Christ is risen! He is truly risen! Praised be Jesus Christ and Mary His Most Holy Mother!
Mother’s Day: Today is Mother’s day. May God bless and reward all the mothers in our parish. A mother gives of herself completely to her family and very often in unnoticed and unseen ways. The only one of the Ten Commandments which has a blessing attached to it is the Fourth Commandment – Honor thy father and thy mother.
A mother is a person who receives a child into her own flesh, providing for him the stuff of his own body. And yet, the Christian mother is called to more: to receive the child in Christ’s name.
So many of the saints of the Church were mothers who exemplified the beatitudes. St. Elizabeth of Portugal was a peace maker. She rode out between the warring armies of her husband and son and restored peace. St. Matilda meekly removed herself from her own home rather than stir up her son’s anger. St. Margaret Clitherow, on the eve of her brutal martyrdom, sent her shoes to her daughter with the clear message, follow my path. St. Monica relentlessly prayed her son St. Augustine into the Church. Augustine wrote in his Confessions, “She wept more for me than mothers weep over their children’s dead bodies.” May these saints who were mothers ever intercede for our dear mothers!
Please be sure to enroll your mothers in the Mother’s Day Novena of Masses.
Marian Guild Communion Breakfast: On Sunday, May 17th, will be the Marian Guild Communion Breakfast. The members of the guild who are so devoted to the parish, will attend the 9.30 Mass. Afterwards there will be breakfast in Monsignor Costa Hall. Our guest speaker at the Communion Breakfast will be Mother Mary Richard, the Mistress of Novices of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Mother Mary Richard will speak on the life and work of the Little Sisters. We thank Louise Shannon and her board for all their devoted work and dedication.
Father David Atanasio: Father David Atanasio was ordained a priest in June of 2014. Many remember Father David because as a seminarian he served at St. Paul’s. Father David will offer the Solemn Mass on Sunday, May 31st here at St. Paul’s at 11.00AM and we will have a reception in his honor in Monsignor Costa Hall after the Mass. Make every effort to attend and to receive his first priestly blessing.
ASCENSION THURSDAY: Thursday of this week is Ascension Thursday, a Holyday of Obligation. Be sure to see the bulletin for Mass times.
The Spirt of the World (Bullying vs. the Mercy of God: “Throughout history, when we have been unwilling or unable to offer the sacrifices God asks of us we have turned to rivalry and violence. Instead of sacrificing for one another, we sacrifice one another. Instead of admitting our own guilt, we place guilt on others. We see this time and again in Scripture. Luke tells us that “Saul laid waste the Church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison” (Acts 8:3). Why? Perhaps, at least in part because “Devout men buried Stephen, and made great lamentation over him.” The faithful who mourned the unjust stoning of Stephen, to which Saul was consenting (Acts 8:1), reminded Saul of his guilt. Attacking the Church was not just Saul’s attempt to be faithful to the Torah, it was his attempt to restore and protect his own feeling of righteousness. Our Lord Himself was condemned to death by contemporaries infuriated by his public exposition of their own hypocrisy. He made them feel guilty, when they wanted to appear innocent. The Resurrection was not just an exhibition of Divine Power, it was an exhibition of Divine Justice. Jesus’ rising from the dead taught us not only that God overpowers death, but also that Jesus was innocent of the charges hurled against him by his accusers.” (From “When Violence Replaces Justice” -Dusty Gates, Crisis 5/20/15)
We live in a world in which “tolerance” is the buzz-word of the day; touted as the ultimate human virtue that will supposedly usher in a new age of universal peace and harmony among all peoples. However, there seems to be less and less brotherly love and more imposed fear, hostility and violence every day. From my earliest days, I was always taught that tolerance referred to something negative: “Bad behavior will not be tolerated.” I never heard, “Good behavior will be tolerated.” That sounds ridiculous to most of our ears. No, good actions were expected as the norm, and ill actions would not be put up with, and would consequently be met with some degree of punishment. In engineering, tolerance refers to the degree of imperfection that is acceptable for the particular task or part that is being machined or manufactured. It just always seems to speak of a negative condition of some sort that because of limitations human, technological or otherwise, are to be necessarily accepted until improvements are possible.
