Monday, November 23, 2015



All true fatherhood emanates from the true and original source of Fatherhood, God the Father. The most well-known prayer in all of Christianity is the Lord’s Prayer, also known as THE OUR FATHER, taught by Jesus the Son of the Eternal Father.(Mt. 6:9-14/Lk. 11:1-4)

Many of the crises in the world stem from the absence of the Father-figure, the neglect of the Father to live up to his noble vocation, or the crisis in understanding of what it really means to be a father.  Of the many identity crises prevalent in the modern world, the crisis of true fatherhood might be at the top of the list.

This being the case then, how can we discover, cultivate as well as promote true Fatherhood in a society where there are so many “Drop-out Dads”? Let us enter in and study together this supremely important topic.  The family, the society, the country and the world at large depends on the person of the Father and fatherhood that flows from being a true father.

1.    GOD THE FATHER AS MODEL.   As said earlier, all true fatherhood flows from God the Father.  So that an earthly father can truly exercise his fatherhood properly, he must have an image, model, example after which he can pattern his own life.  If the earthly father has truly experienced the presence, power, tenderness and firmness and especially the love of the Heavenly Father, then he we will be capable of living out in his own life’s vocation the love of the father to the family that he has been entrusted to lead safely home to God the Father.

2.    BIBLICAL ROLE MODEL:  (Lk. 15:11-32: the Parable of the Prodigal Son). An excellent role-model for the earthly father is the presentation, given by Jesus Himself, of the Father in the most famous of all parables, the Parable of the Prodigal Son.  Another name that we can give to the Parable of the Prodigal Son is the MERCIFUL FATHER.  The virtues or qualities of the Father of the Prodigal son are virtues that every earthly father should strive with all of his heart, mind and will to emulate and imitate. What then are the virtues of the Father of the Prodigal Son? Love for both of his sons is paramount. Also, freedom given at a dear price. Mercy to the highest degree—a father always ready to forgive the repentant son. Patience plays a key role. The Father gives the wandering son patience to rethink his ways and to return home willingly and lovingly. Reconciler—he desires to reconcile both of the sons despite their differences. A Father knows how to elicit the good in the different members of the family; he is also capable of mending and repairing broken relationships. Joy—a true and authentic Father is a source of joy for the entire family. Not only does the father correct with gentleness, but his is capable of celebrating with joy the happy moments of the family. Provide and nourish—the Father in the Parable of the Prodigal son also provides a rich banquet for the wandering son who has finally returned. A true and authentic father will provide for the physical needs, but also the spiritual and moral needs of his entire family.  Like the Good Shepherd, he leads the sheep to nourish in green and abundant pastures.

3.     FATHER’S LOVE FOR HIS VOCATION AND SPOUSE. Once a man has chosen the vocation of holy matrimony, then his hierarchy of values must be crystal clear: God first, wife or spouse second, and then the children that come third. If this order is subverted then there will surface family problems which could lead to eventual separations.  On the wedding day the husband and well as wife make the solemn promise to be faithful to each other: in good times as well as bad, in health as well as in sickness, in riches as well as in poverty, until death do they part. Actually the father that does not manifest this preferential love towards his wife will actually be damaging his children.  The lack of love and concern not given to the wife and mother is a depriving of the children of true love.  Children easily pick up the vibes when there is tension, lack of communication, lack of love and warmth between their parents. It is sensed easy and the silence—due to lack of communication—can so to speak be cut with a knife!  Therefore, a true and authentic father must be constantly examining his relationship with his wife and constantly strive to overcome obstacles and be constant in striving to live out the last and greatest of the Commandments of Jesus:  “Love one another as I have loved you!”

