The Two Hearts

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for June 23rd – June 28th, 2014
Ordinary Time

Liturgical texts here


“The Two Hearts” by Tommy Christopher Canning

 

IN my recent meditation, The Rising Morning Star, we see through Scripture and Tradition how the Blessed Mother has a significant role in not only the first, but second coming of Jesus. So intermingled are Christ and His mother that we often refer to their mystical union as the “Two Hearts” (whose feasts we celebrated this past Friday and Saturday). As a symbol and type of the Church, her role in these “end times” is likewise a type and sign of the Church’s role in bringing about the triumph of Christ over the satanic kingdom spreading over the world.

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Mother of All Nations

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for May 13th, 2014
Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Opt. Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima

Liturgical texts here


Our Lady of All Nations

 

 

THE unity of Christians, indeed all peoples, is the heartbeat and infallible vision of Jesus. St. John captured Our Lord’s cry in a beautiful prayer for the Apostles, and the nations that would hear their preaching:

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The Ark and the Son

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for January 28th, 2014
Memorial of St. Thomas Aquinas

Liturgical texts here

 

 

THERE are some interesting parallels in today’s Scriptures between the Virgin Mary and the Ark of the Covenant, which is an Old Testament type of Our Lady.

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The Blessed Prophecy

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for December 12th, 2013
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Liturgical texts here
(Selected: Rev 11:19a, 12:1-6a, 10ab; Judith 13; Luke 1:39-47)

Jump for Joy, by Corby Eisbacher

 

SOMETIMES when I’m speaking at conferences, I will look into the crowd and ask them, “Do you want to fulfill a 2000 year old prophecy, right here, right now?” The response is usually an excited yes! Then I’d say, “Pray with me the words”:

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The Great Gift

 

 

IMAGINE a small child, who has just learned to walk, being taken into a busy shopping mall. He is there with his mother, but does not want to take her hand. Every time he begins to wander, she gently reaches for his hand. Just as quickly, he pulls it away and continues to dart in any direction he wants. But he is oblivious to the dangers: the throngs of hurried shoppers who barely notice him; the exits that lead to traffic; the pretty but deep water fountains, and all the other unknown dangers that keep parents awake at night. Occasionally, the mother—who is always a step behind—reaches down and grabs a little hand to keep him from going into this store or that, from running into this person or that door. When he wants to go the other direction, she turns him around, but still, he wants to walk on his own.

Now, imagine another child who, upon entering the mall, senses the dangers of the unknown. She willingly lets the mother take her hand and lead her. The mother knows just when to turn, where to stop, where to wait, for she can see the dangers and obstacles ahead, and takes the safest path for her little one. And when the child is willing to be picked up, the mother walks straight ahead, taking the quickest and easiest path to her destination.

Now, imagine that you are a child, and Mary is your mother. Whether you are a Protestant or a Catholic, a believer or an unbeliever, she is always walking with you… but are you walking with her?

 

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I Will Be Your Refuge


“Flight Into Egypt”, Michael D. O’Brien

Joseph, Mary, and the Christ Child camp in the desert at night as they flee to Egypt.
The stark surroundings accentuate their plight,
the danger they are in, the darkness of the world.
As the mother nurses her child, the father stands watch and plays gently on a flute,
the music soothing the Child to sleep.
Their entire life is founded on mutual trust, love, sacrifice,
and abandonment to divine providence.  —Artist’s notes

 

 

WE can now see it coming into view: the edge of the Great Storm. Over the past seven years, the image of a hurricane is what the Lord has used to teach me about what is coming upon the world. The first half of the Storm are the “labor pains” that Jesus spoke of in Matthew and what St. John describes in more detail in Revelation 6:3-17:

You will hear of wars and reports of wars; see that you are not alarmed, for these things must happen, but it will not yet be the end. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be famines and earthquakes from place to place. All these are the beginning of the labor pains… (Matt 24:6-8)

 

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She Will Hold Your Hand


From the XIII Station of the Cross, by Fr Pfettisheim Chemin

 

“WOULD you pray over me?” she asked, as I was about to leave their home where she and her husband took care of me during my mission there in California several weeks ago. “Of course,” I said.

She sat down in a chair in the living room facing a wall of icons of Jesus, Mary and the saints. As I placed my hands on her shoulders and began to pray, I was struck by a clear image in my heart of Our Blessed Mother standing beside this woman to her left. She was wearing a crown, like the statue of Fatima; it was strapped with gold with white velvet in between. Our Lady’s hands were outstretched, and her sleeves were rolled up like she was going to work!

At that moment, the woman I was praying over began to weep. Continue reading

A Miracle of Mercy


Rembrandt van Rijn, “The return of the prodigal son”; c.1662

 

MY time in Rome at the Vatican in October, 2006 was an occasion of great graces. But it was also a time of great trials.

I came as a pilgrim. It was my intention to immerse myself in prayer through the surrounding spiritual and historical edifice of the Vatican. But by the time my 45 minute cab ride from the Airport to St. Peter’s Square was over, I was exhausted. The traffic was unbelievable—the way people drove even more startling; every man for himself!

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The Great Yes

The Annunciation, by Henry Ossawa Tanner (1898; Philadelphia Museum of Art)

 

AND so, we have arrived at the days in which great changes are imminent. It can be overwhelming as we watch the warnings which have been given begin to unfold in the headlines. But we were created for these times, and where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more. The Church will triumph.

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Medjugorje: “Just the facts, ma’am”


Apparition Hill at Dawn, Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina

 

WHILE only the Public Revelation of Jesus Christ requires the assent of faith, the Church teaches that it would be imprudent to ignore the prophetic voice of God or “despise prophecy,” as St. Paul says. After all, authentic “words” from the Lord, are, from the Lord:

One can therefore simply ask why God provides them continuously [in the first place if] they hardly need to be heeded by the Church. —Hans Urs von Balthasar, Mistica oggettiva, n. 35

Even controversial theologian, Karl Rahner, also asked…

…whether anything God reveals can be unimportant. —Karl Rahner, Visions and Prophecies, p. 25

The Vatican has insisted upon remaining open to the alleged apparition thus far as it continues to discern the authenticity of the phenomena there. (If that’s good enough for Rome, it’s good enough for me.) 

As a former television reporter, the facts surrounding Medjugorje do concern me.  I know they concern many people. I have taken the same position on Medjugorje as Blessed John Paul II (as witnessed to by Bishops who have discussed the apparitions with him).  That position is to celebrate the wonderful fruits flowing from this place, namely conversion and an intense sacramental life. This is not an ooey-gooey-warm-fuzzy opinion, but a hard fact based on the testimonies of thousands of Catholic clergy and countless laymen.

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