Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. G. Peter Irving III

10/13/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

All with Peter to Jesus through Mary

Blessed be Mary, because she believed. A saint of our times, St. Josemaria Escrivá, was fond of saying, "Omnes cum Petro ad Iesum per Mariam" (All with Peter to Jesus through Mary). May I suggest that we make these words our own. May all of us respond enthusiastically to the invitation of the Successor of St. Peter to deepen our friendship with Christ through the mediation of our Mother Mary, "excellent exemplar of faith and charity."

Highlights

By Fr. G. Peter Irving III

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/13/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Year of Faith

Keywords: homily, year of faith, Our Lady, Blessed Virgin Mary, Porta Fidei, Benedict XVI, Fr. G. Peter Irving III, Holy Innocents Long Beach


LONG BEACH, CA (Catholic Online) "Let us entrust this time of grace to the Mother of God, proclaimed 'blessed because she believed.'" (Lk 1:45)

With these words, Pope Benedict XVI concluded his Apostolic Letter, Porta Fidei, in which he announced the Year of Faith that has just begun. We would do well to respond to the Holy Father's invitation by making a firm resolution to live this time of grace very close to Our Lady.

Providentially, this first Saturday in the Year of Faith has a profoundly Marian tone. Saturday, of course, is particularly associated with the Mother of God. Pope Paul VI noted that the Church's liturgical calendar allows for ".frequent commemorations of the Blessed Virgin.through the use of the Saturday Masses of our Lady." ("Marialis Cultus," 9) This venerable tradition of honoring the Blessed Mother on Saturdays whether in the liturgy or by way of devotional practices has its origin in the contemplation of Mary's unfailing trust in the promises of her Son even while His body lay in the tomb on that first Holy Saturday. While the faith of all the others was shaken to its foundations, the certainty of Mary's faith shone like a brilliant light in those darkest hours. Blessed be Mary, because she believed.

The liturgical readings for this particular Saturday speak about faith in general and specifically about Mary's faith. In the first reading, St. Paul writes, ".through faith in Jesus Christ the promise [is] .given to those who believe." Faith is a gift! In the words of Pope Benedict, ".the first act by which one comes to faith is God's gift and the action of grace which acts and transforms the person deep within." (Pope Benedict XVI, "Porta Fidei," 10)

In today's Gospel a woman in the crowd is so taken with Jesus' teaching that she cannot contain her praise for the woman who gave Him birth and who nurtured Him from infancy. Jesus immediately seizes the opportunity to add a supernatural depth to those laudatory words by responding, "Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it." No one has heard the word of God so clearly and observed it more perfectly than the Blessed Virgin Mary. Blessed be Mary, because she believed!

In the years following Vatican Council II there was the sad phenomenon observed in some sectors of the Church which saw a weakening of Marian devotion. By no means was this the result of an authentic interpretation of the teaching of the Council which boldly proclaimed Mary to be "a pre-eminent and singular member of the Church, [and] its type and excellent exemplar in faith and charity." ("Lumen Gentium," 53) In the document, "Note with Pastoral Recommendations for the Year of Faith," we read, "During this Year, it will be helpful to invite the faithful to turn with particular devotion to Mary, model of the Church, who 'shines forth to the whole community of the elect as the model of virtues.' Therefore, every initiative that helps the faithful to recognize the special role of Mary in the mystery of salvation, love her and follow her as a model of faith and virtue is to be encouraged." (Note, I, 3)

How wonderful it is that this Year of Faith begins in the Month of the Holy Rosary. For those who do not pray the Rosary or who pray it only occasionally, this is the moment to begin praying it. For those who daily or regularly pray this pre-eminent Marian prayer, now is the time to resolve to pray it better, with greater attention and devotion, while meditating deeply on each of the Mysteries. Surely, we will all find encouragement from the following words spoken by Pope Benedict XVI a few years ago:  "The Rosary, when it is prayed in an authentic manner - not mechanically and superficially, but profoundly - brings peace and reconciliation. It contains the healing power of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, invoked with faith and love at the heart of each Hail Mary."

This first Saturday in this Year of Faith also coincides with a significant date in the history of the world: October 13, 1917, when the miracle promised by Our Lady to the three children of Fatima was witnessed by approximately 75,000 people. Even the anti-Catholic newspaper, O Seculo, published a reporter's rather detailed account of how "the sun danced" and included testimonies of people who had witnessed the "miracle of the sun." On this day 95 years ago many came to faith and the faith of the weak was strengthened. Unfortunately, however, not everyone came to believe. This is because faith is a gift that must be received. Our cooperation is needed. "To the extent that he freely cooperates, man's thoughts and affections, mentality and conduct are slowly purified and transformed." ("Porta Fidei," 6)

The message of Our Lady at Fatima is the message of the Gospel calling sinners to conversion. May the most powerful intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary help us poor sinners-you and me-to be truly converted. At the start of this Year of Faith may we boldly set out on a journey of faith "that is never completely finished in this life." And in turn, may we be used by God to bring those whose faith is weak and those who have no faith at all to be led "out of the desert, towards the place of life, towards friendship with the Son of God, towards the One who gives us life, and life in abundance." ("Porta Fidei," 2)