4.    FATHER MUST LOVE HIS CHILDREN.   Then what necessarily flows, in the heart of a father, after he has experienced the love of God the Father, has loved his wife with a true and authentic and pure love, will be an outpouring of love for the children that God has given to him.   This love will manifest itself in a series of concrete actions and attitudes, such as:

a)    OPENNESS TO LIFE.   A true father cannot fall into and swallow the all-too prevalent contraceptive mentality.   The contraceptive mentality says no to life and at the same time says no to God who is the author of all life. God is life and the author and promoter of life, both natural and supernatural!

b)    OPENNESS TO SUPERNATURAL LIFE.  Once the father has a child born to him he should desire to have the child baptized as soon as possible so that this child can be a son/daughter of God. Through Baptism all have the right to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.

c)     PRAYER.   A true father should be a man of prayer, in three different dimensions with respect to his children.  The Father should pray for his children, teach them to pray and pray with them—these three dimensions are essential!

d)    PRIEST OF THE FAMILY.  A true father should be the “Priest of the family”.  What does this mean in concrete? Simply this: he should bring his children and family to Church for the reception of the Sacraments.  He should be very vigilant and attentive that his family receive the Sacraments as often as possible and as fervently as possible. At the end of the day, the father should bless his little flock before they retire every night. Even the use of holy water is highly recommended!  Indeed a father can and should bless his family. This grace flows from the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.

e)    DEFEND HIS CHILDREN. Indeed a true father should be likened to a Good Shepherd who is constantly on guard to watch over the sheep of his flock. (Jn. 10:1-18) Dangerous and ravenous wolves pervade the whole world. A good father should know where these hungry and blood-thirsty wolves are hidden so as to prevent them from attacking the flock. Today more than ever a good father should be aware of the constant danger of the wolves that can enter the homes and hearts of their children though the electronics media, most especially through the wolf of pornography!

5.    FATHER’S LOVE FOR THE HEAVENLY MOTHER.  Not only must a father experience the presence, warmth, firmness and tenderness of the Heavenly Father, but he should also experience in a very profound manner the tenderness of the Heavenly Mother, Mary most holy. Mary is the Mother of God, the Mother of the Church, the Mother of the family, but also our tender and loving Mother.  For this reason St Therese of Lisieux stated:  “Our Lady indeed is Queen but she is more Mother than she is Queen.”  In his typical brilliant and effusive as well as anointed expression Saint Alphonsus asserted with respect to Mary as Mother the following: “If we were to put all of the love of all of the mothers of all times and all places together, past, present and future, the love that Our Lady has towards each and everyone one of us individually as Mother is much greater.”  How unfathomable the abyss of love and tenderness that Our Lady has for you and me as well as all fathers.  A father that truly experiences this love of Mother Mary for him then this outpouring of love will be experienced on his family members like a torrential downfall of graces! May Our Lady, the full of grace, bless all of the fathers of the world!

In conclusion, let us strive with all of the energy in our minds, hearts and souls to foster true FATHERHOOD.  The future of the family, the society, the culture, the country as well as the world at large depends upon the formation of holy, happy, wholesome and heroic fathers. May Good St. Joseph pray for men, workers and fathers so that they will lead their families to the eternal embrace of the heavenly Father. Amen

Monday, November 9, 2015



The greatest and most sublime action that the human person can do while living is to receive Holy Communion, in the state of grace, in a most worthy manner. The angels in heaven experience a holy envy for us mortals on earth: we can receive Holy Communion, whereas they cannot!

DISPOSITIVE GRACE.   A key concept in sacramental theology is that of “Dispositive grace”.  This means in simple jargon: you get what you are open to receiving.  The more fully open a door is the easier it is to get into the door without bumping into it our stubbing our toe.   So with the reception of God’s grace in the sacraments, especially in the reception of the greatest of all of the Sacraments, the most Holy Eucharist.

VARIOUS MANNERS OF RECEPTION.  One could receive Holy Communion unworthily; we all have freedom and can abuse our freedom.  This you can read very clearly in an episode in the life of St. Paul in the Church of Corinth. The rich were neglecting the poor, eating and drinking in excess and then proceeding to celebrate the Mass/ Meal of the Lord.  Then they would receive the Lord’s Body unworthily, to their own damage and possible condemnation. (Read I Corinthians 11). Others can receive Holy Communion in the state of grace but distracted during the whole course of the Mass. Graces are receive in such a soul, but in less abundance.   Then there is the well-disposed soul who arrives early for Mass, participates fully and receives the Holy Eucharist with deep faith, love and devotion—graces in such a soul go beyond limit.

