Jesus lives in us “as if in a new manger; and he affects a physical and spiritual union with us that is transforming and is permanent by its very nature. Each day, according to the spirit of the Church, we celebrate a new Christmas. There is the eternal birth of the divine Son of the Father, and there is the temporal birth of the Son of God by the Virgin Mary; there is the real and mystical birth of Jesus Christ in the reception of the Eucharist. We live in Jesus because we are incorporated in him: he imprints his new life in us and makes it bear fruit. This is the new life that produces the grafting of a good olive onto a wild olive plant. And Mary participates at our being generated in Christ, because she became our Mother.” Father James Alberione; Considerate la Vostra Vocazione,
The gift of wisdom, personified by Yahweh himself, when it enters the human scene, requires a cooperation to enable it to develop all its potentialities. The Spirit of Wisdom that guides us is a gift of God tied to the presence of God in our midst. At the same time it is the result of the active collaboration of each one of us. To be bound to help God allows us to invoke his Spirit and to pursue our process of Christification. Fr. Silvo Sassi, Superior General
"In this journey of spiritual ascent, Christ is the Model and the Master Who shows us the beautiful image of God. Looking at Him, each of us discovers ourselves to be 'the painter of our own life' (Alberione) in which our will undertakes the work and our virtues are the colors at our disposal." Pope Benedict XVI
This is a time of waiting. I have been waiting to get back to Boston for some rest from travels. My recent travels brought me to the desert where I thought often of the passage "prepare in the desert a highway for the coming of the Lord." I also thought of the advent Psalm - "Come Lord, reign from the rock in the desert to the Mount of Sinai." I had never though of Jesus reigning from rock to mountain but that makes sense in the light of the Incarnation - all things are renewed in Christ - even the smallest rock in the dryest desert. The desert shall bloom, said Isaiah. I visited The Living Desert in Palm Desert, CA. I went into the botanical gardens looking for plants and flowers - my comment to Sr Julia who was with me: "That one needs water! This is just a dry tumbleweed! That cactus is drying up!" After all this is winter in the desert - awaiting spring rains. Our advent can be real like this desert. There is hope in the desert. There are signs that life can be beautiful there. The dried up yellow cactus flowers are signs that there was once a fresh bloom. The dried up plants are still tenaciously rooted to the earth that they sprang from one fresh day. The dry pathways are home to many birds, squirrels, lizards, butterflies and hummingbirds. Did you know that the desert was a favorite home for hummingbirds and butterflies? I didn't. Sure enough there were signs that this is true. One tiny yellow hummingbird buzzed over small purple flowers lighting them like advent candles - tasting the promise of nector that will be in abundance soon.
Thanks for asking about Italy. I had written one-page article about my pilgrimage with John to Italy to celebrate the 20th Canonization Anniversary of San Lorenzo Ruiz which will be published in the newsletter of Philippine Cultural Society which operates under the United Nations Staff Recreation Council. Simultaneously this is being featured in attached newsletter (page 4) of the Chapel of San Lorenzo Ruiz in New York. I wrote it as I strive to be active in social communication as a Pauline Cooperator. Please feel free to share it.
Pilgrimages are not required of Christians. However, many visit shrines and sacred places in the Holy Land, Rome and around the world. There are various reasons to go on pilgrimage: to ask or pray for special grace, blessing, intention, God’s mercy and to give thanks and praise to God. The main reason for our group to go on pilgrimage to the Eternal City was to celebrate the 20th canonization anniversary of San Lorenzo Ruiz, who is the first Filipino saint. He was martyred in Nagasaki on 29 September 1637. 350 years later, Pope John Paul II c anon iz ed San Lorenzo Ruiz on 18 October 1987. When asked to denounce his Christian faith, San Lorenzo Ruiz answered, "I will never do it. I am a Catholic and happy to die for God. If I have a thousand lives to offer, I will offer them to God." On Tuesday 16 Oct. 2007, our first day in the Eternal City, we celebrated mass at St. Mary Major and set out our intention in the prayers of the faithful. Also, we visited St. John Lateran and some of us climbed on our knees the Holy Stairs aka “Scala Sancta”, which were sanctified by the footsteps of Our Lord Jesus Christ when He walked up on His way to trial during the Passion. Wednesday, 17 Oct.: 10:45 a.m. Under blue skies at St. Peter's Square in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI faced a sea of over 10,000 pilgrims in Rome that day. Our small group of 29 pilgrims was joined by San Lorenzo Chapel Choir from New York. His Holiness led us in the “Pater Noster” and bestowed his blessings on the pilgrims and their loved ones, particularly those who were ill and suffering. Afternoon: Viewed Vatican museum, including Sistine Chapel and the Pope’s garden. We were privileged to participate in a concelebrated Holy Mass at "Altar of the Chair." Thursday, 18 Oct.: 10:00 a.m.: St. Peter’s Basilica. The Holy Mass in honor of San Lorenzo Ruiz was celebrated by Fr. Erno Diaz in chapel just across St. Peter's statue with songs by San Lorenzo Ruiz Chapel Choir. Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See, Ms. Leonida Vera arranged the commemorative Mass at the Vatican. In the evening, we were fortunate to attend the free concert offered by San Lorenzo Ruiz Chapel Choir (NY) in Santa Prudenziana Church (Centro Filipino) in Rome. Saturday, 20 Oct.: Prayed Divine Mercy chaplet with fellow pilgrims in Naples in a local church where Sr. Patricia’s relics are kept. A cause for her beatification is underway-- we were told. Then we visited the ancient excavations in Pompeii with local guide. Afternoon: Bus ride to San Giovanni Rotondo. Evening mass at Centro Spirituale de Padre Pio followed by participation at 9PM candlelight procession of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the new church. Sunday, 21 Oct.: After the concelebrated Sunday Mass with Father Erno, we prayed at the tomb of St. Padre Pio-a Franciscan who received the stigmata, among his other gifts, e.g. bilocation. In the English Office of the church/ museum complex, as a lay Eucharistic Minister, I was asked to bless members of our group by: (1) reciting a prayer for intercession of our beloved Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina and (2) touching the pilgrim with Saint Padre Pio's relics of a brown woolen glove and a wooden cross. In Lanciano, we viewed the Eucharistic Miracle. The host was scientifically tested and found to be tissue from the heart. We are reminded that the Eucharistic Miracle happens everyday in each Holy Mass around the world. Monday, 22 Oct.: In Assisi, we had Mass in the lower chapel of St. Francis Basilica, where we visited the tomb of St. Francis and admired the frescoes of his loves - poverty, chastity, obedience (humility and prudence). At St. Clare’s Basilica, we visited the San Damiano Cross from which Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke to St. Francis of Assisi. Tuesday, 23 Oct.: In Padua, the Basilica of St. Anthony was towering both inside and outside. At the center panel of the reliquary chapel were the jaws, tongue and vocal cords of St. Anthony--known for his preaching, miracles, and love for the Child Jesus. Father Erno Diaz, our Pilgrimage Leader and only priest in our group, started each day with a morning prayer in the bus, celebrated mass in the great churches of Italy, serenaded us to the tune of O Sole Mio and kept our spirits up during the long bus rides by the Adriatic Coast. He was truly the driving force for our group in honoring San Lorenzo Ruiz. The pilgrimage changed me, but I remain with my trust in Our Lord of Divine Mercy. JEZU UFAM TOBIE! ---------------------------- Margie H. Skeels works at the Executive Office of the United Nations Development Programme. She strives to be active in social communication as a Pauline Cooperator, which is part of the Pauline Family founded by Blessed James Alberione.
I would like to invite you to stand up and take a minute to pray for the alleviation, if not eradication, of poverty for all our brothers & sisters around the world - & in the sea of humanity - on October 17, 2007. My colleagues from UNDP - Millennium Campaign - asked me to join thousand others to get the invitation on youtube:
As you will see, I'm still a novice at communications. But I take with me the Pauline spirit--"It is no longer I ...". This video was taken on the Monday right after the Boston convention of Pauline Cooperators.
May God bless you always.
In Christ, Margie Skeels Pauline Cooperator Manhattan
This YouTube presentation is thought-provoking and important for those of us who evangelize in the 21st century; a real conversation starter about formation, education, and relevance in a globalized society and the speed at which it turns. At the end there is information about who created this presentation and why with further links. This presentation is ideal for to use at the beginning of a meeting or conference about the digital world and preparing young people today for tomorrow. It also addresses the nature of the audience. I think this contains information we may already have a sense about, but this puts it neatly in one place.
Click the subject title above or copy and paste this url http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMcfrLYDm2U
I have been traveling the US. There has been so much to Blog about (not brag - blog) that I wish I had a web connection on the road. I actually tried to Blog on Amtrac but I couldn't do it even though I found free wireless access while zooming through Connecticut. I tried again in New York. I didn't have time in Los Angeles. What! Blog on a beach in Honolulu? And I didn't plan enough time in San Francisco. I had one day in Boston before flying to Florida - for vacation.....and Blogging just isn't in my blood yet. Four days in New Orleans but the lure of the Cathedral and the French Quarter overcame any blogging desires. Now I am back in Boston - it is cold outside - I have a few days before my next trip. AND I am blogging! Some day I will tell you about last month and what is going on in the Pauline world there. In fact I may even do that soon! After all this is a Blog and I am supposed to be on it at least once a day. Facebook is not in my future..... Sr Margaret