Original artwork by Br Luis Alberto de Avila, LC
Archive for May, 2012
Br Joseph A’Hearn, LC
The Easter season ends with the solemnity of Pentecost, but that doesn’t mean we should stop looking forward to eternity. One thing that motivates me is just to think about what the resurrected body will be like. Based on analysis of Christ’s post-Resurrection apparitions and other passages from Scripture, St. Thomas Aquinas lists seven characteristics of the glorified body:
Br Jared Loehr, LC
In the midst of a booming Roman Empire, the situation seemed “Okay.” Sure, there were wars on the outskirts. Sure, they gave up hope on having true love because their hearts had deep scars. Sure, they were living though they had nothing really worth living for. The majority felt “okay” about life. Suddenly but subtly, new families and new communities sprung up with a newfound light. These Christians, as they identified themselves, lived among the rest, but they lived with a sparkle in their eyes and hearts. Christians walked tall, had a new sense of life, and discovered something glorious. Sure, they carried out the same work, but they did so with serenity. Sure, they had problems but they bounced back up. Sure, some gave an example of hypocrisy but the core message was unaffected.
Br Matias Garmendia, LC
I have to admit that my main motivation in going to the occasional early-morning Masses during my Opus Dei elementary school in Argentina was that those of us who attended would escape an entire morning of class between the Mass and the “free-hour” afterwards.
In September of 2000, when I was eight years old, during the homily in one of these Masses, the priest told us about how much Mary suffered during her life: when Jesus was born, when they were forced to flee into Egypt, at the foot of the Cross… and he finished the list with her suffering for all our sins. I was deeply moved. During the Prayer of the Faithful, the priest, as always, asked us for intentions for which we wanted to offer the Mass. After about a dozen intentions, he asked “Anybody else?” I raised my hand, and, deeply troubled, said, “For Our Lady, because she suffers so much because of our sins.” The priest, surprised, smiled and nodded, and the Mass continued.
Br Robert Antonio, LC
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria… The singing grows louder as more than seven hundred people exit the Church of the Holy Innocents in a procession with images of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Once everyone is off the church steps and into the bustling city streets, the rosary begins. It’s about five in the afternoon, and New Yorkers dart down through the streets, staring over at the procession line. Now we’re on Broadway, and it’s my first time deep in Manhattan. Brother Ryan and I are at the vanguard of the procession and together we loudly sing out the Marian hymns at the end of each decade. I fight to keep my eyes focused straight ahead or on the song booklet. New York City is impressive, and we were going straight to the heart of it, Times Square.
Br Jesus Salinas, LC
It’s becoming more frequent nowadays that people don’t know the highway that will bring them to become what they are meant to become. In today’s world, how is it possible to be happy? Is this not just a mere relative word that could mean anything?
A few months ago, I was outside Old St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City and a young man with a green jacket was walking towards me; he saw my Roman collar and kept walking, but I couldn’t resist inviting him to one of the activities that the Cathedral was organizing. We were inviting people for confession. The young man told me in a sincere tone: “Thank you, but I’m agnostic”.
Br Thomas White, LC
The fourth chapter of John’s Gospel contains one of my favorite passages. Jesus passes through Samaria and stops at a well at noon. He comes upon a woman, drawing water from the well, too ashamed of her lifestyle to get water in the morning or the evening with the other women. Jesus asks for a drink. She, surprised that a Jew should ask a Samaritan for water (the two groups hated each other), answers a little brusquely. Jesus says, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is who is asking you for water, you would ask him and he would give you living water.” The woman, confused, responds, “Sir, you don’t even have a bucket!”
How often in our own lives we feel the same way! Jesus makes a lot of promises, but can he really keep them all?
Br Eric Gilhooly, LC
Can I be faithful? At times we all tend to wonder. When we experience our failures and weaknesses or when others aren’t what we had hoped they would be, I think many of us in the Legion and consecrated life go back to the more fundamental questions, to the question at the root of the vocation.
Will I be able to stay faithful to my consecration and to my priesthood no matter what? Others have fallen. I have fallen. Who am I to stay standing? Who am I to get back on my feet?
Br Robert Wills, LC
Our times are sadly marked by a crisis of identity, both on a personal and societal level. A proper understanding of identity is crucial as who we think we are significantly determines our self-esteem and guides our action. Taking The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling as our backdrop, we may explore an essential component in shaping our identity: relationships.
The story begins with the infant Mowgli who is reared by a pack of wolves. As he begins to develop, his differences as a human are more pronounced. The animals hate him because they cannot look in his eyes and because he is wise, able to take the thorns from their feet, but also able to cry. It is no longer safe for him to remain in the jungle, but must seek civilization in haste. He is accompanied by two Christ-like figures, a bear named Baloo and a panther named Bagheera. In route, they teach him what it means to be a man. We find a parallel with Christianity as the Christian also senses the dangers of this present life and realizes that he must choose between the animal kingdom and the Kingdom of Christ. Nevertheless, he does not need to make this journey alone.
Br Aguinaldo Lima, LC
Some weeks ago I was talking with a person at the parish. I explained my formation and how much time it takes to be ordained. She asked me what I was studying and I answered very excitedly that I was studying humanities.
“Why does a priest need to study that?” she asked. I think many people have the same question.