This being the case we would like to offer five short suggestions or advice to make the best and most fervent Holy Communions in our life. Indeed if this is the most important gesture in our life then we should make a concerted effort to make it the best!


1.    CONFESSION AND HOLY COMMUNION.  There is an intimate relationship between the reception of the Sacrament of Confession or Reconciliation and the reception of Holy Communion.  The specific sacramental grace of Confession is healing; the specific sacramental grace of Holy Communion is nourishment.   A worthy reception of the Sacrament of Confession cleanses, purifies, enlightens and sanctifies the soul disposing it to receive the Eucharist with a better and more fervent disposition.  If you like here is an analogy!   A dirty window is finally cleaned using WINDEX and a dry newspaper; the window has not been cleaned for five years.  The curtains are opened at noon and the light of the midday sun streams into the room in full abundance.   The clearer and more pure and transparent the window, the more abundant the light. So it is with the soul. A dirty, dark and opaque soul resists the light or receives the light only partially. Whereas a pure soul captures the Light, Jesus the Light of the world in utter brilliance!

2.    FIRST, LAST, AND ONLY HOLY COMMUNION.  Strive to avoid at all costs the ever-prevalent danger of receiving Holy Communion in a mechanical, perfunctory, routine, flippant, and nonchalant fashion.  The real danger of easy access and availability of Daily Mass and Holy Communion is to simply take the Lord for granted. In many sacristies, especially in convents of nuns or retreat Houses there is a sign, better yet a “Warning-sign” with the following words:  “Priest, man of God, say this Mass as if it were your first Mass, last Mass and only Mass.”  This should be our approach and attitude of we are in the habit of receiving Holy Communion frequently maybe even on a daily basis—to receive Holy Communion every time as if it were our first Holy Communion, last Holy Communion and only Holy Communion!  Indeed how much more fervent would our reception of Holy Communion be!!!

3.    OFFERTORY/ THE COMMON PRIESTHOOD OF THE FAITHFUL.  Vatican II points out that there are two forms of the priesthood: the ministerial priesthood (those who have the Sacrament of Holy Orders), and the common priesthood of the faithful—those who are baptized into Christ Jesus.  The lay-faithful are exhorted to live out their common priesthood by offering themselves to Jesus, in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, with the celebrating priest. All the faithful should offer at least one personal intention in every Mass; however they could offer hundreds or even thousands of intentions. Actually, the more we offer the more we will receive, the more the world will receive.  Jesus told us: “Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”(Mt. 7:7) We receive little because we trust little and ask for little. The sky is the limits!  Get into the habit of coming before Holy Mass has started and offer yourself, your heart with countless intentions.  The more we ask, the more pleased God is and the more we will receive!

4.     RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION WITH OUR LADY. The Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta teaches us a very beautiful prayer to Mary and Jesus. The essence of the prayer is the following:  “Mary give me your most pure and Immaculate Heart so that I can receive and love more ardently the Heart of Jesus.”  This prayer can easily be applied to the reception of Holy Communion.  Before receiving Holy Communion, beg Mary Immaculate to give you her most pure, fervent and loving heart so that you can receive her Son Jesus with burning love in Holy Communion.  The fruits of your Holy Communions will start to skyrocket!

5.    THANKSGIVING AFTER RECEIVING JESUS IN HOLY COMMUNION.  It would be totally rude and out of place if you were to be invited to a meal or banquet in a family-home and you were to gobble down the food voraciously, rush out the back door without even saying “Thank you”, for the meal! This would be simply uncivilized!  This can happen after the reception of Holy Communion. We receive Holy Communion and rush out the door of the Church as if our pants were on fire!  Rude?  You bet you!  It is recorded in the life of the holy and saintly priest Saint Phillip Neri that he noticed a sad phenomenon! For several days in a row right after Holy Communion he noticed a man rushing out the door without a moment of thanksgiving. Neri had an idea.   The following day after this man had received Holy Communion Father Phillip actually followed him out into the streets of Rome, following two altar servers who were carrying lighted candles. Startled, the man turned around and saw the two altar servers with their candles lighted and lifted on high, with the priest dressed in Liturgical vestments following him most reverently.  St. Phillip explained to the man that he thought he would do a Eucharistic procession through the streets of Rome. This man who had Jesus in his heart right after Holy Communion was the living monstrance and tabernacle of the Eucharistic Jesus.  Understanding the message, from that day on the man would stay after Mass to render the Eucharistic Lord a worthy thanksgiving.  Therefore, after receiving Jesus at Mass in Holy Communion let us spend some time afterward thanking, praising, adoring, worshipping and loving the Eucharistic Lord. Indeed these are the most important and precious moments in the life of man on earth! 

