Sunday, 3 April 2016

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux -- A Loyal Son of Mary

Introduction :

The Feast of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux is on August 20.

"Virgin Mother humble yet the most exalted of all creatures" -- so begins the beautiful prayer to Our Lady that Dante ( in his Paradiso) placed on the lips of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, a Cistercian Monk.

He was considered a towering personality in his time because of his extraordinary devotion to Mother Mary.

He was the Abbot for 38 years of Clairvaux in France, the Monastery that he founded and placed it under the special patronage of Our Lady.

It was not surprising that it became a beacon of spirituality throughout Europe.

He truly deserves the title given to him "Marian Doctor".

Saint Bernard was an excellent theologian of the mystical life and has written several "Treatises" on Our Lady that have had a great influence on the History of Mariology.

The immensely popular and fervent prayer composed by him was entitled "The Memorare" which in Latin means "Remember".

It is the heartfelt petition of an adamant believer addressed to Mother Mary certain to be heard.

It is such a beautiful prayer that the Liturgy of the Church has incorporated it among the "Marian Antthems" to be recited at the end of her last official prayer before one retires at the end of the day namely "Compline".

Saint Bernard's Sermons :

In his celebrated sermons entitled "Missus Est" Saint Bernard offers a commentary on the Anunciation.

It is truly a "Summa Mariologica".

In one of those sermons, The Marian Doctor explains this very important concept.

God in his omnipotence willed the mystery of the Incarnation. Our Salvation depended on the free assent of Mother Mary.

For this reason, Humanity is immensely indebted to Mary's "YES".

Conclusion :

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux when speaking about Mother Mary develops themes borrowed from Sacred Scripture and the writings of the Church Fathers.

For Example, He says if Christ is the "Living Water" that gives God's Grace to sinners, Mother Mary collaborates in a unique way in this salvific work.

This is what he says about Mother Mary  in particular. "Her Virginity is commendable but her Humility" is very important and necessary.

Saint Bernard, in his teachings has support of "Marian Theologians" of his century namely the "Twelfth Century" and we must follow in his footsteps.

Credits and References :

"Bernard : Mary's Cantor"
By Roberto Spataro
Pages 28-30
Don Bosco's Madonna, Mumbai
August 2010, Vol - 12 N0- 4

 

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Saint Maximillian Kolbe -- A Saint for Today

Introduction :

The Feast of Saint Maximillian Kolbe is on August 14. He was beatified by Pope Paul, The Sixth on October 17, 1971.

This Saint was born on January 8, 1894 in Poland. His Catholic Parents brought him up to love God and Country.

From his earliest days, he developed a tender devotion to the Blessed Mother.

He joined the "Conventual Franciscan Friars" in Poland and dedicated himself to the Immaculata. His Religious Superiors sent him to study in Rome, where he obtained a "Doctorate" in Church Studies, Philosophy, and in Theology too.

On April 28, 1918 he was ordained to the "Conventual Franciscan Priesthood" and on that day he had a plan to convert the whole world to Christ and to his Mother Mary through dissemination of Catholic Literature.

Arrest by the Nazis and Martyrdom :

On February 17, 1941 he was arrested by the Gestapo -- the German Secret Police and he was whisked away to Auschwitz Concentration Camp.

He replaced a married man with children who was supposed to die and asked the Camp Commandant to have himself killed instead in place of the married man. This all happened on a fateful day in July 1941, when he was only 47 years old.

He was thrown into a filthy cell and left to starve to death without food and water. He was finally killed by the Camp Doctor when 'Poison' was injected into him. He was cremated in the camp's ovens. He died on the Vigil of Our Lady's Assumption into Heaven. He was truly a Saint and Martyr in more ways than one.

The entire life of Saint Maximillian Kolbe bore the stamp of Mother Mary. He called the "Miraculous Medal" his "Ammunition" and his Religious Habit often had its pockets filled with medals to be distributed to all he came across.

Saint Maximillian Kolbe considered himself "Our Lady's Knight" entirely at the disposal of the Immaculata to do with as she liked.

He founded a group called the "Militia of the Immaculata" to work for the conversion of sinners all over the world. He wanted to bring all souls into the "One True Catholic Church". This group attracts people even today in the 21st Century.

He wanted all souls to be holy, by loving God and loving Mother Mary through whose heart and hands all graces flow to us from Jesus Christ.

Saint Maximillian Kolbe fully understood Our Lady's role as "Mediatrix of all Graces" in relationship to Christ Jesus, her Son.

He never separated Mother Mary from Jesus Christ. While Jesus Christ is the source, the Author of Grace, Mary cooperates with Jesus Christ and intercedes for all our graces received day in and day out.

In giving all to Mother Mary one gives all to Jesus Christ.

Conclusion :

The Life of Saint Maximillian Kolbe, demonstrates the evil that exists in society, and his personal life demonstrates the potential goodness in modern society if its gifts and talents are correctly used.

Such was the Life of Saint Maximillian Kolbe that his life has led millions to understand true consecration and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of God's Mother as an excellent way of union with Christ Jesus.

Credits and References :

"The Mary Book"
Mother of Evangelism
by Father Robert Fox
  Chapter 11 Saint Maximillian Kolbe
  Pages 239 - 246
  Year 1992
  Fatima Family Apostolate

 

Friday, 1 April 2016

Corpus Christi Sunday 2016 -- A Day Dedicated to the Real Presence

Introduction :

The Feast of Corpus Christi Sunday is on May 29, 2016.

Our Lord Jesus Christ wanted one "Special Feast Day" set aside in honour of "His Real Presence" in the Blessed Sacrament.

For, He said as the Church progressed in time; Faith in "His Real Presence" would diminish to the point where it would need a "Feast Day" to remind the people that he is really and substantially present !!

"That the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ" and not just a symbol but the reality of Jesus Christ himself.

This is the divine enthusiasm which welcomes us in the Blessed Sacrament.

No Matter, if we are the greatest saint or the greatest sinner on earth, Jesus Christ welcomes us with all the "Divine Yearning" of his Eucharistic Heart.

Here, He puts a robe of glory on us. For each Holy Hour we make will leave us everlastingly more beautiful in Heaven because Jesus Christ bathes us in His own glory for every moment we spend in his Eucharistic Presence.

He remains hidden in the Blessed Sacrament because he asks us to come to Him in Faith.

Each Holy Hour, We make increases our union with Him and deepens the personal relationship we have with "Our Saviour".

Conclusion :

This Feast is the rejoicing of Angels and Saints because we responded to Our Lord's call to show our appreciation for the gift of His Total Presence in this Holy Sacrament where Day and Night He waits for us to visit him.

Credits and References :

1) "Corpus Christi and the Sacred Heart"
     Could You not watch one hour with me
     Newsletter N0- 19, June 1999
     By Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament

2)  Come to Me in the Blessed Sacrament
      A Book of 10 Eucharistic Holy Hours
      Pages 228-229

 

Catholicism in Myanmar -- One Province says it all

Catholicism arrived in Myanmar also known as Burma in the 15th Century along with Portuguese Missionaries and Explorers. But, It was not ...