6th Week of Easter
- Dan’s Deliberations, Discoveries, & Declarations
- Today in Catholic History
- Quote of the Day
- Today’s Gospel Reading
- Reflection on Today’s Gospel
- New Translation of the Mass
- A Franciscan’s Saint of the Day
- Franciscan Formation Reflection
- Reflection on part of the SFO Rule
Dan’s Deliberations, Discoveries, & Declarations:
Holy Father’s Prayer Intentions for June, 2011
That all priests, united to the Heart of Christ, may always be true witnesses of the caring and merciful love of God.
That the Holy Spirit may bring forth from our communities numerous missionary vocations, willing to fully consecrate themselves to spreading the Kingdom of God.
Today in Catholic History:
† 757 – St Paul I begins his reign as Catholic Pope
† 1138 – Anti-Pope Victor IV (Gregorio) overthrows self for Innocentius II
† 1167 – Battle of Monte Porzio – A Roman army supporting Pope Alexander III is defeated by Christian of Buch and Rainald of Dassel
† 1414 – Council of Constance, ending the “Three-Popes” Controversy, by deposing or accepting the resignation of the remaining Papal claimants and electing Pope Martin V
† 1910 – Pope Pius X (pontificate: 1903-1914; b. 1835-d. 1914) publishes encyclical on “Editae Saepe”, on St. Charles Borromeo, and against church reformers
† 1939 – Death of Ursula Julia Ledochowska, Polish-Austrian Catholic nun, saint, and founder of the Congregation of the Ursulines of the Agonizing Heart of Jesus (b. 1865)
† 1954 – Pope Pius X cannonized by Pope Pius XII
† 1967 – Pope Paul VI names 27 new cardinals, including Karol Wojtyla, archbishop of Krakow, who later became Pope John Paul II
(From the “On This Day” Blog Site
“Today in Catholic History”
Quote of the Day:
Today’s reflection is about Jesus promising His disciples that He will send them another “advocate”, the Spirit of truth.
(NAB John 14:15-21) 15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, 17 the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. 19 In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”
Today’s Gospel is a continuation of last week’s Gospel in which Jesus is speaking to His disciples at the “Last Supper”. In today’s reading, He offers encouragement to His followers who will see Him crucified within the next 24 hours. He is again reassuring them that even though He will leave soon – – physically, He will never abandon them spiritually and personally. According to God’s plan, which Jesus Christ understood, He promises to send them the “Advocate”, – – the Holy Spirit, – – through whom ALL disciples will continue to live in union with Jesus Christ, now and forever..
Jesus contrasts His impending departure with the eternalness of the “gift” of the Holy Spirit. God the Son: Jesus, will leave to return to God the Father. Yet, God the Holy Spirit will be sent to remain with ALL disciples on earth, for all generations..
Love, – – in its purest form, – – is unselfish, undying, and wholly directed to the good of others. It is love which unites us in an unbreakable bond of dependability, faithfulness, and fellowship with others. Jesus Christ loved “His own” until the end of His human life, which came to an end horrendously during His Passion and death on the Holy Cross:
“Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.” (John 13:1)
Jesus is telling us that “genuine” love requires expressing itself in words and deeds. St. John Chrysostom, an early Church Father, says of this verse, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” in today’s reading:
“This indeed is love; obeying and believing in the loved one.” (St. John Chrysostom, Homily on St. John, 74)
Jesus wants us to truly and fully understand this “genuine” love of God. For love is to be authentic, love must be reflected in a life of generous and faithful “self-giving”, obedient to the will of God which contains a powerful promise:
“Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” (John 14:21).
St. John the Evangelist himself encourages and urges us in yet another passage:
“Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.” (1 John 3:18).
And, he teaches us even more further in writing the following:
“For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3).
From the very beginning of creation, God said:
We were created in love, and for love; – – and to become a community, a church of loving persons, and a unified family, just as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are united, We were created in love to be a “oneness” in pure and totally full love.
Jesus speaks to His disciples of the inseparable and everlasting bound of love between Himself and God the Father – – AND of their love for US! In Jesus Christ, we see the fullness of the Holy Trinity’s love and how this love is directed to OUR well-being. The “love” of God was (and is) made manifest among us:
“In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him.” (1 John 4:9).
In the Holy Cross, we see the proof of God’s love for us and the incredible price God was willing to pay for our redemption and salvation. Jesus Christ gave up His own human life, solely that we might have an abundant, everlasting life with Him and His Father. Through Jesus Christ, we are offered a life of love and “oneness” with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – – for eternity. Through the Holy Cross, Jesus opened a new “way” of relationship for us as “beloved children” of God:
“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.” (Romans 8:14-17)
Christians, Catholics, by reason of the “Advocate’s” presence within us, enjoy not only a “new life”, but also a “new relationship” to, and with God, whose sufferings and glory are shared with us.
Jesus Christ calls His disciples to walk in His “way of love”, His pathway, through obedience to the will of God the Father. True love is more than sentiment, feelings, or good intentions. True love for God is expressed in obedience; obedience is expressed in love.
Jesus and His “Twelve” chosen disciples had become extremely close. These men most likely depended on Jesus for their needs and guidance. He decided where they went and what they did for three years of His earthly public ministry. Jesus was the “go-to” guy for any difficult moments with others, including crowds. (Jesus directed at least two smorgasbords and one wine-fest that we know.) In all reality, He had been their “Advocate” – – in person!
“The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name–he will teach you everything and remind you of all that (I) told you.” (John 14:26).
And, in John’s next chapter (John 15):
“When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me.” (John 15:26).
Continuing with John (He definitely had the Spirit when he wrote), he goes on to say:
“But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation: sin, because they do not believe in me; righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned. ‘I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.’” (John 16:7-14).
Finally, even Mark’s Gospel says of Jesus’ promise to send the “Advocate”:
“It will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (Matthew 10:20).
He will send “another Advocate”! What does he mean by “ANOTHER”? Well, Jesus was the first “Advocate”. Some literature also says “Paraclete”. Paraclete is a simple legal term meaning “one who offers defense for another.”
Jesus was the first “Advocate” in the sense of being the “first” intercessor in heaven. John actually writes of this in His first epistle:
“My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one.” (1 John 2:1)
Jesus Christ is described, in 1 John 2 and in Hebrews, as the “Advocate” to come.
“My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one.” (1 John 2:1).
And the author of “Hebrews” writes:
“Therefore, he is always able to save those who approach God through him, since he lives forever to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25)
Jesus states that one result of His intercession with God the Father will be the coming of the “Advocate”. The Holy Spirit in fact does come down on the disciples ten days after Jesus Christ ascends (cf., Acts 2:1-13). The Holy Spirit is sent by God the Father AND God the Son. Jesus is revealing the true “mystery” of the Blessed Holy Trinity by His coming.
Jesus Christ has sent the SAME “Advocate” to be with each of us, individually and personally. It is HIS very Spirit which is with us, as His gift to us, from God the Father.
The “mystery” of the Trinity can be difficult for us to grasp. Today’s Gospel invites us to consider and reflect on how the “three persons” – – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – – work together so that God’s plan of salvation is revealed to us, and gives us the knowledge and strength to follow His plan.
Jesus’ mission is continued through the activity of the Holy Spirit living and working within the lives of His disciples then, now, and in the future. We receive the exact same Holy Spirit as the first disciples through our individual Baptisms and Confirmations. The Holy Spirit, living and working within each of us, reveals and exposes the “mystery” of God’s love for us. Just as the first disciples were not left abandoned, we are not abandoned. We remain in God’s loving embrace through the gift and actions of the Holy Spirit.
When was the last time YOU called on the “Advocate” to help in difficult moments?, or just to say thanks?
The Christian Community, to whom John the Evangelist was writing, are called “children”. Like the term “beloved,” this was an expression of pastoral love, as coming from a Bishop of the flock. In fact, Jesus frequently called His group of followers, “children” as is shown in the following from John’s Gospel:
“My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. You will look for me, and as I told the Jews, ‘Where I go you cannot come,’ so now I say it to you.” (John 13:33).
And, again in John’s Gospel:
“Jesus said to them, ‘Children, have you caught anything to eat?’ They answered him, ‘No.’” (John 21:5).
And, then later, Paul even called his company of believers, “children”:
“I am writing you this not to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children.” (1 Corinthians 4:14).
The word “Advocate” is a Greek term derived from the legal terminology for an advocate (or defense attorney). “Advocate” can mean spokesman, mediator, intercessor, comforter, and/or “councilor”. The Greek word “Parakletos” literally means “one called to be beside another”: to accompany, console, protect, and defend.
The “Paraclete” in John also is meant to refer to a teacher in communion with God the Father and God the Son as a witness to Jesus Christ, and as a prosecutor of the world, and thirdly as one who brings about the continued presence on earth of the Son of God, Jesus, who has returned to the Father, and yet with us on earth today. (Mysterious!)
Christ speaks of the Holy Spirit as “another Councilor” because He (the spirit) will be given to us, in Christ’s place as Advocate and Defender. The Holy Spirit comes in order to help each of us on our personal and individual journeys and paths of faith. The Holy Spirit is our “Councilor”, “Advocate”, as we make our way in this world amid the many difficulties and the temptations to feel saddened, depressed, neglected, and other limitations.