Monday, October 26, 2015


Can you name these saints???

Every year the Church joyfully celebrates ALL SAINTS DAY—Nov 1st!  A classical ecclesiastical model divides the Church into three parts, but all belonging to the same family of God: the Church Triumphant, the saints in heaven, the Church Militant, those living soldiers on earth, fighting for their salvation, and finally, the Church Suffering—the souls in Purgatory, already saints but in need of purification to attain Heaven.

This article will focus on the CHURCH TRIUMPHANT—the saints in heaven who have victoriously triumphed over their three primary enemies—the devil and his lies, the world and its seductions, and the flesh and its imperious disordered cravings! Following are ten precise insights into the most captivating, heroic, appealing, joyful, tremendous people that walked on planet earth and now are permanent residents in heaven—God’s friends, but also your friends and mine—the SAINTS!

Saint Monica and Saint Augustine
1.    SAINTS NOT BORN SAINTS.  A somewhat prevalent error is to believe that the saints were actually born saints. Nothing could be further from the truth. All saints are conceived and born with Original Sin, with the bad tendencies or inclinations that they must overcome and dominate relying on their own efforts but especially the grace of God. Actually quite a few of the great saints had lived very sinful past lives before their conversion, to name a few:  the Good thief, Mary Magdalene, St. Augustine, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Mary of Egypt, and St. Margaret of Cortona—known as the “Second Magdalene”.

2.    YOU ARE CALLED TO BE A SAINT.  Often when teaching boys Confirmation I will ask how many of them want to become saints, and more often than not nobody will raise their hands.  Then I ask them how many want to avoid hell and go to heaven and then all hands go up. Then I go on to explain that in heaven we have the Triune-God (The Blessed Trinity), The Blessed Virgin Mary, the angels and the saints. So, for you to go to heaven you have to become a saint!

3.    JESUS COMMANDED US TO BE SAINTS!   Listen to the words of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who is our model and especially in holiness of life: “Be holy as your heavenly Father is holy.”(Mt. 5:48)   Grammatically the tense is the imperative, which means that this is a command from God Himself. If God commands us to do something then He will give us the sufficient grace to carry it out!   God never commands the impossible, but always gives us sufficient grace. Jesus said to Saint Paul:  “My grace is sufficient for you.” Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta expressed this truth succinctly: “Sanctity is not the privilege of the few, but the duty of all.” The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, chapter V is “The universal call to holiness.”  This is a must read for all who truly desire to become saints—check it out!

4.    SAINTS COME FROM ALL OVER AND ALL PLACES AND ALL CULTURES.  Sanctity is not limited to one time, place, culture or ethnic group. Sanctity is open to all; rather, sanctity is commanded by Jesus for all.  Leaf through an anthology of saints and you will find the most diverse backgrounds and experiences. Some are nuns; others are priests, Bishops or Pope. Still others are married couples, like in the case of the parents of St. Therese Lisieux--- Saints Louis and Zelie Martin. Still others have embraced the single lay vocation like Giuseppe Moscati and Blessed Giorgio Frascati. Some have died very young—like Dominic Savio (14) and Maria Goretti (11) years of age. Then there are those who have lived long lives—Saint Alphonsus lived into his nineties; Saint Anthony of the desert as well as St. John the Evangelist lived into their hundreds!   Some died of sickness and many died as martyrs.  Therefore sanctity cuts across and transcends time, place, culture, gender, intellectual formation or lack of it. All are called to become saints and all are given the grace!

