Blessed are the poor in spirit

Blessed are the poor in spirit

Mark 10:13-16 Gabrielle Bossis (1874-1950) was a French woman who belonged to the French nobility and who was known throughout her life as an actress, a writer and a mystic. In 1936, she received an invitation from Jesus to write down the contents of their intimate conversations which had been occurring for many years. He wanted her to publish them in a book for the world to see. This very same book has become on one of the most important Catholic mystic books of our time. On November 13th 1947 the “Voice” told her: “You are all so ignorant of the power of your God. Are you afraid to know Him, you who seek Him so little. And yet, the joy of your soul lies in constant communion with your Creator and Savior. Abandon yourselves to God no matter what He does....

Blessed are they who mourn

Blessed are they who mourn

Champaign, IL December 2000. During the celebration for the AVI’s renewal of vows at St. John’s Catholic Church on the U of I campus, Father Tony Dittmer told the story of a little boy named Americo. When he was still a seminarian in Rome, Italy, Father Tony became friends with Luciano and Stefania Capogna, whose child Americo was being treated for leukemia at the Bambin Gesu’ Pediatric Hospital. The tragic day came when the boy could not fight any more against the illness, and died at the age of 6. Tony grew very close to this Italian family, thanks to the intercession of little Americo, who from Heaven was already praying in a unique way for his family and for his seminarian friend. Through a mutual friend, the Capogna family introduced Tony to the Apostles of...

Mary, Temple of the Holy Spirit

Mary, Temple of the Holy Spirit

Luke 1:39-45 May is the month traditionally dedicated to Our Lady. It is a time in which we seek to be practice more fervently our devotion to our heavenly mother. There are many traditions in different parts of the world to honor Our Lady in a particular way during this month. I know of a town in Italy where every morning at 6am the faithful go on pilgrimage to a church on top of a mountain and celebrate Mass. This act of devotion recalls the journey of Mary to visit her cousin Elizabeth, ‘‘Mary set out and traveled to the hill country…’’. Reflecting on this passage of the gospel of Luke, the Visitation of Mary, we can examine a marvelous virtue of Mary, Temple of the Holy Spirit, a virtue that we should all seek to cultivate during our earthly journey towards...

Mary, Mystical Rose

Mary, Mystical Rose

Acts 1: 14; 2:1-4 After the Ascension, we see Mary as the spiritual center around which Jesus’ intimate friends gather. It is precisely while they are hidden together in the Upper Room that the Holy Spirit surprises them, as a wind that fills the common house and then rests on each of them. This house is the Church. The Church is a people. She is the Mystical Body of Christ, in which the Holy Spirit dwells. As Mary conceived Jesus through the Holy Spirit, so through Him the Church gives birth to the children of God, and each of them is enabled, by the same Spirit, to speak many different languages. How can we keep all together in unity so many different gifts? We know that our Lord’s last desire was unity. He prayed for it the night before dying. He begged the...

Mary Gate of Heaven

Mary Gate of Heaven

Revelation 3:20  How many times we have heard the story of meeting St. Peter with his famous keys at the gates of Paradise, where we would hope to be let in? And how many times have we been consoled thinking that somewhere around the corner, hidden nearby, would be Mary, our good Mother, ready to sneak us in in case St. Peter had sent us away? How truthful these kinds of stories are I cannot say; however, I can tell you that the Church has long venerated Mary under the title of “Ianua Coeli” that is, “Gate of Heaven”. Starting from Mary’s role as mediatrix of graces, as the gate from which Heaven can pour its blessings down on earth, I would like in this meditation to reflect upon how this role befits all of us, since we are all...