St. Josemaria Escriva says of our limitations:
“In spite of our great limitations, we can look up to heaven with confidence and joy: God loves us and frees us from our sins. The presence and the action of the Holy Spirit in the Church are a foretaste of eternal happiness, of the joy and peace for which we are destined by God.” (St. Josemaria Escriva, Chris Is Passing By, 128)
“The Spirit of truth” (verse 17) is, interestingly, a term also used at Qumran (of Dead Sea Scroll fame, inhabited by the “Essenes”), where “The Spirit of truth” is a moral or righteous power put into a person by God, as opposed to the spirit of perversity (willfully persisting in perverse behavior): original and personal sin.
For John, the “Advocate” appears to be an extremely personal and intimate “spirit”, teaching the realities of the new order from, in, and with Jesus Christ, Risen from the dead, working through the Holy Spirit indwelling within each and every one of us:
“The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name–he will teach you everything and remind you of all that (I) told you.” (John 14:26).
The role of the “Advocate” is also to guide, protect, and vivify (to cause somebody to come to life) the Catholic Church. John states that this “Holy Spirit” will enable us to personally, individually, and intimately testify to the “truth”:
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” (John 14:6).
As we discussed in last Sunday’s Gospel reflection, “the truth” is the divinely revealed and exposed reality of God the Father, manifested in the person and works of God the Son: Jesus Christ. The possession of “truth” bestows knowledge of, strength over, and liberation from, sin for each of us, individually. Much earlier in his Gospel, John said “the truth” will release you from Satan’s power:
You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32).
In today’s reading, Jesus said He would:
“… not leave us orphans; He would come to us.” (John 14:18)
Jesus continues to make this same promise to us today and in the future. Though I don’t always realize it, He is “right here” for ME (and you) at ALL times.
“I will come to you” (verse 18) is meant to mean Jesus Christ coming into each of us, personally indwell each of us, and working in and through each of us, via the Holy Spirit. This particular verse is not a verse foretelling of the “Parousia”, the second coming of Jesus Christ at the “end times”. This particular verse is for us now in the present, as a present, from God the Father and God the Son.
In my own life, it seems I have assigned some of His “Spirit” role to my guardian angels (Yes, I have more than one. I need as many as possible). A lot of what I thought about the guardian angels and their role (guiding, revealing, leading, convincing, giving, producing and harvesting), is in fact, the Holy Spirits role to keep me on my path. We need to remember that the Advocate is not just a messenger from God the Father, but actually IS God, in the person of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is given to us as a gift in the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. Let me use an analogy I have come to love in its simplicity to explain how the Advocate is given to us through these Sacraments: a nice, glass of sparkling cold, delicious chocolate milk. I liken Baptism to the squirting of chocolate syrup into a glass of milk. The Holy Spirit in introduced into our lives and souls. Confirmation stirs and mixes the milk (us) and syrup (Holy Spirit) together, combining them, and creating one new and delicious drink (a new and delicious life in and with God).
This is a major reason why I so enjoy the Eucharist. Not only do I celebrate the “Risen” Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, but I also celebrate in His on-going presence being stirred-up in me with every step with every step I take on His path. Through the continued grace and gift of the Holy Spirit in my life and in my soul, God never abandons me; and never will:
“I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18)
To recap, at various times during the “last supper”, we can see Jesus’ disciples growing evermore sad as Jesus bids them farewell:
“It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.” (John 15:16);
“So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.” (John 16:22).
Jesus speaks with great tenderness and love, calling them “little children” and “friends”:
“My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. You will look for me, and as I told the Jews, ‘Where I go you cannot come,’ so now I say it to you.” (John 13:33);
“I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.” (John 15:15).
Our Lord continues, by promising He will not leave them (or us) alone. He will send the “Holy Spirit” to ALL His believers. And finally, He promises that HE, Himself, will return to be with them (and us) again, – – now, – – and at the Parousia.
Actually, Jesus does come back to the “twelve” (and many others) soon after this “last meal”, His Passion, death on the Holy Cross, and His Resurrection. He sees and is with them, again, for the forty days. He then ascended to His Father in heaven. During this 40-day period, He told them about the Kingdom of God:
“He presented himself alive to them by many proofs after he had suffered, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1:3).
Jesus promised to give His followers the best gift ever possible, – – the Holy Spirit – – as Councilor, Provider, Protector, and Helper. The Holy Spirit is our Advocate who brings us safely through the challenges and adversities we must face in our earthly life.