Last month, fashion designers and business partners Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana (D&G) – a formerly homosexual couple of 23 years, who appear to now reject that lifestyle – spoke out about their opposition to adoptions by same-sex couples and showing support for the traditional family structure of a mother and father. They also reject the use of in vitro fertilization (IVF) to produce babies. After expressing these opinions, radical LGBT activists led by entertainer Elton John, and including singers Ricky Martin, Courtney Love, producer Ryan Murphy and tennis legend Martina Navratilova, viciously reacted and called for an immediate boycott of D&G. Were that not enough, these celebrities then trashed the styles of this popular brand and said that they were going to burn or throw out whatever D&G apparel they owned (which they obviously thought was attractive when they purchased it), declaring it now unwearable.
“These designers’ horrifying views are never in fashion. Their clothes are as ugly as their hate”. And Navratilova tweeted, “My D&G shirts are going into the bin – don’t want ANYONE to wear them.” Wow. Who are the intolerant? Who are the ugly haters? The clear message to D&G (and anyone else for that matter) is, “Disagree with our lifestyle/behavior, and we will do all in our power to destroy you.” No mercy to be found here.
In Indiana, a law that was proposed to protect people from having their First Amendment Right to Religious Liberty compromised was immediately decried as hateful. Its opponents claimed that it would allow LGBT persons to be freely discriminated against by anyone who wants to claim religious objections to a homosexual lifestyle. For anyone who read the proposed law, it does not say that, yet a certain openly homosexual CEO essentially said: unless Indiana law allows discrimination against people of faith, he and his Silicon Valley bullies will destroy them. A certain Governor of one of the fifty states immediately launched into his characteristic hectoring, declaring that his state will do no business with the State of Indiana for not embracing the LGBT agenda wholesale. This anonymous governor has been so overtly supportive of same-sex “marriage”… yet, like many others, he seems to not have too much use for the institution of marriage himself, as he openly lives with his mistress in the Governor’s Mansion. And so condemn everyone in the state of Indiana? This is not so much about marriage rights, but about having an oppressive agenda foisted upon the American populous and silencing anyone – even homosexual persons – who dare to question its tyranny, which ultimately seeks to destroy the traditional family structure and religious liberty.
Take also the example of Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, who (quite rightly) believes that Catholic Schools should be Catholic. In the faculty handbook of the Archdiocese’s four high schools, teachers are required to “affirm that we are educational institutions of the Catholic Church, and as such strive to present Catholic doctrine in its fullness, and that we hold, believe and practice all that the Holy Catholic Church teaches, believes and proclaims to be true.” Sounds fair and Catholic to me. Yet, Cordileone was torn apart by the secular newspaper, The San Francisco Chronicle; an online petition has been set up to oppose him; and eight California State lawmakers wrote him a letter expressing that his call “sends an alarming message of intolerance to youth.” Imagine, secular politicians who incessantly claim “separation of Church and state” are now telling Church leaders how to run their organizations. Another case of a “tolerant” and free society being transformed into the Bully Culture. “You-know-who” is at work!
Our blessed Risen Lord says to his fearful disciples – and to us – the comforting words, “Peace be with you.” The Divine Mercy of almighty God seeks not the condemnation of those who betray, crucify, or abandon Him, but their conversion, reconciliation, liberation, and the gift of the fullness of Life. The Bully Culture seeks to impose fear, the destruction of those who oppose it, and tyrannical oppression; not mercy. We know Who triumphs in the end… “For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”
Nos cum prole pia,
Benedicat Virgo Maria!
In Jesus and Mary,
Monsignor James F. Pereda