20th Century Fox, 30 Day Shred 300 4th of July 7 Deadly Sins 8 9/11 A Catholic Mom’s Guide to Books A Charlie Brown Christmas A Closer Look A Prayer Journal A Prophet for Our Time A Secular Age A Tale of Two Emperors, ABC News, Abu Dhabi, Acropolis, Acting, All Saints Day, Altar Boys, America, Angelina Jolie, Angels, Animation, Apollo, Apologetics, Apple, Aramaic, Archangels, Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Army, Artists, Australia, Bad Catholic, BBC, Bed, Behind Enemy Line, Ben Hur, Bernadette, Bernelli, Bishop, Bloggers, Bollywood, Bombay, Brad Pitt, Brazil, Brother, Canada, Cardinal, Castle, Catechism, Catholic, Catholic Apologetics, Catholic Gentleman, Catholicism, Catholicity, Charismatic, Charity, Chastity, Children, China, Christ, Christian, Christos, Cloud, CNN, Coat of Arms, Colorado Auschwitz Australia authenticity authority automaton Autonomy Avengers Babel Babette’s Feast Babies baby baby names Babylon Back on My Feet Bad Religion BadCatholic Baghdad Bangerz baptism , Comic book, Contraception, Conversion, Creation, Cricket, Dad, Day, Dell, Devil, Devotional songs, Dictionary, Discovery Channel, Disney, Dubai, Elizabeth Yore Elleyn vonHuben Ellyn von Huben Ellyn vonHuben Elmhurst College embodied Christianity Emmanuel Mounier employment encounter Encountering God engagement England English Martyrs entrepren, Empire, Enemies, Facebook, Fairy, Family, Fantasy, Father Damian Ference Father George Coyne Father Guarnizo Father Luke Willenberg Father Michael Cummins Father Paul Murray Father Robert Barron Father Steve Father Steve Grunow Father Steve Grunow, Father Tom Rosica fatherhood fear feast feast days Feast of All Souls Feast of the Holy Cross Feast of the Holy Innocents Feast of the Immaculate Conception Feast of the Ugandan Martyrs festivals FFA , Favorite, Firefox, Fly, Football, Fox News, Fr. Robert Barron, Friend, Friends, Friendship, Fun, G. K. Chesterton, Galilean Aramaic, Gandhi, Goa, God, Google, Greece, Greek, Gregorian Chants, Guardian Angels, Happiness, heaven Heaven in Stone and Glass Hebrews hell help Hemsworth Herbert McCabe Hercules Heresy hero Herod Herod the Great heroic virtue heroism Hesiod HHS Contraception Mandate HHS Mandate High school Hi, Hobbies, Holy Gospels, Holy Land, Holy Mass, Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit Interactive, Hope, Hospital, HSI, Hyderabad, Ignatius Press, India, Iron, Italy, Jerusalem, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Jesus Youth, Jewish, Joy, Jupiter, Kashmir, King priesthood priests Prince of Persia prison prison ministry pro-choice prodigal son Project ProLife Pro-Life Prolonged Adolescence Prometheus prophet isaiah prophets Proposition Proposition 8 pros, Kingdom, Latin America, Latin Mass, Latin Rite, Laugh, Lebannon, Legends, Literature. Writers, Lourdes, Love, Love Liverpool Liz Yore lobster logoi spermatakoi London Lord of the Rings Lord of the World Lord’s Prayer Los Los Angeles Lost Lough Derg Louis Bouyer Louisiana Lourdes Love Love in the Ruins Lumen, Malaysia, Maleficent, Mark, Marriage, Martin Luther, Martin Luther King Jr, Master, Matrimony, Mexico, Michael Angelo, Mighty, Missal, Mom, Mother Teresa, Motion picture, Movies, Music, NASA, National Geographic, NATO, Night, Notre Dame, O Come Emmanuel Obama Obamacare obsession Odyssey of Of Gods and Men Oh Magnum Mysterium old atheism Old Ideas Old Testament Olympic Games Olympics on Once in Royal David’s City online community onl, Old, Oprah, Our Father, Painting, Pakistan, Paramount Pictures, Paris, Parliament, Passion, Patience, Patriach Barthalonew, Peace, Penguins, Pentagon, Picasso, Pilgrimage, Pio of Pietrelcina St. St. Alphonsus Liguori St. Ambrose St. Anselm St. Anthony St. Anthony of Padua St. Athanasius St. Augustine St. Barnabas St. Bede St. Bernadette St. Bernard of Clairvaux St. Bern, Police, Pope, Pope Francis, Pope john Paul II, Power, Pregnancy, Pregnant, President of America, Priests, Pro life, Prophet, Protestant, Protestantism, Purity, Queen of England, Rabbi, Radio Vaticana, Roger Federer, Romance, Rome, Sacraments, Saints, Satan, School, Secretariat Secular Narrative Secular Reason secularism Seeing the Everyday Seeker