Saint Bakhita-Marriage week
Sirach, Chapter 32, Verse 16-18
16 Whoever FEARS the LORD will understand what is right, and out of obscurity he will draw forth a course of action. 17 The lawless turn aside warnings and distort the law to suit their purpose. 18 The sensible will not neglect direction; the proud and insolent are deterred by no fear.
Our Lord asks us to lead, follow or get out of the way. Our Lord tells us, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Therefore, I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.” (Mt. 12:30-31)
If you are a leader start leading in the church; follow where you can and do not hinder the work of the Holy Spirit.
Thomas Aquinas lists, or has responded to, six sins that go against the Holy Spirit:
- despair: which consists in thinking that one's own malice is greater than Divine Goodness, as the Master of the Sentences teaches,
- presumption: if a man wants to obtain glory without merits or pardon without repentance
- resistance to the known truth,
- envy of a brother's spiritual good, i.e., of the increase of Divine grace in the world,
- impenitence, i.e., the specific purpose of not repenting a sin,
- obstinacy, whereby a man, clinging to his sin, becomes immune to the thought that the good searched in it is a very little one.
Thomas Aquinas explains that the unforgivability of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit means that it removes the entrance to these means of salvation; however, it cannot hinder God in taking away this obstacle by way of a miracle.
More Alive, More Human
Do not be afraid of holiness. It will take away none
of your energy, vitality or joy. On the contrary, you will become what the
Father had in mind when he created you, and you will be faithful to your
deepest self. To depend on God, sets us free from every form of enslavement and
leads us to recognize our great dignity. We see this in Saint Josephine
Bakhita: “Abducted and sold into slavery at the tender age of seven, she
suffered much at the hands of cruel masters. But she came to understand the
profound truth that God, and not man, is the true Master of every human being,
of every human life. This experience became a source of great wisdom for this
humble daughter of Africa”. To the extent that each Christian grows in
holiness, he or she will bear greater fruit for our world. The bishops of West
Africa have observed that “we are being called in the spirit of the New
Evangelization to be evangelized and to evangelize through the empowering of
all you, the baptized, to take up your roles as salt of the earth and light of
the world wherever you find yourselves”. Do not be afraid to set your sights
higher, to allow yourself to be loved and liberated by God. Do not be afraid to
let yourself be guided by the Holy Spirit. Holiness does not make you less
human, since it is an encounter between your weakness and the power of God’s
grace. For in the words of León Bloy, when all is said and done, “the only
great tragedy in life, is not to become a saint”.
Saint Bakhita-Slave to Saint-Quotes
· "If I were to meet the slave-traders who kidnapped me and even those who tortured me, I would kneel and kiss their hands, for if that did not happen, I would not be a Christian and Religious today... The Lord has loved me so much: we must love everyone... we must be compassionate!" ~ Josephine Bakhita
· "Seeing the sun, the moon and the stars, I said to myself, 'Who could be the Master of these beautiful things?' I felt a great desire to see him, to know him and to pay him homage." ~ Josephine Bakhita
· "The Lord has loved me so much: we must love everyone...we must be compassionate!" ~ Josephine Bakhita
Lord, if I could fly to my people and tell them of your goodness at the top of
my voice, oh how many souls would be won!" ~ Josephine Bakhita
Marriage Week-Male-Female Complementarity
God created man in his image in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them. (Gn 1:27) The two creation stories in the book of Genesis communicate two important truths about the identity of man and woman and the relationship between them. In the first account, God creates both male and female at the same time and in the divine image. This act completes creation, and God judges it to be ―very good (Gn 1:31). In this way, Sacred Scripture affirms the fundamental equality and dignity of man and woman as persons created in God ‘s image. The second creation account emphasizes that both sexes are necessary for God ‘s plan. Having created Adam, God says, ―It is not good for the man to be alone (Gn 2:18).
So, God creates a helpmate who is suitable for him and matches him. ―Helpmate (ezer) is a word reserved in the Bible not for inferiors but most often for God himself, who is Israel ‘s ―helper.
Indeed, after God creates all of the animals and brings them to Adam to name, it becomes clear that none of them is―the suitable partner for the man (Gn 2:20). Then God puts Adam under a deep sleep and, using one of his ribs, builds up a woman for him as a suitable partner or helpmate. When he sees the woman, Adam cries out in wondrous joy: This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called―woman, for out of ―her man this one has been taken. (Gn 2:23) Adam and Eve were literally made for each other. Man and woman have been made to come together in the union of marriage. The text of Genesis continues: That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body [flesh] (Gn 2:24).
Marriage, this clinging together of husband and wife as one flesh, is based on the fact that man and woman are both different and the same. They are different as male and female, but the same as human persons who are uniquely suited to be partners or helpmates for each other. The difference between man and woman, however, cannot be restricted to their bodies, as if the body could be separated from the rest of the human person. The human person is a union of body and soul as a single being. Man and woman are two different ways of being a human person.
While man and woman are different, their differences serve to relate them to each other. They are not different in a parallel way, as two lines that never meet. Man and woman do not have separate destinies. They are related to each other precisely in their differences. The differences between male and female are complementary. Male and female are distinct bodily ways of being human, of being open to God and to one another—two distinct yet harmonizing ways of responding to the vocation to love.
While human persons are more than biological organisms, the roots of marriage can be seen in the biological fact that a man and a woman can come together as male and female in a union that has the potential for bringing forth another human person. This kind of union fills the need for the continuation of the human race. Since human beings exist at more than a biological level, however, this union has further personal and spiritual dimensions. Marriage does not exist solely for the reproduction of another member of the species, but for the creation of a communion of persons. To form a communion of persons is the vocation of everyone.
As Pope John Paul II teaches, all human persons are created in the image of God, who is a communion of love of three persons, and thus all are called to live in a communion of self-giving love: ―to say that man is created in the image and likeness of God means that man is called to exist ̳for ‘others, to become a gift.
Marriage, however, is a unique communion of persons. In their intimate union as male and female, the spouses are called to exist for each other. Just as Genesis describes Eve as a helper for Adam, we can see that in marriage, a husband and wife are meant to help each other through self-giving. ―In the ̳unity of the two, ‘man and woman are called from the beginning not only to exist side by side ‘or together, ‘but they are also called to exist mutually one for the other. ‟This communion of persons has the potential to bring forth human life and thus to produce the family, which is itself another kind of communion of persons and which is the origin and foundation of all human society. It is precisely the difference between man and woman that makes possible this unique communion of persons, the unique part8nership of life and love that is marriage. A man and woman united in marriage as husband and wife serve as a symbol of both life and love in a way that no other relationship of human persons can.
Prayer for Married Couples
Almighty and eternal
God, You blessed the union of married couples so that they might reflect the
union of Christ with his Church: look with kindness on them. Renew their
marriage covenant, increase your love in them, and strengthen their bond of
peace so that, with their children, they may always rejoice in the gift of your
blessing. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen
Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel
· Plan winter fun: