Posted on: November 21, 2020
Feast of Christ the King - November 22, 2020
As we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King, please enjoy this video. May Christ the King rule over us!
Posted on: November 2, 2020
Feast of All Souls - November 2, 2020
2nd NOVEMBER ALL SOULS DAY
St. Ambrose's book on the death of his brother Satyrus
Let us die with Christ, to live with Christ
We see that death is gain, life is loss. Paul says: For me life is Christ, and death a gain. What does “Christ” mean but to die in the body, and receive the breath of life? Let us then die with Christ, to live with Christ. We should have a daily familiarity with death, a daily desire for death. By this kind of detachment our soul must learn to free itself from the desires of the body. It must soar above earthly lusts to a place where they cannot come near, to hold it fast. It must take on the likeness of death, to avoid the punishment of death. The law of our fallen nature is at war with the law of our reason and subjects the law of reason to the law of error. What is the remedy? Who will set me free from this body of death? The grace of God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
We have a doctor to heal us; let us use the remedy he prescribes. The remedy is the grace of Christ, the dead body our own. Let us then be exiles from our body, so as not to be exiles from Christ. Though we are still in the body, let us not give ourselves to the things of the body. We must not reject the natural rights of the body, but we must desire before all else the gifts of grace.
What more need be said? It was by the death of one man that the world was redeemed. Christ did not need to die if he did not want to, but he did not look on death as something to be despised, something to be avoided, and he could have found no better means to save us than by dying. Thus his death is life for all. We are sealed with the sign of his death; when we pray we preach his death; when we offer sacrifice we proclaim his death. His death is victory; his death is a sacred sign; each year his death is celebrated with solemnity by the whole world.
What more should we say about his death since we use this divine example to prove that it was death alone that won freedom from death, and death itself was its own redeemer? Death is then no cause for mourning, for it is the cause of mankind’s salvation. Death is not something to be avoided, for the Son of God did not think it beneath his dignity, nor did he seek to escape it.
Death was not part of nature; it became part of nature. God did not decree death from the beginning; he prescribed it as a remedy. Human life was condemned because of sin to unremitting labor and unbearable sorrow and so began to experience the burden of wretchedness. There had to be a limit to its evils; death had to restore what life had forfeited. Without the assistance of grace, immortality is more of a burden than a blessing.
The soul has to turn away from the aimless paths of this life, from the defilement of an earthly body; it must reach out to those assemblies in heaven (though it is given only to the saints to be admitted to them) to sing the praises of God. We learn from Scripture how God’s praise is sung to the music of the harp: Great and wonderful are your deeds, Lord God Almighty; just and true are your ways, King of the nations. Who will not revere and glorify your nature? You alone are holy; all nations will come and worship before you. The soul must also desire to witness your nuptials, Jesus, and to see your bride escorted from earthly to heavenly realities, as all rejoice and sing: All flesh will come before you. No longer will the bride be held in subjection to this passing world but will be made one with the spirit.
Above all else, holy David prayed that he might see and gaze on this: One thing I have asked of the Lord, this I shall pray for: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, and to see how gracious is the Lord.
Posted on: October 31, 2020
Feast of All Saints - Blessed Carlo Acutis
Blessed Carlo Acutis (3 May 1991 – 12 October 2006)
He was best known for documenting Eucharistic miracles around the world and cataloguing them all onto a website that he created in the months before his death from leukemia. He was noted for his cheerfulness, computer skills, and deep devotion to the Eucharist, which becomes a core theme of his life. He was beatified on 10 October 2020.
Life of Blessed Carlo
Carlo Acutis was born in London on 3 May 1991 to a wealthy Italian family with Irish and Polish roots. His baptism took place on 18 May 1991 in the church of Our Lady of Dolours, Chelsea. His parents, Andrea Acutis and Antonia Salzano, who were not especially religious, had worked in London and Germany, but finally settled in Milan in September 1991, not long after their first son's birth. Carlo evinced a precocious interest in religious practice and requested to receive his First Communion at the unusually early age of seven, at the convent of St. Ambrogio ad Nemus, thereafter and made the effort either before or after Mass to reflect before the tabernacle. Acutis became a frequent communicant and would make a weekly confession. He is said to have had several models as guides for his life, especially Saint Francis of Assisi, as well as Saints Francisco and Jacinta Marto, Dominic Savio, Tarcisius, and Saint Bernadette.
He was educated in Milan at the Jesuit Instituto Leone XIII high school. On the social side, Acutis would worry about friends of his whose parents were divorcing and would invite them to his home to support them. He defended disabled peers at school when bullies mocked them. Outside school, he did voluntary work with the homeless and destitute. He also liked films, comic editing and playing PlayStation. Although he greatly enjoyed travel, the town of Assisi remained a particular favorite.
Those around him considered him a "computer geek" on account of his passion and skill with computers and the internet. Acutis applied himself to creating a website dedicated to cataloguing each reported Eucharistic miracle in the world. He completed this in 2005, having started compiling the catalogue at the age of eleven.
He admired Blessed Giacomo Alberione's initiatives to use the media to evangelize and proclaim the Gospel and aimed to do likewise with the website he had created. It was on the website that he said: "the more Eucharist we receive, the more we will become like Jesus, so that on this earth we will have a foretaste of heaven".
When he contracted leukemia, he offered his suffering both for Pope Benedict XVI and for the Universal Church, saying; "I offer all the suffering I will have to undergo for the Lord, for the Pope, and the Church". He had asked his parents to take him on pilgrimages to the sites of all the known Eucharistic miracles in the world, but his declining health prevented this from happening. The doctors treating his final illness had asked him if he was in great pain to which he responded that "there are people who suffer much more than me". He died on 12 October 2006 at 6:45 AM from M3 fulminant leukemia. He was buried in Assisi in accordance with his wishes.
Santa Maria Maggiore, Assisi, bl. Carlo's resting place
The call for him to be beatified began not long after Acutis' death. The campaign gained momentum in 2013 after he was named a Servant of God, the first stage on the path towards sainthood. The Lombardy Episcopal Conference approved the petition for the official canonization cause to proceed at a meeting in 2013. The opening of the diocesan investigation was held on 15 February 2013, with Cardinal Angelo Scola inaugurating the process, and concluding it on 24 November 2016. The formal introduction to the cause took place on 13 May 2013, and Acutis became titled a "Servant of God". Pope Francis next confirmed his life as one of heroic virtue on 5 July 2018, and declared him Venerable.
On 14 November 2019, the Vatican's Medical Council of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints expressed a positive opinion about a miracle in Brazil attributed to Acutis' intercession. Luchiana Vianna had taken her son, Mattheus, who was born with a pancreatic defect which made eating difficult, to a prayer service.
Beforehand, Vianna had already prayed a novena asking for the teenager Acutis' intercession. During the service her son had simply asked that he should not "throw up as much". Immediately following the service, Mattheus told his mother he felt healed and asked for solid food when he came home. Until then he had been on an all-liquid diet. After a detailed investigation, Pope Francis confirmed the miracle's authenticity in a decree on 21 February 2020, leading to Acutis' beatification.
Within a month of the decree, Italy experienced its first wave of COVID-19 cases, which caused the beatification ceremony to be postponed while the country was on lockdown. It was rescheduled for 10 October 2020 and was held in the Upper Church of the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi in Assisi, Italy, with Cardinal Agostino Vallini presiding on the pope's behalf. As of 2019, the postulator for Acutis' cause is Nicola Gori. Since the beatification ceremony on 10 October 2020, silent crowds have been filling past the exposed relics of the blessed youth in the onetime cathedral of Assisi, the church of Santa Maria Maggiore.