The Building of a Civilization of Love

The third area of commitment that comes with love is that of daily life with its multiple relationships. I am particularly referring to family, studies, work and free time. Dear young friends, cultivate your talents, not only to obtain a social position, but also to help others to “grow”. Develop your capacities, not only in order to become more “competitive” and “productive”, but to be “witnesses of charity”. In addition to your professional training, also make an effort to acquire religious knowledge that will help you to carry out your mission in a responsible way. In particular, I invite you to carefully study the social doctrine of the Church so that its principles may inspire and guide your action in the world. May the Holy Spirit make you creative in charity, persevering in your commitments, and brave in your initiatives, so that you will be able to offer your contribution to the building up of the “civilisation of love”. The horizon of love is truly boundless: it is the whole world!

- Pope Benedict XVI, WYD 2007 MESSAGE, Growing in love each day


3:12. Not as though I had already attained, or were already perfect: but I follow after, if I may by any means apprehend, wherein I am also apprehended by Christ Jesus.
3:13. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended. But one thing I do: Forgetting the things that are behind and stretching forth myself to those that are before,
3:14. I press towards the mark, to the prize of the supernal vocation of God in Christ Jesus.


-St. Paul to Philippians

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Paralytic (Luke 5) and the Communion of Saints



1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

That is today's 'quote of the day' on myCatholic.com. But this day has been even more special to me. I experienced the communion of saints in a very particular way.

Yesterday, as I was praying that rosary of the Seven Sorrows. I realize more of the mysteries of the human heart. Somehow the Lord explained to me how graces are gained by a meditation on the suffering of Mary. If we love Jesus we have to be concerned with his mother as well. When a person like me review how much she has been good to me. I can't just seat and remain indifferent. I have a very long and rich experience with Our Lady. Before I personally consecrate myself to her in many ways, I think my father consecrated me to her when I was born. I know he did it to my little sisters. Plus, he always put on our neck a miraculous medal specially when we were in danger (like during the Rwandan Genocide). But I personally experienced her direct influence on me when she saved me from a very near death. Both times my family thought I was surely dead, but I implored her help and she came for me. In addition to that she called me in her wonderful Schoenstatt family: a grace I don't know how I can describe. Despite all this and many more, I never really understood the mystery of her 'sacred heart' until yesterday when I was meditating on her sorrows. She pondered everything in her heart. She looked at the world from her heart. I realize more and more that life is more 'full' and purposeful when we look at other people's heart. We can notice their needs and related better to them. Titles like 'Queen of Peace' are connected to the human heart. Peace of heart: not worries, no regrets, peace of being forgiven, reconciliation, hope, more faith and confidence, etc.

What does all this have to do with today? Well, I decided to keep meditating on the sorrows and her relationship with me. Today, as I was going to work, I reached into the pocket of my coat and discovered a small prayer to St. Peter. I decided to pray it about five times. Then I prayed Hail Mary's in honor of the Seven Sorrows. After a while, I realise that I need help in praying to her. Just as I need her help to pray to Jesus, I realize I need somebody help to pray to her. So I kind scanned my mind looking for a saint to do the job. Blessed Pio showed up (EWTN was talking about him recently), and later I got St. John Vianney. Later, I remembered my guardian Angel. So I spent the day with these three guys. Asking one after an other to pray for me and with me.

At the end of the day. By an act of obedience and surrender to the will of God (I had something else in mind), I found my self watching Mother Angelica again. This time she is talking about the paralytic. Few months ago, I used to see myself paralyzed in my dreams frequently. Later, I realized that, before, I had asked God to help me to see how my spiritual state was like. In almost all those dreams, I had had to call 'Jesus' before I could become 'normal'. Jesus didn't show himself or speak loudly "get up and walk..." but I came to understand that God had been speaking to me through my dreams. I have other cases which proved later that they were special announcements.

When Mother Angelica started talking about the paralytic, I remembered a 'Healing Novena we are finishing with the Sr. Patricia (and other Franciscans praying for many people around the world...). But then I had a strong, sad feeling: " What if this is what my dreams were about !!!" Before I started wondering whether some 'men' took/are taking me to the Lord, Mother Angelica confirmed my suspicions with a small anecdote: " ...our protestant brothers have clever ways... I see many clever signs in front of their churches...one of them says: DON'T WAIT UNTIL SIX STRONG MAN CARRY YOU TO CHURCH... " Mother Angelica had immediately mentioned that we are very often spiritually paralyzed. You can tell like "when you confess the same sin over and over again..."

Well, I don't' generally miss weekly Mass, but I must be spiritual paralytic for a reason. Bad confessions would be the most likely reason. Going to confession often doesn't necessary mean spiritual health. It is really most important to do a good and deep examination of conscience. A simple scan may not show any sin. And we may think we are okay. But over many years, we may turn out to be spiritually paralyzed without realizing it. In my case it will requires some 'strong men' to realize it. Just look at these men who carried me to Jesus :):

  1. Blessed Padre Pio: famous for being a good confessor with capacity to read people conscience and minds...
  2. St. John Vianney of Ars: famous confessor who gave confessions for about 20+ every day
  3. My guardian Angel: well....
  4. St. Peter: power to bind and loose...
  5. The Blessed Mother
  6. My Schoenstatt friends who carry me always to the Shrine and many other saint-friends of mine...

Six strong men huh :)!!!

This is how wonderful is the communion of saints. The paralytic was healed because his friends (or people who know him) brought him to Jesus. It is even said that his physical paralyzes might have been related to his sins. Jesus healed his sins first, and then his physical illness next.

Well, I want to finish with a note of thanks for all those who pray for me. No matter how healthy we may feel, if we ask God, he can show us more areas where we need help. And we can be surprised that while we thought we were serving God we were also hurting him without knowing it. Then we can have the Lord's Peace. That's probably where the rosary of the Seven Sorrows is so powerful: a more powerful antivirus. Our Lady always promises us more peace, less time in purgatory, and other wonderful things. Protestants and and even catholics see this as nonsense... isn't this a result of some paralysis? We need all to participate in this wonderful communion of saints. Carrying each other in our hearts to the Lord. We never know what the next miracle will be.

Last, one of the Church Fathers reminds us of one word the Lord said to one of the paralytics he healed: "sin no more lest some worse thing happen unto you." This article was supposed to appear yesterday, but didn't because of some editing (which are still not over...). It looks like my publishing is getting worse...I need to review my schedule.

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