Luke, Chapter 18, Verse 1-8
1 Then he told them a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, 2 “There was a judge in a certain town who neither FEARED God nor respected any human being. 3 And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, ‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’ 4 For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, ‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, 5 because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.’” 6 The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. 7 Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? 8 I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Will the Son of Man find faith on earth when he comes? We must remain faithful to the gospel of Christ and stand with the Holy Catholic Church. We must continue to ask Him to come to our assistance against the Philistines of our age. We must not fail to call out to Him night and day to save us from the wicked and to pray for their conversion and for the souls of the Martyrs of freedom that they have made. Our enemy is not men but the devil and those are in his control. We must never become to weary or afraid to take the gospel to those places that are most devoid of faith, hope and love.
“Only those that see the invisible can do the impossible.” Tyrese
Mother Cabrini, the Saint of Italians in America
Frances Xavier Cabrini, born in the province of Lodi in Lombardy, eventually came to the United States toward the end of the nineteenth century. It was due to total serendipity that she became the saint for Italian immigrants in this country. It is also a sweet paradox that she, from the north, arrived during the great wave of southern Italian emigration to the United States. Having taken her vows in 1877, three years later she and six other nuns founded the religious institute Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. As we read earlier, wanting to provide help to immigrants beginning in the U.S., Pope Leo XIII suggested instead that she go west, where, according to him, the already thousands of Italian immigrants in the U.S. were in great need of assistance. Mother Cabrini and six others arrived in the United States in 1889 and hit the ground running, so to speak. As they did in Italy, here, too, Mother Cabrini and her team founded the requisite housing, a series of schools and orphanages, and the necessary hospitals that chiefly served the Italian immigrant communities. Actions supported by the Church, for sure, but actions also emblematic of what Italians can do in order to help other Italians in need.
In all, they founded close to 70 institutions of all types in numerous cities throughout the United States — Chicago and New York the two principal cities associated with Mother Cabrini today, as well as Cabrini College in Pennsylvania. Undoubtedly, Mother Cabrini was an exemplar of all things possible and thus a symbol of hope for all. She herself had crossed the ocean in 1889 and, in so doing, had followed the same route that thousands of other immigrants had and were taking. Privileged as she was in her role as nun — and let us underscore at this juncture her gender — she was a woman of great acumen, having succeeded in overcoming great obstacles of the time and demonstrating how all things were possible. In this sense, then, she was also an example of how one can get things done and, more important, how we can still today — and let us say should — open doors for all people who are in need of such assistance.
Her legacy clearly lives on both within and beyond the Italian/ American community. Italian Americans continue to serve and donate to many Catholic and social institutions today, at times even beyond. If there is one thing to bemoan, it is that her medical institutions of New York — Columbus Hospital and the Italian Hospital, which eventually became the Cabrini Medical Center — could not be sustained and consequently closed in 2008. Nonetheless, Mother Cabrini remains that shining light not only for all those whom she helped, but to be sure, that exemplar par excellence that we, today, should emulate for the dedication so necessary to get things done for the better good.
Things to Do:
· If you live in or pass through Colorado, visit the western Mother Cabrini Shrine.
· Read more about St. Francis Cabrini.
· Prepare an Italian dinner in honor of St. Francis Cabrini. For dessert make a ship cake (symbolizing her missionary work), a heart cake (she founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart) or a Book Cake (symbolizing her founding a religious order).
· Say the Little Rosary of St. Francis Xavier Cabrini.
· Read the Encyclical, On Consecrated Virginity, by Pius XII and if you are single consider the possibility of a vocation to this life.
· Read the Pope Benedict XVI's Address for World Day of Migrants and Refugees, 2007.
· If you know someone who has immigrated to this country, try to help them feel welcome, perhaps by inviting them over for the Italian dinner.
Purgatory is Temporary
Purgatory is not eternal. Its duration varies according to the sentence pronounced at each particular judgment. It may be prolonged for centuries in the case of the guiltier souls, or of those who, being excluded from the Catholic communion, are deprived of the suffrages of the Church, although by the divine mercy they have escaped hell. But the end of the world, which will be also the end of time, will close forever the place of temporary expiation. God will know how to reconcile His justice and His goodness in the purification of the last members of the human race, and to supply by the intensity of the expiatory suffering what may be wanting in duration. But, whereas a favorable sentence at the particular judgment admits of eternal beatitude being suspended and postponed and leaves the bodies of the elect to the same fate as those of the reprobate; at the universal judgment, every sentence, whether for heaven or for hell, will be absolute, and will be executed immediately and completely.
Let us, then, live in expectation of the solemn hour, when "the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God." He that is to come will come, and will not delay, as the Doctor of the Gentiles reminds us; His arrival will be sudden, as that of a thief, we are told, not only by St. Paul, but also by the prince of the apostles and the beloved disciple; and these in turn are but echoing the words of our Lord Himself: "As lightning cometh out of the east and appears even unto the west: so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be."
Things to Do
· Say a prayer for the Poor Souls; for instance, recite the Little Litany of the Holy Souls.
· Offer up some small sacrifice for the relief of the most abandoned soul. "It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins" (Mc. 12:46).