The Holy Spirit is also the “Giver” of life, and the “One” who guides us in the true way of “truth”. We never stop learning. The Holy Spirit leads us more and more into the knowledge of God’s love and truth as we open ourselves more and more to His influences as we to listen to and trust in Him.
Jesus also promised His followers the gift of peace. Peace is more than an absence of battle, conflict, and/or trouble. Peace includes everything which makes for the highest “good”. Trust in God, faith in His promises, and obedience to His “Word” are “the ways” leading us to joy, peace, and safety in God’s presence, and His warm, loving embrace. This is why a Catholic, a Christian, need not fear, need not be troubled by anything or anyone. After all, what can separate us from the love of God, found in Jesus Christ, – – – – other than ourselves?
In conclusion, through the gift of the Holy Spirit, the disciples will come to know and appreciate the unity, the “oneness” of God the Father with God the Son. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ followers will understand that they too participate in the “communion” between the Father and the Son:
“On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you.” (John 14:20).
Today’s reading is an example of the distinction that John’s Gospel presents between the “community” of Jesus: “the Way”, (to whom God will reveal Himself), and the “unbelieving world”, (which will remain in darkness). The unbelieving world cannot accept the “Spirit of ‘truth’ – – the Advocate”, whom the disciples received at “Pentecost”. Only through the actions of the Holy Spirit working in and through each of us will God’s revelation and love be known to us and others.
What do you know and believe about the “Advocate”, the “Paraclete”, the “Councilor”, the more commonly known “Holy Spirit”? What does Jesus say the Holy Spirit will do for you in your life? Realize that through the graces of the Holy Spirit, we individually and collectively come to share in the love of God the Father made known to us in God the Son: Jesus.
Though the disciples no longer “saw” Him [Jesus] after He ascended to His Father in heaven, Jesus still continues to be in the midst of the first disciples, and all His disciples to the present, and those into the future – for all time, just as He promised:
“Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20).
We will see Him – – face-to-face – – again!!
Jesus Christ is telling each of us that He doesn’t want any one of us to be alone in our life and our journeys of faith. He tells His disciples in today’s reading that He will ask His Father to send Him in a new way in the person of the Holy Spirit.
When the “Advocate”, the “Holy Spirit”, comes into us, the reality of God is ever so much intimately related to us for He actually enters INTO us, and remains within us ALWAYS! I thank my God who dwells within me always! I thank Him for the reality of His presence!
The tangible, bodily presence of Jesus Christ (that true presence which I can see and touch) was then, and is now, a “miraculous” kind of presence. Although the intangible presence is temporary, the deeper, more intimate, personal, and enduring real presence of the Risen Christ remains within each of us though His promised gift of the Holy Spirit. Merry CHRIST-mas(s)! (What a PRESENT!!)
“Father of light, from whom every good gift comes, send forth your Spirit into our lives with the power of a mighty wind, and by the flame of your wisdom open the horizons of our minds. Loosen our tongues to sing your praise in words beyond the power of speech; for without your Spirit, men or women could never raise their voices in words of peace or announce the truth that Jesus is Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.”
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
New Translation of the Mass
In November of 2011, with the start of the new Liturgical year and Advent, there will be a few noticeable changes in the Mass. It will still be the same ritual for celebrating the Eucharist. The Mass will still have the same parts, the same patterns, and the same flow as it has had for the past several decades. It is only the translation of the Latin that is changing.
The new translation seeks to correspond much more closely to the exact words and sentence structure of the Latin text. At times, this results in a good and faithful rendering of the original meaning. At other times it produces a rather awkward text in English which is difficult to proclaim and difficult to understand. Most of those problems affect the texts which priests will proclaim rather than the texts that belong to the congregation as a whole. It is to the congregation’s texts that I will address with each blog, in a repetitive basis until the start of Advent.
In the words of Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium, #11, the Eucharist is the “source and summit” of Christian life. Anything we can do to understand our liturgy more deeply will draw us closer to God.
When the priest invites us to share in the Lord’s Supper, we now say, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and I shall be healed.” With the new Missal, we will respond:
“Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”
The use of “under my roof” is a reference to the Gospel passage where the centurion asks Jesus to heal his servant but says he is not worthy for Jesus to enter his house (Luke 7:6). The other change is “my soul” instead of “I”, which focuses more clearly on the spiritual dimension of the healing we seek.