self-improvement seminarians seminariians seminary Senior Connections September 11 Series sermon service Seth Godin S, Seven Lively Virtues Seventeen Magazine Project Sex & the City sex abuse scandal sexuality shadows and light Shakespeare Shaw Air Force Base Shawshank Redemption sheep and Goats Sheila Liaugminas , Singapore, Sister, Sitcom, Sky, Slave, Slavery, Sleep, Sleeping Beauty, Soap Opera, Soccer, Social Media, Sony Music, Spices, St, St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, St. John, St. Leo, St. Paul, St. Teresa, St.Peter, Star Movies, Summer camp, Superheroes, Swimming, Tennis, Thailand, The Lord's Prayer. Our Father Aramaic, The Ten Commandments, Thomas Aquinas, Traditional Rite, UAE, UK, UN, UNICEF, Universe, University, USA, USA Archdiocese for the Military, USA architecture Argument from Desire Aristotle ark of the covenant armed services Army of Hosts art Art Institute of Chicago artist Artur Rosman As Kingfishers catch fire Ascension asceticism Ash Wed, Vatican, Vatican City, Vatican Radio, Wings, Word of God, Word on Fire, Word on Fire Ministries, Word Press, World, World Communications Day World Cup World Day of Communications World Missions Sunday World War II World War Z World Youth Day worship wrath of the titans Wrecking Ball writing WTTW XVI Year of Faith Y, Youth, Youtube
One of the finest corporal and mystical moments on earth, throughout the history of mankind, has been the conception of a human life in the womb of a woman. This moment is by all means the dawn of the incarnation of God’s impeccable will in that human soul’s life. It is mystical because it is only God who knows all about the mystical initiation of the human soul within the life form. Due to the ingenious of divine creativity and complexity, the womb of the mother can certainly be considered as the first environment for a human life to experience saintly virtues. Such virtues which the pregnant mother is most expected to manifest them towards the child in her precious womb. The interesting fact at this point in time is that whether or not the mother has conceived the child by her consent, or whether or not the child in the womb is the fruit of the sanctity of marriage, the mother is given an abundance of grace by God to care, nourish, protect, love and sustain this helpless form of human life in her womb. What is expected of the woman is to willingly and joyfully cooperate with that Divine and exclusive grace that calls for her to be an embodiment of saintly virtues of being courageous, kind, reverential, wise, sacrificing, charitable and above all, God fearing, in being the instrument of fulfilling God’s Omniscient plan for that soul, which He fearfully and loving created, and chose to bless it with the shelter of that mother’s womb. This is how a human person, each one of us, experiences the call to Sainthood, from the very moment of our conception.
The Angel of God Almighty, Gabriel, appeared and announced glad tidings (Luke 1:26-39) from the ‘author of life’ (Genesis 2:7), to the humble and God-fearing Jewish virgin maiden called Mary in Nazareth, the daughter of Joachim and Anne, betrothed to a virtuous and righteous Jewish carpenter called Joseph. Upon receiving divine revelation of becoming the Mediatrix (Luke 1:38) chosen by God to be the instrument of His merciful grace to all mankind, Mary (the woman predestined by God, even before the continuation of the human race, to be the mother of His Son) was courageous to ask the angel of God, “how can this be, since I am a virgin?” This is manifestation of courageous conversation with the divine realm is an outstanding example of how person is called to dialogue with God to understand the call to holiness and obedience to Divine will. What is this if it is not a virtue of a saint? Mary’s ancestors were testimony to such courage for conversing with God, to understand (if possible) and (or) simply obey. Think about the courage of Abraham when he asked God, “shall a child be born unto him…? (Genesis 17:17)”. Moses said to God, “who am I, that I should go…? (Exodus 3:11)”. Jacob wrestled with the angel of God until the divine power obliged to bless him (Genesis 32:24).