In our day when it appears that the influence of Christianity in the lives of men and women is growing faint and more and more people have no room for God in their lives, Mary, the "Woman of Faith," who "magnified the Lord" in her marvelous canticle of praise will come to our aid. In a homily Pope Benedict gave on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, he stated: "But when God disappears, men and women do not become greater; indeed, they lose the divine dignity, their faces lose God's splendor. In the end, they turn out to be merely products of a blind evolution and, as such, can be used and abused. This is precisely what the experience of our epoch has confirmed for us. Only if God is great is humankind also great. With Mary, we must begin to understand that this is so. We must not drift away from God but make God present; we must ensure that he is great in our lives. Thus, we too will become divine; all the splendor of the divine dignity will then be ours. Let us apply this to our own lives." (Homily, August 15, 2005)

A saint of our times, St. Josemaria Escriva, was fond of saying, "Omnes cum Petro ad Iesum per Mariam" (All with Peter to Jesus through Mary). May I suggest that we make these words our own. May all of us respond enthusiastically to the invitation of the Successor of St. Peter to deepen our friendship with Christ through the mediation of our Mother Mary, "excellent exemplar of faith and charity."
-----
Fr. G. Peter Irving III is a priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and is pastor of Holy Innocents Church, Long Beach, California

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Year of Faith

The Sower. The Seed. The Field. Understanding the Christian Mission Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

"A sower went out to sow. And, as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for ... continue reading


A Meditation on the Sacred Heart of Jesus: My Heart to Gods Heart Watch

Image of

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, O burning furnace of divine Love, you are the symbol and summary of the whole mystery of our Redemption.  O mystery of mysteries, an infinite Love which no vessel can contain emptied itself into a finite human vessel of love-and so became ... continue reading


Reflection on the Catholic Catechism: Understanding the Bible Watch

Image of

By Michael Terheyden

How we interpret the Bible is of immense importance! It directly affects what we believe about Christ, the Church, and our faith, but it is also related to many of the grave problems in our society and the world. Yet, despite the gravity of this situation, we have good ... continue reading


Christ the King, the Year of Faith and the Catholic Counterculture Watch

Image of On this Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Year of Faith inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI comes to a ceremonial end. However, in reality, it cannot and will not end, because Jesus Christ is King! The Year of Faith was only the beginning for those who choose to live the Life of Faith.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

We celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. It is one of many opportunities the Catholic Church year offers to each one of us to consider the creature called time, receive it as a gift, and begin to really live our lives differently.  This is one of ... continue reading


The Bones of Peter, the Successor of Peter: Close of the Year of Faith Watch

Image of The bones of St. Peter the Apostle

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On the Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Sunday which marks both the end of the Church Year and the end of the Year of Faith, inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Pope Francis greeted thousands of the faithful and presided over Holy Mass and the ... continue reading


Fr Randy Sly on Becoming a House of Prayer Watch

Image of Jesus drives the money changers from the temple. 

With hearts clear and focused on our Lord, we can follow the advice of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Everything starts with prayer. Love to pray--feel the need to pray often during the day and take the trouble to pray. If you want to pray better, you must pray more. The more you pray, the easier it becomes. Perfect prayer does not consist of many words but in the fervor of the desire which raises the heart to Jesus. (Fr. Randy Sly)

By Father Randy Sly

Becoming a House of Prayer is the best discipline we can take on. St. Ephraem of Syria states that Virtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer suppresses anger. Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy. Prayer draws into the soul the Holy ... continue reading


Jesus Weeps and Offers the Path to Peace Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

If this day you only knew what makes for peace- but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your ... continue reading


The Kingdom of God is Among You. What Did Jesus Mean? Watch

Image of The Christian vocation is, of its nature, a vocation to the apostolate as well. Indeed, we call an apostolate every activity of the Mystical Body that aims to spread the Kingdom of Christ over all the earth. (CCC#863)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

In Jesus Christ, the Kingdom has been inaugurated. Upon his return it will be made complete and fully manifested in a new heaven and a new earth. We are members of the Body of Christ which makes it present here and now - as seed and sign for a world which is in labor. ... continue reading


Year of Faith: Bringing the Feast of the Presentation of Mary to Life Watch

Image of The Feast of the Presentation of Mary is celebrated in both the Eastern and Western Churches. It recalls the day in the life of the Jewish girl named Mary (Maryam) when her parents, Joachim and Anne, presented her to the Lord in the temple and dedicated her life to Him.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On this Feast of the Presentation of Mary, let us make the choice to surrender ourselves to the same Lord who Joachim and Ann honored when they presented their dear daughter in the temple. Their daughter, Mary, became the Second Eve. The New Creation was born through ... continue reading


WEDNESDAY HOMILY: Our Lady's Encouragement Watch

Image of

By Fr Samuel Medley, SOLT

I got off the subway at Termini station and went up to the busy streets of Rome.  I had to walk past the place where all the prostitutes gathered.  I looked down at the street and began to pray in fear.  Suddenly I heard a feminine voice say, "Be a man!" ... continue reading


All Year of Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 15:10, 16-21
10 A disaster for me, mother, that you bore me to be ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 59:2-3, 4, 10-11, 17, 18
2 rescue me from evil-doers, from men of violence ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:44-46
44 'The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 30th, 2014 Image

St. Peter Chrysologus
July 30: St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter