Support the Holy Father and pray with him!
-Pope Benedict XVI
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Ordinary Legionaries are not exempt from the imitation of Mary. They must look at their officers as role models who lead them to Mary, who lead us to Christ. With the whole praesidium working in union with Mary, all of us are able to bring Christ to other people.
When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist,
he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.
The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.
When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said,
“This is a deserted place and it is already late;
dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages
and buy food for themselves.”
Jesus said to them, “There is no need for them to go away;
give them some food yourselves.”
But they said to him,
“Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.”
Then he said, “Bring them here to me, ”
and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples,
who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied,
and they picked up the fragments left over—
twelve wicker baskets full.
Those who ate were about five thousand men,
not counting women and children.
If you remember several Sundays ago, the gospel was about the famous miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fish. It had been a long day for Jesus – he had just heard of the death of his cousin, John the Baptist, and he needed time to be alone. But his heart was moved with pity for the crowds who had followed him on foot all the way to that deserted place (according to John’s gospel, Bethsaida), and he couldn’t ignore their needs. So he disregarded his original plan to be alone, and began ministering to the people until it was evening. However, they needed to eat, and when the disciples brought this up to Jesus, he ordered them to give the people food themselves. I can imagine how the disciples must have panicked! It was certainly a big logistical nightmare to feed more than five thousand hungry people in such short notice in the middle of nowhere. Why would Jesus give them this seemingly impossible task? They must have searched desperately among the crowd for food. But in the end, all they could come up with were five loaves and two fish, and they must have been exasperated and disheartened when they came up to tell Jesus that they failed.
What Jesus did next was extraordinary. He took whatever they had, said a blessing, broke the loaves, and gave it to the disciples to distribute. The disciples must have been skeptical, but they did it anyway, and to their amazement, the food was more than enough to feed thousands of people.
Some say it was a miracle of sharing – that the food came from the people themselves, who earlier did not tell the disciples about it because they were unwilling to share. Others say it was Jesus who indeed miraculously multiplied the loaves and fish. Whatever the case may be, I’m sure we can relate to the disciples whenever we get caught in a situation where something big is expected of us and we feel inadequate or unqualified to do it. Perhaps we are pressured to do well in school, or perhaps we have suddenly found ourselves with a major responsibility. And of course in the Legion, we are expected meet the highest standards in our work. Sometimes, as in the case of the disciples, we may feel like our best efforts may not be enough to meet these expectations. We may look far and wide only to find a mere five loaves and two fish.
Should we give up and concede that we have failed? The gospel reveals to us a powerful message: as long as we offer our best efforts, God takes whatever we have and uses it to bless us and others bountifully. Take note that Jesus sent the disciples to look for food first before the miracle could occur; He didn’t just conjure the loaves and fish out of thin air even if he probably could. So it is with us today – we must do our part before God can work through us. This is echoed in the Legion handbook: while it is true that we must remain dependent on Mary, we must still always put in the greatest efforts we can muster in whatever work we carry out. We cannot think that because our capabilities are nothing compared to Mary’s limitless power, our own efforts are unimportant and unnecessary. It is precisely because we are working in union with Mary that we must offer her nothing but our choicest and best efforts. It is not the job of Mary to do what we refuse to do. We are not mere instruments of Mary – we need to actively cooperate with her in our work for souls. We must contribute the entirety of our intellect and abilities, just as Mary contributes all of her purity and power in accomplishing the work of God. Mary desires to give her all to a generous soul.
Even if it were true that the fruits of Mary’s influence are independent of our own efforts, we should keep in mind that nothing is wasted in whatever work that we sincerely do for her. This is because we do not work for results. As is stated in the handbook, we “work for Mary quite irrespectively of the simplicity or the difficulty of the task; and in every employment the legionary must give the best that is in him, be it little or be it great. Thereby is merited the full co-operation of Mary, so that even miracles are wrought where they are needed. If one can do but little, and yet does it with all one's heart, Mary will come in with power and will give that feeble movement the effect of a giant's strength. If, having done all that he can, the legionary is still a million miles from success, Mary will bridge that distance to carry their joint work to an ideal conclusion.”
The fruits of our cooperation with God are boundless. Just as there were twelve wicker baskets full of leftover food, so can we never be sure of how far exactly we will be able to affect and bless the lives of people around us once we fully live out our alliance with Mary and allow the Spirit of God to work in us. Our best efforts may be weak compared to the immensity of the work before us, like the five loaves and two fish of the apostles, but with our generosity as well as our full trust in Mary, we can be sure that we will be able to achieve things well beyond our human capacity, even if we are not aware of it. Let us not deprive Our Lady of the fullest extent of our efforts in carrying out our legionary works, so that the Almighty may be able to work marvels in us and our legionary service may be brought into perfection.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
If my days were Untroubled and my heart always light,
Would I seek that fair Land where there is no night?
If I never grew weary with the weight of my load,
Would I search for God's peace at the end of the road?
If I never knew sickness and never felt pain,
Would I search for a Hand to help and sustain?
If I walked without sorrow and lived without loss,
Would my soul seek solace at the foot of the cross?
If all I desired was mine in a day,
Would I kneel before God and earnestly pray?
If God sent no winter to freeze me with fear,
Would I yearn for the warmth of spring every year?
I ask myself these and the answer is plain,
If my life were pleasure and I never knew pain,
I'd seek God less often and need Him much less,
For God is sought more often in times of distress.
And no one knows more or sees Him as plain
As those who have met Him on the "Pathway of Pain".
From "My Heart Will Go On Singing" :)
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
She claimed, during an interview, that she had studied the issue for a long time and she feels that the Church's stance against abortion is a very recent one and that in the past, Fathers of the Church, like St Augustine could be construed to have condoned abortion.
The wonderful Archbishop Chaput of Denver issued a very concise response to her statements in an extremely brilliantly titled letter:
On the Separation of Sense and State.
To Catholics of the Archdiocese of Denver:
Catholic public leaders inconvenienced by the abortion debate tend to take a hard line in talking about the "separation of Church and state." But their idea of separation often seems to work one way. In fact, some officials also seem comfortable in the role of theologian. And that warrants some interest, not as a "political" issue, but as a matter of accuracy and justice.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is a gifted public servant of strong convictions and many professional skills. Regrettably, knowledge of Catholic history and teaching does not seem to be one of them.
Read the rest here
And pray for Nancy Pelosi, and the many Catholic politicians who persist in supporting a culture of death.
Here's what the Cardinal Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Egan had to say. It's even shorter than Archbishop Chaput's and is equally firm and clear:
STATEMENT OF HIS EMINENCE, EDWARD CARDINAL EGAN CONCERNING REMARKS MADE BY THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Like many other citizens of this nation, I was shocked to learn that the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States of America would make the kind of statements that were made to Mr. Tom Brokaw of NBC-TV on Sunday, August 24, 2008. What the Speaker had to say about theologians and their positions regarding abortion was not only misinformed; it was also, and especially, utterly incredible in this day and age.
We are blessed in the 21st century with crystal-clear photographs and action films of the living realities within their pregnant mothers. No one with the slightest measure of integrity or honor could fail to know what these marvelous beings manifestly, clearly, and obviously are, as they smile and wave into the world outside the womb. In simplest terms, they are human beings with an inalienable right to live, a right that the Speaker of the House of Representatives is bound to defend at all costs for the most basic of ethical reasons. They are not parts of their mothers, and what they are depends not at all upon the opinions of theologians of any faith. Anyone who dares to defend that they may be legitimately killed because another human being “chooses” to do so or for any other equally ridiculous reason should not be providing leadership in a civilized democracy worthy of the name.