Courage is an integral virtue to live joyfully as saint. God, through his loving kindness, grants the grace to be courageous to the simple and the meek, and through their willing cooperation with that grace; fulfills His extraordinary plans, as well as establishes the continuity of His covenant of love and mercy for all. Odoardo Focherini (1907-1944) from Carpi in Italy was an insurance agent, journalist and father of seven children. With the support from his wife and guidance from Cardinal Pietro Boetto of Genoa, he established a rescue network that transported 100 Jews to safety into Switzerland. This hero of God, exemplary Catholic of this century, was arrested and martyred in a concentration camp in Hersbruk, Germany. His last words were, “I declare I am dying in the purest apostolic Roman Catholic faith and in full submission to the will of God, offering my life as holocaust for my diocese, for Catholic Action, for the pope, and for the return of peace to this world.”
Faith and holiness makes a person partaking in the everlasting banquet of love and joy. Saints are beaming instruments of faith. They are like trumpets that the angles play to reverberate God’s glory, authority, fidelity, love and mercy. In the tender age of thirteen, Agnes a Roman girl suffered martyrdom for her impeccable and undeterred love and faithfulness to Christ Jesus. St. Agnes was endowed with scintillating beauty and so many young men queued to marry her. But she kept saying “I am already promised to the Lord of the Universe. He is more splendid than the sun and the stars, and He has said He will never leave me!” The Governor promised Agnes wonderful gifts if she would only deny God, but Agnes refused. He tried to change her mind by putting her in chains, but her lovely face shone with joy. Next he sent her to a place of sin, but an Angel protected her. At last, she was condemned to death. Even the pagans cried to see such a young and beautiful girl going to death. Yet, Agnes was as happy as a bride on her wedding day. She did not pay attention to those who begged her to save herself. “I would offend my Spouse,” she said, “if I were to try to please you. He chose me first and He shall have me!” Then she prayed and bowed her head for the death-stroke of the sword.
Pope Francis, calls the bride of Christ; the Holy Catholic Church, to be a ‘field hospital’. In this world of battlefield Catholicism, men and women of all ages are both ignorant, deprived or rejecting divine love and mercy. Pope St. John Paul II by his saintly testimony of life empowered the world with his words, “Do not be afraid”. Today, God calls each one of us to be His saint. He calls us to be truthful when we smile at a neighbor / stranger, forgive and reconcile with family / acquaintance, share or lend, wish / pray for well being. He calls us to be faithful and bravely rise of being His testimony and voice for the poor and marginalized as well as bearers of the sanctity of sacraments. He demands of us to be instruments of wisdom to the young, humbleness and kindness to the old.
Whether we are poor or rich, powerful or meek, intellectual or ignorant, beautiful or less endowed, whether we are famous or not yet to be discovered, whether we are struggling to be righteous or humble, we are all called to be truthful in our pursuit of sainthood. To be a saint means to be hopeful, patient, collaborative, child-like, holy and cheerful. The one who desires to be a saint will love God and His Magesterium first, be hungry to serve God in His people, enjoy for unity in diversity, will stand and speak-up for truth and justice, will not be afraid of getting dirty to be cleansed as well as clean, will strive to excel in every walk of life – in all circumstances, will laugh whole-heartedly at simple joys in life, will not shy from crying in times of much happiness or sorrow, nor will fear failure. Will not be ashamed of the crucifix nor the cross that is to be borne, will protect the helpless, strip-off to cloth the naked, abstain to feed the hungry, love unconditionally the one who feels dejected. A saint to be will not endorse arrogance or corruption or deceit, nor will judge by appearances. Will hate sin and its master; the devil. Will forever strive to live holy. We are all called to be saints, now and forever. Let us answer this call, now and forever, and begin to live in the company of saints here on earth.