Circle Ministry is an amazing ministry designed to help a small impoverished village in Nigeria.  I am currently learning more about the needs of the children there and I helping to plan a fundraising event coming up on November 12 & 13 at St. John Eudes Church.  It’s called Nativity Sunday.
 
There is an opportunity for everyone to get involved.  Please consider signing up to display your own personal collection of Nativity Scenes or Creches free of charge. You are also encouraged to sign up for a booth/table to sell your crafts or artwork. Performers, vendors, merchants and particularly gourmet food trucks are also needed.
 
This is a great chance to help the community, make a difference in the world and share your talent, expertise and/or your beloved Christmas collections with others.
If you are interested in helping out by volunteering your time to help with the event or you would like to be involved in the Mission Circle Ministry, please message me with your level of interest and contact information.
 
You can get all the details on my website and the St. John Eudes website.
 
Please text or call me if you have any questions or would like more information.

Fondly,

Melissa

Melissa Reyes
@mizmeliz on Twitter

Today You are a Little Wiser

Posted on March 29th, 2011 by & filed under Be Inspired, Quotes & Notes

Today you are a little wiser,

truer to yourself,

and more confident and comfortable

than you ever were before.

You are stronger and deeper on the inside

because of the experiences

life has given you,

and softer around the edges

because of the things

you have let go of along the way.

You are clearer about your dreams

and your purpose,

and richer because of laughter,

love, and friendship

you have shared.

And the gifts you have gathered

just make you all the more wonderful.

-Coffee House

A Special Blend of Thoughts and Wishes

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