Edward Cardinal Egan
Archbishop of New York
August 26, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XII
ON PROCLAIMING THE QUEENSHIP OF MARY
TO THE VENERABLE BRETHREN, THE PATRIARCHS, PRIMATES,
ARCHBISHOPS, BISHIOPS, AND OTHER LOCAL ORDINARIES
IN PEACE AND COMMUNION WITH THE HOLY SEE
Venerable Brethren, Health and Apostolic Blessing.
From the earliest ages of the catholic church a Christian people, whether in time of triumph or more especially in time of crisis, has addressed prayers of petition and hymns of praise and veneration to the Queen of Heaven. And never has that hope wavered which they placed in the Mother of the Divine King, Jesus Christ; nor has that faith ever failed by which we are taught that Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, reigns with a mother's solicitude over the entire world, just as she is crowned in heavenly blessedness with the glory of a Queen.
2. Following upon the frightful calamities which before Our very eyes have reduced flourishing cities, towns, and villages to ruins, We see to Our sorrow that many great moral evils are being spread abroad in what may be described as a violent flood. Occasionally We behold justice giving way; and, on the one hand and the other, the victory of the powers of corruption. The threat of this fearful crisis fills Us with a great anguish, and so with confidence We have recourse to Mary Our Queen, making known to her those sentiments of filial reverence which are not Ours alone, but which belong to all those who glory in the name of Christian.8. From early times Christians have believed, and not without reason, that she of whom was born the Son of the Most High received privileges of grace above all other beings created by God. He "will reign in the house of Jacob forever," "the Prince of Peace," the "King of Kings and Lord of Lords." And when Christians reflected upon the intimate connection that obtains between a mother and a son, they readily acknowledged the supreme royal dignity of the Mother of God.
9. Hence it is not surprising that the early writers of the Church called Mary "the Mother of the King" and "the Mother of the Lord," basing their stand on the words of St. Gabriel the archangel, who foretold that the Son of Mary would reign forever, and on the words of Elizabeth who greeted her with reverence and called her "the Mother of my Lord." Thereby they clearly signified that she derived a certain eminence and exalted station from the royal dignity of her Son.Read the rest here
Given at Rome, from St. Peter's, on the feast of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the eleventh day of October, 1954, in the sixteenth year of our Pontificate.PIUS XII
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Read the rest of his sermon here
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
By Charles J. ChaputTuesday, August 19, 2008, 8:11 AM
“Destruction of the embryo in the mother’s womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed on this nascent life. To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue. The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder.”
As we head toward November, Catholics might profit from recalling a few simple facts.
First, surrounding a bad social policy or party platform plank—for example, permissive abortion—with religious people doesn’t redeem the bad policy or plank. It merely compromises the religious people who try to excuse it. One of the more miraculous, or suspicious, side-effects of the 2004 election was the number of candidates in both political parties who suddenly began talking about their religious faith. There’s no doubt that many public officials, regardless of party, do take their religious beliefs very seriously and do try to live by them. That’s a good thing. So maybe this latest trend implies a new Great Awakening. Or maybe, as one of my skeptical friends says, “it’s just another charm offensive to get the shamans off their backs.” Time will tell. Words are important. Actions are more important. The religious choreography of a campaign doesn’t matter. The content of its ideas does. The religious vocabulary of a candidate doesn’t matter. The content of his record, plans, and promises does.
Second, there’s no way for Catholics to finesse their way around the abortion issue, and if we’re serious about being “Catholic,” we need to stop trying. No such thing as a “right” to kill an unborn child exists. And wriggling past that simple truth by redefining the unborn child as an unperson, a pre-human lump of cells, is the worst sort of Orwellian hypocrisy—especially for Christians. Abortion always involves the deliberate killing of an innocent human life, and it is always, inexcusably, grievously wrong. This fact in no way releases us from the duty to provide ample and compassionate support for unwed or abandoned mothers, women facing unwanted pregnancies, and women struggling with the aftermath of an abortion. But the inadequacy of that support demands that we work to improve it. It does not justify killing the child.
Read the rest at FIRST THINGS
"Premature baby pronounced dead, comes back to life after 5 hours in hospital freezer..."Inspirational story of the day:
"A couple from Kafr Yasif in the Galilee received the shock of their lives Monday when the wife's miscarried 610-gram fetus, which had been declared dead five hours earlier, was found to be breathing.
The baby girl, born during the 23rd week of gestation, still has an uncertain future. Hospital spokesman Ziv Farber said that any premature infant of that weight and age had only a 10 percent chance for survival. But five years ago, he added, "we had a baby weighing only 580 grams, and she survived."
The 26-year-old mother and her husband have a five-year-old son at home. When she gave birth after going into premature labor at the hospital, the doctor on the scene pronounced it dead and it was taken to the morgue.
The father, Ali Majdub, told Channel 2 that his wife realized the child was alive after asking to see her dead daughter one last time.
"When we unwrapped the baby to see her, she realized it was moving. I began screaming and ran with it toward the doctors," he said.
She was then rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit, where doctors are fighting for her life.
"I was in shock," the mother told Channel 2 last night. "I thought I wasn't hearing it right when they said she was still alive."
Dr. Moshe Daniel, the hospital's deputy director, said that in his 35 years as a physician, he had "never heard of such a case. It was like a medical miracle." (Jerusalem Post)
Never give up on life!
Via The American Papist
And if the title compels you, do write about it here too.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
"But ask the animals, and they will teach you; or birds of the air and they will tell you; or speak to the earth and it will teach you; or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this. In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. "
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
"Mother, Daughter and Spouse of God"
"Today, in union with the whole Church, we celebrate the triumph of the Mother, Daughter and Spouse of God.... We are now happy that Mary, after accompanying Jesus from Bethlehem to the cross, is next to her Son in body and soul, glorious forever." (Christ is Passing By, 176)“Mary has been taken up to heaven by God in body and soul, and the angels rejoice.” Joy overtakes both angels and men. Why is it that we feel today this intimate delight, with our heart brimming over, with our soul full of peace? Because we are celebrating the glorification of our mother, and it is only natural that we her children rejoice in a special way upon seeing how the most Blessed Trinity honors her.
We are all her children, she is the Mother of all mankind. And now, the whole human race commemorates her ineffable assumption. Mary is welcomed to heaven: the Daughter of God the Father, Mother of God the Son, Spouse of God the Holy Spirit. Greater than she no one but God. Christ is Passing By, 171
But don’t forget: if God exalted his Mother, it is equally true that he did not spare her pain, exhaustion in her work or trials of her faith. A village woman one day broke into praise for Jesus exclaiming: “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nourished you.” Jesus said in reply: “Rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.” It was a compliment to his Mother on her fiat, her “be it done.” She lived it sincerely, unstintingly, fulfilling its every consequence, but never amid fanfare, rather in the hidden and silent sacrifice of each day.
To become Godlike, to be divinized, we must begin by being very human, accepting from God our condition as ordinary men and sanctifying its apparent worthlessness. Thus did Mary live. She who is full of grace, the object of God’s pleasure, exalted above all the angels and the saints, lived an ordinary life.
Mary is as much a creature as we are, with a heart like ours, made for joy and mirth as well as suffering and tears. Before Gabriel communicates to her God’s plan, our Lady does not know she has been chosen from all eternity to be the Mother of the Messiah. She sees herself a humble creature. That is why she can acknowledge, with full humility, that “he who is mighty has done great things” in her. Christ is Passing By, 172
"Mary has been taken up to heaven by God in body and soul, and the angels rejoice." (Antiphon, vespers, feast of the Assumption: assumpta est Maria in coelum, gaudent angeli). Joy overtakes both angels and men. Why is it that we feel today this intimate delight, with our heart brimming over, with our soul full of peace? Because we are celebrating the glorification of our mother, and it is only natural that we her children rejoice in a special way upon seeing how the most Blessed Trinity honors her.