The saints in heaven
5.     THE SAINTS AND THE CHURCH TRIUMPHANT.   The saints can be classified as being in the Church Triumphant. They have fought the good fight and they have run the good race and now they are in heaven crowned by God victoriously for having conquered sin in their lives and for having relied and trusted in God’s infinite grace and his fathomless mercy.   Jesus said to Saint Faustina that the worst of all sinners can be the greatest saints if they simply trust in God’s infinite mercy.  We celebrate their Feast day every year November 1st—The Solemnity of All Saints!

6.    THE SAINTS AND THEIR HELP TO US.   The saints can help us in many ways. However, two aspects of their presence can help us beyond measure. First, is their power of intercession. The saints can intercede for us before the throne of God and attain from God for us necessary graces to help us to avoid sin and practice virtue so that we can arrive at where they are now—the Kingdom of Heaven, the House of the Eternal Father.  Second, the saints leave us from their lives a powerful example that we are challenged to imitate in our own lives.   Holy examples have an appeal and attraction that draws us almost like a magnetic pull!  How often have saints been inspired by saints that lived before them to follow on the demanding pathway of holiness???  A perfect example is Saint Ignatius of Loyola who while recovering from being shot in the legs by a cannon ball in the Battle of Pamplona started to read the lives of the saints. He broke out in an enthusiastic cry:  “If Francis can do it, so can I!”  Then, “If Dominic can do it then so can I.” Saint Ignatius of Loyola was inspired to become a great saint by reading of the these holy men and women of God who lived before him.

Saint Ignatius reading the lives of the saints
7.    READ THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS.    Therefore, it can be an enormous stimulus and motivation for all of us to read the lives of the saints. This will fuel our engines and give us abundant food for thought on the path we must undertake to arrive at heroic virtue and holiness and to become the saints that God is calling us to be! Why not buy the life of a saint that appeals to you or a text that has a short summary of various lives of the saints and read a few minutes every night before retiring for the night!

8.    QUALITIES OF SAINTS.  When the Holy Father officially canonizes a saint, after the required miracles after the saint has died (usually three) the Pope is stating that this person practiced heroic virtue. Despite Original sin and possibly a sinful past, the saint has decided to give up sin and fight against it. But even more important the saint has decided, with the help of God’s grace, to practice virtue, better yet heroic virtue. In concrete this means that he practices virtue in his daily life constantly; not by fits and starts or only when he feels like it. No!  There is a constant living out of heroic virtue, the practice of virtues that reflect sanctity of life. What virtues you might ask?  ALL!!!  Faith, hope, love, patience, purity, meekness, obedience, penance and mortification, fortitude, prayerfulness and mercy, and many other virtues…

St. Philip Neri-- one of the most joyful saints!
9.    JOY AND THE SAINTS.  One of the most evident signs of the presence of God in our lives is that of JOY!!!  Saint Paul in his letter to the Philippians exhorts us with these words:  “Rejoice in the Lord, I tell you again: rejoice in the Lord.” (Phil 4:4) Saints are not sad-faced, morose, pouty, bitter, or as Pope Francis says: “Funeral-faced” or “Cara de vinagre” (Vinegar faced). On the contrary, the saints are filled with the Holy Spirit and are overflowing and effusive of joy. Joy is one of the most clear and evident fruits of the Holy Spirit active and operative in the lives of the saints.

10. OUR LADY: QUEEN OF ALL THE SAINTS.    Our Lady is the Queen of all of the saints.  Our Lady is the most holy and the greatest of the saints. It is very difficult to find any saint that did not have a tender, loving, fervent and ardent love and devotion to Our Lady. Her prayers and example have motivated many men and women to pursue the path of holiness. For that reason we call out:  “Holy Mary Mother of God pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”  May Our Lady’s prayers encourage you to become a great saint, starting right now!

Monday, October 19, 2015


St. Anthony Mary Claret

Pope Francis constantly is challenging a world enveloped in the globalization of indifference that missionary zeal must be enkindled. Jesus reminds us with a heavy heart:  “The harvest is rich, but the laborers are few.”

