St. Mary Magdalene, Apostles to the Apostles

St. Mary Magdalene, Apostles to the Apostles

During the Jubilee Year of Mercy in 2016, by request of Pope Francis, the memorial of St. Mary Magdalene was elevated in the liturgical calendar to the level of a feast day. The greatness of this saint, who was already acknowledged by St. Thomas Aquinas as Apostola apostolorum — the “Apostle to the Apostles” — is now celebrated on July 22 as a feast day on the same liturgical level as the other Apostles. Mary Magdalene has been given this eminent title of “Apostle” because of her unique and singular privilege of being the first to have witnessed the Risen Christ. Why has her feast been given this dignity? It is because the Church wants to give special attention to this woman, who showed an immense love for Christ and who was immensely loved by Christ. We see in...

St. Francis of Assisi: Apostle of fatherhood and brotherhood

St. Francis of Assisi: Apostle of fatherhood and brotherhood

The Lord bless you and keep you. May He show His face to you and have mercy. May He turn His countenance to you and give you peace. The Lord bless you, brother Leo.  St. Francis pronounced these words of blessing to his companion and friend, Brother Leo, in a time when Leo was going through spiritual desolation. I would love this month to have St. Francis accompanying us in our journey with the saints and repeating this blessing with that same love and strength. Interestingly enough, the centuries that separate us from his life could not erase the memory of his words of blessing that we can still read nowadays on the parchment kept intact in the lower basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, Italy. Francis borrowed these words from Scripture that in the book of Numbers...

Loved and Called

Loved and Called

What I remember from that night is that I didn’t really want to go that late evening meeting.I was tired and wished I could go home. Not knowing why, I sat down next to a student whom I had only seen in passing and, despite my reluctance to start a conversation, I chose to love that young woman and began to talk with her. To my surprise, I noticed that the conversation was flowing very easily. Before we parted we exchanged contact information. That same evening, Jennifer sent me an e-mail, asking if we could begin meeting regularly for a journey that soon would turn into vocational discernment, which eventually led her to join a religious community. When I recall this event — one of the many daily events of my consecrated life — the words of Pope Francis come to...

De-cide: the art of cutting away

De-cide: the art of cutting away

How did Michelangelo create the David? The David is one of the most famous statues created by an artist who is a household name. Why is that? These are questions that have been handed down through the ages along with the fame of this man and his statue. They are similar to another question that every man encounters in his heart: what is the purpose of my life? Vocational discernment – discovering how the Lord is inviting one to love fully and completely – and Michelangelo have a lot in common. The answer to how Michelangelo created the David and how to discern God’s will for one’s life is the same: cutting away everything that is not the David. Vocational discernment is like Michelangelo sculpting the David. It takes time to learn how to listen to the voice of...

Belonging and participation: openness to encounter

Belonging and participation: openness to encounter

Active in the process of change and willing to participate and commit themselves to concrete activities in which the personal contribution of each might be an occasion for recognizing one’s identity. This is what young people desire to be, and not passive recipients of formation. I remember when Father Salvatore, the AVI founder, taught me how to do daily meditation, he asked me: “Do you have a friend who would like to pray this way too? Do it together and she too will learn.” I was in my twenties, and the trust shown to me from an elderly priest encouraged and filled me with so great an enthusiasm that I took the initiative to gather a few friends around Scripture. To be entrusted with a task, even a small one, inside of a solid, common project, represents, for...

“Woman, why are you weeping?”

“Woman, why are you weeping?”

http://nikerosherunshop.comlouis vuitton bagsJohn 20: 11-18 But Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,”...