It was on Calvary that Christ, her most blessed Son and our brother, gave her to us as our mother, when he said to St John: "Behold your mother" (John 19:27). And we received her, along with the beloved disciple, in that moment of supreme grief. The blessed Virgin embraced us in her suffering, as the ancient prophecy was fulfilled: "And a sword shall pierce your own soul" (Luke 2:35). We are all her children, she is the Mother of all mankind. And now, the whole human race commemorates her ineffable assumption. Mary is welcomed to heaven: Daughter of God the Father, Mother of God the Son, and Spouse of God the Holy Spirit. (Christ is Passing By, 171)
Saturday, August 9, 2008
1. Joining the Legion of Mary can help grow hair
A true story concerns the late Father Francis Ripley of Liverpool, England.
Father wanted to start the Legion in the hospital and was recruiting members. One German patient had been in an explosion in a tank and had lost all his hair which had never grown back. Fr. Ripley asked him to join the Legion of Mary.
The solider asked Father whether the Blessed Mother would help his hair grow back if he joined and Fr. Ripley said that he would not be surprised if that happened. Three months later this German Legionary had the most beautiful head of blond hair!
The principle is that Our Lord and Our Lady are never outdone in generosity. If we sacrifice some time, effort or energy doing their work, they always give something in return.
If we want to become good at something, we have to practice it every week, such as a sport, a hobby, a musical instrument. If we want to “get good” at holiness, we must practice it every week as well. And the Legion gives us that opportunity; it provides an ideal expression of the Catholic vocation. It is a unique privilege and great blessing to be counted in its membership.
3. Join the Legion of Mary and Fulfill Canon LawCanon Law is the rulebook of the Catholic Church. Canon 225 obliges us to be apostolic: “Since all lay people are assigned to the apostolate by baptism and confirmation, they are bound by the general obligation and they have the right, whether as individuals or organizations or in associations, to strive so that the divine message of salvation may be known and accepted by all people throughout the world.”
Legion of Mary membership makes it actually easy to follow the rules and be a good Catholic, but it does more: the Legion offers a proven method and motivation for sanctity, thus fulfilling Canon 210 which states: “All Christian faithful must make an effort, in accord with their own condition, to live a holy life and to promote the growth of the Church and its sanctification.
Check out the remaining 7 at the Legion of Mary, Tidewater
Under Her Motherly Care(Homily for Immaculate Conception)
Bottom line: St. Dominic's vision of heaven underscores the importance of placing ourselves under the Virgin Mary's motherly care.
Today we celebrate a beautiful feast in honor of Mary: the Immaculate Conception. What does it mean for us to have such a mother, such an intercessor in heaven?
To help understand the importance of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I would like to tell you about a vision which St. Dominic had. You have probably seen paintings of St. Dominic - he is a thin man with a brown beard and a crown of hair, bald in the middle because of the tonsure. He wears a white tunic with a black cape. Often, depicted at Dominic's feet you will see a dog - an animal which lovingly looks at his master, as Dominic did to the Lord.
In his life Dominic did not have many visions, but on today's Feast of the Immaculate Conception, I would like to tell you about a vision which underscores the motherly care of the Virgin Mary.
One night Dominic was praying alone in the chapel of his monastery. He saw the heavens open with Christ in the center and the Blessed Virgin Mary next to him. As St. Dominic looked around, he began to weep bitterly. The Lord asked him why he was so sad. "I am grieving," said Dominic, "because I see here members of every religious Order, but of my own, not one."
Jesus then asked him if he would like to see those of his own Order. Dominic replied that he ardently desired to see them. The Lord then placed his hand lovingly on the Virgin's shoulder and said, "I have given over your Order to my mother's care." At this the Blessed Virgin drew back her mantle, and opening it wide before St Dominic, it seemed to enclose nearly the whole of that heavenly country, so vast was it, and beneath it he saw a great host of his brethren.
The vision ended, but Dominic remained in joyful, grateful prayer. When the first light of dawn broke, Dominic rang the bell and gathered his brothers into the chapel. He told his brothers about the vision and exhorted them to love Blessed Virgin Mary and place themselves under her motherly care.
Now, I am no Dominic. I do not have heavenly visions. But I do hope one day to reach heaven. I would certainly want to ask the Lord, "Where are my children? Where are the parishioners you entrusted to me for a time?" How beautiful it would be if our Lady would draw back the hems of her mantle - and I could see you there! On today's Feast of the Immaculate Conception, let us place ourselves under her mother’s care.
- Fr Phil Bloom
The Legion too is under Her mantle!
Lord, let the holiness and teaching of St. Dominic come to the aid of your Church. May he help us now with his prayers as he once inspired people by his preaching. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
The Ant and the Contact Lens
A true story, Brenda Foltz was almost halfway to the top of the tremendous granite cliff. She was standing on a ledge where she was taking a breather during this, her first rock climb. As she rested there, the safety rope snapped against her eye and knocked out her contact lens.
'Great', she thought. 'Here I am on a rock ledge, hundreds of feet from the bottom and hundreds of feet to the top of this cliff, and now my sight is blurry.'
She looked and looked, hoping that somehow it had landed on the ledge. But it just wasn't there.
She felt the panic rising in her, so she began praying. She prayed for calm, and she prayed that she may find her contact lens.
When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but it was not to be found. Although she was calm now that she was at the top, she was saddened because she could not clearly see across the range of mountains. She thought of the bible verse 'The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth.'
She thought, 'Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me.'
Later, when they had hiked down the trail to the bottom of the cliff they met another party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, 'Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?'
Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across a twig on the face of the rock, carrying it!
The story doesn't end there. Brenda's father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a cartoon of an ant lugging that contact lens with the caption, 'Lord, I don't know why You want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I'll carry it for You.'
I think it would do all of us some good to say, 'God, I don't know why You want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it's awfully heavy. But, if You want me to carry it, I will.'
God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
The title of the subject for discussion should be made as topical and provocative as possible, within the bounds of reason and prudence. For example, the title "Religious Authority” would hardly attract anybody but “Is the Church a Dictatorship?” would probably be a real magnet. In any case, if my previous suggestion about indicating possible points of discussion is used, the most dry titles can be shown to be interesting. We should not be afraid of advertising the Patricians when possible.
- Very Rev. Francis J. Canon Ripley, Jubilee Talks to Legionaries
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Perhaps we can take the analogy of the mustard seed? We hear of faith the size of a mustard seed in the Gospels but think also of the "fidelity" of a mustard seed. It waits dormant until the right conditions come its way and it can start growing. But until then, it holds the spark of life - the embryo within it faithfully...patiently waiting
What is fidelity?
Fidelity is a good habit, a voluntary and constant activity, an uplifting inner force that leads ne to fulfill with sincerity and fortitude the commitments one has contracted, the promises one has made, te word one has given.- Javier Abad, Fidelity
We are often reminded that the Legion of Mary is modelled after the Roman Legion. Here's what the Handbook says about this army:
They were faithful in the little things as well as the big.The spirit of the Roman Legion may be summed up as one inspired by submission to authority, an unflagging sense of duty, perseverance in the face of obstacles, endurance in hardship, and loyalty to the cause in the tiniest details of duty.
Such was the pagan ideal of reliable service. The legionary of Mary must also have this virility, but supernaturalised and tempered and sweetened by contact with her who can best teach the secret of loving, gracious service.
How are we called to be faithful?
Fidelity to the spirit of the Legion, our weekly meetings, our allocated work, our prayers, our duty to recruit new members.