One of the powerful motivational forces that can move us to do great things for the Lord, to work strenuously in the vineyard of the Lord for the purpose of saving souls is to read, meditate and to imitate the zeal of the saints.

MISSIONARY SAINTS: GET TO KNOW THEM!  The Church presents a plethora of noble and holy personalities that we call “Saints” who have given their lives to gather in the harvest of souls as missionaries. Let us mention just a few: St. Paul, St. Francis Xavier, St. Peter Claver, St. Peter Chanel, St. Damien of Molokai, St Frances Cabrini, St. John Neuman, Blessed Francis Seelos, St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. Francis de Sales, St. Anthony Mary Claret, and St. Therese of Lisieux.

These brilliant stars that shine so brightly in the firmament of heaven (using an image of Hans Von Balthasar) had two things in common: a burning love for God and an insatiable love for what God loves most—the salvation of immortal souls. Indeed the saints understood the teachings of the angelic Doctor, Saint Thomas Aquinas:  “One soul is worth more than the whole created universe.” One immortal soul, and that is your soul and mine, was saved by the most Precious Blood that Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ poured out to the last drop as He hung on the cross that first Good Friday!

Indeed if we truly love God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength, as the Gospel challenges us to do (Lk. 10:27), then we should love what God loves most: THE SALVATION OF IMMORTAL SOULS!!!

We would like to pay tribute to one missionary saint who should be taken as a splendid model for our modern world, whose feast day we celebrate every year on October 24: SAINT ANTHONY MARY CLARET.(1807-1870)

This man accomplished extraordinary miracles of grace because of his great union with Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.   His accomplishments should inspire all followers of Christ to move from a slow, mediocre, tepid and lukewarm state to fire for the love of God. Remember the last words Saint Ignatius said to St. Francis Xavier before he embarked on his fervent missionary adventure: GO SET ALL ON FIRE!!!

St. Francis Xavier
One of the great hallmarks of the sanctity of this man of God, who was both priest and Bishop, was his tireless zeal for the ministry of the Word of God. May Saint Anthony encourage all deacons, priests, Bishops, as well as the laity to do all they can in their power to teach, preach and spread the Word of God.  This great missionary saint was keenly aware of one of the principle reasons for the falling and sinking into sin and the loss of souls was the widespread ignorance especially among so many Catholics.

Today in Europe, USA, and many other so called “Catholic countries” paganism is reining; agnosticism leading to atheism is spreading like wild-fire; even the growth and diffusion of satanic cults and the worship of the devil is becoming more and more prominent.  May Saint Anthony Mary Claret and his prayers launch us into a renewed desire to preach, to teach, to catechize, to evangelize—in a word, to be true missionaries. Time is of the essence!

The Fire burning in his heart
MISSION PREACHING!  Saint Anthony Claret never wearied as a fervent missionary to preach in season and out of season. He did it all!  He taught children catechism. He preached popular missions to the adults, aware of the fact that the first catechists in the family as well as teachers should be the parents!  Claret would preach retreats to Religious nuns; how important is the renewal of Religious life in this year dedicated to the Religious Life. He taught priests and eventually became the founder of the Claretians, servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

PURPOSE OF HIS PREACHING.  The purpose of his preaching was always the same—to glorify God, the conversion of sinners, the perseverance of the just and the ultimate salvation of their immortal souls.

A TYPICAL POPULAR MISSION: THE MEANS ST. ANTHONY MARY CLARET UTILIZED—below is a list of means that Saint Anthony Mary Claret would use in his missions to praise God and save souls. Let us pray for a renewed missionary zeal in the Church right now!

1.    PRAYER.   Claret, following in the footsteps of the prior missionary saints, relied heavily on the tool of prayer. He would pray for his missions.  Furthermore he would try to get as many people to pray for his mission as possible: children, nuns, lay-people, the sick and suffering, all possible categories. The fervent and abundant prayer that preceded his missions would water the apostolic soil for an abundant harvest.

2.    INSTRUCTING CHILDREN.  Jesus said: “Let the children come to me for the Kingdom of God is as such as these.” He would teach the little ones about the love of God then he would give them a holy card and the following day the parents would show up at the mission. Like Claret, today more than ever we must teach and catechize the children while they are young; if not the world, the media and modern education will poison their little minds.