Material from “Changing How We Pray”, by Rev. Lawrence E. Mick
A Franciscan’s Saint of the Day: St. Ferdinand III, King, Third Order Franciscan (1198 – 1252)
(Monday’s – May 30th – Optional Memorial for SFO)
Ferdinand was King of Leon and Castile, and member of the Third Order of St. Francis. He was born in 1198 near Salamanca, and died at Seville, 30 May, 1252. He was the son of Alfonso IX, King of Leon; and of Berengeria, who was the daughter of Alfonso III, King of Castile, and sister of Blanche, the mother of St. Louis IX.
In 1217 Ferdinand became King of Castile, which crown his mother renounced in his favor. In 1230, he succeeded to the crown of Leon, though not without civil strife since many were opposed to the union of the two kingdoms. Ferdinand took as his counselors the wisest men in the State, saw to the strict administration of justice, and took the greatest care not to overburden his subjects with taxation, fearing, as he said, the curse of one poor woman more than a whole army of Saracens.
Following his mother’s advice, Ferdinand, in 1219, married Beatrice, the daughter of Philip of Swabia, King of Germany, one of the most virtuous princesses of her time. God blessed this union with seven children: six princes and one princess. The highest aims of Ferdinand’s life were the propagation of the Faith and the liberation of Spain from the Saracen yoke. Hence his continual wars against the Saracens. He took from them vast territories, Granada and Alicante alone remaining in their power at the time of his death.
In the most important towns he founded bishoprics, reestablished Catholic worship everywhere, built churches, founded monasteries, and endowed hospitals. The greatest joys of his life were the conquests of Cordova (1236) and Seville (1248). He turned the great mosques of these places into cathedrals, dedicating them to the Blessed Virgin. He watched over the conduct of his soldiers, confiding more in their virtue than in their valor, fasted strictly himself, wore a rough “hairshirt”, and often spent his nights in prayer, especially before battles. Amid the tumult of the camp he lived like a religious in the cloister.
The glory of the Church and the happiness of his people were the two guiding motives of his life. He founded the University of Salamanca, the Athens of Spain. Ferdinand was buried in the great cathedral of Seville before the image of the Blessed Virgin, clothed, at his own request, in the habit of the Third Order of St. Francis. His body, it is said, remains incorrupt. Many miracles took place at his tomb, and Clement X canonized him in 1671. His feast is kept by the Minorites on the 30th of May.
From CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA
Franciscan Formation Reflection:
Have you gained inspiration from the example and the writings of St. Francis? How? (Based on Article 12, General Constitution)
Have you read a good “Franciscan” book lately, or do I avoid them in favor of fiction and other popular books?
Do you try to adopt St. Francis’ approach to God, to your neighbors, to yourself, to the Church, and to all creation as he did?
Exhortation of Saint Francis to the Brothers and Sisters in Penance
In the name of the Lord!
Concerning Those Who Do Penance
All who love the Lord with their whole heart, with their whole soul and mind, with all their strength (cf. Mk 12:30), and love their neighbors as themselves (cf. Mt 22:39) and hate their bodies with their vices and sins, and receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and produce worthy fruits of penance.
Oh, how happy and blessed are these men and women when they do these things and persevere in doing them, because “the spirit of the Lord will rest upon them” (cf. Is 11:2) and he will make “his home and dwelling among them” (cf Jn 14:23), and they are the sons of the heavenly Father (cf. Mt 5:45), whose works they do, and they are the spouses, brothers, and mothers of our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Mt 12:50).
We are spouses, when by the Holy Spirit the faithful soul is united with our Lord Jesus Christ; we are brothers to him when we fulfill “the will of the Father who is in heaven” (Mt 12:50).
We are mothers, when we carry him in our heart and body (cf. 1 Cor 6:20) through divine love and a pure and sincere conscience; we give birth to him through a holy life which must give life to others by example (cf. Mt 5:16).
Oh, how glorious it is to have a great and holy Father in heaven! Oh, how glorious it is to have such a beautiful and admirable Spouse, the Holy Paraclete.
Oh, how glorious it is to have such a Brother and such a Son, loved, beloved, humble, peaceful, sweet, lovable, and desirable above all: Our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave up his life for his sheep (cf. Jn 10:15) and prayed to the Father saying:
“Oh, holy Father, protect them with your name (cf. Jn 17:11) whom you gave me out of the world. I entrusted to them the message you entrusted to me and they received it. They have known that in truth I came from you; they have believed that it was you who sent me. For these I pray, not for the world (cf. Jn 17:9). Bless and consecrate them, and I consecrate myself for their sakes. I do not pray for them alone; I pray also for those who will believe in me through their word (cf. Jn 17:20) that they may be holy by being one, as we are (cf. Jn 17:11). And I desire, Father, to have them in my company where I am to see this glory of mine in your kingdom” (cf. Jn 17:6-24).