Our weekly meetings are of special importance as atrendance is the very basic duty of every active member
Fidelity in attendance in the face of long travelling to and fro is proof of a deep supernatural vision, for natural reasoning suggests that the value of the meeting is outweighed by the waste of time involved in the travelling. But it is not time wasted. It is a part, and a specially meritorious part, of the whole work done. Was Mary's long journey in the Visitation a waste of time?With regard to our allocated work:- Handbook Chapter 33
Soldierly duty may variously mean death, or the monotony of a sentry beat, or the scrubbing of a barrack-floor. But in each case, duty alone is looked to, not what that duty comprises. In all circumstances is found the same fidelity, and defeat or victory do not affect duty. No less solid must be the legionary's conception of duty; no less thorough its application to each item of work, the most insignificant as well as the most difficult.-Handbook Chapter 33
Our duties to our fellow Legionaries are of utmost importance too. We must respect each other and respect the commitments we make to each other regarding our Legion work:
Legionaries owe an especial duty to their co-visitors. Here is the mystic number "two" - the symbol of charity upon which all fruitfulness depends: The Lord "sent them on ahead of him, two by two". (Lk 10:1) But "two" must not signify merely two persons who happen to be working together but a unity such as that of David and Jonathan, whose souls were knit one with the other. Each loved the other as his own soul. (1 Sam 18:1)"(They) shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves." (Ps 126:6)
It will be in small details that the union of co-visitor with co-visitor will be shown and developed. Broken promises, missed appointments, unpunctuality, failures in charity of thought or word, little discourtesies, airs of superiority: these dig a trench between the two. In such circumstances no unity is possible.
We should be able to rest assured that our brothers and sisters would do nothing against our best interests.
And we all know how much more at ease we are when we go about our contact work or crowd contact along with a trustworthy fellow Legionary as opposed to attempting such work alone.
St Josemaria once said "I value the word of a son of minemore than the unanimous testimony of a hundred witnesses." Let that be said of Legionaries too!
We must be faithful to the Church, in a time when many are unfaithful.
We must be faithful friends. Our contact work must not be done just so that we can give a report of it the next meeting. Our motivation must be charity, and true friendship.
Finally, we have some wonderful patrons who can teach us a thing or two about the virtue of fidelity.
St Joseph, the silent and faithful father, wife and worker; St John the Evangelist, faithful walking with Mary to the foot of the Cross; St Michael with his faithful "Serviam" when Lucifer rebelled; St John the Baptist whose fidelity to the Truth cost him his life; Sts Peter and Paul, pillars of faithfulness upon which Mother Church stands.
It is said that the greatest example of fidelity on earth is the silent, ever patient, selfless fidelity of a mother. As Legionaries, let's look to the greatest model of fidelity we can ever find: Mother Mary, Virgin Most Faithful. Let us ask Her to help us to be devoted children of Hers, and loyal soldiers of Her Legion.
Fidelity has been called "a voluntary, effective, and complete dedication of a person to a cause" Do we consider the work of the Legion of Mary a worthy cause? If we do, let's do the Legion justice! Let's be faithful in everything!
Friday, August 1, 2008
Suddenly, the stage lit up and one of the hosts came out. Soon, a man dressed simply in a dark shirt appeared on stage, his shirt sleeves hanging limply on his sides. He is Tony Melendez, the Thalidomide baby, the man with no arms.
He made a short introduction, before letting a video share the rest of his story.
When the video ended, he started to play and I felt shivers, the kind you get when you hear something beautiful. It was amazing. This man, born with no arms, was playing the guitar so beautifully using just his toes.
How many of us shy away from opportunities, from responsibilities, because we think we can't? How many times have we said no to God's challenge because we think we can't?
But here is someone who has accepted what God has given him. He is Tony Melendez, a man with no arms, who sings beautiful music to the Lord. And for all of us who say we can't, this is what Tony says,
I see a person like you that has arms, that has everything, everything, and you say: "I can't, I can't!" Yes, you can! Yes, you can! They have asked me: "Tony, where are the miracles?" and I always say: "I see your hand, and the fact that you are able to raise your hand, that's a miracle."
Please don't ever tell me that you can't. Never tell me that because you. yes you, can do so much more, just get up and say: "I want... I Can... I will move forward. You have a world out there waiting for you to say: "Yes!"