The most difficult times can produce the greatest spiritual blessings. God truly knows just what we need at every moment!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

III Sunday of Easter B - 2012

III Sunday of Easter B - 2012

We can see several obvious conclusions coming out of the fact of Christ's Resurrection:

-         Who believes in Christ is not anymore a slave of the Law and the sin, the believer is the child of God and free of the slavery to sin,

-         J. Christ is for us the only hope and the only Lord and Saviour,

-         The sin and death although are still part of our earthly reality, but we are not helpless and defenceless in front of this realities, because Christ is the winner, the champion the conqueror of the death and of the sin,

-         In Him we are able to overcome the sin and to win over the death by the resurrection in Christ

-         We are the witnesses of the Good News, we are the light of the world,

-         Jesus is among us and with us until the end of time.

All this is however basing on the one fundamental fact, that I believe in God and I believe (I trust) God.

Pope Benedict XVI is preparing the Year of Faith which will start on October this year …

In the Insert you will find the first part of his pastoral letter ("Porta Fidei") – the Door of Faith preparing the Year of Faith …

In the letter Pope is sharing with us His concerns and anxieties concerning especially the apparent collapse of Christianity caused by a false understanding of the renewal of the Vatican II, the failure in catechesis and a serious breakdown in the understanding and participating in the Holy Eucharist. And He proposes the REDISCOVERY OF FAITH.

Full text of the Papal Letter "Porta Fidei".

II Easter Sunday - Divine Mercy Sunday

Divine Mercy Sunday - Dives in Misericordia

Faith in God's Mercy is one of the fundamental truths of the Christian creed. God is Mercy and Love. The Bible is using this very word (mercy of God) 200 times.
About this Christ reminded the twentieth century humanity in a very special way. God reminded us about this through the revelation given to Sister Faustina Kowalska - a modest, unknown, uneducated person. Jesus came to her and told her remarkable words: "In the Old Covenant I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to My people. Today I am sending you to all of humanity with my Mercy. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I want to heal it, embracing sinners with love of my Merciful Heart"(Diary, 1588).

Canonization of the "secretary of Divine Mercy" Sister Faustina Kowalska done by Pope John Paul II on April 30 2000.

White Sunday, ending the octave of Easter, is celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday. In a spontaneous way the faithful worshiped and honored Divine Mercy on this Sunday already from the time of World War II. The official celebration was introduced by the "letter for Lent in 1985" and established for the first time in the diocese of Kraków, by Cardinal Franciszek Macharski.

Then the other bishops introduced the feast of Divine Mercy in their dioceses. In 1995, at the request of the Bishops, the Holy See issued a decree permitting the celebration of the feast in all Polish dioceses, while maintaining the liturgical norms in force on that date. Of course this White Sunday celebration has its origin in the visions of Sr. Faustina.

"I wish that the first Sunday after Easter be the Feast of Mercy" (Diary 299) - said to her Lord Jesus. These and similar words are repeated in the Diary at least 14 times. How much the message of the apparitions of Sr. Faustina is up to date, show the words of the Encyclical Dives in Misericordia. John Paul II writes: "Present-day mentality, more perhaps than people in the past, seems opposed to God's mercy, and also aims to very idea of ​​mercy move to the margins of life and to remove from the human heart. The word and the concept of "mercy" if they interfere with a man who, by the development of science and technology unknown before more than ever in history has become his own master."

It is true … we have some problem with accepting the concept of mercy. We are afraid or even humiliated by the fact that we can receive something free of charge. We are accustomed to pay for everything and the idea that I can get something out of mercy put me in a position of a bagger or a position of submission.

To obtain the Mercy of God, I must first believe in Him, but also be myself merciful, I have to recognise that I need Divine Mercy and I can show to others the same mercy in my life ...

The present-day mentality, more perhaps than that of people in the past, seems opposed to a God of mercy, and in fact tends to exclude from life and to remove from the human heart the very idea of mercy.

The word and the concept of "mercy" seem to cause uneasiness in man, who, thanks to the enormous development of science and technology, never before known in history, has become the master of the earth and has subdued and dominated it. This dominion over the earth, sometimes understood in a onesided and superficial way, seems to have no room for mercy.

I am so great that I don't need God's Mercy. God's Mercy is humiliating for me, because it presupposes that I am pitiful or pathetic. If I am searching for "feeling good" the concept of Divine Mercy is awkward and unacceptable.

However, in this regard we can profitably refer to the picture of "man's situation in the world today" as described at the beginning of the Constitution Gaudium et spes. Here we read the following sentences: "In the light of the foregoing factors there appears the dichotomy of a world that is at once powerful and weak, capable of doing what is noble and what is base, disposed to freedom and slavery, progress and decline, brotherhood and hatred. Man is growing conscious that the forces he has unleashed are in his own hands and that it is up to him to control them or be enslaved by them." (Dives in Mosericordia ch. 2 - 1980)

Easter – 2012

No resurrection without death

Easter Sunday, the day of Resurrection of Christ is bringing us a double message.

From one side we are joyfully acknowledging that Jesus Christ is risen, that He is the Lord of Life and that His resurrection is for us an assurance of our resurrection.

But we have to keep in our mind the other side of the reality of the Resurrection …

Tell me please what is the necessary and indispensable condition of the resurrection?

Yes … first … YOU MUST DIE!

There is no resurrection if you don’t die. You have to die first.
You have to die to yourself, you have to die to your sins, you have to die to your selfishness, you have to die to your way of life, you have to die to your pride, you have to die to all your worldly and earthly habits. In order to raise up YOU HAVE TO DIE.

The first and basic idea of the Baptism is that through Baptism we are dying to our old selves, we are dying to the world so to be reborn for Christ.
Do I realize this truth? I was baptize as a baby, I didn't even remember that I was baptized but I have to be aware that my Baptism was an immersion into the "death of Christ", that I have to die every day as St. Paul says: "… we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life." (Romans 6:3-4)

There is no other way to rise with Christ … than through death …
And this is also the message of Easter.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Easter Vigil - 2012

Easter Vigil - RCIA
This week, the Holy Father spoke of this sifting at Holy Thursday Mass.
"…as Christ told Peter, "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat," today "we are once more painfully aware that Satan has been permitted to sift the disciples before the whole world."
—POPE BENEDICT XVI, Mass of the Lord’s Supper, April 21st, 2011
Where do you and I stand in this sifting? Are we among the weeds or the wheat?
"We too find excuses when being his disciples starts becoming too costly, too dangerous."
It's very uplifting to be with Christ in the moments of glory, it's wonderful to be with Him in the time of exaltation …
If Judas, Peter, and the Apostles fled the Lord in His hour of sorrow … what will I do when the time of sorrow approach?
It's wonderful the liturgy of Easter Vigil … in few minutes time some of you will receive the Sacrament of Baptism; some will be accepted to the full unity with the Catholic Church, some will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation and some will receive the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ for the first time.
What a wonderful achievement? What a time of glory and joyful exaltation …
But my dear brothers and sisters … will you be with Christ when all this will be over and when comes the normal, difficult daily life?
Or "you will find excuses when being His disciple starts becoming too costly, too dangerous, to boring to demanding."
I will quote you only one sentence of Jesus which is repeated three times in the Gospel:
"You will be hated by all because of My Name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved." (Matthew 10,22)
The way to the Resurrection goes through Calvary. We have to be aware of this truth.

Good Friday 2011

We are afraid of suffering and pain. We are scared and terrified of discomfort. We won't like even to listen about it. We search Jesus Christ without cross and very often we find cross without Christ. And this is our misery our disaster.
Elizabeth Leseur a twentieth century saint in a letter to a woman on the verge of losing her eyesight, wrote: "The Stoics say, 'suffering is nothing.' They were wrong. Illuminated by a clearer light we Christians say, 'suffering is everything.'"
She knew what she was talking about. She had married a man who was a dedicated medical doctor, but an unbeliever and well known leader of the French anti-clerical, atheistic movement, who tried to dissuade Elizabeth from her faith. When she tried to share her faith with her husband, he cut her off, sometimes with mockery. Elizabeth bore his insults quietly and even though she was weakened by hepatitis, she worked diligently. In her early forties, she was diagnosed with cancer and for three years, suffered horribly so to finally die in 1914.
When she was dying, she said to her husband,
"Felix, when I am dead, you will become a Catholic and a Dominican priest."
Her husband answered:
"Elizabeth, you know my sentiments. I've sworn hatred of God, I shall live in the hatred and I shall die in it."
After her death, her husband discovered the spiritual journal she kept. It moved him to his depths especially her profound and personal meditations on suffering and cross of Jesus Christ.
Reading through her papers, Felix found her will:
"In 1905, I asked almighty God to send me sufficient sufferings to purchase your soul.
On the day that I die, the price will have been paid.
Greater love than this no woman has than she who lay down her life for the salvation of her husband."
He experienced a profound conversion. He became a Dominican priest and travelled through Europe speaking about his wife's spiritual writings.
Elizabeth Leseur certainly found the ultimate truth about the value of suffering …
"The Stoics said, 'suffering is nothing.' They were wrong. Illuminated by Christ's light we Christians say, 'suffering is everything.'"
So, this Good Friday we learn that through the suffering of Jesus we receive the greatest blessings - forgiveness and true life.
Without Christ … our sufferings can only destroy and annihilate us. Without Christ our sufferings are absolutely senseless. Without Christ the cross -we are carrying on- is senseless and hopeless. Without Christ the suffering and death have no meaning and no significance. Without Christ whole our life is meaningless.
If we join our own sufferings to His, they become means of grace, means of our salvation. Illumined by faith, we can say, "suffering is everything."
As we read in today's second reading:
"Jesus Christ though he was the Son of God, He learned obedience from what he suffered; and when He was made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him. "