3.    ADULT INSTRUCTION. Claret insisted on teaching the adults.  They are the primary teachers of their children. However, nobody can give what he does not have. Could it be that since the second Vatican Council that one of the greatest failures of the Church has been in a failure to educate the adults and parents in their catholic faith? Professionals must undergo constant ongoing formation; call it PERMANENT FORMATION.  Should not adult Catholics pursue a constant ongoing formation??? If you like should we not be intent upon forming “Professional Catholics” in the faith? As Doctors and Lawyers and Teachers must know their trade, Catholics should know and love Jesus and be able to bring Him to others, starting in their own families

Fulton Sheen: the Holy Hour is the Hour of Power
4.    SERMONS.  St. Anthony was a superb preacher of the word of God. Let us pray for priests that they make a constant effort to grow in their desire and capacity to preach the word of God to the hungry people. Jesus said: “Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.”(Mt. 4:4)  Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen offers one of the keys to success for priests to accomplish powerful and efficacious preaching—the HOUR OF POWER.   May priests and Bishops accept the challenge of Sheen and undertake to make a daily Holy Hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Fire will issue forth from the heart and lips of such a priest!!!

5.    THE IGNATIAN EXERCISES. Having spent some time in formation with the Jesuits, Saint Anthony Mary Claret was totally convinced of the power and efficacy of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola to help many to order the disordered in their lives, to learn the art of meditation and contemplation and to purify their conscience by means of a well-prepared and profound Sacramental Confession.

6.    BOOKS AND PAMPHLETS. Part and parcel of the preaching and missions of Claret was the distribution of books as well as pamphlets. Before arriving at the place of mission Saint Anthony would study the terrain to see what was most needed spiritually and morally, then he would distribute especially short pamphlets to educate and meet the need! How many souls have been converted through the reading of good literature? Saint Ignatius of Loyola is just one of many! He read the lives of the saints and felt motivated to imitate their holy lives.

7.    EVERYDAY CONVERSATIONS.  Another means to teach, catechize and evangelize for Saint Anthony Mary Claret was the simple device of talking individually to anybody that God put in his path about God and the spiritual life. Every soul he saw as precious in God’s eyes and he was ready and willing to do all to bring every individual soul back to God by talking about God and the spiritual life. Look at your life now and the many contacts that you have. Most likely there are people that you meet on a daily basis that are confused, muddled, depressed and ignorant of all that refers to God and the salvation of their souls. Maybe, in imitation of Saint Anthony Mary Claret, you are the one to lead this person to the Light, and that light is Jesus Christ the Light of the world!!!

Let us conclude with an excerpt, taken from the Liturgy of the Hours (October 24th) from a preaching of the great Saint Anthony Mary Claret. Hopefully these words will enkindle in your heart an ardent desire to make God known and loved and an ardent desire to save immoral souls:

Claret's love for the Immaculate Heart of Mary
“For myself, I say this to you: The man who burns with the fire of divine love is a son of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and wherever he goes, he enkindles that flame; he desires and works with all his strength to inflame all men with the fire of God’s love. Nothing deters him: he rejoices in poverty, he labors strenuously; he welcomes hardships; he laughs off false accusations; he rejoices in anguish. He thinks only of how he might follow Jesus Christ and imitate him by his prayers, his labors, his sufferings, and by caring always and only for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.”

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


The following are points that can help you to make a more fruitful meditation/contemplation of the tremendous mystery of the Annunciation/Incarnation of the Son of God.  All due to the generous “Yes” given by Mary to God through the announcement of the Archangel Gabriel. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (Jn. 1:14)

1.    Biblical Passage (Rosary is bible-based prayer (Lk. 1:26-38) Mondays and Saturdays--- the day of the week suggested.

2.    FRUIT SUGGESTED: Humility of heart, mind and soul like Mary.

3.    GRACE IN GENERAL:  From St. Pope JPII: to contemplate the FACE of Jesus through the eyes and heart of Mary. She pondered all in her IHM.