Thursday, April 05, 2012




When Jesus entered the Upper Room to eat the Passover Meal with His disciples, it would become the night that changed the world. When Jesus broke the bread and shared the wine saying to his Disciples "This is my Body, this is my Blood. Do this in memory of Me" it would become the greatest of Gifts, the Gifts of His Body and Blood. The Gift of Himself. The Apostles realized this fact the very next morning, when they saw their Teacher stretched out on the cross. His Body and Blood given to us for our salvation …

St. Paul was probably one of the first to understand also that Jesus was really present in the Eucharist. Saint Paul saw clearly that when we share in the Body and Blood of Christ and when the words "This is my Body” are said as they are every day throughout this world, in every country, in every parish, in every time and place, we become indeed one bread - one body, the Body of Christ – because He gave us this commandment "Do this in memory of Me"
One converted theologian said: "You become what you eat." When you eat the Body of Christ you become the Body of Christ. He is transforming you into Himself.

But, do we really understand and appreciate what this means as we come up to receive the Holy Communion? Do we understand or believe that this is Jesus Christ Himself in His Body and Blood, the Creator and the King of the Universe through Whom everything was made?

Do we really understand what is happening as many of us shuffle up disengaged? It sure doesn’t look like we really understand as we trudge up quietly as if receiving a handout in a bread line then trudge back to our seats perhaps even looking at our watches. I have done that and am ashamed I ever have.

The Angel of Peace appeared before the Children of Fatima holding a chalice in his hands, above which was suspended a Host from which drops of Blood were falling into the chalice. The Angel left the chalice suspended in the air and prostrated Himself before it in prayer. If an Angel can do this … why am I so bling and not able to see the Hidden Reality of the Lord present in the Eucharistic species?

It doesn’t mean we have to fling ourselves to the ground but perhaps we can prostrate ourselves internally as we receive the Holy Communion. Pope John Paul II stated that we “need to cultivate a lively awareness of Christ’s real presence.”

Something very mystical and awe inspiring happens when we receive the Eucharist. Sadly so many don’t understand or believe this.

When Jesus becomes present in the Eucharist He is not alone- He brings Heaven with him. I love the imagery of what St. Padre Pio said about the events of the Eucharist. He said it was “Paradise” and “Our Lady is present at every Mass, along with all the angels and the “whole celestial court.” I must admit I envy these Saints, and I suspect most of our Saints, St. Faustina, St. Therese, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Joan of Arc, St. Francis, St. Padre Pio each have experienced Eucharist this way. We can too. The evidence has always been there.

There is only one Mass, one Eternal Mass, and only one Liturgy of the Eucharist that is taking place in Heaven all the time, or rather out of time, because Heaven is timeless. So we do not merely attend Mass, nor do we go back in time 2 000 years, but we join with all of heaven and earth in celebrating that one eternal liturgy. Remember what priests proclaim “Now, let us join the choirs of angels as they sing their unending Hymn of praise.”

Think of it at every moment priests and believers throughout the world on every hour celebrate Mass all over the world. We are not alone ... ever …. One writer has said that “we go to Heaven when we attend Mass”.

So, good music or bad music, good homilies or bad, good pronunciation or bad - it doesn't matter. The Eternal Mass matters – as it is always Heaven on Earth joined together when priest celebrate the Holy Eucharist.

What we are experiencing during this time is not our Mass, not our offering, is not a spectacle, not a ceremony, not a common meal … it's rather the moment when the priest is opening to us the gate to Heaven, so that we can participate in this ONE, ETERNAL SACRIFICE of Jesus Christ.

When the priest lifts the Sacred Host in front of you, pause a moment- see into the Host to feel the whole magnificent presence of Jesus and the Trinity, the Angels and Communion of Saints and feel how jubilant they are to join with you in this always present Eternal Banquet, the eternal Sacrifice of Christ.

Jesus didn't say: "Whoever studies the Bible will have eternal life." He didn't say "Pray 7 times per day and you will inherit the Kingdom of God". But He certainly said: "Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise that person up on the last day."

Eucharist is truly the center, the summit and the source of our life.

This is what Jesus instituted during the Last Supper, this is why He gave us the commandment: "Do this in memory of Me."