4.    IMMACULATE CONCEPTION—she is the Immaculate Conception. Kolbe calls her “The Immaculata.”  Explain…

5.    JOY (Joyful mysteries) Beg for the grace to be joyful like Mary. Pope Francis insists on joy; wrote the Apostolic Exhortation: the joy of the Gospel.

6.    JOY—Desire of all human hearts (Aquinas). Why so much sadness in hearts and faces?  Looking for joy in the wrong place. Examples: joke of Pastor and throw all the beer, wine, vodka, in the river. Let us go to the river joyfully. Cannot find it in vino and casino. Looking for it in the wrong place.

7.    NO TO SIN.  Sin takes away our joy! Mary is the I.C. Never sinned. Closer we get to I.C. and pray to her the more we distance ourselves from sin. Sin is anti-God and agua- fiesta (Kill-joy!)

8.    YES to God. Like Mary, true joy will come only when we learn to say “Yes” to God.  Example of Jacques Phillipe and “yes” to the inspiration to visit the chapel.

9.    ANGEL GABRIEL—Try to contemplate and imagine the scene.  Actually this is the 1st part of the Hail Mary.  Gabriel means power of God and is the Patron of modern communication. (Blessed Pope Paul VI). He can teach us to communicate the truth with love.

10. ANUNCIATION—announces the good news to Mary that she will have a child.   The title for the 1st Mystery is the Annunciation!

11.MARY’S YOUTH AND PURITY. Mary was very young and pure. Let us pray for our children and young people so that through Mary’s example and prayer they will maintain or recover their purity.

12.SILENCE OF MARY—teaches us the importance of prayer being supported by silence. Elijah on the mountain… Pope Benedict in NYC seminary: too many noises for young people. Must have silence so as to hear the Word of God like Mary.

13.QUESTION OF MARY: How will she have a child since she does not know man??? Why? Mary had made a vow of perpetual virginity to God—a serious promise—and she did not want to break her promise. We should pray for the grace to be faithful to our words and promises like Mary.

14.VIRGINITY—Mary wanted to give her whole self to God, her entire being.

15.SIGN—God announces to her through the angel a sign, a miracle: her elderly cousin is expecting a child and is already in her 6th month. God can work miracles in any time and place according to His holy will.

16.NOTHING IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD.  Very important statement. TRUST!!! We should trust that God can do miracles in us and others. Lourdes during the Eucharistic procession at dusk! Beg God to work miracle sin your life, especially miracles in the order of grace.

17. THE VIRGINAL CONCEPTION.   This conception would come about through the power and the over-shadowing of the Holy Spirit. Mary always had a deep union with the Holy Spirit; she can help us. Mary is the Daughter of God the Father, the Mother of God the Son and the Mystical Spouse of the Holy Spirit. Not to be confused with the Immaculate Conception!

18.TWO CROWNS OF MARY: VIRGINITY AND MATERNITY. Kolbe was given the two crowns from Mary: Purity, and martyrdom!

19. YES/FIAT!!! Mary says yes to God; may we learn to say yes to God and no to sin. If done, we will experience great joy and be able to share this joy with others.

20. OVERSHADOWING. Imagine Jesus descending from heaven to earth and entering the depths of the being of Mary!

21.INCARNATION!  Most important moment in the history of the world—and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us(Jn. 1:14—Prologue)

22. MARY AND HOLY COMMUNION.   JPII makes the parallel between the “Yes” of Mary and the Incarnation and the “Amen” we say when we receive Holy Communion. Both result in receiving Jesus into our hearts, into the very depths of our souls!  Mary can help us to make better Holy Communions.

23. MARIAN APPARITIONS—she asks for a Church so that Jesus can come through the Sacraments, especially in Mass and Holy Communion.

24. JPII says that Marian Sanctuaries are spiritual clinics—healing and nourishment through the Sacraments.

25. SALVATION!  The name of the Child is Jesus. Meaning: Savior, “He will come to save the people of their sins. Let us render abundant thanks to Mary for saying “Yes” to God and “Yes” to God for the salvation of our immortal souls. Your soul is worth more than the whole created universe!